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Title: Tales and Novels — Volume 04
Author: Edgeworth, Maria, 1767-1849
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales and Novels — Volume 04" ***

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By Maria Edgeworth

In Ten Volumes. With Engravings On Steel.


    "A prudence undeceiving, undeceived,
    That nor too little nor too much believed;
    That scorn'd unjust suspicion's coward fear,
    And without weakness knew to be sincere."
                 _Lord Lyttelton's Monody on his Wife_.


The prevailing taste of the public for anecdote has been censured and
ridiculed by critics who aspire to the character of superior wisdom;
but if we consider it in a proper point of view, this taste is an
incontestable proof of the good sense and profoundly philosophic temper
of the present times. Of the numbers who study, or at least who read
history, how few derive any advantage from their labours! The heroes of
history are so decked out by the fine fancy of the professed historian;
they talk in such measured prose, and act from such sublime or such
diabolical motives, that few have sufficient taste, wickedness, or
heroism, to sympathize in their fate. Besides, there is much uncertainty
even in the best authenticated ancient or modern histories; and that
love of truth, which in some minds is innate and immutable, necessarily
leads to a love of secret memoirs and private anecdotes. We cannot
judge either of the feelings or of the characters of men with perfect
accuracy, from their actions or their appearance in public; it is from
their careless conversations, their half-finished sentences, that we
may hope with the greatest probability of success to discover their real
characters. The life of a great or of a little man written by himself,
the familiar letters, the diary of any individual published by his
friends or by his enemies, after his decease, are esteemed important
literary curiosities. We are surely justified, in this eager desire, to
collect the most minute facts relative to the domestic lives, not only
of the great and good, but even of the worthless and insignificant,
since it is only by a comparison of their actual happiness or misery
in the privacy of domestic life that we can form a just estimate of the
real reward of virtue, or the real punishment of vice. That the great
are not as happy as they seem, that the external circumstances of
fortune and rank do not constitute felicity, is asserted by every
moralist: the historian can seldom, consistently with his dignity, pause
to illustrate this truth: it is therefore to the biographer we must have
recourse. After we have beheld splendid characters playing their parts
on the great theatre of the world, with all the advantages of stage
effect and decoration, we anxiously beg to be admitted behind the
scenes, that we may take a nearer view of the actors and actresses.

Some may perhaps imagine, that the value of biography depends upon the
judgment and taste of the biographer: but on the contrary it may be
maintained, that the merits of a biographer are inversely as the
extent of his intellectual powers and of his literary talents. A plain
unvarnished tale is preferable to the most highly ornamented narrative.
Where we see that a man has the power, we may naturally suspect that
he has the will to deceive us; and those who are used to literary
manufacture know how much is often sacrificed to the rounding of a
period, or the pointing of an antithesis.

That the ignorant may have their prejudices as well as the learned
cannot be disputed; but we see and despise vulgar errors: we never
bow to the authority of him who has no great name to sanction his
absurdities. The partiality which blinds a biographer to the defects of
his hero, in proportion as it is gross, ceases to be dangerous; but
if it be concealed by the appearance of candour, which men of great
abilities best know how to assume, it endangers our judgment sometimes,
and sometimes our morals. If her grace the Duchess of Newcastle, instead
of penning her lord's elaborate eulogium, had undertaken to write the
life of Savage, we should not have been in any danger of mistaking an
idle, ungrateful libertine, for a man of genius and virtue. The talents
of a biographer are often fatal to his reader. For these reasons the
public often judiciously countenance those who, without sagacity
to discriminate character, without elegance of style to relieve the
tediousness of narrative, without enlargement of mind to draw any
conclusions from the facts they relate, simply pour forth anecdotes,
and retail conversations, with all the minute prolixity of a gossip in a
country town.

The author of the following Memoirs has upon these grounds fair claims
to the public favour and attention; he was an illiterate old steward,
whose partiality to _the family_, in which he was bred and born, must
be obvious to the reader. He tells the history of the Rackrent family in
his vernacular idiom, and in the full confidence that Sir Patrick,
Sir Murtagh, Sir Kit, and Sir Condy Rackrent's affairs will be as
interesting to all the world as they were to himself. Those who were
acquainted with the manners of a certain class of the gentry of Ireland
some years ago, will want no evidence of the truth of honest Thady's
narrative: to those who are totally unacquainted with Ireland, the
following Memoirs will perhaps be scarcely intelligible, or probably
they may appear perfectly incredible. For the information of the
_ignorant_ English reader, a few notes have been subjoined by the
editor, and he had it once in contemplation to translate the language of
Thady into plain English; but Thady's idiom is incapable of translation,
and, besides, the authenticity of his story would have been more exposed
to doubt if it were not told in his own characteristic manner. Several
years ago he related to the editor the history of the Rackrent family,
and it was with some difficulty that he was persuaded to have it
committed to writing; however, his feelings for "_the honour of the
family_," as he expressed himself, prevailed over his habitual laziness,
and he at length completed the narrative which is now aid before the

The editor hopes his readers will observe that these are "tales of other
times:" that the manners depicted in the following pages are not those
of the present age: the race of the Rackrents has long since been
extinct in Ireland; and the drunken Sir Patrick, the litigious
Sir Murtagh, the fighting Sir Kit, and the slovenly Sir Condy, are
characters which could no more be met with at present in Ireland, than
Squire Western or Parson Trulliber in England. There is a time
when individuals can bear to be rallied for their past follies
and absurdities, after they have acquired new habits and a new
consciousness. Nations, as well as individuals, gradually lose
attachment to their identity, and the present generation is amused,
rather than offended, by the ridicule that is thrown upon its ancestors.

Probably we shall soon have it in our power, in a hundred instances, to
verify the truth of these observations.

When Ireland loses her identity by an union with Great Britain, she will
look back, with a smile of good-humoured complacency, on the Sir Kits
and Sir Condys of her former existence.






CHAP. I. Originality of Irish Bulls examined
     II. Irish Newspapers
    III. The Criminal Law of Bulls and Blunders
     IV. Little Dominick
      V. The Bliss of Ignorance
     VI. "Thoughts that breathe, and Words that burn"
    VII. Practical Bulls
   VIII. The Dublin Shoeblack
     IX. The Hibernian Mendicant
      X. Irish Wit and Eloquence
     XI. The Brogue
    XII. Bath Coach Conversation
   XIII. Bath Coach Conversation
    XIV. The Irish Incognito





_Monday Morning_.[A]

Having, out of friendship for the family, upon whose estate, praised be
Heaven! I and mine have lived rent-free, time out of mind, voluntarily
undertaken to publish the MEMOIRS of the RACKRENT FAMILY, I think it my
duty to say a few words, in the first place, concerning myself. My real
name is Thady Quirk, though in the family I have always been known by
no other than "_honest Thady_"--afterward, in the time of Sir Murtagh,
deceased, I remember to hear them calling me "_old Thady_," and now I'm
come to "poor Thady;" for I wear a long great coat[1] winter and summer,
which is very handy, as I never put my arms into the sleeves; they
are as good as new, though come Holantide next I've had it these seven
years; it holds on by a single button round my neck, cloak fashion.
To look at me, you would hardly think "poor Thady" was the father of
attorney Quirk; he is a high gentleman, and never minds what poor Thady
says, and having better than fifteen hundred a year, landed estate,
looks down upon honest Thady; but I wash my hands of his doings, and as
I have lived so will I die, true and loyal to the family. The family
of the Rackrents is, I am proud to say, one of the most ancient in the
kingdom. Every body knows this is not the old family name, which was
O'Shaughlin, related to the kings of Ireland--but that was before my
time. My grandfather was driver to the great Sir Patrick O'Shaughlin,
and I heard him, when I was a boy, telling how the Castle Rackrent
estate came to Sir Patrick; Sir Tallyhoo Rackrent was cousin-german to
him, and had a fine estate of his own, only never a gate upon it, it
being his maxim that a car was the best gate. Poor gentleman! he lost a
fine hunter and his life, at last, by it, all in one day's hunt. But I
ought to bless that day, for the estate came straight into _the_ family,
upon one condition, which Sir Patrick O'Shaughlin at the time took sadly
to heart, they say, but thought better of it afterwards, seeing how
large a stake depended upon it, that he should, by act of parliament,
take and bear the surname and arms of Rackrent.

Now it was that the world was to see what was _in_ Sir Patrick. On
coming into the estate, he gave the finest entertainment ever was heard
of in the country; not a man could stand after supper but Sir Patrick
himself, who could sit out the best man in Ireland, let alone the three
kingdoms itself.[B] He had his house, from one year's end to another,
as full of company as ever it could hold, and fuller; for rather than
be left out of the parties at Castle Rackrent, many gentlemen, and those
men of the first consequence and landed estates in the country, such as
the O'Neils of Ballynagrotty, and the Moueygawls of Mount Juliet's Town,
and O'Shannons of New Town Tullyhog, made it their choice, often and
often, when there was no room to be had for love nor money, in long
winter nights, to sleep in the chicken-house, which Sir Patrick had
fitted up for the purpose of accommodating his friends and the public
in general, who honoured him with their company unexpectedly at Castle
Rackrent; and this went on, I can't tell you how long--the whole country
rang with his praises!--Long life to him! I'm sure I love to look upon
his picture, now opposite to me; though I never saw him, he must have
been a portly gentleman--his neck something short, and remarkable for
the largest pimple on his nose, which, by his particular desire, is
still extant in his picture, said to be a striking likeness, though
taken when young. He is said also to be the inventor of raspberry
whiskey, which is very likely, as nobody has ever appeared to dispute
it with him, and as there still exists a broken punch-bowl at Castle
Rackrent, in the garret, with an inscription to that effect--a great
curiosity. A few days before his death he was very merry; it being his
honour's birth-day, he called my grandfather in, God bless him! to drink
the company's health, and filled a bumper himself, but could not carry
it to his head, on account of the great shake in his hand; on this he
cast his joke, saying, "What would my poor father say to me if he was
to pop out of the grave, and see me now? I remember when I was a little
boy, the first bumper of claret he gave me after dinner, how he praised
me for carrying it so steady to my mouth. Here's my thanks to him--a
bumper toast." Then he fell to singing the favourite song he learned
from his father--for the last time, poor gentleman--he sung it that
night as loud and as hearty as ever with a chorus:

  "He that goes to bed, and goes to bed sober,
  Falls as the leaves do, falls as the leaves do, and dies in October;
  But he that goes to bed, and goes to bed mellow,
  Lives as he ought to do, lives as he ought to do, and dies an honest

Sir Patrick died that night: just as the company rose to drink his
health with three cheers, he fell down in a sort of fit, and was carried
off; they sat it out, and were surprised, on inquiry, in the morning, to
find that it was all over with poor Sir Patrick. Never did any gentleman
live and die more beloved in the country by rich and poor. His funeral
was such a one as was never known before or since in the county! All
the gentlemen in the three counties were at it; far and near, how they
flocked! my great grandfather said, that to see all the women even in
their red cloaks, you would have taken them for the army drawn out. Then
such a fine whillaluh![C] you might have heard it to the farthest end of
the county, and happy the man who could get but a sight of the hearse!
But who'd have thought it? just as all was going on right, through his
own town they were passing, when the body was seized for debt--a rescue
was apprehended from the mob; but the heir who attended the funeral was
against that, for fear of consequences, seeing that those villains who
came to serve acted under the disguise of the law: so, to be sure, the
law must take its course, and little gain had the creditors for their
pains. First and foremost, they had the curses of the country: and Sir
Murtagh Rackrent, the new heir, in the next place, on account of this
affront to the body, refused to pay a shilling of the debts, in which
he was countenanced by all the best gentlemen of property, and others
of his acquaintance; Sir Murtagh alleging in all companies, that he all
along meant to pay his father's debts of honour, but the moment the
law was taken of him, there was an end of honour to be sure. It was
whispered (but none but the enemies of the family believe it), that
this was all a sham seizure to get quit of the debts, which he had bound
himself to pay in honour.

It's a long time ago, there's no saying how it was, but this for
certain, the new man did not take at all after the old gentleman; the
cellars were never filled after his death, and no open house, or any
thing as it used to be; the tenants even were sent away without their
whiskey.[D] I was ashamed myself, and knew not what to say for the
honour of the family; but I made the best of a bad case, and laid it all
at my lady's door, for I did not like her any how, nor any body else;
she was of the family of the Skinflints, and a widow; it was a strange
match for Sir Murtagh; the people in the country thought he demeaned
himself greatly,[E] but I said nothing: I knew how it was; Sir Murtagh
was a great lawyer, and looked to the great Skinflint estate; there,
however, he overshot himself; for though one of the co-heiresses, he was
never the better for her, for she outlived him many's the long day--he
could not see that to be sure when he married her. I must say for her,
she made him the best of wives, being a very notable, stirring woman,
and looking close to every thing. But I always suspected she had Scotch
blood in her veins; any thing else I could have looked over in her from
a regard to the family. She was a strict observer for self and servants
of Lent, and all fast days, but not holidays. One of the maids having
fainted three times the last day of Lent, to keep soul and body
together, we put a morsel of roast beef into her mouth, which came from
Sir Murtagh's dinner, who never fasted, not he; but somehow or other it
unfortunately reached my lady's ears, and the priest of the parish had a
complaint made of it the next day, and the poor girl was forced, as soon
as she could walk, to do penance for it, before she could get any peace
or absolution, in the house or out of it. However, my lady was very
charitable in her own way. She had a charity school for poor children,
where they were taught to read and write gratis, and where they were
kept well to spinning gratis for my lady in return; for she had always
heaps of duty yarn from the tenants, and got all her household linen out
of the estate from first to last; for after the spinning, the weavers on
the estate took it in hand for nothing, because of the looms my lady's
interest could get from the Linen Board to distribute gratis. Then there
was a bleach-yard near us, and the tenant dare refuse my lady nothing,
for fear of a law-suit Sir Murtagh kept hanging over him about the
water-course. With these ways of managing, 'tis surprising how cheap my
lady got things done, and how proud she was of it. Her table the same
way, kept for next to nothing;[F] duty fowls, and duty turkeys, and
duty geese, came as fast as we could eat 'em, for my lady kept a sharp
look-out, and knew to a tub of butter every thing the tenants had, all
round. They knew her way, and what with fear of driving for rent and
Sir Murtagh's lawsuits, they were kept in such good order, they never
thought of coming near Castle Rackrent without a present of something or
other--nothing too much or too little for my lady--eggs, honey, butter,
meal, fish, game, grouse, and herrings, fresh or salt, all went for
something. As for their young pigs, we had them, and the best bacon and
hams they could make up, with all young chickens in spring; but they
were a set of poor wretches, and we had nothing but misfortunes with
them, always breaking and running away. This, Sir Murtagh and my lady
said, was all their former landlord Sir Patrick's fault, who let 'em all
get the half year's rent into arrear; there was something in that to be
sure. But Sir Murtagh was as much the contrary way; for let alone
making English tenants[G] of them, every soul, he was always driving
and driving, and pounding and pounding, and canting[H] and canting,
and replevying and replevying, and he made a good living of trespassing
cattle; there was always some tenant's pig, or horse, or cow, or calf,
or goose, trespassing, which was so great a gain to Sir Murtagh, that he
did not like to hear me talk of repairing fences. Then his heriots and
duty-work[I] brought him in something, his turf was cut, his potatoes
set and dug, his hay brought home, and, in short, all the work about his
house done for nothing; for in all our leases there were strict clauses
heavy with penalties, which Sir Murtagh knew well how to enforce; so
many days' duty work of man and horse, from every tenant, he was to
have, and had, every year; and when a man vexed him, why the finest day
he could pitch on, when the cratur was getting in his own harvest, or
thatching his cabin, Sir Murtagh made it a principle to call upon him
and his horse; so he taught 'em all, as he said, to know the law of
landlord and tenant. As for law, I believe no man, dead or alive, ever
loved it so well as Sir Murtagh. He had once sixteen suits pending at
a time, and I never saw him so much himself; roads, lanes, bogs,
wells, ponds, eel-wires, orchards, trees, tithes, vagrants, gravelpits,
sandpits, dunghills, and nuisances, every thing upon the face of the
earth furnished him good matter for a suit. He used to boast that he had
a lawsuit for every letter in the alphabet. How I used to wonder to
see Sir Murtagh in the midst of the papers in his office! Why he could
hardly turn about for them. I made bold to shrug my shoulders once in
his presence, and thanked my stars I was not born a gentleman to so much
toil and trouble; but Sir Murtagh took me up short with his old proverb,
"learning is better than house or land." Out of forty-nine suits which
he had, he never lost one but seventeen;[J] the rest he gained with
costs, double costs, treble costs sometimes; but even that did not pay.
He was a very learned man in the law, and had the character of it; but
how it was I can't tell, these suits that he carried cost him a power of
money; in the end he sold some hundreds a year of the family estate; but
he was a very learned man in the law, and I know nothing of the matter,
except having a great regard for the family; and I could not help
grieving when he sent me to post up notices of the sale of the
fee-simple of the lands and appurtenances of Timoleague. "I know, honest
Thady," says he, to comfort me, "what I'm about better than you do; I'm
only selling to get the ready money wanting to carry on my suit with
spirit with the Nugents of Carrickashaughlin."

He was very sanguine about that suit with the Nugents of
Carrickashaughlin. He could have gained it, they say, for certain, had
it pleased Heaven to have spared him to us, and it would have been
at the least a plump two thousand a-year in his way; but things were
ordered otherwise, for the best to be sure. He dug up a fairy-mount[2]
against my advice, and had no luck afterwards. Though a learned man in
the law, he was a little too incredulous in other matters. I warned him
that I heard the very Banshee[3] that my grandfather heard under Sir
Patrick's window a few days before his death. But Sir Murtagh thought
nothing of the Banshee, nor of his cough, with a spitting of blood,
brought on, I understand, by catching cold in attending the courts,
and overstraining his chest with making himself heard in one of his
favourite causes. He was a great speaker with a powerful voice; but his
last speech was not in the courts at all. He and my lady, though both
of the same way of thinking in some things, and though she was as good a
wife and great economist as you could see, and he the best of husbands,
as to looking into his affairs, and making money for his family; yet
I don't know how it was, they had a great deal of sparring and jarring
between them. My lady had her privy purse--and she had her weed
ashes,[L] and her sealing money[M] upon the signing of all the leases,
with something to buy gloves besides; and, besides, again often took
money from the tenants, if offered properly, to speak for them to Sir
Murtagh about abatements and renewals. Now the weed ashes and the glove
money he allowed her clear perquisites; though once when he saw her in
a new gown saved out of the weed ashes, he told her to my face (for he
could say a sharp thing), that she should not put on her weeds before
her husband's death. But in a dispute about an abatement, my lady would
have the last word, and Sir Murtagh grew mad;[N] I was within hearing of
the door, and now I wish I had made bold to step in. He spoke so loud,
the whole kitchen was out on the stairs.[O] All on a sudden he stopped
and my lady too. Something has surely happened, thought I--and so it
was, for Sir Murtagh in his passion broke a blood-vessel, and all the
law in the land could do nothing in that case. My lady sent for five
physicians, but Sir Murtagh died, and was buried. She had a fine
jointure settled upon her, and took herself away to the great joy of the
tenantry. I never said any thing one way or the other, whilst she was
part of the family, but got up to see her go at three o'clock in the
morning. "It's a fine morning, honest Thady," says she; "good bye to
ye," and into the carriage she stepped, without a word more, good or
bad, or even half-a-crown; but I made my bow, and stood to see her safe
out of sight for the sake of the family.

Then we were all bustle in the house, which made me keep out of the way,
for I walk slow and hate a bustle; but the house was all hurry-skurry,
preparing for my new master. Sir Murtagh, I forgot to notice, had no
childer;[4] so the Rackrent estate went to his younger brother, a young
dashing officer, who came amongst us before I knew for the life of me
where-abouts I was, in a gig or some of them things, with another spark
along with him, and led horses, and servants, and dogs, and scarce a
place to put any Christian of them into; for my late lady had sent all
the feather-beds off before her, and blankets and household linen, down
to the very knife cloths, on the cars to Dublin, which were all her own,
lawfully paid for out of her own money. So the house was quite bare,
and my young master, the moment ever he set foot in it out of his gig,
thought all those things must come of themselves, I believe, for he
never looked after any thing at all, but harum-scarum called for every
thing as if we were conjurers, or he in a public-house. For my part,
I could not bestir myself any how; I had been so much used to my late
master and mistress, all was upside down with me, and the new servants
in the servants' hall were quite out of my way; I had nobody to talk
to, and if it had not been for my pipe and tobacco, should, I verily
believe, have broke my heart for poor Sir Murtagh.

But one morning my new master caught a glimpse of me as I was looking at
his horse's heels, in hopes of a word from him. "And is that old Thady?"
says he, as he got into his gig: I loved him from that day to this,
his voice was so like the family; and he threw me a guinea out of his
waistcoat pocket, as he drew up the reins with the other hand, his horse
rearing too; I thought I never set my eyes on a finer figure of a man,
quite another sort from Sir Murtagh, though withal, _to me_, a family
likeness. A fine life we should have led, had he stayed amongst us, God
bless him! He valued a guinea as little as any man: money to him was no
more than dirt, and his gentleman and groom, and all belonging to him,
the same; but the sporting season over, he grew tired of the place, and
having got down a great architect for the house, and an improver for
the grounds, and seen their plans and elevations, he fixed a day for
settling with the tenants, but went off in a whirlwind to town, just as
some of them came into the yard in the morning. A circular letter came
next post from the new agent, with news that the master was sailed
for England, and he must remit 500_l_. to Bath for his use before a
fortnight was at an end; bad news still for the poor tenants, no change
still for the better with them. Sir Kit Rackrent, my young master, left
all to the agent; and though he had the spirit of a prince, and lived
away to the honour of his country abroad, which I was proud to hear
of, what were we the better for that at home? The agent was one of your
middle men,[5] who grind the face of the poor, and can never bear a man
with a hat upon his head: he ferreted the tenants out of their lives;
not a week without a call for money, drafts upon drafts from Sir Kit;
but I laid it all to the fault of the agent; for, says I, what can Sir
Kit do with so much cash, and he a single man? but still it went. Rents
must be all paid up to the day, and afore; no allowance for improving
tenants, no consideration for those who had built upon their farms:
no sooner was a lease out, but the land was advertised to the highest
bidder, all the old tenants turned out, when they spent their substance
in the hope and trust of a renewal from the landlord. All was now let at
the highest penny to a parcel of poor wretches, who meant to run away,
and did so, after taking two crops out of the ground. Then fining down
the year's rent came into fashion,[P] any thing for the ready penny; and
with all this, and presents to the agent and the driver,[Q] there was
no such thing as standing it. I said nothing, for I had a regard for the
family; but I walked about thinking if his honour Sir Kit knew all this,
it would go hard with him, but he'd see us righted; not that I had any
thing for my own share to complain of, for the agent was always very
civil to me, when he came down into the country, and took a great deal
of notice of my son Jason. Jason Quirk, though he be my son, I must say,
was a good scholar from his birth, and a very 'cute lad: I thought to
make him a priest,[R] but he did better for himself: seeing how he
was as good a clerk as any in the county, the agent gave him his rent
accounts to copy, which he did first of all for the pleasure of obliging
the gentleman, and would take nothing at all for his trouble, but was
always proud to serve the family. By-and-by a good farm bounding us to
the east fell into his honour's hands, and my son put in a proposal for
it: why shouldn't he, as well as another? The proposals all went over to
the master at the Bath, who knowing no more of the land than the child
unborn, only having once been out a grousing on it before he went to
England; and the value of lands, as the agent informed him, falling
every year in Ireland, his honour wrote over in all haste a bit of a
letter, saying he left it all to the agent, and that he must let it
as well as he could to the best bidder, to be sure, and send him over
200_l_., by return of post: with this the agent gave me a hint, and I
spoke a good word for my son, and gave out in the country that nobody
need bid against us. So his proposal was just the thing, and he a good
tenant; and he got a promise of an abatement in the rent, after the
first year, for advancing the half year's rent at signing the lease,
which was wanting to complete the agent's 200_l_., by the return of the
post, with all which my master wrote back he was well satisfied. About
this time we learned from the agent as a great secret, how the money
went so fast, and the reason of the thick coming of the master's drafts:
he was a little too fond of play; and Bath, they say, was no place for a
young man of his fortune, where there were so many of his own countrymen
too hunting him up and down, day and night, who had nothing to lose.
At last, at Christmas, the agent wrote over to stop the drafts, for he
could raise no more money on bond or mortgage, or from the tenants, or
any how, nor had he any more to lend himself, and desired at the same
time to decline the agency for the future, wishing Sir Kit his health
and happiness, and the compliments of the season, for I saw the letter
before ever it was sealed, when my son copied it. When the answer came,
there was a new turn in affairs, and the agent was turned out; and my
son Jason, who had corresponded privately with his honour occasionally
on business, was forthwith desired by his honour to take the accounts
into his own hands, and look them over till further orders. It was
a very spirited letter to be sure: Sir Kit sent his service, and the
compliments of the season, in return to the agent, and he would fight
him with pleasure to-morrow, or any day, for sending him such a letter,
if he was born a gentleman, which he was sorry (for both their sakes)
to find (too late) he was not. Then, in a private postscript, he
condescended to tell us, that all would be speedily settled to his
satisfaction, and we should turn over a new leaf, for he was going to be
married in a fortnight to the grandest heiress in England, and had only
immediate occasion at present for 200_l_., as he would not choose
to touch his lady's fortune for travelling expenses home to Castle
Rackrent, where he intended to be, wind and weather permitting, early in
the next month; and desired fires, and the house to be painted, and the
new building to go on as fast as possible, for the reception of him and
his lady before that time; with several words besides in the letter,
which we could not make out, because, God bless him! he wrote in such
a flurry. My heart warmed to my new lady when I read this; I was almost
afraid it was too good news to be true; but the girls fell to scouring,
and it was well they did, for we soon saw his marriage in the paper,
to a lady with I don't know how many tens of thousand pounds to her
fortune: then I watched the post-office for his landing; and the news
came to my son of his and the bride being in Dublin, and on the way home
to Castle Rackrent. We had bonfires all over the country, expecting
him down the next day, and we had his coming of age still to celebrate,
which he had not time to do properly before he left the country;
therefore a great ball was expected, and great doings upon his coming,
as it were, fresh to take possession of his ancestors' estate. I never
shall forget the day he came home: we had waited and waited all day long
till eleven o'clock at night, and I was thinking of sending the boy to
lock the gates, and giving them up for that night, when there came the
carriages thundering up to the great hall door. I got the first sight of
the bride; for when the carriage door opened, just as she had her foot
on the steps, I held the flam[S] full in her face to light her, at
which she shut her eyes, but I had a full view of the rest, of her, and
greatly shocked I was, for by that light she was little better than a
blackamoor, and seemed crippled, but that was only sitting so long in
the chariot. "You're kindly welcome to Castle Rackrent, my lady," says I
(recollecting who she was); "did your honour hear of the bonfires?" His
honour spoke never a word, nor so much as handed her up the steps--he
looked to me no more like himself than nothing at all; I know I took him
for the skeleton of his honour: I was not sure what to say next to
one or t'other, but seeing she was a stranger in a foreign country, I
thought it but right to speak cheerful to her, so I went back again to
the bonfires. "My lady," says I, as she crossed the hall, "there
would have been fifty times as many, but for fear of the horses, and
frightening your ladyship: Jason and I forbid them, please your honour."
With that she looked at me a little bewildered. "Will I have a fire
lighted in the state-room to-night?" was the next question I put to her,
but never a word she answered, so I concluded she could not speak a word
of English, and was from foreign parts. The short and the long of it
was, I couldn't tell what to make of her; so I left her to herself, and
went straight down to the servants' hall to learn something for certain
about her. Sir Kit's own man was tired, but the groom set him a talking
at last, and we had it all out before ever I closed my eyes that night.
The bride might well be a great fortune--she was a _Jewish_ by all
accounts, who are famous for their great riches. I had never seen any
of that tribe or nation before, and could only gather, that she spoke
a strange kind of English of her own, that she could not abide pork or
sausages, and went neither to church or mass. Mercy upon his honour's
poor soul, thought I; what will become of him and his, and all of us,
with his heretic blackamoor at the head of the Castle Rackrent estate! I
never slept a wink all night for thinking of it: but before the servants
I put my pipe in my mouth, and kept my mind to myself; for I had a great
regard for the family; and after this, when strange gentlemen's servants
came to the house, and would begin to talk about the bride, I took
care to put the best foot foremost, and passed her for a nabob in the
kitchen, which accounted for her dark complexion and every thing.

The very morning after they came home, however, I saw plain enough
how things were between Sir Kit and my lady, though they were walking
together arm in arm after breakfast, looking at the new building and the
improvements. "Old Thady," said my master, just as he used to do, "how
do you do?" "Very well, I thank your honour's honour," said I; but I saw
he was not well pleased, and my heart was in my mouth as I walked along
after him. "Is the large room damp, Thady?" said his honour. "Oh, damp,
your honour! how should it but be as dry as a bone," says I, "after all
the fires we have kept in it day and night? it's the barrack-room[T]
your honour's talking on." "And what is a barrack-room, pray, my dear?"
were the first words I ever heard out of my lady's lips. "No matter, my
dear!" said he, and went on talking to me, ashamed like I should witness
her ignorance. To be sure, to hear her talk one might have taken her for
an innocent,[U] for it was, "what's this, Sir Kit? and what's that,
Sir Kit?" all the way we went. To be sure, Sir Kit had enough to do to
answer her. "And what do you call that, Sir Kit?" said she, "that, that
looks like a pile of black bricks, pray, Sir Kit?" "My turf stack, my
dear," said my master, and bit his lip. Where have you lived, my lady,
all your life, not to know a turf stack when you see it? thought I, but
I said nothing. Then, by-and-by, she takes out her glass, and begins
spying over the country. "And what's all that black swamp out yonder,
Sir Kit?" says she. "My bog, my dear," says he, and went on whistling.
"It's a very ugly prospect, my dear," says she. "You don't see it, my
dear," says he, "for we've planted it out, when the trees grow up in
summer time," says he. "Where are the trees," said she, "my dear?" still
looking through her glass. "You are blind, my dear," says he; "what are
these under your eyes?" "These shrubs," said she. "Trees," said he. "May
be they are what you call trees in Ireland, my dear," said she; "but
they are not a yard high, are they?" "They were planted out but last
year, my lady," says I, to soften matters between them, for I saw she
was going the way to make his honour mad with her: "they are very
well grown for their age, and you'll not see the bog of
Allyballycarricko'shaughlin at-all-at-all through the skreen, when once
the leaves come out. But, my lady, you must not quarrel with any part
or parcel of Allyballycarricko'shaughlin, for you don't know how many
hundred years that same bit of bog has been in the family; we would not
part with the bog of Allyballycarricko'shaughlin upon no account at all;
it cost the late Sir Murtagh two hundred good pounds to defend his title
to it and boundaries against the O'Learys, who cut a road through it."
Now one would have thought this would have been hint enough for my lady,
but she fell to laughing like one out of their right mind, and made
me say the name of the bog over for her to get it by heart, a dozen
times--then she must ask me how to spell it, and what was the meaning
of it in English--Sir Kit standing by whistling all the while; I verily
believed she laid the corner stone of all her future misfortunes at that
very instant; but I said no more, only looked at Sir Kit.

There were no balls, no dinners, no doings; the country was all
disappointed--Sir Kit's gentleman said in a whisper to me, it was all
my lady's own fault, because she was so obstinate about the cross. "What
cross?" says I; "is it about her being a heretic?" "Oh, no such matter,"
says he; "my master does not mind her heresies, but her diamond cross,
it's worth I can't tell you how much; and she has thousands of English
pounds concealed in diamonds about her, which she as good as promised to
give up to my master before he married, but now she won't part with any
of them, and she must take the consequences."

Her honey-moon, at least her Irish honey-moon, was scarcely well over,
when his honour one morning said to me, "Thady, buy me a pig!" and then
the sausages were ordered, and here was the first open breaking-out of
my lady's troubles. My lady came down herself into the kitchen, to speak
to the cook about the sausages, and desired never to see them more at
her table. Now my master had ordered them, and my lady knew that. The
cook took my lady's part, because she never came down into the kitchen,
and was young and innocent in housekeeping, which raised her pity;
besides, said she, at her own table, surely, my lady should order and
disorder what she pleases; but the cook soon changed her note, for my
master made it a principle to have the sausages, and swore at her for a
Jew herself, till he drove her fairly out of the kitchen; then, for fear
of her place, and because he threatened that my lady should give her no
discharge without the sausages, she gave up, and from that day forward
always sausages, or bacon, or pig meat in some shape or other, went up
to table; upon which my lady shut herself up in her own room, and my
master said she might stay there, with an oath: and to make sure of her,
he turned the key in the door, and kept it ever after in his pocket. We
none of us ever saw or heard her speak for seven years after that:[6] he
carried her dinner himself. Then his honour had a great deal of company
to dine with him, and balls in the house, and was as gay and gallant,
and as much himself as before he was married; and at dinner he always
drank my Lady Rackrent's good health, and so did the company, and he
sent out always a servant, with his compliments to my Lady Rackrent, and
the company was drinking her ladyship's health, and begged to know if
there was any thing at table he might send her; and the man came back,
after the sham errand, with my Lady Rackrent's compliments, and she was
very much obliged to Sir Kit--she did not wish for any thing, but drank
the company's health. The country, to be sure, talked and wondered at
my lady's being shut up, but nobody chose to interfere or ask any
impertinent questions, for they knew my master was a man very apt
to give a short answer himself, and likely to call a man out for it
afterwards; he was a famous shot; had killed his man before he came
of age, and nobody scarce dared look at him whilst at Bath. Sir Kit's
character was so well known in the country, that he lived in peace
and quietness ever after, and was a great favourite with the
ladies, especially when in process of time, in the fifth year of her
confinement, my Lady Rackrent fell ill, and took entirely to her bed,
and he gave out that she was now skin and bone, and could not last
through the winter. In this he had two physicians' opinions to back him
(for now he called in two physicians for her), and tried all his arts to
get the diamond cross from her on her death-bed, and to get her to make
a will in his favour of her separate possessions; but there she was too
tough for him. He used to swear at her behind her back, after kneeling
to her to her face, and call her in the presence of his gentleman
his stiff-necked Israelite, though before he married her, that same
gentleman told me he used to call her (how he could bring it out, I
don't know) "my pretty Jessica!" To be sure it must have been hard for
her to guess what sort of a husband he reckoned to make her. When she
was lying, to all expectation, on her death-bed of a broken heart, I
could not but pity her, though she was a Jewish; and considering too it
was no fault of hers to be taken with my master so young as she was at
the Bath, and so fine a gentleman as Sir Kit was when he courted her;
and considering too, after all they had heard and seen of him as a
husband, there were now no less than three ladies in our county talked
of for his second wife, all at daggers drawn with each other, as his
gentleman swore, at the balls, for Sir Kit for their partner,--I could
not but think them bewitched; but they all reasoned with themselves,
that Sir Kit would make a good husband to any Christian but a Jewish,
I suppose, and especially as he was now a reformed rake; and it was not
known how my lady's fortune was settled in her will, nor how the Castle
Rackrent estate was all mortgaged, and bonds out against him, for he was
never cured of his gaming tricks; but that was the only fault he had,
God bless him!

My lady had a sort of fit, and it was given out she was dead, by
mistake: this brought things to a sad crisis for my poor master,--one
of the three ladies showed his letters to her brother, and claimed his
promises, whilst another did the same. I don't mention names. Sir Kit,
in his defence, said he would meet any man who dared to question his
conduct, and as to the ladies, they must settle it amongst them who was
to be his second, and his third, and his fourth, whilst his first was
still alive, to his mortification and theirs. Upon this, as upon all
former occasions, he had the voice of the country with him, on account
of the great spirit and propriety he acted with. He met and shot the
first lady's brother; the next day he called out the second, who had
a wooden-leg; and their place of meeting by appointment being in a new
ploughed field, the wooden-leg man stuck fast in it. Sir Kit, seeing his
situation, with great candour fired his pistol over his head; upon
which the seconds interposed, and convinced the parties there had been
a slight misunderstanding between them; thereupon they shook hands
cordially, and went home to dinner together. This gentleman, to show the
world how they stood together, and by the advice of the friends of both
parties, to re-establish his sister's injured reputation, went out with
Sir Kit as his second, and carried his message next day to the last of
his adversaries: I never saw him in such fine spirits as that day he
went out--sure enough he was within ames-ace of getting quit handsomely
of all his enemies; but unluckily, after hitting the tooth-pick out of
his adversary's finger and thumb, he received a ball in a vital part,
and was brought home, in little better than an hour after the affair,
speechless on a hand-barrow, to my lady. We got the key out of his
pocket the first thing we did, and my son Jason ran to unlock the
barrack-room, where my lady had been shut up for seven years, to
acquaint her with the fatal accident. The surprise bereaved her of her
senses at first, nor would she believe but we were putting some new
trick upon her, to entrap her out of her jewels, for a great while, till
Jason bethought himself of taking her to the window, and showed her
the men bringing Sir Kit up the avenue upon the hand-barrow, which had
immediately the desired effect; for directly she burst into tears, and
pulling her cross from her bosom, she kissed it with as great devotion
as ever I witnessed; and lifting up her eyes to heaven, uttered some
ejaculation, which none present heard; but I take the sense of it to be,
she returned thanks for this unexpected interposition in her favour when
she had least reason to expect it. My master was greatly lamented: there
was no life in him when we lifted him off the barrow, so he was laid
out immediately, and _waked_ the same night. The country was all in an
uproar about him, and not a soul but cried shame upon his murderer;
who would have been hanged surely, if he could have been brought to his
trial, whilst the gentlemen in the country were up about it; but he very
prudently withdrew himself to the continent before the affair was made
public. As for the young lady, who was the immediate cause of the fatal
accident, however innocently, she could never show her head after at the
balls in the county or any place; and by the advice of her friends and
physicians, she was ordered soon after to Bath, where it was expected,
if any where on this side of the grave, she would meet with the
recovery of her health and lost peace of mind. As a proof of his great
popularity, I need only add, that there was a song made upon my master's
untimely death in the newspapers, which was in every body's mouth,
singing up and down through the country, even down to the mountains,
only three days after his unhappy exit. He was also greatly bemoaned at
the Curragh,[V] where his cattle were well known; and all who had taken
up his bets were particularly inconsolable for his loss to society. His
stud sold at the cant[X] at the greatest price ever known in the county;
his favourite horses were chiefly disposed of amongst his particular
friends, who would give any price for them for his sake; but no ready
money was required by the new heir, who wished not to displease any
of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood just upon his coming to settle
amongst them; so a long credit was given where requisite, and the cash
has never been gathered in from that day to this.

But to return to my lady:--She got surprisingly well after my master's
decease. No sooner was it known for certain that he was dead, than all
the gentlemen within twenty miles of us came in a body, as it were, to
set my lady at liberty, and to protest against her confinement, which
they now for the first time understood was against her own consent
The ladies too were as attentive as possible, striving who should be
foremost with their morning visits; and they that saw the diamonds spoke
very handsomely of them, but thought it a pity they were not bestowed,
if it had so pleased God, upon a lady who would have become them better.
All these civilities wrought little with my lady, for she had taken an
unaccountable prejudice against the country, and every thing belonging
to it, and was so partial to her native land, that after parting with
the cook, which she did immediately upon my master's decease, I never
knew her easy one instant, night or day, but when she was packing up
to leave us. Had she meant to make any stay in Ireland, I stood a
great chance of being a great favourite with her; for when she found I
understood the weathercock, she was always finding some pretence to be
talking to me, and asking me which way the wind blew, and was it likely,
did I think, to continue fair for England. But when I saw she had made
up her mind to spend the rest of her days upon her own income and jewels
in England, I considered her quite as a foreigner, and not at all any
longer as part of the family. She gave no vails to the servants at
Castle Rackrent at parting, notwithstanding the old proverb of "_as rich
as a Jew_," which she being a Jewish, they built upon with reason. But
from first to last she brought nothing but misfortunes amongst us; and
if it had not been all along with her, his honour, Sir Kit, would have
been now alive in all appearance. Her diamond cross was, they say, at
the bottom of it all; and it was a shame for her, being his wife, not to
show more duty, and to have given it up when he condescended to ask so
often for such a bit of a trifle in his distresses, especially when he
all along made it no secret he married for money. But we will not bestow
another thought upon her. This much I thought it lay upon my conscience
to say, in justice to my poor master's memory.

'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody no good--the same wind that took the
Jew Lady Rackrent over to England, brought over the new heir to Castle

Here let me pause for breath in my story, for though I had a great
regard for every member of the family, yet without compare Sir Conolly,
commonly called, for short, amongst his friends, Sir Condy Rackrent, was
ever my great favourite, and, indeed, the most universally beloved man I
had ever seen or heard of, not excepting his great ancestor Sir Patrick,
to whose memory he, amongst other instances of generosity, erected a
handsome marble stone in the church of Castle Rackrent, setting forth
in large letters his age, birth, parentage, and many other virtues,
concluding with the compliment so justly due, that "Sir Patrick Rackrent
lived and died a monument of old Irish hospitality."



Sir Condy Rackrent, by the grace of God heir-at-law to the Castle
Rackrent estate, was a remote branch of the family: born to little or
no fortune of his own, he was bred to the bar; at which, having many
friends to push him, and no mean natural abilities of his own, he
doubtless would, in process of time, if he could have borne the drudgery
of that study, have been rapidly made king's counsel, at the least; but
things were disposed of otherwise, and he never went the circuit but
twice, and then made no figure for want of a fee, and being unable to
speak in public. He received his education chiefly in the college of
Dublin; but before he came to years of discretion lived in the country,
in a small but slated house, within view of the end of the avenue.
I remember him bare footed and headed, running through the street of
O'Shaughlin's town, and playing at pitch and toss, ball, marbles, and
what not, with the boys of the town, amongst whom my son Jason was a
great favourite with him. As for me, he was ever my white-headed boy:
often's the time when I would call in at his father's, where I was
always made welcome; he would slip down to me in the kitchen, and love
to sit on my knee, whilst I told him stories of the family, and the
blood from which he was sprung, and how he might look forward, if the
_then_ present man should die without childer, to being at the head
of the Castle Rackrent estate. This was then spoke quite and clear
at random to please the child, but it pleased Heaven to accomplish my
prophecy afterwards, which gave him a great opinion of my judgment in
business. He went to a little grammar-school with many others, and my
son amongst the rest, who was in his class, and not a little useful
to him in his book learning, which he acknowledged with gratitude
ever after. These rudiments of his education thus completed, he got
a-horseback, to which exercise he was ever addicted, and used to gallop
over the country while yet but a slip of a boy, under the care of Sir
Kit's huntsman, who was very fond of him, and often lent him his gun,
and took him out a-shooting under his own eye. By these means he became
well acquainted and popular amongst the poor in the neighbourhood early;
for there was not a cabin at which he had not stopped some morning or
other, along with the huntsman, to drink a glass of burnt whiskey out of
an eggshell, to do him good and warm his heart, and drive the cold out
of his stomach. The old people always told him he was a great likeness
of Sir Patrick; which made him first have an ambition to take after him,
as far as his fortune should allow. He left us when of an age to enter
the college, and there completed his education and nineteenth year; for
as he was not born to an estate, his friends thought it incumbent on
them to give him the best education which could be had for love or
money; and a great deal of money consequently was spent upon him at
College and temple. He was a very little altered for the worse by what
he saw there of the great world; for when he came down into the country,
to pay us a visit, we thought him just the same man as ever, hand and
glove with every one, and as far from high, though not without his own
proper share of family pride, as any man ever you see. Latterly, seeing
how Sir Kit and the Jewish lived together, and that there was no one
between him and the Castle Rackrent estate, he neglected to apply to the
law as much as was expected of him; and secretly many of the tenants,
and others, advanced him cash upon his note of hand value received,
promising bargains of leases and lawful interest, should he ever come
into the estate. All this was kept a great secret, for fear the present
man, hearing of it, should take it into his head to take it ill of
poor Condy, and so should cut him off for ever, by levying a fine, and
suffering a recovery to dock the entail.[Y] Sir Murtagh would have been
the man for that; but Sir Kit was too much taken up philandering to
consider the law in this case, or any other. These practices I have
mentioned, to account for the state of his affairs, I mean Sir Condy's,
upon his coming into the Castle Rackrent estate. He could not command
a penny of his first year's income; which, and keeping no accounts, and
the great sight of company he did, with many other causes too numerous
to mention, was the origin of his distresses. My son Jason, who was now
established agent, and knew every thing, explained matters out of the
face to Sir Conolly, and made him sensible of his embarrassed situation.
With a great nominal rent-roll, it was almost all paid away in interest;
which being for convenience suffered to run on, soon doubled the
principal, and Sir Condy was obliged to pass new bonds for the interest,
now grown principal, and so on. Whilst this was going on, my son
requiring to be paid for his trouble, and many years' service in the
family gratis, and Sir Condy not willing to take his affairs into his
own hands, or to look them even in the face, he gave my son a bargain of
some acres, which Jell out of lease, at a reasonable rent. Jason set
the land, as soon as his lease was sealed, to under tenants, to make the
rent, and got two hundred a-year profit rent; which was little enough
considering his long agency. He bought the land at twelve years'
purchase two years afterwards, when Sir Condy was pushed for money on
an execution, and was at the same time allowed for his improvements
thereon. There was a sort of hunting-lodge upon the estate, convenient
to my son Jason's land, which he had his eye upon about this time; and
he was a little jealous of Sir Condy, who talked of setting it to a
stranger, who was just come into the country--Captain Moneygawl was the
man. He was son and heir to the Moneygawls of Mount Juliet's town, who
had a great estate in the next county to ours; and my master was loth to
disoblige the young gentleman, whose heart was set upon the lodge; so
he wrote him back, that the lodge was at his service, and if he would
honour him with his company at Castle Rackrent, they could ride over
together some morning, and look at it, before signing the lease.
Accordingly the captain came over to us, and he and Sir Condy grew
the greatest friends ever you see, and were for ever out a-shooting or
hunting together, and were very merry in the evenings; and Sir Condy was
invited of course to Mount Juliet's town; and the family intimacy that
had been in Sir Patrick's time was now recollected, and nothing would
serve Sir Condy but he must be three times a-week at the least with
his new friends, which grieved me, who knew, by the captain's groom and
gentleman, how they talked of him at Mount Juliet's town, making
him quite, as one may say, a laughing-stock and a butt for the whole
company; but they were soon cured of _that_ by an accident that
surprised 'em not a little, as it did me. There was a bit of a scrawl
found upon the waiting-maid of old Mr. Moneygawl's youngest daughter,
Miss Isabella, that laid open the whole; and her father, they say, was
like _one out of his right mind_, and swore it was the last thing he
ever should have thought of, when he invited my master to his house,
that his daughter should think of such a match. But their talk signified
not a straw, for, as Miss. Isabella's maid reported, her young mistress
was fallen over head and ears in love with Sir Condy, from the first
time that ever her brother brought him into the house to dinner: the
servant who waited that day behind my master's chair was the first who
knew it, as he says; though it's hard to believe him, for he did not
tell it till a great while afterwards; but, however, it's likely enough,
as the thing turned out, that he was not far out of the way; for towards
the middle of dinner, as he says, they were talking of stage-plays,
having a playhouse, and being great play-actors at Mount Juliet's town;
and Miss Isabella turns short to my master, and says, "Have you seen the
play-bill, Sir Condy?" "No, I have not," said he. "Then more shame for
you," said the captain her brother, "not to know that my sister is to
play Juliet to-night, who plays it better than any woman on or off the
stage in all Ireland." "I am very happy to hear it," said Sir Condy; and
there the matter dropped for the present. But Sir Condy all this time,
and it great while afterwards, was at a terrible nonplus; for he had
no liking, not he, to stage-plays, nor to Miss Isabella either; to his
mind, as it came out over a bowl of whiskey-punch at home, his little
Judy M'Quirk, who was daughter to a sister's son of mine, was worth
twenty of Miss Isabella. He had seen her often when he stopped at her
father's cabin to drink whiskey out of the egg-shell, out hunting,
before he came to the estate, and, as she gave out, was under something
like a promise of marriage to her. Any how, I could not but pity my poor
master, who was so bothered between them, and he an easy-hearted man,
that could not disoblige nobody, God bless him! To be sure, it was not
his place to behave ungenerous to Miss Isabella, who had disobliged all
her relations for his sake, as he remarked; and then she was locked up
in her chamber, and forbid to think of him any more, which raised his
spirit, because his family was, as he observed, as good as theirs at any
rate, and the Rackrents a suitable match for the Moneygawls any day in
the year: all which was true enough; but it grieved me to see, that
upon the strength of all this, Sir Condy was growing more in the mind to
carry off Miss Isabella to Scotland, in spite of her relations, as she

"It's all over with our poor Judy!" said I, with a heavy sigh, making
bold to speak to him one night when he was a little cheerful, and
standing in the servants' hall all alone with me, as was often his
custom. "Not at all," said he; "I never was fonder of Judy than at this
present speaking; and to prove it to you," said he, and he took from my
hand a halfpenny, change that I had just got along with my tobacco, "and
to prove it to you, Thady," says he, "it's a toss up with me which I
should marry this minute, her or Mr. Moneygawl of Mount Juliet's town's
daughter--so it is." "Oh, boo! boo!" [7] says I, making light of it,
to see what he would go on to next; "your honour's joking, to be sure;
there's no compare between our poor Judy and Miss Isabella, who has a
great fortune, they say." "I'm not a man to mind a fortune, nor never
was," said Sir Condy, proudly, "whatever her friends may say; and to
make short of it," says he, "I'm come to a determination upon the spot;"
with that he swore such a terrible oath, as made me cross myself; "and
by this book," said he, snatching up my ballad book, mistaking it for my
prayer book, which lay in the window; "and by this book," says he, "and
by all the books that ever were shut and opened, it's come to a toss-up
with me, and I'll stand or fall by the toss; and so Thady, hand me over
that _pin_[8] out of the ink-horn," and he makes a cross on the smooth
side of the halfpenny; "Judy M'Quirk," says he, "her mark." [9] God
bless him! his hand was a little unsteadied by all the whiskey punch he
had taken, but it was plain to see his heart was for poor Judy. My heart
was all as one as in my mouth when I saw the halfpenny up in the air,
but I said nothing at all; and when it came down, I was glad I had kept
myself to myself, for to be sure now it was all over with poor Judy.
"Judy's out a luck," said I, striving to laugh. "I'm out a luck," said
he; and I never saw a man look so cast down: he took up the halfpenny
off the flag, and walked away quite sober-like by the shock. Now, though
as easy a man, you would think, as any in the wide world, there was no
such thing as making him unsay one of these sort of vows,[10] which he
had learned to reverence when young, as I well remember teaching him to
toss up for bog-berries on my knee. So I saw the affair was as good as
settled between him and Miss Isabella, and I had no more to say but
to wish her joy, which I did the week afterwards, upon her return from
Scotland with my poor master.

My new lady was young, as might be supposed of a lady that had been
carried off, by her own consent, to Scotland; but I could only see her
at first through her veil, which, from bashfulness or fashion, she kept
over her face. "And am I to walk through all this crowd of people, my
dearest love?" said she to Sir Condy, meaning us servants and tenants,
who had gathered at the hack gate. "My dear," said Sir Condy, "there's
nothing for it but to walk, or to let me carry you as far as the house,
for you see the back road is too narrow for a carriage, and the great
piers have tumbled down across the front approach; so there's no driving
the right way, by reason of the ruins." "Plato, thou reasonest well!"
said she, or words to that effect, which I could no ways understand; and
again, when her foot stumbled against a broken bit of a car-wheel, she
cried out, "Angels and ministers of grace defend us!" Well, thought I,
to be sure, if she's no Jewish, like the last, she is a mad woman for
certain, which is as bad: it would have been as well for my poor master
to have taken up with poor Judy, who is in her right mind, any how.

She was dressed like a mad woman, moreover, more than like any one I
ever saw afore or since, and I could not take my eyes off her, but still
followed behind her; and her feathers on the top of her hat were broke
going in at the low back door, and she pulled out her little bottle out
of her pocket to smell to when she found herself in the kitchen, and
said, "I shall faint with the heat of this odious, odious place." "My
dear, it's only three steps across the kitchen, and there's a fine air
if your veil was up," said Sir Condy, and with that threw hack her veil,
so that I had then a full sight of her face; she had not at all the
colour of one going to faint, but a fine complexion of her own, as I
then took it to be, though her maid told me after it was all put on;
but even complexion and all taken in, she was no way, in point of good
looks, to compare to poor Judy; and with all she had a quality toss with
her; but may be it was my over-partiality to Judy, into whose place I
may say she stepped, that made me notice all this. To do her justice,
however, she was, when we came to know her better, very liberal in her
house-keeping, nothing at all of the skinflint in her; she left every
thing to the housekeeper; and her own maid, Mrs. Jane, who went with her
to Scotland, gave her the best of characters for generosity. She seldom
or ever wore a thing twice the same way, Mrs. Jane told us, and was
always pulling her things to pieces, and giving them away; never being
used, in her father's house, to think of expense in any thing; and she
reckoned, to be sure, to go on the same way at Castle Rackrent; but,
when I came to inquire, I learned that her father was so mad with her
for running off, after his locking her up, and forbidding her to think
any more of Sir Condy, that he would not give her a farthing; and it was
lucky for her she had a few thousands of her own, which had been left to
her by a good grandmother, and these were very convenient to begin with.
My master and my lady set out in great style; they had the finest coach
and chariot, and horses and liveries, and cut the greatest dash in the
county, returning their wedding visits: and it was immediately reported,
that her father had undertaken to pay all my master's debts, and of
course all his tradesmen gave him a new credit, and every thing went on
smack smooth, and I could not but admire my lady's spirit, and was proud
to see Castle Rackrent again in all its glory. My lady had a fine taste
for building, and furniture, and playhouses, and she turned every thing
topsy-turvy, and made the barrack-room into a theatre, as she called it,
and she went on as if she had a mint of money at her elbow; and, to be
sure, I thought she knew best, especially as Sir Condy said nothing to
it one way or the other. All he asked, God bless him! was to live in
peace and quietness, and have his bottle or his whiskey punch at night
to himself. Now this was little enough, to be sure, for any gentleman;
but my lady couldn't abide the smell of the whiskey punch. "My dear,"
says he, "you liked it well enough before we were married, and why not
now?" "My dear," said she, "I never smelt it, or I assure you I should
never have prevailed upon myself to marry you." "My dear, I am sorry
you did not smell it; but we can't help that now," returned my master,
without putting himself in a passion, or going out of his way, but just
fair and easy helped himself to another glass, and drank it off to her
good health. All this the butler told me, who was going backwards and
forwards unnoticed with the jug, and hot water, and sugar, and all he
thought wanting. Upon my master's swallowing the last glass of whiskey
punch, my lady burst into tears, calling him an ungrateful, base,
barbarous wretch! and went off into a fit of hysterics, as I think Mrs.
Jane called it, and my poor master was greatly frightened, this being
the first thing of the kind he had seen; and he fell straight on his
knees before her, and, like a good-hearted cratur as he was, ordered the
whiskey punch out of the room, and bid 'em throw open all the windows,
and cursed himself: and then my lady came to herself again, and when
she saw him kneeling there, bid him get up, and not forswear himself any
more, for that she was sure he did not love her, and never had: this
we learned from Mrs. Jane, who was the only person left present at all
this. "My dear," returns my master, thinking, to be sure, of Judy, as
well he might, "whoever told you so is an incendiary, and I'll have 'em
turned out of the house this minute, if you'll only let me know which
of them it was." "Told me what?" said my lady, starting upright in her
chair. "Nothing at all, nothing at all," said my master, seeing he had
overshot himself, and that my lady spoke at random; "but what you said
just now, that I did not love you, Bella; who told you that?" "My own
sense," she said, and she put her handkerchief to her face, and leant
back upon Mrs. Jane, and fell to sobbing as if her heart would break.
"Why now, Bella, this is very strange of you," said my poor master; "if
nobody has told you--nothing, what is it you are taking on for at this
rate, and exposing yourself and me for this way?" "Oh, say no more, say
no more; every word you say kills me," cried my lady; and she ran on
like one, as Mrs. Jane says, raving, "Oh, Sir Condy, Sir Condy! I that
had hoped to find in you----" "Why now, faith, this is a little too
much; do, Bella, try to recollect yourself, my dear; am not I your
husband, and of your own choosing; and is not that enough?" "Oh, too
much! too much!" cried my lady, wringing her hands. "Why, my dear, come
to your right senses, for the love of heaven. See, is not the whiskey
punch, jug and bowl, and all, gone out of the room long ago? What is it,
in the wide world, you have to complain of?" But still my lady sobbed
and sobbed, and called herself the most wretched of women; and among
other out-of-the-way provoking things, asked my master, was he fit for
company for her, and he drinking all night? This nettling him, which it
was hard to do, he replied, that as to drinking all night, he was then
as sober as she was herself, and that it was no matter how much a man
drank, provided it did no ways affect or stagger him: that as to being
fit company for her, he thought himself of a family to be fit company
for any lord or lady in the land; but that he never prevented her from
seeing and keeping what company she pleased, and that he had done his
best to make Castle Rackrent pleasing to her since her marriage, having
always had the house full of visitors, and if her own relations were not
amongst them, he said that was their own fault, and their pride's fault,
of which he was sorry to find her ladyship had so unbecoming a share. So
concluding, he took his candle and walked off to his room, and my lady
was in her tantarums for three days after; and would have been so much
longer, no doubt, but some of her friends, young ladies, and cousins,
and second cousins, came to Castle Rackrent, by my poor master's express
invitation, to see her, and she was in a hurry to get up, as Mrs. Jane
called it, a play for them, and so got well, and was as finely dressed,
and as happy to look at, as ever; and all the young ladies, who used to
be in her room dressing of her, said, in Mrs. Jane's hearing, that my
lady was the happiest bride ever they had seen, and that to be sure a
love-match was the only thing for happiness, where the parties could any
way afford it.

As to affording it, God knows it was little they knew of the matter;
my lady's few thousands could not last for ever, especially the way she
went on with them; and letters from tradesfolk came every post thick and
threefold with bills as long as my arm, of years' and years' standing:
my son Jason had 'em all handed over to him, and the pressing letters
were all unread by Sir Condy, who hated trouble, and could never be
brought to hear talk of business, but still put it off and put it off,
saying, settle it any how, or bid 'em call again to-morrow, or speak to
me about it some other time. Now it was hard to find the right time to
speak, for in the mornings he was a-bed, and in the evenings over
his bottle, where no gentleman chooses to be disturbed. Things in a
twelvemonth or so came to such a pass there was no making a shift to go
on any longer, though we were all of us well enough used to live from
hand to mouth at Castle Rackrent. One day, I remember, when there was a
power of company, all sitting after dinner in the dusk, not to say dark,
in the drawing-room, my lady having rung five times for candles, and
none to go up, the housekeeper sent up the footman, who went to my
mistress, and whispered behind her chair how it was. "My lady," says he,
"there are no candles in the house." "Bless me," says she; "then take
a horse and gallop off as fast as you can to Carrick O'Fungus, and get
some." "And in the mean time tell them to step into the playhouse, and
try if there are not some bits left," added Sir Condy, who happened to
be within hearing. The man was sent up again to my lady, to let her know
there was no horse to go, but one that wanted a shoe. "Go to Sir Condy
then; I know nothing at all about the horses," said my lady; "why do you
plague me with these things?" How it was settled I really forget, but to
the best of my remembrance, the boy was sent down to my son Jason's
to borrow candles for the night. Another time in the winter, and on
a desperate cold day, there was no turf in for the parlour and above
stairs, and scarce enough for the cook in the kitchen; the little
_gossoon_[11] was sent off to the neighbours, to see and beg or borrow
some, but none could he bring back with him for love or money; so as
needs must, we were forced to trouble Sir Condy--"Well, and if there's
no turf to be had in the town or country, why what signifies talking
any more about it; can't ye go and cut down a tree?" "Which tree, please
your honour?" I made bold to say. "Any tree at all that's good to burn,"
said Sir Condy; "send off smart and get one down, and the fires lighted,
before my lady gets up to breakfast, or the house will be too hot to
hold us." He was always very considerate in all things about my lady,
and she wanted for nothing whilst he had it to give. Well, when things
were tight with them about this time, my son Jason put in a word
again about the lodge, and made a genteel offer to lay down the
purchase-money, to relieve Sir Condy's distresses. Now Sir Condy had
it from the best authority, that there were two writs come down to the
sheriff against his person, and the sheriff, as ill luck would have it,
was no friend of his, and talked how he must do his duty, and how he
would do it, if it was against the first man in the country, or even
his own brother; let alone one who had voted against him at the last
election, as Sir Condy had done. So Sir Condy was fain to take the
purchase-money of the lodge from my son Jason to settle matters; and
sure enough it was a good bargain for both parties, for my son bought
the fee-simple of a good house for him and his heirs for ever, for
little or nothing, and by selling of it for that same, my master saved
himself from a gaol. Every way it turned out fortunate for Sir Condy;
for before the money was all gone there came a general election, and he
being so well beloved in the county, and one of the oldest families, no
one had a better right to stand candidate for the vacancy; and he was
called upon by all his friends, and the whole county I may say, to
declare himself against the old member, who had little thought of a
contest. My master did not relish the thoughts of a troublesome canvass,
and all the ill-will he might bring upon himself by disturbing the peace
of the county, besides the expense, which was no trifle; but all his
friends called upon one another to subscribe, and they formed themselves
into a committee, and wrote all his circular letters for him, and
engaged all his agents, and did all the business unknown to him; and he
was well pleased that it should be so at last, and my lady herself was
very sanguine about the election; and there was open house kept night
and day at Castle Rackrent, and I thought I never saw my lady look so
well in her life as she did at that time: there were grand dinners, and
all the gentlemen drinking success to Sir Condy till they were carried
off; and then dances and balls, and the ladies all finishing with a
raking pot of tea in the morning.[Z] Indeed it was well the company
made it their choice to sit up all nights, for there were not half
beds enough for the sights of people that were in it, though there were
shake-downs in the drawing-room always made up before sunrise for those
that liked it. For my part, when I saw the doings that were going on,
and the loads of claret that went down the throats of them that had no
right to be asking for it, and the sights of meat that went up to table
and never came down, besides what was carried off to one or t'other
below stairs, I couldn't but pity my poor master, who was to pay for
all; but I said nothing, for fear of gaining myself ill-will. The day of
election will come some time or other, says I to myself, and all will
be over; and so it did, and a glorious day it was as any I ever had the
happiness to see. "Huzza! huzza! Sir Condy Rackrent for ever!" was the
first thing I hears in the morning, and the same and nothing else all
day, and not a soul sober only just when polling, enough to give their
votes as became 'em, and to stand the browbeating of the lawyers, who
came tight enough upon us; and many of our freeholders were knocked off,
having never a freehold that they could safely swear to, and Sir Condy
was not willing to have any man perjure himself for his sake, as was
done on the other side, God knows; but no matter for that. Some of our
friends were dumb-founded, by the lawyers asking them: Had they ever
been upon the ground where their free-holds lay? Now, Sir Condy being
tender of the consciences of them that had not been on the ground, and
so could not swear to a freehold when cross-examined by them lawyers,
sent out for a couple of cleaves-full of the sods of his farm of
Gulteeshinnagh[12] and as soon as the sods came into town, he set each
man upon his sod, and so then, ever after, you know, they could fairly
swear they had been upon the ground.[13] We gained the day by this piece
of honesty.[A2] I thought I should have died in the streets for joy when
I seed my poor master chaired, and he bareheaded, and it raining as hard
as it could pour; but all the crowds following him up and down, and
he bowing and shaking hands with the whole town. "Is that Sir Condy
Rackrent in the chair?" says a stranger man in the crowd. "The same,"
says I; "who else should it he? God bless him!" "And I take it, then,
you belong to him?" says he. "Not at all," says I; "but I live under
him, and have done so these two hundred years and upwards, me and mine."
"It's lucky for you, then," rejoins he, "that he is where he is; for
was he any where else but in the chair, this minute he'd be in a worse
place; for I was sent down on purpose to put him up,[14] and here's my
order for so doing in my pocket." It was a writ that villain the wine
merchant had marked against my poor master for some hundreds of an old
debt, which it was a shame to be talking of at such a time as this.
"Put it in your pocket again, and think no more of it any ways for seven
years to come, my honest friend," says I; "he's a member of parliament
now, praised be God, and such as you can't touch him: and if you'll take
a fool's advice, I'd have you keep out of the way this day, or you'll
run a good chance of getting your deserts amongst my master's friends,
unless you choose to drink his health like every body else." "I've no
objection to that in life," said he; so we went into one of the public
houses kept open for my master; and we had a great deal of talk about
this thing and that. "And how is it," says he, "your master keeps on so
well upon his legs? I heard say he was off Holantide twelvemonth past."
"Never was better or heartier in his life," said I. "It's not that I'm
after speaking of," said he; "but there was a great report of his being
ruined." "No matter," says I, "the sheriffs two years running were his
particular friends, and the sub-sheriffs were both of them gentlemen,
and were properly spoken to; and so the writs lay snug with them, and
they, as I understand by my son Jason the custom in them cases is,
returned the writs as they came to them to those that sent 'em; much
good may it do them! with a word in Latin, that no such person as
Sir Condy Rackrent, Bart., was to be found in those parts." "Oh, I
understand all those ways better, no offence, than you," says he,
laughing, and at the same time filling his glass to my master's good
health, which convinced me he was a warm friend in his heart after
all, though appearances were a little suspicious or so at first. "To
be sure," says he, still cutting his joke, "when a man's over head and
shoulders in debt, he may live the faster for it, and the better, if he
goes the right way about it; or else how is it so many live on so well,
as we see every day, after they are ruined?" "How is it," says I, being
a little merry at the time; "how is it but just as you see the ducks
in the chicken-yard, just after their heads are cut off by the cook,
running round and round faster than when alive?" At which conceit he
fell a laughing, and remarked he had never had the happiness yet to see
the chicken-yard at Castle Rackrent. "It won't be long so, I hope," says
I; "you'll be kindly welcome there, as every body is made by my master:
there is not a freer spoken gentleman, or a better beloved, high or low,
in all Ireland." And of what passed after this I'm not sensible, for we
drank Sir Condy's good health and the downfall of his enemies till we
could stand no longer ourselves. And little did I think at the time,
or till long after, how I was harbouring my poor master's greatest of
enemies myself. This fellow had the impudence, after coming to see the
chicken-yard, to get me to introduce him to my son Jason; little more
than the man that never was born did I guess at his meaning by this
visit: he gets him a correct list fairly drawn out from my son Jason of
all my master's debts, and goes straight round to the creditors and buys
them all up, which he did easy enough, seeing the half of them never
expected to see their money out of Sir Condy's hands. Then, when this
base-minded limb of the law, as I afterward detected him in being, grew
to be sole creditor over all, he takes him out a custodiam on all the
denominations and sub-denominations, and every carton[B2] and half
carton upon the estate; and not content with that, must have an
execution against the master's goods and down to the furniture, though
little worth, of Castle Rackrent itself. But this is a part of my story
I'm not come to yet, and its bad to be forestalling: ill news flies fast
enough all the world over.

To go back to the day of the election, which I never think of but with
pleasure and tears of gratitude for those good times; after the election
was quite and clean over, there comes shoals of people from all parts,
claiming to have obliged my master with their votes, and putting him in
mind of promises which he could never remember himself to have made: one
was to have a freehold for each of his four sons; another was to have
a renewal of a lease; another an abatement; one came to be paid ten
guineas for a pair of silver buckles sold my master on the hustings,
which turned out to be no better than copper gilt; another had a long
bill for oats, the half of which never went into the granary to my
certain knowledge, and the other half were not fit for the cattle to
touch; but the bargain was made the week before the election, and the
coach and saddle horses were got into order for the day, besides a vote
fairly got by them oats; so no more reasoning on that head; but then
there was no end to them that were telling Sir Condy he had engaged to
make their sons excisemen, or high constables, or the like; and as for
them that had bills to give in for liquor, and beds, and straw, and
ribands, and horses, and postchaises for the gentlemen freeholders that
came from all parts and other counties to vote for my master, and were
not, to be sure, to be at any charges, there was no standing against all
these; and, worse than all, the gentlemen of my master's committee, who
managed all for him, and talked how they'd bring him in without costing
him a penny, and subscribed by hundreds very genteelly, forgot to pay
their subscriptions, and had laid out in agents' and lawyers' fees and
secret service money the Lord knows how much; and my master could never
ask one of them for their subscription you are sensible, nor for the
price of a fine horse he had sold one of them; so it all was left at his
door. He could never, God bless him again! I say, bring himself to ask
a gentleman for money, despising such sort of conversation himself; but
others, who were not gentlemen born, behaved very uncivil in pressing
him at this very time, and all he could do to content 'em all was to
take himself out of the way as fast as possible to Dublin, where my lady
had taken a house fitting for him as a member of parliament, to attend
his duty in there all the winter. I was very lonely when the whole
family was gone, and all the things they had ordered to go, and forgot,
sent after them by the car. There was then a great silence in Castle
Rackrent, and I went moping from room to room, hearing the doors clap
for want of right locks, and the wind through the broken windows, that
the glazier never would come to mend, and the rain coming through the
roof and best ceilings all over the house for want of the slater, whose
bill was not paid, besides our having no slates or shingles for that
part of the old building which was shingled and burnt when the chimney
took fire, and had been open to the weather ever since. I took myself to
the servants' hall in the evening to smoke my pipe as usual, but missed
the bit of talk we used to have there sadly, and ever after was content
to stay in the kitchen and boil my little potatoes,[15] and put up my
bed there; and every post-day I looked in the newspaper, but no news of
my master in the House; he never spoke good or bad; but as the butler
wrote down word to my son Jason, was very ill used by the government
about a place that was promised him and never given, after his
supporting them against his conscience very honourably, and being
greatly abused for it, which hurt him greatly, he having the name of a
great patriot in the country before. The house and living in Dublin too
were not to be had for nothing, and my son Jason said, "Sir Condy must
soon be looking out for a new agent, for I've done my part, and can do
no more:--if my lady had the bank of Ireland to spend, it would go all
in one winter, and Sir Condy would never gainsay her, though he does not
care the rind of a lemon for her all the while."

Now I could not bear to hear Jason giving out after this manner against
the family, and twenty people standing by in the street. Ever since he
had lived at the lodge of his own, he looked down, howsomever, upon poor
old Thady, and was grown quite a great gentleman, and had none of his
relations near him: no wonder he was no kinder to poor Sir Condy than to
his own kith or kin.[16] In the spring it was the villain that got the
list of the debts from him brought down the custodiam, Sir Condy still
attending his duty in parliament, and I could scarcely believe my own
old eyes, or the spectacles with which I read it, when I was shown my
son Jason's name joined in the custodiam; but he told me it was only for
form's sake, and to make things easier than if all the land was under
the power of a total stranger. Well, I did not know what to think; it
was hard to be talking ill of my own, and I could not but grieve for my
poor master's fine estate, all torn by these vultures of the law; so I
said nothing, but just looked on to see how it would all end.

It was not till the month of June that he and my lady came down to
the country. My master was pleased to take me aside with him to the
brewhouse that same evening, to complain to me of my son and other
matters, in which he said he was confident I had neither art nor part;
he said a great deal more to me, to whom he had been fond to talk ever
since he was my white-headed boy, before he came to the estate; and all
that he said about poor Judy I can never forget, but scorn to repeat. He
did not say an unkind word of my lady, but wondered, as well he might,
her relations would do nothing for him or her, and they in all this
great distress. He did not take any thing long to heart, let it be as
it would, and had no more malice, or thought of the like in him, than a
child that can't speak; this night it was all out of his head before
he went to his bed. He took his jug of whiskey punch--my lady was grown
quite easy about the whiskey punch by this time, and so I did suppose
all was going on right betwixt them, till I learnt the truth through
Mrs. Jane, who talked over their affairs to the housekeeper, and I
within hearing. The night my master came home thinking of nothing at all
but just making merry, he drank his bumper toast "to the deserts of
that old curmudgeon my father-in-law, and all enemies at Mount Juliet's
Town." Now my lady was no longer in the mind she formerly was, and did
no ways relish hearing her own friends abused in her presence, she said,
"Then why don't they show themselves your friends," said my master, "and
oblige me with the loan of the money I condescended, by your advice, my
dear, to ask? It's now three posts since I sent off my letter, desiring
in the postscript a speedy answer by the return of the post, and no
account at all from them yet." "I expect they'll write to _me_ next
post," says my lady, and that was all that passed then; but it was easy
from this to guess there was a coolness betwixt them, and with good

The next morning, being post-day, I sent off the gossoon early to
the post-office, to see was there any letter likely to set matters to
rights, and he brought back one with the proper post-mark upon it, sure
enough, and I had no time to examine, or make any conjecture more about
it, for into the servants' hall pops Mrs. Jane with a blue bandbox in
her hand, quite entirely mad. "Dear ma'am, and what's the matter?" says
I. "Matter enough," says she; "don't you see my bandbox is wet through,
and my best bonnet here spoiled, besides my lady's, and all by the rain
coming in through that gallery window, that you might have got mended,
if you'd had any sense, Thady, all the time we were in town in the
winter?" "Sure, I could not get the glazier, ma'am," says I. "You might
have stopped it up any how," says she. "So I did, ma'am, to the best
of my ability; one of the panes with the old pillow-case, and the other
with a piece of the old stage green curtain; sure I was as careful as
possible all the time you were away, and not a drop of rain came in at
that window of all the windows in the house, all winter, ma'am, when
under my care; and now the family's come home, and it's summer time,
I never thought no more about it, to be sure; but dear, it's a pity to
think of your bonnet, ma'am; but here's what will please you, ma'am, a
letter from Mount Juliet's Town for my lady." With that she snatches it
from me without a word more, and runs up the back stairs to my mistress;
I follows with a slate to make up the window. This window was in the
long passage, or gallery, as my lady gave out orders to have it called,
in the gallery leading to my master's bedchamber and hers. And when I
went up with the slate, the door having no lock, and the bolt spoilt,
was a-jar after Mrs. Jane, and as I was busy with the window, I heard
all that was saying within.

"Well, what's in your letter, Bella, my dear?" says he: "you're a long
time spelling it over." "Won't you shave this morning, Sir Condy?"
says she, and put the letter into her pocket. "I shaved the day before
yesterday," says he, "my dear, and that's not what I'm thinking of
now; but any thing to oblige you, and to have peace and quietness, my
dear"--and presently I had the glimpse of him at the cracked glass over
the chimney-piece, standing up shaving himself to please my lady. But
she took no notice, but went on reading her book, and Mrs. Jane doing
her hair behind. "What is it you're reading there, my dear?--phoo, I've
cut myself with this razor; the man's a cheat that sold it me, but I
have not paid him for it yet: what is it you're reading there? did you
hear me asking you, my dear?" "The Sorrows of Werter," replies my lady,
as well as I could hear. "I think more of the sorrows of Sir Condy,"
says my master, joking like. "What news from Mount Juliet's Town?"
"No news," says she, "but the old story over again, my friends all
reproaching me still for what I can't help now." "Is it for marrying
me?" said my master, still shaving: "what signifies, as you say, talking
of that, when it can't be help'd now?"

With that she heaved a great sigh, that I heard plain enough in the
passage. "And did not you use me basely, Sir Condy," says she, "not to
tell me you were ruined before I married you?" "Tell you, my dear,"
said he; "did you ever ask me one word about it? and had not you friends
enough of your own, that were telling you nothing else from morning to
night, if you'd have listened to them slanders?" "No slanders, nor
are my friends slanderers; and I can't bear to hear them treated with
disrespect as I do," says my lady, and took out her pocket handkerchief;
"they are the best of friends; and if I had taken their advice--. But my
father was wrong to lock me up, I own; that was the only unkind thing I
can charge him with; for if he had not locked me up, I should never have
had a serious thought of running away as I did." "Well, my dear," said
my master, "don't cry and make yourself uneasy about it now, when it's
all over, and you have the man of your own choice, in spite of 'em all."
"I was too young, I know, to make a choice at the time you ran away with
me, I'm sure," says my lady, and another sigh, which made my master,
half shaved as he was, turn round upon her in surprise. "Why, Bell,"
says he, "you can't deny what you know as well as I do, that it was at
your own particular desire, and that twice under your own hand and seal
expressed, that I should carry you off as I did to Scotland, and marry
you there." "Well, say no more about it, Sir Condy," said my lady,
pettish like--"I was a child then, you know." "And as far as I know,
you're little better now, my dear Bella, to be talking in this manner to
your husband's _face_; but I won't take it ill of you, for I know it's
something in that letter you put into your pocket just now, that has set
you against me all on a sudden, and imposed upon your understanding."
"It's not so very easy as you think it, Sir Condy, to impose upon _my_
understanding," said my lady. "My dear," says he, "I have, and with
reason, the best opinion of your understanding of any man now breathing;
and you know I have never set my own in competition with it till now,
my dear Bella," says he, taking her hand from her book as kind as could
be--"till now, when I have the great advantage of being quite cool, and
you not; so don't believe one word your friends say against your own Sir
Condy, and lend me the letter out of your pocket, till I see what it is
they can have to say." "Take it then," says she, "and as you are quite
cool, I hope it is a proper time to request you'll allow me to comply
with the wishes of all my own friends, and return to live with my father
and family, during the remainder of my wretched existence, at Mount
Juliet's Town."

At this, my poor master fell back a few paces, like one that had been
shot. "You're not serious, Bella," says he; "and could you find it in
your heart to leave me this way in the very middle of my distresses,
all alone?" But recollecting himself after his first surprise, and
a moment's time for reflection, he said, with a great deal of
consideration for my lady, "Well, Bella, my dear, I believe you are
right; for what could you do at Castle Rackrent, and an execution
against the goods coming down, and the furniture to be canted, and an
auction in the house all next week? so you have my full consent to go,
since that is your desire, only you must not think of my accompanying
you, which I could not in honour do upon the terms I always have been,
since our marriage, with your friends; besides, I have business to
transact at home; so in the mean time, if we are to have any breakfast
this morning, let us go down and have it for the last time in peace and
comfort, Bella."

Then as I heard my master coming to the passage door, I finished
fastening up my slate against the broken pane; and when he came out, I
wiped down the window seat with my wig,[17] and bade him a good morrow
as kindly as I could, seeing he was in trouble, though he strove and
thought to hide it from me. "This window is all racked and tattered,"
says I, "and it's what I'm striving to mend." "It _is_ all racked and
tattered, plain enough," says he, "and never mind mending it, honest old
Thady," says he; "it will do well enough for you and I, and that's all
the company we shall have left in the house by-and-by." "I'm sorry to
see your honour so low this morning," says I; "but you'll be better
after taking your breakfast." "Step down to the servants' hall," said
he, "and bring me up the pen and ink into the parlour, and get a sheet
of paper from Mrs. Jane, for I have business that can't brook to be
delayed; and come into the parlour with the pen and ink yourself, Thady,
for I must have you to witness my signing a paper I have to execute in a
hurry." Well, while I was getting of the pen and ink-horn, and the sheet
of paper, I ransacked my brains to think what could be the papers my
poor master could have to execute in such a hurry, he that never thought
of such a thing as doing business afore breakfast, in the whole
course of his life, for any man living; but this was for my lady, as I
afterwards found, and the more genteel of him after all her treatment.

I was just witnessing the paper that he had scrawled over, and was
shaking the ink out of my pen upon the carpet, when my lady came in to
breakfast, and she started as if it had been a ghost! as well she might,
when she saw Sir Condy writing at this unseasonable hour. "That will do
very well, Thady," says he to me, and took the paper I had signed to,
without knowing what upon the earth it might be, out of my hands, and
walked, folding it up, to my lady.

"You are concerned in this, my Lady Rackrent," said he, putting it into
her hands; "and I beg you'll keep this memorandum safe, and show it to
your friends the first thing you do when you get home; but put it in
your pocket now, my dear, and let us eat our breakfast, in God's name."
"What is all this?" said my lady, opening the paper in great curiosity.
"It's only a bit of a memorandum of what I think becomes me to do
whenever I am able," says my master; "you know my situation, tied hand
and foot at the present time being, but that can't last always, and when
I'm dead and gone, the land will be to the good, Thady, you know;
and take notice, it's my intention your lady should have a clear five
hundred a year jointure off the estate afore any of my debts are paid."
"Oh, please your honour," says I, "I can't expect to live to see that
time, being now upwards of fourscore years of age, and you a young man,
and likely to continue so, by the help of God." I was vexed to see my
lady so insensible too, for all she said was, "This is very genteel of
you, Sir Condy. You need not wait any longer, Thady;" so I just picked
up the pen and ink that had tumbled on the floor, and heard my master
finish with saying, "You behaved very genteel to me, my dear, when you
threw all the little you had in your own power along with yourself into
my hands; and as I don't deny but what you may have had some things
to complain of,"--to be sure he was thinking then of Judy, or of the
whiskey punch, one or t'other, or both,--"and as I don't deny but you
may have had something to complain of, my dear, it is but fair you
should have something in the form of compensation to look forward to
agreeably in future; besides, it's an act of justice to myself, that
none of your friends, my dear, may ever have it to say against me, I
married for money, and not for love." "That is the last thing I should
ever have thought of saying of you, Sir Condy," said my lady, looking
very gracious. "Then, my dear," said Sir Condy, "we shall part as good
friends as we met; so all's right."

I was greatly rejoiced to hear this, and went out of the parlour to
report it all to the kitchen. The next morning my lady and Mrs. Jane
set out for Mount Juliet's Town in the jaunting car: many wondered at
my lady's choosing to go away, considering all things, upon the jaunting
car, as if it was only a party of pleasure; but they did not know, till
I told them, that the coach was all broke in the journey down, and no
other vehicle but the car to be had; besides, my lady's friends were to
send their coach to meet her at the cross roads; so it was all done very

My poor master was in great trouble after my lady left us. The execution
came down; and every thing at Castle Rackrent was seized by the gripers,
and my son Jason, to his shame be it spoken, amongst them. I wondered,
for the life of me, how he could harden himself to do it; but then he
had been studying the law, and had made himself Attorney Quirk; so he
brought down at once a heap of accounts upon my master's head. To cash
lent, and to ditto, and to ditto, and to ditto, and oats, and bills paid
at the milliner's and linen-draper's, and many dresses for the fancy
balls in Dublin for my lady, and all the bills to the workmen and
tradesmen for the scenery of the theatre, and the chandler's and
grocer's bills, and tailor's, besides butcher's and baker's, and worse
than all, the old one of that base wine merchant's, that wanted to
arrest my poor master for the amount on the election day, for which
amount Sir Condy afterwards passed his note of hand, bearing lawful
interest from the date thereof; and the interest and compound interest
was now mounted to a terrible deal on many other notes and bonds for
money borrowed, and there was besides hush money to the sub-sheriffs,
and sheets upon sheets of old and new attorneys' bills, with heavy
balances, _as per former account furnished_, brought forward with
interest thereon; then there was a powerful deal due to the crown
for sixteen years' arrear of quit-rent of the town-lands of
Carrickshaughlin, with driver's fees, and a compliment to the receiver
every year for letting the quit-rent run on to oblige Sir Condy, and
Sir Kit afore him. Then there were bills for spirits and ribands at the
election time, and the gentlemen of the committee's accounts unsettled,
and their subscription never gathered; and there were cows to be paid
for, with the smith and farrier's bills to be set against the rent of
the demesne, with calf and hay money; then there was all the servants'
wages, since I don't know when, coming due to them, and sums advanced
for them by my son Jason for clothes, and boots, and whips, and odd
moneys for sundries expended by them in journeys to town and elsewhere,
and pocket-money for the master continually, and messengers and postage
before his being a parliament man; I can't myself tell you what besides;
but this I know, that when the evening came on the which Sir Condy had
appointed to settle all with my son Jason, and when he comes into the
parlour, and sees the sight of bills and load of papers all gathered on
the great dining-table for him, he puts his hands before both his eyes,
and cried out, "Merciful Jasus! what is it I see before me?" Then I sets
an arm-chair at the table for him, and with a deal of difficulty he sits
him down, and my son Jason hands him over the pen and ink to sign to
this man's bill and t'other man's bill, all which he did without making
the least objections. Indeed, to give him his due, I never _seen_ a man
more fair and honest, and easy in all his dealings, from first to last,
as Sir Condy, or more willing to pay every man his own as far as he was
able, which is as much as any one can do. "Well," says he, joking like
with Jason, "I wish we could settle it all with a stroke of my grey
goose quill. What signifies making me wade through all this ocean of
papers here; can't you now, who understand drawing out an account,
debtor and creditor, just sit down here at the corner of the table and
get it done out for me, that I may have a clear view of the balance,
which is all I need be talking about, you know?" "Very true, Sir Condy;
nobody understands business better than yourself," says Jason. "So I've
a right to do, being born and bred to the bar," says Sir Condy. "Thady,
do step out and see are they bringing in the things for the punch,
for we've just done all we have to do for this evening." I goes out
accordingly, and when I came back, Jason was pointing to the balance,
which was a terrible sight to my poor master. "Pooh! pooh! pooh!" says
he, "here's so many noughts they dazzle my eyes, so they do, and put me
in mind of all I suffered, larning of my numeration table, when I was a
boy at the day-school along with you, Jason--units, tens, hundreds,
tens of hundreds. Is the punch ready, Thady?" says he, seeing me.
"Immediately; the boy has the jug in his hand; it's coming up stairs,
please your honour, as fast as possible," says I, for I saw his honour
was tired out of his life; but Jason, very short and cruel, cuts me off
with--"Don't be talking of punch yet a while; it's no time for punch yet
a bit--units, tens, hundreds," goes he on, counting over the master's
shoulder, units, tens, hundreds, thousands. "A-a-ah! hold your hand,"
cries my master; "where in this wide world am I to find hundreds, or
units itself, let alone thousands?" "The balance has been running on too
long," says Jason, sticking to him as I could not have done at the time,
if you'd have given both the Indies and Cork to boot; "the balance has
been running on too long, and I'm distressed myself on your account, Sir
Condy, for money, and the thing must be settled now on the spot, and the
balance cleared off," says Jason. "I'll thank you if you'll only show
me how," says Sir Condy. "There's but one way," says Jason, "and that's
ready enough: when there's no cash, what can a gentleman do, but go
to the land?" "How can you go to the land, and it under custodiam to
yourself already," says Sir Condy, "and another custodiam hanging over
it? and no one at all can touch it, you know, but the custodees."
"Sure, can't you sell, though at a loss? sure you can sell, and I've
a purchaser ready for you," says Jason. "Have ye so?" said Sir Condy;
"that's a great point gained; but there's a thing now beyond all, that
perhaps you don't know yet, barring Thady has let you into the secret."
"Sarrah bit of a secret, or any thing at all of the kind, has he learned
from me these fifteen weeks come St. John's eve," says I; "for we have
scarce been upon speaking terms of late: but what is it your honour
means of a secret?" "Why, the secret of the little keepsake I gave
my Lady Rackrent the morning she left us, that she might not go back
empty-handed to her friends." "My Lady Rackrent, I'm sure, has baubles
and keepsakes enough, as those bills on the table will show," says
Jason; "but whatever it is," says he, taking up his pen, "we must add
it to the balance, for to be sure it can't be paid for." "No, nor can't
till after my decease," said Sir Condy; "that's one good thing." Then
colouring up a good deal, he tells Jason of the memorandum of the five
hundred a-year jointure he had settled upon my lady; at which Jason was
indeed mad, and said a great deal in very high words, that it was using
a gentleman, who had the management of his affairs, and was moreover his
principal creditor, extremely ill, to do such a thing without consulting
him, and against his knowledge and consent. To all which Sir Condy had
nothing to reply, but that upon his conscience, it was in a hurry and
without a moment's thought on his part, and he was very sorry for it,
but if it was to do over again he would do the same; and he appealed to
me, and I was ready to give my evidence, if that would do, to the truth
of all he said.

So Jason with much ado was brought to agree to a compromise. "The
purchaser that I have ready," says he, "will be much displeased, to be
sure, at the incumbrance on the land, but I must see and manage him;
here's a deed ready drawn up; we have nothing to do but to put in the
consideration money and our names to it." "And how much am I going
to sell?--the lands of O'Shaughlin's Town, and the lands of
Gruneaghoolaghan, and the lands of Crookagnawaturgh," says he, just
reading to himself,--"and--oh, murder, Jason! sure you won't put this
in--the castle, stable, and appurtenances of Castle Rackrent." "Oh,
murder!" says I, clapping my hands, "this is too bad, Jason." "Why so?"
said Jason, "when it's all, and a great deal more to the back of it,
lawfully mine, was I to push for it." "Look at him," says I, pointing
to Sir Condy, who was just leaning back in his arm-chair, with his arms
falling beside him like one stupified; "is it you, Jason, that can stand
in his presence, and recollect all he has been to us, and all we have
been to him, and yet use him so at the last?" "Who will you find to use
him better, I ask you?" said Jason; "if he can get a better purchaser,
I'm content; I only offer to purchase, to make things easy, and oblige
him: though I don't see what compliment I am under, if you come to that;
I have never had, asked, or charged more than sixpence in the pound,
receiver's fees; and where would he have got an agent for a penny less?"
"Oh, Jason! Jason! how will you stand to this in the face of the county
and all who know you?" says I; "and what will people think and say, when
they see you living here in Castle Rackrent, and the lawful owner turned
out of the seat of his ancestors, without a cabin to put his head into,
or so much as a potatoe to eat?" Jason, whilst I was saying this, and
a great deal more, made me signs, and winks, and frowns; but I took
no heed; for I was grieved and sick at heart for my poor master, and
couldn't but speak.

"Here's the punch," says Jason, for the door opened; "here's the punch!"
Hearing that, my master starts up in his chair, and recollects himself,
and Jason uncorks the whiskey. "Set down the jug here," says he, making
room for it beside the papers opposite to Sir Condy, but still not
stirring the deed that was to make over all. Well, I was in great hopes
he had some touch of mercy about him when I saw him making the punch,
and my master took a glass; but Jason put it back as he was going to
fill again, saying, "No, Sir Condy, it sha'n't be said of me, I got your
signature to this deed when you were half-seas over: you know your name
and hand-writing in that condition would not, if brought before the
courts, benefit me a straw; wherefore let us settle all before we go
deeper into the punch-bowl." "Settle all as you will," said Sir Condy,
clapping his hands to his ears: "but let me hear no more; I'm bothered
to death this night." "You've only to sign," said Jason, putting the pen
to him. "Take all, and be content," said my master. So he signed; and
the man who brought in the punch witnessed it, for I was not able, but
crying like a child; and besides, Jason said, which I was glad of, that
I was no fit witness, being so old and doting. It was so bad with me,
I could not taste a drop of the punch itself, though my master himself,
God bless him! in the midst of his trouble, poured out a glass for me,
and brought it up to my lips. "Not a drop; I thank your honour's honour
as much as if I took it, though," and I just set down the glass as it
was, and went out, and when I got to the street-door, the neighbour's
childer, who were playing at marbles there, seeing me in great trouble,
left their play, and gathered about me to know what ailed me; and I
told them all, for it was a great relief to me to speak to these poor
childer, that seemed to have some natural feeling left in them: and
when they were made sensible that Sir Condy was going to leave Castle
Rackrent for good and all, they set up a whillalu that could be heard to
the farthest end of the street; and one fine boy he was, that my master
had given an apple to that morning, cried the loudest, but they all were
the same sorry, for Sir Condy was greatly beloved amongst the childer,
for letting them go a-nutting in the demesne, without saying a word to
them, though my lady objected to them. The people in the town, who were
the most of them standing at their doors, hearing the childer cry, would
know the reason of it; and when the report was made known, the people
one and all gathered in great anger against my son Jason, and terror at
the notion of his coming to be landlord over them, and they cried, "No
Jason! no Jason! Sir Condy! Sir Condy! Sir Condy Rackrent for ever!"
and the mob grew so great and so loud, I was frightened, and made my way
back to the house to warn my son to make his escape, or hide himself for
fear of the consequences. Jason would not believe me till they came
all round the house, and to the windows with great shouts: then he grew
quite pale, and asked Sir Condy what had he best do? "I'll tell you
what you'd best do," said Sir Condy, who was laughing to see his
fright; "finish your glass first, then let's go to the window and show
ourselves, and I'll tell 'em, or you shall, if you please, that I'm
going to the Lodge for change of air for my health, and by my own
desire, for the rest of my days." "Do so," said Jason, who never meant
it should have been so, but could not refuse him the Lodge at this
unseasonable time. Accordingly Sir Condy threw up the sash, and
explained matters, and thanked all his friends, and bid 'em look in at
the punch-bowl, and observe that Jason and he had been sitting over
it very good friends; so the mob was content, and he sent 'em out some
whiskey to drink his health, and that was the last time his honour's
health was ever drunk at Castle Rackrent.

The very next day, being too proud, as he said to me, to stay an hour
longer in a house that did not belong to him, he sets off to the Lodge,
and I along with him not many hours after. And there was great bemoaning
through all O'Shaughlin's Town, which I stayed to witness, and gave my
poor master a full account of when I got to the Lodge. He was very low,
and in his bed, when I got there, and complained of a great pain about
his heart, but I guessed it was only trouble, and all the business, let
alone vexation, he had gone through of late; and knowing the nature of
him from a boy, I took my pipe, and, whilst smoking it by the chimney,
began telling him how he was beloved and regretted in the county, and it
did him a deal of good to hear it. "Your honour has a great many friends
yet, that you don't know of, rich and poor, in the county," says I;
"for as I was coming along the road, I met two gentlemen in their own
carriages, who asked after you, knowing me, and wanted to know where you
was and all about you, and even how old I was: think of that." Then
he wakened out of his doze, and began questioning me who the gentlemen
were. And the next morning it came into my head to go, unknown to any
body, with my master's compliments, round to many of the gentlemen's
houses, where he and my lady used to visit, and people that I knew were
his great friends, and would go to Cork to serve him any day in the
year, and I made bold to try to borrow a trifle of cash from them. They
all treated me very civil for the most part, and asked a great many
questions very kind about my lady, and Sir Condy, and all the family,
and were greatly surprised to learn from me Castle Rackrent was sold,
and my master at the Lodge for health; and they all pitied him greatly,
and he had their good wishes, if that would do, but money was a thing
they unfortunately had not any of them at this time to spare. I had
my journey for my pains, and I, not used to walking, nor supple as
formerly, was greatly tired, but had the satisfaction of telling my
master, when I got to the Lodge, all the civil things said by high and

"Thady," says he, "all you've been telling me brings a strange thought
into my head: I've a notion I shall not be long for this world any how,
and I've a great fancy to see my own funeral afore I die." I was greatly
shocked, at the first speaking, to hear him speak so light about his
funeral, and he, to all appearance, in good health, but recollecting
myself, answered, "To be sure, it would be as fine a sight as one could
see, I dared to say, and one I should be proud to witness, and I did
not doubt his honour's would be as great a funeral as ever Sir Patrick
O'Shaughlin's was, and such a one as that had never been known in the
county afore or since." But I never thought he was in earnest about
seeing his own funeral himself, till the next day he returns to it
again. "Thady," says he, "as far as the wake[18] goes, sure I might
without any great trouble have the satisfaction of seeing a bit of my
own funeral." "Well, since your honour's honour's so bent upon it," says
I, not willing to cross him, and he in trouble, "we must see what we can
do." So he fell into a sort of a sham disorder, which was easy done, as
he kept his bed, and no one to see him; and I got my shister, who was an
old woman very handy about the sick, and very skilful, to come up to the
Lodge to nurse him; and we gave out, she knowing no better, that he was
just at his latter end, and it answered beyond any thing; and there was
a great throng of people, men, women, and childer, and there being
only two rooms at the Lodge, except what was locked up full of Jason's
furniture and things, the house was soon as full and fuller than it
could hold, and the heat, and smoke, and noise wonderful great; and
standing amongst them that were near the bed, but not thinking at all of
the dead, I was started by the sound of my master's voice from under the
great coats that had been thrown all at top, and I went close up, no one
noticing. "Thady," says he, "I've had enough of this; I'm smothering,
and can't hear a word of all they're saying of the deceased." "God bless
you, and lie still and quiet," says I, "a bit longer, for my shister's
afraid of ghosts, and would die on the spot with fright, was she to
see you come to life all on a sudden this way without the least
preparation." So he lays him still, though well nigh stifled, and I made
all haste to tell the secret of the joke, whispering to one and t'other,
and there was a great surprise, but not so great as we had laid out it
would. "And aren't we to have the pipes and tobacco, after coming so
far to-night?" said some; but they were all well enough pleased when
his honour got up to drink with them, and sent for more spirits from a
shebean-house,[19] where they very civilly let him have it upon credit.
So the night passed off very merrily, but, to my mind, Sir Condy was
rather upon the sad order in the midst of it all, not finding there had
been such a great talk about himself after his death as he had always
expected to hear.

The next morning when the house was cleared of them, and none but my
shister and myself left in the kitchen with Sir Condy, one opens the
door, and walks in, and who should it be but Judy M'Quirk herself! I
forgot to notice, that she had been married long since, whilst young
Captain Moneygawl lived at the Lodge, to the captain's huntsman, who
after a whilst listed and left her, and was killed in the wars. Poor
Judy fell off greatly in her good looks after her being married a year
or two; and being smoke-dried in the cabin, and neglecting herself like,
it was hard for Sir Condy himself to know her again till she spoke;
but when she says, "It's Judy M'Quirk, please your honour, don't you
remember her?" "Oh, Judy, is it you?" says his honour; "yes, sure, I
remember you very well; but you're greatly altered, Judy." "Sure it's
time for me," says she; "and I think your honour, since I _seen_ you
last,--but that's a great while ago,--is altered too." "And with reason,
Judy," says Sir Condy, fetching a sort of a sigh; "but how's this,
Judy?" he goes on; "I take it a little amiss of you, that you were not
at my wake last night." "Ah, don't be being jealous of that," says she;
"I didn't hear a sentence of your honour's wake till it was all over, or
it would have gone hard with me but I would have been at it sure; but I
was forced to go ten miles up the country three days ago to a wedding
of a relation of my own's, and didn't get home till after the wake was
over; but," says she, "it won't be so, I hope, the next time,[20] please
your honour." "That we shall see, Judy," says his honour, "and may be
sooner than you think for, for I've been very unwell this while past,
and don't reckon any way I'm long for this world." At this, Judy takes
up the corner of her apron, and puts it first to one eye and then to
t'other, being to all appearance in great trouble; and my shister put in
her word, and bid his honour have a good heart, for she was sure it was
only the gout that Sir Patrick used to have flying about him, and he
ought to drink a glass or a bottle extraordinary to keep it out of
his stomach; and he promised to take her advice, and sent out for more
spirits immediately; and Judy made a sign to me, and I went over to the
door to her, and she said, "I wonder to see Sir Condy so low! has he
heard the news?" "What news?" says I. "Didn't ye hear it, then?" says
she; "my Lady Rackrent that was is kilt[D2] and lying for dead, and I
don't doubt but it's all over with her by this time." "Mercy on us all,"
says I; "how was it?" "The jaunting car it was that ran away with her,"
says Judy. "I was coming home that same time from Biddy M'Guggin's
marriage, and a great crowd of people too upon the road, coming from
the fair of Crookaghnawaturgh, and I sees a jaunting car standing in
the middle of the road, and with the two wheels off and all tattered.
'What's this?' says I. 'Didn't ye hear of it?' says they that were
looking on; 'it's my Lady Rackrent's car, that was running away from
her husband, and the horse took fright at a carrion that lay across the
road, and so ran away with the jaunting car, and my Lady Rackrent and
her maid screaming, and the horse ran with them against a car that
was coming from the fair, with the boy asleep on it, and the lady's
petticoat hanging out of the jaunting car caught, and she was dragged
I can't tell you how far upon the road, and it all broken up with the
stones just going to be pounded, and one of the road-makers, with his
sledge-hammer in his hand, stops the horse at the last; but my Lady
Rackrent was all kilt[21] and smashed, and they lifted her into a cabin
hard by, and the maid was found after, where she had been thrown, in the
gripe of the ditch, her cap and bonnet all full of bog water, and they
say my lady can't live any way.' Thady, pray now is it true what I'm
told for sartain, that Sir Condy has made over all to your son Jason?"
"All," says I. "All entirely?" says she again. "All entirely," says I.
"Then," says she, "that's a great shame, but don't be telling Jason what
I say." "And what is it you say?" cries Sir Condy, leaning over betwixt
us, which made Judy start greatly. "I know the time when Judy M'Quirk
would never have stayed so long talking at the door, and I in the
house." "Oh!" says Judy, "for shame, Sir Condy; times are altered since
then, and it's my Lady Rackrent you ought to be thinking of." "And why
should I be thinking of her, that's not thinking of me now?" said Sir
Condy. "No matter for that," says Judy, very properly; "it's time you
should be thinking of her, if ever you mean to do it at all, for don't
you know she's lying for death?" "My Lady Rackrent!" says Sir Condy,
in a surprise; "why it's but two days since we parted, as you very well
know, Thady, in her full health and spirits, and she and her maid along
with her going to Mount Juliet's Town on her jaunting car." "She'll
never ride no more on her jaunting car," said Judy, "for it has been the
death of her, sure enough." "And is she dead then?" says his honour.
"As good as dead, I hear," says Judy; "but there's Thady here has just
learnt the whole truth of the story as I had it, and it is fitter he
or any body else should be telling it you than I, Sir Condy: I must be
going home to the childer." But he stops her, but rather from civility
in him, as I could see very plainly, than any thing else, for Judy was,
as his honour remarked at her first coming in, greatly changed, and
little likely, as far as I could see--though she did not seem to be
clear of it herself--little likely to be my Lady Rackrent now, should
there be a second toss-up to be made. But I told him the whole story out
of the face, just as Judy had told it to me, and he sent off a messenger
with his compliments to Mount Juliet's Town that evening, to learn the
truth of the report, and Judy bid the boy that was going call in at Tim
M'Enerney's shop in O'Shaughlin's Town and buy her a new shawl. "Do so,"
said Sir Condy, "and tell Tim to take no money from you, for I must pay
him for the shawl myself." At this my shister throws me over a look, and
I says nothing, but turned the tobacco in my mouth, whilst Judy began
making a many words about it, and saying how she could not be beholden
for shawls to any gentleman. I left her there to consult with my
shister, did she think there was any thing in it, and my shister thought
I was blind to be asking her the question, and I thought my shister must
see more into it than I did; and recollecting all past times and every
thing, I changed my mind, and came over to her way of thinking, and we
settled it that Judy was very like to be my Lady Rackrent after all, if
a vacancy should have happened.

The next day, before his honour was up, somebody comes with a double
knock at the door, and I was greatly surprised to see it was my son
Jason. "Jason, is it you?" said I; "what brings you to the Lodge?" says
I; "is it my Lady Rackrent? we know that already since yesterday." "May
be so," says he, "but I must see Sir Condy about it." "You can't see him
yet," says I; "sure he is not awake." "What then," says he, "can't he be
wakened? and I standing at the door." "I'll not be disturbing his honour
for you, Jason," says I; "many's the hour you've waited in your time,
and been proud to do it, till his honour was at leisure to speak to you.
His honour," says I, raising my voice, at which his honour wakens of
his own accord, and calls to me from the room to know who it was I was
speaking to. Jason made no more ceremony, but follows me into the room.
"How are you, Sir Condy?" says he; "I'm happy to see you looking so
well; I came up to know how you did to-day, and to see did you want for
any thing at the Lodge." "Nothing at all, Mr. Jason, I thank you," says
he; for his honour had his own share of pride, and did not choose, after
all that had passed, to be beholden, I suppose, to my son; "but pray
take a chair and be seated, Mr. Jason." Jason sat him down upon the
chest, for chair there was none, and after he had set there some time,
and a silence on all sides, "What news is there stirring in the country,
Mr. Jason M'Quirk?" says Sir Condy, very easy, yet high like. "None
that's news to you, Sir Condy, I hear," says Jason: "I am sorry to hear
of my Lady Rackrent's accident." "I'm much obliged to you, and so is
her ladyship, I'm sure," answered Sir Condy, still stiff; and there was
another sort of a silence, which seemed to lie the heaviest on my son

"Sir Condy," says he at last, seeing Sir Condy disposing himself to go
to sleep again, "Sir Condy, I dare say you recollect mentioning to me
the little memorandum you gave to Lady Rackrent about the 500_l_. a-year
jointure." "Very true," said Sir Condy; "it is all in my recollection."
"But if my Lady Rackrent dies, there's an end of all jointure," says
Jason. "Of course," says Sir Condy. "But it's not a matter of certainty
that my Lady Rackrent won't recover," says Jason. "Very true, sir," says
my master. "It's a fair speculation, then, for you to consider what the
chance of the jointure on those lands, when out of custodiam, will be to
you." "Just five hundred a-year, I take it, without any speculation
at all," said Sir Condy. "That's supposing the life dropt, and the
custodiam off, you know; begging your pardon, Sir Condy, who understands
business, that is a wrong calculation." "Very likely so," said Sir
Condy; "but Mr. Jason, if you have any thing to say to me this morning
about it, I'd be obliged to you to say it, for I had an indifferent
night's rest last night, and wouldn't be sorry to sleep a little this
morning." "I have only three words to say, and those more of consequence
to you, Sir Condy, than me. You are a little cool, I observe; but I hope
you will not be offended at what I have brought here in my pocket," and
he pulls out two long rolls, and showers down golden guineas upon the
bed. "What's this?" said Sir Condy; "it's long since"--but his pride
stops him, "All these are your lawful property this minute, Sir Condy,
if you please," said Jason. "Not for nothing, I'm sure," said Sir Condy,
and laughs a little--"nothing for nothing, or I'm under a mistake with
you, Jason." "Oh, Sir Condy, we'll not be indulging ourselves in any
unpleasant retrospects," says Jason; "it's my present intention to
behave, as I'm sure you will, like a gentleman in this affair. Here's
two hundred guineas, and a third I mean to add, if you should think
proper to make over to me all your right and title to those lands that
you know of." "I'll consider of it," said my master; and a great deal
more, that I was tired listening to, was said by Jason, and all that,
and the sight of the ready cash upon the bed worked with his honour;
and the short and the long of it was, Sir Condy gathered up the golden
guineas, and tied them up in a handkerchief, and signed some paper Jason
brought with him as usual, and there was an end of the business: Jason
took himself away, and my master turned himself round and fell asleep

I soon found what had put Jason in such a hurry to conclude this
business. The little gossoon we had sent off the day before with my
master's compliments to Mount Juliet's Town, and to know how my lady did
after her accident, was stopped early this morning, coming back with his
answer through O'Shaughlin's Town, at Castle Rackrent, by my son Jason,
and questioned of all he knew of my lady from the servant at Mount
Juliet's Town; and the gossoon told him my Lady Rackrent was not
expected to live over night; so Jason thought it high time to be moving
to the Lodge, to make his bargain with my master about the jointure
afore it should be too late, and afore the little gossoon should reach
us with the news. My master was greatly vexed, that is, I may say, as
much as ever I _seen_ him, when he found how he had been taken in; but
it was some comfort to have the ready cash for immediate consumption in
the house, any way.

And when Judy came up that evening, and brought the childer to see his
honour, he unties the handkerchief, and, God bless him! whether it was
little or much he had, 'twas all the same with him, he gives 'em all
round guineas a-piece. "Hold up your head," says my shister to Judy,
as Sir Condy was busy filling out a glass of punch for her eldest
boy--"Hold up your head, Judy; for who knows but we may live to see you
yet at the head of the Castle Rackrent estate?" "Maybe so," says she,
"but not the way you are thinking of." I did not rightly understand
which way Judy, was looking when she makes this speech, till a-while
after. "Why, Thady, you were telling me yesterday, that Sir Condy had
sold all entirely to Jason, and where then does all them guineas in
the handkerchief come from?" "They are the purchase-money of my lady's
jointure," says I. Judy looks a little bit puzzled at this. "A penny for
your thoughts, Judy," says my shister; "hark, sure Sir Condy is drinking
her health." He was at the table in _the room_,[22] drinking with the
exciseman and the gauger, who came up to see his honour, and we were
standing over the fire in the kitchen. "I don't much care is he drinking
my health or not," says Judy; "and it is not Sir Condy I'm thinking of,
with all your jokes, whatever he is of me." "Sure you wouldn't refuse
to be my Lady Rackrent, Judy, if you had the offer?" says I. "But if I
could do better!" says she. "How better?" says I and my shister both
at once. "How better?" says she; "why, what signifies it to be my Lady
Rackrent, and no castle? sure what good is the car, and no horse to draw
it?" "And where will ye get the horse, Judy?" says I. "Never mind that,"
says she; "may be it is your own son Jason might find that." "Jason!"
says I; "don't be trusting to him, Judy. Sir Condy, as I have good
reason to know, spoke well of you, when Jason spoke very indifferently
of you, Judy." "No matter," says Judy; "it's often men speak the
contrary just to what they think of us." "And you the same way of them,
no doubt," answers I. "Nay, don't be denying it, Judy, for I think the
better of ye for it, and shouldn't be proud to call ye the daughter of a
shister's son of mine, if I was to hear ye talk ungrateful, and any way
disrespectful of his honour." "What disrespect," says she, "to say I'd
rather, if it was my luck, be the wife of another man?" "You'll have no
luck, mind my words, Judy," says I; and all I remembered about my poor
master's goodness in tossing up for her afore he married at all came
across me, and I had a choaking in my throat that hindered me to say
more. "Better luck, any how, Thady," says she, "than to be like some
folk, following the fortunes of them that have none left." "Oh! King of
Glory!" says I, "hear the pride and ungratitude of her, and he giving
his last guineas but a minute ago to her childer, and she with the fine
shawl on her he made her a present of but yesterday!" "Oh, troth, Judy,
you're wrong now," says my shister, looking at the shawl. "And was not
he wrong yesterday, then," says she, "to be telling me I was greatly
altered, to affront me?" "But, Judy," says I, "what is it brings you
here then at all in the mind you are in; is it to make Jason think the
better of you?" "I'll tell you no more of my secrets, Thady," says
she, "nor would have told you this much, had I taken you for such an
unnatural fader as I find you are, not to wish your own son prefarred
to another." "Oh, troth, _you_ are wrong now, Thady," says my shister.
Well, I was never so put to it in my life: between these womens, and
my son and my master, and all I felt and thought just now, I could not,
upon my conscience, tell which was the wrong from the right. So I said
not a word more, but was only glad his honour had not the luck to hear
all Judy had been saying of him, for I reckoned it would have gone nigh
to break his heart; not that I was of opinion he cared for her as much
as she and my shister fancied, but the ungratitude of the whole from
Judy might not plase him; and he could never stand the notion of not
being well spoken of or beloved like behind his back. Fortunately for
all parties concerned, he was so much elevated at this time, there was
no danger of his understanding any thing, even if it had reached his
ears. There was a great horn at the Lodge, ever since my master and
Captain Moneygawl was in together, that used to belong originally to the
celebrated Sir Patrick, his ancestor; and his honour was fond often of
telling the story that he learned from me when a child, how Sir Patrick
drank the full of this horn without stopping, and this was what no
other man afore or since could without drawing breath. Now Sir Condy
challenged the gauger, who seemed to think little of the horn, to
swallow the contents, and had it filled to the brim with punch; and the
gauger said it was what he could not do for nothing, but he'd hold Sir
Condy a hundred guineas he'd do it. "Done," says my master; "I'll lay
you a hundred golden guineas to a tester[23] you don't." "Done," says
the gauger; and done and done's enough between two gentlemen. The gauger
was cast, and my master won the bet, and thought he'd won a hundred
guineas, but by the wording it was adjudged to be only a tester that was
his due by the exciseman. It was all one to him; he was as well pleased,
and I was glad to see him in such spirits again.

The gauger, bad luck to him! was the man that next proposed to my master
to try himself could he take at a draught the contents of the great
horn. "Sir Patrick's horn!" said his honour; "hand it to me: I'll hold
you your own bet over again I'll swallow it." "Done," says the gauger;
"I'll lay ye anything at all you do no such thing." "A hundred guineas
to sixpence I do," says he: "bring me the handkerchief." I was loth,
knowing he meant the handkerchief with the gold in it, to bring it out
in such company, and his honour not very able to reckon it. "Bring me
the handkerchief, then, Thady," says he, and stamps with his foot; so
with that I pulls it out of my great coat pocket, where I had put it
for safety. Oh, how it grieved me to see the guineas counting upon the
table, and they the last my master had! Says Sir Condy to me, "Your hand
is steadier than mine to-night, old Thady, and that's a wonder; fill
you the horn for me." And so, wishing his honour success, I did; but
I filled it, little thinking of what would befall him. He swallows it
down, and drops like one shot. We lifts him up, and he was speechless,
and quite black in the face. We put him to bed, and in a short time he
wakened, raving with a fever on his brain. He was shocking either to see
or hear. "Judy! Judy! have you no touch of feeling? won't you stay to
help us nurse him?" says I to her, and she putting on her shawl to go
out of the house. "I'm frightened to see him," says she, "and wouldn't
nor couldn't stay in it; and what use? he can't last till the morning."
With that she ran off. There was none but my shister and myself left
near him of all the many friends he had. The fever came and went, and
came and went, and lasted five days, and the sixth he was sensible for a
few minutes, and said to me, knowing me very well, "I'm in burning pain
all withinside of me, Thady." I could not speak, but my shister asked
him would he have this thing or t'other to do him good? "No," says he,
"nothing will do me good no more," and he gave a terrible screech with
the torture he was in--then again a minute's ease--"brought to this by
drink," says he; "where are all the friends?--where's Judy?--Gone, hey?
Ay, Sir Condy has been a fool all his days," said he; and there was the
last word he spoke, and died. He had but a very poor funeral, after all.

If you want to know any more, I'm not very well able to tell you; but
my Lady Rackrent did not die, as was expected of her, but was only
disfigured in the face ever after by the fall and bruises she got; and
she and Jason, immediately after my poor master's death, set about going
to law about that jointure; the memorandum not being on stamped paper,
some say it is worth nothing, others again it may do; others say, Jason
won't have the lands at any rate; many wishes it so: for my part,
I'm tired wishing for any thing in this world, after all I've seen
in it--but I'll say nothing; it would be a folly to be getting myself
ill-will in my old age. Jason did not marry, nor think of marrying Judy,
as I prophesied, and I am not sorry for it; who is? As for all I have
here set down from memory and hearsay of the family, there's nothing but
truth in it from beginning to end: that you may depend upon; for where's
the use of telling lies about the things which every body knows as well
as I do?

       *       *       *       *       *

The Editor could have readily made the catastrophe of Sir Condy's
history more dramatic and more pathetic, if he thought it allowable to
varnish the plain round tale of faithful Thady. He lays it before the
English reader as a specimen of manners and characters, which are,
perhaps, unknown in England. Indeed, the domestic habits of no nation
in Europe were less known to the English than those of their sister
country, till within these few years.

Mr. Young's picture of Ireland, in his tour through that country, was
the first faithful portrait of its inhabitants. All the features in the
foregoing sketch were taken from the life, and they are characteristic
of that mixture of quickness, simplicity, cunning, carelessness,
dissipation, disinterestedness, shrewdness, and blunder, which, in
different forms, and with various success, has been brought upon the
stage, or delineated in novels.

It is a problem of difficult solution to determine, whether an Union
will hasten or retard the amelioration of this country. The few
gentlemen of education, who now reside in this country, will resort to
England: they are few, but they are in nothing inferior to men of
the same rank in Great Britain. The best that can happen will be the
introduction of British manufacturers in their places.

Did the Warwickshire militia, who were chiefly artisans, teach the Irish
to drink beer? or did they learn from the Irish to drink whiskey?



       *       *       *       *       *

_Some friends, who have seen Thady's history since it has been printed,
have suggested to the Editor, that many of the terms and idiomatic
phrases, with which it abounds, could not be intelligible to the English
reader without further explanation. The Editor has therefore furnished
the following Glossary_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[A] _Monday morning_,--Thady begins his memoirs of the Rackrent
Family by dating _Monday morning_, because no great undertaking can be
auspiciously commenced in Ireland on any morning but _Monday morning_.
"Oh, please God we live till Monday morning, we'll set the slater to
mend the roof of the house. On Monday morning we'll fall to, and cut the
turf. On Monday morning we'll see and begin mowing. On Monday morning,
please your honour, we'll begin and dig the potatoes," &c.

All the intermediate days, between the making of such speeches and the
ensuing Monday, are wasted: and when Monday morning comes, it is ten
to one that the business is deferred to _the next_ Monday morning. The
Editor knew a gentleman, who, to counteract this prejudice, made his
workmen and labourers begin all new pieces of work upon a Saturday.

[B] _Let alone the three kingdoms itself._--_Let alone_, in this
sentence, means _put out of consideration_. The phrase, _let alone_,
which is now used as the imperative of a verb, may in time become a
conjunction, and may exercise the ingenuity of some future etymologist.
The celebrated Horne Tooke has proved most satisfactorily, that the
conjunction _but_ comes from the imperative of the Anglo-Saxon verb
_(beoutan) to be out_; also, that _if_ comes from _gif_, the imperative
of the Anglo-Saxon verb which signifies _to give_, &c.

[C] _Whillaluh_.--Ullaloo, Gol, or lamentation over the dead--

    "Magnoque ululante tumultu."--VIRGIL.

                "Ululatibus omne
    Implevere nemus."--OVID.

A full account of the Irish Gol, or Ullaloo, and of the Caoinan or Irish
funeral song, with its first semichorus, second semichorus, full chorus
of sighs and groans, together with the Irish words and music, may
be found in the fourth volume of the transactions of the Royal Irish
Academy. For the advantage of _lazy_ readers, who would rather read a
page than walk a yard, and from compassion, not to say sympathy, with
their infirmity, the Editor transcribes the following passages:

"The Irish have been always remarkable for their funeral lamentations;
and this peculiarity has been noticed by almost every traveller who
visited them; and it seems derived from their Celtic ancestors, the
primaeval inhabitants of this isle ... ...

"It has been affirmed of the Irish, that to cry was more natural to
them than to any other nation, and at length the Irish cry became
proverbial.... ... ...

"Cambrensis in the twelfth century says, the Irish then musically
expressed their griefs; that is, they applied the musical art, in
which they excelled all others, to the orderly celebration of funeral
obsequies, by dividing the mourners into two bodies, each alternately
singing their part, and the whole at times joining in full chorus....
... The body of the deceased, dressed in grave clothes, and ornamented
with flowers, was placed on a bier, or some elevated spot. The relations
and keepers (_singing mourners_) ranged themselves in two divisions,
one at the head, and the other at the feet of the corpse. The bards and
croteries had before prepared the funeral Caoinan. The chief bard of the
head chorus began by singing the first stanza, in a low, doleful tone,
which was softly accompanied by the harp: at the conclusion, the foot
semichorus began the lamentation, or Ullaloo, from the final note of the
preceding stanza, in which they were answered by the head semichorus;
then both united in one general chorus. The chorus of the first stanza
being ended, the chief bard of the foot semichorus began the second Gol
or lamentation, in which he was answered by that of the head; and then,
as before, both united in the general full chorus. Thus alternately were
the song and choruses performed during the night. The genealogy, rank,
possessions, the virtues and vices of the dead were rehearsed, and a
number of interrogations were addressed to the deceased; as, Why did he
die? If married, whether his wife was faithful to him, his sons dutiful,
or good hunters or warriors? If a woman, whether her daughters were fair
or chaste? If a young man, whether he had been crossed in love; or if
the blue-eyed maids of Erin treated him with scorn?"

We are told, that formerly the feet (the metrical feet) of the Caoinan
were much attended to; but on the decline of the Irish bards these feet
were gradually neglected, and the Caoinan fell into a sort of slipshod
metre amongst women. Each province had different Caoinans, or at least
different imitations of the original. There was the Munster cry, the
Ulster cry, &c. It became an extempore performance, and every set of
keepers varied the melody according to their own fancy.

It is curious to observe how customs and ceremonies degenerate. The
present Irish cry, or howl, cannot boast of such melody, nor is the
funeral procession conducted with much dignity. The crowd of people who
assemble at these funerals sometimes amounts to a thousand, often to
four or five hundred. They gather as the bearers of the hearse proceed
on their way, and when they pass through any village, or when they
come near any houses, they begin to cry--Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Agh! Agh!
raising their notes from the first _Oh!_ to the last _Agh!_ in a kind of
mournful howl. This gives notice to the inhabitants of the village that
_a funeral is passing_, and immediately they flock out to follow it. In
the province of Munster it is a common thing for the women to follow a
funeral, to join in the universal cry with all their might and main for
some time, and then to turn and ask--"Arrah! who is it that's dead?--who
is it we're crying for?" Even the poorest people have their own
burying-places, that is, spots of ground in the church-yards where
they say that their ancestors have been buried ever since the wars of
Ireland; and if these burial-places are ten miles from the place where
a man dies, his friends and neighbours take care to carry his corpse
thither. Always one priest, often five or six priests, attend these
funerals; each priest repeats a mass, for which he is paid, sometimes a
shilling, sometimes half-a-crown, sometimes half-a-guinea, or a guinea,
according to their circumstances, or, as they say, according to the
_ability_ of the deceased. After the burial of any very poor man,
who has left a widow or children, the priest makes what is called _a
collection_ for the widow; he goes round to every person present, and
each contributes sixpence or a shilling, or what they please. The reader
will find in the note upon the word _Wake_, more particulars respecting
the conclusion of the Irish funerals.

Certain old women, who cry particularly loud and well, are in great
request, and, as a man said to the Editor, "Every one would wish and be
proud to have such at his funeral, or at that of his friends." The lower
Irish are wonderfully eager to attend the funerals of their friends
and relations, and they make their relationships branch out to a great
extent. The proof that a poor man has been well beloved during his life
is his having a crowded funeral. To attend a neighbour's funeral is a
cheap proof of humanity, but it does not, as some imagine, cost nothing.
The time spent in attending funerals may be safely valued at half a
million to the Irish nation; the Editor thinks that double that
sum would not be too high an estimate. The habits of profligacy and
drunkenness which are acquired at _wakes_, are here put out of the
question. When a labourer, a carpenter, or a smith, is not at his work,
which frequently happens, ask where he is gone, and ten to one the
answer is--"Oh, faith, please your honour, he couldn't do a stroke
to-day, for he's gone to _the_ funeral."

Even beggars, when they grow old, go about begging _for their own
funerals_; that is, begging for money to buy a coffin, candles, pipes,
and tobacco. For the use of the candles, pipes, and tobacco, see _Wake_.

Those who value customs in proportion to their antiquity, and nations in
proportion to their adherence to ancient customs, will doubtless, admire
the Irish _Ullaloo_, and the Irish nation, for persevering in this usage
from time immemorial. The Editor, however, has observed some alarming
symptoms, which seem to prognosticate the declining taste for the
Ullaloo in Ireland. In a comic theatrical entertainment, represented not
long since on the Dublin stage, a chorus of old women was introduced,
who set up the Irish howl round the relics of a physician, who is
supposed to have fallen under the wooden sword of Harlequin. After the
old women have continued their Ullaloo for a decent time, with all the
necessary accompaniments of wringing their hands, wiping or rubbing
their eyes with the corners of their gowns or aprons, &c. one of the
mourners suddenly suspends her lamentable cries, and, turning to her
neighbour, asks, "Arrah now, honey, who is it we're crying for?"

[D] _The tenants were sent away without their whiskey._--It is usual
with some landlords to give their inferior tenants a glass of whiskey
when they pay their rents. Thady calls it _their_ whiskey; not that the
whiskey is actually the property of the tenants, but that it becomes
their _right_ after it has been often given to them. In this general
mode of reasoning respecting _rights_ the lower Irish are not singular,
but they are peculiarly quick and tenacious in claiming these rights.
"Last year your honour gave me some straw for the roof of my house and
I _expect_ your honour will be after doing the same this year." In this
manner gifts are frequently turned into tributes. The high and low are
not always dissimilar in their habits. It is said, that the Sublime
Ottoman Porte is very apt to claim gifts as tributes: thus it is
dangerous to send the Grand Seignor a fine horse on his birthday one
year, lest on his next birthday he should expect a similar present, and
should proceed to demonstrate the reasonableness of his expectations.

[E] _He demeaned himself greatly_--means, he lowered or disgraced
himself much.

[F] _Duty fowls, duty turkeys, and duty geese_.--In many leases in
Ireland, tenants were _formerly_ bound to supply an inordinate quantity
of poultry to their landlords. The Editor knew of thirty turkeys being
reserved in one lease of a small farm.

[G] _English tenants_.--An English tenant does not mean a tenant who is
an Englishman, but a tenant who pays his rent the day that it is due. It
is a common prejudice in Ireland, amongst the poorer classes of people,
to believe that all tenants in England pay their rents on the very day
when they become due. An Irishman, when he goes to take a farm, if he
wants to prove to his landlord that he is a substantial man, offers
to become an _English tenant_. If a tenant disobliges his landlord by
voting against him, or against his opinion, at an election, the tenant
is immediately informed by the agent, that he must become an _English
tenant_. This threat does not imply that he is to change his language or
his country, but that he must pay all the arrear of rent which he owes,
and that he must thenceforward pay his rent on that day when it becomes

[H] _Canting_--does not mean talking or writing hypocritical nonsense,
but selling substantially by auction.

[I] _Duty work_.--It was formerly common in Ireland to insert clauses
in leases, binding tenants to furnish their landlords with labourers and
horses for several days in the year. Much petty tyranny and oppression
have resulted from this feudal custom. Whenever a poor man disobliged
his landlord, the agent sent to him for his duty work; and Thady does
not exaggerate when he says, that the tenants were often called from
their own work to do that of their landlord. Thus the very means of
earning their rent were taken from them: whilst they were getting home
their landlord's harvest, their own was often ruined, and yet their
rents were expected to be paid as punctually as if their time had been
at their own disposal. This appears the height of absurd injustice.

In Esthonia, amongst the poor Sclavonian race of peasant slaves, they
pay tributes to their lords, not under the name of duty work, duty
geese, duty turkeys, &c., but under the name of _righteousnesses_. The
following ballad is a curious specimen of Esthonian poetry:--

    "This is the cause that the country is ruined,
    And the straw of the thatch is eaten away,
    The gentry are come to live in the land--
    Chimneys between the village,
    And the proprietor upon the white floor!
    The sheep brings forth a lamb with a white forehead,
    This is paid to the lord for a _righteousness sheep_.
    The sow farrows pigs,
    They go to the spit of the lord.
    The hen lays eggs,
    They go into the lord's frying-pan.
    The cow drops a male calf,
    That goes into the lord's herd as a bull.
    The mare foals a horse foal,
    That must be for my lord's nag.
    The boor's wife has sons,
    They must go to look after my lord's poultry."

[J] _Out of forty-nine suits which he had, he never lost one but
seventeen_,--Thady's language in this instance is a specimen of a mode
of rhetoric common in Ireland. An astonishing assertion is made in the
beginning of a sentence, which ceases to be in the least surprising,
when you hear the qualifying explanation that follows. Thus a man who is
in the last stage of staggering drunkenness will, if he can articulate,
swear to you--"Upon his conscience now, and may he never stir from the
spot alive if he is telling a lie, upon his conscience he has not tasted
a drop of any thing, good or bad, since morning at-all-at-all, but half
a pint of whiskey, please your honour."

[K] _Fairy Mounts_--Barrows. It is said that these high mounts were of
great service to the natives of Ireland when Ireland was invaded by the
Danes. Watch was always kept on them, and upon the approach of an
enemy a fire was lighted to give notice to the next watch, and thus the
intelligence was quickly communicated through the country. _Some years
ago_, the common people believed that these barrows were inhabited by
fairies, or, as they called them, by the _good people_. "Oh, troth, to
the best of my belief, and to the best of my judgment and opinion,"
said an elderly man to the Editor, "it was only the old people that had
nothing to do, and got together, and were telling stories about them
fairies, but to the best of my judgment there's nothing in it. Only this
I heard myself not very many years hack from a decent kind of a man, a
grazier, that as he was coming just _fair and easy (quietly)_ from the
fair, with some cattle and sheep, that he had not sold, just at
the church of ----, at an angle of the road like, he was met by a
good-looking man, who asked him where he was going? And he answered,
'Oh, far enough, I must be going all night.' 'No, that you mustn't nor
won't (says the man), you'll sleep with me the night, and you'll
want for nothing, nor your cattle nor sheep neither, nor your _beast
(horse)_; so come along with me.' With that the grazier _lit (alighted)_
from his horse, and it was dark night; but presently he finds himself,
he does not know in the wide world how, in a fine house, and plenty of
every thing to eat and drink; nothing at all wanting that he could wish
for or think of. And he does not _mind (recollect_ or _know_) how at
last he falls asleep; and in the morning he finds himself lying, not in
ever a bed or a house at all, but just in the angle of the road where
first he met the strange man: there he finds himself lying on his back
on the grass, and all his sheep feeding as quiet as ever all round about
him, and his horse the same way, and the bridle of the beast over his
wrist. And I asked him what he thought of it; and from first to last
he could think of nothing, but for certain sure it must have been the
fairies that entertained him so well. For there was no house to see any
where nigh hand, or any building, or barn, or place at all, but only the
church and the _mote (barrow)_. There's another odd thing enough that
they tell about this same church, that if any person's corpse, that had
not a right to be buried in that church-yard, went to be burying there
in it, no, not all the men, women, or childer in all Ireland could get
the corpse any way into the church-yard; but as they would be trying
to go into the church-yard, their feet would seem to be going backwards
instead of forwards; ay, continually backwards the whole funeral
would seem to go; and they would never set foot with the corpse in the
church-yard. Now they say that it is the fairies do all this; but it is
my opinion it is all idle talk, and people are after being wiser now."

The country people in Ireland certainly _had_ great admiration mixed
with reverence, if not dread, of fairies. They believed that beneath
these fairy mounts were spacious subterraneous palaces, inhabited by
_the good people_, who must not on any account be disturbed. When the
wind raises a little eddy of dust upon the road, the poor people believe
that it is raised by the fairies, that it is a sign that they are
journeying from one of the fairies' mounts to another, and they say to
the fairies, or to the dust as it passes, "God speed ye, gentlemen; God
speed ye." This averts any evil that _the good people_ might be inclined
to do them. There are innumerable stories told of the friendly and
unfriendly feats of these busy fairies; some of these tales are
ludicrous, and some romantic enough for poetry. It is a pity that poets
should lose such convenient, though diminutive machinery. By-the-bye,
Parnell, who showed himself so deeply "skilled in faerie lore," was an
Irishman; and though he has presented his fairies to the world in the
ancient English dress of "Britain's isle, and Arthur's days," it is
probable that his first acquaintance with them began in his native

Some remote origin for the most superstitious or romantic popular
illusions or vulgar errors may often be discovered. In Ireland, the old
churches and church-yards have been usually fixed upon as the scenes of
wonders. Now antiquaries tell us, that near the ancient churches in
that kingdom caves of various constructions have from time to time been
discovered, which were formerly used as granaries or magazines by the
ancient inhabitants, and as places to which they retreated in time
of danger. There is (p. 84 of the R.I.A. Transactions for 1789) a
particular account of a number of these artificial caves at the west
end of the church of Killossy, in the county of Kildare. Under a rising
ground, in a dry sandy soil, these subterraneous dwellings were found:
they have pediment roofs, and they communicate with each other by small
apertures. In the Brehon laws these are mentioned, and there are fines
inflicted by those laws upon persons who steal from the subterraneous
granaries. All these things show that there was a real foundation for
the stories which were told of the appearance of lights, and of the
sounds of voices, near these places. The persons who had property
concealed there, very willingly countenanced every wonderful relation
that tended to make these places objects of sacred awe or superstitious

[L] _Weed-ashes_.--By ancient usage in Ireland, all the weeds on a farm
belonged to the farmer's wife, or to the wife of the squire who holds
the ground in his own hands. The great demand for alkaline salts in
bleaching rendered these ashes no inconsiderable perquisite.

[M] _Sealing money_.--Formerly it was the custom in Ireland for tenants
to give the squire's lady from two to fifty guineas as a perquisite upon
the sealing of their leases. The Editor not very long since knew of a
baronet's lady accepting fifty guineas as sealing money, upon closing a
bargain for a considerable farm.

[N] _Sir Murtagh grew mad_.--Sir Murtagh grew angry.

[O] _The whole kitchen was out on the stairs_--means that all the
inhabitants of the kitchen came out of the kitchen, and stood upon the
stairs. These, and similar expressions, show how much the Irish are
disposed to metaphor and amplification.

[P] _Fining down the year's rent_.--When an Irish gentleman, like Sir
Kit Rackrent, has lived beyond his income, and finds himself distressed
for ready money, tenants obligingly offer to take his land at a rent far
below the value, and to pay him a small sum of money in hand, which
they call fining down the yearly rent. The temptation of this ready cash
often blinds the landlord to his future interest.

[Q] _Driver_.--A man who is employed to drive tenants for rent; that is,
to drive the cattle belonging to tenants to pound. The office of driver
is by no means a sinecure.

[R] _I thought to make him a priest_.--It was customary amongst those of
Thady's rank in Ireland, whenever they could get a little money, to send
their sons abroad to St. Omer's, or to Spain, to be educated as priests.
Now they are educated at Maynooth. The Editor has lately known a young
lad, who began by being a post-boy, afterwards turn into a carpenter,
then quit his plane and work-bench to study his _Humanities_, as he
said, at the college of Maynooth; but after he had gone through his
course of Humanities, he determined to be a soldier instead of a priest.

[S] _Flam_.--Short for flambeau.

[T] _Barrack-room_.--Formerly it was customary, in gentlemen's houses
in Ireland, to fit up one large bedchamber with a number of beds for the
reception of occasional visitors. These rooms were called Barrack-rooms.

[U] _An innocent_--in Ireland, means a simpleton, an idiot.

[V] _The Curragh_--is the Newmarket of Ireland.

[X] _The cant_.--The auction.

[Y] _And so should cut him off for ever, by levying a fine, and
suffering a recovery to dock the entail_.--The English reader may
perhaps be surprised at the extent of Thady's legal knowledge, and at
the fluency with which he pours forth law-terms; but almost every
poor man in Ireland, be he farmer, weaver, shopkeeper, or steward, is,
besides his other occupations, occasionally a lawyer. The nature of
processes, ejectments, custodiams, injunctions, replevins, &c. is
perfectly known to them, and the terms as familiar to them as to any
attorney. They all love law. It is a kind of lottery, in which every
man, staking his own wit or cunning against his neighbour's property,
feels that he has little to lose, and much to gain.

"I'll have the law of you, so I will!" is the saying of an Englishman
who expects justice. "I'll have you before his honour," is the threat of
an Irishman who hopes for partiality. Miserable is the life of a justice
of the peace in Ireland the day after a fair, especially if he resides
near a small town. The multitude of the _kilt_ (_kilt_ does not mean
_killed_, but hurt) and wounded who come before his honour with black
eyes or bloody heads is astonishing: but more astonishing is the number
of those who, though they are scarcely able by daily labour to procure
daily food, will nevertheless, without the least reluctance, waste six
or seven hours of the day lounging in the yard or court of a justice
of the peace, waiting to make some complaint about--nothing. It is
impossible to convince them that _time is money_. They do not set any
value upon their own time, and they think that others estimate theirs
at less than nothing. Hence they make no scruple of telling a justice of
the peace a story of an hour long about a _tester_ (sixpence); and if
he grows impatient, they attribute it to some secret prejudice which he
entertains against them.

Their method is to get a story completely by heart, and to tell it, as
they call it, _out of the face_, that is, from the beginning to the end,
without interruption.

"Well, my good friend, I have seen you lounging about these three hours
in the yard; what is your business?"

"Please your honour, it is what I want to speak one word to your

"Speak then, but be quick--What is the matter?"

"The matter, please your honour, is nothing at-all-at-all, only just
about the grazing of a horse, please your honour, that this man here
sold me at the fair of Gurtishannon last Shrove fair, which lay down
three times with myself, please your honour, and _kilt_ me; not to be
telling your honour of how, no later back than yesterday night, he lay
down in the house there within, and all the childer standing round, and
it was God's mercy he did not fall a-top of them, or into the fire to
burn himself. So please your honour, to-day I took him back to this man,
which owned him, and after a great deal to do, I got the mare again I
_swopped (exchanged)_ him for; but he won't pay the grazing of the horse
for the time I had him, though he promised to pay the grazing in case
the horse didn't answer; and he never did a day's work, good or bad,
please your honour, all the time he was with me, and I had the doctor to
him five times any how. And so, please your honour, it is what I expect
your honour will stand my friend, for I'd sooner come to your honour
for justice than to any other in all Ireland. And so I brought him here
before your honour, and expect your honour will make him pay me the
grazing, or tell me, can I process him for it at the next assizes,
please your honour?"

The defendant now turning a quid of tobacco with his tongue into some
secret cavern in his mouth, begins his defence with--

"Please your honour, under favour, and saving your honour's presence,
there's not a word of truth in all this man has been saying from
beginning to end, upon my conscience, and I wouldn't for the value of
the horse itself, grazing and all, be after telling your honour a lie.
For, please your honour, I have a dependence upon your honour that
you'll do me justice, and not be listening to him or the like of him.
Please your honour, it's what he has brought me before your honour,
because he had a spite against me about some oats I sold your honour,
which he was jealous of, and a shawl his wife got at my shister's shop
there without, and never paid for; so I offered to set the shawl against
the grazing, and give him a receipt in full of all demands, but he
wouldn't out of spite, please your honour; so he brought me before your
honour, expecting your honour was mad with me for cutting down the tree
in the horse park, which was none of my doing, please your honour--ill
luck to them that went and belied me to your honour behind my back!
So if your honour is pleasing, I'll tell you the whole truth about the
horse that he swopped against my mare out of the face. Last Shrove fair
I met this man, Jemmy Duffy, please your honour, just at the corner of
the road, where the bridge is broken down, that your honour is to have
the presentment for this year--long life to you for it! And he was at
that time coming from the fair of Gurtishannon, and I the same way. 'How
are you, Jemmy?' says I. 'Very well, I thank ye kindly, Bryan,' says he;
'shall we turn back to Paddy Salmon's and take a naggin of whiskey to
our better acquaintance?' 'I don't care if I did, Jemmy,' says I; 'only
it is what I can't take the whiskey, because I'm under an oath against
it for a month.' Ever since, please your honour, the day your honour met
me on the road, and observed to me I could hardly stand, I had taken so
much; though upon my conscience your honour wronged me greatly that same
time--ill luck to them that belied me behind my back to your honour!
Well, please your honour, as I was telling you, as he was taking the
whiskey, and we talking of one thing or t'other, he makes me an offer to
swop his mare that he couldn't sell at the fair of Gurtishannon, because
nobody would be troubled with the beast, please your honour, against my
horse, and to oblige him I took the mare--sorrow take her! and him along
with her! She kicked me a new car, that was worth three pounds ten, to
tatters the first time I ever put her into it, and I expect your honour
will make him pay me the price of the car, any how, before I pay the
grazing, which I've no right to pay at-all-at-all, only to oblige him.
But I leave it all to your honour; and the whole grazing he ought to be
charging for the beast is but two and eight pence halfpenny, any how,
please your honour. So I'll abide by what your honour says, good or bad.
I'll leave it all to your honour."

I'll leave _it_ all to your honour--literally means, I'll leave all the
trouble to your honour.

The Editor knew a justice of the peace in Ireland, who had such a dread
of _having it all left to his honour_, that he frequently gave the
complainants the sum about which they were disputing, to make peace
between them, and to get rid of the trouble of hearing their stories
_out of the face_. But he was soon cured of this method of buying off
disputes, by the increasing multitude of those who, out of pure regard
to his honour, came "to get justice from him, because they would sooner
come before him than before any man in all Ireland."

[Z] _A raking pot of tea_.--We should observe, this custom has long
since been banished from the higher orders of Irish gentry. The
mysteries of a raking pot of tea, like those of the Bona Dea, are
supposed to be sacred to females; but now and then it has happened, that
some of the male species, who were either more audacious, or more highly
favoured than the rest of their sex, have been admitted by stealth to
these orgies. The time when the festive ceremony begins varies according
to circumstances, but it is never earlier than twelve o'clock at night;
the joys of a raking pot of tea depending on its being made in secret,
and at an unseasonable hour. After a ball, when the more discreet part
of the company has departed to rest, a few chosen female spirits, who
have footed it till they can foot it no longer, and till the sleepy
notes expire under the slurring hand of the musician, retire to a
bedchamber, call the favourite maid, who alone is admitted, bid her
_put down the kettle_, lock the door, and amidst as much giggling and
scrambling as possible, they get round a tea-table, on which all manner
of things are huddled together. Then begin mutual railleries and mutual
confidences amongst the young ladies, and the faint scream and the loud
laugh is heard, and the romping for letters and pocket-books begins,
and gentlemen are called by their surnames, or by the general name of
fellows! pleasant fellows! charming fellows! odious fellows! abominable
fellows! and then all prudish decorums are forgotten, and then we might
be convinced how much the satirical poet was mistaken when he said,

    "There is no woman where there's no reserve."

The merit of the original idea of a raking pot of tea evidently belongs
to the washerwoman and the laundry-maid. But why should not we have _Low
life above stairs_ as well as _High life below stairs_?

[A2] _We gained the day by this piece of honesty_.--In a dispute which
occurred some years ago in Ireland, between Mr. E. and Mr. M., about
the boundaries of a farm, an old tenant of Mr. M.'s cut a _sod_ from Mr.
M.'s land, and inserted it in a spot prepared for its reception in
Mr. E.'s land; so nicely was it inserted, that no eye could detect the
junction of the grass. The old man, who was to give his evidence as to
the property, stood upon the inserted sod when the _viewers_ came, and
swore that the ground he _then stood upon_ belonged to his landlord, Mr.

The Editor had flattered himself that the ingenious contrivance which
Thady records, and the similar subterfuge of this old Irishman, in
the dispute concerning boundaries, were instances of _'cuteness_
unparalleled in all but Irish story: an English friend, however,
has just mortified the Editor's national vanity by an account of
the following custom, which prevails in part of Shropshire. It is
discreditable for women to appear abroad after the birth of their
children till they have been _churched_. To avoid this reproach, and at
the same time to enjoy the pleasure of gadding, whenever a woman goes
abroad before she has been to church, she takes a tile from the roof of
her house, and puts it upon her head: wearing this panoply all the time
she pays her visits, her conscience is perfectly at ease; for she can
afterwards safely declare to the clergyman, that she "has never been
from under her own roof till she came to be churched."

[B2] _Carton, and half carton_.--Thady means cartron, and half cartron.
"According to the old record in the black book of Dublin, a _cantred_ is
said to contain 30 _villatas terras_, which are also called _quarters_
of land (quarterons, _cartrons_); every one of which quarters must
contain so much ground as will pasture 400 cows, and 17 plough-lands.
A knight's fee was composed of 8 hydes, which amount to 160 acres, and
that is generally deemed about a _ploughland_."

The Editor was favoured by a learned friend with the above extract, from
a MS. of Lord Totness's in the Lambeth library.

[C2] _Wake_.--A wake in England means a festival held upon the
anniversary of the saint of the parish. At these wakes, rustic games,
rustic conviviality, and rustic courtship, are pursued with all the
ardour and all the appetite which accompany such pleasures as occur but
seldom. In Ireland a wake is a midnight meeting, held professedly for
the indulgence of holy sorrow, but usually it is converted into orgies
of unholy joy. When an Irish man or woman of the lower order dies, the
straw which composed the bed, whether it has been contained in a bag to
form a mattress, or simply spread upon the earthen floor, is immediately
taken out of the house, and burned before the cabin door, the family
at the same time setting up the death howl. The ears and eyes of the
neighbours being thus alarmed, they flock to the house of the deceased,
and by their vociferous sympathy excite and at the same time soothe the
sorrows of the family.

It is curious to observe how good and bad are mingled in human
institutions. In countries which were thinly inhabited, this custom
prevented private attempts against the lives of individuals, and formed
a kind of coroner's inquest upon the body which had recently expired,
and burning the straw upon which the sick man lay became a simple
preservative against infection. At night the dead body is waked, that is
to say, all the friends and neighbours of the deceased collect in a barn
or stable, where the corpse is laid upon some boards, or an unhinged
door, supported upon stools, the face exposed, the rest of the
body covered with a white sheet. Bound the body are stuck in brass
candlesticks, which have been borrowed perhaps at five miles' distance,
as many candles as the poor person can beg or borrow, observing always
to have an odd number. Pipes and tobacco are first distributed, and
then, according to the _ability_ of the deceased, cakes and ale, and
sometimes whiskey, are _dealt_ to the company:

    "Deal on, deal on, my merry men all,
    Deal on your cakes and your wine,
    For whatever is dealt at her funeral to-day
    Shall be dealt to-morrow at mine."

After a fit of universal sorrow, and the comfort of a universal dram,
the scandal of the neighbourhood, as in higher circles, occupies the
company. The young lads and lasses romp with one another, and when the
fathers and mothers are at last overcome with sleep and whiskey (_vino
et somno_), the youth become more enterprising, and are frequently
successful. It is said that more matches are made at wakes than at

[D2] _Kilt_.--This word frequently occurs in the preceding pages, where
it means not _killed_, but much _hurt_. In Ireland, not only cowards,
but the brave "die many times before their death."--There killing is no


[1] "The cloak, or mantle, as described by Thady, is of high antiquity.
Spenser, in his 'View of the State of Ireland,' proves that it is not,
as some have imagined, peculiarly derived from the Scythians, but that
most nations of the world anciently used the mantle; for the Jews used
it, as you may read of Elias's mantle, &c.; the Chaldees also used it,
as you may read in Diodorus; the Egyptians likewise used it, as you may
read in Herodotus, and may be gathered by the description of Berenice
in the Greek Commentary upon Callimachus; the Greeks also used it
anciently, as appeared by Venus's mantle lined with stars, though
afterward they changed the form thereof into their cloaks, called
Pallai, as some of the Irish also use: and the ancient Latins and Romans
used it, as you may read in Virgil, who was a great antiquary, that
Evander when Aeneas came to him at his feast, did entertain and feast
him sitting on the ground, and lying on mantles: insomuch that he useth
the very word mantile for a mantle,

    '------Humi mantilia sternunt:'

so that it seemeth that the mantle was a general habit to most nations,
and not proper to the Scythians only."

Spenser knew the convenience of the said mantle, as housing, bedding,
and clothing.

"_Iren_. Because the commodity doth not countervail the discommodity;
for the inconveniences which thereby do arise are much more many; for it
is a fit house for an outlaw, a meet bed for a rebel, and an apt cloak
for a thief. First, the outlaw being, for his many crimes and villanies,
banished from the towns and houses of honest men, and wandering in waste
places, far from danger of law, maketh his mantle his house, and under
it covereth himself from the wrath of Heaven, from the offence of the
earth, and from the sight of men. When it raineth, it is his penthouse;
when it bloweth, it is his tent; when it freezeth, it is his tabernacle.
In summer he can wear it loose; in winter he can wrap it close; at all
times he can use it; never heavy, never cumbersome. Likewise for a rebel
it is as serviceable; for in this war that he maketh (if at least
it deserves the name of war), when he still flieth from his foe, and
lurketh in the _thick woods (this should be black bogs_) and straight
passages, waiting for advantages, it is his bed, yea, and almost his
household stuff."

[2] These fairy-mounts are called ant-hills in England. They are held
in high reverence by the common people in Ireland. A gentleman, who in
laying out his lawn had occasion to level one of these hillocks, could
not prevail upon any of his labourers to begin the ominous work. He was
obliged to take a _loy_ from one of their reluctant hands, and began the
attack himself. The labourers agreed, that the vengeance of the fairies
would fall upon the head of the presumptuous mortal, who first disturbed
them in their retreat. See Glossary [K].

[3] The Banshee is a species of aristocratic fairy, who, in the shape of
a little hideous old woman, has been known to appear, and heard to sing
in a mournful supernatural voice under the windows of great houses, to
warn the family that some of them are soon to die. In the last century
every great family in Ireland had a Banshee, who attended regularly; but
latterly their visits and songs have been discontinued.

[4] _Childer:_ this is the manner in which many of Thady's rank, and
others in Ireland, _formerly_ pronounced the word _children_.

[5] _Middle men_.--There was a class of men termed middle men in
Ireland, who took large farms on long leases from gentlemen of landed
property, and let the land again in small portions to the poor, as
under-tenants, at exorbitant rents. The _head landlord_, as he _was_
called, seldom saw his _under-tenants_; but if he could not get the
_middle man_ to pay him his rent punctually, he _went to his land, and
drove the land for his rent_, that is to say, he sent his steward or
bailiff, or driver, to the land to seize the cattle, hay, corn, flax,
oats, or potatoes, belonging to the under-tenants, and proceeded to
sell these for his rents: it sometimes happened that these unfortunate
tenants paid their rent twice over, once to _the middle man_, and once
to the _head landlord_.

The characteristics of a middle man _were_, servility to his superiors,
and tyranny towards his inferiors: the poor detested this race of
beings. In speaking to them, however, they always used the most abject
language, and the most humble tone and posture--"_Please your honour;
and please your honour's honour_" they knew must be repeated as a
charm at the beginning and end of every equivocating, exculpatory, or
supplicatory sentence; and they were much more alert in doffing their
caps to these new men, than to those of what they call _good old
families_. A witty carpenter once termed these middle men _journeymen

[6] This part of the history of the Rackrent family can scarcely be
thought credible; but in justice to honest Thady, it is hoped the reader
will recollect the history of the celebrated Lady Cathcart's conjugal
imprisonment.--The editor was acquainted with Colonel M'Guire, Lady
Cathcart's husband; he has lately seen and questioned the maid-servant
who lived with Colonel M'Guire during the time of Lady Cathcart's
imprisonment. Her ladyship was locked up in her own house for many
years; during which period her husband was visited by the neighbouring
gentry, and it was his regular custom at dinner to send his compliments
to Lady Cathcart, informing her that the company had the honour to drink
her ladyship's health, and begging to know whether there was any thing
at table that she would like to eat? the answer was always, "Lady
Cathcart's compliments, and she has every thing she wants." An instance
of honesty in a poor Irish woman deserves to be recorded:--Lady Cathcart
had some remarkably fine diamonds, which she had concealed from her
husband, and which she was anxious to get out of the house, lest he
should discover them. She had neither servant nor friend to whom she
could entrust them; but she had observed a poor beggar woman, who used
to come to the house; she spoke to her from the window of the room in
which she was confined; the woman promised to do what she desired, and
Lady Cathcart threw a parcel, containing the jewels, to her. The poor
woman carried them to the person to whom they were directed; and several
years afterwards, when Lady Cathcart recovered her liberty, she received
her diamonds safely.

At Colonel M'Guire's death her ladyship was released. The editor, within
this year, saw the gentleman who accompanied her to England after her
husband's death. When she first was told of his death, she imagined that
the news was not true, and that it was told only with an intention of
deceiving her. At his death she had scarcely clothes sufficient to cover
her; she wore a red wig, looked scared, and her understanding seemed
stupified; she said that she scarcely knew one human creature from
another: her imprisonment lasted above twenty years. These circumstances
may appear strange to an English reader; but there is no danger in
the present times, that any individual should exercise such tyranny as
Colonel M'Guire's with impunity, the power being now all in the hands of
government, and there being no possibility of obtaining from parliament
an act of indemnity for any cruelties.

[7] Boo! boo! an exclamation equivalent to _pshaw_ or _nonsense_.

[8] _Pin_, read _pen_. It formerly was vulgarly pronounced _pin_ in

[9] _Her mark_. It _was_ the custom in Ireland for those who could not
write to make a cross to stand for their signature, as was formerly the
practice of our English monarchs. The Editor inserts the fac-simile
of an Irish _mark_, which may hereafter be valuable to a judicious

    Judy  X  M'Quirk,

In bonds or notes, signed in this manner, a witness is requisite, as the
name is frequently written by him or her.

[10] _Vows_.--It has been maliciously and unjustly hinted, that the
lower classes of the people in Ireland pay but little regard to oaths;
yet it is certain that some oaths or vows have great power over their
minds. Sometimes they swear they will be revenged on some of their
neighbours; this is an oath that they are never known to break. But,
what is infinitely more extraordinary and unaccountable, they sometimes
make and keep a vow against whiskey; these vows are usually limited to
a short time. A woman who has a drunken husband is most fortunate if she
can prevail upon him to go to the priest, and make a vow against whiskey
for a year, or a month, or a week, or a day.

[11] _Gossoon_, a little boy--from the French word _garçon_. In most
Irish families there _used_ to be a barefooted gossoon, who was slave
to the cook and butler, and who in fact, without wages, did all the
hard work of the house. Gossoons were always employed as messengers. The
Editor has known a gossoon to go on foot, without shoes or stockings,
fifty-one English miles between sunrise and sunset.

[12] At St. Patrick´s meeting, London, March, 1806, the Duke of
Sussex said he had the honour of bearing an Irish title, and, with the
permission of the company, he should tell them an anecdote of what he
had experienced on his travels. When he was at Rome, he went to visit an
Irish seminary, and when they heard who he was, and that he had an Irish
title, some of them asked him, "Please you Royal Highness, since you
are an Irish peer, will you tell us if you ever trod upon Irish ground?"
When he told them he had not, "Oh, then," said one of the order, "you
shall soon do so". They then spread some earth, which had been brought
from Ireland, on a marble slab, and made him stand upon it.

[13] This was actually done at an election in Ireland.

[14] _To put him up_--to put him in gaol.

[15] _My little potatoes_--Thady does not mean, by this expression,
that his potatoes were less than other people's, or less than the usual
size--_little_ is here used only as an Italian diminutive, expressive of

[16] _Kith and kin_--family or relations. _Kin_ from _kind_; _kith_ from
we know not what.

[17] Wigs were formerly used instead of brooms in Ireland, for sweeping
or dusting tables, stairs, &c. The Editor doubted the fact, till he saw
a labourer of the old school sweep down a flight of stairs with his wig;
he afterwards put it on his head again with the utmost composure, and
said, "Oh, please your honour, it's never a bit the worse."

It must be acknowledged, that these men are not in any danger of
catching cold by taking off their wigs occasionally, because they
usually have fine crops of hair growing under their wigs. The wigs are
often yellow, and the hair which appears from beneath them black; the
wigs are usually too small, and are raised up by the hair beneath, or by
the ears of the wearers.

[18] A wake in England is a meeting avowedly for merriment; in Ireland
it is a nocturnal meeting avowedly for the purpose of watching and
bewailing the dead; but, in reality, for gossiping and debauchery. See
Glossary [C2].

[19] Shebean-house, a hedge alehouse. Shebcan properly means weak
small-beer, taplash.

[20] At the coronation of one of our monarchs, the king complained of
the confusion which happened in the procession. The great officer who
presided told his majesty, "That it should not be so next time."

[21] _Kilt and smashed_.--Our author is not here guilty of an
anti-climax. The mere English reader, from a similarity of sound between
the words _kilt_ and _killed_, might be induced to suppose that
their meanings are similar, yet they are not by any means in Ireland
synonymous terms. Thus you may hear a man exclaim, "I'm kilt and
murdered!" but he frequently means only that he has received a black
eye, or a slight contusion.--_I'm kilt all over_ means that he is in a
worse state than being simply _kilt_. Thus, _I'm kilt with the cold_, is
nothing to _I'm kilt all over with the rheumatism_.

[22] _The room_--the principal room in the house.

[23] _Tester_--sixpence; from the French word, tête, a head: a piece of
silver stamped with a head, which in old French was called "un testion,"
and which was about the value of an old English sixpence. Tester is used
in Shakspeare.


    Summos posse viros, et magna exempla daturos, Vervecum in patria,
    crassoque sub aëre nasci. JUVENAL.



What mortal, what fashionable mortal, is there who has not, in the midst
of a formidable circle, been reduced to the embarrassment of having
nothing to say? Who is there that has not felt those oppressive fits
of silence which ensue after the weather, and the fashions, and the
politics, and the scandal, and all the common-place topics of the day
have been utterly exhausted? Who is there that, at such a time, has not
tried in vain to call up an idea, and found that _none would come when
they did call_, or that all that came were impertinent, and must be
rejected, some as too grave, others too gay, some too vulgar, some
too refined for the hearers, some relating to persons, others to
circumstances that must not be mentioned? Not one will do! and all this
time the silence lasts, and the difficulty of breaking it increases
every instant in an incalculable proportion.

Let it be some comfort to those whose polite sensibility has laboured
under such distress to be assured, that they need never henceforward
fear to be reduced to similar dilemmas. They may be insured for ever
against such dangers at the slight premium and upon the easy condition
of perusing the following little volume. It will satisfy them that there
is a subject which still affords inexhausted and inexhaustible sources
of conversation, suited to all tastes, all ranks, all individuals,
democratic, aristocratic, commercial, or philosophic; suited to every
company which can be combined, purposely or fortuitously, in this great
metropolis, or in any of the most remote parts of England, Wales, or
Scotland. There is a subject which dilates the heart of every true
Briton, which relaxes his muscles, however rigid, to a smile,--which
opens his lips, however closed, to conversation. There is a subject
"which frets another's spleen to cure our own," and which makes even
the angelic part of the creation _laugh themselves mortal_. For who can
forbear to laugh at the bare idea of an Irish bull?

Nor let any one apprehend that this subject can ever become trite and
vulgar. Custom cannot stale its infinite variety. It is in the main
obvious, and palpable enough for every common understanding; yet
it leads to disquisitions of exquisite subtlety, it branches into
innumerable ramifications, and involves consequences of surprising
importance; it may exercise the ingenuity of the subtlest wit, the fancy
of the oddest humourist, the imagination of the finest poet, and the
judgment of the most profound metaphysician. Moreover, this happy
subject is enveloped in all that doubt and confusion which are so
favourable to the reputation of disputants, and which secures the
glorious possibility of talking incessantly, without being stopped short
by a definition or a demonstration. For much as we have all heard and
talked of Irish bulls, it has never yet been decided what it is
that constitutes a bull. _Incongruity of ideas_, says one. But this
supposition touches too closely upon the definition of wit, which,
according to the best authorities, Locke, Burke, and Stewart, consists
in an unexpected assemblage of ideas, apparently discordant, but in
which some point of resemblance or aptitude is suddenly discovered.

Then, perhaps, says another, the essence of a bull lies in _confusion
of ideas_. This sounds plausible in theory, but it will not apply
in practice; for confusion of ideas is common to both countries: for
instance, was there not some slight confusion of ideas in the mind of
that English student, who, when he was asked what progress he had made
in the study of medicine, replied, "I hope I shall soon be qualified to
be a physician, for I think I am now able to cure a child?"

To amend our bill, suppose we insert the word laughable, and say that
a _laughable confusion of ideas_ constitutes a bull. But have we not
a laughable confusion of ideas in our English poet Blackmore's famous
lines in Prince Arthur?--

   "A painted vest prince Vortigern had on,
    Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won."

We are sensible that, to many people, the most vulgar Irish bull would
appear more laughable merely from its being Irish,--therefore we cannot
make the propensity to laughter in one man the criterion of what is
ridiculous in another; though we have a precedent for this mode of
judging in the laws of England, which are allowed to be the perfection
of human reason. If a man swear that his neighbour has put him in
bodily fear, he may have the cause of his terror sent to gaol; thus the
feelings of the plaintiff become the measure of the defendant's guilt.
As we cannot extend this convenient principle to all matters of taste,
and all subjects of risibility, we are still compelled to acknowledge
that no accurate definition of a bull has yet been given. The essence of
an Irish bull must be of the most ethereal nature, for notwithstanding
the most indefatigable research, it has hitherto escaped from analysis.
The crucible always breaks in the long-expected moment of projection: we
have nevertheless the courage to recommence the process in a new mode.
Perhaps by ascertaining what it is not, we may at last discover what it
is: we must distinguish the genuine from the spurious, the original from
all imitations, the indigenous from the exotic; in short, it must be
determined in what an Irish bull essentially differs from a blunder, or
in what Irish blunders specifically differ from English blunders, and
from those of all other nations. To elucidate these points, or to prove
to the satisfaction of all competent judges that they are beyond the
reach of the human understanding, is the object of the following _Essay
concerning the Nature of Bulls and Blunders_.



The difficulty of selecting from the vulgar herd of Irish bulls one that
shall be entitled to the prize, from the united merits of pre-eminent
absurdity, and indisputable originality, is greater than hasty judges
may imagine. Many bulls, reputed to be bred and born in Ireland, are of
foreign extraction; and many more, supposed to be unrivalled in their
kind, may be matched in all their capital _points_: for instance, there
is not a more celebrated bull than Paddy Blake's. When Paddy heard an
English gentleman speaking of the fine echo at the lake of Killarney,
which repeats the sound forty times, he very promptly observed, "Faith,
that's nothing at all to the echo in my father's garden, in the county
of Galway: if you say to it, 'How do you do, Paddy Blake?' it will
answer, 'Pretty well, I thank you, sir.'"

Now this echo of Paddy Blake's, which has long been the admiration of
the world, is not a prodigy _unique_ in its kind; it can be matched by
one recorded in the immortal works of the great Lord Verulam.[24]

"I remember well," says this father of philosophy, "that when I went to
the echo at Port Charenton, there was an old Parisian that took it to be
the work of spirits, and of good spirits, 'for,' said he, 'call Satan,
and the echo will not deliver back the devil's name, but will say, 'Va

The Parisian echo is surely superior to the Hibernian! Paddy Blake's
simply understood and practised the common rules of good-breeding; but
the Port Charenton echo is "instinct with spirit," and endowed with a
nice moral sense.

Amongst the famous bulls recorded by the illustrious Joe Miller, there
is one which has been continually quoted as an example of original Irish
genius. An English gentleman was writing a letter in a coffee-house, and
perceiving that an Irishman stationed behind him was taking that liberty
which Hephaestion used with his friend Alexander, instead of putting his
seal upon the lips of the _curious impertinent_, the English gentleman
thought proper to reprove the Hibernian, if not with delicacy, at least
with poetical justice: he concluded writing his letter in these words:
"I would say more, but a damned tall Irishman is reading over my
shoulder every word I write."

"You lie, you scoundrel!" said the self-convicted Hibernian.

This blunder is unquestionably excellent; but it is not originally
Irish: it comes, with other riches, from the East, as the reader may
find by looking into a book by M. Galland, entitled, "The Remarkable
Sayings of the Eastern Nations."

"A learned man was writing to a friend; a troublesome fellow was beside
him, who was looking over his shoulder at what he was writing. The
learned man, who perceived this, continued writing in these words, 'If
an impertinent chap, who stands beside me, were not looking at what I
write, I would write many other things to you, which should be known
only to you and to me.'

"The troublesome fellow, who was reading on, now thought it incumbent
upon him to speak, and said, 'I swear to you, that I have not read or
looked at what you are writing.'

"The learned man replied, 'Blockhead, as you are, why then do you say to
me what you are now saying?'" [25]

Making allowance for the difference of manners in eastern and northern
nations, there is, certainly, such a similarity between this oriental
anecdote and Joe Miller's story, that we may conclude the latter is
stolen from the former. Now, an _Irish_ bull must be a species of
blunder _peculiar_ to Ireland; those that we have hitherto examined,
though they may be called Irish bulls by the ignorant vulgar, have
no right, title, or claim to such a distinction. We should invariably
exclude from that class all blunders which can be found in another
country. For instance, a speech of the celebrated Irish beauty, Lady
C----, has been called a bull; but as a parallel can be produced in the
speech of an English nobleman, _it tells for nothing_. When her ladyship
was presented at court, his majesty, George the Second, politely hoped,
"that, since her arrival in England, she had been entertained with the
gaieties of London."

"Oh, yes, please your majesty, I have seen every sight in London worth
seeing, except a coronation."

This _naïveté_ is certainly not equal to that of the English earl
marshal, who, when his king found fault with some arrangement at his
coronation, said, "Please your majesty, I hope it will be better next

A _naïveté_ of the same species entailed a heavy tax upon the
inhabitants of Beaune, in France. Beaune is famous for burgundy; and
Henry the Fourth, passing through his kingdom, stopped there, and was
well entertained by his loyal subjects. His Majesty praised the burgundy
which they set before him--"It was excellent! it was admirable!"

"Oh, sire!" cried they, "do you think this excellent? _we have much
finer_ burgundy than this."

"Have you so? then you can afford to pay for it," replied Harry the
Fourth; and he laid a double tax thenceforward upon the burgundy of

Of the same class of blunders is the following speech, which we actually
heard not long ago from an Irishman:--

"Please your worship, he sent me to the devil, and I came straight to
your honour."

We thought this an original Irish blunder, till we recollected its
prototype in Marmontel's Annette and Lubin. Lubin concludes his harangue
with, "The bailiff sent us to the devil, and we come to put ourselves
under your protection, my lord." [26]

The French, at least in former times, were celebrated for politeness;
yet we meet with a _naïve_ compliment of a Frenchman, which would have
been accounted a bull if it had been found in Ireland.

A gentleman was complimenting Madame Denis on the manner in which she
had just acted Zaire. "To act that part," said she, "a person should be
young and handsome." "Ah, madam!" replied the complimenter _naïvement_,
"you are a complete proof of the contrary." [27]

We know not any original Irish blunder superior to this, unless it
be that which Lord Orford pronounced to be the best bull that he ever

"I hate that woman," said a gentleman, looking at one who had been his
nurse; "I hate that woman, for she changed me at nurse."

Lord Orford particularly admires this bull, because in the confusion
of the blunderer's ideas he is not clear even of his personal identity.
Philosophers will not perhaps be so ready as his lordship has been to
call this a blunder of the first magnitude. Those who have never been
initiated into the mysteries of metaphysics may have the presumptuous
ignorance to fancy that they understand what is meant by the common
words _I_, or _me_; but the able metaphysician knows better than Lord
Orford's changeling how to prove, to our satisfaction, that we know
nothing of the matter.

"Personal identity," says Locke, "consists not in the identity of
substance, but in the identity of consciousness, wherein Socrates and
the present mayor of Queenborough agree they are the same person: if
the same Socrates, sleeping and waking, do not partake of the same
consciousness, Socrates waking and sleeping is not the same person; and
to punish Socrates waking for what sleeping Socrates thought, and waking
Socrates was never conscious of, would be no more of right than to
punish one twin for what his brother twin did, whereof he knew nothing,
because their outsides are so like that they could not be distinguished;
for such twins have been seen." [28]

We may presume that our Hibernian's consciousness could not retrograde
to the time when he was changed at nurse; consequently there was no
continuity of identity between the infant and the man who expressed
his hatred of the nurse for perpetrating the fraud. At all events, the
confusion of identity which excited Lord Orford's admiration in our
Hibernian is by no means unprecedented in France, England, or
ancient Greece, and consequently it cannot be an instance of national
idiosyncracy, or an Irish bull. We find a similar blunder in Spain, in
the time of Cervantes:--

"Pray tell me, squire," says the duchess, in Don Quixote, "is not your
master the person whose history is printed under the name of the sage
Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, who professes himself the admirer of
one Dulcinea del Toboso?"

"The very same, my lady," answered Sancho; "and I myself am that very
squire of his, who is mentioned, or ought to be mentioned, in that
history, _unless they have changed me in the cradle_."

In Molière's Amphitrion there is a dialogue between Mercure and Sosie,
evidently taken from the _Attic_ Lucian. Sosie being completely puzzled
out of his personal identity, if not out of his senses, says literally,
"of my being myself I begin to doubt in good earnest; yet when I feel
myself, and when I recollect myself, it seems to me that _I am I_." [29]

We see that the puzzle about identity proves at last to be of Grecian
origin. It is really edifying to observe how those things which have
long been objects of popular admiration shrink and fade when exposed to
the light of strict examination. An experienced critic proposed that a
work should be written to inquire into the pretensions of modern
writers to original invention, to trace their thefts, and to restore
the property to the ancient owners. Such a work would require powers and
erudition beyond what can be expected from any ordinary individual; the
labour must be shared amongst numbers, and we are proud to assist in
ascertaining the rightful property even of bulls and blunders; though
without pretending, like some literary blood-hounds, to follow up a
plagiarism, where common sagacity is at a fault.



We presume that we have successfully disputed the claims imposed upon
the public, in behalf of certain spurious alien blunders, pretending to
be native, original Irish bulls; and we shall now with pleasure proceed
to examine those which have better titles to notice. Even nonsense
ceases to be worthy of attention and public favour, unless it be

"Dear Lady Emily," says Miss Allscrip, in the excellent comedy of the
Heiress--"Dear Lady Emily, don't you dote upon folly?"

"To ecstasy!" replies her ladyship; "I only despair of seeing it well
kept up."

We flatter ourselves, "there is no great danger of that," for we have
the Irish newspapers before us, where, no doubt, we shall find a fresh
harvest of indigenous absurdity ripe for the sickle.

The first advertisement that meets our eye is promising.

It is the late proclamation of an Irish mayor, in which we are informed,
that certain business is to be transacted in that city "every Monday
(Easter Sunday only excepted)." This seems rather an unnecessary
exception; but it is not an inadvertency, caused by any hurry of
business in his worship; it is deliberately copied from a precedent, set
in England, by a baronet formerly well known in parliament, who, in the
preamble to a bill, proposed that certain regulations should take place
"on every Monday (Tuesday excepted)." We fear, also, that an English
mayor has been known to blunder. Some years ago the mayor of a capital
English city published a proclamation and advertisement, previous to
the races, "that no gentleman will be allowed to ride on the course, but
_the horses_ that are to run." A mayor's blundering proclamation is
not, however, worth half so much in the eye of ridicule as a lord

    "A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn."

A bull on the throne is worth twice as much as a bull in the chair.

    "By the lord lieutenant and council of Ireland.

                  A proclamation.


    "Whereas the greatest economy is necessary in the consumption
    of _all species of grain, and especially in the consumption of
    potatoes, &c_.

    "Given at the council chamber in Dublin."

This is the first time we have been informed, by authority, that
potatoes are a species of grain; but we must accede to this new
botanical arrangement, when published under such splendid auspices.
The assertion certainly is not made in distinct terms: but all who
understand the construction of language must imply the conclusion that
we draw from these premises. A general position is in the first member
of the sentence laid down, "_that the greatest economy is necessary in
the consumption of all species of grain_." A particular exemplification
of the principle is made in the next clause, "_especially in the
consumption of potatoes_."

The inference is as plain as can be made.

The next article in our newspaper is an advertisement of lands to be let
to _an improving tenant_:--"A few miles from Cork, in _a most sporting
country_, bounded by an _uncommon fine_ turf bog, on the verge of which
there are a number of fine _lime kilns_, where _that manure_ may be had
on very moderate terms, the distance for carriage not being many hundred
yards. The whole lands being now in great heart, and completely laid
down, entirely surrounded, and divided by _impenetrable furze ditches,
made of quarried stones laid edgeways_."

It will be a matter of difficulty to the untravelled English reader
to comprehend how furze ditches can be made of quarried stones laid
edgeways, or any way; and we fear that we should only puzzle his
intellects still more if we should attempt to explain to him the
mysteries of Irish ditching in the technical terms of the country. With
the face of a ditch he may be acquainted, but to _the back_ and _gripe_,
and bottom of the gripe, and top of the back of a ditch, we fear he is
still to be introduced.

We can never sufficiently admire these furze ditches made of quarried
stones; they can, indeed, be found only in Ireland; but we have heard in
England of things almost as extraordinary. Dr. Grey, in his erudite and
entertaining notes on Hudibras, records the deposition of a lawyer, who,
in an action of battery, told the judge "that the defendant beat his
client with a certain _wooden instrument_ called _an iron pestle_." Nay,
to go further still, a wise annotator on the Pentateuch, named Peter
Harrison, observed of Moses' two _tables of stone_, that they were made
of _shittim-wood_. The stone furze ditches are scarcely bolder instances
of the catachresis than the stone tables of shittim-wood. This bold
figure of rhetoric in an Irish advertisement of an estate may lead us
to expect that Hibernian advertisers may, in time, emulate the fame of
Christie, the prince of auctioneers, whose fine descriptive powers can
make more of an estate on paper than ever was made of it in any other
shape, except in the form of an ejectment. The fictions of law, indeed,
surpass even the auctioneer's imagination; and a man may be said never
to know the extent of his own possessions until he is served with a
process of ejectment. He then finds himself required to give up the
possession of a multitude of barns, orchards, fish-ponds, horse-ponds,
dwelling-houses, pigeon-houses, dove-cotes, out-houses, and
appurtenances, which he never saw or heard of, and which are nowhere
to be found upon the surface of the habitable globe; so that we cannot
really express this English legal transaction without being guilty of an
Irish bull, and saying that the person ejected is _ousted_ from places
which he never entered.

To proceed with our newspapers.--The next advertisement is from a
schoolmaster: but we shall not descant upon its grammatical errors,
because they are not blunders peculiar to Irish schoolmasters. We have
frequently observed that the advertisements of schoolmasters, even in
England, are seldom free from solecisms: too much care in writing, it
seems, is almost as bad as too little. In the preface of the dictionary
of the French Academy, there are, as it is computed by an able French
critic, no less than sixteen faults; and in Harris, the celebrated
grammarian's dedication of his Hermes, there is one bull, and almost
as many faults as lines. It appears as if the most precise and learned
writers sometimes, like the ladies in one of Congreve's plays, "run into
the danger to avoid the apprehension."

After a careful scrutiny of the Hibernian advertisements, we are
compelled to confess that we have not met with any blunders that more
nearly resemble our notion of an Irish bull than one which, some
years ago, appeared in our English papers. It was the title to an
advertisement of a washing machine, in these words: "Every _Man_ his
own _Washerwoman_!" We have this day, Nov. 19, 1807, seen the following:
"This day were published, Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Elizabeth Carter,
with a _new edition_ of her Poems, some of which have _never_ before
appeared." And an eye-witness assures us, that lately he saw an
advertisement in the following terms stuck up on the walls of an English
coffee-house: "This coffee-house removed up-stairs!"

A Roman emperor used to draw his stairs up after him every night
into his bedchamber, and we have heard of throwing a house out of the
windows; but drawing a whole house up into itself is new.

How can we account for such a blunder, in an advertisement on the wall
of an English coffee-house, except by supposing that it was penned by an
Irish waiter? If that were the case, it would an admirable example of an
Irish bull! and therefore we had best take it for granted.

Let not any conscientious person be startled at the mode of reasoning by
which we have convicted an imaginary Irish waiter of a real bull: it is
at least as good, if not better logic, than that which was successfully
employed in the time of the _popish plot_, to convict an Irish physician
of forgery. The matter is thus recorded by L'Estrange. The Irish
physician "was charged with writing a treasonable libel, but denied the
thing, and appealed to the unlikeness of the characters. It was agreed
that there was no resemblance at all in the hands; but asserted that the
doctor had two hands; his _physic hand_ and his _plot hand_, and the one
not a jot like the other. Now this was the doctor's plot hand, and it
was insisted that, because it was not like one of his hands, it must be
like the other."

By this convenient mode of reasoning, an Irishman may, at any time, be
convicted of any crime, or of any absurdity.

But what have we next in our newspaper?--"Murder, Robbery, and Reward."
This seems a strange connexion of things, according to our vulgar
notions of distributive justice; but we are told that the wicked shall
have their _reward_ even in this world; and we suppose it is upon this
principle, that over the stocks in a town in Ireland there appears this
inscription: "A reward for vagabonds."

Upon proceeding further in our advertisement, which begins with "Murder,
Robbery, and Reward," we find, however, that contrary to the just
expectations raised by the title, the reward is promised, not to the
robbers and murderers, but to those who shall discover and prosecute
them to conviction. Here we were led into error by that hasty mode of
elision which sometimes obtains in the titles even of our English law
processes; as sci-fa, fi-fa, qui-tam, &c.; names which, to preserve the
glorious uncertainty of the law, never refer to the sense, but to the
first words of the writs.

In our newspaper, a formidable list of unanimous resolutions of various
committees and corps succeeds to the advertisement of murder,
robbery, and reward; and we have, at the close of each day's business,
thanksgivings, in various formulas, for the very proper, upright, or
spirited behaviour of our worthy, gallant, or respected chairman.
Now that a man may behave properly, or sit upright in a chair, we
can readily comprehend; but what are we to understand by a _spirited_
behaviour in a chair? Perhaps it alludes to the famous duel fought by a
gouty Irish gentleman in his arm chair. As the gallant chairman actually
in that position shot his adversary, it behoves us to _understand_ the
meaning of spirited behaviour in the chair.

We may, however, venture to hint, fas est et ab hoste doceri, that
in the publication of corps and committees, this formula should be
omitted--"Resolved _unanimously_ (with only _one_ dissentient
voice)." Here the obloquy, meant to rest on the one dissentient voice,
unfortunately falls upon the publishers of the disgrace, exposing them
to the ridicule of resolving an Irish bull. If this be a bull, however,
we are concerned to find it is matched by that of the government of
Munich, who published a catalogue of forbidden books, and afterwards,
under heavy penalties, forbade the reading of the catalogue. But this
might be done in the hurry occasioned by the just dread of revolutionary

What shall we say for the blunder of a French academician, in a time of
profound peace, who gave it as his opinion, that nothing should be read
in the public sittings of the academy "par dela ce qui est imposé par
les statuts: il motivait son avis en disant--En fait _d'inutilités_ il
ne faut que _le nécessaire_." If this speech had been made by a member
of the Royal Irish academy, it would have had the honour to be noticed
all over England as a bull. _The honour to be noticed_, we say, in
imitation of the exquisitely polite expression of a correspondent of the
English Royal Society, who talks of "the earthquake that had the honour
to be noticed by the Royal Society."

It will, we fear, be long before the Irish emerge so far from barbarism
as to write in this style. The Irish are, however, we are happy to
observe, making some little approaches to a refined and courtly style;
kings, and in imitation of them, great men, and all who think themselves
great--a numerous class--speak and write as much as possible in the
plural number instead of the singular. Instead of _I_, they always
say _we_; instead of _my, our_, according to the Italian idiom, which
flatters this humour so far as to make it a point of indispensable
politeness. It is, doubtless, in humble imitation of such illustrious
examples, that an Irishman of the lowest class, when he means to express
that he is a member of a committee, says, _I am a committee_; thus
consolidating the power, wisdom, and virtue of a whole committee in
his own person. Superior even to the Indian, who believes that he shall
inherit the powers and virtues of his enemies after he has destroyed
them;[30] this committee-man takes possession of the faculties of his
living friends and associates. When some of the _united men_, as they
called themselves, were examined, they frequently answered to the
questions, who, or what are you? I am a com'mittéé.

However extraordinary it may at first sound, to hear one man assert that
he is a whole committee, it is not more wonderful than that the whole
parliament of Bordeaux should be found in a one-horse chair.[31]

We forbear to descant further upon Irish committee-men, lest we should
call to mind, merely by the similarity of name, the times when England
had her committee-men, who were not perfectly free from all tinge of
absurdity. It is remarkable, that in times of popular ferment, a variety
of new terms are coined to serve purposes and passions of the moment. In
the days of the English committee-men this practice had risen to such
a height, that it was fair game for ridicule. Accordingly, Sir John
Birkenhead, about that time, found it necessary to publish, "_The
Children's Dictionary; an exact Collection of all New Words born since
Nov. 3, 1640, in Speeches, Prayers, and Sermons, as well those that
signify something as nothing_." We observe that it has been likewise
found necessary to publish, in France, _un Dictionnaire néologique_, a
dictionary of the new terms adopted since the revolution.

It must be supposed, that during the late disturbances in Ireland,
many _cant_ terms have been brought into use, which are not yet to be
reckoned amongst the acknowledged terms of the country. However
absurd these may be, they are not for our purpose proper subjects of
animadversion. Some countries have their birds of passage, and some
their follies of passage, which it is scarcely worth while to shoot as
they fly. It has been often said, that the language of a people is a
just criterion of their progress in civilization; but we must not take
a specimen of their vocabulary during the immediate prevalence of
any transient passion or prejudice. It is to be hoped, that all party
barbarisms in language will now be disused and forgotten; for some time
has elapsed since we read the following article of country intelligence
in a Dublin paper:--

"General ---- scoured the country yesterday, but had not the good
fortune to meet with a single rebel."

The author of this paragraph seems to have been a keen sportsman; he
regrets the not meeting with a single rebel, as he would the not meeting
with a single hare or partridge; and he justly considers the human biped
as fair game, to be hunted down by all who are properly qualified and
licensed by government. To the English, perhaps, it may seem a strange
subject of lamentation, that a general could not meet with a single
rebel in the county of Wicklow, when they have so lately been informed,
from the high authority of a noble lord, that Ireland was so disturbed,
that whenever he went out, he called as regularly for his pistols as for
his hat and gloves. Possibly, however, this was only a figure of speech,
like that of Bishop Wilkins, who prophesied that the time would come
when gentlemen, when they were to go a journey, would call for their
wings as regularly as they call for their boots.--We _believe_ that
the hyperboles of the privy-counsellor and the bishop are of equal



Madame de Sevigné observes, that there are few people sufficiently
candid, or sufficiently enlightened, to distinguish, in their judgments
of others, between those faults and mistakes which proceed from _manque
d'esprit_, and those which arise merely from _manque d'usage_. We
cannot appreciate the talents or character of foreigners, without
making allowance for their ignorance of our manners, of the idiom of our
language, and the multifarious significations of some of our words. A
French gentleman, who dined in London, in company with the celebrated
author of the Rambler, wishing to show him a mark of peculiar respect,
drank Dr. Johnson's health in these words: "Your health, Mr. Vagabond."
Assuredly no well-judging Englishman would undervalue the Frenchman's
abilities, because he mistook the meaning of the words Vagabond and
Rambler; he would recollect, that in old English and modern French
authors, vagabond means wanderer: des eaux vagabondes is a phrase far
from inelegant. But independently of this consideration, no well-bred
gentleman would put a foreigner out of countenance by openly laughing at
such a mistake: he would imitate the politeness of the Frenchman, who,
when Dr. Moore said, "I am afraid the expression I have just used is
not French," replied, "Non, monsieur--mais il mérite bien de l'être."
It would, indeed, be a great stretch of politeness to extend this to
our Irish neighbours: for no Irishism can ever deserve to be Anglicised,
though so many Gallicisms have of late not only been naturalized in
England, but even adopted by the most fashionable speakers and writers.
The mistaking a feminine for a masculine noun, or a masculine for a
feminine, must, in all probability, have happened to every Englishman
that ever opened his lips in Paris; yet without losing his reputation
for common sense. But when a poor Irish haymaker, who had but just
learned a few phrases of the English language by rote, mistook a
feminine for a masculine noun, and began his speech in a court of
justice with these words: "My lord, I am a poor widow," instead of, "My
lord, I am a poor widower;" it was sufficient to throw a grave judge and
jury into convulsions of laughter. It was formerly, in law, no murder to
kill a _merus Hibernicus_; and it is to this day no offence against good
manners to laugh at any of this species. It is of a thousand times more
consequence to have the laugh than the argument on our side, as all
those know full well who have any experience in the management of the
great or little vulgar. By the common custom and courtesy of England we
_have_ the laugh on our side: let us keep it by all means. All means
are justifiable to obtain a great end, as all great men maintain in
practice, if not in theory. We need not, in imitating them, have any
scruples of conscience; we need not apprehend, that to ridicule our
Hibernian neighbours unmercifully is unfriendly or ungenerous. Nations,
it has been well observed, are never generous in their conduct towards
each other. We must follow the common _custom_ of nations where we have
no _law_ to guide our proceedings. We must therefore carefully continue
the laudable practice of ridiculing the blunders, whether real or
imaginary, of Irishmen. In conversation, Englishmen are permitted
sometimes to blunder, but without ever being called blunderers. It
would, indeed, be an intolerable restraint upon social intercourse, if
every man were subject to be taxed for each inaccuracy of language--if
he were compelled to talk, upon all occasions, as if he were amenable to
a star-chamber of criticism, and surrounded by informers.

Much must be allowed in England for the licence of conversation; but by
no means must this conversation-licence be extended to the Irish. If,
for instance, at the convivial hour of dinner, when men are not usually
intent upon grammatical or mathematical niceties, an Irish gentleman
desires him "who rules the roast," to cut the sirloin of beef
_horizontally downwards_, let the mistake immediately be set down in our
note-books, and conned over, and got by heart; and let it be repeated to
all eternity as a bull. But if an English lady observe, when the candles
have long stood unsnuffed, that "those odious long wicks will soon grow
up to the ceiling," she can be accused only of an error of vision. We
conjure our readers to attend to these distinctions in their intercourse
with their Hibernian neighbours: it must be done habitually and
technically; and we must not listen to what is called reason; we
must not enter into any argument, pro or con, but silence every Irish
opponent, if we can, with a laugh.

The Abbé Girard, in his accurate work, "Synonymes François," makes a
_plausible_ distinction between _un âne_ et _un ignorant_; he says, "On
est âne par disposition: on est ignorant par défaut d'instruction."
An ignorant person may certainly, even in the very circumstances which
betray his ignorance, evince considerable ability. For instance, the
native Indian, who for the first time saw a bottle of porter uncorked,
and who expressed great astonishment at the quantity of froth which he
saw burst from the bottle, and much curiosity to know whether it could
all be put in again, showed even in his ignorance a degree of capacity,
which in different situations might have saved his life, or have made
his fortune. In the situation of the poor fisher-man, and the great
giant of smoke, who issued from the small vessel, well known to all
versed in the Arabian Tales, such acuteness would have saved his life;
and a similar spirit of inquiry, applied to chemistry, might, in modern
times, have made his fortune. Even where no positive abilities are
displayed at the time by those who manifest ignorance, we should not
(_except the culprits be natives of Ireland_) hastily give them up.
Ignorance of the most common objects is not only incident to certain
situations, but absolutely unavoidable; and the individuals placed in
those situations are no more blameable than they would be for becoming
blind in the snows of Lapland, or for having goitres amongst the Cretins
of Le Vallais. Would you blame the ignorant nuns who, insensible of the
danger of an eruption of Mount Vesuvius,[32] warmed themselves at the
burning lava which flowed up to the windows of their cells? or would
you think the French canoness an idiot who, at the age of fifty, was, on
account of her health, to go out of her convent, and asked, when she
met a cow for the first time, what strange animal that was? or would you
think that those poor children deserved to be stigmatized as fools,
who, after being confined for a couple of years in an English workhouse,
actually at eight years old had forgotten the names of a pig and a
calf?[33] their ignorance was surely more deplorable than ridiculous.
When the London young lady kept a collection of chicken-bones on her
plate at dinner, as a bonne-bouche for her brother's horse,[34] Dr.
Johnson would not suffer her to be called an idiot, but very judiciously
defended her, by maintaining, that her action merely demonstrated her
ignorant of points of natural history, on which a London miss had no
immediate opportunity of obtaining information. Had the world always
judged upon such subjects with similar candour, the reproachful cant
term of _cockney_ would never have been disgracefully naturalized in
the English language. This word, as we are informed by a learned
philologist, originated from the mistake of a learned citizen's son,
who having been bred up entirely in the metropolis, was so gloriously
ignorant of country life and country animals, that the first time he
heard a _cock_ crow, he called it _neighing_. If such a mistake had been
made by an Irishman, it would surely have been called a bull: it has,
at least, as good pretensions to the title as many mistakes made by
ignorant Hibernians; for instance, the well-known blunder relative to
the sphinx:--An uninformed Irishman, hearing the sphinx alluded to in
company whispered to a friend, "The sphinx! who is that now?"

"A monster-man."

"Oh, a _Munster_-man: I thought he was from Connaught," replied our
Irishman, determined not to seem totally unacquainted with the family.
Gross and ridiculous as this blunder appears, we are compelled by
candour to allow, that the affectation of showing knowledge has betrayed
to shame men far superior to our Hibernian, both in reputation and in
the means of acquiring knowledge.

Cardinal Richelieu, the Maecenas or would-be Maecenas of France, once
mistook the name of a noted grammarian, _Maurus Terentianus_, for a play
of Terence's. This is called by the French writer who records it, "une
_bévue_ bien grossière." However gross, a mistake can never be made into
a bull. We find _bévues_ French, English, Italian, German, Latin, and
Greek, of theologians, historians, antiquaries, poets, critics, and
translators, without end. The learned Budaeus takes Sir Thomas More's
Utopia for a true history; and proposes sending missionaries to work the
conversion of so wise a people as the Utopians. An English antiquary[35]
mistakes a tomb in a Gothic cathedral for the tomb of Hector. Pope, our
great poet, and prince of translators, mistakes _Dec. the 8th, Nov. the
5th_, of Cinthio, for Dec. 8th, Nov. 5th; and Warburton, his learned
critic, improves upon the blunder, by afterward writing the words
December and November at full length. Better still, because more comic,
is the blunder of a Frenchman, who, puzzled by the title of one of
Cibber's plays, "Love's Last Shift," translates it "La Dernière Chemise
de l'Amour." We laugh at these mistakes, and forget them; but who can
forget the blunder of the Cork almanack-maker, who informs the world
that the principal republics in _Europe_, are Venice, Holland, and

The blunders of men of all countries, except Ireland, do not affix an
indelible stigma upon individual or national character. A free pardon
is, and ought to be, granted by every Englishman to the vernacular and
literary errors of those who have the happiness to be born subjects of
Great Britain. What enviable privileges are annexed to the birth of an
Englishman! and what a misfortune it is to be a native of Ireland!



We have laid down the general law of bulls and blunders; but, as there
is no rule without an exception, we may perhaps allow an exception in
favour of little Dominick.

Little Dominick was born at Fort-Reilly, in Ireland, and bred nowhere
until his tenth year, when he was sent to Wales to learn manners and
grammar at the school of Mr. Owen ap Davies ap Jenkins ap Jones. This
gentleman had reason to think himself the greatest of men; for he had
over his chimney-piece a well-smoked genealogy, duly attested, tracing
his ancestry in a direct line up to Noah; and moreover he was nearly
related to the learned etymologist, who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth,
wrote a folio to prove that the language of Adam and Eve in Paradise was
pure Welsh. With such causes to be proud, Mr. Owen ap Davies ap
Jenkins ap Jones was excusable for sometimes seeming to forget that a
schoolmaster is but a man. He, however, sometimes entirely forgot that
a boy is but a boy; and this happened most frequently with respect to
little Dominick.

This unlucky wight was flogged every morning by his master, not for
his vices, but for his vicious constructions, and laughed at by his
companions every evening for his idiomatic absurdities. They would
probably have been inclined to sympathize in his misfortunes, but that
he was the only Irish boy at school; and as he was at a distance from
all his relations, and without a friend to take his part, he was a just
object of obloquy and derision. Every sentence he spoke was a bull;
every two words he put together proved a false concord; and every sound
he articulated betrayed the brogue. But as he possessed some of the
characteristic boldness of those who have been dipped in the Shannon, he
showed himself able and willing to fight his own battles with the host
of foes by whom he was encompassed. Some of these, it was said, were
of nearly twice his stature. This may be exaggerated, but it is certain
that our hero sometimes ventured with sly Irish humour to revenge
himself upon his most powerful tyrant by mimicking the Welsh accent,
in which Mr. Owen ap Jones said to him, "Cot pless me, you plockit, and
shall I never _learn_ you Enclish crammer?"

It was whispered in the ear of this Dionysius, that our little hero was
a mimick; and he was treated with increased severity.

The midsummer holydays approached; but he feared that they would shine
no holydays for him. He had written to his mother to tell her that
school would break up the 21st, and to beg an answer, without fail, by
return of post; but no answer came.

It was now nearly two months since he had heard from his dear mother
or any of his friends in Ireland. His spirits began to sink under the
pressure of these accumulated misfortunes: he slept little, ate less,
and played not at all; indeed nobody would play with him upon equal
terms, because he was nobody's equal; his schoolfellows continued to
consider him as a being, if not of a different species, at least of a
different _caste_ from themselves.

Mr. Owen ap Jones's triumph over the little Irish plockit was nearly
complete, for the boy's heart was almost broken, when there came to the
school a new scholar--oh, how unlike the others! His name was Edwards;
he was the son of a neighbouring Welsh gentleman; and he had himself the
spirit of a gentleman. When he saw how poor Dominick was persecuted, he
took him under his protection, fought his battles with the Welsh boys,
and, instead of laughing at him for speaking Irish, he endeavoured to
teach him to speak English. In his answers to the first question Edwards
ever asked him, little Dominick made two blunders, which set all his
other companions in a roar; yet Edwards would not allow them to be
genuine bulls.

In answer to the question, "Who is your father?" Dominick said, with a
deep sigh, "I have no father--I am an orphan[36]--I have only a mother."

"Have you any brothers and sisters?"

"No; I wish I had; perhaps they would love me, and not laugh at me,"
said Dominick, with tears in his eyes; "but I have no brothers but

One day Mr. Jones came into the schoolroom with an open letter in his
hand, saying, "Here, you little Irish plockit, here's a letter from your

The little Irish blockhead started from his form, and, throwing his
grammar on the floor, leaped up higher than he or any boy in the
school had ever been seen to leap before, and, clapping his hands, he
exclaimed, "A letter from my mother! And _will_ I hear the letter? And
_will_ I see her once more? And _will_ I go home these holydays? Oh,
then I will be too happy!"

"There's no tanger of that," said Mr. Owen ap Jones; "for your mother,
like a wise ooman, writes me here, that py the atvice of your cardian,
to oom she is coing to be married, she will not pring you home to
Ireland till I send her word you are perfect in your Enclish crammer at

"I have my lesson perfect, sir," said Dominick, taking his grammar up
from the floor; "_will_ I say it now?"

"_Will_ I say it now? No, you plockit, no; and I will write your mother
word you have proke Priscian's head four times this tay, since her
letter came. You Irish plockit!" continued the relentless grammarian,
"will you never learn the tifference between _shall_ and _will_? _Will_
I hear the letter, and _will_ I see her once more? What Enclish is this,

The Welsh boys all grinned, except Edwards, who hummed, loud enough to
be heard, two lines of the good old English song,

    "And _will_ I see him once again?
    And _will_ I hear him speak?"

Many of the boys were fortunately too ignorant to feel the force of the
quotation; but Mr. Owen ap Jones understood it, turned upon his heel,
and walked off. Soon afterwards he summoned Dominick to his awful desk;
and, pointing with his ruler to the following page in Harris's Hermes,
bade him "reat it, and understant it, if he could." Little Dominick
read, but could not understand.

"Then read it loud, you plockit."

Dominick read aloud--

"There is _nothing appears so clearly_ an object of the mind or
intellect only as _the future_ does, since we can find no place for its
existence any where else: not but the same, if we consider, is _equally
true_ of the past--"

"Well, co on--What stops the plockit? Can't you reat Enclish now?"

"Yes, sir; but I was trying to understand it. I was considering, that
this is like what they would call an Irish bull, if I had said it."

Little Dominick could not explain what he meant in English, that Mr.
Owen ap Jones _would_ understand; and, to punish him for his impertinent
observation, the boy was doomed to learn all that Harris and Lowth have
written to explain the nature of _shall_ and _will_. The reader, if
he be desirous of knowing the full extent of the penance enjoined, may
consult Lowth's Grammar, p. 52, ed. 1799, and Harris's Hermes, p. 10,
11, and 12, 4th edition. Undismayed at the length of his task, little
Dominick only said, "I hope, if I say it all without missing a word,
you will not give my mother a bad account of me and my grammar studies,

"Say it all first, without missing a word, and then I shall see what I
shall say," replied Mr. Owen ap Jones.

Even the encouragement of this oracular answer excited the boy's fond
hopes so keenly, that he lent his little soul to the task, learned it
perfectly, said it at night, without missing one word, to his friend
Edwards, and said it the next morning, without missing one word, to his

"And now, sir," said the boy, looking up, "will you write to my mother?
And _shall_ I see her? And _shall_ I go home?"

"Tell me first, whether you understant all this that you have learnt so
cliply," said Mr. Owen ap Jones.

That was more than his bond. Our hero's countenance fell: and he
acknowledged that he did not understand it perfectly.

"Then I cannot write a coot account of you and your crammer studies to
your mother; my conscience coes against it," said the conscientious Mr.
Owen ap Jones.

No entreaties could move him. Dominick never saw the letter that was
written to his mother; but he felt the consequence. She wrote word this
time punctually _by return of the post_, that she was sorry that she
could not send for him home these holydays, as she heard so bad an
account from Mr. Jones, &c. and as she thought it her duty not to
interrupt the course of his education, especially his grammar studies.
Little Dominick heaved many a sigh when he saw the packings-up of all
his school-fellows, and dropped a few tears as he looked out of the
window, and saw them, one after another, get on their Welsh ponies, and
gallop off towards their homes.

"I have no home to go to," said he.

"Yes, you have," cried Edwards; "and _our_ horses are at the door to
carry us there."

"To Ireland? me!--the horses!" said the poor boy, quite bewildered: "and
will they bring me to Ireland?"

"No; the horses cannot carry you to Ireland," said Edwards, laughing
good-naturedly, "but you have a home now in England. I asked my father
to let me _take_ you home with me; and he says 'Yes,' like a dear, good
father, and has sent the horses. Come, let's away."

"But will Mr. Jones let me go?"

"Yes; he dare not refuse; for my father has a living in his gift that
Jones wants, and which he will not have, if he do not change his tone to

Little Dominick could not speak one word, his heart was so full. No boy
could be happier than he was during these holydays: "the genial current
of his soul," which had been frozen by unkindness, flowed with all its
natural freedom and force. When Dominick returned to school after these
holydays were over, Mr. Owen ap Jones, who now found that the Irish boy
had an English protector with a living in his gift, changed his tone.
He never more complained unjustly that Dominick broke Priscian's head,
seldom called him Irish plockit, and once would have flogged a Welsh boy
for taking up this cast-off expression of the master's, but the Irish
blockhead begged the culprit off.

Little Dominick sprang forward rapidly in his studies: he soon surpassed
every boy in the school, his friend Edwards only excepted. In process of
time his guardian removed him to a higher seminary of education. Edwards
had a tutor at home. The friends separated. Afterwards they followed
different professions in distant parts of the world; and they neither
saw nor heard any more of each other for many years. From boys they
grew into men, and Dominick, now no longer little Dominick, went over to
India as private secretary to one of our commanders in chief. How he got
into this situation, or by what gradations he rose in the world, we are
not exactly informed: we know only that he was the reputed author of
a much-admired pamphlet on Indian affairs; that the despatches of the
general to whom he was secretary were remarkably well written, and
that Dominick O'Reilly, Esq. returned to England, after several years'
absence, not miraculously rich, but with a fortune equal to his wishes.
His wishes were not extravagant: his utmost ambition was to return
to his native country with a fortune that should enable him to live
independently of all the world, especially of some of his relations, who
had not used him well. His mother was no more.

Upon his arrival in London, one of the first things he did was to read
the Irish newspapers.--To his inexpressible joy, he saw the estate of
Fort-Reilly advertised to be sold--the very estate which had formerly
belonged to his own family. Away he posted directly to an attorney's who
was empowered to dispose of the land.

When this attorney produced a map of the well-known pleasure-ground, and
an elevation of that house in which he had spent the happiest hours
of his infancy, his heart was so touched, that he was on the point of
paying down more for an old ruin than a good new house would cost.
The attorney acted _honestly by his client_, and seized this moment to
exhibit a plan of the stabling and offices, which, as sometimes is the
case in Ireland, were in a style far superior to the dwelling-house.
Our hero surveyed these with transport. He rapidly planned various
improvements in imagination, and planted certain favourite spots in the
pleasure-ground. During this time the attorney was giving directions to
a clerk about some other business: suddenly the name of _Owen ap Jones_
struck his ear--He started.

"Let him wait in the front parlour; his money is not forthcoming," said
the attorney; "and if he keep Edwards in gaol till he rots."

"Edwards! Good heavens!--in gaol! What Edwards?" exclaimed our hero.

It was his friend Edwards.

The attorney told him that Mr. Edwards had been involved in great
distress by taking upon himself his father's debts, which had been
incurred in exploring a mine in Wales; that of all the creditors none
had refused to compound, except a Welsh parson, who had been presented
to his living by old Edwards; and that this Mr. Owen ap Jones had thrown
young Mr. Edwards into gaol for the debt.

"What is the rascal's demand? He shall be paid off this instant," cried
Dominick, throwing down the plan of Fort-Reilly: "send for him up, and
let me pay him off upon the spot."

"Had not we best finish our business first, about the O'Reilly estate,
sir?" said the attorney.

"No, sir; damn the O'Reilly estate," cried he, huddling the maps
together on the desk, and taking up the bank notes, which he had begun
to reckon for the purchase money. "I beg your pardon, sir. If you knew
the facts, you would excuse me. Why does not this rascal come up to be

The attorney, thunderstruck by this Hibernian impetuosity, had not yet
found time to take his pen out of his mouth. As he sat transfixed in his
arm-chair, O'Reilly ran to the head of the stairs, and called out in a
stentorian voice, "Here, you Mr. Owen ap Jones; come up and be paid off
this instant, or you shall never be paid _at all_."

Up stairs hobbled the old schoolmaster, as fast as the gout and Welsh
ale would let him. "Cot pless me, that voice," he began--

"Where's your bond, sir?" said the attorney.

"Safe here, Cot be praised," said the terrified Owen ap Jones, pulling
out of his bosom, first a blue pocket-handkerchief, and then a tattered
Welsh grammar, which O'Reilly kicked to the farther end of the room.

"Here is my bond," said he, "in the crammer," which he gathered from
the ground; then fumbling over the leaves, he at length unfolded the
precious deposit.

O'Reilly saw the bond, seized it, looked at the sum, paid it into the
attorney's hands, tore the seal from the bond; then, without looking at
old Jones, whom he dared not trust himself to speak to, he clapped his
hat upon his head, and rushed out of the room. Arrived at the King's
Bench prison, he hurried to the apartment where Edwards was confined.
The bolts flew back; for even the turnkeys seemed to catch our hero's

"Edwards, my dear boy! how do you do? Here's a bond debt, justly due to
you for my education. Oh, never mind asking any unnecessary questions;
only just make haste out of this undeserved abode: our old rascal is
paid off--Owen ap Jones, you know.--Well, how the man stares! Why, now,
will you have the assurance to pretend to forget who I am? and must I
_spake_," continued he, assuming the tone of his childhood, "and must I
_spake_ to you again in my ould Irish brogue before you will ricollict
your own _little Dominick_?"

When his friend Edwards was out of prison, and when our hero had leisure
to look into business, he returned to the attorney to see that Mr. Owen
ap Jones had been legally satisfied.

"Sir," said the attorney, "I have paid the plaintiff in this suit; and
he is satisfied: but I must say," added he, with a contemptuous smile,
"that you Irish gentlemen are rather in too great a hurry in doing
business: business, sir, is a thing that must be done slowly to be done

"I am ready now to do business as slowly as you please; but when my
friend was in prison, I thought the quicker I did his business the
better. Now tell me what mistake I have made, and I will rectify it

"_Instantly!_ 'Tis well, sir, with your promptitude, that you have to
deal with what prejudice thinks uncommon--an honest attorney. Here are
some bank notes of yours, sir, amounting to a good round sum. You made a
little blunder in this business: you left me the penalty, instead of the
principal, of the bond--just twice as much as you should have done."

"Just twice as much as was in the bond, but not twice as much as
I should have done, nor half as much as I should have done, in my
opinion," said O'Reilly; "but whatever I did was with my eyes open:
I was persuaded you were an honest man; in which you see I was not
mistaken; and as a man of business, I knew you would pay Jones only his
due. The remainder of the money I meant, and mean, should lie in your
hands for my friend Edwards's use. I feared he would not have taken it
from my hands: I therefore left it in yours. To have taken my friend out
of prison merely to let him go back again to-day, for want of money to
keep himself clear with the world, would have been a blunder indeed,
but not an Irish blunder: our Irish blunders are never blunders of the



No _well-informed_ Englishman would laugh at the blunders of such a
character as little Dominick; but there are people who justify the
assertion, that laughter always arises from a sense of real or imaginary
superiority. Now if it be true, that laughter has its source in vanity,
as the most ignorant are generally the most vain, they must enjoy
this pleasure in its highest perfection. Unconscious of their own
deficiencies, and consequently fearless of becoming in their turn the
objects of ridicule, they enjoy in full security the delight of humbling
their superiors. How much are they to be admired for the courage with
which they apply, on all occasions, their test of truth! Wise men may be
struck with admiration, respect, doubt, or humility; but the ignorant,
happily unconscious that they know nothing, can be checked in their
merriment by no consideration, human or divine. Theirs is the sly sneer,
the dry joke, and the horse laugh: theirs the comprehensive range of
ridicule, which takes "every creature in, of every kind." No fastidious
delicacy spoils their sports of fancy: though ten times told, the tale
to them never can be tedious; though dull "as the fat weed that grows on
Lethe's bank," the jest for them has all the poignancy of satire: on the
very offals, the garbage of wit, they can feed and batten. Happy they
who can find in every jester the wit of Sterne or Swift; who else can
wade through hundreds of thickly-printed pages to obtain for their
reward such witticisms as the following:--

"Two Irishmen having travelled on foot from Chester to Barnet, were
confoundedly tired and fatigued by their journey; and the more so when
they were told that they had still about ten miles to go. 'By my shoul
and St. Patrick,' cries one of them, 'it is but five miles a-piece.'"

Here, notwithstanding the promise of a jest held forth by the words, "By
my shoul and St. Patrick," we are ultimately cheated of our hopes. To
the ignorant, indeed, the word of promise is kept to the mind as well as
to the ear; but others perceive that, instead of a bull, they have only
a piece of sentimental arithmetic, founded upon the elegant theorem,
that friendship doubles all our pleasures, and divides all our pains.

We must not, from false delicacy to our countrymen, here omit a piece
of advice to English retailers or inventors of Irish blunders. Let them
beware of such prefatory exclamations as--"_By my shoul and St. Patrick!
By Jasus! Arrah, honey! My dear joy!_" &c., because all such phrases,
besides being absolutely out of date and fashion in Ireland, raise too
high an expectation in the minds of a British audience, operating as
much to the disadvantage of the story-teller as the dangerous exordium
of--"I'll tell you an excellent story;" an exordium ever to be avoided
by all prudent wits.

Another caution should be given to well-meaning ignorance. Never produce
that as an Irish bull for which any person of common literature can
immediately supply a precedent from our best authors. Never be at the
pains, for instance, of telling, from Joe Miller, a _good_ story of an
_Irish_ sailor, who _travelled_ with Captain Cook _round_ the world, and
afterwards swore to his companions that it was as flat as a table.

This anecdote, however excellent, immediately finds a parallel in Pope:

    "Mad Mathesis alone was unconfined,
    Too mad for mere material chains to bind;
    Now to pure space lifts her ecstatic stare,
    Now running _round_ the circle finds it square."

Pope was led into the blunder of representing Mad Mathesis running
_round the circle_, and finding it _square_ by a confused notion that
mathematicians had considered the circle as composed of straight lines.
His mathematical friends could have told him, that though it was talked
of as a polygon, it was not supposed to be a square; but _polygon_ would
not have rhymed to _stare_; and poets, when they launch into the ocean
of words, must have an eye to the helm; at all events a poet, who is not
supposed to be a student of the exact sciences, may be forgiven for a
mathematical blunder. This affair of squaring the circle seems to be
peculiarly liable to error; for even an accurate mathematician cannot
speak of it without committing something very like a bull.

Dr. Hutton, in his Treatise on Mensuration, p. 119, says, "As the
_famous_ quadrature of the late Mr. John Machin, professor of astronomy
in Gresham College, is extremely expeditious and _but little known_, I
shall take this opportunity of explaining it."

It is to be presumed, that the doctor here uses the word _famous_
in that acceptation in which it is daily and hourly employed by our
Bond-street loungers, by city apprentices, and men of the ton. "That was
a _famous_ good joke;" "He is a _famous_ whip;" "We had a _famous_ hop,"
&c. Now it cannot be supposed that any of these things are in themselves
entitled to fame; but they may, indeed, by the courtesy of England, be
at once _famous_, and but little known. It is unnecessary to enter into
the defence either of Dr. Hutton or of Pope, for they were not born in
Ireland, therefore they cannot make bulls; and assuredly their mistakes
will not, in the opinion of any person of common sense or candour,
derogate from their reputation.

"Never strike till you are sure to wound," is a maxim well known to the
polite[37] and politic part of the world. "Never laugh when the laugh
can be turned against you," should be the maxim of those who find their
chief pleasure in making others ridiculous. This principle, if applied
to our subject, would lead, however, to a very extensive and troublesome
system of mutual forbearance; troublesome in proportion to the good or
ill humour of the parties concerned; extensive in proportion to their
knowledge and acquirements. A man of cultivated parts will foresee the
possibility of the retort courteous, where an ignorant man will enjoy
the fearless bliss of ignorance. For example, an illiterate person may
enjoy a hearty laugh at the common story of an old Irish beggar-man,
who, pretending to be dumb, was thrown off his guard by the question,
"How many years have you been dumb?" and answered, "Five years last St.
John's Eve, please your honour."

But our triumph over the Irishman abates, when we recollect in the
History of England, and in Shakspeare, the case of Saunder Simcox, who
pretended to be miraculously and instantaneously cured of blindness at
St. Alban's shrine.

Since we have bestowed so much criticism on the blunder of a beggar-man,
a word or two must be permitted on the blunder of a thief. It is natural
for ignorant people to laugh at the Hibernian who said that he had
stolen a pound of chocolate _to make tea of_. But philosophers are
disposed to abstain from the laugh of superiority when they recollect
that the Irishman could probably make as good tea from chocolate as the
chemist could make butter, sugar, and cream, from antimony, sulphur, and
tartar. The absurdities in the ancient chemical nomenclature could not
be surpassed by any in the Hibernian catalogue. If the reader should
think this a rash and unwarrantable assertion, we refer him to an
essay,[38] in which the flagrant abuses of speech in the old language of
chemistry are admirably exposed and ridiculed. Could an Irishman
confer a more appropriate appellation upon a white powder than that of
_beautiful black_?

It is really provoking to perceive, that as our knowledge of science
or literature extends, we are in more danger of finding, in our own and
foreign languages, parallels and precedents for Irish blunders; so
that a very well informed man can scarcely with any grace or conscience
smile, where a booby squire might enjoy a long and loud horse-laugh of

What crowds were collected to see the Irish bottle conjuror[39] get into
a quart bottle; but Dr. Desaguliers had prepared the English to think
such a condensation of animal particles not impossible. He says, vol. i.
p. 5, of his Lectures on Natural Philosophy, "that the nature of things
should last, and their natural course continue the same; all the
changes made in bodies must arise only from the various separations, new
conjunctions, and motions, of these original particles. _These must be
imagined of an unconceivable smallness_, but by the union of them there
are made bigger lumps," &c.

Indeed things are now come to such a lamentable pass, that without
either literary or scientific acquirements, mere local knowledge, such
as can be obtained from a finger-post, may sometimes prevent us from the
full enjoyment of the Boeotian absurdity of our neighbours. What can,
at first view, appear a grosser blunder than that of the Irishman who
begged a friend to look over his library, to find for him the history
of the world before the creation? Yet this anachronism of ideas is not
unparalleled; it is matched, though on a more contracted scale, by an
inscription on a British finger-post--

   "Had you seen these roads before they were made,
    You'd lift up your eyes, and bless Marshal Wade!"

There is, however, a rabbi, mentioned by Bayle, who far exceeds both
the Irishman and the finger-post. He asserts, that Providence questioned
Adam concerning the creation before he was born; and that Adam knew more
of the matter than the angels who had laughed at him.

Those who see things in a philosophical light must have observed
more frequently than others, that there is in this world a continual
recurrence or rotation of ideas, events, and blunders. With his utmost
ingenuity, or his utmost absurdity, a man, in modern days, cannot
contrive to produce a system for which there is no prototype in
antiquity, or to commit a blunder for which there is no precedent. For
example: during the late rebellion in Ireland, at the military execution
of some wretched rebel, the cord broke, and the criminal, who had been
only half hanged, fell to the ground. The Major, who was superintending
the execution, exclaimed, "You rascal, if you do that again, I'll kill
you, as sure as you breathe."

Now this is by no means an original idea. In an old French book, called
"La Charlatanerie des Savans," is the following note:--"D'autres ont
proposé et résolu en même tems des questions ridicules; par exemple
celle-ci: Devroit-on faire souffrir une seconde fois le même genre
de mort à un criminel, qui après avoir eu la tête coupée viendroit à
résusciter?"--_Finkelth_, Praef. ad Observationes Pract. num. 12.

The passionate major, instead of being a mere Irish _blunderer_, was,
without knowing it, a learned casuist; for he was capable of deciding,
in one word, a question, which, it seems, had puzzled the understandings
of the ablest lawyers of France, or which had appalled their
conscientious sensibility.

Alas! there is nothing new under the sun.

    "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."



We lamented, in our last chapter, that there is nothing new under the
sun; yet, perhaps, the thoughts and phraseology of the following story
may not be familiar to the English.

"Plase your honour," says a man, whose head is bound up with a garter,
in token and commemoration of his having been at a fair the preceding
night--"Plase your honour, it's what I am striving since six o'clock and
before, this morning, becààse I'd sooner trouble your honour's honour
than any man in all Ireland, on account of your character, and having
lived under your family, me and mine, twinty years, aye, say forty again
to the back o' that, in the old gentleman's time, as I well remember
before I was born; that same time I heard tell of your own honour's
riding a little horse in green with your gun before you, a grousing over
our town-lands, which was the mill and abbey of Ballynagobogg, though
'tis now set away from me (owing to them that belied my father) to
Christy Salmon, becààse he's an Orangeman--or his wife--though he was
once (let him deny it who can), to _my certain knowledge_, behind the
haystack in Tullygore, _sworn_ in a United man by Captain Alick, who
was hanged----Pace to the dead any how!------Well, not to be talking too
much of that now, only for this Christy Salmon, I should be still living
under your honour."

"Very likely; but what has all this to do with the present business? If
you have any complaint to make against Christy Salmon, make it--if not,
let me go to dinner."

"Oh, it would be too bad to be keeping your honour from your dinner, but
I'll make your honour sinsible immadiately. It is not of Christy Salmon
at-all-at-all I'm talking. May be your honour is not sinsible yet who I
am--I am Paddy M'Doole, of the Curragh, and I've been a flax-dresser and
dealer since I parted your honour's land, and was last night at the fair
of Clonaghkilty, where I went just in a quiet way thinking of nothing at
all, as any man might, and had my little yarn along with me, my wife's
and the girl's year's spinning, and all just hoping to bring them back
a few honest shillings as they desarved--none better!--Well, plase your
honour, my beast lost a shoe, which brought me late to the fair, but not
so late but what it was as throng as ever; you could have walked over
the heads of the men, women, and childer, a foot and a horseback, all
buying and selling; so I to be sure thought no harm of doing the like;
so I makes the best bargain I could of the little hanks for my wife
and the girl, and the man I sold them to was just weighing them at the
crane, and I standing forenent him--'Success to myself!'said I, looking
at the shillings I was putting into my waistcoat pocket for my poor
family, when up comes the inspector, whom I did not know, I'll take my
oath, from Adam, nor couldn't know, becááse he was the deputy inspector,
and had been but just made, of which I was ignorant, by this book and
all the books that ever were shut and opened--but no matter for that; he
seizes my hanks out of the scales that I had just sold, saying they were
unlawful and forfeit, becááse by his watch it was past four o'clock,
which I denied to be possible, plase your honour, becááse not one, nor
two, nor three, but all the town and country were selling the same as
myself in broad day, only when the deputy came up they stopped, which I
could not, by rason I did not know him.--'Sir,' says I (very civil), 'if
I had known you, it would have been another case, but any how I hope
no jantleman will be making it a crime to a poor man to sell his little
matter of yarn for his wife and childer after four o'clock, when he did
not know it was contrary to law at-all-at-all.'

"'I gave you notice that it was contrary to law at the fair of
Edgerstown,' said he.--'I axe your pardon, sir,' said I, 'it was my
brother, for I was by.' With that he calls me liar, and what not,
and takes a grip[40] of me, and I a grip of my flax, and he had a
shilala[41] and I had none; so he gave it me over the head, I crying
'murder! murder!' and clinging to the scales to save me, and they set
a swinging and I with them, plase your honour, till the bame comes down
a'top o' the back o' my head, and _kilt_ me, as your honour sees."

"I see that you are alive still, I think."

"It's not his fault if I am, plase your honour, for he left me for
dead, and I am as good as dead still: if it be plasing to your honour to
examine my head, you'll be sinsible I'm telling nothing but the truth.
Your honour never _seen_ a man kilt as I was and am--all which I'm ready
(when convanient) to swear before your honour." [42]

The reiterated assurances which this hero gives us of his being killed,
and the composure with which he offers to swear to his own assassination
and decease, appear rather surprising and ludicrous to those who are not
aware that _kilt_ is here used in a metaphorical sense, and that it has
not the full force of our word killed. But we have been informed by
a lady of unquestionable veracity, that she very lately received a
petition worded in this manner--

  "To the Right Hon. Lady E---- P----.
  "Humbly showeth;
  "That your poor petitioner is now lying dead in a ditch," &c.

This poor Irish petitioner's expression, however preposterous it sounds,
might perhaps be justified, if we were inclined to justify an Irishman
by the example, not only of poets comic and tragic, but of prose writers
of various nations. The evidence in favour both of the fact and the
belief, that people can speak and walk after they are dead, is attested
by stout warriors and grave historians. Let us listen to the solemn
voice of a princess, who comes sweeping in the sceptred pall of gorgeous
tragedy, to inform us that half herself has buried the other half.

    "Weep, eyes; melt into tears these cheeks to lave:
    One half myself lays t'other in the grave." [43]

For six such lines as these Corneille received six thousand livres, and
the admiration of the French court and people during the Augustan age of
French literature. But an Italian is not content with killing by halves.
Here is a man from Italy who goes on fighting, not like Witherington,
upon his stumps, but fairly after he is dead.

    "Nor yet perceived the vital spirit fled,
    But still fought on, nor knew that he was dead." [44]

Common sense is somewhat shocked at this single instance of an
individual fighting after he is dead; but we shall, doubtless, be
reconciled to the idea by the example of a gallant and modern commander,
who has declared his opinion, that nothing is more feasible than for a
garrison to fight, or at least to surrender, after they are dead, nay,
after they are buried.--Witness this public document.

          "Liberty and Equality.
        "May 29th,     |  Garrison of Ostend.
      30th Floréal, 6  |

  "Muscar, commandant of Ostend, to the commandant in
  chief of his British majesty.


  "The council of war was sitting when I received the honour
  of your letters. We have unanimously resolved not to surrender
  the place until we shall have been buried in its ruins," &c.

One step further in hyperbole is reserved for him, who, being buried,
carries about his own sepulchre.

  "To live a life half dead, a living death,
  And buried; but oh, yet more miserable!
  Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave!"

No person, if he heard this passage for the first time from the lips
of an Irishman, could hesitate to call it a series of bulls; yet these
lines are part of the beautiful complaint of Samson Agonistes on his
blindness. Such are the hyperboles sanctioned by the genius, or, what
with some judges may have more influence, the name of Milton. The bounds
which separate sublimity from bombast, and absurdity from wit, are as
fugitive as the boundaries of taste. Only those who are accustomed
to examine and appraise literary goods are sensible of the prodigious
change that can be made in their apparent value by a slight change in
the manufacture. The absurdity of a man's swearing he was killed, or
declaring that he is now dead in a ditch, is revolting to common sense;
yet the _living death_ of Dapperwit, in the "Rape of the Lock," is not
absurd, but witty; and representing men as dying many times before their
death is in Shakspeare sublime:

"Cowards die many times before their death; The brave can never taste of
death but once."

The most direct contradictions in words do not (_in English writers_)
destroy the eflect of irony, wit, pathos, or sublimity.

In the classic ode on Eton College, the poet exclaims--

    "To each their sufferings, all are men
      Condemned alike to groan;
    The feeling for another's pain,
      Th' _unfeeling_ for their own."

Who but a half-witted dunce would ask how those that are unfeeling can
have sufferings? When Milton in melodious verse inquires,

    "Who shall tempt with _wandering feet_
    The dark _unbottom'd_ infinite abyss,
    And through the _palpable obscure_ find out
    His uncouth way!"--

what Zoilus shall dare interrupt this flow of poetry to object to the
palpable obscure, or to ask how feet can wander upon that which has no

It is easy, as Tully has long ago observed, to fix the brand of ridicule
upon the _verbum ardens_ of orators and poets--the "Thoughts that
breathe, and words that burn."



As we have not hitherto been successful in finding original Irish bulls
in language, we must now look for them in conduct. A person may be
guilty of a solecism without uttering a single syllable--"That man has
been guilty of a solecism with his hand," an ancient critic said of an
actor, who had pointed his hand upwards when invoking the infernal gods.
"You may act a lie as well as speak one," says Wollaston. Upon the same,
principle, the Irish may be said to act, as well as to utter bulls. We
shall give some instances of their practical bulls, which we hope
to find unmatched by the blunders of all other nations. Most people,
whether they be savage or civilized, can contrive to revenge themselves
upon their enemies without blundering; but the Irish are exceptions.
They cannot even do this without _a bull_. During the late Irish
rebellion, there was a banker to whom they had a peculiar dislike, and
on whom they had vowed vengeance: accordingly they got possession of as
many of his bank-notes as they could, and made a bonfire of them! This
might have been called a feu de joie, perhaps, but certainly not un
feu d'artifice; for nothing could show less art than burning a banker's
notes in order to destroy his credit. How much better do the English
understand the arts of vengeance! Captain Drinkwater[45] informs us,
that during the siege of Gibraltar, the English, being half famished,
were most violently enraged against the Jews, who withheld their stores
of provision, and made money of the public distress--a crime _never
committed except by Jews:_ at length the fleet relieved the besieged,
and as soon as the provisions were given out, the English soldiers and
sailors, to revenge themselves upon the Jews, burst open their stores,
and actually roasted a pig at a fire made of cinnamon. There are other
persons, as well as the Irish, who do not always understand their own
interests where their passions are concerned. That great warrior, Hyder
Ali, once lost a battle by a practical bull. Being encamped within sight
of the British, he resolved to give them a high idea of his forces
and of his artillery; for this purpose, before the engagement,[46] he
ordered his army to march early, and conveying some large pieces of
cannon to the top of a hill, he caused them to be pointed at the English
camp, which they reached admirably well, and occasioned a kind of
disorder and haste in striking and removing tents, &c. Hyder, delighted
at having thus insulted the English, caused all his artillery, even the
very smallest pieces, to be drawn up the hill for the purpose of making
a vain parade, though the greater part of the balls could never reach
the English: he imagined he should give the enemy a high idea of his
forces, and intimidate them by showing all his artillery, and the
vivacity with which it was worked; and in order that his intention might
be answered, he encouraged the soldiers himself, by giving money to the
cannoneers of those pieces that appeared to be the best served.

The English presently, after this farce was over, obliged Hyder to come
down from labour-in-vain hill and to give them battle in earnest. As the
historian observes, "The ridiculous cannonade at the top of the hill
had exhausted his ammunition, his great guns were useless to him, and
he lost the day by his premature rejoicings before the battle." A
still more ancient precedent for this preposterous practical bull, of
rejoicing for an anticipated victory, was given by Xerxes, we believe,
who brought with him an immense block of marble, on which he intended to
inscribe the date and manner of his victory over the Greeks. When Xerxes
was defeated, the Greeks dedicated this stone to Nemesis, the goddess of
vengeance. But Xerxes was in the habit of making practical bulls, such
as whipping the sea, and begging pardon for it afterwards; throwing
fetters into the Hellespont as a token of subjugation, and afterwards
expiating his offence by an offering of a golden cup and Persian

To such blunders can the passions betray the most renowned heroes,
although they had not the misfortune to have been born in Ireland.

The impatience which induced Hyder Ali to anticipate victory is not
confined to military men and warlike operations; if we descend to common
life and vulgar business, we shall find the same disposition even in the
precincts of Change-alley: those who bargained for South Sea stock, that
was not actually forthcoming, were called _bears_, in allusion to the
practice of the hunters of bears in Canada, who were accustomed to
bargain for the skin of the bear before it was caught; but whence the
correlative term _bull_ is derived we are at a loss to determine, and we
must also leave it to the mercantile speculators of England to explain
why gentlemen call themselves bulls of wheat and bulls of coals: all we
can say is, that these are not Irish bulls. There is one distinguished
peculiarity of the Irish bull--_its horns are tipped with brass_.[47]
It is generally supposed that persons who have been dipped in the
Shannon[48] are ever afterwards endowed with a supernatural portion
of what is called, by enemies, impudence or assurance, by friends,
self-possession or _civil courage_. These invulnerable mortals are never
oppressed with _mauvaise honte_, that malady which keeps the faculties
of the soul under imaginary imprisonment. A well-dipped Irishman, on the
contrary, can move, speak, think, like Demosthenes, with as much ease,
when the eyes of numbers are upon him, as if the spectators were so many
cabbage-stalks. This virtue of _civil courage_ is of inestimable value
in the opinion of the best judges. The great Lord Verulam--no one,
by-the-by, could be a better judge of its value than he, who wanted it
so much--the great Lord Verulam declares, that if he were asked what
is the first, second, and third thing necessary to success in public
business, he should answer boldness, boldness, boldness. Success to the
nation which possesses it in perfection! Bacon was too acute and candid
a philosopher not to acknowledge, that like all the other goods of life
this same boldness has its countervailing disadvantages.

"Certainly," says he, "to men of great judgment, bold persons are a
sport to behold; nay, and to the vulgar, boldness hath somewhat of the
ridiculous; for if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not
but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity; especially it is a
sport to see when a bold fellow is out of countenance, for that puts his
face into a most shrunken and wooden posture, as needs it must."

The man, however, who possesses boldness in perfection, can never be put
out of countenance, and consequently can never exhibit, for the sport
of his enemies, a face in this wooden posture. It is the deficiency,
and not the excess of this quality, that is to be feared. Civil boldness
without military courage would, indeed, be somewhat ridiculous: but
we cannot accuse the Irish of any want of military courage; on the
contrary, it is supposed in England, that an Irishman is always ready
_to give any gentleman satisfaction_, even when none is desired.

At the close of the American war, as a noble lord of high naval
character was returning home to his family after various escapes from
danger, he was detained a day at Holyhead by contrary winds. Reading in
a summer-house, he heard the well-known sound of bullets whistling near
him: he looked about, and found that two balls had just passed through
the door close beside him; he looked out of the window, and saw two
gentlemen who were just charging their pistols again, and, as he guessed
that they had been shooting at a mark upon the door, he rushed out, and
very civilly remonstrated with them on the imprudence of firing at the
door of a house without having previously examined whether any one was
withinside. One of them immediately answered, in a tone which proclaimed
at once his disposition and his country, "Sir, I did not know you
were within there, and I don't know who you are now; but if I've given
offence, I am willing," said he, holding out the ready-charged pistols,
"to give you the _satisfaction of a gentleman_--take your choice."

With his usual presence of mind the noble lord seized hold of both the
pistols, and said to his astonished countryman, "Do me the justice, sir,
to go into that summer-house, shut the door, and let me have two shots
at you; then we shall be upon equal terms, and I shall be quite at your
service to give or receive the _satisfaction of a gentleman_."

There was an air of drollery and of superiority in his manner which
at once struck and pleased the Hibernian. "Upon my conscience, sir, I
believe you are a very honest fellow," said he, looking him earnestly
in the face, "and I have a great mind to shake hands with you. Will you
only just tell me who you are?"

The nobleman told his name--a name dear to every Briton and every

"I beg your pardon, and that's what no man ever accused me of doing
before," cried the gallant Hibernian; "and had I known who you were, I
would as soon have _shot my own soul_ as have fired at the door. But how
could I tell who was withinside?"

"That is the very thing of which I complain," said his lordship.

His candid opponent admitted the justice of the complaint as soon as
he understood it, and he promised never more to be guilty of such a
practical bull.



Upon looking over our last chapter on practical bulls, we were much
concerned to find that we have so few Irish and so many foreign
blunders. It is with still more regret we perceive, that notwithstanding
our utmost diligence, we have not yet been able to point out the
distinguishing characteristic of an Irish bull. But to compensate for
this disappointment we have devised a syllogism, which some people may
prefer to an à priori argument, to prove irrefragably, that the Irish
are blunderers.

After the instances we have produced, chapter 6th, of the _verbum
ardens_ of English and foreign poets, and after the resemblance that we
have pointed out betwixt certain figures of rhetoric and the Irish bull,
we have little reason to fear that the candid and enlightened reader
should object to our major.

_Major_.--Those who use figurative language are disposed to make bulls.

_Minor_.--The Irish use figurative language.

_Conclusion_.--Therefore the Irish are disposed to make bulls.

We proceed to establish the truth of our minor, and the first evidence
we shall call is a Dublin shoeblack. He is not in circumstances
peculiarly favourable for the display of figurative language; he is in
a court of justice, upon his trial for life or death. A quarrel happened
between two shoeblacks, who were playing at what in England is called
pitch-farthing, or heads and tails, and in Ireland, head or harp. One of
the combatants threw a small paving stone at his opponent, who drew out
the knife with which he used to scrape shoes, and plunged it up to the
hilt in his companion's breast. It is necessary for our story to say,
that near the hilt of this knife was stamped the name of Lamprey, an
eminent cutler in Dublin. The shoeblack was brought to trial. With a
number of significant gestures, which on his audience had all the powers
that Demosthenes ascribes to action, he, in a language not purely Attic,
gave the following account of the affair to his judge.

"Why, my l_a_rd, as I was going past the Royal Exchange I meets Billy.
'Billy,' says I, 'will you sky a copper?' 'Done,' says he; 'Done,' says
I; and done and done's enough between two jantlemen. With that I ranged
them fair and even with my hook-em-snivey--up they go. 'Music!' says
he--'Skulls!' says I; and down they come, three brown mazards. 'By the
holy! you flesh'd 'em,' says he. 'You lie,' says I. With that he ups
with a lump of a two year old, and lets drive at me. I outs with my
bread-earner, and gives it him up to Lamprey in the bread-basket."

To make this intelligible to the English, some comments are necessary.
Let us follow the text, step by step, and it will afford our readers, as
Lord Kames says of Blair's Dissertation on Ossian, a delicious morsel of

_As I was going past the Royal Exchange I meets Billy._

In this apparently simple exordium, the scene and the meeting with Billy
are brought before the eye by the judicious use of the present tense.

_Billy, says I, will you sky a copper?_

A copper! genus pro specie! the generic name of copper for the base
individual halfpenny.

_Sky a copper._

_To sky_ is a new verb, which none but a master hand could have coined:
a more splendid metonymy could not be applied upon a more trivial
occasion; the lofty idea of raising a metal to the skies is substituted
for the mean thought of tossing up a halfpenny. Our orator compresses
his hyperbole into a single word. Thus the mind is prevented from
dwelling long enough upon the figure to perceive its enormity. This is
the perfection of the art. Let the genius of French exaggeration and of
eastern hyperbole hide their diminished heads--Virgil is scarcely more

    "Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit."

    "Her feet on earth, her head amidst the clouds."

Up they go, continues our orator.

_Music! says he--Skulls! says I._

Metaphor continually: on one side of an Irish halfpenny there is a harp;
this is expressed by the general term music, which is finely contrasted
with the word skull.

_Down they come, three brown mazards._

Mazards! how the diction of our orator is enriched from the vocabulary
of Shakspeare! the word head, instead of being changed for a more
general term, is here brought distinctly to the eye by the term mazard,
or face, which is more appropriate to his majesty's profile than the
word skull or head.

_By the holy! you flesh'd 'em, says he_.

By the holy! is an oath in which more is meant than meets the ear; it
is an ellipsis--an abridgment of an oath. The full formula runs thus--By
the holy poker of hell! This instrument is of Irish invention or
imagination. It seems a useful piece of furniture in the place for which
it is intended, to stir the devouring flames, and thus to increase the
torments of the damned. Great judgment is necessary to direct an orator
how to suit his terms to his auditors, so as not to shock their feelings
either by what is too much above or too much below common life. In the
use of oaths, where the passions are warm, this must be particularly
attended to, else they lose their effect, and seem more the result of
the head than the heart. But to proceed:--

_By the holy! you flesh'd 'em_.

_To flesh_ is another verb of Irish coinage; it means, in shoeblack
dialect, to touch a halfpenny, as it goes up into the air, with the
fleshy part of the thumb, so as to turn it which way you please, and
thus to cheat your opponent. What an intricate explanation saved by one

_You lie, says I_.

Here no periphrasis would do the business.

_With that he ups with a lump of a two year old, and lets drive at me_.

_He ups with_.--A verb is here formed of two prepositions--a novelty in
grammar. Conjunctions, we all know, are corrupted Anglo-Saxon verbs;
but prepositions, according to Horne Tooke, derive only from Anglo-Saxon

All this time it is possible that the mere English reader may not be
able to guess what it is that our orator ups with or takes up. He should
be apprised, that a lump of a two year old is a middle-sized stone. This
is a metaphor, borrowed partly from the grazier's vocabulary, and
partly from the arithmetician's vade-mecum. A stone, to come under the
denomination of a lump of a two year old, must be to a less stone as a
two year old calf is to a yearling; or it must be to a larger stone than
itself, as a two year old calf is to an ox. Here the scholar sees that
there must be two statements, one in the rule of three direct and one in
the rule of three inverse, to obtain precisely the thing required; yet
the untutored Irishman, without suspecting the necessity of this operose
process, arrives at the solution of the problem by some short cut of his
own, as he clearly evinces by the propriety of his metaphor. To be sure,
there seems some incongruity in his throwing this lump of a two year old
calf at his adversary. No arm but that of Milo could be strong enough
for such a feat. Upon recollection, however, bold as this figure may
seem, there are precedents for its use.

"We read in a certain author," says Beattie, "of a giant, who, in his
wrath, tore off the top of the promontory, and flung it at the enemy;
and so huge was the mass, that you might, says he, have seen goats
browsing on it as it flew through the air." Compared with this, our
orator's figure is cold and tame.

"_I outs with my bread-earner_," continues he.

We forbear to comment on _outs with_, because the intelligent critic
immediately perceives that it has the same sort of merit ascribed to
_ups with_. What our hero dignifies with the name of his bread-earner
is the knife with which, by scraping shoes, he earned his bread. Pope's
ingenious critic, Mr. Warton, bestows judicious praise upon the art with
which this poet, in the Rape of the Lock, has used many "periphrases and
uncommon expressions," to avoid mentioning the name of _scissars_,
which would sound too vulgar for epic dignity--fatal engine, forfex,
meeting-points, &c. Though the metonymy of _bread-earner_ for a
shoeblack's knife may not equal these in elegance, it perhaps surpasses
them in ingenuity.

_I gives it him up to Lamprey in the bread-basket._[49]

Homer is happy in his description of wounds, but this surpasses him in
the characteristic choice of circumstance. _Up to Lamprey_, gives us at
once a complete idea of the length, breadth, and thickness of the wound,
without the assistance of the coroner. It reminds us of a passage in

    "Cervice orantis _capulo tenus_ abdidit ensem."

    "Up to the hilt his shining falchion sheathed."

Let us now compare the Irish shoeblack's metaphorical language with
the sober _slang_ of an English blackguard, who, fortunately for
the fairness of the comparison, was placed somewhat in similar

Lord Mansfield, examining a man who was a witness in the court of King's
Bench, asked him what he knew of the defendant.

"Oh, my lord, I knew him. _I was up to him_."

"Up to him!" says his lordship; "what do you mean by being up to him?"

"Mean, my lord! why, _I was down upon him_."

"Up to him, and down upon him!" says his lordship, turning to Counsellor
Dunning, "what does the fellow mean?"

"Why, I mean, my lord, as deep as he thought himself, _I stagged him_."

"I cannot conceive, friend," says his lordship, "what you mean by this
sort of language; I do not understand it."

"Not understand it!" rejoined the fellow, with surprise: "_Lord, what a
flat you must be!_"

Though he undervalued Lord Mansfield, this man does not seem to have
been a very bright genius. In his cant words, "_up to him, down upon
him, stagged him_," there are no metaphors; and we confess ourselves to
be as great _flats_ as his lordship, for we do not understand this sort
of language.

    "True no meaning puzzles more than wit,"

as we may see in another English example. Proverbs have been called
the wisdom of nations; therefore it is fair to have recourse to them
in estimating national abilities. Now there is an old English proverb,
"Tenterden steeple is the cause of Goodwin sands."

"This proverb," says Mr. Ray, "is used when an absurd and ridiculous
reason is given of any thing in question; an account of the original
whereof, I find in one of Bishop Latimer's sermons in these words--'Mr.
Moore was once sent with commission into Kent to try out, if it might
be, what was the cause of Goodwin sands, and the shelf which stopped up
Sandwich haven. Thither cometh Mr. Moore, and calleth all the country
before him, such as were thought to be men of experience, and men that
could, of all likelihood, best satisfy him of the matter concerning the
stopping of Sandwich haven. Among the rest came in before him an old
man with a white head, and one that was thought to be little less than
a hundred years old. When Mr. Moore saw this aged man, he thought it
expedient to hear him say his mind in this matter (for being so old a
man, it was likely that he knew the most in that presence or company);
so Mr. Moore called this old aged man unto him and said, 'Father,' said
he, 'tell me, if you can, what is the cause of the great arising of the
sands and shelves here about this haven, which stop it up so that no
ships can arrive here. You are the oldest man I can espy in all the
company, so that if any man can tell any cause of it, you, of all
likelihood, can say most to it, or, at leastwise, more than any man here

"'Yea, forsooth, good Mr. Moore,' quoth this old man, 'for I am well
nigh a hundred years old, and no man here in this company any thing near
my age.'

"'Well then,'quoth Mr. Moore, 'how say you to this matter? What think
you to be the cause of these shelves and sands which stop up Sandwich

"'Forsooth, sir,' quoth he, 'I am an old man; I think that, Tenterden
steeple is the cause of Goodwin sands. For I am an old man, sir,'
quoth he, 'I may remember the building of Tenterden steeple, and I
may remember when there was no steeple at all there; and before that
Tenterden or _Totterden_ steeple was in building, there was no manner of
talking of any flats or sands that stopped up the haven, and therefore I
think that Tenterden steeple is the cause of the decay and destroying of
Sandwich haven.'" [50]--Thus far the bishop.

The prolix pertinacity with which this _old aged_ man adheres to
the opinion that he had formed, without any intelligible reason, is
characteristic of an English peasant; but however absurd his mode of
judging may be, and however confused and incongruous his ideas, his
species of absurdity surely bears no resemblance to an Hibernian
blunder. We cannot even suspect it to be possible that a man of this
slow, circumspect character could be in any danger of making an Irish
bull; and we congratulate the English peasantry and populace, as a body,
upon their possessing that temper which

    "Wisely rests content with sober sense,
    Nor makes to dangerous wit a vain pretence."

Even the _slang_ of English pickpockets and coiners is, as we may see
in Colquhoun's View of the Metropolis, free from all seducing mixture
of wit and humour. What Englishman would ever have thought of calling
persons in the pillory _the babes in the wood_? This is a common cant
phrase amongst Dublin reprobates. Undoubtedly such phrases tend to
lessen the power of shame and the effect of punishment, and a witty
rogue will lead numbers to the gallows. English morality is not in so
much danger as Irish manners must be from these humourous talents
in their knights of industry. If, nevertheless, there be frequent
executions for capital crimes in England, we must account for this in
the words of the old Lord Chief Justice Fortescue--"More men," says his
lordship, "are hanged in _Englonde_ in one year than _in Fraunce_ in
seven, _because the English have better hartes_; the _Scotchmenne_
likewise never _dare rob_, but only commit larcenies." At all events,
the phlegmatic temper of _Englonde_ secures her from making bulls.
The propensity to this species of blunder exists in minds of a totally
different cast; in those who are quick and enthusiastic, who are
confounded by the rapidity and force with which undisciplined multitudes
of ideas crowd for utterance. Persons of such intellectual characters
are apt to make elisions in speaking, which they trust the capacities
of their audience will supply: passing rapidly over a long chain of
thought, they sometimes forget the intermediate links, and no one but
those of equally rapid habits can follow them successfully.

We hope that the evidence of the Dublin shoeblack has, in some degree,
tended to prove our _minor_, that the Irish are disposed to use
figurative language: we shall not, however, rest our cause on a single
evidence, however respectable; but before we summon our other witnesses,
we beg to relieve the reader's attention, which must have been fatigued
by such a chapter of criticism. They shall now have the tale of a
mendicant. A specimen of city rhetoric is given in the shoeblack; the
country mendicant's eloquence is of a totally different species.



Perhaps the reader may wish to see as well as hear the petitioner. At
first view you might have taken him for a Spaniard. He was tall; and if
he had been a gentleman, you would have said that there was an air of
dignity in his figure. He seemed very old, yet he appeared more worn by
sorrow than by time. Leaning upon a thick oaken stick as he took off his
hat to ask for alms, his white hair was blown by the wind.

"Health and long life to you!" said he. "Give an old man something to
help to bury him. He is past his labour, and cannot trouble this world
long any way."

He held his hat towards us, with nothing importunate in his manner, but
rather with a look of confidence in us, mixed with habitual resignation.
His thanks were: "Heaven bless you!--Long life and success to you! to
you and yours! and may you never want a friend, as I do."

The last words were spoken low. He laid his hand upon his heart as he
bowed to us, and walked slowly away. We called him back; and upon our
questioning him farther, he gave the following account of himself:--

"I was bred and born--but no matter where such a one as I was bred and
born, no more than where I may die and be buried. _I_, that have neither
son, nor daughter, nor kin, nor friend on the wide earth, to mourn over
my grave when I am laid in it, as I soon must. Well! when it pleases God
to take me, I shall never be missed out of this world, so much as by a
dog: and why should I?--having never in my time done good to any--but
evil--which I have lived to repent me of, many's the long day and night,
and ever shall whilst I have sense and reason left. In my youthful days
God was too good to me: I had friends, and a little home of my own to
go to--a pretty spot of land for a farm, as you could see, with a snug
cabin, and every thing complete, and all to be mine; for I was the only
one my father and mother had, and accordingly was made much of, too
much; for I grew headstrong upon it, and high, and thought nothing of
any man, and little of any woman, but one. That one I surely did think
of; and well worth thinking of she was. Beauty, they say, is all fancy;
but she was a girl every man might fancy. Never was one more sought
after. She was then just in her prime, and full of life and spirits; but
nothing light in her behaviour--quite modest--yet obliging. She was too
good for me to be thinking of, no doubt; but 'faint heart never won fair
lady,' so I made bold to speak to Rose, for that was her name, and after
a world of pains, I began to gain upon her good liking, but couldn't get
her to say more than that she never _seen_ the man she should fancy so
well. This was a great deal from her, for she was coy and proud-like, as
she had a good right to be; and, besides being young, loved her little
innocent pleasure, and could not easy be brought to give up her sway. No
fault of hers: but all very natural. Well! I always considered she never
would have held out so long, nor have been so stiff with me, had it not
been for an old aunt Honour of hers--God rest her soul! One should not
be talking ill of the dead; but she was more out of my way than enough;
yet the cratur had no malice in her against me, only meaning her child's
good, as she called it, but mistook it, and thought to make Rose happy
by some greater match than me, counting her fondness for me, which she
could not but see something of, childishness, that she would soon be
broke of. Now there was a party of English soldiers quartered in our
town, and there was a sergeant amongst them that had money, and a pretty
place, as they said, in his own country. He courted Rose, and the aunt
favoured him. He and I could never relish one another at all. He was a
handsome portly man, but very proud, and looked upon me as dirt under
his feet, because I was an Irishman; and at every word would say,
'_That's an Irish, bull!_' or _'Do you hear Paddy's brogue?'_ at which
his fellow-soldiers, being all English, would look greatly delighted.
Now all this I could have taken in good part from any but him, for I was
not an ill-humoured fellow; but there was a spite in him I plainly saw
against me, and I could not, nor would not take a word from him against
me or my country, especially when Rose was by, who did not like me the
worse for having a proper spirit. She little thought what would come
of it. Whilst all this was going on, her aunt Honour found to object
against me, that I was wild, and given to drink; both which charges
were false and malicious, and I knew could come from none other than the
sergeant, which enraged me the more against him for speaking _so mean_
behind my back. Now I knew, that though the sergeant did not drink
spirits, he drank plenty of beer. Rose took it, however, to heart, and
talked very serious upon it, observing she could never think to marry
a man given to drink, and that the sergeant was remarkably sober and
staid, therefore most like, as her aunt Honour said, to make a good
husband. The words went straight to my heart, along with Rose's look.
I said not a word, but went out, resolving, before I slept, to take an
oath against spirits, of all sorts, for Rose's sweet sake. That evening
I fell in with some boys of the neighbours, who would have had me along
with them, but I _denied myself_ and them; and all I would taste was
one parting glass, and then made my vow in the presence of the priest,
forswearing spirits for two years. Then I went straight to her house to
tell her what I had done, not being sensible that I was that same time
a little elevated with the parting glass I had taken. The first thing I
noticed on going into the room was the man I least wished to see there,
and least looked for at this minute: he was in high talk with the aunt,
and Rose sitting on the other side of him, no way strange towards him,
as I fancied; but that was only fancy, and effect of the liquor I
had drunk, which made me see things wrong. I went up, and put my head
between them, asking Rose, did she know what I had been about?

"'Yes; too well!' said she, drawing back from my breath. And the aunt
looked at her, and she at the aunt, and the sergeant stopped his nose,
saying he had not been long enough in Ireland to love the smell of
whiskey. I observed, that was an uncivil remark in the present company,
and added, that I had not taken a drop that night, but one glass. At
which he sneered, and said that was a bull and a blunder, but no wonder,
as I was an Irishman. I replied in defence of myself and country. We
went on from one smart word to another; and some of his soldiermen being
of the company, he had the laugh against me still. I was vexed to see
Rose bear so well what I could not bear myself. And the talk grew higher
and higher; and from talking of blunders and such trifles, we got, I
cannot myself tell you how, on to great party matters, and politics, and
religion. And I was a catholic, and he a protestant; and there he had
the thing still against me. The company seeing matters not agreeable,
dropped off till none were left but the sergeant, and the aunt, and
Rose, and myself. The aunt gave me a hint to part, but I would not take
it; for I could not bear to go away worsted, and borne down as it were
by the English faction, and Rose by to judge. The aunt was called out by
one who wanted her to go to a funeral next day: the Englishman then let
fall something about our Irish howl, and savages, which Rose herself
said was uncivil, she being an Irish woman, which he, thinking only of
making game on me, had forgot. I knocked him down, telling him that it
was he that was the savage to affront a lady. As he got up he said that
he'd have the law of me, if any law was to be had in Ireland.

"'The law!' said I, 'and you a soldier!'

"'Do you mean to call me coward?' said he. 'This is what an English
soldier must not bear.' With that he snatches at his arms that were
beside him, asking me again, did I mean to call an Englishman coward?

"'Tell me first,' said I, 'did you mean to call us Irish savages?'

"'That's no answer to _my_ question,' says he, 'or only an Irish

"'It is not the worse for that, may be," says I, very coolly, despising
the man now, and just took up a knife, that was on the table, to cut off
a button that was hanging at my knee. As I was opening of the knife he
asks me, was I going to stab at him with my Irish knife, and directly
fixes a bayonet at me; on which I seizes a musket and bayonet one of
his men had left, telling him I knew the use of it as well as he or any
Englishman, and better; for that I should never have gone, as he did, to
charge it against an unarmed man.

"'You had your knife,' said he, drawing back.

"' If I had, it was not thinking of you,' said I, throwing the knife
away. 'See! I'm armed like yourself now: fight me like a man and a
soldier, if you dare," says I.

"'Fight me, if you dare,' says he.

"Rose calls to me to stop; but we were both out of ourselves at the
minute. We thrust at each other--he missed me--I hit him. Rose ran in
between us to get the musket from my hand: it was loaded, and went off
in the struggle, and the ball lodged in her body. She fell! and what
happened next I cannot tell, for the sight left my eyes, and all sense
forsook me. When I came to myself the house was full of people, going
to and fro, some whispering, some crying; and till the words reached my
ears, 'Is she quite dead?' I could not understand where I was, or what
had happened. I wished to forget again, but could not. The whole truth
came upon me, and yet I could not shed a tear; but just pushed my way
through the crowd into the inner room, and up to the side of the bed.
There she lay stretched, almost a corpse--quite still! Her sweet eyes
closed, and no colour in her cheeks, that had been so rosy! I took hold
of one of her hands, that hung down, and she then opens her eyes, and
knew me directly, and smiles upon me, and says, 'It was no fault of
yours: take notice, all of you, it was no fault of his if I die; but
_that_ I won't do for his sake, if I can help it!'--that was the word
she spoke. I thinking, from her speaking so strong, that she was not
badly hurt, knelt down to whisper her, that if my breath did smell of
spirits, it was the parting glass I had tasted before making the vow I
had done against drink for her sake; and that there was nothing I would
not do for her, if it would please God to spare her to me. She just
pressed my hand, to show me she was sensible. The priest came in, and
they forced our hands asunder, and carried me away out of the room.
Presently there was a great cry, and I knew all was over."

Here the old man's voice failed, and he turned his face from us. When he
had somewhat recovered himself, to change the course of his thoughts,
we asked whether he were prosecuted for his assault on the English
sergeant, and what became of him?

"Oh! to do him justice, as one should do to every one," said the old
man, "he behaved very handsome to me when I was brought to trial; and
told the whole truth, only blamed himself more than I would have done,
and said it was all his fault for laughing at me and my nation more
than a man could bear, situated as I was. They acquitted me through his
means. We shook hands, and he hoped all would go right with me, he said;
but nothing ever went right with me after. I took little note ever after
of worldly matters: all belonging to me went to rack and ruin. The hand
of God was upon me: I could not help myself, nor settle mind or body to
any thing. I heard them say sometimes I was a little touched in my head:
however that might be I cannot say. But at the last I found it was as
good for me to give all that was left to my friends, who were better
able to manage, and more eager for it than I; and fancying a roving life
would agree with me best, I quitted the place, taking nothing with me,
but resolved to walk the world, and just trust to the charity of good
Christians, or die, as it should please God. How I have lived so long He
only knows, and his will be done."



"Wild wit, invention ever new," appear in high perfection amongst even
the youngest inhabitants of an Irish cottage. The word _wit_, amongst
the lower classes of Ireland, means not only quickness of repartee, but
cleverness in action; it implies invention and address, with no slight
mixture of cunning; all which is expressed in their dialect by the
single word _'cuteness_ (acuteness). Examples will give a better notion
of this than can be conveyed by any definition.

An Irish boy (a 'cute lad) saw a train of his companions leading their
cars, loaded with kishes[51] of turf, coming towards his father's
cabin; his father had no turf, and the question was how some should be
obtained. To beg he was ashamed; to dig he was unwilling--but his head
went to work directly. He took up a turf which had fallen from one of
the cars the preceding day, and stuck it on the top of a pole near the
cabin. When the cars were passing, he appeared throwing turf at the
mark. "Boys!" cried he, "which of ye will hit?" Each leader of the car,
as he passed, could not forbear to fling a turf at the mark; the turf
fell at the foot of the pole, and when all the cars had passed, there
was a heap left sufficient to reward the ingenuity of our little

The same 'cuteness which appears in youth continues and improves in old
age. When General V---- was quartered in a small town in Ireland, he and
his lady were regularly besieged, whenever they got into their carriage,
by an old beggar-woman, who kept her post at the door, assailing them
daily with fresh importunities and fresh tales of distress. At last the
lady's charity, and the general's patience, were nearly exhausted, but
their petitioner's wit was still in its pristine vigour. One morning,
at the accustomed hour, when the lady was getting into her carriage, the
old woman began--"Agh! my lady; success to your ladyship, and success
to your honour's honour, this morning, of all days in the year; for sure
didn't I dream last night that her ladyship gave me a pound of tea, and
that your honour gave me a pound of tobacco?"

"But, my good woman," said the general, "do not you know that dreams
always go by the rule of contrary?"

"Do they so, plase your honour?" rejoined the old woman. "Then it must
be your honour that will give me the tea, and her ladyship that will
give me the tobacco?"

The general being of Sterne's opinion, that a bon-mot is always worth
more than a pinch of snuff, gave the ingenious dreamer the value of her

Innumerable instances might be quoted of the Hibernian genius, not
merely for repartee, but for what the Italians call pasquinade. We shall
cite only one, which is already so well known in Ireland, that we cannot
be found guilty of _publishing_ a libel. Over the ostentatious front of
a nobleman's house in Dublin, the owner had this motto cut in stone:--

    "Otium cum dignitate.--Leisure with dignity."

In process of time his lordship changed his residence; or, since we must
descend to plebeian language, was committed to Newgate, and immediately
there appeared over the front of his apartment his chosen motto, as
large as the life, in white chalk,

    "Otium cum dignitate."

Mixed with keen satire, the Irish often show a sort of cool good
sense and dry humour, which gives not only effect, but value to their
impromptus. Of this class is the observation made by the Irish hackney
coachman, upon seeing a man of the ton driving four-in-hand down

"That fellow," said our observer, "looks like a coachman, but drives
like a gentleman."

As an instance of humour mixed with sophistry, we beg the reader to
recollect the popular story of the Irishman who was run over by a troop
of horse, and miraculously escaped unhurt.

"Down upon your knees and thank God, you reprobate," said one of the

"Thank God! for what? Is it for letting a troop of horse run over me?"

In this speech there is the same sort of humour and sophistry that
appears in the Irishman's celebrated question: "What has posterity done
for me, that I should do so much for posterity?"

The Irish nation, from the highest to the lowest, in daily conversation
about the ordinary affairs of life, employ a superfluity of wit and
metaphor which would be astonishing and unintelligible to a majority
of the respectable body of English yeomen. Even the cutters of turf and
drawers of whiskey are orators; even the _cottiers_ and _gossoons_ speak
in trope and figure. Ask an Irish gossoon to go early in the morning, on
an errand, and he answers,

"I'll be off at the flight of night."

If an Irish cottager would express to his landlord that he wishes for a
long lease of his land, he says,--

"I would be proud to live on your honour's land as long as grass grows
or water runs."

One of our English poets has nearly the same idea:--

    "As long as streams in silver mazes run,
    Or spring with annual green renews the grove."

Without the advantages of a classical education, the lower Irish
sometimes make similes that bear a near resemblance to those of the
admired poets of antiquity. A loyalist, during the late rebellion, was
describing to us the number of the rebels who had gathered on one spot,
and were dispersed by the king's army; rallied, and were again put to

"They were," said he, "like swarms of flies on a summer's day, that you
brush away with your hand, and still they will be returning."

There is a simile of Homer's which, literally translated, runs thus: "As
the numerous troops of flies about a shepherd's cottage in the spring,
when the milk moistens the pails, such numbers of Greeks stood in the
field against the Trojans." Lord Kames observes, that it is false taste
to condemn such comparisons for the lowness of the images introduced. In
fact, great objects cannot be degraded by comparison with small ones in
these similes, because the only point of resemblance is number; the mind
instantly perceives this, and therefore requires no other species of

When we attempt to judge of the genius of the lower classes of the
people, we must take care that we are not under the influence of any
prejudice of an aristocratic or literary nature. But this is no easy
effort of liberty.

"_Agk! Dublin, sweet Jasus be wid you!_" exclaimed a poor Irishman, as
he stood on the deck of a vessel, which was carrying him out of the
bay of Dublin. The pathos of this poor fellow will not probably affect
delicate sensibility, because he says _wid_ instead of _with_, and
_Jasus_ instead of _Jesus_. Adam Smith is certainly right in his theory,
that the sufferings of those in exalted stations have generally most
power to command our sympathy. The very same sentiment of sorrow at
leaving his country, which was expressed so awkwardly by the poor
Irishman, appears, to every reader of taste, exquisitely pathetic from
the lips of Mary queen of Scots.

"Farewell, France! Farewell, beloved country! which I shall never more
behold!" [52]

In anger as well as in sorrow the Irishman is eloquent. A gentleman who
was lately riding through the county of ----, in Ireland, to canvass,
called to ask a vote from a poor man, who was planting willows in a
little garden by the road side.

"You have a vote, my good sir, I am told," said the candidate, in an
insinuating tone.

The poor man stuck the willow which he had in his hand into the ground,
and with a deliberate pace came towards the candidate to parley with

"Please your honour," said he, gravely, "I have a vote, and I have not a

"How can that be?"

"I will tell you, sir," said he, leaning, or rather lying down slowly
upon the back of the ditch facing the road, so that the gentleman, who
was on horseback, could see only his head and arms.

"Sir," said he, "out of this little garden, with my five acres of land
and my own labour, I once had a freehold; but I have been robbed of my
freehold: and who do you think has robbed me? why, that man!" pointing
to his landlord's steward, who stood beside the candidate. "With my own
hands I sowed my own ground with oats, and a fine crop I expected--but I
never reaped that crop: not a bushel, no, nor half a bushel, did I ever
see; for into my little place comes this man, with I don't know how many
more, with their shovels and their barrows, and their horses and their
cars, and to work they fell, and they ran a road straight through the
best part of my land, turning all to heaps of rubbish, and a bad road
it was, and a bad time of year to make it! But where was _I_ when he
did this? not where I am now," said the orator, raising himself up and
standing firm; "not as you see me now, but lying on my back in my bed
in a fever. When I got up I was not able to make my rent out of my land.
Besides myself, I had my five children to support. I sold my clothes,
and have never been able to buy any since but such as a recruit could
sell, who was in haste to get into regimentals--such clothes as these,"
said he, looking down at his black rags. "Soon I had nothing to eat:
but that's not all. I am a weaver, sir: for my rent they seized my two
looms; then I had nothing to do. But of all this I do not complain.
There was an election some time ago in this county, and a man rode up to
me in this garden as you do now, and asked me for my vote, but I refused
him, for I was steady to my landlord. The gentleman observed I was a
poor man, and asked if I wanted for nothing? but all did not signify;
so he rode on gently, and at the corner of the road, within view of my
garden, I saw him drop a purse, and I knew, by his looking at me, it was
on purpose for me to pick it up. After a while he came back, thinking,
to be sure, I had taken up the purse, and had changed my mind, but he
found his purse where he left it. My landlord knew all this, and
he promised to see justice done me, but he forgot. Then, as for the
candidate's lady, before the election nothing was too fair-speaking for
me; but afterward, in my distress, when I applied to her to get me a
loom, which she could have had from _the Linen Board_ by only asking for
it, her answer to me was, 'I don't know that I shall ever want a vote
again in the county.'

"Now, sir," continued he, "when justice is done to me (and no sooner), I
shall be glad to assist my landlord or his friend. I know who _you_ are,
sir, very well: you bear a good character: success to you! but I have no
vote to give to you or any man."

"If I were to attempt to make you any amends for what you have
suffered," replied the candidate, "I should do you an injury; it would
be said that I had bribed you; but I will repeat your story where it
will meet with attention. I cannot, however, tell it so well as you have
told it."

"No, sir," was his answer, "for you cannot feel it as I do."

This is almost in terms the conclusion of Pope's epistle from Eloisa to

    "He best can paint them who shall feel them most."

In objurgation and pathetic remonstrancing eloquence, the females of the
lower class in Ireland are not inferior to the men. A thin tall woman
wrapped in a long cloak, the hood of which was drawn over her head, and
shaded her pale face, came to a gentleman to complain of the cruelty of
her landlord.

"He is the most hard-hearted man alive, so he is, sir," said she; "he
has just seized all I have, which, God knows, is little enough! and has
driven my cow to pound, the only cow I have, and only dependence I
have for a drop of milk to drink; and the cow itself too standing there
starving in the pound, for not a wisp of hay would he give to cow or
Christian to save their lives, if it was ever so! And the rent for which
he is driving me, please your honour, has not been due but one week: a
hard master he is; but these _middle_ men are all so, one and all. Oh!
if it had been but my lot to be a tenant to a _gentleman born_, like
your honour, who is the poor man's friend, and the orphan's, and the
widow's--the friend of them that have none other. Long life to you! and
long may you live to reign over us! Would you but speak three words to
my landlord, to let my cow out of pound, and give me a fortnight's time,
that I might see and fatten her to sell against the fair, I could pay
him then all honestly, and not be racked entirely, and he would be
ashamed to refuse your honour, and afraid to disoblige the like of you,
or get your ill-will. May the blessing of Heaven be upon you, if you'll
just send and speak to him three words for the poor woman and widow,
that has none other to speak for her in the wide world!"

Moved by this lamentable story, the effect of which the woman's whole
miserable appearance corroborated and heightened, the gentleman sent
immediately for her hard-hearted landlord. The landlord appeared; not
a gentleman, not a rich man, as the term landlord might denote, but a
stout, square, stubbed, thick-limbed, grey-eyed man, who seemed to have
come smoking hot from hard labour. The gentleman repeated the charge
made against him by the poor widow, and mildly remonstrated on his
cruelty: the man heard all that was said with a calm but unmoved

"And now have you done?" said he, turning to the woman, who had
recommenced her lamentations. "Look at her standing there, sir. It's
easy for her to put on her long cloak, and to tell her long story, and
to make her poor mouth to your honour; but if you are willing to hear,
I'll tell you what she is, and what I am. She is one that has none but
herself in this world to provide for; she is one that is able to afford
herself a glass of whiskey when she pleases, and she pleases it often;
she is one that never denies herself the bit of _staggering bob_[53]
when in season; she is one that has a snug house well thatched to live
in all the year round, and nothing to do or nothing that she does; and
this is the way of her life, and this is what she is. And what am I? I
am the father of eight children, and I have a wife and myself to provide
for. I am a man that is at hard labour of one kind or another from
sunrise to sunset. The straw that thatched the house she lives in I
brought two miles on my back; the walls of the house she lives in I
built with my own hands; I did the same by five other houses, and they
are all sound and dry, and good to live in, summer or winter. I set them
for rent to put bread into my children's mouth, and after all I cannot
get it! And to support my eight children, and my wife, and myself,
what have I in this world," cried he, striding suddenly with colossal
firmness upon his sturdy legs, and raising to heaven arms which looked
like fore-shortenings of the limbs of Hercules; "what have _I_ in this
wide world but these four bones?" [54]

No provocation could have worked up a phlegmatic English countryman to
this pitch of eloquence. He never suffers his anger to evaporate in idle
figures of speech: it is always concentrated in a few words, which he
repeats in reply to every argument, persuasive, or invective, that can
be employed to irritate or to assuage his wrath. We recollect having
once been present at a scene between an English gentleman and a
churchwarden, whose feelings were grievously hurt by the disturbance
that had been given to certain bones in levelling a wall which separated
the churchyard from the pleasure ground of the lord of the manor. The
bones belonged, as the churchwarden believed or averred, to his great
great grandmother, though how they were identified it might be difficult
to explain to an indifferent judge; yet we are to suppose that the
confirmation of the suspicion was strong and satisfactory to the party
concerned. The pious great great grandson's feelings were all in arms,
but _indignation_ did not inspire him with a single poetic idea or
expression. In his eloquence, indeed, there was the principal requisite,
action: in reply to all that could be said, he repeatedly struck his
long oak stick perpendicularly upon the floor, and reiterated these

"It's death, sir! death by the law! It's sacrilege, sir! sacrilege by
act of parliament! It's death, sir! death by the law! and the law I'll
have of him, for it's lawful to have the law."

This was the whole range of his ideas, even when the passions had
tumbled them all out of their dormitories.

Innumerable fresh instances of Irish eloquence and wit crowd upon our
recollection, but we forbear. The examples we have cited are taken from
real life, and given without alteration or embellishment.



Having proved by a perfect syllogism that the Irish must blunder,
we might rest satisfied with our labours; but there are minds of so
perverse a sort, that they will not yield their understandings to the
torturing power of syllogism.

It may be waste of time to address ourselves to persons of such a cast;
we shall therefore change our ground, and adapt our arguments to the
level of vulgar capacities. Much of the comic effect of Irish bulls, or
of such speeches as are mistaken for bulls, has depended upon the tone,
or _brogue_, as it is called, with which they are uttered. The first
Irish blunders that we hear are made or repeated in this peculiar tone,
and afterward, from the power of association, whenever we hear the tone
we expect the blunder. Now there is little danger that the Irish should
be cured of their brogue; and consequently there is no great reason to
apprehend that we should cease to think or call them blunderers.

Of the powerful effect of any peculiarity of pronunciation to prepossess
the mind against the speaker, nay, even to excite dislike amounting to
antipathy, we have an instance attested by an eye-witness, or rather an

"In the year 1755," says the Rev. James Adams, "I attended a public
disputation in a foreign university, when at least 400 Frenchmen
literally hissed a grave and learned _English_ doctor, not by way of
insult, but irresistibly provoked by the quaintness of the repetition of
sh. The thesis was, the concurrence of God _in actionibus viciosis_:
the whole hall resounded with the hissing cry of sh, and its continual
occurrence in _actio, actione, viciosa_, &c."

It is curious that Shibboleth should so long continue a criterion among

What must have been the degree of irritation that could so far get the
better of the politeness of 400 Frenchmen as to make them hiss in the
days of _l'ancien régime_! The dread of being the object of that species
of antipathy or ridicule, which is excited by unfashionable peculiarity
of accent, has induced many of the _misguided_ natives of Ireland to
affect what they imagine to be the English pronunciation. They are
seldom successful in this attempt, for they generally overdo the
business. We are told by Theophrastus, that a _barbarian_, who had taken
some pains to attain the true Attic dialect, was discovered to be a
foreigner by his speaking the Attic dialect with a greater degree of
precision and purity than was usual amongst the Athenians themselves. To
avoid the imputation of committing barbarisms, people sometimes run into
solecisms, which are yet more ridiculous. Affectation is always more
ridiculous than ignorance.

There are Irish ladies, who, ashamed of their country, betray themselves
by mincing out their abjuration, by calling tables _teebles_, and chairs
_cheers_! To such renegadoes we prefer the honest quixotism of a modern
champion[55] for the Scottish accent, who boldly asserted that "the
broad dialect rises above reproach, scorn, and laughter," enters the
lists, as he says of himself, in Tartan dress and armour, and throws
down the gauntlet to the most prejudiced antagonist. "How weak is
prejudice!" pursues this patriotic enthusiast. "The sight of the
Highland kelt, the flowing plaid, the buskined leg, provokes my
antagonist to laugh! Is this dress ridiculous in the eyes of reason and
common sense? No; nor is the dialect of speech: both are characteristic
and national distinctions.

"The arguments of general vindication," continues he, "rise powerful
before my sight, like the Highland bands in full array. A louder strain
of apologetic speech swells my words. What if it should rise high as the
unconquered summits of Scotia's hills, and call back, with voice sweet
as Caledonian song, the days of ancient Scotish heroes; or attempt the
powerful speech of the Latian orator, or his of Greece! The subject,
methinks, would well accord with the attempt: _Cupidum, Scotia optima,
vires deficiunt_. I leave this to the _king of songs_, Dunbar and
Dunkeld, Douglas in _Virgilian_ strains, and later poets, Ramsay,
Ferguson, and Burns, awake from your graves; you have already
immortalized the Scotish dialect in raptured melody! Lend me your golden
target and well-pointed spear, that I might victoriously pursue, to
the extremity of South Britain, reproachful ignorance and scorn still
lurking there: let impartial candour seize their usurped throne. Great,
then, is the birth of this national dialect," &c.

So far so good. We have some sympathy with the rhapsodist, whose
enthusiasm kindles at the names of Allan Ramsay and of Burns; nay,
we are willing to hear (with a grain of allowance) that "the manly
eloquence of the Scotish bar affords a singular pleasure to the candid
English hearer, and gives merit and dignity to the noble speakers, who
retain so much of their own dialect and tempered propriety of English
sounds, that they may be emphatically termed _British orators_." But
we confess that we lose our patient decorum, and are almost provoked to
laughter, when our philological Quixote seriously sets about to prove
that Adam and Eve spoke broad Scotch in Paradise.

How angry has this grave patriot reason to be with his ingenious
countryman Beattie,[56] the celebrated champion of _Truth_, who
acknowledges that he never could, when a boy or man, look at a certain
translation of Ajax's speech into one of the vulgar Scotch dialects
without laughing!

We shall now with boldness, similar to that of the Scotch champion, try
the risible muscles of our English reader; we are not, indeed, inclined
to go quite such lengths as he has gone: he insists that the Scotch
dialect ought to be adopted all over England; we are only going candidly
to confess, that we think the Irish, in general, speak _better English_
than is commonly spoken by the natives of England. To limit this
proposition so as to make it appear less absurd, we should observe, that
we allude to the lower classes of the people in both countries. In some
counties in Ireland, a few of the poorest labourers and cottagers do not
understand English, they speak only Irish, as in Wales there are vast
numbers who speak only Welsh; but amongst those who speak English we
find fewer vulgarisms than amongst the same rank of persons in England.
The English which they speak is chiefly such as has been traditional in
their families from the time of the early settlers in the island. During
the reign of Elizabeth and the reign of Shakspeare, numbers of English
migrated to Ireland; and whoever attends to the phraseology of the lower
Irish may, at this day, hear many of the phrases and expressions used by
Shakspeare. Their vocabulary has been preserved nearly in its pristine
purity since that time, because they have not had intercourse with those
counties in England which have made for themselves a jargon unlike to
any language under heaven. The Irish _brogue_ is a great and shameful
defect, but it does not render the English language absolutely
unintelligible. There are but a few variations of the brogue, such as
the long and the short, the Thady brogue and Paddy brogue, which differ
much in tone, and but little in phraseology; but in England, almost
all of our fifty-two counties have peculiar vulgarisms, dialects, and
brogues, unintelligible to their neighbours. Herodotus tells us that
some of the nations of Greece, though they used the same language,
spoke it so differently, that they could not understand each other's
conversation. This is literally the case at present between the
provincial inhabitants of remote parts of England. Indeed the language
peculiar to the metropolis, or the _cockney_ dialect, is proverbially
ridiculous. The Londoners, who look down with contempt upon all that
have not been _bred and born_ within the sound of Bow, talk with
unconscious absurdity of _w_eal and _w_inegar, and _v_ine and _v_indors,
and idea_r_s, and ask you _ow_ you do? and '_ave ye bin taking_ the _h_air
in 'yde park? and '_as_ your 'orse 'ad any _h_oats, &c.? aspirating
always where they should not, and never aspirating where they should.

The _Zummerzetzheer_ dialect, full of broad _oos_ and eternal _zeds_,
supplies never-failing laughter when brought upon the stage. Even a
cockney audience relishes the broad pronunciation of John Moody, in the
Journey to London, or of Sim in Wild Oats.

The cant of Suffolk, the vulgarisms of Shropshire, the uncouth
phraseology of the three ridings of Yorkshire, amaze and bewilder
foreigners, who perhaps imagine that they do not understand English,
when they are in company with those who cannot speak it. The patois of
Languedoc and Champagne, such as "_Mein fis sest ai bai via_," Mon fils
c'est un beau veau, exercises, it is true, the ingenuity of travellers,
and renders many scenes of Molière and Marivaux difficult, if not
unintelligible, to those who have never resided in the French provinces;
but no French patois is more unintelligible than the following specimen
of _Tummas_ and _Meary's_ Lancashire dialogue:--

_Thomas_. "Whau, but I startit up to goa to th' tits, on slurr'd deawn
to th' lower part o' th' heymough, on by th' maskins, lord! whot dust
think? boh leet hump stridd'n up o' summot ot felt meety heury, on it
startit weh meh on its back, deawn th' lower part o' th' mough it jumpt,
crost th' leath, eaw't o' th' dur whimmey it took, on into th' weturing
poo, os if th' dule o' hell had driv'n it, on there it threw meh en, or
I fell off, I connaw tell whether, for th' life o' meh, into the poo."

_Mary_. "Whoo-wo, whoo-wo, whoo! whot, ith neme o' God! widneh sey?"

_Thomas_. "If it wur naw Owd Nick, he wur th' orderer on't, to be
shure----. Weh mitch powlering I geet eawt o' th' poo, 'lieve[57] meh,
as to list, I could na tell whether i'r in a sleawm or wak'n, till
eh groapt ot meh een; I crope under a wough and stode like o'
gawmbling,[58] or o parfit neatril, till welly day," &c.

Let us now listen to a conversation which we hope will not be quite so



In one of the coaches which travel between Bath and London, an Irish,
a Scotch, and an English gentleman happened to be passengers. They
were well informed and well-bred, had seen the world, had lived in good
company, and were consequently superior to local and national prejudice.
As their conversation was illustrative of our subject, we shall make no
apology for relating it. We pass the usual preliminary compliments, and
the observations upon the weather and the roads. The Irish gentleman
first started a more interesting subject--the Union; its probable
advantages and disadvantages were fully discussed, and, at last, the
Irishman said, "Whatever our political opinions may be, there is one
wish in which we shall all agree, that the Union may make us better
acquainted with one another."

"It is surprising," said the Englishman, "how ignorant we English in
general are of Ireland: to be sure we do not now, as in the times of
Bacon and Spenser, believe that wild Irishmen have wings; nor do we
all of us give credit, to Mr. Twiss's assertion, that if you look at an
Irish lady, she answers, '_port if you please_.'"

_Scotchman_.--"That traveller seems to be almost as liberal as he who
defined _oats_--food for horses in England, and for men in Scotland:
such illiberal notions die away of themselves."

_Irishman_.--"Or they are contradicted by more liberal travellers. I am
sure my country has great obligations to the gallant English and Scotch
military, not only for so readily assisting to defend and quiet us, but
for spreading in England a juster notion of Ireland. Within these few
months, I suppose, more real knowledge of the state and manners of
that kingdom has been diffused in England by their means, than had been
obtained during a whole century."

_Scotchman_.--"Indeed, I do not recollect having read any author of note
who has given me a notion of Ireland since Spenser and Davies, except
Arthur Young."

_Englishman_.--"What little knowledge I have of Ireland has been drawn
more from observation than from books. I remember when I first went
over there, I did not expect to see twenty trees in the whole island: I
imagined that I should have nothing to drink but whiskey, that I should
have nothing to eat but potatoes, that I should sleep in mud-walled
cabins; that I should, when awake, hear nothing but the Irish howl, the
Irish brogue, Irish answers, and Irish bulls; and that if I smiled at
any of these things, a hundred pistols would fly from their holsters to
_give_ or _demand_ satisfaction. But experience taught me better things:
I found that the stories I had heard were _tales of other times_. Their
hospitality, indeed, continues to this day."

_Irishman_.--"It does, I believe; but of later days, as we have
been honoured with the visits of a greater number of foreigners, our
hospitality has become less extravagant."

_Englishman_.--"Not less agreeable: Irish hospitality, I speak from
experience, does not now consist merely in pushing about the bottle;
the Irish are convivial, but their conviviality is seasoned with wit and
humour; they have plenty of good conversation as well as good cheer for
their guests; and they not only have wit themselves, but they love it in
others; they can take as well as give a joke. I never lived with a more
good-humoured, generous, open-hearted people than the Irish."

_Irishman_.--"I wish Englishmen, in general, were half as partial to
poor Ireland as you are, sir."

_Englishman_.--"Or rather you wish that they knew the country as well,
and then they would do it as much justice."

_Irishman_.--"You do it something more than justice, I fear. There are
little peculiarities in my countrymen which will long be justly the
subject of ridicule in England."

_Scotchman._--"Not among well-bred and well-informed people: those who
have seen or read of great varieties of customs and manners are never
apt to laugh at all that may differ from their own. As the sensible
author of the Government of the Tongue says, 'Half-witted people are
always the bitterest revilers.'"

_Irishman._--"You are very indulgent, gentlemen; but in spite of all
your politeness, you must allow, or, at least, I must confess, that
there are little defects in the Irish government of the tongue at which
even _whole_-witted people must laugh."

_Scotchman._--"The well-educated people in all countries, I
believe, escape the particular accent, and avoid the idiom, that are
characteristic of the vulgar."

_Irishman._--"But even when we escape Irish brogue, we cannot escape
Irish bulls."

_Englishman._--"You need not say _Irish_ bulls with such emphasis; for
bulls are not peculiar to Ireland. I have been informed by a person of
unquestionable authority, that there is a town in Germany, Hirschau,
in the Upper Palatinate, where the inhabitants are famous for making

_Irishman._--"I am truly glad to hear we have companions in disgrace.
Numbers certainly lessen the effect of ridicule as well as of shame:
but, after all, the Irish idiom is peculiarly unfortunate, for it leads
perpetually to blunder."

_Scotchman._--"I have heard the same remarked of the Hebrew. I am told
that the Hebrew and Irish idiom are much alike."

_Irishman (laughing)._--"That is a great comfort to us, certainly,
particularly to those amongst us who are fond of tracing our origin up
to the remotest antiquity; but still there are many who would willingly
give up the honour of this high alliance to avoid its inconveniences;
for my own part, if I could ensure myself and my countrymen from all
future danger of making bulls and blunders, I would this instant give up
all Hebrew roots; and even the Ogham character itself I would renounce,
'to make assurance doubly sure.'"

_Englishman.--_"'To make _assurance doubly sure._' Now there is an
example in our great Shakspeare of what I have often observed, that we
English allow our poets and ourselves a licence of speech that we deny
to our Hibernian neighbours. If an Irishman, instead of Shakspeare, had
talked of making 'assurance doubly sure,' we should have asked how that
could be. The vulgar in England are too apt to catch at every slip of
the tongue made by Irishmen. I remember once being present when an
Irish nobleman, of talents and literature, was actually hissed from the
hustings at a Middlesex election because in his speech he happened to
say, 'We have laid the root to the axe of the tree of liberty,' instead
of 'we have laid the axe to the root of the tree.'"

Scotchman,--"A lapsus linguae, that might have been made by the greatest
orators, ancient or modern; by Cicero or Chatham, by Burke, or by 'the
fluent Murray.'"

Englishman,--"Upon another occasion I have heard that an Irish orator
was silenced with '_inextinguishable_ laughter' merely for saying, 'I am
sorry to hear my honourable friend stand mute.'"

Scotchman.--"If I am not mistaken, that very same Irish orator made an
allusion at which no one could laugh. 'The protection,' said he, 'which
Britain affords to Ireland in the day of adversity, is like that which
the oak affords to the ignorant countryman, who flies to it for shelter
in the storm; it draws down upon his head the lightning of heaven:' may
be I do not repeat the words exactly, but I could not forget the idea."

Englishman.--"I would with all my heart bear the ridicule of a hundred
blunders for the honour of having made such a simile: after all, his
saying, 'I am sorry to hear my honourable friend stand _mute_,' if it be
a bull, is justified by Homer; one of the charms in the cestus of Venus

    'Silence that speaks, and eloquence of eyes.'"

Scotchman.--"Silence that speaks, sir, is, I am afraid, an English, not
a Grecian charm. It is not in the Greek; it is one of those beautiful
liberties which Mr. Pope has taken with his original. But silence that
speaks can be found in France as well as in England. Voltaire, in his
chef-d'oeuvre, his Oedipus, makes Jocasta say,

    'Tout parle centre nous jusqu'à notre _silence_.'" [59]

_Englishman_.--"And in our own Milton, Samson Agonistes makes as good,
indeed a better bull; for he not only makes the mute speak, but speak

    'The deeds themselves, though _mute, spoke loud_ the doer.'

And in Paradise Lost we have, to speak in _fashionable_ language, two
_famous_ bulls. Talking of Satan, Milton says,

    'God and his Son except,
    Created thing nought valued he nor shunn'd.'

And speaking of Adam and Eve, and their sons and daughters, he confounds
them all together in a manner for which any Irishman would have been
laughed to scorn:--

    'Adam, the goodliest man of men since born,
    His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.'

Yet Addison, who notices these blunders, calls them only little

_Scotchman_.--"He does so; and he quotes Horace, who tells us we should
impute such venial errors to a pardonable inadvertency; and, as I
recollect, Addison makes another very just remark, that the ancients,
who were actuated by a spirit of candour, not of cavilling, invented a
variety of figures of speech, on purpose to palliate little errors of
this nature."

"Really, gentlemen," interrupted the Hibernian, who had sat all this
time in silence that spoke his grateful sense of the politeness of his
companions, "you will put the finishing stroke to my obligations to you,
if you will prove that the ancient figures of speech were invented to
palliate Irish blunders."

_Englishman_.--"No matter for what purpose they were invented; if we can
make so good a use of them we shall be satisfied, especially if you are
pleased. I will, however, leave the burden of the proof upon my friend
here, who has detected me already in quoting from Pope's Iliad instead
of Homer's. I am sure he will manage the ancient figures of rhetoric
better than I should; however, if I can fight behind his shield I shall
not shun the combat."

_Scotchman_.--"I stand corrected for quoting Greek. Now I will not go to
Longinus for my tropes and figures; I have just met with a little book
on the subject, which I put into my pocket to-day, intending to finish
it on my journey, but I have been better employed."

He drew from his pocket a book, called, "Deinology; or, the Union of
Reason and Elegance." "Look," said he, "look at this long list of tropes
and figures; amongst them we could find apologies for every species of
Irish bulls; but in mercy, I will select, from 'the twenty chief and
most moving figures of speech,' only the oxymoron, as it is a favourite
with Irish orators. In the oxymoron contradictions meet: to reconcile
these, Irish ingenuity delights. I will further spare four out of
the seven figures of less note: emphasis, enallage, and the hysteron
proteron you must have; because emphasis graces Irish diction, enallage
unbinds it from strict grammatical fetters, and hysteron proteron allows
it sometimes to put the cart before the horse. Of the eleven grammatical
figures, Ireland delights chiefly in the antimeria, or changing one part
of speech for another, and in the ellipsis or defect. Of the remaining
long list of figures, the Irish are particularly disposed to the
epizeuxis, as 'indeed, indeed--at all, at all,' and antanaclasis, or
double meaning. The tautotes, or repetition of the same thing, is, I
think, full as common amongst the English. The hyperbole and catachresis
are so nearly related to a bull, that I shall dwell upon them with
pleasure. You must listen to the definition of a catachresis:--'A
catachresis is the boldest of any trope. _Necessity makes it borrow
and employ an expression or term contrary to the thing it means to

"Upon my word this is something like a description of an Irish bull,"
interrupted the Hibernian.

_Scotchman_.--"For instance, it has been said, _Equitare in arundine
longá_, to ride on horseback on a stick. Reason condemns the
contradiction, but necessity has allowed it, and use has made it
intelligible. The same trope is employed in the following metaphorical
expression:--the seeds of the Gospel have been _watered_ by the _blood_
of the martyrs."

_Englishman_.--"That does seem an absurdity, I grant; but you know great
orators _trample on impossibilities_." [60]

_Scotchman_.--"And great poets get the letter of them. You recollect
Shakspeare says,

    'Now bid me run,
    And I will strive with things _impossible_,
    Yea, _get the better of them_.'"

_Englishman_.--"And Corneille, in the Cid, I believe, makes his hero a
compliment upon his having performed impossibilities--'Vos mains seules
ont le droit de vaincre un invincible.'" [61]

_Scotchman_.--"Ay, that would be a bull in an Irishman, but it is only
an hyperbole in a Frenchman."

_Irishman_.--"Indeed this line of Corneille's _out-hyperboles_ the
hyperbole, considered in any but a prophetic light; as a prophecy, it
exactly foretels the taking of Bonaparte's _invincible_ standard by the
glorious forty-second regiment of the British: 'Your hands alone _have a
right_ to vanquish the invincible.' By-the-by, the phrase _ont le droit_
cannot, I believe, be literally translated into English; but the Scotch
and Irish, _have a right_, translates it exactly. But do not let me
interrupt my country's defence, gentlemen; I am heartily glad to find
Irish blunderers may shelter themselves in such good company in the
ancient sanctuary of the hyperbole. But I am afraid you must deny
admittance to the poor mason, who said, 'This house will stand as long
as the world, and longer.'"

_Scotchman_.--"Why should we 'shut the gates of mercy' upon him when we
pardon his betters for more flagrant sins? For instance, Mr. Pope, who,
in his Essay on Criticism, makes a blunder, or rather uses an hyperbole,
stronger than that of your poor Irish mason:--

    'When first young Maro in his noble mind
    A work _t'outlast immortal_ Rome design'd.'

And to give you a more modern case, I lately heard an English shopkeeper
say to a lady in recommendation of his goods, 'Ma'am, it will wear for
ever, and make you a petticoat afterwards.'"

_Irishman_.--"Upon my word, I did not think you could have found a match
for the mason; but what will you say to my countryman, who, on meeting
an acquaintance, accosted him with this ambiguous compliment--'When
first I saw you I thought it was you, but now I see it is your

_Scotchman_.--"If I were not afraid you would take me for a pedant,
I should quote a sentence from Cicero that is not far behind this

_Irishman_.--"I can take you for nothing but a friend: pray let us have
the Latin."

_Scotchman_.--"It is one of Cicero's compliments to Caesar--'Qui, cum
ipse imperator in toto imperio populi Romani unus esset, esse me
alterum passus est.'[62] Perhaps," continued the Scotchman, "my way of
pronouncing Latin sounds strangely to you, gentlemen?"

_Irishman_.--"And perhaps ours would be unintelligible to Cicero
himself, if he were to overhear us: I fancy we are all so far from
right, that we need not dispute about degrees of wrong."

The coach stopped at this instant, and the conversation was interrupted.



After our travellers had dined, the conversation was renewed by the
English gentleman's repeating Goldsmith's celebrated lines on Burke:

    "Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
    And thought of convincing, whilst they thought of dining;
    In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed or in place, sir,
    To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor."

"What humour and wit there are in that poem of Goldsmith's! and where is
there any thing equal to his 'Traveller?'"

_Irishman_.--"Yet this is the man who used to be the butt of the company
for his bulls."

_Englishman_.--"No, not for his bulls, but for _blurting_ out opinions
in conversation that could not stand the test of Dr. Johnson's critical
powers. But what would become of the freedom of wit and humour if every
word that came out of our mouths were subject to the tax of a professed
critic's censure, or if every sentence were to undergo a logical
examination? It would be well for Englishmen if they were a little
more inclined, like your open-hearted countrymen, to _blurt_ out their
opinions freely."

_Scotchman_,--"I cannot forgive Dr. Johnson for calling Goldsmith an
inspired idiot; I confess I see no idiotism, but much inspiration, in
his works."

_Irishman_.--"But we must remember, that if Johnson did laugh at
Goldsmith, he would let no one else laugh at him, and he was his most
sincere and active friend. The world would, perhaps, never have seen the
'Vicar of Wakefield' if Johnson had not recommended it to a bookseller;
and Goldsmith might have died in jail if the doctor had not got him a
hundred pounds for it, when poor Goldsmith did not know it was worth a
shilling. When we recollect this, we must forgive the doctor for calling
him, in jest, an inspired idiot."

_Scotchman_.--"Especially as Goldsmith has wit enough to bear him up
against a thousand such jests."

_Englishman_.--"It is curious to observe how nearly wit and absurdity
are allied. We may forgive the genius of Ireland if he sometimes

    'Leap his light courser o'er the bounds of taste.'

Even English genius is not always to be restrained within the strict
limits of common sense. For instance, Young is witty when he says,

    'How would a miser startle to be told
    Of such a wonder as insolvent gold.'

But Johnson is, I am afraid, absurd when he says,

    'Turn from the glittering bribe your scornful eye,
    Nor sell for gold what gold can never buy.'"

"One case, to be sure, must be excepted," said the Irishman; "a patriot
may sell his reputation, and the purchaser get nothing by it. But,
gentlemen, I have just recollected an example of an Irish bull in which
are all the happy requisites, incongruity, confusion, and laughable
confusion, both in thought and expression. When Sir Richard Steele
was asked, how it happened that his countrymen made so many bulls, he
replied, 'It is the effect of climate, sir; if an Englishman were born
in Ireland, he would make as many.'"

_Scotchman_.--"This is an excellent bull, I allow; but I think I can
match it."

_Englishman_.--"And if he can, you will allow yourself to be fairly

_Irishman_.--"Most willingly."

_Scotchman_.--"Then I shall owe my victory to our friend Dr. Johnson,
the leviathan of English literature. In his celebrated preface to
Shakspeare he says, that 'he has not only shown human nature as it acts
in real exigencies, but as it _would be found in situations to which it
cannot be exposed_.' These are his own words; I think I remember them

The English gentleman smiled, and our Hibernian acknowledged that the
Scotchman had fairly gained the victory. "My friends," added he, "as I
cannot pretend to be 'convinced against my will,' I certainly am not 'of
the same opinion still.' But stay--there are such things as practical
bulls: did you never hear of the Irishman who ordered a painter to draw
his picture, and to represent him standing behind a tree?"

_Englishman_.--"No: but I have heard the very same story told of an
Englishman. The dealers in _good jokes_ give them first to one nation
and then to another, first to one celebrated character and then to
another, as it suits the demand and fashion of the day: just as our
printsellers, with a few touches, change the portrait of General
Washington into the head of the king of France, and a capital print of
Sir Joshua Reynolds into a striking likeness of _the Monster_.

"But I can give you an instance of a practical bull that is not only
indisputably English, but was made by one of the greatest men that
England ever produced, Sir Isaac Newton, who, after he had made a large
hole in his study-door for his cat to creep through, made a small hole
beside it for the kitten. You will acknowledge, sir, that this is a good
practical bull."

"Pardon me," said the Hibernian, "we have still some miles further to
go, and, if you will give me leave, I will relate 'an Hibernian tale,'
which exemplifies some of the opinions held in this conversation."

The Scotch and English gentlemen begged to hear the story, and he began
in the following manner.



Sir John Bull was a native of Ireland, _bred_ and _born_ in the city
of Cork. His real name was Phelim O'Mooney, and he was by profession a
_stocah_, or walking gentleman; that is, a person who is too proud to
earn his bread, and too poor to have bread without earning it. He had
always been told that none of his ancestors had ever been in trade or
business of any kind, and he resolved, when a boy, never to _demean_
himself and family, as his elder brother had done, by becoming a rich
merchant. When he grew up to be a young man, he kept this spirited
resolution as long as he had a relation or friend in the world who would
let him hang upon them; but when he was shaken off by all, what could he
do but go into business? He chose the most genteel, however; he became a
wine merchant. I'm _only_ a wine merchant, said he to himself, and that
is next door to being nothing at all. His brother furnished his cellars;
and Mr. Phelim O'Mooney, upon the strength of the wine that he had in
his cellars, and of the money he expected to make of it, immediately
married a wife, set up a gig, and gave excellent dinners to men who were
ten times richer than he even ever expected to be. In return for these
excellent dinners, his new friends bought all their wine from Mr.
O'Mooney, and never paid for it; he lived upon credit himself, and gave
all his friends credit, till he became a bankrupt. Then nobody came to
dine with him, and every body found out that he had been very imprudent;
and he was obliged to sell his gig, but not before it had broken his
wife's neck; so that when accounts came to be finally settled, he was
not much worse than when he began the world, the loss falling upon his
creditors, and he being, as he observed, free to begin life again, with
the advantage of being once more a bachelor. He was such a good-natured,
free-hearted fellow, that every body liked him, even his creditors. His
wife's relations made up the sum of five hundred pounds for him, and
his brother offered to take him into his firm as partner; but O'Mooney
preferred, he said, going to try, or rather to make, his fortune in
England, as he did not doubt but he should by marriage, being, as he
did not scruple to acknowledge, a personable, clever-looking man, and a
great favourite with the sex.

"My last wife I married for love, my next I expect will do the same by
me, and of course the money must come on her side this time," said our
hero, half jesting, half in earnest. His elder and wiser brother, the
merchant, whom he still held in more than sufficient contempt, ventured
to hint some slight objections to this scheme of Phelim's seeking
fortune in England. He observed that so many had gone upon this plan
already, that there was rather a prejudice in England against Irish

This could not affect _him_ any ways, Phelim replied, because he did not
mean to appear in England as an Irishman at all.

"How then?"

"As an Englishman, since that is most agreeable."

"How can that be?"

"Who should hinder it?"

His brother, hesitatingly, said "Yourself."

"Myself!--What part of myself? Is it my tongue?--You'll acknowledge,
brother, that I do not speak with the brogue."

It was true that Phelim did not speak with any Irish brogue: his mother
was an English woman, and he had lived much with English officers
in Cork, and he had studied and imitated their manner of speaking so
successfully, that no one, merely by his accent, could have guessed that
he was an Irishman.

"Hey! brother, I say!" continued Phelim, in a triumphant English tone;
"I never was taken for an Irishman in my life. Colonel Broadman told me
the other day, I spoke English better than the English themselves; that
he should take me for an Englishman, in any part of the known world, the
moment I opened my lips. You must allow that not the smallest particle
of brogue is discernible on my tongue."

His brother allowed that not the smallest particle of brogue was to be
discerned upon Phelim's tongue, but feared that some Irish idiom might
be perceived in his conversation. And then the name of O'Mooney!

"Oh, as to that, I need not trouble an act of parliament, or even a
king's letter, just to change my name for a season; at the worst, I can
travel and appear incognito."


"No: only just till I'm upon good terms with the lady ---- Mrs. Phelim
O'Mooney, that is to be, God willing. Never fear, nor shake your head,
brother; _you_ men of business are out of this line, and not proper
judges: I beg your pardon for saying so, but as you are my own brother,
and nobody by, you'll excuse me."

His brother did excuse him, but continued silent for some minutes;
he was pondering upon the means of persuading Phelim to give up this

"I would lay you any wager, my dear Phelim," said he, "that you could
not continue four days in England incognito."

"Done!" cried Phelim. "Done for a hundred pounds; done for a thousand
pounds, and welcome."

"But if you lose, how will you pay?"

"Faith! that's the last thing I thought of, being sure of winning."

"Then you will not object to any mode of payment I shall propose."

"None: only remembering always, that I was a bankrupt last week, and
shall be little better till I'm married; but then I'll pay you honestly
if I lose."

"No, if you lose I must be paid before that time, my good sir," said his
brother, laughing. "My bet is this:--I will lay you one hundred guineas
that you do not remain four days in England incognito; be upon honour
with me, and promise, that if you lose, you will, instead of laying down
a hundred guineas, come back immediately, and settle quietly again to

The word _business_ was always odious to our hero's proud ears; but he
thought himself so secure of winning his wager, that he willingly bound
himself in a penalty which he believed would never become due; and his
generous brother, at parting, made the bet still more favourable, by
allowing that Phelim should not be deemed the loser unless he was,
in the course of the first four days after he touched English ground,
detected eight times in being an Irishman.

"Eight times!" cried Phelim. "Good bye to a hundred guineas, brother,
you may say."

"You may say," echoed his brother, and so they parted.

Mr. Phelim O'Mooney the next morning sailed from Cork harbour with a
prosperous gale, and with a confidence in his own success which supplied
the place of auspicious omens. He embarked at Cork, to go by long sea to
London, and was driven into Deal, where Julius Caesar once landed before
him, and with the same resolution to see and conquer. It was early in
the morning; having been very sea-sick, he was impatient, as soon as
he got into the inn, for his breakfast: he was shown into a room where
three ladies were waiting to go by the stage; his air of easy confidence
was the best possible introduction.

"Would any of the company choose eggs?" said the waiter.

"I never touch an egg for my share," said O'Mooney, carelessly; he knew
that it was supposed to be an Irish custom to eat eggs at breakfast; and
when the malicious waiter afterwards set a plate full of eggs in salt
upon the table, our hero magnanimously abstained from them; he even
laughed heartily at a story told by one of the ladies, of an Hibernian
at Buxton, who declared that "no English hen ever laid a fresh egg."

O'Mooney got through breakfast much to his own satisfaction, and to that
of the ladies, whom he had taken a proper occasion to call the _three
graces_, and whom he had informed that he was an _old_ baronet of an
English family, and that his name was Sir John Bull. The youngest of
the graces civilly observed, "that whatever else he might be, she should
never have taken him for an _old_ baronet." The lady who made this
speech was pretty, but O'Mooney had penetration enough to discover, in
the course of the conversation, that she and her companions were far
from being divinities; his three graces were a greengrocer's wife, a
tallowchandler's widow, and a milliner. When he found that these ladies
were likely to be his companions if he were to travel in the coach, he
changed his plan, and ordered a postchaise and four.

O'Mooney was not in danger of making any vulgar Irish blunders in paying
his bill at an inn. No landlord or waiter could have suspected him,
especially as he always left them to settle the matter first, and then
looked over the bill and money with a careless gentility, saying, "Very
right," or "Very well, sir;" wisely calculating, that it was better to
lose a few shillings on the road, than to lose a hundred pounds by the
risk of Hibernian miscalculation.

Whilst the chaise was getting ready he went to the custom-house to
look after his baggage. He found a red-hot countryman of his own there,
roaring about four and fourpence, and fighting the battle of his trunks,
in which he was ready to make affidavit there was not, nor never had
been, any thing contraband; and when the custom-house officer replied by
pulling out of one of them a piece of Irish poplin, the Hibernian
fell immediately upon the Union, which he swore was Disunion, as
the custom-house officers managed it. Sir John Bull appeared to much
advantage all this time, maintaining a dignified silence; from his quiet
appearance and deportment, the custom-house officers took it for
granted that he was an Englishman. He was in no hurry; he begged _that_
gentleman's business might be settled first; he would wait the officer's
leisure, and as he spoke he played so dexterously with half-a-guinea
between his fingers, as to make it visible only where he wished.
The custom-house officer was his humble servant immediately; but the
Hibernian would have been his enemy, if he had not conciliated him by
observing, "that even Englishmen must allow there was something very
like a bull in professing to make a complete identification of the two
kingdoms, whilst, at the same time, certain regulations continued in
full force to divide the countries by art, even more than the British
Channel does by nature."

Sir John talked so plausibly, and, above all, so candidly and coolly on
Irish and English politics, that the custom-house officer conversed with
him for a quarter of an hour without guessing of what country he was,
till in an unlucky moment Phelim's heart got the better of his head.
Joining in the praises bestowed by all parties on the conduct of
a distinguished patriot of his country, he, in the height of his
enthusiasm, inadvertently called him the _Speaker_.

"The Speaker!" said the officer.

"Yes, the Speaker--_our_ Speaker!" cried Phelim, with exultation. He
was not aware how he had betrayed himself, till the officer smiled and

"Sir, I really never should have found out that you were an Irishman
but from the manner in which you named your countryman, who is as highly
thought of by all parties in this country as in yours: your enthusiasm
does honour to your heart."

"And to my head, I'm sure," said our hero, laughing with the best grace
imaginable. "Well, I am glad you have found me out in this manner,
though I lose the eighth part of a bet of a hundred guineas by it."

He explained the wager, and begged the custom-house officer to keep his
secret, which he promised to do faithfully, and assured him, "that he
should be happy to do any thing in his power to serve him." Whilst he
was uttering these last words, there came in a snug, but soft-looking
Englishman, who opining from the words "happy to do any thing in my
power to serve you," that O'Mooney was a friend of the custom-house
officer's, and encouraged by something affable and good-natured in our
hero's countenance, crept up to him, and whispered a request--"Could you
tell a body, sir, how to get out of the custom-house a very valuable box
of Sèvre china that has been _laying_ in the custom-house three weeks,
and which I was commissioned to get out if I could, and bring up to town
for a lady."

As a lady was in the case, O'Mooney's gallantry instantly made his
good-nature effective. The box of Sèvre china was produced, and opened
only as a matter of form, and only as a matter of curiosity its contents
were examined--a beautiful set of Sèvre china and a pendule, said to
have belonged to M. Egalité! "These things must be intended," said
Phelim, "for some lady of superior taste or fortune."

As Phelim was a proficient in the Socratic art of putting judicious
interrogatories, he was soon happily master of the principal points it
concerned him to know: he learnt that the lady was rich--a spinster--of
full age--at her own disposal--living with a single female companion
at Blackheath--furnishing a house there in a superior style--had two
carriages--her Christian name Mary--her surname Sharperson.

O'Mooney, by the blessing of God, it shall soon he, thought Phelim. He
politely offered the Englishman a place in his chaise for himself and
Sèvre china, as it was for a lady, and would run great hazard in
the stage, which besides was full. Mr. Queasy, for that was our soft
Englishman's name, was astonished by our hero's condescension and
affability, especially as he heard him called Sir John: he bowed sundry
times as low as the fear of losing his wig would permit, and accepted
the polite offer with many thanks for himself and the lady concerned.

Sir John Bull's chaise and four was soon ready; and Queasy seated in
the corner of it, and the Sèvre china safely stowed between his knees.
Captain Murray, a Scotch officer, was standing at the inn-door, with his
eyes intently fixed on the letters that were worked in nails on the top
of Sir John's trunk; the letters were P. O'M. Our hero, whose eyes were
at least as quick as the Scotchman's, was alarmed lest this should lead
to a second detection. He called instantly, with his usual presence of
mind, to the ostler, and desired him to uncord _that_ trunk, as it was
not to go with him; raising his voice loud enough for all _the yard_
to hear, he added--"It is not mine at all; it belongs to my friend,
Mr. O'Mooney: let it be sent after me, at leisure, by the waggon, as
directed, to the care of Sir John Bull."

Our hero was now giving his invention a prodigious quantity of
superfluous trouble; and upon this occasion, as upon most others, he was
more in danger from excess than deficiency of ingenuity: he was like the
man in the fairy tale, who was obliged to tie his legs lest he should
outrun the object of which he was in pursuit. The Scotch officer, though
his eyes were fixed on the letters PO'S., had none of the suspicions
which Phelim was counteracting; he was only considering how he could ask
for the third place in Sir John's chaise during the next stage, as he
was in great haste to get to town upon particular business, and there
were no other horses at the inn. When he heard that the heavy baggage
was to go by the waggon, he took courage and made his request. It was
instantly granted by the good-natured Hibernian, who showed as much
hospitality about his chaise as if it had been his house. Away they
drove as fast as they could. Fresh dangers awaited him at the next
inn. He left his hat upon the table in the hall whilst he went into the
parlour, and when he returned, he heard some person inquiring what Irish
gentleman was there. Our hero was terribly alarmed, for he saw that
his hat was in the inquirers hand, and he recollected that the name of
Phelim O'Mooney was written in it. This the inquisitive gentleman did
not see, for it was written in no very legible characters on the leather
withinside of the front; but "F. Guest, hatter, Damestreet, Dublin,"
was a printed advertisement that could not be mistaken, and _that_ was
pasted within the crown. O'Mooney's presence of mind did not forsake him
upon this emergency.

"My good sir," said he, turning to Queasy, who, without hearing one word
of what was passing, was coming out of the parlour, with his own hat
and gloves in his hand; "My good sir," continued he, loading him with
parcels, "will you have the goodness to see these put into my carriage?
Ill take care of your hat and gloves," added O'Mooney, in a low voice.
Queasy surrendered his hat and gloves instantly, unknowing wherefore;
then squeezed forward with his load through the crowd, crying--"Waiter!
hostler! pray, somebody put these into Sir John Bull's chaise."

Sir John Bull, equipped with Queasy's hat, marched deliberately through
the defile, bowing with the air of at least an English county member to
this side and to that, as way was made for him to his carriage. No one
suspected that the hat did not belong to him; no one, indeed, thought of
the hat, for all eyes were fixed upon the man. Seated in the carriage,
he threw money to the waiter, hostler, and boots, and drew up the glass,
bidding the postilions drive on. By this cool self-possession our hero
effected his retreat with successful generalship, leaving his new Dublin
beaver behind him, without regret, as bona waviata. Queasy, before whose
eyes things passed continually without his seeing them, thanked Sir John
for the care he had taken of his hat, drew on his gloves, and calculated
aloud how long they should be going to the next stage. At the first town
they passed through, O'Mooney bought a new hat, and Queasy deplored the
unaccountable mistake by which Sir John's hat had been forgotten. No
further _mistakes_ happened upon the journey. The travellers rattled
on, and neither 'stinted nor stayed' till they arrived at Blackheath, at
Miss Sharperson's. Sir John sat Queasy down without having given him the
least hint of his designs upon the lady; but as he helped him out with
the Sèvre china, he looked through the large opening double doors of
the hall, and slightly said--"Upon my word, this seems to be a handsome
house: it would be worth looking at, if the family were not at home."

"I am morally sure, Sir John," said the soft Queasy, "that Miss
Sharperson would be happy to let you see the house tonight, and this
minute, if she knew you were at the door, and who you were, and all your
civility about me and the china.--Do, pray, walk in."

"Not for the world: a gentleman could not do such a thing without an
invitation from the lady of the house herself."

"Oh, if that's all, I'll step up myself to the young lady; I'm certain
she'll be proud----"

"Mr. Queasy, by no means; I would not have the lady disturbed for the
world at this unseasonable hour.--It is too late--quite too late."

"Not at all, begging pardon, Sir John," said Queasy, taking out his
watch: "only just tea-time by me.--Not at all unseasonable for any body;
besides, the message is of my own head:--all, you know, if not well

Up the great staircase he made bold to go on his mission, as he thought,
in defiance of Sir John's better judgment. He returned in a few minutes
with a face of self-complacent exultation, _and_ Miss Sharperson's
compliments, and begs Sir John Bull will walk up and rest himself with a
dish of tea, and has her thanks to him for the china.

Now Queasy, who had the highest possible opinion of Sir John Bull and
of Miss Sharperson, whom he thought the two people of the greatest
consequence and affability, had formed the notion that they were made
for each other, and that it must be a match if they could but meet. The
meeting he had now happily contrived and effected; and he had done
his part for his friend Sir John, with Miss Sharperson, by as many
exaggerations as he could utter in five minutes, concerning his
perdigious politeness and courage, his fine person and carriage, his
ancient family, and vast connexions and importance wherever he appeared
on the road, at inns, and over all England. He had previously, during
the journey, done his part for his friend Miss Sharperson with Sir John,
by stating that "she had a large fortune left her by her mother, and was
to have twice as much from her grandmother; that she had thousands upon
thousands in the funds, and an estate of two thousand a year, called
Rascàlly, in Scotland, besides plate and jewels without end."

Thus prepared, how could this lady and gentleman meet without falling
desperately in love with each other!

Though a servant in handsome livery appeared ready to show Sir John up
the great staircase, Mr. Queasy acted as a gentleman usher, or rather as
showman. He nodded to Sir John as they passed across a long gallery and
through an ante-chamber, threw open the doors of various apartments
as he went along, crying--"Peep in! peep in! peep in here! peep in
there!--Is not this spacious? Is not this elegant! Is not that grand?
Did I say too much?" continued he, rubbing his hands with delight. "Did
you ever see so magnificent and such highly-polished steel grates out of

Sir John, conscious that the servant's eyes were upon him, smiled
at this question, "looked superior down;" and though with reluctant
complaisance he leaned his body to this side or to that, as Queasy
pulled or swayed, yet he appeared totally regardless of the man's vulgar
reflections. He had seen every thing as he passed, and was surprised at
all he saw; but evinced not the slightest symptom of astonishment. He
was now ushered into a spacious, well-lighted apartment: he entered with
the easy, unembarrassed air of a man who was perfectly accustomed to
such a home. His quick coup-d'oeil took in the whole at a single glance.
Two magnificent candelabras stood on Egyptian tables at the farther end
of the room, and the lights were reflected on all sides from mirrors of
no common size. Nothing seemed worthy to attract our hero's attention
but the lady of the house, whom he approached with an air of
distinguished respect. She was reclining on a Turkish sofa, her
companion seated beside her, tuning a harp. Miss Sharperson half rose to
receive Sir John: he paid his compliments with an easy, yet respectful
air. He was thanked for his civilities to _the person_ who had been
commissioned to bring the box of Sèvre china from Deal.

"Vastly sorry it should have been so troublesome," Miss Sharperson said,
in a voice fashionably unintelligible, and with a most becoming yet
intimidating nonchalance of manner. Intimidating it might have been to
any man but our hero; he, who had the happy talent of catching, wherever
he went, the reigning manner of the place, replied to the lady in equal
strains; and she, in her turn, seemed to look upon him more as her
equal. Tea and coffee were served. _Nothings_ were talked of quite
easily by Sir John. He practised the art "not to admire," so as to give
a justly high opinion of his taste, consequence, and knowledge of the
world. Miss Sharperson, though her nonchalance was much diminished,
continued to maintain a certain dignified reserve; whilst her companion,
Miss Felicia Flat, condescended to ask Sir John, who had doubtless
seen every fine house in England and on the continent, his opinion with
respect to the furniture and finishing of the room, the placing of the
Egyptian tables and the candelabras.

No mortal could have guessed by Sir John Bull's air, when he heard this
question, that he had never seen a candelabra before in his life. He
was so much, and yet seemingly so little upon his guard, he dealt so
dexterously in generals, and evaded particulars so delicately, that he
went through this dangerous conversation triumphantly. Careful not to
protract his visit beyond the bounds of propriety, he soon rose to take
leave, and he mingled "intrusion, regret, late hour, happiness, and
honour," so charmingly in his parting compliment, as to leave the most
favourable impression on the minds of both the ladies, and to procure
for himself an invitation to see the house next morning.

The first day was now ended, and our hero had been detected but once.
He went to rest this night well satisfied with himself, but much more
occupied with the hopes of marrying the heiress of Rascàlly than of
winning a paltry bet.

The next day he waited upon the ladies in high spirits. Neither of them
was _visible_, but Mr. Queasy had orders to show him the house, which
he did with much exultation, dwelling particularly in his praises on the
beautiful high polish of the steel grates. Queasy boasted that it was he
who had recommended the ironmonger who furnished the house in that line;
and that his bill, as he was proud to state, amounted to _many, many_
hundreds. Sir John, who did not attend to one word Queasy said, went to
examine the map of the Rascàlly estate, which was unrolled, and he had
leisure to count the number of lords' and ladies' visiting tickets which
lay upon the chimney-piece. He saw names of the people of first quality
and respectability: it was plain that Miss Sharperson must be a lady of
high family as well as large fortune, else she would not be visited by
persons of such distinction. Our hero's passion for her increased every
moment. Her companion, Miss Flat, now appeared, and entered very freely
into conversation with Sir John; and as he perceived that she was
commissioned to sit in judgment upon him, he evaded all her leading
questions with the skill of an Irish witness, but without giving any
Hibernian answers. She was fairly at a fault. Miss Sharperson at length
appeared, elegantly dressed; her person was genteel, and her face rather
pretty. Sir John, at this instant, thought her beautiful, or seemed to
think so. The ladies interchanged looks, and afterwards Sir John found a
softness in his fair one's manner, a languishing tenderness in her eyes,
in the tone of her voice, and at the same time a modest perplexity and
reserve about her, which altogether persuaded him that he was quite
right, and his brother quite wrong _en fait d'amour_. Miss Flat appeared
now to have the most self-possession of the three, and Miss Sharperson
looked at her from time to time, as if she asked leave to be in love.
Sir John's visit lasted a full half hour before he was sensible of
having been five minutes engaged in this delightful conversation.

Miss Sharperson's coach now came to the door: he handed her into it, and
she gave him a parting look, which satisfied him all was yet safe in
her heart. Miss Flat, as he handed her into the carriage, said, "Perhaps
they should meet Sir John at Tunbridge, where they were going in a few
days." She added some words as she seated herself, which he scarcely
noticed at the time, but they recurred afterwards disagreeably to his
memory. The words were, "I'm so glad we've a roomy coach, for of all
things it annoys me to be _squeedged_ in a carriage."

This word _squeedged_, as he had not been used to it in Ireland, sounded
to him extremely vulgar, and gave him suspicions of the most painful
nature. He had the precaution, before he left Blackheath, to go into
several shops, and to inquire something more concerning his fair ladies.
All he heard was much to their advantage; that is, much to the advantage
of Miss Sharperson's fortune. All agreed that she was a rich Scotch
heiress. A rich Scotch heiress, Sir John wisely considered, might have
an humble companion who spoke bad English. He concluded that _squeedged_
was Scotch, blamed himself for his suspicions, and was more in love
with his mistress and with himself than ever. As he returned to town,
he framed the outline of a triumphant letter to his brother on his
approaching marriage. The bet was a matter, at present, totally beneath
his consideration. However, we must do him the justice to say, that
like a man of honour he resolved that, as soon as he had won the lady's
heart, he would _candidly_ tell her his circumstances, and then leave
her the choice either to marry him or break her heart, as she pleased.
Just as he had formed this generous resolution, at a sudden turn of the
road he overtook Miss Sharperson's coach: he bowed and looked in as he
passed, when, to his astonishment, he saw, _squeedged_ up in the corner
by Miss Felicia, Mr. Queasy. He thought that this was a blunder in
etiquette that would never have been made in Ireland. Perhaps his
mistress was of the same opinion, for she hastily pulled down the blind
as Sir John passed. A cold qualm came over the lover's heart. He lost no
time in idle doubts and suspicions, but galloped on to town as fast as
he could, and went immediately to call upon the Scotch officer with
whom he had travelled, and whom he knew to be keen and prudent. He
recollected the map of the Rascàlly estate, which he saw in Miss
Sharperson's breakfast-room, and he remembered that the lands were said
to lie in that part of Scotland from which Captain Murray came; from him
he resolved to inquire into the state of the premises, before he should
offer himself as tenant for life. Captain Murray assured him that there
was no such place as Rascàlly in that part of Scotland; that he had
never heard of any such person as Miss Sharperson, though he was
acquainted with every family and every estate in the neighbourhood
where she fabled hers to be. O'Mooney drew from memory, the map of the
Rascàlly estate. Captain Murray examined the boundaries, and assured
him that his cousin the general's lands joined his own at the very spot
which he described, and that unless two straight lines could enclose a
space, the Rascàlly estate could not be found.

Sir John, naturally of a warm temper, proceeded, however, with prudence.
The Scotch officer admired his sagacity in detecting this adventurer.
Sir John waited at his hotel for Queasy, who had promised to call to let
him know when the ladies f would go to Tunbridge. Queasy came. Nothing
could equal his astonishment and dismay when he was told the news.

"No such place as the Rascàlly estate! Then I'm an undone man! an undone
man!" cried poor Queasy, bursting into tears: "but I'm certain it's
impossible; and you'll find, Sir John, you've been misinformed. I would
stake my life upon it, Miss Sharperson's a rich heiress, and has a rich
grandmother. Why, she's five hundred pounds in my debt, and I know of
her being thousands and thousands in the books of as good men as myself,
to whom I've recommended her, which I wouldn't have done for my life
if I had not known her to be solid. You'll find she'll prove a rich
heiress, Sir John."

Sir John hoped so, but the proofs were not yet satisfactory. Queasy
determined to inquire about her payments to certain creditors at
Blackheath, and promised to give a decisive answer in the morning.
O'Mooney saw that this man was too great a fool to be a knave; his
perturbation was evidently the perturbation of a dupe, not of an
accomplice: Queasy was made to "be an anvil, not a hammer." In the midst
of his own disappointment, our good-natured Hibernian really pitied this
poor currier.

The next morning Sir John went early to Blackheath. All was confusion at
Miss Sharperson's house; the steps covered with grates and furniture of
all sorts; porters carrying out looking-glasses, Egyptian tables, and
candelabras; the noise of workmen was heard in every apartment; and
louder than all the rest, O'Mooney heard the curses that were denounced
against his rich heiress--curses such as are bestowed on a swindler in
the moment of detection by the tradesmen whom she has ruined.

Our hero, who was of a most happy temper, congratulated himself upon
having, by his own wit and prudence, escaped making the practical bull
of marrying a female swindler.

Now that Phelim's immediate hopes of marrying a rich heiress were over,
his bet with his brother appeared to him of more consequence, and he
rejoiced in the reflection that this was the third day he had spent in
England, and that he had but once been detected.--The ides of March were
come, but not passed!

"My lads," said he to the workmen, who were busy in carrying out the
furniture from Miss Sharperson's house, "all hands are at work, I see,
in saving what they can from the wreck of _the Sharperson_. She was as
well-fitted out a vessel, and in as gallant trim, as any ship upon the
face of the earth."

"Ship upon the face of the _yearth_.'" repeated an English porter with
a sneer; "ship upon the face of the water, you should say, master; but I
take it you be's an Irishman."

O'Mooney had reason to be particularly vexed at being detected by this
man, who spoke a miserable jargon, and who seemed not to have a very
extensive range of ideas. He was one of those half-witted geniuses who
catch at the shadow of an Irish bull. In fact, Phelim had merely made a
lapsus lingual, and had used an expression justifiable by the
authority of the elegant and witty Lord Chesterfield, who said--no, who
wrote--that the English navy is the finest navy upon the face of the
earth! But it was in vain for our hero to argue the point; he was
detected--no matter how or by whom. But this was only his second
detection, and three of his four days of probation were past.

He dined this day at Captain Murray's. In the room in which they dined
there was a picture of the captain, painted by Romney. Sir John, who
happened to be seated opposite to it, observed that it was a very fine
picture; the more he looked at it, the more he liked it. His admiration
was at last unluckily expressed: he said, "That's an incomparable, an
inimitable picture; it is absolutely _more like than the original_."

A keen Scotch lady in company smiled, and repeated, "_More like than the
original_! Sir John, if I had not been told by my relative here that you
were an Englishman, I should have set you _doon_, from that speech, for
an Irishman."

This unexpected detection brought the colour, for a moment, into Sir
John's face; but immediately recovering his presence of mind, he said,
"That was, I acknowledge, an excellent Irish bull; but in the course of
my travels I have heard as good English bulls as Irish."

To this Captain Murray politely acceded, and he produced some laughable
instances in support of the assertion, which gave the conversation a new

O'Mooney felt extremely obliged to the captain for this, especially as
he saw, by his countenance, that he also had suspicions of the truth.
The first moment he found himself alone with Murray, our hero said to
him, "Murray, you are too good a fellow to impose upon, even in jest.
Your keen country-woman guessed the truth--I am an Irishman, but not a
swindler. You shall hear why I conceal my country and name; only keep
my secret till to-morrow night, or I shall lose a hundred guineas by my

O'Mooney then explained to him the nature of his bet. "This is only my
third detection, and half of it voluntary, I might say, if I chose to
higgle, which I scorn to do."

Captain Murray was so much pleased by this openness, that as he shook
hands with O'Mooney, he said, "Give me leave to tell you, sir, that
even if you should lose your bet by this frank behaviour, you will have
gained a better thing--a friend."

In the evening our hero went with his friend and a party of gentlemen to
Maidenhead, near which place a battle was to be fought next day, between
two famous pugilists, Bourke and Belcher. At the appointed time the
combatants appeared upon the stage; the whole boxing corps and the
gentlemen _amateurs_ crowded to behold the spectacle. Phelim O'Mooney's
heart beat for the Irish champion Bourke; but he kept a guard upon his
tongue, and had even the forbearance not to bet upon his countryman's
head. How many rounds were fought, and how many minutes the fight
lasted, how many blows were put _in_ on each side, or which was the
_game man_ of the two, we forbear to decide or relate, as all this has
been settled in the newspapers of the day; where also it was remarked,
that Bourke, who lost the battle, "was put into a post-chaise, and left
_standing_ half an hour, while another fight took place. This was
very scandalous on the part of his friends," says the humane newspaper
historian, "as the poor man might possibly be dying."

Our hero O'Mooney's heart again got the better of his head. Forgetful
of his bet, forgetful of every thing but humanity, he made his way up
to the chaise, where Bourke was left. "How are you, my gay fellow?" said
he. "Can you _see at all with the eye that's knocked out_?"

The brutal populace, who overheard this question, set up a roar of
laughter: "A bull! a bull! an Irish bull! Did you hear the question this
Irish gentleman asked his countryman?"

O'Mooney was detected a fourth time, and this time he was not ashamed.
There was one man in the crowd who did not join in the laugh: a poor
Irishman, of the name of Terence M'Dermod. He had in former times gone
out a grousing, near Cork, with our hero; and the moment he heard his
voice, he sprang forward, and with uncouth but honest demonstrations
of joy, exclaimed, "Ah, my dear master! my dear young master! Phelim
O'Mooney, Esq. And I have found your honour alive again? By the blessing
of God above, I'll never part you now till I die; and I'll go to the
world's end to _sarve yees_."

O'Mooney wished him at the world's end this instant, yet could not
prevail upon himself to check this affectionate follower of the
O'Mooneys. He, however, put half a crown into his hand, and hinted that
if he wished really to serve him, it must be at some other time. The
poor fellow threw down the money, saying, he would never leave him. "Bid
me do any thing, barring that. No, you shall never part me. Do what you
plase with me, still I'll be close to your heart, like your own shadow:
knock me down if you will, and wilcome, ten times a day, and I'll be up
again like a ninepin: only let me sarve your honour; I'll ask no wages
nor take none."

There was no withstanding all this; and whether our hero's good-nature
deceived him we shall not determine, but he thought it most prudent, as
he could not get rid of Terence, to take him into his service, to let
him into his secret, to make him swear that he would never utter the
name of Phelim O'Mooney during the remainder of this day. Terence heard
the secret of the bet with joy, entered into the jest with all the
readiness of an Irishman, and with equal joy and readiness swore by the
hind leg of the holy lamb that he would never mention, even to his own
dog, the name of Phelim O'Mooney, Esq., good or bad, till past twelve
o'clock; and further, that he would, till the clock should strike that
hour, call his master Sir John Bull, and nothing else, to all men,
women, and children, upon the floor of God's creation.

Satisfied with the fulness of this oath, O'Mooney resolved to return to
town with his man Terence M'Dermod. He, however, contrived, before he
got there, to make a practical bull, by which he was detected a fifth
time. He got into the coach which was driving _from_ London instead
of that which was driving _to_ London, and he would have been carried
rapidly to Oxford, had not his man Terence, after they had proceeded a
mile and a half on the wrong road, put his head down from the top of the
coach, crying, as he looked in at the window, "Master, Sir John Bull,
are you there? Do you know we're in the wrong box, going to Oxford?"

"Your master's an Irishman, dare to say, as well as yourself," said the
coachman, as he let Sir John out. He walked back to Maidenhead, and took
a chaise to town.

It was six o'clock when he got to London, and he went into a
coffee-house to dine. He sat down beside a gentleman who was reading the
newspaper. "Any news to-day, sir?"

The gentleman told him the news of the day, and then began to read aloud
some paragraphs in a strong Hibernian accent. Our hero was sorry that he
had met with another countryman; but he resolved to set a guard upon his
lips, and he knew that his own accent could not betray him. The stranger
read on till he came to a trial about a legacy which an old woman had
left to her cats. O'Mooney exclaimed, "I hate cats almost as much as
old women; and if I had been the English minister, I would have laid the
_dog-tax_ upon cats."

"If you had been the _Irish_ minister, you mean," said the stranger,
smiling; "for I perceive now you are a countryman of my own."

"How can you think so, sir?" said O'Mooney: "you have no reason to
suppose so from my accent, I believe."

"None in life--quite the contrary; for you speak remarkably pure
English--not the least note or half note of the brogue; but there's
another sort of freemason sign by which we Hibernians know one another,
and are known all over the globe. Whether to call it a confusion of
expressions or of ideas, I can't tell. Now an Englishman, if he had been
saying what you did, sir, just now, would have taken time to separate
the dog and the tax, and he would have put the tax upon cats, and let
the dogs go about their business." Our hero, with his usual good-humour,
acknowledged himself to be fairly detected.

"Well, sir," said the stranger, "if I had not found you out before
by the blunder, I should be sure now you were my countryman by your
good-humour. An Irishman can take what's said to him, provided no
affront's meant, with more good-humour than any man on earth."

"Ay, that he can," cried O'Mooney: "he lends himself, like the whale, to
be tickled even by the fellow with the harpoon, till he finds what he is
about, and then he pays away, and pitches the fellow, boat and all, to
the devil. Ah, countryman! you would give me credit indeed for my good
humour if you knew what danger you have put me in by detecting me for an
Irishman. I have been found out six times, and if I blunder twice more
before twelve o'clock this night, I shall lose a hundred guineas by it:
but I will make sure of my bet; for I will go home straight this minute,
lock myself up in my room, and not say a word to any mortal till the
watchman cries 'past twelve o'clock,'--then the fast and long Lent of
my tongue will be fairly over; and if you'll meet me, my dear friend, at
the King's Arms, we will have a good supper and keep Easter for ever."

Phelim, pursuant to his resolution, returned to his hotel, and shut
himself up in his room, where he remained in perfect silence and
consequent safety till about nine o'clock. Suddenly he heard a great
huzzaing in the street; he looked out of the window, and saw that all
the houses in the street were illuminated. His landlady came bustling
into his apartment, followed by waiters with candles. His spirits
instantly rose, though he did not clearly know the cause of the
rejoicings. "I give you joy, ma'am. What are you all illuminating for?"
said he to his landlady.

"Thank you, sir, with all my heart. I am not sure. It is either for a
great victory or the peace. Bob--waiter--step out and inquire for the

The gentleman preferred stepping out to inquire for himself. The
illuminations were in honour of the peace. He totally forgot his bet,
his silence, and his prudence, in his sympathy with the general joy.
He walked rapidly from street to street, admiring the various elegant
devices. A crowd was standing before the windows of a house that was
illuminated with extraordinary splendour. He inquired whose it was, and
was informed that it belonged to a contractor, who had made an immense
fortune by the war.

"Then I'm sure these illuminations of his for the peace are none of the
most sincere," said O'Mooney. The mob were of his opinion; and Phelim,
who was now, alas! worked up to the proper pitch for blundering, added,
by way of pleasing his audience still more--"If this contractor had
_illuminated_ in character, it should have been with _dark lanterns_."

"Should it? by Jasus! that would be an Irish illumination," cried some
one. "Arrah, honey! you're an Irishman, whoever you are, and have spoke
your mind in character."

Sir John Bull was vexed that the piece of wit which he had aimed at the
contractor had recoiled upon himself. "It is always, as my countryman
observed, by having too much wit that I blunder. The deuce take me if
I sport a single bon mot more this night. This is only my seventh
detection, I have an eighth blunder still _to the good_; and if I can
but keep my wit to myself till I am out of purgatory, then I shall be in
heaven, and may sing Io Triumphe in spite of my brother."

Fortunately, Phelim had not made it any part of his bet that he should
not speak to himself an Irish idiom, or that he should not _think_ a
bull. Resolved to be as obstinately silent as a monk of La Trappe, he
once more shut himself up in his cell, and fell fast asleep--dreamed
that fat bulls of Basan encompassed him round about--that he ran down
a steep bill to escape them--that his foot slipped--he rolled to the
bottom--felt the bull's horns in his side--heard the bull bellowing in
his--ears--wakened--and found Terence M'Dermod bellowing at his room

"Sir John Bull! Sir John Bull! murder! murder! my dear master, Sir John
Bull! murder, robbery, and reward! let me in! for the love of the Holy
Virgin! they are all after you!"

"Who? are you drunk, Terence?" said Sir John, opening the door.

"No, but they are mad--all mad."


"The constable. They are all mad entirely, and the lord mayor, all along
with your honour's making me swear I would not tell your name. Sure they
are all coming armed in a body to put you in jail for a forgery, unless
I run back and tell them the truth--will I?"

"First tell me the truth, blunderer!"

"I'll make my affidavit I never blundered, plase your honour, but just
went to the merchant's, as you ordered, with the draft, signed with the
name I swore not to utter till past twelve. I presents the draft, and
waits to be paid. 'Are you Mr. O'Mooney's servant?' says one of the
clerks after a while. 'No, sir, not at all, sir,' said I; 'I'm Sir John
Bull's, at your sarvice.' He puzzles and puzzles, and asks me did I
bring the draft, and was that your writing at the bottom of it? I still
said it was my master's writing, _Sir John Bull's_, and no other. They
whispered from one up to t'other, and then said it was a forgery, as I
overheard, and I must go before the mayor. With that, while the master,
who was called down to be examined as to his opinion, was putting on his
glasses to spell it out, I gives them, one and all, the slip, and whips
out of the street door and home to give your honour notice, and have
been breaking my heart at the door this half hour to make you hear--and
now you have it all."

"I am in a worse dilemma now than when between the horns of the bull,"
thought Sir John: "I must now either tell my real name, avow myself an
Irishman, and so lose my bet, or else go to jail."

He preferred going to jail. He resolved to pretend to be dumb, and he
charged Terence not to betray him. The officers of justice came to take
him up: Sir John resigned himself to them, making signs that he could
not speak. He was carried before a magistrate. The merchant had never
seen Mr. Phelim O'Mooney, but could swear to his handwriting and
signature, having many of his letters and drafts. The draft in question
was produced. Sir John Bull would neither acknowledge nor deny
the signature, but in dumb show made signs of innocence. No art or
persuasion could make him speak; he kept his fingers on his lips. One
of the bailiffs offered to open Sir John's mouth. Sir John clenched his
hand, in token that if they used violence he knew his remedy. To
the magistrate he was all bows and respect: but the law, in spite of
civility, must take its course.

Terence McDermod beat his breast, and called upon all the saints in the
Irish calendar when he saw the committal actually made out, and his dear
master given over to the constables. Nothing but his own oath and his
master's commanding eye, which was fixed upon him at this instant,
could have made him forbear to utter, what he had never in his life been
before so strongly tempted to tell--the truth.

Determined to win his wager, our hero suffered himself to be carried to
a lock-up house, and persisted in keeping silence till the clock struck
twelve! Then the charm was broken, and he spoke. He began talking to
himself, and singing as loud as he possibly could. The next morning
Terence, who was no longer bound by his oath to conceal Phelim's name,
hastened to his master's correspondent in town, told the whole
story, and O'Mooney was liberated. Having won his bet by his wit
and steadiness, he had now the prudence to give up these adventuring
schemes, to which he had so nearly become a dupe; he returned
immediately to Ireland to his brother, and determined to settle
quietly to business. His good brother paid him the hundred guineas most
joyfully, declaring that he had never spent a hundred guineas better
in his life than in recovering a brother. Phelim had now conquered his
foolish dislike to trade: his brother took him into partnership, and
Phelim O'Mooney never relapsed into Sir John Bull.


Unable any longer to support the tone of irony, we joyfully speak in our
own characters, and explicitly declare our opinion, that the Irish are
an ingenious, generous people; that the bulls and blunders of which they
are accused are often imputable to their neighbours, or that they are
justifiable by ancient precedents, or that they are produced by their
habits of using figurative and witty language. By what their good-humour
is produced we know not; but that it exists we are certain. In Ireland,
the countenance and heart expand at the approach of wit and humour:
the poorest labourer forgets his poverty and toil, in the pleasure of
enjoying a joke. Amongst all classes of the people, provided no malice
is obviously meant, none is apprehended. That such is the character of
the majority of the nation there cannot _to us_ be a more convincing and
satisfactory proof than the manner in which a late publication[64] was
received in Ireland. The Irish were the first to laugh at the caricature
of their ancient foibles, and it was generally taken merely as
good-humoured raillery, not as insulting satire. If gratitude for this
generosity has now betrayed us unawares into the language of panegyric,
we may hope for pardon from the liberal of both nations. Those who are
thoroughly acquainted with Ireland will most readily acknowledge the
justice of our praises; those who are ignorant of the country will not,
perhaps, be displeased to have their knowledge of the people of Ireland
extended. Many foreign pictures of Irishmen are as grotesque and absurd
as the Chinese pictures of lions: having never seen that animal, the
Chinese can paint him only from the descriptions of voyagers, which are
sometimes ignorantly, sometimes wantonly exaggerated.

In Voltaire's Age of Lewis the Fourteenth we find the following
passage:--"Some nations seem made to be subject to others. The English
have always had over the Irish the superiority of genius, wealth, and
arms. The _superiority which the whites have over the negroes_." [65]
A note in a subsequent edition informs us, that the injurious
expression--"_The superiority which the whites have over the negroes,_"
was erased by Voltaire; and his editor subjoins his own opinion. "The
nearly savage state in which Ireland was when she was conquered, her
superstition, the oppression exercised by the English, the religious
fanaticism which divides the Irish into two hostile nations, such were
the causes which have held down this people in depression and weakness.
Religious hatreds are appeased, and this country has recovered her
liberty. The Irish no longer yield to the English, either in industry or
in information." [66]

The last sentence of this note might, if it had reached the eyes or ears
of the incensed Irish historian, Mr. O'Halloran, have assuaged his wrath
against Voltaire for the unguarded expression in the text; unless
the amor patriae of the historian, like the amour propre of some
individuals, instead of being gratified by congratulations on their
improvement, should be intent upon demonstrating that there never was
anything to improve. As we were neither _born nor_ bred in Ireland, we
cannot be supposed to possess this amor patriae in its full force:
we profess to be attached to the country only for its merits; we
acknowledge that it is a matter of indifference to us whether the Irish
derive their origin from the Spaniards, or the Milesians, or the Welsh:
we are not so violently anxious as we ought to be to determine whether
or not the language spoken by the Phoenician slave, in Terence's play,
was Irish; nay, we should not break our hearts if it could never be
satisfactorily proved that Albion is only another name for Ireland.[67]
We moreover candidly confess that we are more interested in the fate
of the present race of its inhabitants than in the historian of St.
Patrick, St. Facharis, St. Cormuc; the renowned Brien Boru; Tireldach,
king of Connaught; M'Murrough, king of Leinster; Diarmod; Righ-Damnha;
Labra-Loing-seach; Tighermas; Ollamh-Foldha; the M'Giolla-Pha-draigs; or
even the great William of Ogham; and by this declaration we have no fear
of giving offence to any but rusty antiquaries. We think it somewhat,
more to the honour of Ireland to enumerate the names of some of the men
of genius whom she has produced: Milton and Shakspeare stand unrivalled;
but Ireland can boast of Usher, Boyle, Denham, Congreve, Molyneux,
Farquhar, Sir Richard Steele, Bickerstaff, Sir Hans Sloane, Berkeley,
Orrery, Parnell, Swift, T. Sheridan, Welsham, Bryan Robinson, Goldsmith,
Sterne, Johnsons[68], Tickel, Brooke, Zeland, Hussey Burgh, three
Hamiltons, Young, Charlemont, Macklin, Murphy, Mrs. Sheridan,[69]
Francis Sheridan, Kirwan, Brinsley Sheridan, and Burke.

We enter into no invidious comparisons: it is our sincere wish to
conciliate both countries; and if in this slight essay we should succeed
in diffusing a more just and enlarged idea of the Irish than has
been generally entertained, we hope the English will deem it not an
unacceptable service. Whatever might have been the policy of the English
nation towards Ireland whilst she was a separate kingdom, since the
union it can no longer be her wish to depreciate the talents or ridicule
the language of Hibernians. One of the Czars of Russia used to take
the cap and bells from his fool, and place it on the head of any of
his subjects whom he wished to disgrace. The idea of extending such a
punishment to a whole nation was ingenious and magnanimous; but England
cannot now put it into execution towards Ireland. Would it not be a
practical bull to place the bells upon her own imperial head?



       *       *       *       *       *

The following collection of Foreign Bulls was given us by a man of
letters, who is now father of the French Academy.

       *       *       *       *       *


Toutes les nations ont des contes plaisans de bêtises échappées non
seulement à des personnes vraiment bêtes, mais aux distractions de gens
qui ne sont pas sans esprit. Les Italiens ont leurs _spropositi_, leur
arlequin ses balourdises, les Anglois leurs _blunders_, les Irlandois
leurs _bulls_.

Mademoiselle Maria Edgeworth ayant fait un recueil de ces derniers,
je prends la liberté de lui offrir un petit recueil de nos bêtises qui
méritent le nom qu'elles portent aussi bien que les _Irish bulls_. J'ai
fait autrefois une dissertation où je recherchois quelle étoit la
cause du rire qu'excitent les bêtises, et dans laquelle j'appuyois mon
explication de beaucoup d'exemples et peut-être même du mien sans m'en
appercevoir; mais la femme d'esprit à qui j'ai adressé cette folie l'a
perdue, et je n'ai pas pu la recouvrir.

Je me souviens seulement que j'y prouvois _savamment_ que le rire excité
par les bêtises est l'effet du contraste que nous saisissons entre
l'effort que fait l'homme qui dit la bêtise, et le mauvais succès de
son effort. J'assimilois la marche de l'esprit dans celui qui dit une
bêtise, à ce qui arrive à un homme qui cherchant à marcher légèrement
sur un pavé glissant, tombe lourdement, ou aux tours mal-adroits du
paillasse de la foire. Si l'on veut examiner les bêtises rassemblèes
ici, on y trouvera toujours un effort manqué de ce genre.

Un homme, dont la femme avoit été saignée, interrogé le lendemain
pourquoi elle ne paroissoit pas à table, répondit:--"Elle garde la
chambre: Morand l'a saignée hier, et une saignée affoiblit beaucoup
quand elle est faite par un habile homme."

M. de Baville, intendant du Languedoc, avoit un secrétaire fort bête: il
se servoit un jour de lui pour écrire au ministre sur des affaires très
importantes et dicta ces mots: "Ne soyez point surpris de ce que je me
sers d'une main étrangère pour vous écrire sur cet objet. Mon secrétaire
est si bête qu'à ce moment même il ne s'apperçoit pas que je vous parle
de lui."

On demandoit à un abbé de Laval Montmorency quel âge avoit son frère le
maréchal dont il étoit l'aîné. "Dans deux ans," dit-il, "nous serons du
même âge."

On se préparoit à observer une éclipse, et le roi devoit assister à
l'observation. M. de Jonville disoit à M. Cassini--"N'attendra-t-on pas
le roi pour commencer l'éclipse?"

Une femme du peuple qui avoit une petite fille malade avec le transport
au cerveau, disoit au médecin, "Ah, monsieur, si vous l'aviez entendu
cette nuit! elle a déraisonnée comme une grande personne."

Un homme avoit parié 25 louis qu'il traverseroit le grand bassin des
Thuileries par un froid très rigoureux; il alla jusqu'au milieu, renonça
à son entreprise, et revint par le même chemin en disant, "J'aime mieux
perdre vingt-cinq louis que d'avoir une fluxion de poitrine."

Un homme voyoit venir de loin un médecin de sa connoissance qui l'avoit
traité plusieurs années auparavant dans une maladie; il se détourna,
et cacha son visage pour n'être pas reconnu. On lui demandoit,
"Pourquoi."--"C'est," dit-il, "que je suis honteux devant lui de ce
qu'il y a fort long temps que je n'ai été malade."

On demande à un homme qui vouloit vendre un cheval, "Votre cheval est-il
peureux?" "Oh, point du tout," répond-il; "il vient de passer plusieurs
nuits tout seul dans son écurie."

Dans une querelle entre un père et son fils, le père reprochoit à
celui-ci son ingratitude. "Je ne vous ai point d'obligations," disoit le
fils; "vous m'avez fait beaucoup de tort; si vous n'étiez point né, je
serois à présent l'héritier de mon grand-père."

Un avare faisant son testament, se fit lui-même son héritier.

Un homme voyoit un bateau si chargé que les bords en étoient à fleur
d'eau: "Ma foi," dit-il, "si la rivière étoit un peu plus haute le
bateau iroit à fond."

M. Hume, dans son histoire d'Angleterre, parlant de la conspiration
attribuée aux Catholiques en 1678 sous Charles II. rapporte le mot d'un
chevalier Player qui félicitoit la ville des précautions qu'elle avoit
prises--"Et sans lesquelles," disoit-il, "tous les citoyens auroient
couru risque de se trouver égorgés le lendemain à leur réveil."

Le maire d'une petite ville, entendant une querelle dans la rue au
milieu de la nuit, se lève du lit, et ouvrant la fenêtre, crie aux
passans, "Messieurs, me lèverai-je?"

Un sot faisoit compliment à une demoiselle don't la mère venoit de
se marier en secondes noces avec un ancien ami de la
maison--"Mademoiselle," lui dit-il, "je suis ravi de ce que monsieur
votre père vient d'épouser madame votre mère."

Racine, qui avoit été toute sa vie courtisan très attentif, étoit
enterré à Port Royal des Champs dont les solitaires s'étoient attirés
l'indignation de Louis XIV. M. de Boissy, célèbre par ses distractions,
disoit, "Racine n'auroit pas fait cela de son vivant."

On racontait dans une conversation que Monsieur de Buffon avoit disséqué
une de ses cousines, et une femme se récrioit sur l'inhumanité de
l'anatomiste. M. de Mairan lui dit, "Mais, madame, elle étoit morte."

On parloit avec admiration de la belle vieillesse d'un homme de
quatre-vingt dix ans, quelqu'un dit--"Cela vous étonne, messieurs; si
mon père n'étoit pas mort, il auroit à présent cent ans accomplis."

Mouet, de l'opera comique, conte qu'arrivant de Lyon, et ne voulant
pas qu'on sut qu'il étoit à Paris, il recommanda à son laquais, supposé
qu'il fut rencontré, de dire qu'il étoit à Lyon. Le laquais trouve un
ami de son maitre, qui lui en demande des nouvelles. "Il est à Lyon,"
dit-il, "et il ne sera de retour que la semaine prochaine." "Mais,"
continue le questionneur, "que portez-vous là?" "Ce sont quelques
provisions qu'il m'a envoyé chercher pour son diner."

Un homme examinoit un dessin représentant la coupe d'un vaisseau
construit en Hollande; quelqu'un lui dit, "Est-ce que monsieur entend le

Un homme de loi disoit qu'on ne pouvait pas faire une stipulation
valable avec un muet. Un des écoutans lui dit, "Monsieur le docteur, et
avec un boiteux, seroit-elle bonne?"

Un homme se plaignoit que la maison de son voisin lui ôtoit la vue d'une
de ses fenêtres; un autre lui dit, "Vous avez un remède; faites murer
cette fenêtre."

Un homme ayarit écrit à sa maitresse, avoit glissé le billet sous la
porte, et puis s'avisant que la fille ne pourroit pas s'en appercevoir
il en écrivit un autre en ces termes, "J'ai mis un billet sous votre
porte; prenez-y garde quand vous sortirez."

_Un homme étant sur le point de marier sa fille unique, se brouille avec
le prétendant, et dans sa colere il dit, "Non, monsieur, vous ne serez
jamais mon gendre, et quand j'aurois cent filles uniques, je ne vous en
donnerois pas une."

On avoit reçu à la grande poste une lettre avec cette adresse, _à
Monsieur mon fils, Rue, &c_. On alloit la mettre au rebut; un commis s'y
oppose, et dit qu'on trouvera à qui la lettre s'adresse. Dix ou douze
jours se passent. On voit arriver un grand benêt, qui dit, "Messieurs,
je viens savoir si on n'auroit pas garde ici une lettre de mon cher
père?" "Oui, monsieur," lui dit le commis, "la voilà." On prête ce trait
à Bouret, fermier général.

Milord Albemarle étant aux eaux d'Aix-la-Chapelle, et ne voulant pas
être connu, ordonna a un negre qui le servoit, si on lui demandoit qui
étoit son maitre, de dire qu'il étoit Frangois. On ne manqua pas de
faire la question an noir, qui répondit, "_Mon maître est Franpois, et
mot aussi_."

Un marchand, en finissant d'écrire une lettre à un de ses correspondans,
mourut subitement. Son commis ajouta en P.S. "Depuis ma lettre écrite je
suis mort ce matin. Mardi an soir _7ème_," &c.

Un petit marchand prétendoit avoir acheté trois sols ce qu'il vendoit
pour deux. On lui représente que ce commerce le ruinera--"Ah," dit-il,
"je me sauve sur la quantité."

Le chevalier de Lorenzi, étant à Florence, étoit allé se promener avec
trois de ses amis à quelques lieues de la ville, à pied. Ils revenoient
fort las; la nuit approchoit; il veut se reposer: on lui dit qu'il
restoit quatres milles à faire--"Oh," dit-il, "nous sommes quatres; ce
n'est qu'un mille chacun."

On pretend qu'un fermier général voulant s'éviter l'ennui ou s'épargner
les frais des lettres dont on l'accabloit au nouvel an, écrivoit au mois
de Décembre à tous les employés de son département qu'il les dispensoit
du cérémonial, et que ceux-ci lui réponderoient pour l'assurer qu'ils se
conformeroient à ses ordres.

Maupertuis faisoit instruire un perroquet par son laquais, et vouloit
qu'on lui apprit des mots extraordinaires. Depuis deux ans le laquais,
enseignoit à l'animal à dire _monomotapa_, et le perroquet n'en disoit
que des syllabes séparées. Maupertuis faisoit des reproches au laquais;
"Oh, monsieur," dit celui-ci, "cela ne va pas si vîte; je lui ai d'abord
appris _mo_ et puis _no_." "Vous êtes un bête," dit Maupertuis, "il faut
lui dire le mot entier." "Monsieur," reprend le laquais, "il faut lui
donner le temps de comprendre."

Il y a en Italien une lettre pleine de _spropositi_ assez plaisans. Un
homme écrit à son ami, "Abbiamo avuto un famosissimo tremoto, che se
per la misericordia de Dio avesse durato una mezza hora di piu, saremmo
tutti andati al paradiso, che Dio ce ne liberi. Vi mando quatordici
pere, e sono tutti boni cristiani. A questa fiéra i porci sono saliti al
cielo. O ricevete, o non ricevete questa, datemene aviso."


[24] Natural History, century iii. p. 191.--_Bacon produces it to show
that echoes will not readily return the letter S._.

[25] "Un savant écrivoit à un ami, et un importun étoit à côté de lui,
qui regardoit par dessus l'épaule ce qu'il écrivoit. Le savant, qui s'en
apperçut, écrivit ceci à la place: 'Si un impertinent qui est à mon
côté ne regardoit pas ce que j'écris, je vous écrirois encore plusieurs
choses qui ne doivent être sues que de vous et de moi.' L'importun,
qui lisoit toujours, prit la parole et dit: 'Je vous jure que je n'ai
regardé ni lû ce que vous écriviez.' Le savant repartit, 'Ignorant, que
vous êtes, pourquoi me dites-vous done ce que vous dites?'" _Les Paroles
Remarquables des Orientaux; traduction de leurs ouvrages en Arabe, en
Persan, et en Turc (suivant la copie imprimée à Paris), à la Haye,
chez Louis et Henry Vandole, marchands libraires, dans le Pooten, à
l'enseigne du Port Royal, M.DC.XCIV._

[26] "Le bailli nous donne an diable, et nous nous recommandons à vous,

[27] On faisoit compliment à madame Denis de la façon dont elle venoit
de jouer Zaïre. "Il faudroit," dit elle, "être belle et jeune." "Ah,
madame!" reprit le complimenteur naïvement, "vous êtes bien la preuve du

[28] Locke's Essay concerning the Human Understanding, fifteenth edit.
vol. i. p. 292.

[29] "De moi je commence à douter tout de ben.
     Pourtant quand je me tâte, et quand je me rappelle,
     Il me semble que je suis moi."

[30] "So Indian murd'rers hope to gain
     The powers and virtues of the slain,
     Of wretches they destroy."

[31] Vide Mémoires du Cardinal de Retz.

[32] Vide Sir W. Hamilton's account of an eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

[33] This fact, _we believe_, is mentioned in a letter of Mrs. Cappe's
on parish schools.

[34] Vide Mrs. Piozzi's English Synonymy.

[35] John Lydgate.

[36] Iliad, 6th book, l. 432, Andromache says to Hector, "You will make
your son an orphan, and your wife a widow."

[37] Lord Chesterfield.

[38] Essay on Chemical Nomenclature, by S. Dickson, M.D.; in which
are comprised observations on the same subject, by R. Kirwan, Pres.
R.I.A,--Vide pages 21, 22, 23, &c.

[39] This conjuror, whose name was Broadstreet, was a native of the
county of Longford, in Ireland: he by this hit pocketed 200_l._, and
proved himself to be more knave than fool.

[40] A gripe or fast hold.

[41] An oak stick, supposed to be cut from the famous wood of Shilala.

[42] This is nearly verbatim from a late Irish complainant.

[43] "Pleurez, pleurez, mes yeux, et fondez vous en eau,
     La moitié de ma vie a mis l'autre au tombeau."

[44] "Il pover uomo che non sen' era accorto,
     Andava combattendo, ed erà morto."

[45] See his account of the siege of Gibraltar.

[46] Life of Hyder Ali Khan, vol. ii. p. 231.

[47] See the advice of Cleomenes to Crius. HERODOTUS EBATO.

[48] It is said that the waters of the Garonne are famed for a similar

[49] The stomach.

[50] This ancient old man, we fear, was more knave than fool. History
informs us, that the Bishop of Rochester had diverted the revenue,
appropriated for keeping Sandwich harbour in repair, to the purpose of
building a steeple.--Vide Fuller's Worthies of England, page 65.

[51] Baskets.

[52] Vide Robertson's History of Scotland.

[53] Slink calf.

[54] This was written down a few minutes after it had been spoken.

[55] James Adams, S.R.E.S., author of a book entitled, "The
Pronunciation of the English Language vindicated from imputed Anomaly
and Caprice; with an Appendix on the Dialects of Human Speech in all
Countries, and an analytical Discussion and Vindication of the Dialect
of Scotland."

[56] Vide Illustrations on Sublimity, in his Essays.

[57] The glossary to the Lancashire dialect informs us, that _'lieve me_
comes from _beleemy_, believe me; from _belamy_, my good friend, _old

[58] Gawmbling (_Anglo-Saxon_, gawmless), stupid.

[59] "Every thing speaks against us, even our silence."

[60] Lord Chatham.

[61] Your hands alone have a right to conquer the unconquerable.

[62] And when Caesar was the only emperor within the dominion of Rome,
he suffered me to be another.

[63] This bull was really made.

[64] Castle Rackrent.

[65] Il y a des nations dont l'une semble faite pour être soumise à
l'autre. Les Anglois ont toujours eu sur les Irlandois la superiorite du
génie, des richesses, et des armes. _La supériorite que les blancs ont
sur les noirs_.

[66] "On lisait dans les premières éditions, _la supèrioritè que les
blancs ont sur les négres_. M. de Voltaire effaça cette expression
injurieuse. L'état presque sauvage ou étoit l'Irlande lorsqu'elle fut
conquise, la superstition, l'oppression exercée par les Anglois, le
fanatisme religieux qui divise les Irlandois en deux nations ennemies,
telles sont les causes qui ont retenues ce peuple dans l'abaissement et
dans la foiblesse. Les haines religieuses se sont assoupies, et elle a
repris sa liberté. _Les Irlandois ne le cédent plus aux Anglois, ni en
industrie ni en lumières_."

[67] See O'Halloran's History of Ireland.

[68] Author of Chiysal, or Adventures of a Guinea.

[69] Author of the beautiful moral tale Nourjahad.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "For which an eloquence that aims _to vex_,
    With native tropes of anger arms the _sex_."--_Parnell._

       *       *       *       *       *

Endowed as the fair sex indisputably are, with a natural genius for the
invaluable art of self-justification, it may not be displeasing to them
to see its rising perfection evinced by an attempt to reduce it to
a science. Possessed, as are all the fair daughters of Eve, of an
hereditary propensity, transmitted to them undiminished through
succeeding generations, to be "soon moved with slightest touch of
blame;" very little precept and practice will confirm them in the habit,
and instruct them in all the maxims of self-justification.

Candid pupil, you will readily accede to my first and fundamental
axiom--that a lady can do no wrong.

But simple as this maxim may appear, and suited to the level of the
meanest capacity, the talent of applying it on all the important, but
more especially on all the most trivial, occurrences of domestic life,
so as to secure private peace and public dominion, has hitherto been
monopolized by the female adepts in the art of self-justification.

Excuse me for insinuating by this expression, that there may yet be
amongst you some novices. To these, if any such, I principally address

And now, lest fired by ambition you lose all by aiming at too much, let
me explain and limit my first principle, "That you can do no wrong." You
must be aware that real perfection is beyond the reach of mortals, nor
would I have you aim at it; indeed it is not in any degree necessary
to our purpose. You have heard of the established belief in the
infallibility of the sovereign pontiff, which prevailed not many
centuries ago:--if man was allowed to be infallible, I see no reason
why the same privilege should not be extended to woman;--but times
have changed; and since the happy age of credulity is past, leave the
opinions of men to their natural perversity--their actions are the best
test of their faith. Instead then of a belief in your infallibility,
endeavour to enforce implicit submission to your authority. This will
give you infinitely less trouble, and will answer your purpose as well.

Right and wrong, if we go to the foundation of things, are, as casuists
tell us, really words of very dubious signification, perpetually varying
with custom and fashion, and to be adjusted ultimately by no other
standards but opinion and force. Obtain power, then, by all means:
power is the law of man; make it yours. But to return from a frivolous
disquisition about right, let me teach you the art of defending the
wrong. After having thus pointed out to you the glorious end of your
labours, I must now instruct you in the equally glorious means.

For the advantage of my subject I address myself chiefly to married
ladies; but those who have not as yet the good fortune to have that
common enemy, a husband, to combat, may in the mean time practise my
precepts upon their fathers, brothers, and female friends; with
caution, however, lest by discovering their arms too soon, they preclude
themselves from the power of using them to the fullest advantage
hereafter. I therefore recommend it to them to prefer, with a
philosophical moderation, the future to the present.

Timid brides, you have, probably, hitherto been addressed as angels.
Prepare for the time when you shall again become mortal. Take the alarm
at the first approach of blame; at the first hint of a discovery that
you are any thing less than infallible:--contradict, debate, justify,
recriminate, rage, weep, swoon, do any thing but yield to conviction.

I take it for granted that you have already acquired sufficient command
of voice; you need not study its compass; going beyond its pitch has a
peculiarly happy effect upon some occasions. But are you voluble enough
to drown all sense in a torrent of words? Can you be loud enough to
overpower the voice of all who shall attempt to interrupt or contradict
you? Are you mistress of the petulant, the peevish, and the sullen
tone? Have you practised the sharpness which provokes retort, and the
continual monotony which by setting your adversary to sleep effectually
precludes reply? an event which is always to be considered as decisive
of the victory, or at least as reducing it to a drawn battle:--you and
Somnus divide the prize.

Thus prepared for an engagement, you will next, if you have not already
done it, study the weak part of the character of your enemy--your
husband, I mean: if he be a man of high spirit, jealous of command and
impatient of control, one who decides for himself, and who is little
troubled with the insanity of minding what the world says of him, you
must proceed with extreme circumspection; you must not dare to provoke
the combined forces of the enemy to a regular engagement, but harass him
with perpetual petty skirmishes: in these, though you gain little at
a time, you will gradually weary the patience, and break the spirit of
your opponent. If he be a man of spirit, he must also be generous; and
what man of generosity will contend for trifles with a woman who submits
to him in all affairs of consequence, who is in his power, who is weak,
and who loves him?

"Can superior with inferior power contend?" No; the spirit of a lion is
not to be roused by the teasing of an insect.

But such a man as I have described, besides being as generous as he
is brave, will probably be of an active temper: then you have an
inestimable advantage; for he will set a high value upon a thing
for which you have none--time; he will acknowledge the force of your
arguments merely from a dread of their length; he will yield to you
in trifles, particularly in trifles which do not militate against his
authority; not out of regard for you, but for his time; for what man can
prevail upon himself to debate three hours about what could be as well
decided in three minutes?

Lest amongst infinite variety the difficulty of immediate selection
should at first perplex you, let me point out, that matters of _taste_
will afford you, of all others, the most ample and incessant subjects
of debate. Here you have no criterion to appeal to. Upon the same
principle, next to matters of taste, points of opinion will afford
the most constant exercise to your talents. Here you will have an
opportunity of citing the opinions of all the living and dead you have
ever known, besides the dear privilege of repeating continually:--"Nay,
you must allow _that_." Or, "You can't deny this, for it's the universal
opinion--every body says so! every body thinks so! I wonder to hear
you express such an opinion! Nobody but yourself is of that way of
thinking!" with innumerable other phrases, with which a slight attention
to polite conversation will furnish you. This mode of opposing authority
to argument, and assertion to proof, is of such universal utility, that
I pray you to practise it.

If the point in dispute be some opinion relative to your character or
disposition, allow in general, that "you are sure you have a great many
faults;" but to every specific charge reply, "Well, I am sure I don't
know, but I did not think _that_ was one of my faults! nobody ever
accused me of that before! Nay, I was always remarkable for the
contrary; at least before I was acquainted with you, sir: in my own
family I was always remarkable for the contrary: ask any of my own
friends; ask any of them; they must know me best."

But if, instead of attacking the material parts of your character, your
husband should merely presume to advert to your manners, to some slight
personal habit which might be made more agreeable to him; prove, in the
first place, that it is his fault that it is not agreeable to him; ask
which is most to blame, "she who ceases to please, or he who ceases to
be pleased"[70]--His eyes are changed, or opened. But it may perhaps
have been a matter almost of indifference to him, till you undertook
its defence: then make it of consequence by rising in eagerness,
in proportion to the insignificance of your object; if he can draw
consequences, this will be an excellent lesson: if you are so tender of
blame in the veriest trifles, how impeachable must you be in matters of
importance! As to personal habits, begin by denying that you have any;
or in the paradoxical language of Rousseau,[71] declare that the only
habit you have is the habit of having none: as all personal habits, if
they have been of any long standing, must have become involuntary,
the unconscious culprit may assert her innocence without hazarding her

However, if you happen to be detected in the very fact, and a person
cries, "Now, now, you are doing it!" submit, but declare at the same
moment--"That it is the very first time in your whole life that you were
ever known to be guilty of it; and therefore it can be no habit, and of
course nowise reprehensible."

Extend the rage for vindication to all the objects which the most
remotely concern you; take even inanimate objects under your protection.
Your dress, your furniture, your property, every thing which is or
has been yours, defend, and this upon the principles of the soundest
philosophy: each of these things all compose a part of your personal
merit (Vide Hume); all that connected the most distantly with your idea
gives pleasure or pain to others, becomes an object of blame or praise,
and consequently claims your support or vindication.

In the course of the management of your house, children, family, and
affairs, probably some few errors of omission or commission may strike
your husband's pervading eye; but these errors, admitting them to
be errors, you will never, if you please, allow to be charged to any
deficiency in memory, judgment, or activity, on your part.

There are surely people enough around you to divide and share the blame;
send it from one to another, till at last, by universal rejection, it
is proved to belong to nobody. You will say, however, that facts remain
unalterable; and that in some unlucky instance, in the changes and
chances of human affairs, you may be proved to have been to blame. Some
stubborn evidence may appear against you; still you may prove an alibi,
or balance the evidence. There is nothing equal to balancing evidence;
doubt is, you know, the most philosophic state of the human mind, and it
will be kind of you to keep your husband perpetually in this sceptical

Indeed the short method of denying absolutely all blameable facts, I
should recommend to pupils as the best; and if in the beginning of their
career they may startle at this mode, let them depend upon it that
in their future practice it must become perfectly familiar. The nice
distinction of simulation and dissimulation depends but on the trick
of a syllable; palliation and extenuation are universally allowable in
self-defence; prevarication inevitably follows, and falsehood "is but in
the next degree."

Yet I would not destroy this nicety of conscience too soon. It may be
of use in your first setting out, because you must establish credit;
in proportion to your credit will be the value of your future

In the mean time, however, argument and debate are allowed to the most
rigid moralist. You can never perjure yourself by swearing to a false

I come now to the art of reasoning: don't be alarmed at the name of
reasoning, fair pupils; I will explain to you my meaning.

If, instead of the fiery-tempered being I formerly described, you should
fortunately be connected with a man, who, having formed a justly high
opinion of your sex, should propose to treat you as his equal, and who
in any little dispute which might arise between you, should desire no
other arbiter than reason; triumph in his mistaken candour, regularly
appeal to the decision of reason at the beginning of every contest, and
deny its jurisdiction at the conclusion. I take it for granted that you
will be on the wrong side of every question, and indeed, in general, I
advise you to choose the wrong side of an argument to defend; whilst you
are young in the science, it will afford the best exercise, and, as you
improve, the best display of your talents.

If, then, reasonable pupils, you would succeed in argument, attend to
the following instructions.

Begin by preventing, if possible, the specific statement of any
position, or if reduced to it, use the most general terms, and
take advantage of the ambiguity which all languages and which most
philosophers allow. Above all things, shun definitions; they will prove
fatal to you; for two persons of sense and candour, who define their
terms, cannot argue long without either convincing, or being convinced,
or parting in equal good-humour; to prevent which, go over and over the
same ground, wander as wide as possible from the point, but always with
a view to return at last precisely to the same spot from which you
set out. I should remark to you, that the choice of your weapons is
a circumstance much to be attended to: choose always those which your
adversary cannot use. If your husband is a man of wit, you will of
course undervalue a talent which is never connected with judgment: "for
your part, you do not presume to contend with him in wit."

But if he be a sober-minded man, who will go link by link along the
chain of an argument, follow him at first, till he grows so intent that
he does not perceive whether you follow him or not; then slide back to
your own station; and when with perverse patience he has at last reached
the last link of the chain, with one electric shock of wit make him quit
his hold, and strike him to the ground in an instant. Depend upon the
sympathy of the spectators, for to one who can understand _reason_, you
will find ten who admire _wit._

But if you should not be blessed with "a ready wit," if demonstration
should in the mean time stare you in the face, do not be in the least
alarmed--anticipate the blow. Whilst you have it yet in your power, rise
with becoming magnanimity, and cry, "I give it up! I give it up! La! let
us say no more about it; I do so hate disputing about trifles. I give it
up!" Before an explanation on the word trifle can take place, quit the
room with flying colours.

If you are a woman of sentiment and eloquence, you have advantages of
which I scarcely need apprize you. From the understanding of a man, you
have always an appeal to his heart, or, if not, to his affection, to
his weakness. If you have the good fortune to be married to a weak
man, always choose the moment to argue with him when you have a full
audience. Trust to the sublime power of numbers; it will be of use even
to excite your own enthusiasm in debate; then as the scene advances,
talk of his cruelty, and your sensibility, and sink with "becoming woe"
into the pathos of injured innocence.

Besides the heart and the weakness of your opponent, you have still
another chance, in ruffling his temper; which, in the course of a long
conversation, you will have a fair opportunity of trying; and if--for
philosophers will sometimes grow warm in the defence of truth--if he
should grow absolutely angry, you will in the same proportion grow calm,
and wonder at his rage, though you well know it has been created by
your own provocation. The by-standers, seeing anger without any adequate
cause, will all be of your side.

Nothing provokes an irascible man, interested in debate, and possessed
of an opinion of his own eloquence, so much as to see the attention of
his hearers go from him: you will then, when he flatters himself that
he has just fixed your eye with his _very best_ argument, suddenly grow
absent:--your house affairs must call you hence--or you have directions
to give to your children--or the room is too hot, or too cold--the
window must be opened--or door shut--or the candle wants snuffing. Nay,
without these interruptions, the simple motion of your eye may provoke
a speaker; a butterfly, or the figure in a carpet may engage your
attention in preference to him; or if these objects be absent, the
simply averting your eye, looking through the window in quest of outward
objects, will show that your mind has not been abstracted, and will
display to him at least your wish of not attending. He may, however,
possibly have lost the habit of watching your eye for approbation; then
you may assault his ear: if all other resources fail, beat with your
foot that dead march of the spirits, that incessant tattoo, which
so well deserves its name. Marvellous must be the patience of the
much-enduring man whom some or other of these devices do not provoke:
slight causes often produce great effects; the simple scratching of a
pick-axe, properly applied to certain veins in a mine, will cause the
most dreadful explosions.

Hitherto we have only professed to teach the defensive; let me now
recommend to you the offensive part of the art of justification. As a
supplement to reasoning comes recrimination: the pleasure of proving
that you are right is surely incomplete till you have proved that your
adversary is wrong; this might have been a secondary, let it now become
a primary object with you; rest your own defence on it for further
security: you are no longer to consider yourself as obliged either to
deny, palliate, argue, or declaim, but simply to justify yourself by
criminating another; all merit, you know, is judged of by comparison. In
the art of recrimination, your memory will be of the highest service to
you; for you are to open and keep an account-current of all the faults,
mistakes, neglects, unkindnesses of those you live with; these you are
to state against your own: I need not tell you that the balance will
always be in your favour. In stating matters or opinion, produce the
words of the very same person which passed days, months, years before,
in contradiction to what he is then saying. By displacing, disjointing
words and sentences, by mis-understanding the whole, or quoting only a
part of what has been said, you may convict any man of inconsistency,
particularly if he be a man of genius and feeling; for he speaks
generally from the impulse of the moment, and of all others can the
least bear to be charged with paradoxes. So far for a husband.

Recriminating is also of sovereign use in the quarrels of friends;
no friend is so perfectly equable, so ardent in affection, so nice in
punctilio, as never to offend: then "Note his faults, and con them all
by rote." Say you can forgive, but you can never forget; and surely
it is much more generous to forgive and remember, than to forgive and
forget. On every new alarm, call the unburied ghosts from former fields
of battle; range them in tremendous array, call them one by one to
witness against the conscience of your enemy, and ere the battle is
begun take from him all courage to engage.

There is one case I must observe to you in which recrimination
has peculiar poignancy. If you have had it in your power to confer
obligations on any one, never cease reminding them of it: and let them
feel that you have acquired an indefeasible right to reproach them
without a possibility of their retorting. It is a maxim with some
sentimental people, "To treat their servants as if they were their
friends in distress."--I have observed that people of this cast make
themselves amends, by treating their friends in distress as if they were
their servants.

Apply this maxim--you may do it a thousand ways, especially in company.
In general conversation, where every one is supposed to be on a footing,
if any of your humble companions should presume to hazard an opinion
contrary to yours, and should modestly begin with, "I think;" look as
the man did when he said to his servant, "You think, sir--what business
have you to think?"

Never fear to lose a friend by the habits which I recommend:
reconciliations, as you have often heard it said--reconciliations are
the cement of friendship; therefore friends should quarrel to strengthen
their attachment, and offend each other for the pleasure of being

I beg pardon for digressing: I was, I believe, talking of your husband,
not of your friend--I have gone far out of the way.

If in your debates with your husband you should want "eloquence to
vex him," the dull prolixity of narration, joined to the complaining
monotony of voice which I formerly recommended, will supply its place,
and have the desired effect: Somnus will prove propitious; then,
ever and anon as the soporific charm begins to work, rouse him with
interrogatories, such as, "Did not you say so? Don't you remember? Only
answer me that!"

By-the-by, interrogatories artfully put may lead an unsuspicious
reasoner, you know, always to your own conclusion.

In addition to the patience, philosophy, and other good things which
Socrates learned from his wife, perhaps she taught him this mode of

But, after all, the precepts of art, and even the natural susceptibility
of your tempers, will avail you little in the sublime of our science, if
you cannot command that ready enthusiasm which will make you enter into
the part you are acting; that happy imagination which shall make you
believe all you fear and all you invent.

Who is there amongst you who cannot or who will not justify when they
are accused? Vulgar talent! the sublime of our science is to justify
before we are accused. There is no reptile so vile but what will turn
when it is trodden on; but of a nicer sense and nobler species are those
whom nature has endowed with antennas, which perceive and withdraw
at the distant approach of danger. Allow me another allusion: similes
cannot be crowded too close for a female taste; and analogy, I have
heard, my fair pupils, is your favourite mode of reasoning.

The sensitive plant is too vulgar an allusion; but if the truth of
modern naturalists may be depended upon, there is a plant which, instead
of receding timidly from the intrusive touch, angrily protrudes its
venomous juices upon all who presume to meddle with it:--do not you
think this plant would be your fittest emblem?

Let me, however, recommend it to you, nice souls, who, of the mimosa
kind, "fear the dark cloud, and feel the coming storm," to take the
utmost precaution lest the same susceptibility which you cherish as
the dear means to torment others should insensibly become a torment to

Distinguish then between sensibility and susceptibility; between the
anxious solicitude not to give offence, and the captious eagerness
of vanity to prove that it ought not to have been taken; distinguish
between the desire of praise and the horror of blame: can any two things
be more different than the wish to improve, and the wish to demonstrate
that you have never been to blame?

Observe, I only wish you to distinguish these things in your own minds;
I would by no means advise you to discontinue the laudable practice of
confounding them perpetually in speaking to others.

When you have nearly exhausted human patience in explaining, justifying,
vindicating; when, in spite of all the pains you have taken, you have
more than half betrayed your own vanity; you have a never-failing
resource, in paying tribute to that of your opponent, as thus:--

"I am sure you must be sensible that I should never take so much pains
to justify myself if I were indifferent to your opinion.--I know that I
ought not to disturb myself with such trifles; but nothing is a trifle
to me which concerns you. I confess I am too anxious to please; I
know it's a fault, but I cannot cure myself of it now.--Too quick
sensibility, I am conscious, is the defect of my disposition; it would
be happier for me if I could be more indifferent, I know."

Who could be so brutal as to blame so amiable, so candid a creature? Who
would not submit to be tormented with kindness?

When once your captive condescends to be flattered by such arguments as
these, your power is fixed; your future triumphs can be bounded only by
your own moderation; they are at once secured and justified.

Forbear not, then, happy pupils; but, arrived at the summit of power,
give a full scope to your genius, nor trust to genius alone: to exercise
in all its extent your privileged dominion, you must acquire, or rather
you must pretend to have acquired, infallible skill in the noble art
of physiognomy; immediately the thoughts as well as the words of your
subjects are exposed to your inquisition.

Words may flatter you, but the countenance never can deceive you; the
eyes are the windows of the soul, and through them you are to watch what
passes in the inmost recesses of the heart. There, if you discern the
slightest ideas of doubt, blame, or displeasure; if you discover the
slightest symptoms of revolt, take the alarm instantly. Conquerors must
maintain their conquests; and how easily can they do this, who hold
a secret correspondence with the minds of the vanquished! Be your own
spies then; from the looks, gestures, slightest motions of your enemies,
you are to form an alphabet, a language intelligible only to yourselves,
yet by which you shall condemn them; always remembering that in sound
policy suspicion justifies punishment. In vain, when you accuse your
friends of the high treason of blaming you, in vain let them plead their
innocence, even of the intention. "They did not say a word which could
be tortured into such a meaning." No, "but they looked daggers, though
they used none."

And of this you are to be the sole judge, though there were fifty
witnesses to the contrary.

How should indifferent spectators pretend to know the countenance
of your friend as well as you do--you, that have a nearer, a dearer
interest in attending to it? So accurate have been your observations,
that no thought of their souls escapes you; nay, you often can tell even
what they are going to think of.

The science of divination certainly claims your attention; beyond the
past and the present, it shall extend your dominion over the future;
from slight words, half-finished sentences, from silence itself, you
shall draw your omens and auguries.

"I know what you were going to say;" or, "I know such a thing was a sign
you were inclined to be displeased with me."

In the ardour of innocence, the culprit, to clear himself from such
imputations, incurs the imputation of a greater offence. Suppose, to
prove that you were mistaken, to prove that he could not have meant to
blame you, he should declare that at the moment you mention, "You were
quite foreign to his thoughts; he was not thinking at all about you."

Then in truth you have a right to be angry. To one of your class of
justificators, this is the highest offence. Possessed as you are of
the firm opinion that all persons, at all times, on all occasions, are
intent upon you alone, is it not less mortifying to discover that
you were thought ill of, than that you were not thought of at all?
"Indifference, you know, sentimental pupils, is more fatal to love than
even hatred."

Thus, my dear pupils, I have endeavoured to provide precepts adapted to
the display of your several talents; but if there should be any amongst
you who have no talents, who can neither argue nor persuade, who
have neither sentiment nor enthusiasm, I must indeed--congratulate
them;--they are peculiarly qualified for the science of
Self-justification: indulgent nature, often even in the weakness,
provides for the protection of her creatures; just Providence, as the
guard of stupidity, has enveloped it with the impenetrable armour of

Fair idiots! let women of sense, wit, feeling, triumph in their various
arts: yours are superior. Their empire, absolute as it sometimes may be,
is perpetually subject to sudden revolutions. With them, a man has some
chance of equal sway: with a fool he has none. Have they hearts and
understandings? Then the one may be touched, or the other in some
unlucky moment convinced; even in their very power lies their greatest
danger:--not so with you. In vain let the most candid of his sex attempt
to reason with you; let him begin with, "Now, my dear, only listen to
reason:"--you stop him at once with, "No, my dear, you know I do not
pretend to reason; I only say, that's my opinion."

Let him go on to prove that yours is a mistaken opinion:--you are ready
to acknowledge it long before he desires it. "You acknowledge it may be
a wrong opinion; but still it is your opinion." You do not maintain it
in the least, either because you believe it to be wrong or right,
but merely because it is yours. Exposed as you might have been to the
perpetual humiliation of being convinced, nature seems kindly to
have denied you all perception of truth, or at least all sentiment of
pleasure from the perception.

With an admirable humility, you are as well contented to be in the wrong
as in the right; you answer all that can be said to you with a provoking
humility of aspect.

"Yes; I do not doubt but what you say may be very true, but I cannot
tell; I do not think myself capable of judging on these subjects; I am
sure you must know much better than I do. I do not pretend to say but
that your opinion is very just; but I own I am of a contrary way of
thinking; I always thought so, and I always shall."

Should a man with persevering temper tell you that he is ready to adopt
your sentiments if you will only explain them; should he beg only to
have a reason for your opinion--no, you can give no reason. Let him urge
you to say something in its defence:--no; like Queen Anne,[72] you will
only repeat the same thing over again, or be silent. Silence is the
ornament of your sex; and in silence, if there be not wisdom, there is
safety. You will, then, if you please, according to your custom,
sit listening to all entreaties to explain, and speak--with a fixed
immutability of posture, and a pre-determined deafness of eye,
which shall put your opponent utterly out of patience; yet still by
persevering with the same complacent importance of countenance, you
shall half persuade people you could speak if you would; you shall keep
them in doubt by that true want of meaning, "which puzzles more than
wit;" even because they cannot conceive the excess of your stupidity,
they shall actually begin to believe that they themselves are stupid.
Ignorance and doubt are the great parents of the sublime.

Your adversary, finding you impenetrable to argument, perhaps would try
wit:--but, "On the impassive ice the lightnings play." His eloquence
or his kindness will avail less; when in yielding to you after a long
harangue, he expects to please you, you will answer undoubtedly with the
utmost propriety, "That you should be very sorry he yielded his judgment
to you; that he is very good; that you are much obliged to him; but
that, as to the point in dispute, it is a matter of perfect indifference
to you; for your part, you have no choice at all about it; you beg that
he will do just what he pleases; you know that it is the duty of a wife
to submit; but you hope, however, you may have an _opinion_ of your

Remember, all such speeches as these will lose above half their effect,
if you cannot accompany them with the vacant stare, the insipid smile,
the passive aspect of the humbly perverse.

Whilst I write, new precepts rush upon my recollection; but the subject
is inexhaustible. I quit it with regret, though fully sensible of my
presumption in having attempted to instruct those who, whilst they read,
will smile in the consciousness of superior powers. Adieu! then, my fair
readers: long may you prosper in the practice of an art peculiar to your
sex! Long may you maintain unrivalled dominion at home and abroad; and
long may your husbands rue the hour when first they made you promise
_"to obey!"_

[_Written in 1787--published in 1795._]


[70] Marmontel.

[71] Emilius and Sophia.

[72] Vide Duchess of Marlborough's Apology.


    Tutta la gente in lieta fronte udiva
    Le graziose e finte istorielle,
    Ed Ì difetti altrui tosto scopriva
    Ciascuno, e non i proprj espressi in quelle;
    O se de' proprj sospettava, ignoti
    Credeali a ciascun altro, e a se sol noti.


My daughter asks me for a Preface to the following volumes; from a
pardonable weakness she calls upon me for parental protection: but, in
fact, the public judges of every work, not from the sex, but from the
merit of the author.

What we feel, and see, and hear, and read, affects our conduct from the
moment when we begin, till the moment when we cease to think. It has
therefore been my daughter's aim to promote, by all her writings, the
progress of education from the cradle to the grave.

Miss Edgeworth's former works consist of tales for children--of stories
for young men and women--and of tales suited to that great mass which
does not move in the circles of fashion. The present volumes are
intended to point out some of those errors to which the higher classes
of society are disposed.

All the parts of this series of moral fictions bear upon the faults and
excellencies of different ages and classes; and they have all arisen
from that view of society which we have laid before the public in more
didactic works on education. In the PARENT'S ASSISTANT, in MORAL and
in POPULAR TALES, it was my daughter's aim to exemplify the principles
contained in PRACTICAL EDUCATION. In these volumes, and in others which
are to follow, she endeavours to disseminate, in a familiar form, some
of the ideas that are unfolded in ESSAYS ON PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION.

The first of these stories is called

ENNUI.--The causes, curses, and cure of this disease are exemplified,
I hope, in such a manner, as not to make the remedy worse than the
disease. Thiebauld tells us, that a prize-essay on Ennui was read to the
Academy of Berlin, which put all the judges to sleep.

THE DUN--is intended as a lesson against the common folly of believing
that a debtor is able, by a few cant phrases, to alter the nature of
right and wrong. We had once thoughts of giving to these books the title
of FASHIONABLE TALES: alas! the Dun could never have found favour with
fashionable readers.

MANOEUVRING--is a vice to which the little great have recourse, to show
their second-rate abilities. Intrigues of gallantry upon the continent
frequently lead to political intrigue: amongst us the attempts
to introduce this _improvement_ of our manners have not yet been
successful; but there are, however, some, who, in every thing they say
or do, show a predilection for "left-handed wisdom." It is hoped
that the picture here represented of a _manoeuvrer_ has not been made

ALMERIA--gives a view of the consequences which usually follow the
substitution of the gifts of fortune in the place of merit; and shows
the meanness of those who imitate manners and haunt company above their
station in society.

Difference of rank is a continual excitement to laudable emulation; but
those who consider the being admitted into circles of fashion as the
summit of human bliss and elevation, will here find how grievously such
frivolous ambition may be disappointed and chastised.

I may be permitted to add a word on the respect with which Miss
Edgeworth treats the public--their former indulgence has not made her
careless or presuming. The dates subjoined to these stories show that
they have not been hastily intruded upon the reader.



March, 1809.


       *       *       *       *       *

"'Que faites-vous à Potzdam?' demandois-je un jour an prince Guillaume.
'Monsieur,' me répondit-il, 'nous passons notre vie à conjuguer tous le
même verbe; _Je m'ennuie, tu t'ennuies, il s'ennuie, nous nous ennuyons,
vous vous ennuyez, ils s'ennuient; je m'ennuyois, je m'ennuierai,_'" &c.

THIEBAULD, Mém. de Frédéric le Grand.

       *       *       *       *       *


Bred up in luxurious indolence, I was surrounded by friends who seemed
to have no business in this world but to save me the trouble of thinking
or acting for myself; and I was confirmed in the pride of helplessness
by being continually reminded that I was the only son and heir of the
Earl of Glenthorn. My mother died a few weeks after I was born; and
I lost my father when I was very young. I was left to the care of a
guardian, who, in hopes of winning my affection, never controlled my
wishes or even my whims: I changed schools and masters as often as I
pleased, and consequently learned nothing. At last I found a private
tutor who suited me exactly, for he was completely of my own opinion,
"that every thing which the young Earl of Glenthorn did not know by the
instinct of genius was not worth his learning." Money could purchase a
reputation for talents, and with money I was immoderately supplied;
for my guardian expected to bribe me with a part of my own fortune,
to forbear inquiring what had become of a certain deficiency in
the remainder. This tacit compact I perfectly understood: we were
consequently on the most amicable terms imaginable, and the most
confidential; for I thought it better to deal with my guardian than with
Jews. Thus at an age when other young men are subject to some restraint,
either from the necessity of their circumstances, or the discretion of
their friends, I became completely master of myself and of my fortune.
My companions envied me; but even their envy was not sufficient to make
me happy. Whilst yet a boy, I began to feel the dreadful symptoms of
that mental malady which baffles the skill of medicine, and for which
wealth can purchase only temporary alleviation. For this complaint
there is no precise English name; but, alas! the foreign term is now
naturalized in England. Among the higher classes, whether in the wealthy
or the fashionable world, who is unacquainted with _ennui_? At first I
was unconscious of being subject to this disease; I felt that something
was the matter with me, but I did not know what: yet the symptoms were
sufficiently marked. I was afflicted with frequent fits of fidgeting,
yawning, and stretching, with a constant restlessness of mind and body;
an aversion to the place I was in, or the thing I was doing, or rather
to that which was passing before my eyes, for I was never doing
any thing; I had an utter abhorrence and an incapacity of voluntary
exertion. Unless roused by external stimulus, I sank into that kind of
apathy, and vacancy of ideas, vulgarly known by the name of _a brown
study_. If confined in a room for more than half an hour by bad weather
or other contrarieties, I would pace backwards and forwards, like the
restless _cavia_ in his den, with a fretful, unmeaning pertinacity. I
felt an insatiable longing for something new, and a childish love of

My physician and my guardian, not knowing what else to do with me, sent
me abroad. I set out upon my travels in my eighteenth year, attended by
my favourite tutor as my _companion_. We perfectly agreed in our ideas
of travelling; we hurried from place to place as fast as horses and
wheels, and curses and guineas, could carry us. Milord Anglois rattled
over half the globe without getting one inch farther from his ennui.
Three years were to be consumed before I should be of age. What sums did
I spend during this interval in expedition-money to Time! but the more
I tried to hasten him, the slower the rogue went. I lost my money and my

At last the day for which I had so long panted arrived--I was
twenty-one! and I took possession of my estate. The bells rang, the
bonfires blazed, the tables were spread, the wine flowed, huzzas
resounded, friends and tenants crowded about me, and nothing but the
voice of joy and congratulation was to be heard. The bustle of my
situation kept me awake for some weeks; the pleasure of property was
new, and, as long as the novelty lasted, delightful. I cannot say that
I was satisfied; but my mind was distended by the sense of the magnitude
of my possessions. I had large estates in England; and in one of
the remote maritime counties of Ireland, I was lord over an immense
territory, annexed to the ancient castle of Glenthorn;--a noble pile of
antiquity! worth ten degenerate castles of modern days. It was placed in
a bold romantic situation: at least as far as I could judge of it by
a picture, said to be a striking likeness, which hung in my hall at
Sherwood Park in England. I was born in Ireland, and nursed, as I was
told, in an Irish cabin: for my father had an idea that this would make
me hardy; he left me with my Irish nurse till I was two years old, and
from that time forward neither he nor I ever revisited Ireland. He had
a dislike to that country, and I grew up in his prejudices. I declared
that I would always reside in England. Sherwood Park, my English
country-seat, had but one fault, it was completely finished. The house
was magnificent, and in the modern taste; the furniture fashionably
elegant, and in all the gloss of novelty. Not a single luxury omitted;
not a fault could be found by the most fastidious critic. My park, my
grounds, displayed all the beauties of nature and of art, judiciously
combined. Majestic woods, waving their dark foliage, overhung----But
I will spare my readers the description, for I remember falling asleep
myself whilst a poet was reading to me an ode on the beauties of
Sherwood Park. These beauties too soon became familiar to my eye; and
even the idea of being the proprietor of this enchanting place soon
palled upon my vanity. Every casual visitor, all the strangers, even
the common people, who were allowed once a week to walk in my
pleasure-grounds, enjoyed them a thousand times more than I could. I
remember, that, about six weeks after I came to Sherwood Park, I one
evening escaped from the crowds of _friends_ who filled my house, to
indulge myself in a solitary, melancholy walk. I saw at some distance
a party of people, who were coming to admire the place; and to avoid
meeting them I took shelter under a fine tree, the branches of which,
hanging to the ground, concealed me from the view of passengers. Thus
seated, I was checked in the middle of a desperate yawn, by hearing one
among the party of strangers exclaiming--

"How happy the owner of this place must be!"

Yes, had I known how to enjoy the goods of life, I might have been
happy; but want of occupation, and antipathy to exertion, rendered me
one of the most miserable men upon earth. Still I imagined that the
cause of my discontent proceeded from some external circumstance. Soon
after my coming of age, business of various sorts required my attention;
papers were to be signed, and lands were to be let: these things
appeared to me terrible difficulties. Not even that minister of state,
who so feelingly describes his horror at the first appearance of the
secretary with the great portfolio, ever experienced sensations so
oppressive as mine were, when my steward began to talk to me of my own
affairs. In the peevishness of my indolence, I declared that I thought
the pains overbalanced the pleasures of property. Captain Crawley,
a friend--a sort of a friend--a humble companion of mine, a gross,
unblushing, thorough-going flatterer, happened to be present when I made
this declaration: he kindly undertook to stand between me and the shadow
of trouble. I accepted this offer.

"Ay, Crawley," said I, "do see and settle with these people."

I had not the slightest confidence in the person into whose hands, to
save myself from the labour of thinking, I thus threw all my affairs;
but I satisfied my understanding, by resolving that, when I should have
leisure, I would look out for an agent upon whom I could depend.

I had now been nearly two months at Sherwood Park; too long a time, I
thought, to remain in any place, and I was impatient to get away. My
steward, who disliked the idea of my spending my summers at home,
found it easy to persuade me that the water on my estate had a brackish
unwholesome taste. The man who told me this stood before me in perfect
health, though he had drunk this insalubrious water all his life: but it
was too laborious a task for my intellects to compare the evidence of
my different senses, and I found it most easy to believe what I heard,
though it was in direct opposition to what I saw. Away I hurried to a
_watering-place_, after the example of many of my noble contemporaries,
who leave their delightful country-seats, to pay, by the inch, for being
squeezed up in lodging-houses, with all imaginable inconvenience, during
the hottest months in summer. I whiled away my time at Brighton, cursing
the heat of the weather, till the winter came, and then cursing the
cold, and longing for the London winter.

The London winter commenced; and the young Earl of Glenthorn, and
his entertainments, and his equipages, and extravagance, were the
conversation of all the world, and the joy of the newspapers. The
immense cost of the fruit at my desserts was recorded; the annual
expense of the vast nosegays of hot-house flowers worn daily by the
footmen who clung behind my coach was calculated; the hundreds of wax
lights, which burned nightly in my house, were numbered by the idle
admirers of folly; and it was known by every body that Lord Glenthorn
suffered nothing but wax to be burned in his stables; that his servants
drank nothing but claret and champagne; that his liveries, surpassing
the imagination of ambassadors, vied with regal magnificence, whilst
their golden trappings could have stood even the test of Chinese
curiosity. My coachmaker's bill for this year, if laid before the
public, would amuse and astonish sober-minded people, as much as
some charges which have lately appeared in our courts of justice for
_extraordinary coaches_, and _very extraordinary landaus_. I will not
enter into the detail of my extravagance in minor articles of expense;
these, I thought, could never be felt by such a fortune as that of the
Earl of Glenthorn; but, for the information of those who have the same
course to run or to avoid, I should observe, that my diurnal visits to
jewellers' shops amounted, in time, to sums worth mentioning. Of the
multitude of baubles that I bought, the rings, the seals, the chains,
I will give no account; it would pass the belief of man, and the
imagination of woman. Those who have the least value for their time have
usually the greatest number of watches, and are the most anxious about
the exactness of their going. I and my repeaters were my own plagues,
and the profit of all the fashionable watchmakers, whose shops I
regularly visited for a _lounge_. My history, at this period, would be a
complete _lounger's journal_; but I will spare my readers this diary.
I wish, however, as I have had ample experience, to impress it on the
minds of all whom it may concern, that a lounger of fortune _must_ be
extravagant. I went into shops merely to pass an idle hour, but I could
not help buying something; and I was ever at the mercy of tradesmen,
who took advantage of my indolence, and who thought my fortune
inexhaustible. I really had not any taste for expense; but I let all who
dealt with me, especially my servants, do as they pleased, rather than
be at the trouble of making them do as they ought. They assured me, that
Lord Glenthorn must have such and such things, and must do so and so;
and I quietly submitted to this imaginary necessity.

All this time I was the envy of my acquaintance; but I was more
deserving of their compassion. Without anxiety or exertion, I possessed
every thing they wanted; but then I had no motive--I had nothing to
desire. I had an immense fortune, and I was the Earl of Glenthorn: my
title and wealth were sufficient distinctions; how could I be anxious
about my boots, or the cape of my coat, or any of those trifles which so
happily interest and occupy the lives of fashionable young men, who have
not the misfortune to possess large estates? Most of my companions
had some real or imaginary grievance, some old uncle or father, some
_cursed_ profession to complain of; but I had none. They had hopes and
fears; but I had none. I was on the pinnacle of glory, which they were
endeavouring to reach; and I had nothing to do but to sit still, and
enjoy the barrenness of the prospect.

In this recital I have communicated, I hope, to my readers some portion
of that ennui which I endured; otherwise they cannot form an adequate
idea of my temptation to become a gambler. I really had no vice, nor any
of those propensities which lead to vice; but ennui produced most of
the effects that are usually attributed to strong passions or a vicious


    "O! ressource assurée,
    Viens ranimer leur langueur desoeuvrée:
    Leur âme vide est du moins amusée
    Par l'avarice en plaisir deguisée."

Gaming relieved me from that insuperable listlessness by which I was
oppressed. I became interested--I became agitated; in short, I found a
new kind of stimulus, and I indulged in it most intemperately. I grew
immoderately fond of that which supplied me with sensations. My days and
nights were passed at the gaming-table. I remember once spending three
days and three nights in the hazard-room of a well-known house in St.
James's-street: the shutters were closed, the curtains down, and we had
candles the whole time; even in the adjoining rooms we had candles, that
when our doors were opened to bring in refreshments, no obtrusive gleam
of daylight might remind us how the hours had passed. How human nature
supported the fatigue, I know not. We scarcely allowed ourselves a
moment's pause to take the sustenance our bodies required. At last,
one of the markers, who had been in the room with us the whole time,
declared that he could hold out no longer, and that sleep he must. With
difficulty he obtained an hour's truce: the moment he got out of the
room he fell asleep, absolutely at the very threshold of our door. By
the rules of the house he was entitled to a bonus on every transfer of
property at the hazard-table; and he had made, in the course of these
three days, upwards of three hundred pounds. Sleep and avarice had
struggled to the utmost, but, with his vulgar habits, sleep prevailed.
We were wide awake. I shall never forget the figure of one of my noble
associates, who sat holding his watch, his eager eyes fixed upon the
minute-hand, whilst he exclaimed continually, "This hour will never be
over!" Then he listened to discover whether his watch had stopped; then
cursed the lazy fellow for falling asleep, protesting that, for his
part, he never would again consent to such waste of time. The very
instant the hour was ended, he ordered "_that dog_" to be awakened, and
to work we went. At this sitting 35,000_l._ were lost and won. I was
very fortunate, for I lost a mere trifle--ten thousand pounds; but I
could not expect to be always so lucky.--Now we come to the old story
of being ruined by play. My English John o'-the-Scales warned me that he
could _advance_ no more money; my Irish agent, upon whom my drafts had
indeed been unmerciful, could not _oblige_ me any longer, and he threw
up his agency, after having made his fortune at my expense. I railed,
but railing would not pay my debts of honour. I inveighed against my
grandfather for having tied me up so tight; I could neither mortgage nor
sell: my Irish estate would have been sold instantly, had it not been
settled upon a Mr. Delamere. The pleasure of abusing him, whom I had
never seen, and of whom I knew nothing but that he was to be my heir,
relieved me wonderfully. He died, and left only a daughter, a mere
child. My chance of possessing the estate in fee-simple increased: I
sold this increased value to the Jews, and gamed on. Miss Delamere, some
time afterwards, had the smallpox. Upon the event of her illness I laid
bets to an amazing amount.

She recovered. No more money could be raised, and my debts were to be
paid. In this dilemma I recollected that I once had a guardian, and that
I had never settled accounts with him. Crawley, who continued to be my
factotum and flatterer in ordinary and extraordinary, informed me, upon
looking over these accounts, that there was a mine of money due to
me, if I could but obtain it by law or equity. To law I went: and the
anxiety of a lawsuit might have, in some degree, supplied the place of
gambling, but that all my business was managed for me by Crawley, and I
charged him never to mention the subject to me till a verdict should be

A verdict was obtained against me. It was proved in open court, by my
own witnesses, that I was a fool; but as no judge, jury, or chancellor,
could believe that I was so great a fool as my carelessness indicated,
my guardian stood acquitted in equity of being so great a rogue as he
really was. What was now to be done? I saw my doom. As a highwayman
knows that he must come to the gallows at last, and acts accordingly,
so a fashionably extravagant youth knows that, sooner or later, he must
come to matrimony. No one could have more horror of this catastrophe
than I felt; but it was in vain to oppose my destiny. My opinion of
women had been formed from the commonplace jests of my companions, and
from my own acquaintance with the worst part of the sex. I had never
felt the passion of love, and, of course, believed it to be something
that might have existed in former ages, but that it was in our days
quite obsolete, at least, among the _knowing_ part of the world. In my
imagination young women were divided into two classes; those who were to
be purchased, and those who were to purchase. Between these two classes,
though the division was to be marked externally by a certain degree of
ceremony, yet I was internally persuaded that there was no essential
difference. In my feelings towards them there was some distinction; of
the first class I was tired, and of the second I was afraid. Afraid!
Yes--afraid of being taken in. With these fears, and these sentiments,
I was now to choose a wife. I chose her by the numeration table: Units,
tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. I
was content, in the language of the newspapers, _to lead to the Hymeneal
altar_ any fashionable fair one whose fortune came under the sixth place
of figures. No sooner were my _dispositions_ known than the friends of a
young heiress, who wanted to purchase a coronet, settled a match between
us. My bride had one hundred wedding-dresses, elegant as a select
committee of dress-makers and milliners, French and English, could
devise. The least expensive of these robes, as well as I remember, cost
fifty guineas: the most admired came to about five hundred pounds, and
was thought, by the best judges in these matters, to be wonderfully
cheap, as it was of lace such as had never before been trailed in
English dust, even by the lady of a nabob. These things were shown in
London as a _spectacle_ for some days, by the dress-maker, who declared
that she had lost many a night's rest in contriving how to make such
a variety of dresses sufficiently magnificent and _distinguished_.
The jewellers also requested and obtained permission to exhibit the
different sets of jewels: these were so numerous that Lady Glenthorn
scarcely knew them all. One day, soon after her marriage, somebody at
court, observing that her diamonds were prodigiously fine, asked where
she bought them. "Really," said she, "I cannot tell. I have so many
sets, I declare I don't know whether _it's_ my Paris, or my Hamburgh, or
my London set."

Poor young creature! I believe her chief idea of happiness in marriage
was the possession of the jewels and paraphernalia of a countess--I
am sure it was the only hope she could have, that was likely to be
realized, in marrying me. I thought it manly and fashionable to be
indifferent, if not contemptuous to my wife: I considered her only as an
incumbrance, that I was obliged to take along with my fortune. Besides
the disagreeable ideas generally connected with the word _wife_, I had
some peculiar reasons for my aversion to my Lady Glenthorn. Before her
friends would suffer me to take possession of her fortune, they required
from me a solemn oath against gambling: so I was compelled to abjure the
hazard-table and the turf, the only two objects in life that could keep
me awake. This extorted vow I set down entirely to my bride's account;
and I therefore became even more averse to her than men usually are
who marry for money. Yet this dislike subsided. Lady Glenthorn was only
childish--I, of an easy temper. I thought her ridiculous, but it was too
much trouble to tell her so continually. I let the occasions pass, and
even forgot her ladyship, when she was not absolutely in my way. She
was too frivolous to be hated, and the passion of hatred was not to be
easily sustained in my mind. The habit of ennui was stronger than all my
passions put together.


    "Or realize what we think fabulous,
     I' th' bill of fare of Eliogabalus."

After my marriage, my old malady rose to an insupportable height. The
pleasures of the table were all that seemed left to me in life. Most
of the young men of any _ton_, either were, or pretended to be,
_connoisseurs_ in the science of good eating. Their _talk_ was of sauces
and of cooks, what dishes each cook was famous for; whether his _forte_
lay in white sauces or brown, in soups, _lentilles, fricandeaus,
bechemele, matelotes, daubes_, &c. Then the history and genealogy of the
cooks came after the discussion of the merit of the works; whom my
Lord C----'s cook lived with formerly--what my Lord D---- gave his
cook--where they met with these great geniuses, &c. I cannot boast that
our conversation at these select dinners, from which the ladies were
excluded, was very entertaining; but true good eaters detest wit at
dinner-time, and sentiment at all times. I think I observed that amongst
these cognoscenti there was scarcely one to whom the delicacy of taste
did not daily prove a source of more pain than pleasure. There was
always a cruel something that spoiled the rest; or if the dinner were
excellent, beyond the power of the most fastidious palate to condemn,
yet there was the hazard of being placed far from the favourite dish, or
the still greater danger of being deputed to carve at the head or foot
of the table. How I have seen a heavy nobleman of this set dexterously
manoeuvre to avoid the dangerous honour of carving a haunch of venison!
"But, good Heavens!" said I, when a confidential whisper first pointed
out this to my notice, "why does he not like to carve?--he would have
it in his power to help himself to his mind, which nobody else can do so
well."--"No! if he carve, he must give the _nice bits_ to others; every
body here understands them as well as he--each knows what is upon his
neighbour's plate, and what ought to be there, and what must be in the
dish." I found that it was an affair of calculation--a game at which
nobody can cheat without being discovered and disgraced. I emulated, and
soon equalled my experienced friends. I became a perfect epicure,
and gloried in the character, for it could be supported without any
intellectual exertion, and it was fashionable. I cannot say that I could
ever eat as much as some of my companions. One of them I once heard
exclaim, after a monstrous dinner, "I wish my digestion were equal to my
appetite." I would not be thought to exaggerate, therefore I shall not
recount the wonders I have seen performed by these capacious heroes
of the table. After what I have beheld, to say nothing of what I have
achieved, I can believe any thing that is related of the capacity of the
human stomach. I can credit even the account of the dinner which Madame
de Bavière affirms she saw eaten by Lewis the Fourteenth; _viz_. "quatre
assiettes de différentes soupes; un faisan tout entier; un perdrix; une
grande assiette pleine de salade; du mouton coupé dans son jus avec de
l'ail; deux bons morceaux de jambon; une assiette pleine de patisserie!
du fruit et des confitures!" Nor can I doubt the accuracy of the
historian, who assures us that a Roman emperor,[73] one of the most
moderate of those imperial gluttons, _took_ for his breakfast, 500 figs,
100 peaches, 10 melons, 100 beccaficoes, and 400 oysters.

Epicurism was scarcely more prevalent during the decline of the Roman
empire than it is at this day amongst some of the wealthy and noble
youths of Britain. Not one of my select dinner-party but would have been
worthy of a place at the _turbot consultation_ immortalized by the Roman
satirist. A friend of mine, a bishop, one day went into his kitchen, to
look at a large turbot, which the cook was dressing. The cook had found
it so large that he had cut off the fins: "What a shame!" cried the
bishop; and immediately calling for the cook's apron, he spread it
before his cassock, and actually sewed the fins again to the turbot with
his own episcopal hands.

If I might judge from my own experience, I should attribute fashionable
epicurism in a great measure to ennui. Many affect it, because they have
nothing else to do; and sensual indulgences are all that exist for those
who have not sufficient energy to enjoy intellectual pleasures. I dare
say, that if Heliogabalus could be brought in evidence in his own case,
and could be made to understand the meaning of the word ennui, he would
agree with me in opinion, that it was the cause of half his vices. His
offered reward for the discovery of a new pleasure is stronger evidence
than any confession he could make. I thank God that I was not born
an emperor, or I might have become a monster. Though not in the least
inclined to cruelty, I might have acquired the taste for it, merely for
desire of the emotion which real tragedies excite. Fortunately, I was
only an earl and an epicure.

My indulgence in the excesses of the table injured my health; violent
bodily exercise was necessary to counteract the effects of intemperance.
It was my maxim, that a man could never eat or drink too much, if
he would but take exercise enough. I killed fourteen horses,[74] and
survived; but I grew tired of killing horses, and I continued to eat
immoderately. I was seized with a nervous complaint, attended with
extreme melancholy. Frequently the thoughts of putting an end to my
existence occurred; and I had many times determined upon the means; but
very small and apparently inadequate and ridiculous motives, prevented
the execution of my design. Once I was kept alive by a _piggery_, which
I wanted to see finished. Another time, I delayed destroying myself,
till a statue, which I had just purchased at a vast expense, should be
put up in my Egyptian _salon_. By the awkwardness of the unpacker, the
statue's thumb was broken. This broken thumb saved my life; it converted
ennui into anger. Like Montaigne and his sausage, I had now something to
complain of, and I was happy. But at last my anger subsided, the thumb
would serve me no longer as a subject of conversation, and I relapsed
into silence and black melancholy. I was "a'weary of the sun;" my old
thoughts recurred. At this time I was just entering my twenty-fifth
year. Rejoicings were preparing for my birthday. My Lady Glenthorn had
prevailed upon me to spend the summer at Sherwood Park, because it was
new to her. She filled the house with company and noise; but this only
increased my discontent. My birthday arrived--I wished myself dead--and
I resolved to shoot myself at the close of the day. I put a pistol into
my pocket, and stole out towards the evening, unobserved by my jovial
companions. Lady Glenthorn and her set were dancing, and I was tired of
these sounds of gaiety. I took the private way to the forest, which was
near the house; but one of my grooms met me with a fine horse, which
an old tenant had just sent as a present on my birthday. The horse
was saddled and bridled; the groom held the stirrup, and up I got. The
fellow told me the private gate was locked, and I turned as he pointed
to go through the grand entrance. At the outside of the gate sat upon
the ground, huddled in a great red cloak, an old woman, who started up
and sprang forwards the moment she saw me, stretching out her arms and
her cloak with one and the same motion.

"Ogh! is it you I see?" cried she, in a strong Irish tone.

At this sound and this sight, my horse, that was shy, backed a little. I
called to the woman to stand out of my way.

"Heaven bless your sweet face! I'm the nurse that suckled _yees_ when
ye was a baby in Ireland. Many's the day I've been longing to see you,"
continued she, clasping her hands, and standing her ground in the middle
of the gateway, regardless of my horse, which I was pressing forward.

"Stand out of the way, for God's sake, my good woman, or I shall
certainly ride over you. So! so! so!" said I, patting my restless horse.

"Oh! he's only shy, God bless him! he's as _quite_ now as a lamb; and
kiss one or other of _yees_, I must," cried she, throwing her arms about
the horse's neck.

The horse, unaccustomed to this mode of salutation, suddenly plunged,
and threw me. My head fell against the pier of the gate. The last sound
I heard was the report of a pistol; but I can give no account of what
happened afterwards. I was stunned by my fall, and senseless. When I
opened my eyes, I found myself stretched on one of the cushions of
my landau, and surrounded by a crowd of people, who seemed to be all
talking at once: in the buzz of voices I could not distinguish any thing
that was said, till I heard Captain Crawley's voice above the rest,

"Send for a surgeon instantly: but it's all over! it's all over! Take
the body the back way to the banqueting-house; I must run to Lady

I perceived that they thought me dead. I did not at this moment feel
that I was hurt. I was curious to know what they would all do; so I
closed my eyes again before any one perceived that I had opened them.
I lay motionless, and they proceeded with me, according to Captain
Crawley's orders, to the banqueting-house. When we arrived there, my
servants laid me on one of the Turkish sofas; and the crowd, after
having satisfied their' curiosity, dropped off one by one, till I was
left with a single footman and my steward.

"I don't believe he's quite dead," said the footman, "for his heart

"Oh, he's the same as dead, for he does not stir hand or foot, and his
skull, they say, is fractured for certain; but it will all be seen when
the surgeon comes. I am sure he will never do. Crawley will have every
thing his own way now, and I may as well decamp."

"Ay; and among them," said the footman, "I only hope I may get my

"What a fool that Crawley made of my lord!" said the steward.

"What a fool my lord made of himself," said the footman, "to be ruled,
and let all his people be ruled, by such an upstart! With your leave,
Mr. Turner, I'll just run to the house to say one word to James, and be
back immediately."

"No, no, you must stay, Robert, whilst I step home to lock my places,
before Crawley begins to rummage."

The footman was now left alone with me. Scarcely had the steward been
gone two minutes, when I heard a low voice near me saying, in a tone of
great anxiety, "Is he dead?"

I half opened my eyes to see who it was that spoke. The voice came from
the door which was opposite to me; and whilst the footman turned his
back, I raised my head, and beheld the figure of the old woman, who
had been the cause of my accident. She was upon her knees on the
threshold--her arms crossed over her breast. I never shall forget her
face, it was so expressive of despair.

"Is he dead?" she repeated.

"I tell you yes," replied the footman.

"For the love of God, let me come in, if he is here," cried she.

"Come in, then, and stay here whilst I run to the house." [75]

The footman ran off; and my old nurse, on seeing me, burst into an agony
of grief. I did not understand one word she uttered, as she spoke in her
native language; but her lamentations went to my heart, for they came
from hers. She hung over me, and I felt her tears dropping upon my
forehead. I could not refrain from whispering, "Don't cry--I am alive."

"Blessings on him!" exclaimed she, starting back: she then dropped down
on her knees to thank God. Then calling me by every fondling name that
nurses use to their children, she begged my forgiveness, and alternately
cursed herself and prayed for me.

The strong affections of this poor woman touched me more than any thing
I had ever yet felt in my life; she seemed to be the only person upon
earth who really cared for me; and in spite of her vulgarity, and my
prejudice against the tone in which she spoke, she excited in my mind
emotions of tenderness and gratitude. "My good woman, if I live, I will
do something for you: tell me what I can do," said I. "Live! live! God
bless you, live; that's all in the wide world I want of you, my jewel;
and, till you are well, let me watch over you at nights, as I used to do
when you were a child, and I had you in my arms all to myself, dear."

Three or four people now ran into the room, to get before Captain
Crawley, whose voice was heard at this instant at a distance. I had only
time to make the poor woman understand that I wished to appear to be
dead; she took the hint with surprising quickness. Captain Crawley came
up the steps, talking in the tone of a master to the steward and people
who followed.

"What is this old hag doing here? Where is Robert? Where is Thomas?
I ordered them to stay till I came. Mr. Turner, why did not you stay?
What! has not the coroner been here yet? The coroner must see the body,
I tell you. Good God! What a parcel of blockheads you all are! How
many times must I tell you the same thing? Nothing can be done till the
coroner has seen him; then we'll talk about the funeral, Mr. Turner--one
thing at a time. Every thing shall be done properly, Mr. Turner. Lady
Glenthorn trusts every thing to me--Lady Glenthorn wishes that I should
order every thing."

"To be sure--no doubt--very proper--I don't say against that."

"But," continued Crawley, turning towards the sofa upon which I lay, and
seeing Ellinor kneeling beside me, "what keeps this old Irish witch here
still? What business have you here, pray; and who are you, or what are

"Plase your honour, I was his nurse formerly, and so had a nat'ral
longing to see him once again before I would die."

"And did you come all the way from Ireland on this wise errand?"

"Troth I did--every inch of the way from his own sweet place."

"Why, you are little better than a fool, I think," said Crawley.

"Little better, plase your honour; but I was always so about them
_childer_ that I nursed."

"_Childer_! Well, get along about your business now; you see your
nursing is not wanted here."

"I'll not stir out of this, while he is here," said my nurse, catching
hold of the leg of the sofa, and clinging to it.

"You'll not stir, you say," cried Captain Crawley: "Turn her out!"

"Oh, sure you would not have the cru'lty to turn his old nurse out
before he's even _cowld_. And won't you let me see him buried?"

"Out with her! out with her! the old Irish hag! We'll have no howling
here. Out with her, John!" said Crawley to my groom.

The groom hesitated, I fancy; for Crawley repeated the order more
imperiously: "Out with her! or go yourself."

"May be it's you that will go first yourself," said she.

"Go first myself!" cried Captain Crawley, furiously: "Are you insolent
to _me_?"

"And are not you cru'l to me, and to my child I nursed, that lies all
as one as dead before you, and was a good friend to you in his day, no

Crawley seized hold of her: but she resisted with so much energy, that
she dragged along with her the sofa to which she clung, and on which I

"Stop!" cried I, starting up. There was sudden silence. I looked round,
but could not utter another syllable. Now, for the first time, I was
sensible that I had been really hurt by the fall. My head grew giddy,
and my stomach sick. I just saw Crawley's fallen countenance, and him
and the steward looking at one another; they were like hideous faces in
a dream. I sunk back.

"Ay, lie down, my darling; don't be disturbing yourself for such as
them," said my nurse. "Let them do what they will with me; it's little
I'd care for them, if you were but once in safe hands."

I beckoned to the groom, who had hesitated to turn out Ellinor, and
bid him go to the housekeeper, and have me put to bed. "She," added I,
pointing to my old nurse, "is to sit up with me at night." It was all I
could say. What they did with me afterwards, I do not know; but I was
in my bed, and a bandage was round my temples, and my poor nurse was
kneeling on one side of the bed, with a string of beads in her hand; and
a surgeon and physician, and Crawley and my Lady Glenthorn were on the
other side, whispering together. The curtain was drawn between me
and them; but the motion I made on wakening was instantly observed by
Crawley, who immediately left the room. Lady Glenthorn drew back my
curtain, and began to ask me how I did: but when I fixed my eyes upon
her, she sunk upon the bed, trembling violently, and could not finish
her sentence. I begged her to go to rest, and she retired. The physician
ordered that I should be kept quiet, and seemed to think I was in
danger. I asked what was the matter with me? and the surgeon, with a
very grave face, informed me that I had an ugly contusion on my head.
I had heard of a concussion of the brain; but I did not know distinctly
what it was, and my fears were increased by my ignorance. The life
which, but a few hours before, I had been on the point of voluntarily
destroying, because it was insupportably burdensome, I was now, the
moment it was in danger, most anxious to preserve; and the interest
which I perceived others had in getting rid of me, increased my desire
to recover. My recovery was, however, for some time doubtful. I was
seized with a fever, which left me in a state of alarming debility.
My old nurse, whom I shall henceforward call by her name of Ellinor,
attended me with the most affectionate solicitude during my illness;[76]
she scarcely stirred from my bedside, night or day; and, indeed, when
I came to the use of my senses, she was the only person whom I really
liked to have near me. I knew that she was sincere; and, however
unpolished her manners, and however awkward her assistance, the
good-will with which it was given, made me prefer it to the most
delicate and dexterous attentions which I believed to be interested. The
very want of a sense of propriety, and the freedom with which she talked
to me, regardless of what was suited to her station, or due to my rank,
instead of offending or disgusting me, became agreeable; besides, the
novelty of her dialect, and of her turn of thought, entertained me as
much as a sick man could be entertained. I remember once her telling me,
that, "if it _plased_ God, she would like to die on a Christmas-day, of
all days; _because_ the gates of Heaven, they say, will be open all that
day; and who knows but a body might slip in _unknownst?_" When she sat
up with me at nights she talked on eternally; for she assured me there
was nothing like talking, as she had found, to put one _asy asleep_. I
listened or not, just as I liked; _any way_ she was _contint_. She
was inexhaustible in her anecdotes of my ancestors, all tending to the
honour and glory of the family; she had also an excellent memory for all
the insults, or traditions of insults, which the Glenthorns had received
for many ages back, even to the times of the old kings of Ireland; long
and long before they stooped to be _lorded_; when their "names, which it
was a pity and a murder, and moreover a burning shame, to change, was,
O'Shaughnessy." She was well-stored with histories of Irish and Scotish
chiefs. The story of O'Neill, the Irish blackbeard, I am sure I ought to
remember, for Ellinor told it to me at least six times. Then she had a
large assortment of fairies and _shadowless_ witches, and _banshees_;
and besides, she had legions of spirits and ghosts, and haunted castles
without end, my own castle of Glenthorn not excepted, in the description
of which she was extremely eloquent; she absolutely excited in my mind
some desire to see it. For many a long year, she said, it had been her
nightly prayer, that she might live to see me in my own castle; and
often and often she was coming over to England to tell me so, only
her husband, as long as he lived, would not let her set out on what he
called a fool's errand: but it pleased God to take him to himself last
fair day, and then she resolved that nothing should hinder her to be
with her own child against his birthday: and now, could she see me in
my own Castle Glenthorn, she would die _contint_--and what a pity but I
should be in it! I was only a lord, as she said, in England; but I could
be all as one as a king in Ireland.

Ellinor impressed me with the idea of the sort of feudal power I should
possess in my vast territory, over tenants who were almost vassals, and
amongst a numerous train of dependents. We resist the efforts made by
those who, we think, exert authority or employ artifice to change our
determinations; whilst the perverse mind insensibly yields to those who
appear not to have power, or reason, or address, sufficient to obtain
a victory. I should not have heard any human being with patience try
to persuade me to go to Ireland, except this ignorant poor nurse, who
spoke, as I thought, merely from the instinct of affection to me and to
her native country. I promised her that I would, _some time or other_,
visit Glenthorn Castle: but this was only a vague promise, and it was
but little likely that it should be accomplished. As I regained my
strength, my mind turned, or rather was turned, to other thoughts.


One morning--it was the day after my physicians had pronounced me out of
all danger--Crawley sent me a note by Ellinor, congratulating me upon my
recovery, and begging to speak to me for half an hour. I refused to see
him; and said, that I was not yet well enough to do business. The same
morning Ellinor came with a message from Turner, my steward, who, with
his humble duty, requested to see me for five minutes, to communicate to
me something of importance. I consented to see Turner. He entered with a
face of suppressed joy and affected melancholy.

"Sad news I am bound in duty to be the bearer of, my lord. I was
determined, whatever came to pass, however, not to speak till your
honour was out of danger, which, I thank Heaven, is now the case, and I
am happy to be able to congratulate your lordship upon looking as well

"Never mind my looks. I will excuse your congratulations, Mr. Turner,"
said I, impatiently; for the recollection of the banqueting-house, and
the undertaker whom Turner was so eager to introduce, came full into my
mind. "Go on, if you please; five minutes is all I am at present able
to give to any business, and you sent me word you had something of
importance to communicate."

"True, my lord; but in case your lordship is not at present well enough,
or not so disposed, I will wait your lordship's leisure."

"Now or never, Mr. Turner. Speak, but speak at once."

"My lord, I would have done so long ago, but was loth to make mischief;
and besides, could not believe what I heard whispered, and would scarce
believe what I verily saw; though now, as I cannot reasonably have a
doubt, I think it would be a sin, and a burden upon my conscience, not
to speak; only that I am unwilling to shock your lordship too much, when
but just recovering, for that is not the time one would wish to tell or
to hear disagreeable things."

"Mr. Turner, either come to the point at once, or leave me; for I am not
strong enough to bear this suspense."

"I beg pardon, my lord: why then, my lord, the point is Captain

"What of him? I never desire to hear his name again."

"Nor I, I am sure, my lord; but there are some in the house might not be
of our opinion."

"Who? you sneaking fellow; speak out, can't you?"

"My lady--my lord--Now it is out. She'll go off with him this night, if
not prevented."

My surprise and indignation were as great as if I had always been the
fondest and the most attentive of husbands. I was at length roused from
that indifference and apathy into which I had sunk; and though I had
never loved my wife, the moment I knew she was lost to me for ever was
exquisitely painful. Astonishment, the sense of disgrace, the feeling of
rage against that treacherous parasite by whom she had been seduced, all
combined to overwhelm me. I could command my voice only enough to bid
Turner leave the room, and tell no one that he had spoken to me on this
subject. "Not a soul," he said, "should be told, or could guess it."

Left to my own reflections, as soon as the first emotions of anger
subsided, I blamed myself for my conduct to Lady Glenthorn. I considered
that she had been married to me by her friends, when she was too young
and too childish to judge for herself; that from the first day of our
marriage I had never made the slightest effort to win her affections,
or to guide her conduct; that, on the contrary, I had shown her marked
indifference, if not aversion. With fashionable airs, I had professed,
that provided she left me at liberty to spend the large fortune which
she brought me, and in consideration of which she enjoyed the title
of Countess of Glenthorn, I cared for nothing farther. With the
consequences of my neglect I now reproached myself in vain. Lady
Glenthorn's immense fortune had paid my debts, and had for two years
supplied my extravagance, or rather my indolence: little remained,
and she was now, in her twenty-third year, to be consigned to public
disgrace, and to a man whom I knew to be destitute of honour and
feeling. I pitied her, and resolved to go instantly and make an effort
to save her from destruction.

Ellinor, who watched all Crawley's motions, informed me, that he was
gone to a neighbouring town, and had left word that he should not be
home till after dinner. Lady Glenthorn was in her dressing-room, which
was at a part of the house farthest from that which I now inhabited. I
had never left my room since my illness, and had scarcely walked
farther than from my bed to my arm-chair; but I was so much roused by
my feelings at this instant, that, to Ellinor's great astonishment, I
started from my chair, and, forbidding her to follow me, walked without
any assistance along the corridor, which led to the back-stairs, and
to Lady Glenthorn's apartment. I opened the private door of her
dressing-room suddenly--the room was in great disorder--her woman was
upon her knees packing a trunk: Lady Glenthorn was standing at a table,
with a parcel of open letters before her, and a diamond necklace in her
hand. She started at the sight of me as if she had beheld a ghost: the
maid screamed, and ran to a door at the farther end of the room, to make
her escape, but that was bolted. Lady Glenthorn was pale and motionless,
till I approached; and then, recollecting herself, she reddened all
over, and thrust the letters into her table-drawer. Her woman, at the
same instant, snatched a casket of jewels, swept up in her arms a heap
of clothes, and huddled them all together into the half-packed trunk.

"Leave the room," said I to her sternly. She locked the trunk, pocketed
the key, and obeyed.

I placed a chair for Lady Glenthorn, and sat down myself. We were almost
equally unable to stand. We were silent for some moments. Her eyes
were fixed upon the ground, and she leaned her head upon her hand in an
attitude of despair. I could scarcely articulate; but making an effort
to command my voice, I at last said--

"Lady Glenthorn, I blame myself more than you for all that has

"For what?" said she, making a feeble attempt at evasion, yet at the
same time casting a guilty look towards the drawer of letters.

"You have nothing to conceal from me," said I.

"Nothing!" said she, in a feeble voice.

"Nothing," said I; "for I know every thing"--she started--"and am
willing to pardon every thing."

She looked up in my face astonished. "I am conscious," continued I,
"that you have not been well treated by me. You have had much reason
to complain of my neglect. To this I attribute your error. Forget the
past--I will set you the example. Promise me never to see the man more,
and what has happened shall never be known to the world."

She made me no answer, but burst into a flood of tears. She seemed
incapable of decision, or even of thought. I felt suddenly inspired with

"Write this moment," continued I, placing a pen and ink before her,
"write to forbid him ever to return to this house, or ever more to
appear in your presence. If he should appear in mine, I know how
to chastise him, and to vindicate my own honour. To preserve your
reputation, I refrain, upon these conditions, from making my contempt of
him public."

I put a pen into Lady Glenthorn's hand; but she trembled so that she
could not write. She made several ineffectual attempts, then tore the
paper; and again giving way to tears, exclaimed, "I cannot write--I
cannot think--I do not know what to say. Write what you will, and I will
sign it."

"I write to Captain Crawley! Write what _I_ will! Lady Glenthorn, it
must be your will to write, not mine. If it be not your will, say so."

"Oh! I do not say so--I do not say _that_. Give me a moment's time. I do
not know what I say. I have been very foolish--very wicked. You are very
good--but it is too late: it will all be known. Crawley will betray me;
he will tell it to Mrs. Mattocks: so whichever way I turn, I am undone.
Oh! what _will_ become of me?"

She wrung her hands and wept, and was for an hour in this state, in
all the indecision and imbecility of a child. At last, she wrote a few
scarcely legible lines to Crawley, forbidding him to see or think of
her more. I despatched the note, and she was full of penitence, and
gratitude, and tears. The next morning, when I wakened, I in my turn
received a note from her ladyship.

"Since I saw you, Captain Crawley has convinced me that I am his wife,
_in the eye of Heaven_, and I therefore desire a divorce, as much as
your _whole conduct_, since my marriage, convinces me _you_ must in your
_heart_, whatever may be your motives to _pretend_ otherwise. Before you
receive this I shall be _out of your way_ and _beyond your reach_; so do
not think of pursuing one who is no longer,



After reading this note, I thought not of pursuing or saving Lady
Glenthorn. I was as anxious for a divorce as she could be. Some months
afterwards the affair was brought to a public trial. When the cause
came on, so many circumstances were brought in mitigation of damages,
to prove my utter carelessness respecting my wife's conduct, that a
suspicion of collusion arose. From this imputation I was clear in the
opinion of all who really knew me; and I repelled the charge publicly,
with a degree of indignation that surprised all who knew the usual
apathy of my temper. I must observe, that during the whole time my
divorce-bill was pending, and whilst I was in the greatest possible
anxiety, my health was perfectly good. But no sooner was the affair
settled, and a decision made in my favour, than I relapsed into my old
nervous complaints.


    "'Twas doing nothing was his curse;--
    Is there a vice can plague us worse?
    The wretch who digs the mine for bread,
    Or ploughs, that others may be fed,
    Feels less fatigue than that decreed
    To him who cannot think or read."

Illness was a sort of occupation to me, and I was always sorry to get
well. When the interest of being in danger ceased, I had no other to
supply its place. I fancied that I should enjoy my liberty after my
divorce; but "even freedom grew tasteless." I do not recollect any thing
that wakened me from my torpor, during two months after my divorce,
except a violent quarrel between all my English servants and my Irish
nurse. Whether she assumed too much, upon the idea that she was a
favourite, or whether national prejudice was alone the cause of the
hatred, that prevailed against her, I know not; but they one and
all declared that they could not, and would not, live with her. She
expressed the same dislike to _consorting_ with them; "but would _put
up_ with worse, ay, with the devils themselves, to oblige my honour, and
to lie under the same roof _wid_ my honour."

The rest of the servants laughed at her blunders. This she could bear
with good-humour; but when they seriously affected to reproach her with
having, by her uncouth appearance, at her first presenting herself at
Sherwood Park, endangered my life, she retorted, "And who cared for him
in the wide world but I, amongst you all, when he lay for dead? I ask
you that," said she.

To this there was no reply; and they hated her the more for their having
been silenced by her shrewdness. I protected her as long as I could;
but, for the sake of peace, I at last yielded to the combined forces
of the steward's room and the servants' hall, and despatched Ellinor
to Ireland, with a renewal of the promise that I would visit Glenthorn
Castle this year or the next. To comfort her at parting, I would have
made her a considerable present; but she would take only a few guineas,
to bear her expenses back to her native place. The sacrifice I made did
not procure me a peace of any continuance in my own house:--ruined by
indulgence, and by my indolent, reckless temper, my servants were now my
masters. In a large, ill-regulated establishment, domestics become, like
spoiled children, discontented, capricious, and the tyrants over those
who have not the sense or steadiness to command. I remember one delicate
puppy _parted with me_, because, as he informed me, the curtains of his
bed did not close at the foot; he had never been used to such a thing,
and had told the housekeeper so three times, but could obtain no
redress, which necessitated him to beg my permission to retire from the

In his stead another coxcomb came to offer himself, who, with an
incomparably easy air, begged to know whether I wanted _a man of figure_
or _a man of parts?_ For the benefit of those to whom this fashionable
classification of domestics may not be familiar, I should observe, that
the department of _a man of figure_ is specially and solely to
announce company on gala days; the business of _the man of parts_ is
multifarious: to write cards of invitation, to speak to impertinent
tradesmen, to carry confidential messages, et cetera. Now, where there
is an et cetera in an agreement, there is always an opening for dispute.
The functions of _the man of parts_ not being accurately defined, I
unluckily required from him some service which was not in his bond; I
believe it was to go for my pocket handkerchief: "He could not possibly
do it, because it was not his business;" and I, the laziest of mortals,
after waiting a full quarter of an hour, whilst they were settling
whose business it was to obey me, was forced to get up and go for what I
wanted. I comforted myself by the recollection of the poor king of Spain
and _le brasier_. With a regal precedent I could not but be satisfied.
All great people, said I to myself, are obliged to submit to these
inconveniences. I submitted with so good a grace, that my submission
was scarcely felt to be a condescension. My _bachelor's_ house soon
exhibited in perfection "High Life below Stairs."

It is said that a foreign nobleman permitted his servants to take their
own way so completely, that one night he and his guests being kept
waiting an unconscionable time for supper, he at last went down stairs
to inquire into the cause of the delay: he found the servant, whose
business it was to take up supper, quietly at cards with a large party
of his friends. The man coolly remonstrated, that it was impossible to
leave his game unfinished. The master candidly acknowledged the force of
his plea; but insisted upon the man's going up stairs to lay the cloth
for supper, whilst he took his cards, sat down, and finished the game
for him.

The suavity of my temper never absolutely reached this degree of
complaisance. My home was disagreeable to me: I had not the resolution
to remove the causes of the discontents. Every day I swore I would part
with all these rascals the next morning; but still they stayed. Abroad I
was not happier than at home. I was disgusted with my former companions:
they had convinced me, the night of my accident at Sherwood Park, that
they cared not whether I was alive or dead; and ever since that time I
had been more and more struck with their selfishness as well as folly.
It was inexpressibly fatiguing and irksome to me to keep up a show
of good fellowship and joviality with these people, though I had not
sufficient energy to make the attempt to quit them. When these _dashers_
and _loungers_ found that I was not always at their disposal, they
discovered that Glenthorn had always something _odd_ about him; that
Glenthorn had always a melancholy turn; that it ran in the family, &c.
Satisfied with these phrases, they let me take my own way, and forgot
my existence. Public amusements had lost their charm; I had sufficient
steadiness to resist the temptation to game: but, for want of stimulus,
I could hardly endure the _tedium_ of my days. At this period of my
life, ennui was very near turning into misanthropy. I balanced between
becoming a misanthrope and a democrat.

Whilst I was in this critical state of ineptitude, my attention was
accidentally roused by the sight of a boxing-match. My feelings were so
much excited, and the excitation was so delightful, that I was now in
danger of becoming an amateur of the pugilistic art. It did not occur to
me, that it was beneath the dignity of a British nobleman to learn the
vulgar terms of the boxing trade. I soon began to talk very _knowingly_
of _first-rate bruisers, game_ men, and _pleasing_ fighters; _making
play--beating a man under the ropes--sparring--rallying--sawing_--and
_chopping_. What farther proficiency I might have made in this language,
or how long my interest in these feats of prize-fighters might have
continued, had I been left to myself, I cannot determine; but I was
unexpectedly seized with a fit of national shame, on hearing a foreigner
of rank and reputation express astonishment at our taste for these
savage spectacles. It was in vain that I repeated the arguments of
some of the parliamentary panegyrists of boxing and bull-baiting; and
asserted, that these diversions render a people hardy and courageous.
My opponent replied, that he did not perceive the necessary connexion
between cruelty and courage; that he did not comprehend how the standing
by in safety to see two men bruise each other almost to death could
evince or inspire heroic sentiments or warlike dispositions. He
observed, that the Romans were most eager for the fights of gladiators
during the reigns of the most effeminate and cruel emperors, and in
the decline of all public spirit and virtue. These arguments would have
probably made but a feeble impression on an understanding like mine,
unaccustomed to general reasoning, and on a temper habituated to pursue,
without thought of consequences, my immediate individual gratification;
but it happened that my feelings were touched at this time by the
dreadful sufferings of one of the pugilistic combatants. He died a few
hours after the battle. He was an Irishman: most of the spectators being
English, and triumphing in the victory of their countryman, the poor
fellow's fate was scarcely noticed. I spoke to him a little while before
he died, and found that he came from my own county. His name was Michael
Noonan. He made it his dying request, that I would carry half-a-guinea,
the only money he possessed, to his aged father, and a silk handkerchief
he had worn round his neck, to his sister. Pity for this unfortunate
Irishman recalled Ireland to my thoughts. Many small reasons concurred
to make me now desirous of going to that country. I should get rid at
once of a tormenting establishment, and of servants, without the odium
of turning them away; for most of them declined going into banishment,
as they called it. Besides this, I should leave my companions, with whom
I was disgusted. I was tired of England, and wanted to see something
new, even if it were to be worse than what I had seen before. These were
not my ostensible reasons: I professed to have more exalted motives for
my journey. It was my duty, I said, to visit my Irish estate, and to
encourage my tenantry, by residing some time among them. Duties often
spring up to our view at a convenient opportunity. Then my promise to
poor Ellinor; it was impossible for a man of honour to break a promise,
even to an old woman: in short, when people are determined upon any
action, they seldom fail to find arguments capable of convincing them
that their resolution is reasonable. Mixed motives govern the conduct of
half mankind; so I set out upon my journey to Ireland.


    "Es tu contente à la fleur de tes ans?
    As tu des goûts et des amusemens?
    Tu dois mener une assez douce vie.
    L'autre en deux mots répondait 'Je m'ennuie.'
    C'est un grand mal, dit la fée, et je crois
    Qu'un beau secret est de rester chez soi."--

I was detained six days by contrary winds at Holyhead. Sick of that
miserable place, in my ill-humour I cursed Ireland, and twice resolved
to return to London: but the wind changed, my carriage was on board the
packet; so I sailed and landly safely in Dublin. I was surprised by the
excellence of the hotel at which I was lodged. I had not conceived that
such accommodation could have been found in Dublin. The house had, as I
was told, belonged to a nobleman: it was fitted up and appointed with a
degree of elegance, and even magnificence, beyond what I had been used
to in the most fashionable hotels in London.

"Ah! sir," said an Irish gentleman, who found me in admiration upon the
staircase, "this is all very good, very fine, but it is too good and too
fine to last; come here again in two years, and I am afraid you will see
all this going to rack and ruin. This is too often the case with us
in Ireland: we can project, but we can't calculate; we must have every
thing upon too large a scale. We mistake a grand beginning for a good
beginning. We begin like princes, and we end like beggars."

I rested only a few days in a capital in which, I took it for granted,
there could be nothing worth seeing by a person who was just come from
London. In driving through the streets, I was, however, surprised to
see buildings, which my prejudices could scarcely believe to be Irish.
I also saw some things, which recalled to my mind the observations I had
heard at my hotel. I was struck with instances of grand beginnings
and lamentable want of finish, with mixture of the magnificent and the
paltry; of admirable and execrable taste. Though my understanding was
wholly uncultivated, these things struck my eye. Of all the faculties
of my mind, my taste had been most exercised, because its exercise had
given me least trouble.

Impatient to see my own castle, I left Dublin. I was again astonished by
the beauty of the prospects, and the excellence of the roads. I had in
my ignorance believed that I was never to see a tree in Ireland,
and that the roads were almost impassable. With the promptitude of
credulity, I now went from one extreme to the other: I concluded that
we should travel with the same celerity as upon the Bath road; and I
expected, that a journey for which four days had been allotted might be
performed in two. Like all those who have nothing to do any where, I was
always in a prodigious hurry to get from place to place; and I ever had
a noble ambition to go over as much ground as possible in a given space
of time. I travelled in a light barouche, and with my own horses. My own
man (an Englishman), and my cook (a Frenchman), followed in a hackney
chaise; I cared not how, so that they kept up with me; the rest was
their affair. At night, my gentleman complained bitterly of the Irish
post carriages, and besought me to let him follow at an easier rate the
next day; but to this I could by no means consent: for how could I exist
without my own man and my French cook? In the morning, just as I
was ready to set off, and had thrown myself back in my carriage, my
Englishman and Frenchman came to the door, both in so great a rage, that
the one was inarticulate and the other unintelligible. At length the
object of their indignation spoke for itself. From the inn yard came a
hackney chaise, in a most deplorable crazy state; the body mounted up
to a prodigious height, on unbending springs, nodding forwards, one door
swinging open, three blinds up, because they could not be let down, the
perch tied in two places, the iron of the wheels half off, half loose,
wooden pegs for linch-pins, and ropes for harness. The horses were
worthy of the harness; wretched little dog-tired creatures, that looked
as if they had been driven to the last gasp, and as if they had never
been rubbed down in their lives; their bones starting through their
skin; one lame, the other blind; one with a raw back, the other with a
galled breast; one with his neck poking down over his collar, and the
other with his head dragged forward by a bit of a broken bridle, held at
arm's length by a man dressed like a mad beggar, in half a hat and half
a wig, both awry in opposite directions; a long tattered great-coat,
tied round his waist by a hay-rope; the jagged rents in the skirts of
his coat showing his bare legs marbled of many colours; while something
like stockings hung loose about his ankles. The noises he made by way of
threatening or encouraging his steeds, I pretend not to describe.

In an indignant voice I called to the landlord, "I hope these are not
the horses--I hope this is not the chaise, intended for my servants."

The innkeeper, and the pauper who was preparing to officiate as
postilion, both in the same instant exclaimed, "_Sorrow_ better chaise
in the county!"

"_Sorrow_" said I; "what do you mean by sorrow?"

"That there's no better, plase your honour, can be seen. We have two
more, to be sure; but one has no top, and the other no bottom. Any way
there's no better can be seen than this same." [77]

"And these horses!" cried I; "why, this horse is so lame he can hardly

"Oh, plase your honour, tho' he can't stand, he'll _go_ fast enough.
He has a great deal of the rogue in him, plase your honour. He's always
that way at first setting out."

"And that wretched animal with the galled breast!"

"He's all the better for it, when once he warms; it's he that will
go with the speed of light, plase your honour. Sure, is not he
Knockecroghery? and didn't I give fifteen guineas for him, barring the
luck penny, at the fair of Knockecroghery, and he rising four year old
at the same time?"

I could not avoid smiling at this speech: but my _gentleman_,
maintaining his angry gravity, declared, in a sullen tone, that he would
be cursed if he went with such horses; and the Frenchman, with abundance
of gesticulation, made a prodigious chattering, which no mortal

"Then I'll tell you what you'll do," said Paddy; "you'll take four,
as becomes gentlemen of your quality, and you'll see how we'll powder

And straight he put the knuckle of his fore-finger in his mouth, and
whistled shrill and strong; and, in a moment, a whistle somewhere out in
the fields answered him.

I protested against these proceedings, but in vain; before the first
pair of horses were fastened to the chaise, up came a little boy with
the others _fresh_ from the plough. They were quick enough in putting
these to; yet how they managed it with their tackle, I know not. "Now
we're fixed handsomely," said Paddy.

"But this chaise will break down the first mile."

"Is it this chaise, plase your honour? I'll engage it will go the
world's end. The universe wouldn't break it down now; sure it was mended
but last night."

Then seizing his whip and reins in one hand, he clawed up his stockings
with the other: so with one easy step he got into his place, and seated
himself, coachman-like, upon a well-worn bar of wood, that served as a
coach-box. "Throw me the loan of a trusty Bartly, for a cushion," said
he. A frieze coat was thrown up over the horses' heads--Paddy caught it.
"Where are you, Hosey?" cried he. "Sure I'm only rowling a wisp of
straw on my leg," replied Hosey. "Throw me up," added this paragon of
postilions, turning to one of the crowd of idle bystanders. "Arrah, push
me up, can't ye?"

A man took hold of his knee, and threw him upon the horse: he was in his
seat in a trice; then clinging by the mane of his horse, he scrambled
for the bridle, which was under the other horse's feet--reached it, and,
well satisfied with himself, looked round at Paddy, who looked back
to the chaise-door at my angry servants, "secure in the last event of
things." In vain the Englishman in monotonous anger, and the Frenchman
in every note of the gamut, abused Paddy: necessity and wit were on
Paddy's side; he parried all that was said against his chaise, his
horses, himself, and his country, with invincible comic dexterity,
till at last, both his adversaries, dumb-foundered, clambered into the
vehicle, where they were instantly shut up in straw and darkness. Paddy,
in a triumphant tone, called to _my_ postilions, bidding them "get on,
and not be stopping the way any longer."

Without uttering a syllable, they drove on; but they could not, nor
could I, refrain from looking back to see how those fellows would
manage. We saw the fore-horses make towards the right, then to the left,
and every way but straight forwards; whilst Paddy bawled to Hosey--"Keep
the middle of the road, can't ye? I don't want ye to draw a pound

At last, by dint of whipping, the four horses were compelled to set off
in a lame gallop; but they stopped short at a hill near the end of the
town, whilst a shouting troop of ragged boys followed, and pushed them
fairly to the top. Half an hour afterwards, as we were putting on our
drag-chain to go down another steep hill,--to my utter astonishment,
Paddy, with his horses in full gallop, came rattling and _chehupping_
past us. My people called to warn him that he had no _drag_: but still
he cried "Never fear!" and shaking the long reins, and stamping with his
foot, on he went thundering down the hill. My Englishmen were aghast.

"The turn yonder below, at the bottom of the hill, is as sharp and ugly
as ever I see," said my postilion, after a moment's stupified silence.
"He will break their necks, as sure as my name is John."

Quite the contrary: when we had dragged and undragged, and came up to
Paddy, we found him safe on his legs, mending some of his tackle very

"If that had broken as you were going down the steep hill," said I, "it
would have been all over with you, Paddy."

"That's true, plase your honour: but it never happened me going down
hill--nor never will, by the blessing of God, if I've any luck."

With this mixed confidence in a special providence, and in his own good
luck, Paddy went on, much to my amusement. It was his glory to keep
before us; and he rattled on till he came to a narrow part of the road,
where they were rebuilding a bridge. Here there was a dead stop. Paddy
lashed his horses, and called them all manner of names; but the wheel
horse, Knockecroghery, was restive, and at last began to kick most
furiously. It seemed inevitable that the first kick which should reach
the splinter-bar, at which it was aimed, must demolish it instantly. My
English gentleman and my Frenchman both put their heads out of the
only window which was pervious, and called most manfully to be let out.
"Never fear," said Paddy. To open the door for themselves was beyond
their force or skill. One of the hind wheels, which had belonged to
another carriage, was too high to suffer the door to be opened, and the
blind at the other side prevented their attempts, so they were close
prisoners. The men who had been at work on the broken bridge came
forward, and rested on their spades to see the battle. As my carriage
could not pass, I was also compelled to be a spectator of this contest
between man and horse.

"Never fear," reiterated Paddy; "I'll engage I'll be up wid him. Now for
it, Knockecroghery! Oh, the rogue, he thinks he has me at a _nonplush_,
but I'll show him the _differ_."

After this brag of war, Paddy whipped, Knockecroghery kicked; and Paddy,
seemingly unconscious of danger, sat within reach of the kicking horse,
twitching up first one of his legs, then the other, and shifting as the
animal aimed his hoofs, escaping every time as it were by miracle. With
a mixture of temerity and presence of mind, which made us alternately
look upon him as a madman and a hero, he gloried in the danger, secure
of success, and of the sympathy of the spectators.

"Ah! didn't I _compass_ him cleverly then? Oh, the villain, to be
browbating me! I'm too cute for him yet. See there, now, he's come to;
and I'll be his bail he'll go _asy_ enough wid me. Ogh! he has a fine
spirit of his own, but it's I that can match him: 'twould be a poor case
if a man like me cou'dn't match a horse any way, let alone a mare, which
this is, or it never would be so vicious."

After this hard-fought battle, and suitable rejoicing for the victory,
Paddy walked his subdued adversary on a few yards to allow us to pass
him; but, to the dismay of my postilions, a hay-rope was at this instant
thrown across the road, before our horses, by the road-makers, who, to
explain this proceeding, cried out, "Plase your honour, the road is so
dry, we'd expect a trifle to wet it."

"What do these fellows mean?" said I.

"It's only a tester or a hog they want, your honour, to give 'em to
drink your honour's health," said Paddy.

"A hog to drink my health?"

"Ay, that is a thirteen, plase your honour; all as one as an English

I threw them a shilling: the hay-rope was withdrawn, and at last we went
on. We heard no more of Paddy till evening. He came in two hours after
us, and expected to be doubly paid _for driving my honour's gentlemen so

I must say that on this journey, though I met with many delays and
disasters; though one of my horses was lamed in shoeing by a smith,
who came home drunk from a funeral; and though the back pannel of my
carriage was broken by the pole of a chaise; and though one day I went
without my dinner at a large desolate inn, where nothing was to be had
but whiskey; and though one night I lay in a little smoky den, in which
the meanest of my servants in England would have thought it impossible
to sleep; and though I complained bitterly, and swore it was
impracticable for a gentleman to travel in Ireland; yet I never remember
to have experienced, on any journey, less ennui.[78] I was out of
patience twenty times a day, but I certainly felt no ennui; and I am
convinced that the benefit some patients receive from a journey is in an
inverse proportion to the ease and luxury of their mode of travelling.
When they are compelled to exert their faculties, and to use their
limbs, they forget their nerves, as I did. Upon this principle I should
recommend to wealthy hypochondriacs a journey in Ireland, preferably to
any country in the civilized world. I can promise them, that they will
not only be moved to anger often enough to make their blood circulate
briskly, but they will even, in the acme of their impatience, be thrown
into salutary convulsions of laughter, by the comic concomitants of
their disasters: besides, if they have hearts, their best feelings
cannot fail to be awakened by the warm, generous hospitality they will
receive in this country, from the cabin to the castle.

Late in the evening of the fourth day, we came to an inn on the verge of
the county where my estate was situate. It was one of the wildest parts
of Ireland. We could find no horses, nor accommodations of any sort,
and we had several miles farther to go. For our only comfort, the dirty
landlady, who had married the hostler, and wore gold drop ear-rings,
reminded us, that, "Sure, if we could but wait an hour, and take a fresh
egg, we should have a fine moon."

After many fruitless imprecations, my French cook was obliged to mount
one of my saddle-horses; my groom was left to follow us the next day;
I let my gentleman sit on the barouche box, and proceeded with my own
tired horses. The moon, which my landlady had promised me, rose, and I
had a full view of the face of the country. As we approached my maritime
territories, the cottages were thinly scattered, and the trees had a
stunted appearance; they all slanted one way, from the prevalent winds
that blew from the ocean. Our road presently stretched along the beach,
and I saw nothing to vary the prospect but rocks, and their huge shadows
upon the water. The road being sandy, the feet of the horses made no
noise, and nothing interrupted the silence of the night but the hissing
sound of the carriage-wheels passing through the sand.

"What o'clock is it now, think you, John?" said one of my postilions to
the other.

"Past twelve, for _sartain_," said John; "and this _bees_ a strange
Irish place," continued he, in a drawling voice; "with no possible
way o' getting at it, as I see." John, after a pause, resumed, "I say,
Timothy, to the best of my opinion, this here road is leading _on_ us
into the sea." John replied, "that he did suppose there might be such a
thing as a boat farther on, but where, he could not say for _sartain_."
Dismayed and helpless, they at last stopped to consult whether they had
come the right road to the house. In the midst of their consultation
there came up an Irish carman, whistling as he walked beside his horse
and car.

"Honest friend, is this the road to Glenthorn Castle?"

"To Glenthorn, sure enough, your honour."

"Whereabouts is the castle?"

"Forenent you, if you go on to the turn."

"_Forenent_ you!" As the postilions pondered upon this word, the carman,
leaving his horse, and car, turned back to explain by action what he
could not make intelligible by words.

"See, isn't here the castle?" cried he, darting before us to the turn of
the road, where he stood pointing at what we could not possibly see, as
it was hid by a promontory of rock. When we f reached the spot where he
was stationed, we came full upon the view of Glenthorn Castle: it seemed
to rise from the sea, abrupt and insulated, in all the gloomy grandeur
of ancient times, with turrets and battlements, and a huge gateway,
the pointed arch of which receded in perspective between the projecting

"It's my lord himself, I'm fond to believe!" said our guide, taking off
his hat; "I had best step on and tell 'em at the castle."

"No, my good friend, there is no occasion to trouble you farther; you
had better go back to your horse and car, which you have left on the

"Oh! they are used to that, plase your honour; they'll go on very
_quite_, and I'll run like a redshank with the news to the castle."

He ran on before us with surprising velocity, whilst our tired horses
dragged us slowly through the sand. As we approached, the gateway of
the castle opened, and a number of men, who appeared to be dwarfs when
compared with the height of the building, came out with torches in their
hands. By their bustle, and the vehemence with which they bawled to one
another, one might have thought that the whole castle was in flames;
but they were only letting down a drawbridge. As I was going over this
bridge, a casement window opened in the castle; and a voice, which I
knew to be old Ellinor's, exclaimed, "Mind the big hole in the middle of
the bridge, God bless _yees!"_

I passed over the broken bridge, and through the massive gate, under an
arched way, at the farthest end of which a lamp had just been lighted:
then I came into a large open area, the court of the castle. The
hollow sound of the horses' feet, and of the carriage rumbling over the
drawbridge, was immediately succeeded by the strange and eager voices of
the people, who filled the court with a variety of noises, contrasting,
in the most striking manner, with the silence in which we had travelled
over the sands. The great effect that my arrival instantaneously
produced upon the multitude of servants and dependants, who issued from
the castle, gave me an idea of my own consequence beyond any thing which
I had ever felt in England. These people seemed "born for my use:" the
officious precipitation with which they ran to and fro; the style
in which they addressed me; some crying, "Long life to the Earl of
Glenthorn!" some blessing me for coming to reign over them; all
together gave more the idea of vassals than of tenants, and carried my
imagination centuries back to feudal times.

The first person I saw on entering the hall of my castle was poor
Ellinor: she pushed her way up to me--

"'Tis himself!" cried she. Then turning about suddenly, "I've seen him
in his own castle--I've seen him; and if it pleases God this minute to
take me to himself, I would die with pleasure."

"My good Ellinor," said I, touched to the heart by her affection, "my
good Ellinor, I hope you will live many a happy year; and if I can

"And himself to speak to me so kind before them all!" interrupted she.
"Oh! this is too much--quite too much!" She burst into tears; and,
hiding her face with her arm, made her way out of the hall.

The flights of stairs which I had to ascend, and the length of galleries
through which I was conducted, before I reached the apartment where
supper was served, gave me a vast idea of the extent of my castle; but I
was too much fatigued to enjoy fully the gratifications of pride. To the
simple pleasures of appetite I was more sensible: I ate heartily of one
of the most profusely hospitable suppers that ever was prepared for a
noble baron, even in the days when oxen were roasted whole. Then I grew
so sleepy, that I was impatient to be shown to my bed. I was ushered
through another suite of chambers and galleries; and, as I was
traversing one of these, a door of some strange dormitory opened, and
a group of female heads were thrust out, in the midst of which I could
distinguish old Ellinor's face; but, as I turned my head, the door
closed so quickly, that I had no time to speak: I only heard the words,
"Blessings on him! that's he!"

I was so sleepy, that I rejoiced having escaped an occasion where I
might have been called upon to speak, yet I was really grateful to my
poor nurse for her blessing. The state tower, in which, after
reiterated entreaties, I was at last left alone to repose, was hung with
magnificent, but ancient tapestry. It was so like a room in a haunted
castle, that if I had not been too much fatigued to think of any thing,
I should certainly have thought of Mrs. Radcliffe. I am sorry to say
that I have no mysteries, or even portentous omens, to record of this
night; for the moment that I lay down in my antiquated bed, I fell into
a profound sleep.


When I awoke, I thought that I was on shipboard; for the first sound
I heard was that of the sea booming against the castle walls. I arose,
looked out of the window of my bedchamber, and saw that the whole
prospect bore an air of savage wildness. As I contemplated the scene,
my imagination was seized with the idea of remoteness from civilized
society: the melancholy feeling of solitary grandeur took possession of
my soul.

From this feeling I was relieved by the affectionate countenance of my
old nurse, who at this instant put her head half in at the door.

"I only just made bold to look in at the fire, to see did it burn,
because I lighted it myself, and would not be blowing of it for fear of
wakening you."

"Come in, Ellinor, come in," said I. "Come quite in."

"I will, since you've nobody with you that I need be afraid of," said
she, looking round satisfied, when she saw my own man was not in the

"You need never be afraid of any body, Ellinor, whilst I am alive," said
I; "for I will always protect you. I do not forget your conduct, when
you thought I was dead in the banqueting-room."

"Oh! don't be talking of that; thanks be to God there was nothing in it!
I see you well now. Long life to you! Sure you must have been tired to
death last night, for this morning early you lay so _quite_, sleeping
like an angel; and I could see a great likeness in _yees_ to what you
were when you were a child in my arms."

"But sit down, sit down, my good Ellinor," said I, "and let us talk a
little of your own affairs."

"And are not these my own affairs?" said she, rather angrily.

"Certainly; but I mean, that you must tell me how you are going on in
the world, and what I can do to make you comfortable and happy."

"There's one thing would make me happy," said she.

"Name it," said I.

"To be let light your fire myself every morning, and open your shutters,

I could not help smiling at the simplicity of the request. I was going
to press her to ask something of more consequence, but she heard a
servant coming along the gallery, and, starting from her chair, she ran
and threw herself upon her knees before the fire, blowing it with her
mouth with great vehemence.

The servant came to let me know that Mr. M'Leod, my agent, was waiting
for me in the breakfast-room.

"And will I be let light your fire then every morning?" said Ellinor
eagerly, turning as she knelt.

"And welcome," said I.

"Then you won't forget to speak about it for me," said she, "else may
be I won't be let up by them English. God bless you, and don't forget to
speak for me."

"I will remember to speak about it," said I; but I went down stairs and
forgot it.

Mr. M'Leod, whom I found reading the newspaper in the breakfast-room,
seemed less affected by my presence than any body I had seen since my
arrival. He was a hard-featured, strong-built, perpendicular man, with
a remarkable quietness of deportment: he spoke with deliberate
distinctness, in an accent slightly Scotch; and, in speaking, he made
use of no gesticulation, but held himself surprisingly still. No part
of him but his eyes moved, and they had an expression of slow, but
determined good sense. He was sparing of his words; but the few that
he used said much, and went directly to the point. He pressed for the
immediate examination and settlement of his accounts: he enumerated
several things of importance, which he had done for my service: but he
did this without pretending the slightest attachment to me; he mentioned
them only as proofs of his having done his duty to his employer, for
which he neither expected nor would accept of thanks. He seemed to be
cold and upright in his mind as in his body. I was not influenced in his
favour even by his striking appearance of plain-dealing, so strong was
the general abhorrence of agents which Crawley's treachery had left in
my mind. The excess of credulity, when convinced of its error, becomes
the extreme of suspicion. Persons not accustomed to reason often argue
absurdly, because, from particular instances, they deduce general
conclusions, and extend the result of their limited experience of
individuals indiscriminately to whole classes. The labour of thinking
was so great to me, that, having once come to a conclusion upon any
subject, I would rather persist in it, right or wrong, than be at
the trouble of going over the process again to revise and rectify my

Upon this occasion national prejudice heightened the prepossession
which circumstances had raised. Mr. M'Leod was not only an agent, but a
Scotchman; and I had a notion that all Scotchmen were crafty: therefore
I concluded that his blunt manner was assumed, and his plain-dealing but
a more refined species of policy.

After breakfast he laid before me a general statement of my affairs;
obliged me to name a day for the examination of his accounts; and then,
without expressing either mortification or displeasure at the coldness
of my behaviour, or at my evident impatience of his presence, he,
unmoved of spirit, rang for his horse, wished me a good morning, and

By this time my castle-yard was filled with a crowd of "great-coated
suitors," who were all _come to see--could they see my lordship? _or
_waiting just to say two words to my honour._ In various lounging
attitudes, leaning against the walls, or pacing backwards and forwards
before the window, to catch my eye, they, with a patience passing the
patience of courtiers, waited, hour after hour, the live-long day, for
their turn, or their chance, of an audience. I had promised myself the
pleasure of viewing my castle this day, and of taking a ride through my
grounds; but that was totally out of the question. I was no longer a man
with a will of my own, or with time at my own disposal.

_"Long may you live to reign over us!"_ was the signal that I was now
to live, like a prince, only for the service of my subjects. How these
subjects of mine had contrived to go on for so many years in my absence,
I was at a loss to conceive; for, the moment I was present, it seemed
evident that they could not exist without me.

One had a wife and six _childer,_ and not a spot in the wide world to
live in, if my honour did not let him live under me, in any bit of a
skirt of the estate that would feed a cow.

Another had a brother in jail, who could not be _got out without me._

Another had three lives dropped in a _lase_ for ever; another wanted
a renewal; another a farm; another a house; and one _expected_ my lard
would make his son an exciseman; and another that I would make him a
policeman; and another was _racked,_ if I did not settle the _mearing_
between him and Corny Corkran; and half a hundred had given in
_proposials_ to the agent for lands that would be out next May; and half
a hundred more came with legends of traditionary _promises from the
old lord, my lordship's father that was_: and for hours I was forced
to listen to long stories _out of the face_, in which there was such
a perplexing and provoking mixture of truth and fiction, involved in
language so figurative, and tones so new to my English ears, that, with
my utmost patience and strained attention, I could comprehend but a very
small portion of what was said to me.

Never were my ears so weary any day of my life as they were this day. I
could not have endured the fatigue, if I had not been supported by the
agreeable idea of my own power and consequence; a power seemingly next
to despotic. This new stimulus sustained me for three days that I was
kept a state-prisoner in my own castle, by the crowds who came to do me
homage, and to claim my favour and protection. In vain every morning was
my horse led about saddled and bridled: I never was permitted to mount.
On the fourth morning, when I felt sure of having despatched all my
tormentors, I was in astonishment and despair on seeing my levee crowded
with a fresh succession of petitioners. I gave orders to my people to
say that I was going out, and absolutely could see nobody. I supposed
that they did not understand what my English servants said, for they
never stirred from their posts. On receiving a second message, they
acknowledged that they understood the first; but replied, that they
could wait there till my honour came back from my ride. With
difficulty I mounted my horse, and escaped from the closing ranks of my
persecutors. At night I gave directions to have the gates kept shut, and
ordered the porter not to admit any body at his peril. When I got up, I
was delighted to see the coast clear; but the moment I went out, lo! at
the outside of the gate, the host of besiegers were posted, and in my
lawn, and along the road, and through the fields: they pursued me; and
when I forbade them to speak to me when I was on horseback, the next
day I found parties in ambuscade, who laid wait for me in silence, with
their hats off, bowing and bowing, till I could not refrain from saying,
"Well, my good friend, what do you stand bowing there for?" Then I was
fairly prisoner, and held by the bridle for an hour.

In short, I found that I was now placed in a situation where I could
hope neither for privacy nor leisure; but I had the joys of power, my
rising passion for which would certainly have been extinguished in a
short time by my habitual indolence, if it had not been kept alive by
jealousy of Mr. M'Leod.

One day, when I refused to hear an importunate tenant, and declared that
I had been persecuted with petitioners ever since my arrival, and that
I was absolutely tired to death, the man answered, "True _for ye_, my
lard; and it's a shame to be troubling you this way. Then, may be, it's
to Mr. M'Leod I'll go? Sure the agent will do as well, and no more about
it. Mr. M'Leod will do every thing the same way as usual."

"Mr. M'Leod will do every thing!" said I, hastily: "no, by no means."

"Who will we speak to, then?" said the man.

"To myself," said I, with as haughty a tone as Louis XIV. could have
assumed, when he announced to his court his resolution to be his own
minister. After this intrepid declaration to act for myself, I could not
yield to my habitual laziness. So much had my pride been hurt, as well
as my other feelings, by Captain Crawley's conduct, that I determined to
show the world I was not to be duped a second time by an agent.

When, on the day appointed, Mr. M'Leod came to settle accounts with me,
I, with an air of self-important capability, as if I had been all my
life used to look into my own affairs, sat down to inspect the papers;
and, incredible as it may appear, I went through the whole at a sitting,
without a single yawn; and, for a man who never before had looked into
an account, I understood the nature of debtor and creditor wonderfully
well: but, with my utmost desire to evince my arithmetical sagacity, I
could not detect the slightest error in the accounts; and it was evident
that Mr. M'Leod was not Captain Crawley; yet, rather than believe that
he could be both an agent and an honest man, I concluded, that if he did
not cheat me out of my money, his aim was to cheat me out of power; and,
fancying that he wished to be a man of influence and consequence in the
county, I transferred to him instantly the feelings that were passing in
my own mind, and took it for granted that he must be actuated by a love
of power in every thing that he did apparently for my service.

About this time I remember being much disturbed in my mind, by a letter
which Mr. M'Leod received in my presence, and of which he read to me
only a part: I never rested till I saw the whole. The epistle proved
well worth the trouble of deciphering: it related merely to the paving
of my chicken-yard. Like the King of Prussia,[79] who was said to be so
jealous of power, that he wanted to regulate all the mousetraps in his
dominions, I soon engrossed the management of a perplexing multiplicity
of minute insignificant details. Alas! I discovered to my cost, that
trouble is the inseparable attendant upon power: and many times, in
the course of the first ten days of my reign, I was ready to give up my
dignity from excessive fatigue.


Early one morning, after having passed a feverish night, tortured in my
dreams by the voices and faces of the people who had surrounded me the
preceding day, I was awakened by the noise of somebody lighting my fire.
I thought it was Ellinor; and the idea of the disinterested affection
of this poor woman came full into my mind, contrasted in the strongest
manner with the recollection of the selfish encroaching people by whom,
of late, I had been worried.

"How do you do, my good Ellinor?" said I; "I have not seen any thing of
you this week past."

"It's not Ellinor at all, my lard," said a new voice.

"And why so? Why does not Ellinor light my fire?"

"Myself does not know, my lard."

"Go for her directly."

"She's gone home these three days, my lard."

"Gone! is she sick?"

"Not as I know _on_, my lard. Myself does not know what ailed her,
except she would be jealous of my lighting the fire. But I can't say
what ailed her; for she went away without a word good or bad, when she
seen me lighting this fire, which I did by the housekeeper's orders."

I now recollected poor Ellinor's request, and reproached myself for
having neglected to fulfil my promise, upon an affair which, however
trifling in itself, appeared of consequence to her. In the course of my
morning's ride I determined to call upon her at her own house, and make
my apologies: but first I satisfied my curiosity about a prodigious
number of _parks_ and _towns_ which I had heard of upon my estate. Many
a ragged man had come to me, with the modest request that I would let
him _one of the parks near the town_. The horse-park, the deer-park, the
cow-park, were not quite sufficient to answer the ideas I had attached
to the word _park_: but I was quite astonished and mortified when I
beheld the bits and corners of land near the town of Glenthorn, on which
these high-sounding titles had been bestowed:--just what would feed a
cow is sufficient in Ireland to constitute a park.

When I heard the names of above a hundred towns on the Glenthorn estate,
I had an exalted idea of my own territories; and I was impatient to
make a progress through my dominions: but, upon visiting a few of
these places, my curiosity was satisfied. Two or three cabins gathered
together were sufficient to constitute a town, and the land adjoining
thereto is called a town-land. The denominations of these town-lands
having continued from generation to generation, according to ancient
surveys of Ireland, it is sufficient to show the boundaries of a
town-land, to prove that there must be a town; and a tradition of a town
continues to be satisfactory, even when only a single cabin remains. I
turned my horse's head away in disgust from one of these traditionary
towns, and desired a boy to show me the way to Ellinor O'Donoghoe's

"So I will, plase your honour, my lard; sure I've a right to know, for
she's my own granny."

The boy, or, as he was called, the _gossoon_, ran across some fields
where there was abundance of fern and of rabbits. The rabbits, sitting
quietly at the entrance of their holes, seemed to consider themselves
as proprietors of the soil, and me and my horse as intruders. The boy
apologized for the number of rabbit-holes on this part of the estate:
"It would not be so, my lard, if I had a gun allowed me by the
gamekeeper, which he would give me if he knew it would be plasing to
your honour." The ingenuity with which even the young boys can introduce
their requests in a favourable moment sometimes provoked me, and
sometimes excited my admiration. This boy made his just at the time he
was rolling out of my way a car that stopped a gap in the hedge; and he
was so hot and out of breath with running in my service, that I could
not refuse him _a token to the gamekeeper that he might get a gun_ as
soon as I understood what it meant.

We came to Ellinor's house, a wretched-looking, low, and mud-walled
cabin; at one end it was propped by a buttress of loose stones, upon
which stood a goat reared on his hind legs, to browse on the grass that
grew on the house-top. A dung-hill was before the only window, at
the other end of the house, and close to the door was a puddle of the
dirtiest of dirty water, in which ducks were dabbling. At my approach
there came out of the cabin a pig, a calf, a lamb, a kid, and two geese,
all with their legs tied; followed by turkeys, cocks, hens, chickens,
a dog, a cat, a kitten, a beggar-man, a beggar-woman with a pipe in her
mouth, children innumerable, and a stout girl with a pitchfork in her
hand; all together more than I, looking down upon the roof as I sat
on horseback, and measuring the superficies with my eye, could have
possibly supposed the mansion capable of containing. I asked if Ellinor
O'Donoghoe was at home; but the dog barked, the geese cackled, the
turkeys gobbled, and the beggars begged, with one accord, so loudly,
that there was no chance of my being heard. When the _girl_ had at last
succeeded in appeasing them all with her pitchfork, she answered, that
Ellinor O'Donoghoe was at home, but that she was out with the potatoes;
and she ran to fetch her, after calling to _the lays, who was within
in the room smoking_, to come out to his honour. As soon as they had
crouched under the door, and were able to stand upright, they welcomed
me with a very good grace, and were proud to see me in _the kingdom_. I
asked if they were all Ellinor's sons?

"All entirely," was the first answer.

"Not one but one," was the second answer. The third made the other two

"Plase your honour, we are all her sons-in-law, except myself, who am
her lawful son."

"Then you are my foster-brother?"

"No, plase your honour, it's not me, but my brother, and he's not in

"_Not in it?'_

"No, plase your honour; becaase he's in the forge, up _abow_."

"Abow!" said I; "what does he mean?"

"Sure he's the blacksmith, my lard."

"And what are you?"

"I'm Ody, plase your honour; the short for Owen."

"And what is your trade?"

"Trade, plase your honour! I was bred to none, more than another; but
expects, only that my mother's not willing to part with me, to go into
the militia next month; and I'm sure she'd let me, if your honour's
lordship would spake a word to the colonel, to see to get me made a
serjeant _immadiately_."

As Ody made his request, all his companions came forward in sign of
sympathy, and closed round my horse's head to make me _sinsible_ of
their expectations; but at this instant Ellinor came up, her old face
colouring all over with joy when she saw me.

"So, Ellinor," said I, "you were affronted, I hear, and left the castle
in anger?"

"In anger! And if I did, more shame for me--but anger does not last long
with me any way; and against you, my lord, dear, how could it? Oh, think
how good he is, coming to see me in such a poor place!"

"I will make it a better place for you, Ellinor," said I. Far from being
eager to obtain promises, she still replied, that "all was good enough
for her." I desired that she would come and live with me at the castle,
till a better house than her present habitation could be built for her;
but she seemed to prefer this hovel. I assured her that she should be
permitted to light my fire.

"Oh, it's better for me not," said she; "better keep out of the way. I
could not be asy if I got any one ill-will."

I assured her that she should be at liberty to do just as she liked:
and whilst I rode home I was planning a pretty cottage for her near the
porter's lodge. I was pleased with myself for my gratitude to this poor
woman. Before I slept, I actually wrote a letter, which obtained for Ody
the honour of being made a serjeant in the ---- militia; and Ellinor,
dazzled by this military glory, was satisfied that he should leave home,
though he was her favourite.

"Well, let him leave me then," said she; "I won't stand in his light.
I never thought of my living to see Ody a serjeant. Now, Ody, have
done being wild, honey-dear, and be a credit to your family, and to
his honour's commendation--God bless him for ever for it! From the very
first I knew it was he that had the kind heart."

I am not sure that it was a very good action to get a man made a
serjeant, of whom I knew nothing but that he was son to my nurse.
Self-complacency, however, cherished my first indistinct feelings
of benevolence. Though not much accustomed to reflect upon my own
sensations, I think I remember, at this period, suspecting that the
feeling of benevolence is a greater pleasure than the possession of
_barouches_, and horses, and castles, and parks--greater even than the
possession of power. Of this last truth, however, I had not as yet a
perfectly clear conception. Even in my benevolence I was as impatient
and unreasonable as a child. Money, I thought, had the power of
Aladdin's lamp, to procure with magical celerity the gratification of
my wishes. I expected that a cottage for Ellinor should rise out of the
earth at my command. But the slaves of Aladdin's lamp were not Irishmen.
The delays, and difficulties, and blunders, in the execution of my
orders, provoked me beyond measure; and it would have been difficult for
a cool spectator to decide whether I or my workmen were most in fault;
they for their dilatory habits, or I for my impatient temper.

"Well, _plase_ your honour, when the _pratees_ are set, and the turf
cut, we'll _fall-to_ at Ellinor's house."

"Confound the potatoes and the turf! you must _fall-to_, as you call it,

"Is it without the lime, and plase your honour? Sure that same is not
drawn yet, nor the stones quarried, since it is of stone it will be--nor
the foundations itself dug, and the horses were all putting out dung."

Then after the bog and the potatoes, came funerals and holidays
innumerable. The masons were idle one week waiting for the mortar, and
the mortar another week waiting for the stones, and then they were at
a stand for the carpenter when they came to the door-case, and the
carpenter was looking for the sawyer, and the sawyer was gone to have
the saw mended. Then there was a _stop_ again at the window-sills for
the stone-cutter, and he was at the quarter-sessions, processing his
brother for _tin and tinpence, hay-money_. And when, in spite of all
delays and obstacles, the walls reached their destined height, the roof
was a new plague; the carpenter, the slater, and the nailer, were all
at variance, and I cannot tell which was the most provoking rogue of the
three. At last, however, the house was roofed and slated: then I would
not wait till the walls were dry before I plastered, and papered,
and furnished it. I fitted it up in the most elegant style of English
cottages; for I was determined that Ellinor's habitation should be such
as had never been seen in this part of the world. The day when it was
finished, and when I gave possession of it to Ellinor, paid me for all
my trouble; I tasted a species of pleasure that was new to me, and which
was the sweeter from having been earned with some difficulty. And now,
when I saw a vast number of my tenants assembled at a rural feast which
I gave on Ellinor's _installation_, my benevolence enlarged, even
beyond the possibility of its gratification, and I wished to make all my
dependants happy, provided I could accomplish it without much trouble.
The method of doing good, which seemed to require the least exertion,
and which I, therefore, most willingly practised, was giving away money.
I did not wait to inquire, much less to examine into the merits of the
claimants; but, without selecting proper objects, I relieved myself
from the uneasy feeling of pity, by indiscriminate donations to objects
apparently the most miserable.

I was quite angry with Mr. M'Leod, my agent, and considered him as a
selfish, hard-hearted miser, because he did not seem to sympathize with
me, or to applaud my generosity. I was so much irritated by his cold
silence, that I could not forbear pressing him to say something.

"_I doubt_, then," said he, "since you desire me to speak my mind, my
lord, _I doubt_ whether the best way of encouraging the industrious is
to give premiums to the idle."

"But, idle or not, these poor wretches are so miserable, that I cannot
refuse to give them something; and, surely, when one can do it so
easily, it is right to relieve misery. Is it not?"

"Undoubtedly, my lord; but the difficulty is, to relieve present misery,
without creating more in future. Pity for one class of beings sometimes
makes us cruel to others. I am told that there are some Indian Brahmins
so very compassionate, that they hire beggars to let fleas feed upon
them: I doubt whether it might not be better to let the fleas starve."

I did not in the least understand what Mr. M'Leod meant: but I was
soon made to comprehend it, by crowds of eloquent beggars, who soon
surrounded me: many who had been resolutely struggling with their
difficulties, slackened their exertions, and left their labour for the
easier trade of imposing upon my credulity. The money I had bestowed was
wasted at the dram-shop, or it became the subject of family-quarrels;
and those whom I had _relieved_ returned to _my honour_, with fresh and
insatiable expectations. All this time my industrious tenants grumbled,
because no encouragement was given to them; and, looking upon me as a
weak good-natured fool, they combined in a resolution to ask me for long
leases, or reduction of rent.

The rhetoric of my tenants succeeded in some instances; and again I was
mortified by Mr. M'Leod's silence. I was too proud to ask his opinion.
I ordered, and was obeyed. A few leases for long terms were signed and
sealed; and when I had thus my own way completely, I could not refrain
from recurring to Mr. M'Leod's opinion.

"I doubt, my lord," said he, "whether this measure may be as
advantageous as you hope. These fellows, these middle-men, will underset
the land, and live in idleness, whilst they _rack_ a parcel of wretched

"But they said they would keep the land in their own hands, and improve
it; and that the reason why they could not afford to improve before was,
that they had not long leases."

"It may be doubted whether long leases alone will make improving
tenants; for in the next county to us, there are many farms of the
dowager Lady Ormsby's land let at ten shillings an acre, and her
tenantry are beggars: and the land now, at the end of the leases, is
worn out, and worse than at their commencement."

I was weary listening to this cold reasoning, and resolved to apply no
more for explanations to Mr. M'Leod; yet in my indolence I wanted
the support of his approbation, at the very time I was jealous of his

At one time I had a mind to raise the wages of labour; but Mr. M'Leod
said, "_It might be doubted_ whether the people would not work less,
when they could with less work have money enough to support them."

I was puzzled: and then I had a mind to lower the wages of labour, to
force them to work or starve. Still provoking Mr. M'Leod said, "It might
be doubted whether it would not be better to leave them alone."

I gave marriage-portions to the daughters of my tenants, and rewards to
those who had children; for I had always heard that legislators
should encourage population. Still Mr. M'Leod hesitated to approve; he
observed, "that my estate was so populous, that the complaint in each
family was, that they had not land for the sons. _It might be doubted_
whether, if a farm could support but ten people, it were wise to
encourage the birth of twenty. _It might be doubted_ whether it were not
better for ten to live, and be well fed, than for twenty to be born, and
to be half-starved."

To encourage manufactures in my town of Glenthorn, I proposed putting
a clause in my leases, compelling my tenants to buy stuffs and linens
manufactured at Glenthorn, and no where else. Stubborn M'Leod, as usual,
began with, "_I doubt_ whether that will not encourage the manufacturers
at Glenthorn to make bad stuffs and bad linen, since they are sure of a
sale, and without danger of competition."

At all events, I thought my tenants would grow rich and _independent_,
if they made every thing _at home_ that they wanted: yet Mr. M'Leod
perplexed me by his "doubt whether it would not be better for a man to
buy shoes, if he could buy them cheaper than he could make them." He
added something about the division of labour, and Smith's Wealth of
Nations; to which I could only answer--"Smith's a Scotchman."

I cannot express how much I dreaded Mr. M'Leod's _I doubt_--and--_It may
be doubted._

From the pain of doubt, and the labour of thought, I was soon most
agreeably reprieved by the company of a Mr. Hardcastle, whose visits I
constantly encouraged by a most gracious reception. Mr. Hardcastle
was the agent of the dowager Lady Ormsby, who had a large estate in
my neighbourhood: he was the very reverse of my Mr. M'Leod in his
deportment and conversation. Talkative, self-sufficient, peremptory,
he seemed not to know what it was _to doubt_; he considered doubt as a
proof of ignorance, imbecility, or cowardice. _"Can any man doubt?"_ was
his usual beginning. On every subject of human knowledge, taste, morals,
politics, economy, legislation; on all affairs, civil, military, or
ecclesiastical, he decided at once in the most confident tone. Yet he
"never read, not he!" he had nothing to do with books; he consulted only
his own eyes and ears, and appealed only to common sense. As to
theory, he had no opinion of theory; for his part, he only pretended
to understand practice and experience--and his practice was confined
steadily to his own practice, and his experience uniformly to what he
had tried at New-town-Hardcastle.

At first I thought him a mighty clever man, and I really rejoiced to see
my _doubter_ silenced. After dinner, when he had finished speaking
in this decisive manner, I used frequently to back him with a--_Very
true--very fair--very clear_--though I understood what he said as little
as he did himself; but it was an ease to my mind to have a disputed
point settled--and I filled my glass with an air of triumph, whilst
M'Leod never contradicted my assertions, nor controverted Mr.
Hardcastle's arguments. There was still an air of content and quiet
self-satisfaction in M'Leod's very silence, which surprised and vexed

One day, when Hardcastle was laying down the law upon several subjects
in his usual dictatorial manner, telling us how he managed his people,
and what order he kept them in, I was determined that M'Leod should
not enjoy the security of his silence, and I urged him to give us
his general opinion, as to the means of improving the poor people in

"I doubt," said M'Leod, "whether any thing effectual can be done till
they have a better education."

"Education!--Pshaw!--There it is now--these book-men," cried Hardcastle:
"Why, my dear sir, can any man alive, who knows this country, doubt that
the common people have already too much education, as it is called--a
vast deal too much? Too many of them know how to read, and write, and
cipher, which I presume is all you mean by education."

"Not entirely," said M'Leod; "a good education comprehends something

"The more the worse," interrupted Hardcastle. "The more they know, the
worse they are, sir, depend on that; I know the people of this country,
sir; I have _a good right_ to know them, sir, being born amongst them,
and bred amongst them; so I think I may speak with some confidence on
these matters. And I give it as my decided humble opinion, founded on
irrefragable experience, which is what I always build upon, that the way
to ruin the poor of Ireland would be to educate them, sir. Look at the
poor scholars, as they call themselves; and what are they? a parcel of
young vagabonds in rags, with a book under their arm instead of a
spade or a shovel, sir. And what comes of this? that they
grow up the worst-disposed, and the most troublesome
seditiousrascals in the community. I allow none of them about
New-town-Hardcastle--none--banished them all. Useless vagrants--hornets,
vipers, sir: and show me a quieter, better-managed set of people than I
have made of mine. I go upon experience, sir; and that's the only thing
to go upon; and I'll go no farther than New-town-Hardcastle: if that
won't bring conviction home to you, nothing will."

"I never was at New-town-Hardcastle," said M'Leod, drily.

"Well, sir, I hope it will not be the case long. But in the mean time,
my good sir, do give me leave to put it to your own common sense, what
can reading or writing do for a poor man, unless he is to be a bailiff
or an exciseman? and you know all men can't expect to be bailiffs or
excisemen. Can all the book-learning in the world, sir, dig a poor man's
potatoes for him, or plough his land, or cut his turf? Then, sir, in
this country, where's the advantage of education, I humbly ask? No, sir,
no, trust me--keep the Irish common people ignorant, and you keep 'em
quiet; and that's the only way with them; for they are too quiet and
smart, as it is, naturally. Teach them to read and write, and it's just
adding fuel to fire--fire to gunpowder, sir. Teach them any thing, and
directly you _set them up_: now it's our business to _keep them down_,
unless, sir, you'd wish to have your throat cut. Education, sir! Lord
bless your soul, sir! they have a great deal too much; they know too
much already, which makes them so refractory to the laws, and so idle.
I will go no farther than New-town-Hardcastle, to prove all this. So,
my good sir," concluded he, triumphantly, "education, I grant you,
is necessary for the rich; but tell me, if you can, what's the use of
education to the poor?"

"Much the same, I apprehend, as to the rich," answered M'Leod. "The use
of education, as I understand it, is to teach men to see clearly, and
to follow steadily, their real interests. All morality, you know, is
comprised in this definition; and--"

"Very true, sir; but all this can never apply to the poor in Ireland."

"Why, sir; are they not men?"

"Men, to be sure; but not like men in Scotland. The Irish know nothing
of their interests; and as to morality, that's out of the question: they
know nothing about it, my dear sir."

"That is the very thing of which I complain," said M'Leod. "They know
nothing, because they have been taught nothing."

"They cannot be taught, sir."

"Did you ever try?"

"I _did_, sir, no later than last week. A fellow that I caught stealing
my turf, instead of sending him to jail, I said to him, with a great
deal of lenity, My honest fellow, did you never hear of the eighth
commandment, 'Thou shalt not steal?' He confessed he had; but did
not know it was the eighth. I showed it to him, and counted it to him
myself; and set him, for a punishment, to get his whole catechism. Well,
sir, the next week I found him stealing my turf again! and when I caught
him by the wrist in the fact, he said, it was because the priest would
not let him learn the catechism I gave him, because it was a Protestant
one. Now you see, sir, there's a bar for ever to all education."

Mr. M'Leod smiled, said something about time and patience, and observed,
"that one experiment was not conclusive against a whole nation." Any
thing like a general argument Mr. Hardcastle could not comprehend. He
knew every blade of grass within the reach of his tether, but could not
reach an inch beyond. Any thing like an appeal to benevolent feelings
was lost upon him; for he was so frank in his selfishness, that he did
not even pretend to be generous. By sundry self-complacent motions he
showed whilst his adversary spoke, that he disdained to listen almost
as much as to read: but, as soon as M'Leod paused, he said, "What you
observe, sir, may possibly be very true; but I have made up my mind."
Then he went over and over again his assertions, in a louder and a
louder voice, ending with a tone of interrogation that seemed to set all
answer at defiance, "What have you to answer to me now, sir?--Can any
man alive doubt this, sir?"

M'Leod was perfectly silent. The company broke up; and, as we were going
out of the room, I maliciously asked M'Leod, why he, who could say
so much in his own defence, had suffered himself to be so completely
silenced? He answered me, in his low, deliberate voice, in the words of
Moiré--"'Qu'est-ce que la raison avec un filet de voix contre une gueule
comme celle-là?' At some other time," added Mr. M'Leod, "my sentiments
shall be at your lordship's disposal."

Indolent persons love positive people, when they are of their own
opinion; because they are saved the trouble of developing their
thoughts, or supporting their assertions: but the moment the positive
differs in sentiment from the indolent man, there is an end of the
friendship. The indolent man then hates his pertinacious adversary
as much as he loved his sturdy friend. So it happened between Mr.
Hardcastle and me. This gentleman was a prodigious favourite with me, so
long as his opinions were not in opposition to my own; but an accident
happened, which brought his love of power and mine into direct
competition, and then I found his peremptory mode of reasoning and his
ignorance absurd and insufferable.

Before I can do justice to my part of this quarrel, I must explain the
cause of the interest which I took in behalf of the persons aggrieved.
During the time that my first hot fit of benevolence was on me, I was
riding home one evening after dining with Mr. Hardcastle, and I was
struck with the sight of a cabin, more wretched than any I had ever
before beheld: the feeble light of a single rush-candle through the
window revealed its internal misery.

"Does any body live in that hovel?" said I

"Ay, sure, does there: the Noonans, plase your honour," replied a man
on the road. Noonans! I recollected the name to be that of the pugilist,
who had died in consequence of the combat at which I had been present in
London; who had, with his dying breath, besought me to convey his only
half-guinea and his silk handkerchief to his poor father and sister. I
alighted from my horse, asking the man, at the same time, if the son of
this Noonan had not died in England.

"He had, sir, a son in England, Mick Noonan, who used to send him odd
guineas, _I mind_, and was a _good lad to his father_, though wild; and
there's been no account of him at-all-at-all this long while: but the
old man has another boy, a sober lad, who's abroad with the army in the
East Indies; and it's he that is the hope of the family. And there's the
father--and old as he is, and poor, and a cripple, I'd engage there is
not a happier man in the three counties at this very time speaking: for
it is just now I seen young Jemmy Riley, the daughter's _bachelor_, go
by with a letter. What news? says I. 'Great news!' says he: 'a letter
from Tom Noonan to his father; and I'm going in to read it for him.'"

By the time my voluble informant had come to this period, I had
reached the cabin door. Who could have expected to see smiles and hear
exclamations of joy under such a roof?

I saw the father, with his hands clasped in ecstasy, and looking up to
heaven, with the strong expression of delight in his aged countenance.
I saw every line of his face; for the light of the candle was full upon
it. The daughter, a beautiful girl, kneeling beside him, held the light
for the young man, who was reading her brother's letter. I was sorry to
interrupt them.

"Your honour's kindly welcome," said the old man, making an attempt to

"Pray, don't let me disturb you."

"It was only a letter from a boy of mine that's over the seas, we was
reading," said the old man. "A better boy to an ould father, that's good
for nothing now in this world, never was, plase your honour. See what he
has sent me: a draft here for ten guineas out of the little pay he has.
God for ever bless him!--as he surely will."

After a few minutes' conversation, the old man's heart was so much
opened towards me, that he talked as freely as if he had known me for
years. I led to the subject of his other son Michael, who was mentioned
in the letter as a wild chap. "Ah! your honour, that's what lies
heaviest on my heart, and will, to my dying day, that Mick, before he
died, which they say he did surely a twelvemonth ago, over there in
England, never so much as sent me one line, good or bad, or his sister a
token to remember him by even!"

"Had he but sent us the least bit of a word, or the least token in life,
I had been content," said the sister, wiping her eyes: "we don't so much
as know how he died."

I took this moment to relate the circumstances of Michael Noonan's
death; and when I told them of his dying request about the half-guinea
and the silk handkerchief, they were all so much touched, that they
utterly forgot the ten-guinea draft, which I saw on the ground, in the
dirt, under the old man's feet, whilst he contemplated the half-guinea
which his _poor Michael_ had sent him: repeating, "Poor fellow! poor
fellow! 'twas all he had in the world. God bless him!--Poor Michael! he
was a wild chap! but none better to his parents than he while the life
was in him. Poor Michael!"

In no country have I found such strong instances of filial affection as
in Ireland. Let the sons go where they may, let what will befall them,
they never forget their parents at home: they write to them constantly
the most affectionate letters, and send them a share of whatever they

When I asked the daughter of this Noonan, why she had not married? the
old man answered, "That's her own fault--if it be a fault to abide by
an old father. She wastes her youth here, in the way your honour sees,
tending him who has none other to mind him."

"Oh! let alone _that_," said the girl, with a cheerful smile; "we be too
poor to think of marrying yet, by a great deal! so, father dear, you're
no hinderance any way. For don't I know, and doesn't Jemmy there know,
that it's a sin and a shame, as my mother used to say, for them that
have nothing, to marry and set up house-keeping, like the rogue that
ruined my father?"

"That's true," said the young man, with a heavy sigh; "but times will
mend, or we'll strive and mend them, with the blessing of God."

I left this miserable but in admiration of the generosity of its
inhabitants. I desired the girl to come to Glenthorn Castle the next
day, that I might give her the silk handkerchief which her poor brother
had sent her. The more I inquired into the circumstances of this family,
the more cause I found for pity and approbation. The old man had been a
good farmer in his day, as the traditions of the aged, and the memories
of the young, were ready to witness; but he was unfortunately joined in
_co-partnership_ with a drunken rogue, who ran away, and left an arrear
of rent, which ruined Noonan. Mr. Hardcastle, the agent, called upon
him to pay it, and sold all that the old man possessed; and this being
insufficient to discharge the debt, he was forced to give up his farm,
and retire, with his daughter, to this hovel; and soon afterwards he
lost the use of his side by a paralytic stroke.

I was so much pleased with the goodness of these poor people, that, in
despite of my indolent disposition, I bestirred myself the very next day
to find a better habitation for them on my own estate. I settled them,
infinitely to their satisfaction, in a small farm; and the girl married
her lover, who undertook to manage the farm for the old man. To my utter
surprise, I found that Mr. Hardcastle was affronted by the part I
took in this affair. He complained that I had behaved in a very
ungentlemanlike manner, and had spirited the tenants away from Lady
Ormsby's estate, against the regulation which he had laid down for
all _the_ tenants not to _emigrate_ from _the estate_. Jemmy Riley, it
seems, was one of the _cotters_ on the Ormsby estate, a circumstance
with which I was unacquainted; indeed I scarcely at that time understood
what was meant by a _cotter_. Mr. Hardcastle's complaint, in matter and
manner, was unintelligible to me; but I was quite content to leave off
visiting him, as he left off visiting me--but here the matter did not
stop. This over-wise and over-busy gentleman took upon him, amongst
other offices, the regulation of the markets in the town of Ormsby; and
as he apprehended, for reasons best and only known to himself, a year of
scarcity, he thought fit to keep down the price of oats and potatoes.
He would allow none to be sold in the market of Ormsby but at the
price which he stipulated. The poor people grumbled, and, to remedy the
injustice, made private bargains with each other. He had information of
this, and seized the corn that was selling above the price he had fixed.
Young Riley, Noonan's son-in-law, came to me to complain, that _his
little oats were seized and detained._ I remonstrated. Hardcastle
resented the appeal to me, and bid him wait and be damned. The young
man, who was rather of a hasty temper, and who did not much like either
to wait or be damned, seized his own oats, and was marching off, when
they were recaptured by Hardcastle's bailiff, whom young Riley knocked
down; and who, as soon as he got up again, went _straight_ and swore
examinations against Riley. Then I was offended, as I had a right to
be, by the custom of the country, with the magistrate who took an
examination against my tenant, without writing first to me. Then there
was a race between the examinations of _my_ justice of peace and _his_
justice of peace. My indolence was conquered by my love of power:
I supported the contest; the affair came before our grand jury: I
conquered, and Mr. Hardcastle was ever after, of course, my enemy.
To English ears the possessive pronouns _my_ and _his_ may sound
extraordinary, prefixed to a justice of peace; but, in many parts
of Ireland, this language is perfectly correct. A great man talks of
_making_ a justice of the peace with perfect confidence; a very great
man talks with as much certainty of _making_ a sheriff; and a sheriff
makes the jury; and the jury makes the law. We must not forget, however,
that in England, during the reign of Elizabeth, a member of parliament
defined a justice of peace to be "an animal, who for half a dozen
chickens will dispense with half a dozen penal statutes." Time is
necessary to enforce the sanctions of legislation and civilization--But
I am anticipating reflections which I made at a much later period of my
life. To return to my history.

My benevolence was soon checked by slight disappointments. Ellinor's
cottage, which I had taken so much pains to build, became a source of
mortification to me. One day I found my old nurse sitting at her
wheel, in the midst of the wreck and litter of all sorts of household
furniture, singing her favourite song of

    "There was a lady loved a swine:
    Honey! says she,
    I'll give ye a silver trough.
    _Hunk!_ says he!"

Ellinor seemed, alas! to have as little taste for the luxuries with
which I had provided her as the pig had for the silver trough. What I
called conveniences were to her incumbrances: she had not been used to
them; she was put out of her way; and it was a daily torment to one of
her habits, to keep her house clean and neat.

There may be, as some philosophers assure us that there is, an innate
love of order in the human mind; but of this instinctive principle my
poor Ellinor was totally destitute. Her ornamented farm-house became, in
a wonderfully short time, a scene of dirt, rubbish, and confusion. There
was a partition between two rooms, which had been built with turf or
peat, instead of bricks, by the wise economy I had employed. Of course,
this was pulled down to get at the turf. The stairs also were pulled
down and burned, though there was no scarcity of firing. As the walls
were plastered and papered before they were quite dry, the paper grew
mouldy, and the plaster fell off. In the hurry of finishing, some of the
woodwork had but one coat of paint. In Ireland they have not faith in
the excellent Dutch proverb, _"Paint costs nothing."_ I could not get
my workmen to give a second coat of paint to any of the sashes, and
the wood decayed: divers panes of glass in the windows were broken, and
their places filled up with shoes, an old hat, or a bundle of rags. Some
of the slates were blown off one windy night: the slater lived at ten
miles distance, and before the slates were replaced, the rain came in,
and Ellinor was forced to make a bedchamber of the parlour, and then of
the kitchen, retreating from corner to corner as the rain pursued, till,
at last, when "it _would_ come _every way_ upon her bed," she
petitioned me to let her take the slates off and thatch the house; for
a slated-house, she said, was never so warm as a _tatched cabin_; and as
there was no smoke, she was _kilt_ with the _cowld_.

In my life I never felt so angry. I was ten times more angry than when
Crawley ran away with my wife. In a paroxysm of passion, I reproached
Ellinor with being a savage, an Irish-woman, and an ungrateful fool.

"Savage I am, for any thing I know; and _fool_ I am, that's certain; but
ungrateful I am not," said she, bursting into tears. She went home and
took to her bed; and the next thing I heard from her son was, "that
she was _lying in the rheumatism_, which had kept her awake many a long
night, before she would come to complain to my honour of the house, in
dread that I should blame myself for _sending of_ her into it _afore_ it
was dry."

The rheumatism reconciled me immediately to Ellinor; I let her take her
own way, and thatch the house, and have as much smoke as she pleased,
and she recovered. But I did not entirely recover my desire to do
good to my poor tenants. After forming, in the first enthusiasm of my
benevolence, princely schemes for their advantage, my ardour was damped,
and my zeal discouraged, by a few slight disappointments.

I did not consider, that there is often, amongst uncultivated people,
a mixture of obstinate and lazy content, which makes them despise the
luxuries of their richer neighbours; like those mountaineers, who, proud
of their own hard fare,[80] out of a singular species of contempt, call
the inhabitants of the plains _mange-rotis_, "eaters of roast meat."
I did not consider that it must take time to change local and national
habits and prejudices; and that it is necessary to raise a taste for
comforts, before they can be properly enjoyed.

In the pettishness of my disappointment, I decided that it was in vain
to attempt to improve and civilize such people as the Irish. I did not
recollect, perhaps at that time I did not know, that even in the days
of the great Queen Elizabeth, "the greatest part of the buildings in
the cities and good towns of England consisted only of timber, cast over
with thick clay to keep out the wind. The new houses of the nobility
were indeed either of brick or stone; and glass windows were then
beginning to be used in England:"[81] and clean rushes were strewed over
the dirty floors of the royal palace. In the impatience of my zeal for
improvement, I expected to do the work of two hundred years in a few
months: and because I could not accelerate the progress of refinement in
this miraculous manner, I was out of humour with myself and with a whole
nation. So easily is the humanity of the rich and great disgusted and
discouraged! as if any people could be civilized in a moment, and at the
word of command of ignorant pride or despotic benevolence!


    "He saw--and but that admiration
    Had been too active, too like passion,
    Or had he been to _ton_ less true,
    Cupid had shot him through and through."

I have not thought it necessary to record every visit that I received
from all my country neighbours; but I must now mention one, which led
to important consequences; a visit from Sir Harry Ormsby, a very young
dashing man of fortune, who, in expectation of the happy moment when he
should be of age, resided with his mother, the dowager Lady Ormsby. Her
ladyship had heard that there had been some disagreement between her
agent, Mr. Hardcastle, and _my people_; but she took the earliest
opportunity of expressing her wishes, that our families should be on an
amicable footing.

Lady Ormsby was just come to the country, with a large party of her
fashionable friends--some Irish, some English: Lord and Lady Kilrush; my
Lady Kildangan, and her daughter the Lady Geraldine ------; the knowing
widow O'Connor; the English _dasher_, Lady Hauton; the interesting Mrs.
Norton, _separated_ but not _parted_ from her husband; the pleasant
Miss Bland; the three Miss Ormsbys, better known by the name of the
Swanlinbar Graces; two English aides-de-camp from the Castle, and a
brace of brigadiers; besides other men of inferior note.

I perceived that Sir Harry Ormsby took it for granted that I must be
acquainted with the pretensions of all these persons to celebrity; his
talkativeness and my taciturnity favoured me so fortunately, that he
never discovered the extent of my ignorance. He was obligingly impatient
to make me personally acquainted "with those of whom I must have heard
so much in England." Observing that Ormsby Villa was too far from
Glenthorn Castle for a morning visit, he pressed me to waive ceremony,
and to do Lady Ormsby and him the honour of spending a week with them,
as soon as I could make it convenient. I accepted this invitation,
partly from a slight emotion of curiosity, and partly from my habitual
inability to resist any reiterated importunity.

Arrived at Ormsby Villa, and introduced to this crowd of people, I was
at first disappointed by seeing nothing extraordinary. I expected that
their manners would have been as strange to me as some of their
names appeared: but whether it was from my want of the powers of
discrimination, or from the real sameness of the objects, I could
scarcely, in this fashionable flock, discern any individual marks of
distinction. At first view, the married ladies appeared much the same as
those of a similar class in England, whom I had been accustomed to see.
The young ladies I thought, as usual, "best distinguished by black,
brown, and fair:" but I had not yet seen Lady Geraldine ------; and a
great part Of the conversation, the first day I was at Ormsby Villa, was
filled with lamentations on the unfortunate tooth-ache, which prevented
her ladyship from appearing. She was talked of so much, and as a person
of such importance, and so essential to the amusement of society, that
I could not help feeling a slight wish to see her. The next day at
breakfast she did not appear; but, five minutes before dinner, her
ladyship's humble companion whispered, "Now Lady Geraldine is coming, my
lord." I was always rather displeased to be called upon to attend to any
thing or any body, yet as Lady Geraldine entered, I gave one involuntary
glance of curiosity. I saw a tall, finely-shaped woman, with the
commanding air of a woman of rank; she moved well; not with feminine
timidity, but with ease, promptitude, and decision. She had fine eyes
and a fine complexion, yet no regularity of feature. The only thing
that struck me as really extraordinary was her indifference when I
was introduced to her. Every body had seemed extremely desirous that I
should see her ladyship, and that her ladyship should see me; and I was
rather surprised by her unconcerned air. This piqued me, and fixed my
attention. She turned from me, and began to converse with others. Her
voice was agreeable: she did not speak with the Irish accent; but,
when I listened maliciously, I detected certain Hibernian inflections;
nothing of the vulgar Irish idiom, but something that was more
interrogative, more exclamatory, and perhaps more rhetorical, than the
common language of English ladies, accompanied with much animation of
countenance and demonstrative gesture. This appeared to me peculiar and
unusual, but not affected. She was uncommonly eloquent, and yet, without
action, her words were not sufficiently rapid to express her ideas.
Her manner appeared foreign, yet it was not quite French. If I had been
obliged to decide, I should, however, have pronounced it rather more
French than English. To determine what it was, or whether I had ever
seen any thing similar, I stood considering her ladyship with more
attention than I had ever bestowed on any other woman. The words
_striking--fascinating--bewitching_, occurred to me as I looked at her
and heard her speak. I resolved to turn my eyes away, and shut my ears;
for I was positively determined not to like her, I dreaded so much the
idea of a second Hymen. I retreated to the farthest window, and looked
out very soberly upon a dirty fish-pond. Dinner was announced. I
observed Lady Kildangan manoeuvring to place me beside her daughter
Geraldine, but Lady Geraldine counteracted this movement. I was again
surprised and piqued. After yielding the envied position to one of the
Swanlinbar Graces, I heard Lady Geraldine whisper to her next neighbour,
"Baffled, mamma!"

It was strange to me to feel piqued by a young lady's not choosing to
sit beside me. After dinner, I left the gentlemen as soon as possible,
because the conversation wearied me. Lord Kilrush, the chief orator,
was a courtier, and could talk of nothing but Dublin Castle, and my lord
lieutenant's levees. The moment that I went to the ladies, I was seized
upon by the officious Miss Bland: she could not speak of any thing but
Lady Geraldine, who sat at so great a distance, and who was conversing
with such animation herself, that she could not hear her _prôneuse_,
Miss Bland, inform me, that "her friend, Lady Geraldine, was extremely
clever; so clever, that many people were at first a little afraid of
her; but that there was not the least occasion; for that, where she
liked, nobody could be more affable and engaging." This judicious
friend, a minute afterwards, told me, as a very great secret, that
Lady Geraldine was an admirable mimic; that she could draw or speak
caricatures; that she was also wonderfully happy in the invention of
agnomens and cognomens, so applicable to the persons, that they could
scarcely be forgotten or forgiven. I was a little anxious to know
whether her ladyship would honour me with an agnomen. I could not learn
this from Miss Bland, and I was too prudent to betray my curiosity: I
afterwards heard it, however. Pairing me and Mr. M'Leod, whom she had
seen together, her ladyship observed, that _Sawney_ and _Yawney_ were
made for each other; and she sketched, in strong caricature, my relaxed
elongation of limb, and his rigid rectangularity. A slight degree of
fear of Lady Geraldine's powers kept my attention alert. In the course
of the evening, Lady Kildangan summoned her daughter to the music-room,
and asked me to come and hear an Irish song. I exerted myself so far as
to follow immediately; but though summoned, Lady Geraldine did not obey.
Miss Bland tuned the harp, and opened the music-books on the piano; but
no Lady Geraldine appeared. Miss Bland was sent backwards and forwards
with messages; but Lady Geraldine's ultimatum was, that she could not
possibly sing, because she was afraid of the tooth-ache. God knows,
her mouth had never been shut all the evening. "Well, but," said Lady
Kildangan, "she can play for us, cannot she?" No; her ladyship was
afraid of the cold in the music-room. "Do, my Lord Glenthorn, go and
tell the dear capricious creature, that we are very warm here."

Very reluctantly I obeyed. The Lady Geraldine, with her circle round
her, heard and answered me with the air of a princess.

"Do you the honour to play for you, my lord! Excuse me: I am no
professor--I play so ill, that I make it a rule never to play but for
my own amusement. If you wish for music, there is Miss Bland; she plays
incomparably, and I dare say will think herself happy to oblige your
lordship." I never felt so silly, or so much abashed, as at this
instant. "This comes," thought I, "of acting out of character. What
possessed me to exert myself to ask a lady to play? I, that have been
tired to death of music! Why did I let myself be sent ambassador, when I
had no interest in the embassy?"

To convince myself and others of my apathy, I threw myself on a sofa,
and never stirred or spoke the remainder of the night. I presume I
appeared fast asleep, else Lady Geraldine would not have said, within
my hearing, "Mamma wants me to catch somebody, and to be caught by
somebody; but that will not be; for, do you know, I think somebody is

I was offended as much as it was in my nature to be offended, and I
began to meditate apologies for shortening my visit at Ormsby Villa:
but, though I was shocked by the haughtiness of Lady Geraldine, and
accused her, in my own mind, of want of delicacy and politeness, yet I
could not now suspect her of being an accomplice with her mother in any
matrimonial designs upon me. From the moment I was convinced of this, my
conviction was, I suppose, visible to her ladyship's penetrating
eyes, and from that instant she showed me that she could be polite and
agreeable. Now, soothed to a state of ease and complacency, I might have
sunk to indifference and ennui, but fresh singularities in this lady
struck me, and kept my attention awake and fixed upon her character. If
she had treated me with tolerable civility at first, I never should have
thought about her. High-born and high-bred, she seemed to consider
more what she thought of others than what others thought of her. Frank,
candid, and affable, yet opinionated, insolent, and an egotist, her
candour and affability appeared the effect of a naturally good temper,
her insolence and egotism only those of a spoiled child. She seemed
to talk of herself purely to oblige others, as the most interesting
possible topic of conversation; for such it had always been to her
fond mother, who idolized her ladyship as an only daughter, and the
representative of an ancient house. Confident of her talents, conscious
of her charms, and secure of her station, Lady Geraldine gave free scope
to her high spirits, her fancy, and her turn for ridicule. She looked,
spoke, and acted, like a person privileged to think, say, and do, what
she pleased. Her raillery, like the raillery of princes, was without
fear of retort. She was not ill-natured, yet careless to whom she gave
offence, provided she produced amusement; and in this she seldom failed;
for, in her conversation, there was much of the raciness of Irish wit,
and the oddity of Irish humour. The singularity that struck me most
about her ladyship was her indifference to flattery. She certainly
preferred frolic. Miss Bland was her humble companion; Miss Tracey her
_butt_. Her ladyship appeared to consider Miss Bland as a necessary
appendage to her rank and person, like her dress or her shadow; and she
seemed to think no more of the one than of the other. She suffered Miss
Bland to follow her; but she would go in quest of n Miss Tracey. Miss
Bland was allowed to speak; but her ladyship listened to Miss Tracey.
Miss Bland seldom obtained an answer; but Miss Tracey never opened her
lips without a repartee.

In describing Miss Tracey, Lady Geraldine said, "Poor simpleton! she
cannot help imitating all she sees us do; yet, would you believe it, she
really has starts of common sense, and some tolerable ideas of her own.
Spoiled by bad company! In the language of the bird-fanciers, she has a
few notes nightingale, and all the rest rubbish."

It was one of Lady Geraldine's delights to humour Miss Tracey's rage for
imitating the fashions of fine people.

"Now you shall see Miss Tracey appear at the ball to-morrow, in every
thing that I have sworn to her is fashionable. Nor have I cheated her
in a single article: but the _tout ensemble_ I leave to her better
judgment; and you shall see her, I trust, a perfect monster, formed of
every creature's best: Lady Kilrush's feathers, Mrs. Moore's wig, Mrs.
O'Connor's gown, Mrs. Lighton's sleeves, and all the necklaces of all
the Miss Ormsbys. She has no taste, no judgment; none at all, poor
thing! but she can imitate as well as those Chinese painters, who, in
their drawings, give you the flower of one plant stuck on the stalk of
another, and garnished with the leaves of a third."

Miss Tracey's appearance the ensuing night justified all Lady
Geraldine's predictions, and surpassed her ladyship's most sanguine
hopes. Even I, albeit unused to the laughing mood, could not forbear
smiling at the humour and ease with which her ladyship played off this
girl's credulous vanity.

At breakfast the next morning, Lord Kilrush, in his grave manner (always
too solemn by half for the occasion), declared, "that no man was more
willing than himself to enter into a jest in proper time, and season,
and measure, and so forth; but that it was really, positively, morally
unjustifiable, in _his_ apprehension, _the making_ this poor girl so
publicly ridiculous."

"My good lord," replied Lady Geraldine, "all the world are ridiculous
some way or other: some in public, some in private. Now," continued she,
with an appealing look to the whole company, "now, after all, what is
there more extravagant in my Miss Tracey's delighting, at sixteen, in
six yards of pink riband, than in your courtier sighing, at sixty, for
three yards of blue riband? or what is there more ridiculous in her
coming simpering into a ball-room, fancying herself the mirror of
fashion, when she is a figure for a print-shop, than in the courtier
rising solemnly in the House of Lords, believing himself an orator, and
expecting to make a vast reputation, by picking up, in every debate, the
very worst arguments that every body else let fall? There would be no
living in this world, if we were all to see and expose one another's
_ridicules_. My plan is much the best--to help my friends to expose
themselves, and then they are infinitely obliged to me."

Satisfied with silencing all opposition, and seeing that the majority
was with her, Lady Geraldine persisted in her course; and I was glad
she was incorrigible, because her faults entertained me. As to love, I
thought I was perfectly safe; because, though I admired her quickness
and cleverness, yet I still, at times, perceived, or fancied I
perceived, some want of polish, and elegance, and _tact_. She was not
exactly cut out according to my English pattern of a woman of fashion;
so I thought I might amuse myself without danger, as it was partly at
her ladyship's expense. But about this time I was alarmed for myself by
a slight twinge of jealousy. As I was standing lounging upon the steps
at the hall-door, almost as ennuyé as usual, I saw a carriage at a
distance, between the trees, driving up the _approach_; and, at the same
instant, I heard Lady Geraldine's eager voice in the hall, "Oh! they are
coming; he is coming; they are come. Run, Miss Bland, run, and give Lord
Craiglethorpe my message before he gets out of the carriage--before any
body sees him."

Afraid of hearing what I should not hear, I walked down the steps
deliberately, and turned into a shrubbery-walk, to leave the coast
clear. Out ran Miss Bland: and then it was that I felt the twinge--very
slight, however. "Who is this Lord Craiglethorpe, with whom Lady
Geraldine is on such favourable terms? I wonder what kind of looking man
he is; and what could _the message_ mean?--but, at all events, it cannot
concern me; yet I am curious to see this Lord Craiglethorpe. I wonder
any woman can like a man with so strange a name: but does she like him,
after all?--Why do I plague myself about it?"

As I returned from my saunter, I was met by Miss Bland.

"A charming day, ma'am," said I, endeavouring to pass on.

"A charming day, my lord! But I must stop your lordship a moment. Oh, I
am so out of breath--I went the wrong way----"

"The wrong way! Indeed! I am sorry. I am concerned you should have had
so much trouble."

"No trouble in the world. Only I want to beg you'll keep our secret--my
Lady Geraldine's secret."

"Undoubtedly, madam--a man of honour--Lady Geraldine cannot doubt--her
ladyship's secret is perfectly safe."

"But do you know it? You don't know it yet, my lord."

"Pardon me; I was on the steps just now. I thought you saw me."

"I did, my lord--but I don't understand----"

"Nor I, neither," interrupted I, half laughing; for I began to think
I was mistaken in my suspicions; "pray explain yourself, my dear Miss
Bland: I was very rude to be so quick in interrupting you."

Miss Bland then made me the confidant of a charming scheme of Lady
Geraldine's for quizzing Miss Tracey.

"She has never in her life seen Lord Craiglethorpe, who is an English
lord travelling through Ireland," continued Miss Bland. "Now, you must
know, that Miss Tracey is passionately fond of lords, let them be what
they may. Now, Lord Craiglethorpe, this very morning, sent his groom
with a note and excuse to Lady Ormsby, for not coming to us to-day;
because, he said, he was bringing down in the chaise with him a
surveyor, to survey his estate _near here_; and he could not possibly
think of bringing the surveyor, who is a low man, to Ormsby Villa. But
Lady Ormsby would take no apology, and wrote by the groom to beg that
Lord Craiglethorpe would make no scruple of bringing the surveyor; for
you know she is so polite and accommodating, and all that. Well, the
note was scarcely gone, before Lady Geraldine thought of her charming
scheme, and regretted, _of all things_, she had not put _it_ into it."

"_It into it!_" repeated I to myself. "Ma'am," said I, looking a little

"But," continued my clear narrator, "I promised to remedy _all that_, by
running to meet the carriage, which was what I ran for when you saw me,
my lord, in such a hurry."

I bowed--and was as wise as ever.

"So, my lord, you comprehend, that the surveyor, whose name, whose
odious name, is Gabbitt, is to be my Lord Craiglethorpe, and my Lord
Craiglethorpe is to be passed for Mr. Gabbitt upon Miss Tracey; and, you
will see, Miss Tracey will admire Mr. Gabbitt prodigiously, and call him
vastly genteel, when she thinks him a lord. Your lordship will keep our
secret; and she is sure Lord Craiglethorpe will do any thing to oblige
her, because he is a near connexion of hers. But, I assure you, it is
not every body could get Lord Craiglethorpe to join in a joke; for he is
very stiff, and cold, and high. Of course your lordship will know which
is the real lord at first sight. He is a full head taller than Gabbitt."

Never was explanation finally more satisfactory: and whether the jest
was really well contrived and executed, or whether I was put into a
humour to think so, I cannot exactly determine; but, I confess, I was
amused with the scenes that followed, though I felt that they were not
quite justifiable even in jest.

The admiration of Miss Tracey for _the false Craiglethorpe_, as Lady
Geraldine called Mr. Gabbitt; the awkwardness of Mr. Gabbitt with his
title, and the awkwardness of Lord Craiglethorpe without it, were fine
subjects of her ladyship's satirical humour.

In another point of view, Lord Craiglethorpe afforded her ladyship
amusement; as an English traveller, full of English prejudices against
Ireland and every thing Irish. Whenever Miss Tracey was out of the room,
Lady Geraldine allowed Lord Craiglethorpe to be himself again; but
he did not fare the better for this restoration to his honours. Lady
Geraldine contrived to make him as ridiculous in his real as in his
assumed character. Lord Craiglethorpe was, as Miss Bland had described
him, very stiff, cold, and _high_. His manners were in the extreme of
English reserve, and his ill-bred show of contempt for the Irish was
sufficient provocation and justification of Lady Geraldine's ridicule.
He was much in awe of his fair and witty cousin: she could easily put
him out of countenance, for he was extremely bashful.

His lordship had that sort of bashfulness which makes a man surly and
obstinate in his taciturnity; which makes him turn upon all who approach
him, as if they were going to assault him; which makes him answer a
question as if it were an injury, and repel a compliment as if it were
an insult. Once, when he was out of the room, Lady Geraldine exclaimed,
"That cousin Craiglethorpe of mine is scarcely an agreeable man: the
awkwardness of _mauvaise honte_ might be pitied and pardoned, even in
a nobleman," continued her ladyship, "if it really proceeded from
humility; but here, when I know it is connected with secret and
inordinate arrogance, 'tis past all endurance. Even his ways of sitting
and standing provoke me, they are so self-sufficient. Have you
observed how he stands at the fire? Oh, the caricature of '_the English
fire-side_' outdone! Then, if he sits, we hope that change of posture
may afford our eyes transient relief: but worse again; bolstered up,
with his back against his chair, his hands in his pockets, and his legs
thrown out, in defiance of all passengers and all decorum, there he
sits, in magisterial silence, throwing a gloom upon all conversation. As
the Frenchman said of the Englishman, for whom even his politeness could
not find another compliment, 'Il faut avouer que ce monsieur a un grand
talent pour le silence;' he holds his tongue, till the people actually
believe that he has something to say; a mistake they could never fall
into if he would but speak."

Some of the company attempted to interpose a word or two in favour of
Lord Craiglethorpe's timidity, but the vivacious and merciless lady went

"I tell you, my good friends, it is not timidity--it is all pride. I
would pardon his dulness, and even his ignorance; for one, as you say,
might be the fault of his nature, and the other of his education: but
his self-sufficiency is his own fault, and that I will not, and cannot
pardon. Somebody says, that nature may make a fool, but a coxcomb is
always of his own making. Now, my cousin--(as he is my cousin, I may say
what I please of him)--my cousin Craiglethorpe is a solemn coxcomb, who
thinks, because his vanity is not talkative and sociable, that it's
not vanity. What a mistake! his silent superciliousness is to me more
intolerable than the most garrulous egotism that ever laid itself open
to my ridicule."

Miss Bland and Miss Ormsby both confessed that Lord Craiglethorpe was
vastly too silent.

"For the honour of my country," continued Lady Geraldine, "I am
determined to make this man talk, and he shall say all that I know he
thinks of us poor Irish savages. If he would but speak, one could answer
him: if he would find fault, one might defend: if he would laugh, one
might perhaps laugh again: but here he comes to hospitable, open-hearted
Ireland; eats as well as he can in his own country; drinks better than
he can in his own country; sleeps as well as he can in his own country;
accepts all our kindness without a word or a look of thanks, and seems
the whole time to think, that, 'Born for his use, we live but to oblige
him.' There he is at this instant: look at him, walking in the park,
with his note-book in his hand, setting down our faults, and conning
them by rote. We are even with him. I understand, Lady Kilrush, that my
bright cousin Craiglethorpe means to write a book, a great book, upon

Lady Kilrush replied, that she understood Lord Craiglethorpe had it in
contemplation to publish a Tour through Ireland, or a View of Ireland,
or something of that nature.

"He! with his means of acquiring information!" exclaimed Lady Geraldine.
"Posting from one great man's house to another, what can he see or know
of the manners of any rank of people but of the class of gentry, which
in England and Ireland is much the same? As to the lower classes, I
don't think he ever speaks to them; or, if he does, what good can it do
him? for he can't understand their modes of expression, nor they his:
if he inquire about a matter of fact, I defy him to get the truth out of
them, if they don't wish to tell it; and, for some reason or other, they
will, nine times in ten, not wish to tell it to an Englishman. There is
not a man, woman, or child, in any cabin in Ireland, who would not have
wit and _'cuteness_ enough to make _my lard_ believe just what they
please. So, after posting from Dublin to Cork, and from the Giants'
Causeway to Killarney; after travelling east, west, north, and south, my
wise cousin Craiglethorpe will know just as much of the lower Irish as
the cockney who has never been out of London, and who has never, _in
all his born days_, seen an Irishman but on the English stage; where
the representations are usually as like the originals, as the Chinese
pictures of lions, drawn from description, are to the real animal."

"Now! now! look at his lordship!" cried Miss Bland; "he has his
note-book out again."

"Mercy on us!" said Miss Callwell, "how he is writing!"

"Yes, yes, write on, my good cousin Craiglethorpe," pursued Lady
Geraldine, "and nil the little note-book, which will soon turn to a
ponderous quarto. I shall have a copy, bound in morocco, no doubt,
_from the author_, if I behave myself prettily; and I will earn it,
by supplying valuable information. You shall see, my friends, how I'll
deserve well of my country, if you'll only keep my counsel and your own

Presently Lord Craiglethorpe entered the room, walking very pompously,
and putting his note-book up as he advanced.

"Oh, my dear lord, open the book again; I have a bull for you."

Lady Geraldine, after putting his lordship in good humour by this
propitiatory offering of a bull, continued to supply him, either
directly or indirectly, by some of her confederates, with the most
absurd anecdotes, incredible _facts_, stale jests, and blunders, such as
were never made by true-born Irishmen; all which my Lord Craiglethorpe
took down with an industrious sobriety, at which the spectators could
scarcely refrain from laughing. Sometimes he would pause, and exclaim,
"A capital anecdote! a curious fact! May I give my authority? may I
quote your ladyship?"

"Yes, if you'll pay me a compliment in the preface," whispered Lady
Geraldine: "and now, dear cousin, do go up stairs _and put it all in

When she had despatched the noble author, her ladyship indulged her
laughter. "But now," cried she, "only imagine a set of sober English
readers studying my cousin Craiglethorpe's New View of Ireland, and
swallowing all the nonsense it will contain!"

When Lord Kilrush remonstrated against the cruelty of letting the man
publish such stuff, and represented it as a fraud upon the public, Lady
Geraldine laughed still more, and exclaimed, "Surely you don't think I
would use the public and my poor cousin so ill. No, I am doing him and
the public the greatest possible service. Just when he is going to leave
us, when the writing-box is packed, I will step up to him, and tell him
the truth. I will show him what a farrago of nonsense he has collected
as materials for his quarto; and convince him at once how utterly unfit
he is to write a book, at least a book on Irish affairs. Won't this be
deserving well of my country and of my cousin?"

Neither on this occasion, nor on any other, were the remonstrances of my
Lord Kilrush of power to stop the course of this lady's flow of spirits
and raillery.

Whilst she was going on in this manner with the real Lord Craiglethorpe,
Miss Tracey was taking charming walks in the park with Mr. Gabbitt, and
the young lady began to be seriously charmed with her false lord. This
was carrying the jest farther, than Lady Geraldine had intended
or foreseen; and her good-nature would probably have disposed her
immediately to dissolve the enchantment, had she not been provoked by
the interference of Lord Kilrush, and the affected sensibility of Miss
Clementina Ormsby, who, to give me an exalted opinion of her delicacy,
expostulated incessantly in favour of the deluded fair one. "But, my
dear Lady Geraldine, I do assure you, it really hurts my feelings. This
is going too far--when it comes to the heart. I can't laugh, I own--the
poor girl's affections will be engaged--she is really falling in love
with this odious surveyor."

"But now, my dear Clementina, I do assure you, it really hurts my
feelings to hear you talk so childishly. 'When it comes to the heart!'
'affections engaged!' You talk of falling in love as if it were a
terrible fall: for my part, I should pity a person much more for falling
down stairs. Why, my dear, where is the mighty height from which Miss
Tracey could fall? She does not live in the clouds, Clementina, as you
do. No ladies live there now; for the best of all possible reasons,
because there are no men there. So, my love, make haste and come down,
before you are out of your teens, or you may chance to be left there
till you are an angel or an old maid. Trust me, my dear, I, who have
tried, tell you, there is no such thing as falling in love, now-a-days:
you may slip, slide, or stumble; but to fall in love, I defy you."

I saw Lady Kildangan's eyes fix upon me as her daughter pronounced the
last sentence.

"Geraldine, my dear, you do not know what you are talking about," said
her ladyship. "Your time may come, Geraldine. Nobody should be too
courageous. Cupid does not like to be defied."

Lady Kildangan walked away as she spoke, with a very well-satisfied
air, leaving a party of us young people together. Lady Geraldine looked
haughtily vexed. When in this mood, her wit gave no quarter; spared
neither sex nor age.

"Every body says," whispered she, "that mamma is the most artful woman
in the world; and I should believe it, only that every body says it:
now, if it were true, nobody would know it."

Lady Geraldine's air of disdain towards me was resumed. I did not quite
understand. Was it pride? was it coquetry? She certainly blushed deeply,
and for the first time that I ever saw her blush, when her mother said,
"Your time may come, Geraldine."

My week being now at an end, I resolved to take my leave. When I
announced this resolution, I was assailed with the most pressing
entreaties to stay a few days longer--one day longer. Lady Ormsby and
Sir Harry said every thing that could be said upon the occasion: indeed,
it seemed a matter of general interest to all, except to Lady Geraldine.
She appeared wholly indifferent, and I was not even gratified by any
apparent affectation of desiring my departure. Curiosity to see whether
this would be sustained by her ladyship to the last, gave me resolution
sufficient to resist the importunities of Sir Harry; and I departed,
rejoicing that my indifference was equal to her ladyship's. As Tasso
said of some fair one, whom he met at the carnival of Mantua, _I ran
some risk of falling in love._ I had been so far roused from my habitual
apathy that I actually made some reflections. As I returned home, I
began to perceive that there was some difference between woman and
woman, besides the distinctions of rank, fortune, and figure. I think I
owe to Lady Geraldine my first relish for wit, and my first idea that a
woman might be, if not a reasonable, at least a companionable animal. I
compared her ladyship with the mere puppets and parrots of fashion, of
whom I had been wearied; and I began to suspect that one might find,
in a lady's "lively nonsense," a relief from ennui. These reflections,
however, did not prevent me from sleeping the greatest part of the
morning on my way home; nor did I dream of any thing that I can

At the porter's lodge I saw Ellinor sitting at her spinning-wheel; and
my thoughts took up my domestic affairs just where I had left them the
preceding week.


In vain I attempted to interest myself in my domestic affairs; the
silence and solitude of my own castle appeared to me intolerably
melancholy, after my return from Ormsby Villa. There was a blank in my
existence during a week, in which I can remember nothing that I did,
said, or thought, except what passed during one ride, which Mr. McLeod
compelled my politeness to take with him. He came with the same face
to see me, and the same set of ideas, as those he had before I went to
Ormsby Villa. He began to talk of my schemes for improving my tenantry,
and of my wish that he should explain his notions relative to the
education of the poor of Ireland, which, he said, as I now seemed to be
at leisure, he was ready to do as concisely as possible. _As concisely
as possible_ were the only words of his address that I heard with
satisfaction; but of course I bowed, said I was much obliged, and I
should be happy to have the advantage of Mr. M'Leod's opinions and
sentiments. What these were I cannot recollect, for I settled myself
in a reverie soon after his voice began to sound upon my ear; but I
remember at last he wakened me, by proposing that I should ride with him
to see a school-house and some cottages, which he had built on a little
estate of his own in my neighbourhood: "for," said he, "'tis better, my
lord, to show you what can be done with these people, than to talk of
what might be effected."

"Very true," said I, agreeing readily; because I wanted to finish a
conversation that wearied me, and to have a refreshing ride. It was a
delightful evening; and when we came on M'Leod's estate, I really could
not help being pleased and interested. In an unfavourable situation,
with all nature, vegetable and animal, against him, he had actually
created a paradise amid the wilds. There was nothing wonderful in
any thing I saw around me; but there was such an air of neatness and
comfort, order and activity, in the people and in their cottages, that
I almost thought myself in England; and I could not forbear
exclaiming,--"How could all this be brought about in Ireland!"

"Chiefly by not doing and not expecting too much at first," said M'Leod.
"We took time, and had patience. We began by setting them the example
of some very slight improvements, and then, lured on by the sight of
success, they could make similar trials themselves. My wife and I went
among them, and talked to them in their cottages, and took an interest
in their concerns, and did not want to have every thing our own way;
and when they saw that, they began to consider which way was best; so
by degrees we led where we could not have driven; and raised in them,
by little and little, a taste for conveniences and comforts. Then the
business was done; for the moment the taste and ambition were excited;
to work the people went to gratify them; and according as they exerted
themselves, we helped them. Perhaps it was best for them and for us,
that we were not rich; for we could not do too much at a time, and were
never tempted to begin grand schemes that we could not finish. There,"
said McLeod, pointing to a cottage with a pretty porch covered with
woodbine, and a neat garden, in which many children were busily at work,
"that house and that garden were the means of doing all the rest; that
is our school-house. We could not expect to do much with the old,
whose habits were fixed; but we tried to give the young children better
notions, and it was a long time before we could bring that to bear.
Twenty-six years we have been at this work; and in that time if we have
done any thing, it was by beginning with the children: a race of our own
training has now grown up, and they go on in the way they were taught,
and prosper to our hearts' content, and, what is better still, to their
hearts' content."

McLeod, habitually grave and taciturn, seemed quite enlivened and
talkative this day; but I verily believe that not the slightest
ostentation or vanity inspired him, for I never before or since heard
him talk or allude to his own good deeds: I am convinced his motive was
to excite me to persevere in my benevolent projects, by showing what
had been done by small means. He was so truly in earnest that he never
perceived how tired I was; indeed he was so little in the habit of
expecting sympathy or applause, that he never missed even the ordinary
expressions of concurrent complaisance.

"Religion," continued he, "is the great difficulty in Ireland. We make
no difference between Protestants and Catholics; we always have admitted
both into our school. The priest comes on Saturday morning, and the
parish minister on Saturday evening, to hear the children belonging
to each church their catechisms, and to instruct them in the tenets
of their faith. And as we keep to our word, and never attempt making
proselytes, nor directly or indirectly interfere with their religious
opinions, the priests are glad to let us instruct the catholic children
in all other points, which they plainly see must advance their temporal

Mr. McLeod invited me to go in and look at the school. "In a hedge or
ditch school," said he, "which I once passed on this road, and in
which I saw a crowd of idle children, I heard the schoolmaster cry out,
'Rehearse! rehearse! there's company going by; and instantly all the
boys snatched up their books, and began gabbling as fast as ever they
could, to give an idea to the passenger of their diligence in repeating
their lessons. But here, my lord," continued M'Leod, "you will not see
any exhibitions _got up_ for company. I hate such tricks. Walk in, my
lord, if you please."

I walked in; but am ashamed to say, that I observed only that every
thing looked as if it had been used for many years, and yet not worn
out; and the whole school appeared as if all were in their places, and
occupied and intent upon their business: but this general recollection
is all I have retained. The enthusiasm for improvement had subsided in
my mind; and though I felt a transient pleasure in the present picture
of the happiness of these poor people and their healthy children, yet,
as I rode home, the images faded away like a dream. I resolved, indeed,
at some future period, to surpass all that Mr. M'Leod had done, or
all that with his narrow income he could ever accomplish; and to this
resolution I was prompted by jealousy of this man, rather than by
benevolence. Before I had arranged, even in imagination, my plans, young
Ormsby came one morning, and pressed me to return with him to Ormsby
Villa. I yielded to his solicitations and to my own wishes. When I
arrived, the ladies were all at their toilettes, except Miss Bland, who
was in the book-room with the gentlemen, ready to receive me with her
perpetual smile. Wherever Miss Bland went, she was always _l'amie de la
maison_, accustomed to share with the lady of the house the labour of
entertaining her guests. This _double_ of Lady Ormsby talked to me
most courteously of all the nothings of the day, and informed me of the
changes which had taken place in the ever-varying succession of company
at Ormsby Villa. The two brigadiers and one of the aides-de-camp were
gone; but Captain Andrews, another castle aide-de-camp, was come, and my
Lord O'Toole had arrived. Then followed a by-conversation between Miss
Bland and some of the gentlemen, about the joy and sorrow which his
lordship's arrival would create in the hearts of two _certain ladies_;
one of whom, as I gathered from the innuendoes, was Lady Hauton, and the
other Lady O'Toole. As I knew nothing of Dublin intrigues and scandal, I
was little attentive to all this. Miss Bland, persisting in entertaining
me, proceeded to inform me, that my Lord O'Toole had brought down with
him Mr. Cecil Devereux, who was a wit and a poet, very handsome
and gallant, and one of the most fashionable young men in Dublin. I
determined not to like him--I always hated a flourish of trumpets;
whoever enters, announced in this parading manner, appears to
disadvantage. Mr. Cecil Devereux entered just as the flourish ceased.
He was not at all the sort of person I was prepared to see: though
handsome, and with the air of a man used to good company, there was
nothing of a coxcomb in his manner; on the contrary, there was such an
appearance of carelessness about himself, and deference towards others,
that, notwithstanding the injudicious praise that had been bestowed
on him, and my consequent resolution to dislike him, I was pleased and
familiar with him before I had been ten minutes in his company. Lord
Kilrush introduced him to me, with great pomposity, as a gentleman of
talents, for whom he and his brother O'Toole interested themselves much.
This air of patronage, I saw, disgusted Mr. Devereux; and instead of
suffering himself to be _shown off_, he turned the conversation from
his own poems to general subjects. He asked me some questions about
a curious cavern, or subterraneous way, near Glenthorn Castle, which
stretched from the sea-shore to a considerable distance under the rock,
and communicated with an old abbey near the castle. Mr. Devereux said
that such subterraneous places had been formerly used in Ireland
as granaries by the ancient inhabitants; but a gentleman of the
neighbourhood who was present observed, that the caverns on this coast
had, within his memory, been used as hiding-places by smugglers: on
this hint Lord Kilrush began a prosing dissertation upon smugglers and
contraband traders, and talked to me a prodigious deal about exports and
imports, and bounties, and the balance of trade. Not one word he said
did I comprehend, and I question whether his lordship understood
the subjects upon which he spoke so dictatorially; but he thought he
succeeded in giving me an opinion of his wisdom and information. His
brother O'Toole appeared next: he did not look like a man of gallantry,
as I had been taught to expect from the hints thrown out respecting Lady
Hauton; his lordship's whole soul seemed devoted to ambition, and he
talked so much of great men, and state affairs, and court intrigues, and
honours and preferments, that I began to fancy I had been buried alive,
because I knew little of these things. I was tired of hearing him, yet
mortified that I could not speak exactly in the same manner, and with
the same air of being the best possible authority. I began to wish
that I also had some interest at court. The cares and troubles of the
ambitious man, so utterly repugnant to the indolence of my disposition,
vanished in this moment of infatuation from my view, and I thought only
of the pleasures of power. Such is the infectious nature of ambition!

Mr. Devereux helped me to throw off this dangerous contagion, before it
did me any injury. He happened to stay in the room with me a quarter
of an hour after the other gentlemen went to dress. Though not often
disposed to conversation with a stranger, yet I was won by this
gentleman's easy address: he politely talked of the English fashionable
world, with which he knew that I was well acquainted; I, with equal
politeness, recurred to the Irish great world: we fastened together upon
Lord O'Toole, who took us to Dublin Castle; and I began to express my
regret that I had not yet been at the Irish court, and that I had not
earlier in life made myself of political consequence.

"Ambition," said I, "might help to keep a man awake and alive; all
common pleasures have long since ceased to interest me--they really
cannot make me stir."

"My lord," said Mr. Devereux, "you would do better to sit or lie still
all your life than to toil for such vain objects.

    'Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
    What hell it is in sueing long to bide;'

Your lordship may remember Spenser's description of that hell?"

"Not exactly," said I, unwilling to lower the good opinion this
gentleman seemed to have taken for granted of my literature. He took
Spenser's poems out of the book-case, and I actually rose from my seat
to read the passage; for what trouble will not even the laziest of
mortals take to preserve the esteem of one by whom he sees that he is
over-valued. I read the following ten lines without yawning!

    "Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
    What hell it is in sueing long to bide;
    To lose good days, that might be better spent,
    To waste long nights in pensive discontent,
    To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow,
    To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow,
    To fret thy soul with crosses and with cares,
    To eat thy heart through comfortless despairs,
    To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run,
    To spend, to give, to want, to be undone."

"Very strong, indeed," said I, with a competent air, as if used to judge
of poetry.

"And it comes with still greater force, when we consider by whom it
was written. A man, you know, my lord, who had been secretary to a lord

I felt my nascent ambition die away within me. I acknowledged it was
better to spend an easy life. My determination was confirmed at this
instant by the appearance of Lady Geraldine. Ambition and love, it is
said, are incompatible passions. Neither of them had yet possession of
my heart; but love and Lady Geraldine had perhaps a better chance than
ambition and Lord O'Toole. Lady Geraldine appeared in high spirits; and,
though I was not a vain man, I could not help fancying that my return
to Ormsby Villa contributed to her charming vivacity. This gratified me
secretly and soberly, as much as it visibly delighted her mother. Miss
Bland, to pay her court to Lady Kildangan, observed that Lady Geraldine
was in uncommonly fine spirits this evening. Lady Geraldine threw back a
haughty frown over her left shoulder: this was the only time I ever
saw her notice, in any manner, any thing that fell from her obsequious
friend. To avert the fair one's displeasure, I asked for Miss Tracey and
Mr. Gabbitt.

"Mr. Gabbitt," said her ladyship, resuming her good-humour instantly;
"Mr. Gabbitt is gone off the happiest man in Ireland, with the hopes
of surveying my Lord O'Toole's estate; a good job, which I was bound
in honour to obtain for him, as a reward for taking a good joke. After
mocking him with the bare imagination of a feast, you know the Barmecide
in the Arabian Tales gave poor Shakabac a substantial dinner, a full
equivalent for the jest."

"And Miss Tracey." said I, "what did your ladyship do for her?"

"I persuaded her mamma that the sweet creature was falling into an
atrophy. So she carried the forlorn damsel post haste to the Black Rock
for the recovery of her health, or her heart. Clementina, my dear, no
reproachful looks; in your secret soul do not you know, that I could not
do a young lady a greater favour than to give her a plausible excuse for
getting away from home?"

I was afraid that Lady Geraldine would feel the want of her butt;
however, I found that Miss Tracey's place was supplied by Captain
Andrews, one of the Castle's aides-de-camp; and when Captain Andrews was
out of the way, Lord Kilrush and his brother O'Toole were _good
marks_. High and mighty as these personages thought themselves, and
respectfully, nay obsequiously, as they were treated by most others, to
this lady their characters appeared only a good _study_; and to laugh at
them seemed only a _good practice_.

"Perhaps, my lord," said she to me, "you do not yet know my Lord

"I have had the honour to be introduced to him."

"That's well; for he thinks that,

    'Not to know him, argues yourself unknown.'

But as your lordship is a stranger in this country, you may be pardoned;
and I will make you better acquainted with him. I suppose you know there
are many Tooles in Ireland; some very ancient, respectable, and useful:
this, however, is but a mere political tool, and the worst of all tools,
a cat's paw. There's one thing to the credit of these brothers, they
agree vastly well; for one delights in being always on the stage,
and the other always behind the scenes. These brothers, with Captain
Andrews--I hope they are none of them within hearing--form a charming
trio, all admirable in their way. My Lord O'Toole is--artifice
without art. My Lord Kilrush--importance without power. And Captain
Andrews--pliability without ease. Poor Andrews! he's a defenceless
animal--safe in impenetrable armour. Give him but time--as a man said,
who once showed me a land-tortoise--give him but time to draw his head
into his shell, and a broad-wheeled waggon may go over him without
hurting him. Lord Glenthorn, did you ever observe Captain Andrews's mode
of conversation?"

"No; I never heard him converse."

"Converse! nor I indeed; but you have heard him talk." "I have heard him
say--_Very true_--and _Of course_."

"Lord Glenthorn is quite severe this evening," said Mrs. O'Connor.

"But though your lordship," continued Lady Geraldine, "may have observed
Captain Andrews's wonderful economy of words, do you know whence
it arises? Perhaps you think from his perception of his own want of

"Not from his perception of the want," said I.

"Again! again!" said Mrs. O'Connor, with an insulting tone of surprise;
"Lord Glenthorn's quite witty this evening."

Lady Geraldine looked as if she were fully sensible of the want of
politeness in Mrs. O'Connor's mode of praising. "But, my lord," pursued
she, "you wrong Captain Andrews, if you attribute his monosyllabic
replies either to stupidity or timidity. You have not guessed the reason
why he never gives on any subject more than half an opinion."

"It was in the diplomatic school he was taught that art," said Mr.

"You must know," pursued Lady Geraldine, "that Captain Andrews is only
an aide-de-camp till a diplomatic situation can be found for him; and
to do him justice, he has been so well trained in the diplomatic school,
that he will not hazard an assertion on any subject; he is not certain
of any thing, not even of his own identity."

"He assuredly wants," said Devereux, "the only proof of existence which
Descartes would admit--_I think_, therefore I am."

"He has such a holy horror of committing himself," continued Lady
Geraldine, "that if you were to ask him if the sun rose this morning,
he would answer, with his sweet smile--_So I am told_--or--_So I am

"Begging your ladyship's pardon," cried Mr. Devereux, "that is much too
affirmative. In the pure diplomatic style, impersonal verbs must ever be
used in preference to active or passive. So I am told, lays him open to
the dangerous questions, Who told you? or, By whom were you informed?
Then he is forced into the imprudence of giving up his authorities;
whereas he is safe in the impersonality of _So it is said_, or _So it is

"How I should like to see a meeting between two perfectly finished
diplomatists!" cried Lady Geraldine.

"That is demonstrably impossible," said Mr. Devereux; "for in certain
political, as well as in certain geometrical lines, there is a continual
effort to approach, without a possibility of meeting."

Lady Geraldine's raillery, like all other things, would, perhaps, soon
have become tiresome to me; but that there was infinite variety in her
humour. At first I had thought her merely superficial, and intent
solely upon her own amusement; but I soon found that she had a taste
for literature, beyond what could have been expected in one who lived so
dissipated a life; a depth of reflection that seemed inconsistent
with the rapidity with which she thought; and, above all, a degree
of generous indignation against meanness and vice, which seemed
incompatible with the selfish character of a fine lady, and which
appeared quite incomprehensible to the imitating tribe of her
fashionable companions.

I mentioned a Mrs. Norton and Lady Hauton amongst the company of Ormsby
Villa. These two English ladies, whom I had never met in any of the
higher circles in London, who were persons of no consequence, and of
no marked character in their own country, made, it seems, a prodigious
_sensation_ when they came over to Ireland, and turned the heads of half
Dublin by the extravagance of their dress, the impertinence of their
airs, and the audacity of their conduct. Fame flew before them to the
remote parts of the country; and when they arrived at Ormsby Villa,
all the country gentlemen and ladies were prepared to admire these
celebrated fashionable belles. All worshipped them present, and abused
them absent, except Lady Geraldine, who neither joined in the admiration
nor inquired into the scandal. One morning Mrs. Norton and Lady Hauton
had each collected her votaries round her: one group begging patterns
of dress from Lady Hauton, who stood up in the midst of them, to have
everything she wore examined and envied; the other group sat on a
sofa apart, listening to Mrs. Norton, who, _sotto voce_, was telling
interesting anecdotes of an English crim. con., which then occupied the
attention of the fashionable world. Mrs. Norton had letters _from the
best authorities_ in London, which she was entreated by her auditors to
read to them. Mrs. Norton went to look for the letters, Lady Hauton to
direct her woman to furnish some patterns of I know not what articles of
dress; and, in the mean time, all the company joined in canvassing the
merits and demerits of the dress and characters of the two ladies who
had just left the room. Lady Geraldine, who had kept aloof, and who was
examining some prints at the farther end of the room, at this instant
laid down her book, and looked upon the whole party with an air of
magnanimous disdain; then smiling, as in scorn, she advanced towards
them, and, in a tone of irony, addressing one of the Swanlinbar graces,
"My dear Theresa," said her ladyship, "you are absolutely ashamed, I
see, of not being quite naked; and you, my good Bess, will, no doubt,
very soon be equally scandalized, at the imputation of being a perfectly
modest woman. Go on, my friends; go on, and prosper; beg and borrow all
the patterns and precedents you can collect of the newest fashions of
folly and vice. Make haste, make haste; they don't reach our remote
island fast enough. We Irish might live in innocence half a century
longer, if you didn't expedite the progress of profligacy; we might
escape the plague that rages in neighbouring countries, if we didn't,
without any quarantine, and with open arms, welcome every _suspected_
stranger; if we didn't encourage the importation of whole bales of
tainted fineries, that will spread the contagion from Dublin to Cork,
and from Cork to Galway!"

"La!" said Miss Ormsby, "how severe your ladyship is; and all only for
one's asking for a pattern!"

"But you know," pursued Mrs. O'Connor, "that Lady Geraldine is too proud
to take pattern from any body."

"Too proud am I? Well, then, I'll be humble; I'll abase myself--shall I?

    '_Proud_ as I am, I'll put myself to school;'

and I'll do what the ladies Hauton and Norton shall advise, to heighten
my charms and preserve my reputation. I must begin, must not I, Mrs.
O'Connor, by learning not to blush? for I observed you were ashamed for
me yesterday at dinner, when I blushed at something said by one of our
fair missionaries. Then, to whatever lengths flirtations and gallantry
may go between unmarried or married people, I must look on. I may
shut my eyes, if I please, and look down; but not from shame--from
affectation I may as often as I please, or to show my eyelashes.
Memorandum--to practise this before Clementina Ormsby, my mirror of
fashion. So far, so good, for my looks; but now for my language. I
must reform my barbarous language, and learn from Mrs. Norton, with her
pretty accommodating voice, to call an intrigue _an arrangement_, and a
crim. con. _an affair in Doctors' Commons_, or _that business before the

    'We never mention Hell to ears polite.'

How virtuous we shall be when we have no name for vice! But stay, I must
mind my lessons--I have more, much more to learn. From the dashing Lady
Hauton I may learn, if my head be but strong, and my courage intrepid
enough, 'to touch the brink of all we hate,' without tumbling headlong
into the gulf; and from the interesting Mrs. Norton, as I hear it
whispered amongst you ladies, I may learn how, with the assistance of a
Humane-society, to save a half-drowned reputation. It is, I understand,
the glory of one class of fashionable females, to seem worse than they
are; and of another class the privilege, to be worse than they seem."

Here clamorous voices interrupted Lady Geraldine--some justifying, some
attacking, Lady Hauton and Mrs. Norton.

"Oh! Lady Geraldine, I assure you, notwithstanding all that was said
about General ---- and Mrs. Norton, I am convinced there was nothing in

"And, my dear Lady Geraldine, though Lady Hauton does go great lengths
in coquetting with a certain lord, you must see that there's _nothing
wrong_; and that she means nothing, but to provoke his lady's jealousy.
You know his lordship is not a man to fall in love with."

"So, because Lady Hauton's passion is hatred instead of love, and
because her sole object is to give pain to a poor wife, and to make
mischief in families, all her sins are to be forgiven! Now, if I were
forced to forgive any ill-conducted female, I would rather excuse the
woman who is hurried on by love than she who is instigated by hatred."

Miss Bland now began to support her ladyship's opinion, that "Lady
Hauton was much the worst of the two;" and all the scandal that was in
circulation was produced by the partisans of each of these ladies.

"No matter, no matter, which is the worst," cried Lady Geraldine; "don't
let us waste our time in repeating or verifying scandalous stories of
either of them. I have no enmity to these ladies; I only despise them,
or rather, their follies and their faults. It is not the sinner, but
the sin we should reprobate. Oh! my dear countrywomen," cried Lady
Geraldine, with increasing animation of countenance and manner--"Oh!
my dear countrywomen, let us never stoop to admire and imitate these
second-hand airs and graces, follies and vices. Let us dare to be

My eyes were fixed upon her animated countenance, and, I believe, I
continued gazing even after her voice ceased. Mrs. O'Connor pointed
this out, and I was immediately embarrassed. Miss Bland accounted for my
embarrassment by supposing, that what Lady Geraldine had said of English
crim. cons, had affected me. From a look and a whisper among the ladies,
I guessed this; but Lady Geraldine was too well-bred to suppose I could
suspect her of ill-breeding and ill-nature, or that I could apply
to myself what evidently was not intended to allude to my family
misfortunes. By an openness of manner and sweetness of expression, which
I cannot forget, she, in one single look, conveyed all this to me: and
then resuming her conversation, "Pray, my lord," said she, "you who have
lived so much in the great world in England, say, for you can, whether I
am right or wrong in my suspicion, that these ladies, who have made such
a noise in Ireland, have been little heard of in England?"

I confirmed her ladyship's opinion by my evidence. The faces of the
company changed. Thus, in a few seconds, the empire of Lady Hauton and
of Mrs. Norton seemed shaken to the foundation, and never recovered from
this shock.

The warmth of Lady Geraldine's expressions, on this and many other
occasions, wakened dormant feelings in my heart, and made me sensible
that I had a soul, and that I was superior to the puppets with whom I
had been classed.

One day Lady Kilrush, in her mixed mode, with partly the graces of a
fine lady and partly the airs of a _bel esprit_, was talking of Mr.
Devereux, whom she affected to patronise and _produce_.

"Here, Devereux!" cried she; "Cecil Devereux! What can you be thinking
of? I am talking to you. Here's this epitaph of Francis the First upon
Petrarch's Laura, that you showed me the other day: do you know, I dote
upon it. I must have it translated: nobody can do it so well as you. I
have not time; but I shall not sleep to-night if it is not done: and you
are so quick: so sit down here, there's a dear man, and do it in your
elegant way for me, whilst I go to my toilette. Perhaps you did not
know that my name was Laura," said she, leaving the room with a very
sentimental air.

"What will become of me!" cried Devereux. "Never was a harder task
set by cruel patroness. I would rather 'turn a Persian tale for
half-a-crown.' Read this, my lord, and tell me whether it will be easy
to turn my Lady Kilrush into Petrarch's Laura."

"This sonnet, to be sure, is rather difficult to translate, or at least
to modernize, as bespoke," said Lady Geraldine, after she had perused
the sonnet;[82] "but I think, Mr. Devereux, you brought this difficulty
upon yourself. How came you to show these lines to such an amateur,
such a fetcher and carrier of bays as Lady Kilrush? You might have been
certain that, had they been trash, with the name of Francis the First,
and with your fashionable approbation, and something to say about
Petrarch and Laura, my Lady Kilrush would talk for ever, _et se pâmerait

"Mr. Devereux," said I, "has only to abide by the last lines, as a good
and sufficient apology to Lady Kilrush for his silence:

    'Qui te pourra louer qu'en se taisant?
    Car la parole est toujours réprimée
    Quand le sujet surmonte le disant.'"

"There is no way to get out of my difficulties," said Mr. Devereux, with
a very melancholy look; and with a deep sigh he sat down to attempt the
translation of the poem. In a few minutes, however, he rose and left the
room, declaring that he had the bad habit of not being able to do any
thing in company.

Lady Geraldine now, with much energy of indignation, exclaimed against
the pretensions of rich amateurs, and the mean and presumptuous manner
in which some would-be great people affect to patronise genius.

"Oh! the baseness, the emptiness of such patronising ostentation!" cried
she. "I am accused of being proud myself; but I hope--I believe--I am
sure, that my pride is of another sort. Persons of any elevation or
generosity of mind never have this species of pride; but it is your
mean, second-rate folk, who imagine that people of talent are a sort of
raree-show for their entertainment. At best, they consider men of genius
only as artists formed for their use, who, if not in a situation to be
paid with money, are yet to be easily recompensed by praise--by their
praise--_their_ praise! Heavens! what conceit! And these amateur-patrons
really think themselves judges, and presume to advise and direct genius,
and employ it to their petty purposes! Like that Pietro de Medici, who,
at some of his entertainments, set Michael Angelo to make a statue of
snow. My lord, did you ever happen to meet with Les Mémoires de Madame
de Staël?"

"No: I did not know that they were published."

"You mistake me: I mean Madame de Staël of Louis the Fourteenth and the
Regent's time, Mademoiselle de Launay."

I had never heard of such a person, and I blushed for my ignorance.

"Nay, I met with them myself only yesterday," said Lady Geraldine: "I
was struck with the character of the Duchess de la Ferté, in which this
kind of proud patronising ignorance is admirably painted from the life.
It is really worth your while, my lord, to look at it. There's the book
on that little table; here is the passage. You see, this Duchess de la
Ferté is showing off to a sister-duchess a poor girl of genius, like a
puppet or an ape.

"'Allons, mademoiselle, parlez--Madame, vous allez voir comme elle
parle--Elle vit que j'hésitois à répondre, et pensa qu'il falloit
m'aider comme une chanteuse à qui l'on indique ce qu'on désire
d'entendre--Parlez un peu de religion, mademoiselle, vous direz ensuite
autre chose.'

"This speech, Mr. Devereux tells me, has become quite proverbial in
Paris," continued Lady Geraldine; "and it is often quoted, when any one
presumes in the Duchess de la Ferte's style."

"Ignorance, either in high or low life, is equally self-sufficient, I
believe," said I, exerting myself to illustrate her ladyship's remarks.
"A gentleman of my acquaintance lately went to buy some razors at
Packwood's. Mrs. Packwood alone was _visible_. Upon the gentleman's
complimenting her on the infinite variety of her husband's ingenious and
poetical advertisements, she replied, 'La! sir, and do you think husband
has time to write them there things his-self? Why, sir, we keeps a poet
to do all that there work.'"

Though Lady Geraldine spoke only in general of amateur-patrons and of
men of genius, yet I could not help fancying, from the warmth with which
she expressed herself, and from her dwelling on the subject so long,
that her feelings were peculiarly interested for some individual of this
description. Thus I discovered that Lady Geraldine had a heart; and
I suspected that her ladyship and Mr. Devereux had also made the same
discovery. This suspicion was strengthened by a slight incident, which
occurred the following evening.

Lady Geraldine and Cecil Devereux, as we were drinking coffee, were in
a recessed window, while some of the company stood round them, amused by
their animated conversation. They went on, repartee after repartee, as
if inspired by each other's spirits.

"You two," said a little girl of six years old, who was playing in the
window, "go on singing to one another like two nightingales; and
this shall be your cage," added she, drawing the drapery of the
window-curtains across the recessed window. "You shall live always
together in this cage: will you, pretty birds?"

"No, no; some birds cannot live in a cage, my dear," cried Lady
Geraldine, playfully struggling to get free, whilst the child held her

"Mr. Devereux seems tolerably quiet and contented in his cage," said the
shrewd Mrs. O'Connor.

"I can't get out! I can't get out!" cried Devereux, in the melancholy
tone of the starling in the Sentimental Journey.

"What is all this?" said my Lady Kildangan, sailing up to us.

"Only two birds," the child began.

"Singing-birds," interrupted Lady Geraldine, catching the little girl
up in her arms, and stopping her from saying more, by beginning to sing
most charmingly.

Lady Kildangan returned to the sofa without comprehending one word of
what had passed. For my part, I now felt almost certain of the justice
of my suspicions: I was a little vexed, but not by any means in that
despair into which a man heartily in love would have been thrown by such
a discovery.

Well, thought I, it is well it is no worse: it was very lucky that I did
not fall quite in love with this fair lady, since it seems that she has
given her heart away. But am I certain of this? I was mistaken once. Let
me examine more carefully.

Now I had a new motive to keep my attention awake.


To preserve the continuity of my story, and not to fatigue the reader
with the journals of my comings and goings from Ormsby Villa to
Glenthorn Castle, and from Glenthorn Castle to Ormsby Villa, I must here
relate the observations I made, and the incidents that occurred, during
various visits at Sir Harry Ormsby's in the course of the summer.

After the incident of the birds and cage, my sagacity was for some time
at fault. I could not perceive any further signs of intelligence between
the parties: on the contrary, all communication seemed abruptly to
cease. As I was not well versed in such affairs, this quieted my
suspicions, and I began to think that I had been entirely mistaken.
Cecil Devereux spent his days shut up in his own apartment, immersed,
as far as I could understand, in the study of the Persian language.
He talked to me of nothing but his hopes of an appointment which Lord
O'Toole had promised to procure for him in India. When he was not
studying, he was botanizing or _mineralogizing_ with O'Toole's chaplain.
I did not envy him his new mode of life. Lady Geraldine took no notice
of it. When they did meet, which happened as seldom as possible, there
was an air of haughty displeasure on her part; on his, steady and
apparently calm respect and self-satisfaction. Her spirits were
exuberant, but variable; and, at times, evidently forced: his were not
high, but even and certain. Towards me, her ladyship's manners were free
from coquetry, yet politely gratifying, as she marked, by the sort of
conversation she addressed to me, her opinion that I was superior in
ability and capability to what she had at first thought me, and to what
I had always thought myself.

Mr. Devereux, though with more effort, treated me with distinction, and
showed a constant desire to cultivate my friendship. On every occasion
he endeavoured to raise my opinion of myself: to give me ambition and
courage to cultivate my mind. Once, when I was arguing in favour of
natural genius, and saying that I thought no cultivation could make the
abilities of one man equal to those of another, he, without seeming
to perceive that I was apologizing at once for my own indolence and my
intellectual inferiority, answered in general terms, "It is difficult to
judge what are the natural powers of the mind, they appear so different
in different circumstances. You can no more judge of a mind in ignorance
than of a plant in darkness. A philosophical friend told me, that he
once thought he had discovered a new and strange plant growing in a
mine. It was common sage; but so degenerated and altered, that he
could not know it: he planted it in the open air and in the light, and
gradually it resumed its natural appearance and character."

Mr. Devereux excited, without fatiguing, my mind by his conversation;
and I was not yet sufficiently in love to be seriously jealous. I was
resolved, however, to sound him upon the subject of Lady Geraldine, I
waited for a good opportunity: at length, as we were looking together
over the prints of Bürger's Lenore, he led to the sort of conversation
that I desired, by telling me an anecdote relative to the poet, which he
had lately heard from a German baron.

Burger was charmed with a sonnet, which an unknown fair one addressed to
him, in praise of his poetry; he replied in equal strains; and they
went on flattering one another, till both believed themselves in love:
without ever having met, they determined to marry: they at length met,
and married: they quarrelled and parted: in other words, the gentleman
was terribly disappointed in his unknown mistress; and she consoled
herself by running away from him with another lover.

The imprudence of this poetic couple led us to reflections on love
and marriage in general. Keeping far away from all allusion to Lady
Geraldine, I rallied Mr. Devereux about the fair Clementina, who was
evidently a romantic admirer of his.

"Who, except Cupid, would barter his liberty for a butterfly?" said he;
"and Cupid was a child. Men now-a-days are grown too wise to enslave
themselves for women. Love occupies a vast space in a woman's thoughts,
but fills a small portion in a man's life. Women are told, that 'The
great, th' important business of their life, is love;' but men know that
they are born for something better than to sing mournful ditties to a
mistress's eyebrow. As to marriage, what a serious, terrible thing! Some
quaint old author says, that man is of too smooth and oily a nature to
climb up to heaven, if, to make him less slippery, there be not added to
his composition the vinegar of marriage. This may be; but I will keep as
long as possible from the vinegar."

"Really, Devereux," said I, smiling, "you talk so like a cynic and
an old bachelor, and you look so little like either, that it is quite

"A man must be ridiculous sometimes," said he, "and bear to be thought
so. No man ever distinguished himself, who could not bear to be laughed

Mr. Devereux left the room singing,

    "No more for Amynta fresh garlands I wove;
    Ambition, I said, will soon cure me of love."

I was uncertain what to think of all this. I inclined to believe that
ambition was his ruling passion, notwithstanding the description of that
Hell which he showed me in Spenser. His conduct to his patron-lords,
by which a surer judgment of his character could be formed than by his
professions, was not, however, that of a man merely intent upon rising
in the world.

I remember once hearing Lord O'Toole attack a friend of this
gentleman's, calling him, in a certain tone, _a philosopher._ Mr.
Devereux replied, "that he could not consider that as a term of
reproach; that where a false or pretended philosopher was meant, some
other name should be used, equivalent to the Italian term of reproach,

Lord O'Toole would by no means admit of this Italianism: he would make
no distinctions: he deemed philosophers altogether a race of beings
dangerous and inimical to states.

"For states read statesmen," said Devereux, who persisted in the
vindication of his friend till Lord O'Toole grew pale with anger, while
Captain Andrews smiled with ineffable contempt at the political _bévue_:
Lady Geraldine glowed with generous indignation.

Afterwards, in speaking to me of Lord O'Toole, Devereux said, "His
lordship's classification of men is as contracted as the savage's
classification of animals: he divides mankind into two classes, knaves
and fools; and when he meets with an honest man, he does not know what
to make of him."

My esteem for Mr. Devereux was much increased by my daily observations
upon his conduct: towards Lady Geraldine, I thought it particularly
honourable: when her displeasure evidently merged in esteem, when
her manners again became most winning and attractive, his continued
uniformly the same; never passing the bounds of friendly respect, or
swerving, in the slightest degree, from the line of conduct which he had
laid down for himself. I thought I now understood him perfectly. That he
liked Lady Geraldine I could scarcely doubt; but I saw that he refrained
from aiming at the prize which he knew he ought not to obtain; that he
perceived her ladyship's favourable disposition towards him, yet denied
himself not only the gratification of his vanity, but the exquisite
pleasure of conversing with her, lest he should stand in the way of her
happier prospects. He frequently spoke to me of her ladyship in terms of
the warmest approbation. He said, that all the world saw and admired her
talents and beauty, but that he had had opportunities, as a relation,
of studying her domestic life. "With all her vivacity, she has a
heart formed for tenderness," said he; "a high sense of duty, the best
security for a woman's conduct; and in generosity and magnanimity, I
never found her superior in either sex. In short, I never saw any woman
whose temper and disposition were more likely to make a man of sense and
feeling supremely happy."

I could not forbear smiling, and asking Cecil Devereux how all
this accorded with his late professions of hatred to marriage. "My
professions were sincere," said he. "It would be misery to me to marry
any inferior woman, and I am not in circumstances to marry as I could
wish. I could not think of Lady Geraldine without a breach of trust,
of which your lordship, I hope, cannot suspect me. Her mother places
confidence in me. I am not only a relation, but treated as a friend
of the family. I am not in love with Lady Geraldine. I admire, esteem,
respect her ladyship; and I wish to see her united to a man, if such a
man there be, who may deserve her. We understand one another now.
Your lordship will have the goodness never more to speak to me on this
subject." He spoke with much emotion, but with steadiness, and left me
penetrated with feelings that were entirely new to me.

Much as I admired his conduct, I was yet undecided as to my own: my
aversion to a second marriage was not yet conquered:--I was amused, I
was captivated by Lady Geraldine; but I could not bring myself to think
of making a distinct proposal. Captain Andrews himself was not more
afraid of being committed than I was upon this tender subject. To gain
time, I now thought it necessary to verify all the praises Mr. Devereux
had bestowed on her ladyship. Magnanimity was a word that particularly
struck my ear as extraordinary when applied to a female. However,
by attending carefully to this lady, I thought I discovered what Mr.
Devereux meant. Lady Geraldine was superior to manoeuvring little arts
and petty stratagems to attract attention: she would not stoop, even to
conquer. From gentlemen she seemed to expect attention as her right, as
the right of her sex; not to beg or accept of it as a favour: if it were
not paid, she deemed the gentleman degraded, not herself. Far from
being mortified by any preference shown to other ladies, her countenance
betrayed only a sarcastic sort of pity for the bad taste of the men,
or an absolute indifference and look of haughty absence. I saw that
she beheld with disdain the paltry competitions of the young ladies her
companions: as her companions, indeed, she hardly seemed to consider
them; she tolerated their foibles, forgave their envy, and never exerted
any superiority, except to show her contempt of vice and meanness. To
be in any degree excepted from the common herd; to be in any degree
distinguished by a lady so proud, and with so many good reasons to
be proud, was flattering to my self-love. She gave me no direct
encouragement; but I never advanced far enough to require encouragement,
much less to justify repulse. Sometimes I observed, or I fancied, that
she treated me with more favour when Mr. Devereux was present than
at other times; perhaps--for she was a woman, not an angel--to pique
Devereux, and try if she could move him from the settled purpose of his
soul. He bore it all with surprising constancy: his spirits, however,
and his health, began visibly to decline.

"If I do not intrude too much on your valuable time, Mr. Devereux," said
her ladyship to him one evening, in her most attractive manner, "may
I beg you to read to us some of these beautiful poems of Sir William

There was a seat beside her ladyship on the sofa: the book was held out
by the finest arm in the world.

"Nay," said Lady Geraldine, "do not look so respectfully miserable;
if you have any other engagements, you have only to say so: or if you
cannot speak you may bow: a bow, you know, is an answer to every thing.
And here is my Lord Glenthorn ready to supply your place: pray, do not
let me detain you prisoner. You shall not a second time say, _I can't
get out_."

Devereux made no further effort to escape, but took the book and his
dangerous seat. He remained with us, contrary to his custom, the whole
evening. Afterwards, as if he felt that some apology was necessary to me
for the pleasure in which he had indulged himself, "Perhaps, my lord,"
said he, "another man in my situation, and with my feelings, would think
it necessary to retreat, and prudent to secure his safety by flight;
but flight is unworthy of him who can combat and conquer: the man who
is sure of himself does not skulk away to avoid danger, but advances to
meet it, armed secure in honesty."

This proud and rash security in his own courage, strength of mind, and
integrity, was the only fault of Cecil Devereux. He never prayed not
to be led into temptation, he thought himself so sure of avoiding evil.
Unconscious of his danger, even though his disease was at its height, he
now braved it most imprudently: he was certain that he should never
pass the bounds of friendship; he had proved this to himself, and
was satisfied: he told me that he could with indifference, nay, with
pleasure, see Lady Geraldine mine. In the mean time, upon the same
principle that he deemed flight inglorious, he was proud to expose
himself to the full force of Love's artillery. He was with us now every
day, and almost all day, and Lady Geraldine was more charming than
ever. The week was fixed for her departure. Still I could not decide.
I understood that her ladyship would pass the ensuing winter in Dublin,
where she would probably meet with new adorers; and even if Mr. Devereux
should not succeed, some adventurous knight might win and wear the
prize. This was an alarming thought. It almost decided me to hazard
the fatal declaration; but then I recollected that I might follow her
ladyship to town the next winter, and that if the impression did not, as
might be hoped, wear off during the intervening autumn, it would be time
enough to _commit_ myself when I should meet my fair one in Dublin. This
was at last my fixed resolution. Respited from the agonies of doubt,
I now waited very tranquilly for that moment to which most lovers look
forward with horror, the moment of separation. I was sensible that I had
accustomed myself to think about this lady so much, that I had gradually
identified my existence with hers, and I thus found my _spirit of
animation_ much increased. I dreaded the departure of Lady Geraldine
less than the return of ennui.

In this frame of mind I was walking one morning in the pleasure grounds
with Lady Geraldine, when a slight accident made me act in direct
contradiction to all my resolutions, and, I think, inconsistently with
my character. But such is the nature of man! and I was doomed to make
a fool of myself, even in the very temple of Minerva. Among the various
ornamental buildings in the grounds at Ormsby Villa, there was a temple
dedicated to this goddess, from which issued a troop of hoyden young
ladies, headed by the widow O'Connor and Lady Kilrush, all calling to us
to come and look at some charming discovery which they had just made in
the temple of Minerva. Thither we proceeded, accompanied by the merry
troop. We found in the temple only a poetical inscription of Lady
Kilrush's, pompously engraved on a fine marble tablet. We read the lines
with all the attention usually paid to a lady's poetry in the presence
of the poetess. Lady Geraldine and I turned to pay some compliments on
the performance, when we found that Lady Kilrush and all her companions
were gone.

"Gone! all gone!" said Lady Geraldine; "and there they are, making their
way very fast down to the temple of Folly! Lady Kilrush, you know, is
so ba-a-ashful, she could not possibly stay to receive _nos hommages_. I
love to laugh at affectation. Call them back, do, my lord, and you shall
see the _fair author_ go through all the evolutions of mock humility,
and end by yielding quietly to the notion that she is the tenth Muse.
But run, my lord, or they will be out of our reach."

I never was seen to run on any occasion; but to obey Lady Geraldine I
walked as fast as I could to the door, and, to my surprise, found it

"Locked, I declare! Some of the witty tricks of the widow O'Connor, or
the hoyden Miss Callwells!"

"How I hate hoydens!" cried Lady Geraldine: "but let us take patience;
they will be back presently. If young ladies must perform practical
jokes, because quizzing is the fashion, I wish they would devise
something new. This locking-up is so stale a jest. To be sure it has
lately to boast the authority of high rank in successful practice:
but these bungling imitators never distinguish between cases the most
dissimilar imaginable. Silly creatures! We have only to be wise and

Her ladyship sat down to re-peruse the tablet. I never saw her look so
beautiful.--The dignified composure of her manner charmed me; it was so
unlike the paltry affectation of some of the fashionable ladies by whom
I had been disgusted. I recollected the precedent to which she alluded.
I recollected that the locking-up ended in matrimony; and as Lady
Geraldine made some remarks upon the verses, I suppose my answers showed
my absence of mind.

"Why so grave, my lord? why so absent? I assure you I do not suspect
your lordship of having any hand in this vulgar manoeuvre. I acquit you
honourably; therefore you need not stand any longer like a criminal."

What decided me at this instant I cannot positively tell: whether it
was the awkwardness of my own situation, or the grace of her ladyship's
manner: but all my prudential arrangements were forgotten, all my doubts
vanished. Before I knew that the words passed my lips, I replied, "That
her ladyship did me justice by such an acquittal; but that though I had
no part in the contrivance, yet I felt irresistibly impelled to avail
myself of the opportunity it afforded of declaring my real sentiments."
I was at her ladyship's feet, and making very serious love, before I
knew where I was. In what words my long-delayed declaration was made, I
cannot recollect, but I well remember Lady Geraldine's answer.

"My lord, I assure you that you do not know what you are saying: you
do not know what you are doing. This is all a mistake, as you will find
half an hour hence. I will not be so cruelly vain as to suppose you

"Not serious! no man ever was more serious."

"No, no--No, no, no."

I swore, of course, most fervently.

"Oh! rise, rise, I beseech you, my lord, and don't look so like a hero;
though you have done an heroical action, I grant. How you ever brought
yourself to it, I cannot imagine. But now, for your comfort, you
are safe--Vous voilà quitte pour la peur! Do not, however, let this
encourage you to venture again in the same foolish manner. I know but
few, very few young ladies to whom Lord Glenthorn could offer himself
with any chance or reasonable hope of being refused. So take warning:
never again expect to meet with such another as my whimsical self."

"Never, never can I expect to meet with any thing resembling your
charming self," cried I. This was a new text for a lover's rhapsody. It
is not necessary, and might not be _generally_ interesting to repeat all
the ridiculous things I said, even if I could remember them.

Lady Geraldine listened to me, and then very calmly replied, "Granting
you believe all that you are saying at this minute, which I must grant
from common gratitude, and still more common vanity; nevertheless,
permit me to assure you, my lord, that this is not love; it is only a
fancy--only the nettle-rash, not the plague. You will not die this time.
I will insure your life. So now jump out of the window as fast as
you can, and unlock the door--you need not be afraid of breaking your
neck--you know your life is insured. Come, take the lover's leap, and
get rid of your passion at once."

I grew angry.

"Only a cloud," said Lady Geraldine--"it will blow over."

I became more passionate--I did not know the force of my own feelings,
till they met with an obstacle; they suddenly rose to a surprising

"Now, my lord," cried Lady Geraldine with a tone and look of comic
vexation, "this is really the most provoking thing imaginable; you have
no idea how you distress me, nor of what exquisite pleasures you deprive
me--all the pleasures of coquetry; legitimate pleasures, in certain
circumstances, as I am instructed to think them by one of the first
moral authorities. There is a case--I quote from memory, my lord; for
my memory, like that of most other people, on subjects where I am deeply
interested, is tolerably tenacious--there is a case, says the best of
fathers, in his Legacy to the best of daughters--there is a case, where
a woman may coquet justifiably to the utmost verge which her conscience
will allow. It is where a gentleman purposely declines making his
addresses, till such time as he thinks himself perfectly sure of her
consent. Now, my lord, if you had had the goodness to do so, I might
have made this delightful case my own; and what charming latitude I
might have allowed my conscience! But now, alas! it is all over, and I
must be as frank as you have been, under pain of forfeiting what I value
more even than admiration--my own good opinion."

She paused, and was silent for a few moments; then suddenly changing
her manner, she exclaimed, in a serious, energetic tone, "Yes, I must, I
will be sincere; let it cost me what it may. I will be sincere. My lord,
I never can be yours. My lord, you will believe me, even from the effort
with which I speak:" her voice softened, and her face suffused with
crimson, as she spoke. "I love another--my heart is no longer in my own
possession; whether it will ever be in my power, consistently with my
duty and his principles, to be united with the man of my choice, is
doubtful--more than doubtful--but this is certain, that with such a
prepossession, such a conviction in my mind, I never could nor ought to
think of marrying any other person."

I pleaded, that however deserving of her preference the object of her
favour might be, yet that if there were, as her own prudence seemed to
suggest, obstacles, rendering the probability of her union with that
person more than doubtful, it might be possible that her superior sense
and strength of mind, joined to the persevering affection of another
lover, who would spare no exertions to render himself worthy of her,
might, perhaps, in time--

"No, no," said she, interrupting me; "do not deceive yourself. I will
not deceive you. I give you no hopes that my sentiments may change. I
know my own mind--it will not change. My attachment is founded on the
firm basis of esteem; my affection has grown from the intimate knowledge
of the principles and conduct of the man I love. No other man, let his
merits be what they may, could have these advantages in my opinion.
And when I say that the probability of our being united is more than
doubtful, I do not mean to deny that I have distant hope that change of
circumstances might render love and duty compatible. Without hope I know
love cannot long exist. You see I do not talk romantic nonsense to you.
All that you say of prudence, and time, and the effect of the attentions
of another admirer, would be perfectly just and applicable, if my
attachment were a fancy of yesterday--if it were a mere young lady's
commonplace first love; but I am not a _very_ young lady, nor is this,
though a first love, commonplace. I do not, you see, in the usual style,
tell you that the man I adore is an angel, and that no created form ever
did, or ever can, resemble this _angel in green and gold_; but, on the
contrary, do justice to your lordship's merit: and believing, as I do,
that you are capable of a real love; still more, believing that such an
attachment would rouse you to exertion, and bring to life and light
a surprising number of good qualities; yet I should deceive you
unpardonably, fatally for my own peace of mind, if not for yours, were
I not frankly and decidedly to assure you, that I never could reward or
return your affection. My attachment to--I trust entirely where I trust
at all--my attachment to Mr. Devereux is for life."

"He deserves it--deserves it all," cried I, struggling for utterance;
"that is as much as a rival can say."

"Not more than I expected from you, my lord."

"But your ladyship says there is a hope of duty and love being
compatible. _Would_ Lady Kildangan _ever_ consent?"

She looked much disturbed.

"No, certainly; not unless--Lord O'Toole has promised--not that I depend
on courtiers' promises--but Lord O'Toole is a relation of ours, and
he has promised to obtain an appointment abroad, in India, for Mr.
Devereux. If that were done, he might appear of more consequence in
the eyes of the world. My mother might then, perhaps, be propitious. My
lord, I give you the strongest proof of my esteem, by speaking with such
openness. I have had the honour of your lordship's acquaintance only a
few months; but without complimenting my own penetration, I may securely
trust to the judgment of Mr. Devereux, and his example has taught me
to feel confidence in your lordship. Your conduct now will, I trust,
justify my good opinion, by your secrecy; and by desisting from useless
pursuit you will entitle yourself to my esteem and gratitude. These, I
presume, you will think worth securing."

My soul was so completely touched, that I could not articulate.

"Mr. Devereux is right--I see, my lord, that you have a soul that can be

"Kissing hands, I protest!" exclaimed a shrill voice at the window. We
turned, and saw Mrs. O'Connor and a group of tittering faces peeping
in. "Kissing hands, after a good hour's tête-à-tête! Oh, pray, Lady
Kildangan, make haste here," continued Mrs. O'Connor; "make haste,
before Lady Geraldine's blushes are over."

"Were you ever detected in the crime of blushing, in your life, Mrs.
O'Connor?" said I.

"I never was found out locked up with so fine a gentleman," replied Mrs.

"Then it hurts your conscience only to be found out, like all the rest
of the vast family of the Surfaces," said Lady Geraldine, resuming her

"Found out!--Locked up!--bless me! bless me! What is all this?" cried
Lady Kildangan, puffing up the hill. "For shame! young ladies; for
shame!" continued her ladyship, with a decent suppression of her
satisfaction, when she saw, or thought she saw, how matters stood.
"Unlock the door, pray. Don't be vexed, my Geraldine. Fie! fie! Mrs.
O'Connor. But quizzing is now so fashionable--nobody can be angry with
any body. My Geraldine, consider we are all friends."

The door unlocked, and as we were going out, Lady Geraldine whispered
to me--"For mercy's sake, my lord, don't break my poor mother's heart!
Never let her know that a coronet has been within my grasp, and that I
have not clutched it."

Lady Kildangan, who thought that all was now approaching that happy
termination she so devoutly wished, was so full of her own happy
presentiments, that it was impossible for me to undeceive her ladyship.
Even when I announced before her, to Sir Harry Ormsby, that I was
obliged to return home immediately, on particular business, she was,
I am sure, persuaded that I was going to prepare matters for
marriage-settlements. When I mounted my horse, Mr. Devereux pressed
through a crowd assembled on the steps at the hall-door, and offered me
his hand, with a look and manner that seemed to say--Have you sufficient
generosity to be still my friend? "I know the value of your friendship,
Mr. Devereux," said I, "and I hope to deserve it better every year that
I live."

For the effort which it cost me to say this I was rewarded. Lady
Geraldine, who had retired behind her companions, at this instant
approached with an air of mingled grace and dignity, bowed her head, and
gave me a smile of grateful approbation. This is the last image left on
my mind, the last look of the charming Geraldine--I never saw her again.

After I got home I did not shave for two days, and scarcely ever spoke.
I should have taken to my bed to avoid seeing any human creature; but
I knew that if I declared myself ill, no power would keep my old nurse
Ellinor from coming to moan over me; and I was not in a humour to listen
to stories of the Irish Black Beard, or the ghost of King O'Donoghoe;
nor could I, however troublesome, have repulsed the simplicity of
her affection. Instead of going to bed, therefore, I continued to lie
stretched upon a sofa, ruminating sweet and bitter thoughts, after
giving absolute orders that I should not be disturbed on any account
whatever. Whilst I was in this state of reverie, one of my servants--an
odd Irish fellow, who, under pretence of being half-witted, took more
liberties than his companions--bolted into my presence.

"Plase your lordship, I thought it my duty, in spite of 'em all below,
to come up to advertise to your lordship of the news that's going
through the country. That they are all upside down at Ormsby Villa, all
mad entirely--fighting and setting off through the kingdom, every one
their own way; and, they say, it's all on account of something that Miss
Clemmy Ormsby told, that Lady Geraldine said about my Lord O'Toole's
being no better than a cat's paw, or something that way, which made his
lordship quite mad; and he said, in the presence of Captain Andrews,
and my Lady Kildangan, and Lady Geraldine, and all that were in it,
something that vexed Lady Geraldine, which made Mr. Cecil Devereux mad
next; and he said something smart in reply, that Lord O'Toole could
not digest, he said, which made his lordship madder than ever, and he
discharged Mr. Devereux from his favour, and he is not to get that place
that was vacant, the lord-lieutenancy of some place in the Indies that
he was to have had; this made Lady Geraldine mad, and it was found
out she was in love with Mr. Devereux, which made her mother mad, the
maddest of all, they say, so that none can hold her, and she is crying
night and day how her daughter might have had the first coronet in the
kingdom, _maning_ you, my lard, if it had not been that she _prefarred_
a beggar-man, _maning_ Mr. Cecil Devereux, who is as poor, they say, as
a Connaughtman--and he's forbid to think of her, and she's forbid, under
pain of bread and water, ever to set her eyes upon him the longest day
ever she lives; so the horses and coaches are ordered, and they are all
to be off with the first light for Dublin: and that's all, my lard; and
all truth, not a word of lies I'm telling."

I was inclined not to credit a story so oddly told; but, upon inquiry, I
found it true in its material points. My own words to Mr. Devereux, and
the parting look of Lady Geraldine, were full in my recollection; I was
determined, by an unexpected, exertion, to surprise both the lovers, and
to secure for ever their esteem and gratitude. The appointment, which
Mr. Devereux desired, was not yet given away; the fleet was to sail in
a few days. I started up from my sofa--ordered my carriage
instantly--shaved myself--sent a courier on before to have horses ready
at every stage to carry me to Dublin--got there in the shortest
time possible--found Lord O'Toole but just arrived. Though unused to
diplomatic language and political negotiation, I knew pretty well on
what they all _hinge_. I went directly to the point, and showed that
it would be the interest of the party concerned to grant my request. By
expressing a becoming desire that my boroughs, upon a question where a
majority was required, should _strengthen the hands of government_, I
obtained for my friend the favour he _deserved_. Before I quitted Lord
O'Toole, his secretary, Captain Andrews, was instructed to write a
letter, announcing to Mr. Devereux his appointment. A copy of the former
letter of refusal now lay before me; it was in his lordship's purest
diplomatic style--as follows:


"Lord O'Toole is concerned to inform Mr. Devereux that he cannot
feel himself justified in encouraging Mr. D., under the existing
circumstances, to make any direct application relative to the last
conversation his lordship had the honour to hold with Mr. Devereux."

"To Cecil Devereux, Esq. &c. Thursday ------"

The letter which I obtained, and of which I took possession, ran as


"Lord O'Toole is happy to have it in command to inform Mr. Devereux,
that his lordship's representations on the subject of their last
conversation have been thought sufficient, and that an official
notification of the appointment to India, which Mr. D. desired, will
meet the wishes of Mr. Devereux.

"Captain Andrews has the honour to add his congratulations."

"To Cecil Devereux, Esq. &c. Thursday ------"

Having despatched this business with a celerity that surprised all the
parties concerned, and most myself, I called at the lodgings of Mr.
Devereux, delivered the letter to his servant, and left town. I could
not bear to see either Mr. Devereux or Lady Geraldine. I had the
pleasure to hear, that the obtaining this appointment was followed by
Lady Kildangan's consent to their marriage. Soon after my return to
Glenthorn Castle, I received a letter of warm thanks from Devereux, and
a polite postscript from Lady Geraldine, declaring that, though she felt
much pleasure, she could feel no surprise in seeing her opinion of Lord
Glenthorn justified; persuaded, as she and Mr. Devereux had always been,
that only motive and opportunity were wanting to make his lordship's
superior qualities known to the world, and, what was still more
difficult, to himself. They left Ireland immediately afterwards in
consequence of their appointment in India.

I was raised in my own estimation--I revelled a short time in my
self-complacent reflections; but when nothing more remained to be done,
or to be said--when the hurry of action, the novelty of generosity, the
glow of enthusiasm, and the freshness of gratitude, were over, I felt
that, though large motives could now invigorate my mind, I was still
a prey to habitual indolence, and that I should relapse into my former
state of apathy and disease.


I remember to have heard, in some epilogue to a tragedy, that the tide
of pity and of love, whilst it overwhelms, fertilizes the soul. That it
may deposit the seeds of future fertilization, I believe; but some time
must elapse before they germinate: on the first retiring of the tide,
the prospect is barren and desolate. I was absolutely inert, and almost
imbecile for a considerable time, after the extraordinary stimulus, by
which I had been actuated, was withdrawn. I was in this state of apathy
when the rebellion broke out in Ireland; nor was I roused in the least
by the first news of the disturbances. The intelligence, however, so
much alarmed my English servants, that, with one accord, they left me;
nothing could persuade them to remain longer in Ireland. The parting
with my English gentleman affected my lethargic selfishness a little.
His loss would have been grievous to such a helpless being as I was, had
not his place been immediately supplied by that half-witted Irishman,
Joe Kelly, who had ingratiated himself with me by a mixture of
drollery and simplicity, and by suffering himself to be continually
my laughing-stock; for, in imitation of Lady Geraldine, I thought it
necessary to have a butt. I remember he first caught my notice by a
strange answer to a very simple question. I asked, "What noise is that
I hear?" "My lard," said he, "it is only the singing in my ears; I have
had it these six months." Another time, when I reproached him for having
told me a lie, he answered, "Why, now indeed, and plase your honour, my
lard, I tell as few lies as possibly I can." This fellow, the son of a
bricklayer, had originally been intended for a priest, and he went, as
he told me, to the College of Maynooth to study his _humanities_; but,
unluckily, the charms of some Irish Heloise came between him and the
altar. He lived in a cabin of love, till he was weary of his smoke-dried
Heloise, and then thought it _convanient_ to turn _sarving_ man, as
he could play on the flute, and brush a coat remarkably well, which he
_larned_ at Maynooth, by brushing the coats of the superiors. Though he
was willing to be laughed at, Joe Kelly could in his turn laugh; and
he now ridiculed, without mercy, the pusillanimity of the English
_renegadoes_, as he called the servants who had just left my service;
He assured me that, to his knowledge, there was no manner of danger,
_excepted a man prefarred being afraid of his own shadow, which some
did, rather than have nothing to talk of, or enter into resolutions
about, with some of the spirited men in the chair_.

Unwilling to be disturbed, I readily believed all that lulled me in my
security. I would not be at the trouble of reading the public papers;
and when they were read to me, I did not credit any paragraph that
militated against my own opinion. Nothing could awaken me. I remember,
one day, lying yawning on my sofa, repeating to Mr. M'Leod, who
endeavoured to open my eyes to the situation of the country, "Pshaw, my
dear sir; there is no danger, be assured--none at all--none at all. For
mercy's sake! talk to me of something more diverting, if you would keep
me awake; time enough to think of these things when they come nearer to

Evils that were not immediately near me had no power to affect my
imagination. My tenantry had not yet been contaminated by the epidemic
infection, which broke out soon after with such violence as to threaten
the total destruction of all civil order. I had lived in England--I was
unacquainted with the causes and the progress of the disease, and I had
no notion of my danger; all I knew was, that some houses had been
robbed of arms, and that there was a set of desperate wretches called
_defenders_; but I was _annoyed_ only by the rout that was now made
about them. Having been used to the regular course of justice which
prevailed in England, I was more shocked at the summary proceedings of
my neighbours than alarmed at the symptoms of insurrection. Whilst my
mind was in this mood, I was provoked by the conduct of some of the
violent party, which wounded my personal pride, and infringed upon my
imagined consequence. My foster-brother's forge was searched for pikes,
his house ransacked, his bed and _bellows_, as possible hiding places,
were cut open; by accident, or from private malice, he received a shot
in his arm; and, though not the slightest cause of suspicion could
be found against him, the party left him with a broken arm, and the
consolation of not being sent to jail as a defender. Without making any
allowance for the peculiar circumstances of the country, my indignation
was excited in the extreme, by the injury done to my foster-brother; his
sufferings, the tears of his mother, the taunts of Mr. (now _Captain_)
Hardcastle, and the opposition made by his party, called forth all the
faculties of my mind and body. The poor fellow, who was the subject of
this contest, showed the best disposition imaginable: he was excessively
grateful to me for interesting myself to _get_ him justice; but as soon
as he found that parties ran high against me, he earnestly dissuaded me
from persisting.

"Let it drop, and _plase_ your honour; my lord, let it drop, and
don't be making of yourself _inimies_ for the likes of me. Sure, what
signifies my arm? and, before the next assizes, sha'n't I be as well
as ever, arm and all?" continued he, trying to appear to move the arm
without pain. "And there's the new bellows your honour has _give_ me; it
does my heart good to look at 'em, and it won't be long before I will
be blowing them again as stout as ever; and so God bless your honour,
my lord, and think no more about it--let it drop entirely, and don't be
bringing yourself into trouble."

"Ay, don't be bringing yourself into trouble, dear," added Ellinor, who
seemed half distracted between her feelings for her son and her fears
for me; "it's a shame to think of the way they've treated Christy--but
there's no help now, and it's best not to be making bad worse; and
so, as Christy says, let the thing drop, jewel, and don't be bringing
yourself into trouble; you don't know the _natur_ of them people,
dear--you are too _innocent_ for them entirely, and myself does not know
the mischief they might do _yees_."

"True for ye," pursued Christy; "I wouldn't for the best cow ever I see
that your honour ever larnt a sentence about me or my arm; and it is not
for such as we to be minding every little accident--so God lend you long
life, and don't be plaguing yourself to death! Let it drop, and I'll
sleep well the night, which I did not do the week, for thinking of all
the trouble you got, and would get, God presarve ye!"

This generous fellow's eloquence produced an effect directly contrary
to what was intended; both my feelings and my pride were now more warmly
interested in his cause. I insisted upon his swearing examinations
before Mr. M'Leod, who was a justice of the peace. Mr. M'Leod behaved
with the utmost steadiness and impartiality; and in this trying moment,
when "it was infamy to seem my friend," he defended my conduct calmly,
but resolutely, in private and in public, and gave his unequivocal
testimony, in few but decided words, in favour of my injured tenant.
I should have respected Mr. M'Leod more, if I had not attributed this
conduct to his desire of being returned for one of my boroughs at the
approaching election. He endeavoured, with persevering goodness, to
convince me of the reality of the danger in the country. My eyes were
with much difficulty forced open so far as to perceive that it was
necessary to take an active part in public affairs to vindicate my
loyalty, and to do away the prejudices that were entertained against
me; nor did my incredulity, as to the magnitude of the peril, prevent me
from making exertions essential to the defence of my own character,
if not to that of the nation. How few act from purely patriotic and
rational motives! At all events I acted, and acted with energy; and
certainly at this period of my life I felt no ennui. Party spirit is an
effectual cure for ennui; and perhaps it is for this reason that so many
are addicted to its intemperance. All my passions were roused, and my
mind and body kept in continual activity. I was either galloping, or
haranguing, or fearing, or hoping, or fighting; and so long as it was
said that I could not sleep in my bed, I slept remarkably well, and
never had so good an appetite as when I was in hourly danger of having
nothing to eat. _The rebels were up_, and _the rebels were down_--and
Lord Glenthorn's spirited conduct in the chair, and indefatigable
exertions in the field, were the theme of daily eulogium amongst my
convivial companions and immediate dependants. But, unfortunately, my
sudden activity gained me no credit amongst the violent party of my
neighbours, who persisted in their suspicions; and my reputation was
now still more injured, by the alternate charge of being a trimmer or a
traitor. Nay, I was further exposed to another danger, of which, from my
ignorance of the country, I could not possibly be aware. The disaffected
themselves, as I afterwards found, really believed, that, as I had not
begun by persecuting the poor, I must be a favourer of the rebels; and
all that I did to bring the guilty to justice, they thought was only to
give a _colour to the thing_, till the proper moment should come for my
declaring myself. Of this absurd and perverse mode of judging I had not
the slightest conception; and I only laughed when it was hinted to me.
My treating the matter so lightly confirmed suspicion on both sides.
At this time all objects were so magnified and distorted by the mist
of prejudice, that no inexperienced eye could judge of their real
proportions. Neither party could believe the simple truth, that my
tardiness to act arose from the habitual _inertia_ of my mind and body.

Whilst prepossessions were thus strong, the time, the important time, in
Ireland the most important season of the year, the assizes, arrived.
My foster-brother's cause, or, as it was now generally called, _Lord
Glenthorn's_ cause, came on to be tried. I spared no expense, I spared
no exertions; I fee'd the ablest counsel; and not content with leaving
them to be instructed by my attorney, I explained the affair to them
myself with indefatigable zeal. One of the lawyers, whom I had seen, or
by whom I had been seen, in my former inert state of existence, at
some watering-place in England, could not refrain from expressing his
astonishment at my change of character; he could scarcely believe that
I was the same Lord Glenthorn, of whose indolence and ennui he had
formerly heard and seen so much.

Alas! all my activity, all my energy, on the present occasion, proved
ineffectual. After a dreadful quantity of false swearing, the jury
professed themselves satisfied; and, without retiring from the
box, acquitted the persons who had assaulted my foster-brother. The
mortification of this legal defeat was not all that I had to endure; the
victorious party mobbed me, as I passed some time afterwards through
a neighbouring town, where Captain Hardcastle and his friends had
been carousing. I was hooted, and pelted, and narrowly escaped with my
life--_I_ who, but a few months ago, had imagined myself possessed of
nearly despotic power: but opinions had changed; and on opinion
almost all power is founded. No individual, unless he possess uncommon
eloquence, joined to personal intrepidity, can withstand the combination
of numbers, and the force of prejudice.

Such was the result of my first public exertions! Yet I was now happier
and better satisfied with myself than I had ever been before. I was not
only conscious of having acted in a manly and generous manner, but the
alarms of the rebels, and of the French, and of the loyalists, and the
parading, and the galloping, and the quarrelling, and the continual
agitation in which I was kept, whilst my character and life were at
stake, relieved me effectually from the intolerable burden of ennui.


    "And, for the book of knowledge fair,
    Presented with an universal blank
    Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased."

Unfortunately _for me_, the rebellion in Ireland was soon quelled; the
nightly scouring of our county ceased; the poor people returned to
their duty and their homes; the occupation of upstart and ignorant
_associators_ ceased, and their consequence sunk at once. Things
and persons settled to their natural level. The influence of men of
property, and birth, and education, and character, once more prevailed.
The spirit of party ceased to operate: my neighbours wakened, as if from
a dream, and wondered at the strange injustice with which I had been
treated. Those who had lately been my combined enemies were disunited,
and each was eager to assure me that he had _always been privately
my friend_, but that he was compelled to conceal his sentiments: each
exculpated himself, and threw the blame on others: all apologized to me,
and professed to be my most devoted humble servants. My popularity, my
power, and my prosperity were now at their zenith, _unfortunately for
me;_ because my adversity had not lasted long enough to form and season
my character. I had been driven to exertion by a mixture of pride and
generosity; my understanding being uncultivated, I had acted from the
virtuous impulse of the moment, but never from rational motive, which
alone can be permanent in its operation. When the spur of the occasion
pressed upon me no longer, I relapsed into my former inactivity. When
the great interests and strong passions, by which I had been impelled
to exertion, subsided, all other feelings, and all less objects, seemed
stale, flat, and unprofitable. For the tranquillity which I was now left
to enjoy I had no taste; it appeared to me a dead calm, most spiritless
and melancholy.

I remember hearing, some years afterwards, a Frenchman, who had been in
imminent danger of been guillotined by Robespierre, and who at last was
one of those who arrested the tyrant, declare, that when the bustle and
horror of the revolution were over, he could hardly keep himself awake;
and that he thought it very insipid to live in quiet with his wife and
family. He further summed up the catalogue of Robespierre's crimes,
by exclaiming, "D'ailleurs c'étoit un grand philanthrope!" I am not
conscious of any disposition to cruelty, and I heard this man's speech
with disgust; yet upon a candid self-examination, I must confess, that
I have felt, though from different causes, some degree of what he
described. Perhaps _ennui_ may have had a share in creating revolutions.
A French author pronounces ennui to be "a moral indigestion, caused by a
monotony of situations!"

I had no wife or family to make domestic life agreeable: nor was I
inclined to a second marriage, my first had proved so unfortunate, and
the recollection of my disappointment with Lady Geraldine was so
recent. Even the love of power no longer acted upon me: my power was
now undisputed. My jealousy and suspicions of my agent, Mr. M'Leod,
were about this time completely conquered, by his behaviour at a general
election. I perceived that he had no underhand design upon my boroughs;
and that he never attempted or wished to interfere in my affairs,
except at my particular desire. My confidence in him became absolute
and unbounded; but this was really a misfortune to me, for it became the
cause of my having still less to do. I gave up all business, and
from all manner of trouble I was now free: yet I became more and more
unhappy, and my nervous complaints returned. I was not aware that I was
taking the very means to increase my own disease. The philosophical Dr.
Cullen observes, that "whatever aversion to application of any kind may
appear in hypochondriacs, there is nothing more pernicious to them than
absolute idleness, or a vacancy from all earnest pursuit. It is owing to
wealth admitting of indolence, and leading to the pursuit of transitory
and unsatisfying amusements, or exhausting pleasures only, that the
present times exhibit to us so many instances of hypochondriacism."

I fancied that change of air and change of place would do me good; and,
as it was fine summer weather, I projected various parties of pleasure.
The Giants' Causeway, and the Lake of Killarney, were the only things I
had ever heard mentioned as worth seeing in Ireland. I suffered myself
to be carried into the county of Antrim, and I saw the Giants' Causeway.
From the description given by Dr. Hamilton of some of these wonders of
nature, the reader may judge how much I _ought_ to have been astonished
and delighted.

In the bold promontory of Bengore, you behold, as you look up from
the sea, a gigantic colonnade of basaltes, supporting a black mass of
irregular rock, over which rises another range of pillars, "forming
altogether a perpendicular height of one hundred and seventy feet, from
the base of which the promontory, covered over with rock and grass,
slopes down to the sea, for the space of two hundred feet more: making,
in all, a mass of near four hundred feet in height, which, in the beauty
and variety of its colouring, in elegance and novelty of arrangement,
and in the extraordinary magnificence of its objects, cannot be

Yet I was seized with a fit of yawning, as I sat in my pleasure-boat,
to admire this sublime spectacle. I looked at my watch, observed that
we should be late for dinner, and grew impatient to be rowed back to the
place where we were to dine; not that I was hungry, but I wanted to be
again set in motion. Neither science nor taste expanded my view; and I
saw nothing worthy of my admiration, or capable of giving me pleasure.
The watching a straw floating down the tide was the only amusement I
recollect to have enjoyed upon this excursion.

I was assured, however, by Lady Ormsby, that I could not help being
enchanted with the Lake of Killarney. The party was arranged by this
lady, who, having the preceding summer seen me captivated by Lady
Geraldine, and pitying my disappointment, had formed the obliging design
of restoring my spirits, and marrying me to one of her near relatives.
She calculated, that as I had been charmed by Lady Geraldine's vivacity,
I must be enchanted with the fine spirits of Lady Jocunda Lawler. So far
were the thoughts of marriage from my imagination, that I only was sorry
to find a young lady smuggled into our party, because I was afraid
she would be troublesome: but I resolved to be quite passive upon all
occasions, where attentions to the fair sex are sometimes expected. My
arm, or my hand, or my assistance, in any manner, I was determined not
to offer: the lounging indifference which some fashionable young
men affect towards ladies, I really felt; and, besides, nobody minds
unmarried women! This fashion was _most convenient to my indolence. In
my state of torpor I was_ not, however, long left in peace. Lady Jocunda
was a high-bred romp, who made it a rule to say and do whatever she
pleased. In a hundred indirect ways I was called upon to admire her
charming spirits: but the rattling voice, loud laughter, flippant wit,
and hoyden gaiety, of Lady Jocunda, disgusted me beyond expression. A
thousand times on my journey I wished myself quietly asleep in my own
castle. Arrived at Killarney, such blowing of horns, such boating, such
seeing of prospects, such prosing of guides, all telling us what to
admire! Then such exclamations, and such clambering! I was walked and
talked till I was half-dead. I wished the rocks, and the hanging-woods,
and the glens, and the water-falls, and the arbutus, and the myrtles,
and the upper and lower lakes, and the islands, and Mucruss, and Mucruss
Abbey, and the purple mountain, and the eagle's nest, and the Grand
Turk, and the lights and the shades, and the echoes, and, above all, the
Lady Jocunda, fairly at the devil.

A nobleman in the neighbourhood had the politeness to invite us to see a
stag-hunt upon the water. The account of this diversion, which I had met
with in my Guide to the Lakes,[83] promised well. I consented to stay
another day: that day I really was revived by this spectacle, for it was
new. The sublime and the beautiful had no charms for me: novelty was the
only power that could waken me from my lethargy; perhaps there was in
this spectacle something more than novelty. The Romans had recourse
to shows of wild beasts and gladiators to relieve their ennui. At all
events, I was kept awake this whole morning, though I cannot say that I
felt in _such ecstasies as to be in any imminent danger of jumping out
of the boat_.

_Of our journey back from Killarney I remember nothing, but_ my being
discomfited by Lady Jocunda's practical jests and overpowering gaiety.
When she addressed herself to me, my answers were as constrained and
as concise as possible; and, as I was afterwards told, I seemed, at the
close of my reply to each interrogative of her ladyship's, to answer
with Odin's prophetess,

    "Now my weary lips I close;
    Leave me, leave me to repose."

This she never did till we parted; and, at that moment, I believe, my
satisfaction appeared so visible, that Lady Ormsby gave up all hopes of
me. Arrived at my own castle, I threw myself on my bed quite exhausted.
I took three hours' additional sleep every day for a week, to recruit my
strength, and rest my nerves, after all that I had been made to suffer
by this young lady's prodigious animal spirits.


I could now boast that I had travelled all over Ireland, from north
to south; but, in fact, I had seen nothing of the country or of its
inhabitants. In these commodious parties of pleasure, every thing
had been provided to prevent the obstacles that roused my faculties.
Accustomed by this time to the Hibernian tone, I fancied that I knew all
that could be known of the Irish character; familiarized with the comic
expressions of the lower class of people, they amused me no longer.
On this journey, however, I recollect making one observation, and
once laughing at what I thought a practical bull. We saw a number of
labourers at work in a bog, on a very hot day, with a fire lighted
close to them. When I afterwards mentioned, before Mr. M'Leod, this
circumstance, which I had thought absurd, he informed me that the Irish
labourers often light fires, that the smoke may drive away or destroy
those myriads of tiny flies, called _midges_, by which they are often
tormented so much, that without this remedy, they would, in hot and
damp weather, be obliged to abandon their work. Had I been sufficiently
active during my journey to pen a journal, I should certainly, without
further inquiry, have noted down, that the Irish labourers _always_
light fires in the hottest weather to cool themselves; and thus I should
have added one more to the number of cursory travellers, who expose
their own ignorance, whilst they attempt to ridicule local customs, of
which they have not inquired the cause, or discovered the utility.

A foreigner, who has lately written Letters on England, has given a
laughable instance of this promptitude of misapprehension. He says, he
had heard much of the venality of the British parliament, but he had
no idea of the degree to which it extended, till he actually was an
eye-witness of the scene. The moment the minister entered the House, all
the members ran about exclaiming, "Places! places!" which means, Give us
places--give us places.

My heavy indolence fortunately preserved me from exposing myself, like
these volatile tourists. I was at least secure from the danger of making
mistakes in telling what I never saw.

As to the mode of living of the Irish, their domestic comforts or
grievances, their habits and opinions, their increasing or decreasing
ambition to better their condition, the proportion between the
population and the quantity of land cultivated or capable of
cultivation, the difference between the profits of the husbandman and
the artificer, the relation between the nominal wages of labour and
the actual command over the necessaries of life;--these were questions
wholly foreign to my thoughts, and, at this period of my life,
absolutely beyond the range of my understanding. I had travelled through
my own country without making even a single remark upon the various
degrees of industry and civilization visible in different parts of
the kingdom. In fact, it never occurred to me that it became a British
nobleman to have some notion of the general state of that empire, in the
legislation of which he has a share; nor had I the slightest suspicion
that political economy was a study requisite or suitable to my rank in
life or situation in society. Satisfied with having seen all that is
worth seeing in Ireland, the Giants' Causeway and the Lake of Killarney,
I was now impatient to return to England. During the rebellion, I
could not, with honour, desert my post; but now that tranquillity was
apparently restored, I determined to quit a country of which my partial
knowledge had in every respect been unfortunate. This resolution of
mine to leave Ireland threw Ellinor into despair, and she used all her
eloquence to dissuade me from the journey. I was quite surprised by the
agony of grief into which she was thrown by the dread of my departure.
I felt astonished that one human being could be so attached to another,
and I really envied her sensibility. My new man, Joe Kelly, also
displayed much reluctance at the thoughts of leaving his native country;
and this sentiment inclined Ellinor to think more favourably of him,
though she could not quite forgive him for being a Kelly of Ballymuddy.

"Troth," said she to him one day, in my presence, "none of them Kellys
of Ballymuddy but what are a bad clan! Joey, is not there your own
_broder's_ uncle lying in the jail of ------ at this present time
for the murder of a woman?"--"Well," replied Joe, "and if he was so
unfortunate to be _put up_, which was not _asy_ done neither, is it
not better and more _creditabler_ to lie in a jail for a murder than
a robbery, I ask you?" This new scale of crimes surprised me; but Joe
spoke what was the sense of many of his countrymen at that period.

By various petty attentions, this man contrived to persuade me of the
sincerity of his attachment: chiefly by the art of appearing to be
managed by me in all things, he insensibly obtained power over my pride;
and, by saving me daily trouble, secured considerable influence over my
indolence. More than any one whom I had ever seen, he had the knack of
seeming half-witted--too simple to overreach, and yet sufficiently
acute and droll to divert his master. I liked to have him about me, as
uncultivated kings like to have their fools. One of our ancient monarchs
is said to have given three parishes to his _joculator_; I gave only
three farms to mine. I had a sort of mean pride in making my favourite
an object of envy: besides, I fell into the common mistake of the
inexperienced great, who fancy that attachment can be purchased, and
that gratitude can be secured, by favours disproportioned to deserts.
Joe Kelly, by sundry manoeuvres too minute for description, contrived
to make me delay, from day to day, the preparations for my journey
to England. From week to week it was put off till the autumn was far
advanced. At length Kelly had nothing left to _suggest_, but that it
would be best to wait for answers from my English steward to the letters
that had been written to inquire whether every thing was ready for my
reception. During this interval, I avoided every human creature (except
Joe Kelly), and was in great danger of becoming a misanthrope from mere
indolence. I did not hate my fellow-creatures, but I dreaded the trouble
of talking to them. My only recreation, at this period, was sauntering
out in the evening beside the sea-shore. It was my regular practice to
sit down upon a certain large stone, at the foot of a rock, to watch the
ebbing of the tide. There was something in the contemplation of the sea
and of the tides which was fascinating to my mind. I could sit and look
at the ocean whole hours together; for, without any exertion of my own,
I beheld a grand operation of nature, accompanied with a sort of vast
monotony of motion and sound, which lulled me into reverie.

Late one evening, as I was seated on my accustomed stone, my attention
was slightly diverted from the sea by the sight of a man descending
the crag above me, in rather a perilous manner. With one end of a rope
coiled round his body, and the other fastened to a stake driven into the
summit of the rock, he let himself half-way down the terrible height.
One foot now rested on a projecting point, one hand held the rope, and
hanging thus midway in the air, he seemed busy searching in the crevices
of the rock, for the eggs of water-fowl. This dangerous trade I had seen
frequently plied on this coast, so that I should scarcely have regarded
the man if he had not turned, from time to time, as if to watch me. When
he saw that he had fixed my eye, he threw down, as I thought, a white
stone, which fell nearly at my feet. I stooped to examine it; the man
waited till he saw it in my hands, then coiled himself swiftly up his
rope to the summit of the rock, and disappeared. I found a paper tied
round the stone, and on this paper, in a hand-writing that seemed to be
feigned, were written these words:--

"Your life and caracter, one or t'other--say both, is in danger. Don't
be walking here any more late in the evening, near them caves, nor don't
go near the old abbey, any time--And don't be trusting to Joe Kelly any
way--Lave the kingdom entirely; the wind sarves.

"So prays your true well-wisher.

"P.S. Lave the castle the morrow, and say nothing of this to Joe Kelly,
or you'll repent when it's all over wid you."

I was startled a little by this letter at first, but in half an hour
I relapsed into my apathy. Many gentlemen in the country had received
anonymous letters: I had been tired of hearing of them during the
rebellion. This, I thought, might be only a _quiz_, or a trick to
hurry me out of the kingdom, contrived by some of those who desired my
absence. In short, the labour of _thinking_ about the matter fatigued
me. I burned the letter as soon as I got home, and resolved not to
puzzle or plague myself about it any more. My steward's answer came the
next morning from England; Kelly made no difficulty, when I ordered him
to be ready to set out in three days. This confirmed me in my opinion
that the letter was malicious, or a jest. Mr. M'Leod came to take leave
of me. I mentioned the circumstance to him slightly, and in general
terms: he looked very serious, and said, "All these things are little in
themselves, but are to be heeded, as marking the unsettled minds of the
people--straws that show which way the wind blows. I apprehend we shall
have a rough winter again, though we have had so still a summer.
The people about us are too _hush_ and too prudent--it is not their
natures--there's something contriving among them: they don't break one
another's heads at fairs as they used to do; they keep from whiskey;
there must be some strong motive working this change upon them--good or
bad, 'tis hard to say which. My lord, if we consider the condition of
these poor people, and if we consider the causes--"

"Oh! for Heaven's sake, do not let us consider any more about it now; I
am more than half asleep already," said I, yawning; "and our considering
about it can do no good, to _me_ at least; for you know I am going out
of the kingdom; and when I am gone, M'Leod, you, in whom I have implicit
confidence, must manage as you always used to do, you know, and as well
as you can."

"True," said M'Leod, calmly, "that is what I shall do, indubitably; for
that is my duty, and since your lordship has implicit confidence in me,
my pleasure. I wish your lordship a good night and a good journey."

"I shall not set out in the morning; not till the day after to-morrow,
I believe," said I; "for I feel consumedly tired to-night: they have
plagued me about so many things to-day; so much business always before
one can get away from a place; and then Joe Kelly has no head."

"Have a care he has not too much head, my lord, as your anonymous
correspondent hints--he may be right there: I told you from the first
I would not go security for Joe Kelly's honesty; and where there is not
strict honesty, I conceive there ought not to be implicit confidence."

"Oh, hang it! as to honesty, they are none of them honest; I know
that: but would you have me plague myself till I find a strictly honest
servant? Joe's as honest as his neighbours, I dare say: the fellow
diverts me, and is attached to me, and that's all I can expect. I must
submit to be cheated, as all men of large fortunes are, more or less."

Mr. M'Leod listened with stubborn patience, and replied, that if I
thought it necessary to submit to be cheated he could make no objection,
except where it might come under his cognizance, and then he must take
the liberty to remonstrate, or to give up his agency to some of the
many, who could play better than he could the part of the dog in the
fable, _pretending_ to guard his master's meat.

The cold ungracious integrity of this man, even in my own cause, at once
excited my spleen and commanded my respect. After shaking my leg, as I
sat for two minutes in silence, I called after M'Leod, who moved towards
the door, "Why, what can I do, Mr. M'Leod? What would you have me do?
Now, don't give me one of your dry answers, but let me have your notions
as a friend: you know, M'Leod, I cannot help having the most perfect
confidence in you."

He bowed, but rather stiffly.

"I am proud to hear you cannot help that, my lord," said he. "As to a
friend, I never considered myself upon that footing till now: but, as
you at present honour me so far as to ask my counsel, I am free to give
it. Part with Joe Kelly to-night; and whether you go or stay, you are
safer without him. Joe's a rogue: he can do no good, and may do harm."

"Then," said I, "you are really frightened by this anonymous letter?"

"Cannot a man take prudent precautions without being frightened?" said

"But have you any particular reason to believe--in short to--to think,
there can be any real danger for my life?"

"No particular reason, my lord; but the general reasons I have
mentioned, the symptoms among the common people lead me to apprehend
there may be fresh _risings_ of the people soon; and you, as a man of
fortune and rank, must be in danger. Captain Hardcastle says that he has
had informations of seditious meetings; but, he being a prejudiced man,
I don't trust altogether to what he says."

"Trust altogether to what he says!" exclaimed I; "no, surely; for my
part, I do not trust a word he says; and his giving it as his opinion
that the people are ill-inclined would decide me to believe the exact

"It would hardly be safe to judge that way either," said M'Leod; "for
that method of judging by contraries might make another's folly the
master of one's own sense."

"I don't comprehend you now. Safe way of judging or not, Captain
Hardcastle's opinion shall never lead mine. When I asked for
your advice, Mr. M'Leod, it was because I have a respect for your
understanding; but I cannot defer to Captain Hardcastle's. I am now
decided in my own opinion, that the people in this neighbourhood are
perfectly well-disposed; and as to this anonymous letter, it is a mere
trick, depend upon it, my good sir. I am surprised that a man of your
capacity should be the dupe of such a thing; I should not be surprised
if Hardcastle himself, or some of his people, wrote it."

"I should," said M'Leod, coolly.

"You should!" cried I, warmly. "Why so? And why do you pronounce so
decidedly, my good friend? Have not I the same means of judging as
you have? unless, indeed, you have some private reason with which I am
unacquainted. Perhaps," cried I, starting half up from the sofa on which
I lay, charmed with a bright idea, which had just struck me, "perhaps,
M'Leod, you wrote the letter yourself for a jest. Did you?"

"That's a question, my lord," said M'Leod, growing suddenly red, and
snatching up his hat with a quicker motion than I ever saw from him
before, "that's a question, my lord, which I must take leave not to
answer; a question, give me leave to add, my Lord Glenthorn," continued
he, speaking in a broader Scotch accent than I had ever heard from
him before, "which I should knock my equal _doon_ for putting to me. A
M'Leod, my lord, in jest or in earnest, would scorn to write to any man
breathing that letter to which he would not put his name; and more, a
M'Leod would scorn to write or to say that thing, to which he ought not
to put his name. Your humble servant, my Lord Glenthorn," said he, and,
making a hasty bow, departed.

I called after him, and even followed him to the head of the stairs, to
explain and apologize; but in vain: I never saw him angry before.

"It's very weel, my lord, it's very weel; if you say you meant nothing
offensive, it's very weel; but if you think fit, my lord, we will sleep
upon it before we talk any more. I am a wee bit warmer than I could
wish, and your lordship has the advantage of me, in being cool. A M'Leod
is apt to grow warm, when he's touched on the point of honour; and
there's no wisdom in talking when a man's not his own master."

"My good friend," said I, seizing his hand as he was buttoning up his
coat, "I like you the better for this warmth; but I won't let you sleep
upon your wrath: you must shake hands with me before that hall-door is
opened to you."

"Then so I do, for there's no standing against this frankness; and, to
be as frank with you, my lord, I was wrong myself to be so testy--I ask
pardon, too. A M'Leod never thought it a disgrace to crave a pardon when
he was wrong."

We shook hands, and parted better friends than ever. I spoke the exact
truth when I said that I liked him the better for his warmth: his anger
wakened me, and gave me something to think of, and some emotion for a
few minutes. Joe Kelly presently afterwards came, with the simplest face
imaginable, to inquire what I had determined about the journey.

"To put it off till the day after to-morrow," said I. "Light me to bed."

He obeyed; but observed, that "it was not his fault now if there was
puttings-off; for his share, every thing was ready, and he was willing
and ready to follow me, at a moment's warning, to the world's end, as he
had a good right to do, let alone inclination; for, parting me, he could
never be right in himself: and though loth to part his country, he had
rather part that _nor_[84] me."

Then, without dwelling upon these expressions of attachment, he changed
to a merry mood, and by his drolleries diverted me all the time I was
going to bed, and at last fairly talked me asleep.


When the first grey light of morning began to make objects indistinctly
visible, I thought I saw the door of my apartment open very softly. I
was broad awake, and kept my eyes fixed upon it--it opened by very slow
degrees; my head was so full of visions, that I expected a ghost to
enter--but it was only Ellinor.

"Ellinor!" cried I; "is it you at this time in the morning?"

"Hush! hush!" said she, shutting the door with great precaution, and
then coming on tiptoe close to my bedside; "for the love of God, speak
softly, and make no stir to awake them that's asleep near and too near
you. It's unknown to all that I come up; for may be, when them people
are awake and about, I might not get the opportunity to speak, or they
might guess I knew something by my looks."

Her looks were full of terror--I was all amazement and expectation.
Before she would say a word more, she searched the closets carefully,
and looked behind the tapestry, as if she apprehended that she might be
overheard: satisfied that we were alone, she went on speaking, but still
in a voice that, with my utmost strained attention, I could but just

"As you hope to live and breathe," said she, "never go again after
night-fall any time walking in that lone place by the sea-shore. It's a
mercy you escaped as you did; but if you go again you'll never come back
alive--for never would they get you to do what they want, and to be as
wicked as themselves the wicked villains!"

"Who?" said I. "What wicked villains? I do not understand you; are you
in your right senses?"

"That I am, and wish you was as much in yours; but it's time yet, by the
blessing of God! What wicked villains am I talking of? Of three hundred
that have sworn to make you their captain, or, in case you refuse, to
have your life this night. What villains am I talking of? Of him, the
wickedest of all, who is now living in the very house with you, that is
now lying in the very next room to you."

"Joe Kelly?"

"That same. From the first minute I saw him in the castle, I should
have hated him, but for his causing you for to put off the journey to
England. I never could abide him; but that blinded me, or I am sure I
would have found him out long ago."

"And what have you found out concerning him?"

"That he is (speaking very low) a _united-man_, and stirring up the
_rubbles_ again here; and they have their meetings at night in the great
cave, where the smugglers used to hide formerly, under the big rock,
opposite the old abbey--and there's a way up into the abbey, that you
used to be so fond of walking to, dear."

"Good Heavens! can this be true?"

"True it is, and too true, dear."

"But how did you find all this out, Ellinor?"

"It was none of I found it, nor ever could any such things have come
into my head--but it pleased God to make the discovery of all by one of
the _childer_--my own grandson--the boy you gave the gun to, long and
long ago, to shoot them rabbits. He was after a hare yesterday, and it
took him a chase over that mountain, and down it went and took shelter
in the cave, and in went the boy after it, and as he was groping about,
he lights on an old great coat; and he brought it home with him, and was
showing it, as I was boiling the potatoes for their dinner yesterday, to
his father forenent me; and turning the pockets inside out, what should
come up but the broken head of a pipe; then he _sarches_ in the other
pocket, and finds a paper written all over--I could not read it--thank
God, I never could read none of them wicked things, nor could the
boy--by very great luck he could not, being no scholar, or it would be
all over the country before this."

"Well, well! but what was in the paper after all? Did any body read it?"

"Ay, did they--that is, Christy read it--none but Christy--but he would
not tell us what was in it--but said it was no matter, and he'd not be
wasting his time reading an old song--so we thought no more, and he sent
the boy up to the castle with a bill for smith's work, as soon as we had
eat the potatoes, and I thought no more about any thing's being going
wrong, no more than a child; and in the evening Christy said he must go
to the funeral of a neighbour, and should not be home till early in the
morning, may be; and it's not two hours since he came home and wakened
me, and told me where he had been, which was not to the funeral at all,
but to the cave where the coat was found; and he put the coat and the
broken head of the pike, and the papers all in the pockets, just as we
found it, in the cave--and the paper was a list of the names of them
_rubbles_ that met there, and a letter telling how they would make Lord
Glenthorn their captain, or have his life; this was what made Christy
to try and find out more--so he hid hisself in a hole in the side of the
cave, and built hisself up with rubbish, only just leaving a place for
hisself to breathe--and there he stayed till nightfall; and then on till
midnight, God help us! so sure enough, them villains all come filling
fast into the cave. He had good courage, God bless him for it--but he
always had--and there he heard and saw all--and this was how they were
talking:--First, one began by saying, how they must not be delaying
longer to show themselves; they must make a rising in the country--then
named the numbers in other parts that would join, and that they
would not be put down so _asy_ as afore, for they would have good
leaders--then some praised you greatly, and said they was sure you
favoured them in your heart, by all the ill-will you got in the county
the time of the last 'ruction. But, again, others said you was milk and
water, and did not go far enough, and never would, and that it was not
in you, and that you was a sleepy man, and not the true thing at all,
and neither beef nor _vael_. Again, thim that were for you spoke and
said you would show yourself soon--and the others made reply, and
observed you must now spake out, or never spake more; you must either
head 'em, or be tramped under foot along with the rest, so it did not
signify talking, and Joey Kelly should not be fribbling any more about
it; and it was a wonder, said they, he was not the night at the meeting.
And what was this about your being going off for England--what would
they do when you was gone with M'Leod the Scotchman, to come in over
them again agent, who was another guess sort of man from you, and never
slept at all, and would scent 'em out, and have his corps after 'em, and
that once M'Leod was master, there would be no making any head again his
head; so, not to be tiring you too much with all they said, backward and
forward, one that was a captain, or something that way, took the word,
and bid 'em all hold their peace, for they did not know what they was
talking on, and said that Joey Kelly and he had settled it all, and that
the going to England was put off by Joe, and all a sham, and that when
you would be walking out to-morrow at nightfall, in those lone places
by the sea-side or the abbey, he and Joe was to seize upon you, and when
you would be coming back near the abbey, to have you down through the
trap-door into the cave, and any way they would swear you to join and
head them, and if you would not, out with you, and shove you into the
sea, and no more about it, for it would be give out you drown' yourself
in a fit of the melancholy lunacy, which none would question, and it
would be proved too you made away wid yourself, by your hat and gloves
lying on the bank--Lord save us! What are you laughing at in that, when
it is truth every word, and Joe Kelly was to find the body, after a
great search. Well, again, say you would swear and join them, and head
them, and do whatever they pleased, still that would not save you in
the end; for they would quarrel with you at the first turn, because you
would not be ruled by them as captain, and then they would shoot or pike
you (God save the mark, dear), and give the castle to Joe Kelly, and the
plunder all among 'em entirely. So it was all laid out, and they are
all to meet in the cave to-morrow evening--they will go along bearing
a funeral, seemingly to the abbey-ground. And now you know the whole
truth, and the Lord preserve you! And what will be done? My poor head
has no more power to think for you no more than an infant's, and I'm all
in a tremble ever since I heard it, and afraid to meet any one lest they
should see all in my face. Oh, what will become of _yees_ now--they will
be the death of you, whatever you do!"

By the time she came to these last words, Ellinor's fears had so much
overpowered her, that she cried and sobbed continually, repeating--"What
will be done now! What will be done! They'll surely be the death of
you, whatever you do." As to me, the urgency of the danger wakened my
faculties: I rose instantly, wrote a note to Mr. M'Leod, desiring to
see him immediately on particular business. Lest my note should by any
accident be intercepted or opened, I couched it in the most general
and guarded terms; and added a request, that he would bring his last
settlement of accounts with him; so that it was natural to suppose my
business with him was of a pecuniary nature. I gradually quieted poor
Ellinor by my own appearance of composure: I assured her, that we should
take our measures so as to prevent all mischief--thanked her for the
timely warning she had given me--advised her to go home before she was
observed, and charged her not to speak to any one this day of what had
happened. I desired that as soon as she should see Mr. M'Leod coming
through the gate, she would send Christy after him to the castle, to get
his bill paid; so that I might then, without exciting suspicion, talk to
him in private, and we might learn from his own lips the particulars of
what he saw and heard in the cavern.

Ellinor returned home, promising to obey me exactly, especially as to my
injunction of secrecy--to make sure of herself she said "she would go to
bed straight, and have the rheumatism very bad all day; so as not to
be in a way to talk to none who would call in." The note to M'Leod was
despatched by one of my grooms, and I, returning to bed, was now left at
full leisure to finish my morning's nap.

Joe Kelly presented himself at the usual hour in my room; I turned my
head away from him, and, in a sleepy tone, muttered that I had passed a
bad night, and should breakfast in my own apartment.

Some time afterwards Mr. M'Leod arrived, with an air of sturdy pride,
and produced his accounts, of which I suffered him to talk, till the
servant who waited upon us had left the room; I then explained the real
cause of my sending for him so suddenly. I was rather vexed, that I
could not produce in him, by my wonderful narrative, any visible signs
of agitation or astonishment. He calmly observed--"We are lucky to have
so many hours of daylight before us. The first thing we have to do is to
keep the old woman from talking."

I answered for Ellinor.

"Then the next thing is for me, who am a magistrate, to take the
examinations of her son, and see if he will swear to the same that he

Christy was summoned into our presence, and he came with his _bill for
smith's work done_; so that the servants could have no suspicion of what
was going forward. His examinations were taken and sworn to in a
few minutes: his evidence was so clear and direct, that there was no
possibility of doubting the truth. The only variation between his story
and his mother's report to me was as to the numbers he had seen in the
cavern--her fears had turned thirteen into three hundred.

Christy assured us that there were but thirteen at this meeting, but
that they said there were three hundred ready to join them.

"You were a very bold fellow, Christy," said I, "to hazard yourself
in the cave with these villains; if you had been found out in your
hiding-place, they would have certainly murdered you."

"True for me." said Christy; "but a man must die some way, please your
honour; and where's the way I could die better? Sure, I could not
but remember how good you was to me that time I was shot, and all you
suffered for it! It would have been bad indeed if I would stay quiet,
and let 'em murder you after all. No, no, Christy O'Donoghoe would not
do that--any way. I hope, if there's to be any fighting, your honour
would not wrong me so much as not to give me a blunderbush, and let me
fight a bit along wid de rest for yees."

"We are not come to that yet, my good fellow," said Mr. M'Leod, who went
on methodically; "if you are precipitate, you will spoil all. Go home to
your forge, and work as usual, and leave the rest to us; and I promise
that you shall have your share, if there is any fighting."

Very reluctantly Christy obeyed. Mr. M'Leod then deliberately settled
our plan of operations. I had a fishing-lodge at a little distance,
and a pleasure-boat there: to this place M'Leod was to go, as if on
a fishing-party with his nephew, a young man, who often went there to
fish. They were to carry with them some yeomen in coloured clothes, as
their attendants, and more were to come as their guests to dinner. At
the lodge there was a small four-pounder, which had been frequently used
in times of public rejoicing; a naval victory, announced in the papers
of the day, afforded a plausible pretence for bringing it out. We were
aware that the rebels would be upon the watch, and therefore took every
precaution to prevent their suspecting that we had made any discovery.
Our fishing-party was to let the mock-funeral pass them quietly, to
ask some trifling questions, and to give money for pipes and tobacco.
Towards evening the boat, with the four-pounder on board, was to come
under shore, and at a signal given by me was to station itself opposite
to the mouth of the cave.

At the same signal a trusty man on the watch was to give notice to a
party hid in the abbey, to secure the trap-door above. The signal was to
be my presenting a pistol to the captain of the rebels, who intended
to meet and seize me on my return from my evening's walk. Mr. M'Leod at
first objected to my hazarding a meeting with this man; but I insisted
upon it, and I was not sorry to give a public proof of my loyalty, and
my personal courage. As to Joe Kelly, I also undertook to secure him.

Mr. M'Leod left me, and went to conduct his fishing-party. As soon as he
was gone, I sent for Joe Kelly to play on the flute to me. I guarded my
looks and voice as well as I could, and he did not see or suspect any
thing--he was too full of his own schemes. To disguise his own plots
he affected great gaiety; and to divert me, alternately played on the
flute, and told me good stories all the morning. I would not let him
leave me the whole day. Towards evening I began to talk of my journey to
England, proposed setting out the next morning, and sent Kelly to look
for some things in what was called _the strong closet_--a closet with
a stout door and iron-barred windows, out of which no mortal could make
his escape. Whilst he was busy searching in a drawer, I shut the door
upon him, locked it, and put the key into my pocket. As I left the
castle, I said in a jesting tone to some of the servants who met me--"I
have locked Joe Kelly up in the strong room; if he calls to you to let
him out never mind him; he will not get out till I come home from my
walk--I owe him this trick." The servants thought it was some jest, and
I passed on with my loaded pistols in my pocket. I walked for some
time by the sea-shore, without seeing any one. At last I espied our
fishing-boat, just peering out, and then keeping close to the shore. I
was afraid that the party would be impatient at not seeing my signal,
and would come out to the mouth of the cave, and show themselves too
soon. If Mr. M'Leod had not been their commander, this, as I afterwards
learned, would have infallibly happened; but he was so punctual, cool,
and peremptory, that he restrained the rest of the party, declaring
that, if it were till midnight, he would wait till the signal agreed
upon was given. At last I saw a man creeping out of the cave--I sat down
upon my wonted stone, and yawned as naturally as I could; then began to
describe figures in the sand with my stick, as I was wont to do, still
watching the image of the man in the water as he approached. He was
muffled up in a frieze great coat; he sauntered past, and went on to a
turn in the road, as if looking for some one. I knew well for whom he
was looking. As no Joe Kelly came to meet him, he returned in a few
minutes towards me. I had my hand upon the pistol in my pocket.

"You are my Lard Glenthorn, I presume," said he.

"I am."

"Then you will come with me, if you plase, my lard," said he.

"Make no resistance, or I will shoot you instantly," cried I, presenting
my pistol with one hand, and seizing him by the collar with the other.
I dragged him (for I had force enough, now my energy was roused) to the
spot appointed for my signal. The boat appeared opposite the mouth of
the cave. Every thing answered my expectation.

"There," said I, pointing to the boat, "there are my armed friends;
they have a four-pounder--the match is ready lighted--your plot is
discovered. Go in to your confederates in that cave; tell them so.
The trap-door is secured above; there is no escape for them: bid them
surrender: if they attempt to rush out, the grape shot will pour upon
them, and they are dead men."

I cannot say that my rebel captain showed himself as stout as I could
have wished, for the honour of my victory. The surprise disconcerted him
totally: I felt him tremble under my grasp. He obeyed my orders--went
into the cave to bring his associates to submission. His parley with
them, however, was not immediately successful: I suppose there were some
braver fellows than he amongst them, whose counsel might be for open
war. In the mean time our yeomen landed, and surrounded the cave on all
sides, so that there was no possibility of escape for those within. At
last they yielded themselves our prisoners. I am sorry I have no bloody
battle for the entertainment of such of my readers as like horrors; but
so it was, that they yielded without a drop of blood being spilled, or a
shot fired. We let them out of their hiding-place one by one, searching
each as he issued forth, to be secure that they had no concealed
weapons. After they had given up the arms which were concealed in the
cave, the next question was, what to do with our prisoners. As it was
now late, and they could not all be examined and committed with due
legal form to the county gaol, Mr. M'Leod advised that we should
detain them in the place they had chosen for themselves till morning.
Accordingly, in the cave we again stowed them, and left a guard at each
entrance to secure them for the night. We returned to the castle. I
stopped at the gate to tell Ellinor and Christy that I was safe. They
were sitting up watching for the news. The moment Ellinor saw me, she
clasped her hands in an ecstasy of joy, but could not speak. Christy was
voluble in his congratulations; but, in the midst of his rejoicing,
he could not help reproaching me with forgetting to give him the
_blunderbush_, and to let him have a bit of the fighting. "Upon my
honour," said I, "there was none, or you should have been there."

"Oh, don't be plaguing and gathering round him now," said Ellinor: "sure
he is tired, and look how hot--no wonder--let him get home and to bed:
I'll run and warm it with the pan myself, and not be trusting them."

She would not be persuaded that I did not desire to have my bed warmed,
but, by some short cut, got in before us. On entering the castle-hall,
I found her, with the warming-pan in her hand, held back by the
inquisitive servants, who were all questioning her about the news, of
which she was the first, and not very intelligible enunciator.

I called for bread and water for my prisoner in the strong-room, and
then I heard various exclamations of wonder.

"Ay, it is all true! it is no jest! Joe is at the bottom of all. _I_
never liked Joe Kelly--_I_ always knew Joe was not the right thing--and
_I_ always said so; and I, and I, and I. And it was but last week I was
saying so: and it was but yesterday _I_ said so and so."

I passed through the gossiping crowd with bread and water for my
culprit. McLeod instantly saw and followed me.

"I will make bold to come with you," said he; "a pent rat's a dangerous
animal."--I thanked him, and acquiesced; but there was no need for
the precaution. When we opened the door, we found the conscience or
terror-struck wretch upon his knees, and in the most abject terms he
implored for mercy. From the windows of the room, which looked into the
castle-yard, he had heard enough to guess all that had happened. I could
not bear to look at him. After I had set down his food, he clung to
my knees, crying and whining in a most unmanly manner. McLeod, with
indignation, loosened him from me, threw him back, and locked the door.

"Cowardice and treachery," said he, "usually go together."

"And courage and sincerity," said I. "And now we'll go to supper, my
good friends. I hope you are all as hungry as I am."

I never did eat any meal with so much appetite.

"Tis a pity, my lord," said McLeod, "but that there was a conspiracy
against you every day of your life, it seems to do you so much good."


"What new wonders? What new misfortunes, Ellinor?" said I, as Ellinor,
with a face of consternation, appeared again in the morning in my room,
just as I was going down to breakfast: "what new misfortunes, Ellinor?"

"Oh! the worst that could befall me!" cried she, wringing her hands;
"the worst, the very worst!--to be the death of my own child!" said
she, with inexpressible horror. "Oh! save him! save him! for the love
of heaven, dear, save him! If you don't save him, 'tis I shall be his

She was in such agony, that she could not explain herself farther for
some minutes.

"It was I gave the information against them all to you. But how could
I ever have thought Owen was one of them? My son, my own son, the
unfortunate cratur; I never thought but what he was with the militia far
away. And how could it ever come into my head that Owen could have any
hand in a thing of the kind?"

"But I did not see him last night," interrupted I.

"Oh! he was there! One of his own friends, one of the military that went
with you, saw him among the prisoners, and came just now to tell me of
it. That Owen should be guilty of the like!--Oh! what could have come
over him! He must have been out of his _rason_. And against you to be
plotting! That's what I never will believe, if even I'd hear it from
himself. But he's among them that were taken last night. And will I
live to see him go to gaol?--and will I live to see--No, I'd rather die
first, a thousand and a thousand times over. Oh! for mercy's sake!" said
she, dropping on her knees at my feet, "have pity on me, and don't let
the blood of my own child be upon me in my old days."

"What would you have me do, Ellinor?" said I, much moved by her

"There is but one thing to do," said she. "Let him off: sure a word from
you would be enough for the soldiers that are over them on guard. And
Mr. McLeod has not yet seen him; and if he was just let escape, there
would be no more about it; and I'd I engage he shall fly the country,
the unfortunate cratur! and never trouble you more. This is all I ask:
and sure, dear, you can't refuse it to your own Ellinor; your old nurse,
that carried ye in her arms, and fed ye with her milk, and watched over
ye many's the long night, and loved ye; ay, none ever loved, or could
love ye so well."

"I am sensible of it; I am grateful," interrupted I; "but what you ask
of me, Ellinor, is impossible--I cannot let him escape; but I will do my

"Troth, nothing will save him, if you would not say the word for him
now. Ah! why cannot you let him off, then?"

"I should lose my honour; I should lose my character. You know that
I have been accused of favouring the rebels already--you saw the
consequences of my protecting your other son, though he was innocent and
injured, and bore an excellent character."

"Christy; ay, true: but poor Owen, unlucky as he is, and misguided, has
a better claim upon you."

"How can that be? Is not the other my foster-brother, in the first

"True for him."

"And had not I proofs of his generous conduct and attachment to me?"

"Owen is naturally fonder of you by a great deal," interrupted she;
"I'll answer for that."

"What! when he has just been detected in conspiring against my life?"

"That's what I'll never believe," cried Ellinor, vehemently: "that he
might be drawn in, may be, when out of his _rason_--he was always a wild
boy--to be a united-man, and to hope to get you for his captain, might
be the case, and bad enough that; but, jewel, you'll find he did never
conspire against you: I'd lay down my life upon that."

She threw herself again at my feet, and clung to my knees.

"As you hope for mercy yourself in this world, or the world to come,
show some now, and do not be so hard-hearted as to be the death of both
mother and son."

Her supplicating looks and gestures, her words, her tears, moved me so
much, that I was on the point of yielding; but recollecting what was
due to justice and to my own character, with an effort of what I thought
virtuous resolution, I repeated, "It is impossible: my good Ellinor,
urge me no farther: ask any thing else, and it shall be granted, but
this is impossible."

As I spoke, I endeavoured to raise her from the ground; but with the
sudden force of angry despair, she resisted.

"No, you shall not raise me," cried she. "Here let me lie, and break my
heart with your cruelty! 'Tis a judgment upon me--it's a judgment, and
it's fit I should feel it as I do. But you shall feel too, in spite of
your hard heart. Yes, your heart is harder than the marble: you want the
natural touch, you do; for your mother has knelt at your feet, and you
have denied her prayer."

"My mother!"

"And what was her prayer?--to save the life of your brother."

"My brother! Good heavens! what do I hear?"

"You hear the truth: you hear that I am your lawful mother. Yes, you
are my son. You have forced that secret from me, which I thought to have
carried with me to my grave. And now you know all: and now you know how
wicked I have been, and it was all for you; for you that refused me the
only thing ever I asked, and that, too, in my greatest distress, when
my heart was just breaking: and all this time too, there's Christy--poor
good Christy; he that I've wronged, and robbed of his rightful
inheritance, has been as a son, a dutiful good son to me, and never did
he deny me any thing I could ask; but in you I have found no touch of
tenderness. Then it's fit I should tell you again, and again, and again,
that he who is now slaving at the forge, to give me the earnings of his
labour; he that lives, and has lived all his days, upon potatoes and
salt, and is content; he who has the face and the hands so disguised
with the smoke and the black, that yourself asked him t'other day did
he ever wash his face since he was born--I tell ye, he it is who should
live in this castle, and sleep on that soft bed, and be lord of all
here--he is the true and real Lord Glenthorn, and to the wide world I'll
make it known. Ay, be pale and tremble, do; it's your turn now: I've
touched you now: but it's too late. In the face of day I shall confess
the wrong I've done; and I shall call upon you to give back to him all
that by right is his own."

Ellinor stopped short, for one of my servants at this instant came into
the room.

"My lord, Mr. McLeod desires me to let you know the guard has brought up
the prisoners, and he is going to commit them to gaol, and would be glad
to know if you choose to see them first, my lord."

Stupified by all I had just heard, I could only reply, that I would come
presently. Ellinor rushed past the servant,--"Are they come?" cried she.
"Where will I get a sight of them?" I stayed for a few minutes alone, to
decide upon what I ought to say and do. A multitude of ideas, more than
had ever come in my mind in a twelvemonth, passed through it in these
few minutes.

As I was slowly descending the great staircase, Ellinor came running,
as fast as she could run, to the foot of the stairs, exclaiming, "It's
a mistake! it's all a mistake, and I was a fool to believe them that
brought me the word. Sure Ody's not there at all! nor ever was in it.
I've seen them all, face to face; and my son's not one of them, nor
ever was: and I was a fool from beginning to end--and I beg your pardon
entirely," whispered she, coming close to my ear: "I was out of my
reason at the thought of that boy's being to suffer, and I, his mother,
the cause of it. Forgive all I said in my passion, my own best jewel:
you was always good and tender to me, and be the same still, dear. I'll
never say a word more about it to any one living: the secret shall die
with me. Sure, when my conscience has borne it so long, it may strive
and bear it a little longer for your sake: and it can't be long I have
to live, so that will make all easy. Hark! they are asking for you. Do
you go your ways into the great parlour, to Mr. McLeod, and think no
more of any thing at all but joy. My son's not one of them! I must go to
the forge, and tell Christy the good news."

Ellinor departed, quite satisfied with herself, with me, and with all
the world. She took it for granted that she left me in the same state of
mind, and that I should obey her injunctions, and _think of nothing but
joy_. Of what happened in the great parlour, and of the examinations of
the prisoners, I have but a confused recollection. I remember that Mr.
McLeod seemed rather surprised by my indifference to what concerned me
so nearly; and that he was obliged to do all the business himself. The
men were, I believe, all committed to gaol, and Joe Kelly turned king's
evidence; but as to any further particulars, I know no more than if I
had been in a dream. The discovery which Ellinor had just made to me
engrossed all my powers of attention.


"Le vrai n'est pas toujours vraisemblable," says an acute observer of
human affairs. The romance of real life certainly goes beyond all other
romances; and there are facts which few writers would dare to put into a
book, as there are skies which few painters would venture to put into a

When I had leisure to reflect, I considered, that as yet I had no proof
of the truth of Ellinor's strange story, except her own assertions. I
sent for her again, to examine her more particularly. I was aware that,
if I alarmed her, I should so confuse her imagination, that I should
never obtain the truth; therefore I composed myself, and assumed my
usual external appearance of nonchalance. I received her lolling upon
my sofa, as usual, and I questioned her merely as if to gratify an idle

"Troth, dear," said she, "I'll tell you the whole story how it was, to
make your mind asy, which, God knows, mine never was, from that minute
it first came into my head, till this very time being. You mind the time
you got the cut in your head--no, not you, jewel; but the little
lord that was then, Christy there below that is.--Well, the cut was
a terrible cut as ever you seen, got by a fall on the fender from the
nurse's arms, that was drunk, three days after he was born."

"I remember to have heard my father talk of some accident of this sort,
which happened to me when I was an infant."

"Ay, sure enough it did, and that was what first put him in the notion
of taking the little lord out of the hands of the Dublin nurse-tenders,
and them that were about my Lady Glenthom, and did not know how to
manage her, which was the cause of her death: and he said he'd have
his own way about his son and heir any way, and have him nursed by a
wholesome woman in a cabin, and brought up hardy, as he, and the old
lord, and all the family, were before him. So with that he sends for me,
and he puts the young lord, God bless him, into my arms himself, and a
_donny_ thing he was that same time to look at, for he was but just out
of the surgeon's hands, the head just healed and scarred over like; and
my lord said there should be no more doctors never about him. So I took
him, that is, Christy, and you, to a house at the sea, for the salt
water, and showed him every justice; and my lord often came to see him
whilst he was in the country; but then he was off, after a time, to
Dublin, and I was in a lone place, where nobody came, and the child was
very sick with me, and you was all the time as fine and thriving a child
as ever you see; and I thought, to be sure, one night, that he would die
wid me. He was very bad, very bad indeed; and I was sitting up in bed,
rocking him backwards and forwards this ways: I thought with myself,
what a pity it was, the young lord should die, and he an only son and
heir, and the estate to go out of the family the Lord knows where; and
then the grief the father would be in: and then I thought how happy he
would be if he had such a fine _babby_ as you, dear; and you was a fine
_babby_ to be sure: and then I thought how happy it would be for you, if
you was in the place of the little lord: and then it came into my head,
just like a shot, where would be the harm to change you? for I thought
the real lord would surely die; and then, what a gain it would be to
all, if it was never known, and if the dead child was carried to the
grave, since it must go, as only poor Ellinor O'Donoghoe's, and no more
about it. Well, if it was a wicked thought, it was the devil himself put
it in my head, to be sure; for, only for him, I should never have had
the sense to think of such a thing, for I was always innocent like, and
not worldly given. But so it was, the devil put it in my head, and made
me do it, and showed me how, and all in a minute. So, I mind, your eyes
and hair were both of the very same colour, dear; and as to the rest,
there's no telling how those young things alter in a few months, and
my lord would not be down from Dublin in a hurry, so I settled it all
right; and as there was no likelihood at all the real lord would live,
that quieted my conscience; for I argued, it was better the father
should have any sort of child at all than none. So, when my lord came
down, I carried him the child to see, that is you, jewel. He praised me
greatly for all the care I had taken of his boy; and said, how finely
you was come on! and I never see a father in greater joy; and it would
have been a sin, I thought, to tell him the truth, after he took the
change that was put upon him so well, and it made him so happy like.
Well, I was afeard of my life he'd pull off the cap to search for the
scar, so I would not let your head be touched any way, dear, saying it
was tinder and soft still with the fall, and you'd cry if the cap was
stirred; and so I made it out indeed, very well; for, God forgive me,
I twitched the string under your chin, dear, and made you cry like mad,
when they would come to touch you. So there was no more about it, and I
had you home to myself, and, all in good time, the hair grew, and fine
thick hair it was, God bless you; and so there was no more about it, and
I got into no trouble at all, for it all fell out just as I had laid it
out, except that the real little young lord did not die as I thought;
and it was a wonder but he did, for you never saw none so near death,
and backwards and forwards, what turns of sickness he took with me for
months upon months, and year after year, so that none could think, no
more than me, there was any likelihood at all of rearing him to man's
estate. So that kept me easier in my mind concerning what I'd done; for
as I kept saying to myself, better the family should have an heir to the
estate, suppose not the right, than none at all; and if the father, nor
nobody, never found it out, there was he and all the family made happy
for life, and my child made a lord of, and none the wiser or the worse.
Well, so I down-argued my conscience; and any way I took to little
Christy, as he was now to be called--and I loved him, all as one as if
he was my own--not that he was ever as well-looking as Ody, or any of
the childer I had, but I never made any differ betwixt him and any of my
own--he can't say as I did, any how, and he has no reason to complain of
my being an unnat'ral mother to him, and being my foster-child I had a
right to love him as I did, and I never wronged him in any way, except
in the one article of changing him at nurse, which he being an infant,
and never knowing, wa" never a bit the worse for, nor never will, now.
So all's right^ dear, and make your mind asy, jewel; there's the whole
truth of the story, for you."

"But it is a very strange story, Ellinor, after all, and--and I have
only your word for it, and may be you are only taking advantage of my
regard for you to make me believe you."

"What is it, plase your honour?" said she, stepping forward, as if she
did not hear or understand me.

"I say, Ellinor, that after all I have no proof of the truth of this
story, except your word."

"And is not that enough? and where's the use of having more? but if it
will make you asy, sure I can give you proof--sure need you go farther
than the scar on his head? If he was shaved to-morrow, I'd engage you'd
see it fast enough. But sure, can't you put your hand up to your head
this minute, and feel there never was no scar there, nor if all the hair
you have, God save the mark, was shaved this minute, never a bit of a
scar would be to be seen: but proof is it you want?--why, there's the
surgeon that dressed the cut in the child's head, before he ever came to
me; sure he's the man that can't forget it, and that will tell all: so
to make your mind asy, see him, dear; but for your life don't let him
see your head to feel it, for he'd miss the scar, and might suspect
something by your going to question him."

"Where does he live?" interrupted I.

"Not above twelve miles off."

"Is he alive?"

"Ay, if he been't dead since Candlemas."

At first I thought of writing to this man; but afterwards, being afraid
of committing myself by writing, I went to him: he had long before this
time left off business, and had retired to enjoy his fortune in the
decline of life. He was a whimsical sort of character; he had some
remains of his former taste for anatomy, and was a collector of
curiosities. I found him just returned from a lake which he had been
dragging for a moose-deer's horns, to complete the skeleton of a
moose-deer, which he had mounted in his hall. I introduced myself,
desiring to see his museum, and mentioned to him the thigh-bone of
a giant found in ray neighbourhood; then by favour of this bone I
introduced the able cure that he had made of a cut in my head, when I
was a child.

"A cut in your head, sir? Yes, my lord, I recollect perfectly well, it
was a very ugly cut, especially in an infant's head; but I am glad to
find you feel no bad effects from it. Have you any cicatrice on the
place?--Eleven feet high, did you say? and is the giant's skeleton in
your neighbourhood?"

I humoured his fancy, and by degrees he gave me all the information I
wanted without in the least suspecting my secret motives. He described
the length, breadth, and depth, of the wound to me; showed me just where
it was on the head, and observed that it must have left an indelible
mark, but that my fine hair covered it. When he seemed disposed to
search for it, I defended myself with the giant's thigh-bone, and warded
off his attacks most successfully. To satisfy myself upon this point, I
affected to think that he had not been paid: he said he had been amply
paid, and he showed me his books to prove it. I examined the dates, and
found that they agreed with Ellinor's precisely. On my return home, the
first thing I did was to make Christy a present of a new wig, which
I was certain would induce him to shave his head; for the lower Irish
agree with the beaux and belles of London and Paris, in preferring wigs
to their own hair. Ellinor told me, that I might safely let his head be
shaved, because to her certain knowledge, he had scars of so many cuts
which he had received at fairs upon his skull, that there would appear
nothing particular _in one more or less_. As soon as the head was
shaved, and the wig was worn, I took an opportunity one day of stopping
at the forge to have one of my horse's shoes changed; and whilst this
was doing, I took notice of his new wig, and how well it fitted him.
As I expected, he took it off to show it me better, and to pay his own
compliments to it.

"Sure enough, you are a very fine wig," said he, apostrophising it as he
held it up on the end of his hammer; "and God bless him that give it me,
and it fits me as if it was nailed to my head."

"You seem to have had a good many nails in your head already, Christy,"
said I, "if one may judge by all these scars."

"Oh yes, please your honour, my lord," said he, "there's no harm in them
neither; they are scratches got when I was no wiser than I should be, at
fairs, fighting with the boys of Shrawd-na-scoob."

Whilst he fought his battles o'er again, I had leisure to study his
head; and I traced precisely all the boundary lines. The situation,
size, and figure of the cicatrice, which the surgeon and Ellinor had
described to me, were so visible and exact, that no doubt could remain
in my mind of Christy's being the real son of the late Lord and Lady
Glenthorn. This conviction was still more impressed upon my mind a few
days afterwards. I recollected having seen a file of family pictures in
a lumber-room in the castle; and I rummaged them out to see if I could
discover amongst them any likeness to Christy: I found one; the picture
of my grandfather,--I should say, of _his_ grandfather, to which Christy
bore a striking resemblance, when I saw him with his face washed, and in
his Sunday clothes.

My mind being now perfectly satisfied of the truth of Ellinor's story,
I was next to consider how I ought to act. To be or not to be Lord
Glenthorn, or, in other words, to be or not to be a villain, was now the
question. I could not dissemble to my conscience this plain state of the
case, that I had no right to keep possession of that which I knew to be
another's lawful property; yet, educated as I had been, and accustomed
to the long enjoyment of those luxuries, which become necessaries to the
wealthy; habituated to attendance as I had been; and, even amongst the
dissipated and idle, notorious for extravagance the most unbounded and
indolence the most inveterate; how was I at once to change my habits, to
abdicate my rank and power, to encounter the evils of poverty? I was
not compelled to make such sacrifices; for though Ellinor's transient
passion had prompted her to threaten me with a public discovery, yet I
knew that she would as soon cut off her own right hand as execute her
threats. Her affection for me, and her pride in my consequence, were so
strong, that I knew I might securely rely upon her secrecy. The horrid
idea of being the cause of the death of one of her own children had for
a moment sufficient power to balance her love for me; yet there was but
little probability that any similar trial should occur, nor had I reason
to apprehend that the reproaches of her conscience should induce her to
make a voluntary discovery; for all her ideas of virtue depended on the
principle of fidelity to the objects of her affection, and no
scrupulous notions of justice disturbed her understanding or alarmed her
self-complacency. Conscious that she would willingly sacrifice all she
had in the world for any body she loved, and scarcely comprehending that
any one could be selfish, she, in a confused way, applied the maxim of
"Do as you would be done by," and was as generous of the property of
others as of her own. At the worst, if a law-suit commenced against
me, I knew that possession was nine points of the law. I also knew that
Ellinor's health was declining, and that the secret would die with her.
Unlawful possession of the wealth I enjoyed could not, however, satisfy
my own mind; and, after a severe conflict between my love of ease and my
sense of right--between my tastes and my principles--I determined to
act honestly and honourably, and to relinquish what I could no longer
maintain without committing injustice, and feeling remorse. I was,
perhaps, the more ready to do rightly because I felt that I was not
compelled to it. The moment when I made this virtuous decision was the
happiest I had at that time ever felt: my mind seemed suddenly relieved
from an oppressive weight; my whole frame glowed with new life; and
the consciousness of courageous integrity elevated me so much in my own
opinion, that titles, and rank, and fortune, appeared as nothing in my
estimation. I rang my bell eagerly, and ordered that Christy O'Donoghoe
should be immediately sent for. The servant went instantly; but it
seemed to me an immoderately long time before Christy arrived. I walked
up and down the room impatiently, and at last threw myself at full
length upon the sofa: the servant returned.

"The smith is below in the hall, my lord."

"Show him up."--He was shown up into the ante-chamber.

"The smith is at the door, my lord."

"Show him in, cannot you? What detains him?"

"My brogues, my lord! I'd be afraid to come in with 'em on the carpet."
Saying this, Christy came in, stepping fearfully, astonished to find
himself in a splendid drawing-room.

"Were you never in this room before, Christy?" said I.

"Never, my lord, plase your honour, barring the day I mended the bolt."

"It is a fine room, is not it, Christy?"

"Troth, it is the finest ever I see, sure enough."

"How should you like to have such a room of your own, Christy?"

"Is it I, plase your honour?" replied he, laughing; "what should I do
with the like?"

"How should you feel if you were master of this great castle?"

"It's a poor figure I should make, to be sure," said he, turning his
head over his shoulder towards the door, and resting upon the lock: "I'd
rather be at the forge by a great _dale_."

"Are you sure of that, Christy? Should not you like to be able to live
without working any more, and to have horses and servants of your own?"

"What would I do with them, plase your honour, I that have never been
used to them? sure they'd all laugh at me, and I'd not be the better o'
that, no more than of having nothing to do; I that have been always
used to the work, what should I do all the day without it? But sure,
my lord," continued he, changing his voice to a more serious tone, "the
horse that I shod yesterday for your honour did not go lame, did he?"

"The horse is very well shod, I believe; I have not ridden him since: I
know nothing of the matter."

"Because I was thinking, may be, it was that made your honour send for
me up in the hurry--I was afeard I'd find your honour mad with me; and
I'd be very sorry to disoblige you, my lord; and I'm glad to see your
honour looking so well after all the trouble you've been put to by them
_rubbles_, the villains, to be _consarting_ against you under-ground.
But, thanks be to God, you have 'em all in gaol now. I thought my mother
would have died of the fright she took, when the report came that Ody
was one of them. I told her there could not be no truth in it at all,
but she would not mind me: it would be a strange unnatural thing,
indeed, of any belonging to her to be plotting against your honour. I
knew Ody could not be in it, and be a brother of mine; and that's what
I kept saying all the time but she never heeded me: for, your honour
knows, when the women are frighted, and have taken a thing into their
heads, you can't asy get it out again."

"Very true: but to return to what I was saying, should not you like to
change places with me, if you could?"

"Your honour, my lord, is a very happy jantleman, and a very good
jantleman, there's no doubt, and there's few but would be proud to be
like you in any thing at all."

"Thank you for that compliment. But now, in plain English, as to
yourself, would you like to be in my place--to change places with me?"

"In your honour's place--I! I would _not_, my lord; and that's the
truth, now," said he, decidedly. "I would not: no offence--your honour
bid me to speak the truth; for I've all I want in the world, a good
mother, and a good wife, and good _childer_, and a reasonable good
little cabin, and my little _pratees_, and the grazing of the cow, and
work enough always, and not called on to slave, and I get my health,
thank God for all; and what more could I have if I should be made a lord
to-morrow? Sure, my good woman would never make a lady; and what should
I do with her? I'd be grieved to see her the laughing-stock of high
and low, besides being the same myself, and my boy after me. That would
never answer for me; so I am not like them that would overturn all to
get uppermost; I never had any hand, art, or part, in a thing of the
kind; I always thought and knew I was best as I am; not but what, if
I was to change with any, it is with you, my lord, I would be proud to
change; because if I was to be a jantleman at all, I'd wish to be of a
_ra-al_ good _ould_ family born."

"You are then what you wish to be?" said I.

"Och!" said he, laughing and scratching his head, "your honour's jesting
me about them kings of Ireland, that they say the O'Donoghoes was once:
but that's what I never think _on_, that's all idle talk for the like of
me, for sure that's a long time ago, and what use going back to it? One
might as well be going back to Adam, that was the father of all, but
which makes no differ now."

"But you do not understand me," interrupted I; "I am not going back
to the kings of Ireland: I mean to tell you, that you were born a
gentleman--nay, I am perfectly serious; listen to me."

"I do, plase your honour, though it is mocking me, I know you are; I
would be sorry not to take a joke as well as another."

"This is no joke; I repeat that I am serious. You are not only a
gentleman, but a nobleman: to you this castle and this great estate
belongs, and to you they shall be surrendered."

He stood astonished; and, his eyes opening wide, showed a great circle
of white in his black face.

"Eh!" cried he, drawing that long breath, which astonishment had
suppressed. "But how can this be?"

"Your mother can explain better than I can: your mother, did I say? she
is not your mother; Lady Glenthorn was your mother."

"I can't understand it at all--I can't understand it at all. I'll lave
it all to your honour," said he, making a motion with his hands, as if
to throw from him the trouble of comprehending it.

"Did you never hear of such a thing as a child's being changed at

"I did, plase your honour; but _my_ mother would never do the like, I'll
answer for _her_, any way; and them that said any thing of the kind,
belied her; and don't be believing them, my lord."

"But Ellinor was the person who told me this secret."

"Was she so? Oh, she must have been _draaming_; she was always too good
a mother to me to have sarved me so. But," added he, struggling to clear
his intellects, "you say it's not my mother she is; but whose mother is
she then? Can it be that she is yours? 'tis not possible to think such a
great lord was the son of such as her, to look at you both: and was you
the son of my father Johnny O'Donoghoe? How is that again?"

He rubbed his forehead; and I could scarcely forbear laughing at his odd
perplexity, though the subject was of such serious importance. When he
clearly understood the case, and thoroughly believed the truth, he did
not seem elated by this sudden change of fortune; he really thought more
of me than of himself.

"Well, I'll tell you what you will do then," continued he, after a pause
of deep reflection; "say nothing to nobody, but just keep asy on, even
as we are. Don't let there be any surrendering at all, and I'll speak to
my mother, that is, Ellinor O'Donoghoe, and settle it so; and let it
be so settled, in the name of God, and no more about it: and none need
never be the wiser; 'tis so best for all. A good day to your honour, and
I'll go shoe the mare."

"Stay," said I; "you may hereafter repent of this sudden determination.
I insist upon your taking four-and-twenty hours--no, that would be too
little--take a month to consider of it coolly, and then let me know your
final determination."

"Oh! plase your honour, I will say the same then as now. It would be
a poor thing indeed of me, after all you done for me and mine, to be
putting you to more trouble. It would be a poor thing of me to forget
how you liked to have lost your life all along with me at the time of
the 'ruction. No, I'll not take the fortin from you, any how."

"Put gratitude to me out of the question," said I. "Far be it from me
to take advantage of your affectionate temper. I do not consider you as
under any obligations to me; nor will I be paid for doing justice."

"Sure enough, your honour desarved to be born a gentleman," said

"At least I have been bred a gentleman," said I. "Let me see you again
this day month, and not till then."

"You shall not--that is, you _shall_, plase your honour: but for fear
any one would suspect any thing, I'd best go shoe the mare, any way."


    "What riches give us, let us then inquire--
    Meat, fire, and clothes--What more?--Meat, clothes, and fire."

The philosophy we learn from books makes but a faint impression upon the
mind, in comparison with that which we are taught by our own experience;
and we sometimes feel surprised to find that what we have been taught as
maxims of morality prove true in real life. After having had, for many
years, the fullest opportunities of judging of the value of riches,
when I reflected upon my past life, I perceived that their power
of conferring happiness is limited, nearly as the philosophic poet
describes; that all the changes and modifications of luxury must, in
the sum of actual physical enjoyment, be reduced to a few elementary
pleasures, of which the industrious poor can obtain their share: a small
share, perhaps; but then it is enjoyed with a zest that makes it equal
in value perhaps to the largest portion offered to the sated palate of
ennui. These truths are as old as the world; but they appeared quite new
to me, when I discovered them by my own experience.

During the month which I had allowed to my foster-brother for
reflection, I had leisure to philosophize, and my understanding made
a rapid progress. I foresaw the probability of Christy's deciding to
become Earl of Glenthorn; notwithstanding that his good sense had so
clearly demonstrated to him in theory, that, with his education and
habits, he must be happier working in his forge than he could be as lord
of Glenthorn Castle. I was not dismayed by the idea of losing my wealth
and rank; I was pleased with myself for my honest conduct, and conscious
of a degree of pleasure from my own approbation, superior to what my
riches had ever procured.

The day appointed for Christy's final determination arrived. I knew
by the first motion of his shoulder as he came into the room, what his
decision would be.

"Well, Christy," said I, "you will be Earl of Glenthorn, I perceive. You
are glad now that I did not take you at your word, and that I gave you a
month's time for consideration."

"Your honour was always considerate; but if I'd wish now to be changing
my mind," said he, hesitating, and shifting from leg to leg, "it is not
upon my own account, any way, but upon my son Johnny's."

"My good friend," said I, "no apology is necessary. I should be very
unjust if I were offended by your decision, and very mean if, after the
declarations I have made, I could, for an instant, hesitate to restore
to you that property which it is your right and your choice to reclaim."

Christy made a low bow, and seemed much at a loss what he was to say

"I hope," continued I, "that you will be as happy when you are Earl of
Glenthorn, as you have been as Christy O'Donoghoe."

"May be not, plase your honour; but I trust my childer will be happy
after me; and it's them and my wife I'm thinking of, as in duty bound.
But it is hard your honour should be astray for want of the fortin
you've been bred to; and this weighs with me greatly on the other side.
If your honour could live on here, and share with us--But I see your
honour's displeased at my naming _that_. It was my wife thought o' that;
I knew it could not do. But then, what I think is, that your honour
should name what you would be pleased to keep to live upon: for, to be
sure, you have a right to live as a gentleman, that have always lived as
one, as every body knows, and none better than I. Would your honour be
so kind, then, as just to put down on a bit of paper what you'd wish to
keep; and that same, whatever it is, none shall touch but yourself; and
I would not own a child for mine that would begrudge it you. I'll step
down and wait below while your honour writes what you plase."

The generosity of this man touched me to the heart. I accepted from him
three hundred a year; and requested that the annuity I allowed to the
unfortunate Lady Glenthorn might be continued; that the house which I
had built for Ellinor, and the land belonging to it, might be secured
to her rent-free for life; and that all my debts should be paid. I
recommended Mr. M'Leod in the strongest manner, as an agent whose
abilities and integrity would be to him an invaluable treasure.

Christy, when I gave him the paper on which I had stated these requests,
took a pen instantly, and would have signed his name without reading it;
but to this I absolutely objected.

"Well, then," said he, "I'll take it home, and read it over, and take
time, as you desire, to consider. There's no danger of my changing my
mind about this: I hope your honour can't think there is."

The next day, on returning it to me, he observed, that it was making
very little of him to put down only such a trifle; and he pressed me to
make the hundreds thousands:--this I refused.

"But I hope your honour won't object to what I am going to propose. Is
not there a house in London? and is not there another in England, in the
country? and, sure, I and mine can't live there and here and every where
at once: if you'd just condescend to occupy one of them, you'd do me a
great pleasure, and a great sarvice too; for every thing would be
right, instead of going wrong, as it might under an agent, and me at a
distance, that does not know well how to manage such great estates. I
hope you'll not refuse me that, if it's only to show me I don't lose
your honour's good-will."

The offer was made with so much earnestness, and even delicacy, that
I could not abruptly refuse it at the moment, though one of these
magnificent houses could be of no use tome with an income of 300_l_.
_per annum_.

"As to the annuity," continued Christy, "that shall be paid as punctual
as the day: Mr. M'Leod will pay it; and he shall have it all settled
right, and put upon a stamp, by the lawyers, in case any thing should
happen me. Then, as to Ellinor, sure, she is my mother, for I never
can think of her any other way; and, except in that single article of
changing me at nurse, was always the best of mothers to me. And even
that same trick she played me, though very wicked, to be sure, was very
nat'ral--ay, very nat'ral--to _prefar_ her own flesh and blood if she
could: and no one could be more sorry for the wrong she did me than she
is now: there she is crying at home, ready to break her heart: but as I
tell her, there's no use in repenting a thing when once it is done; and
as I forgive her, none can ever bring it up against her: and as to the
house and farm, she shall surely have that, and shall never want for
any thing. So I hope your honour's mind will be asy on that matter;
and whatever else you recollect to wish, _that_ shall be done, if in my

It is with pleasure that I recollect and record all these instances
of goodness of heart in poor Christy, which, notwithstanding the odd
mixture of absurdity and sense in his language and ideas, will, I make
no doubt, please my readers, though they cannot affect them as much as
they affected me. I now prepared for my departure from Glenthorn Castle,
never more to return. To spare me from unnecessary mortification,
Christy had the wonderful self-command to keep the secret faithfully, so
that none of the people in the neighbourhood, nor even my servants,
had the slightest idea of the truth. Having long talked of returning
to England, the preparations for my journey excited no surprise. Every
thing went on as usual, except that Christy, instead of being at the
forge, was almost every day at the whiskey-shop.

I thought it proper to speak openly of my affairs to Mr. M'Leod: he was
the only person who could make out a correct list of my debts. Besides,
I wished to recommend him as agent to the future earl, to whom an honest
and able agent would be peculiarly necessary, ignorant, as he was, both
of the world and of business; and surrounded, as he must probably be,
on his accession to his estate, by a herd of vulgar and designing

Albeit not easily moved to surprise, Mr. M'Leod really did, for an
instant, look astonished, when I informed him that Christy O'Donoghoe
was Earl of Glenthorn. But I must resolve not to stop to describe the
astonishment that each individual showed upon this occasion, else I
shall never have finished my story.

It was settled that Mr. M'Leod should continue agent; and, for his
credit, I must observe that, after he was made acquainted with my loss
of rank and fortune, he treated me with infinitely more respect and
regard than he had ever shown me whilst he considered me only as his
employer. Our accounts were soon settled; and when this was done, and
they were all regularly signed, Mr. M'Leod came up to me, and, in a low
voice of great emotion, said, "I am not a man of professions; but when
I say I am a man's friend, I hope I shall ever be found to be so, as far
as can be in my power: and I cannot but esteem and admire the man who
has acted so nobly as you have done."

M'Leod wrung my hand as he spoke, and the tears stood in his eyes. I
knew that the feeling must indeed be strong, which could extort from him
even these few words of praise, and this simple profession of regard;
but I did not know, till long afterwards, the full warmth of
his affections and energy of his friendship. The very next day,
unfortunately for me, he was obliged to go to Scotland, to his mother,
who was dying: and at this time I saw no more of him.

In due legal form I now made a surrender of all claim upon the
hereditary property of the Earl of Glenthorn, and every thing was in
readiness for my journey. During this time poor Ellinor never appeared
at the castle. I went to see her, to comfort her about my going away;
but she was silent, and seemingly sullen, and would not be comforted.

"I've enough to grieve me," said she: "I know what will be the end of
all; I see it as plain as if you'd told me. There's no hiding nothing
from a mother: no, there's no use in striving to comfort me." Every
method which I tried to console her seemed to grieve her more.

The day before that which was fixed for my departure, I sent to desire
to see her. This request I had repeatedly made; but she had, from day to
day, excused herself, saying that she was unwell, and that she would
be up on the morrow. At last she came; and though but a few days had
elapsed since I had seen her, she was so changed in her appearance, that
I was shocked the moment I beheld her countenance.

"You don't look well, Ellinor," said I: "sit down."

"No matter whether I sit or stand," said she, calmly; "I'm not long for
this world: I won't live long after you are gone, that's one comfort."

Her eyes were fixed and tearless; and there was a dead unnatural
tranquillity in her manner.

"They are making a wonderful great noise nailing up the boxes, and I
seen them cording the trunks as I came through the hall. I asked them,
could I be of any use: but they said I could be of none, and that's
true; for, when I put my hand to the cord, to pull it, I had no
more strength than an infant. It was seven-and-twenty years last
Midsummer-day since I first had you an infant in my arms. I was strong
enough then, and you--was a sweet babby. Had I seen that time all that
would come to pass this day! But that's over now. I have done a wicked
thing; but I'll send for Father Murphy, and get absolution before I

She sighed deeply, then went on speaking more quickly.

"But I can do nothing until you go. What time will you go in the
morning, dear? It's better go early. Is it in the coach you'll go? I
see it in the yard. But I thought you must leave the coach, with all
the rest, to the rightful heir. But my head's not clear about it all, I
believe--and no matter."

Her ideas rambled from one subject to another in an unconnected manner.
I endeavoured in vain to recall her understanding by speaking of her own
immediate interests; of the house that was secured to her for life; and
of the promise that had been made me, that she should never _want for
any thing_, and that she should be treated with all possible kindness.
She seemed to listen to me; but showed that she did not comprehend what
I said, by her answers; and, at every pause I made, she repeated the
same question--

"What time will you go in the morning, dear?"

At last I touched her feelings, and she recovered her intellect, when I
suddenly asked, if she would accompany me to England the next morning.

"Ay, that I will," cried she, "go with you through the wide world."

She burst into tears, and wept bitterly for some time.

"Ah! now I feel right again," said she; "this is what I wanted; but
could not cry this many a day--never since the word came to me that you
was going, and all was lost."

I assured her that I now expected to be happier than I had ever been.

"Oh!" cried she: "and have you never been happy all this time? What a
folly it was for me, then, to do so wicked a thing! and all my comfort
was, the thinking you was happy, dear. And what will become of you now?
And is it on foot you'll go?"

Her thoughts rambled again.

"Whatever way I go, you shall go with me," said I. "You are my mother;
and now that your son has done what he knows to be honest and just, he
will prosper in the world, and will be truly happy; and so may you be
happy, now that you have nothing more to conceal."

She shook her head.

"It's too late," said she, "quite too late. I often told Christy I would
die before you left this place, dear; and so I will, you will see. God
bless you! God bless you! and pray to him to forgive me! None that could
know what I've gone through would ever do the like; no, not for their
own child, was he even such as you, and that would be hard to find. God
bless you, dear; I shall never see you more! The hand of death is upon
me--God for ever bless you, dear!"

She died that night; and I lost in her the only human being who had ever
shown me warm, disinterested affection. Her death delayed for a few
days my departure from Glenthorn Castle. I stayed to see her laid in the
grave. Her funeral was followed by crowds of people: by many, from the
general habit of attending funerals; by many, who wished to pay their
court to me, in showing respect to the memory of my nurse.

When the prayers over the dead were ended, and the grave closed, just as
the crowd were about to disperse, I stood up on a monument belonging to
the Glenthorn family; and the moment it was observed that I wished to
address the multitude, the moving waves were stilled, and there was a
dead silence. Every eye was fixed upon me with eager expectation. It was
the first time in my life that I had ever spoken before numbers; but as
I was certain that I had something to say, and quite indifferent about
the manner, words came without difficulty. Amazement appeared in every
face when I declared myself to be the son of the poor woman whom we had
just interred. And when I pointed to the real Earl of Glenthorn, and
when I declared that I relinquished to him his hereditary title
and lawful property, my auditors looked alternately at me and at my
foster-brother, seeming to think it impossible that a man, with face and
hands so black as Christy's usually were known to be, could become an

When I concluded my narrative, and paused, the silence still continued;
all seemed held in mute astonishment.

"And now, my good friends," continued I, "let me bid you farewell;
probably you will never see or hear of me more; but, whether he be rich
or poor, or high or low-born, every honest man must wish to leave behind
him a fair character. Therefore, when I am gone, and, as it were, dead
to you, speak of me, not as of an impostor, who long assumed a name and
enjoyed a fortune that was not his own; but remember that I was bred to
believe myself heir to a great estate, and that, after having lived till
the age of seven-and-twenty, in every kind of luxury, I voluntarily gave
up the fortune I enjoyed, the moment I discovered that it was not justly

"_That_ you did, indeed," interrupted Christy; "and of that I am ready
to bear witness for you in this world and in the next. God bless and
prosper you wherever you go! and sure enough he will, for he cannot do
other than prosper one that deserves it so well. I never should
have known a sentence of the secret," continued he, addressing his
neighbours, "if it had not been for _his_ generosity to tell it me; and
even had I found it out by any _maracle_, where would have been the gain
of that to me? for you know he could, had he been so inclined, have kept
me out of all by the law--ay, baffled me on till my heart was sick, and
till my little substance was wasted, and my bones rotten in the ground;
but, God's blessing be upon him! he's an honest man, and _done_
that which many a lord in his place would not have done; but a good
conscience is a kingdom in itself, and _that_ he cannot but have,
wherever he goes--and all which grieves me is that he is going away from
us. If he'd be prevailed with by me, he'd stay where he is, and we'd
share and share alike; but he's too proud for that--and no wonder--he
has a right to be proud; for no matter who was his mother, he'll live
and die a gentleman, every inch of him. Any man, you see, may be made
a lord; but a gentleman, a man must make himself. And yourselves can
witness, has not he reigned over us like a gentleman, and a _raal_
gentleman; and shown mercy to the poor, and done justice to all, as well
as to me? and did not he take me by the hand when I was persecuted, and
none else in the wide world to _befrind_ me; and did not he stand up for
me against the tyrants that had the sway then; ay, and did not he
put himself to trouble, day and night, go riding here and there, and
_spaking_ and writing for me? Well, as they say, he loves his ease, and
that's the worse can be said of him; he took all this pains for a poor
man, and had like to have lost his life by it. And now, wherever he is
and whatever, can I help loving and praying for him? or could you? And
since you will go," added he, turning to me with tears in his eyes,
"take with you the blessings of the poor, which, they say, carry a man
straight to heaven, if any thing can."

The surrounding crowd joined with one voice in applauding this speech:
"It is he that has said what we all think," cried they, following me
with acclamations to the castle. When they saw the chaise at the door
which was to carry me away, their acclamations suddenly ceased--"But is
he going?--But can't he stay?--And is he going this minute? troth it's a
pity, and a great pity!"

Again and again these honest people insisted upon taking leave of me,
and I could not force myself away without difficulty. They walked
on beside my carriage, Christy at their head; and in this species
of triumph, melancholy indeed, but grateful to my heart, I quitted
Glenthorn Castle, passed through that park which was no longer mine,
and at the verge of the county shook hands for the last time with these
affectionate and generous people. I then bid my postilion drive on fast;
and I never looked back, never once cast a lingering look at all I left
behind. I felt proud of having executed my purpose, and conscious I had
not the insignificant, inefficient character that had formerly disgraced
me. As to the future, I had not distinctly arranged my plans, nor was
my mind during the remainder of the day sufficiently tranquil for
reflection. I felt like one in a dream, and could scarcely persuade
myself of the reality of the events, that had succeeded each other with
such astonishing rapidity. At night I stopped at an inn where I was
not known; and having no attendants or equipage to command respect from
hostlers, waiters, and inn-keepers, I was made immediately sensible
of the reality, at least of the change in my fortune; but I was
not mortified--I felt only as if I were travelling incognito. And I
contrived to go to bed without a valet-de-chambre, and slept soundly,
for I had earned a sound sleep by exertion both of body and mind.


In the morning I awoke with a confused notion that something
extraordinary had happened; but it was a good while before I recollected
myself sufficiently to be perfectly sensible of the absolute and
irrevocable change in my circumstances. An inn may not appear the best
possible place for meditation, especially if the moralizer's bedchamber
be next the yard where carriages roll, and hostlers swear perpetually;
yet so situated, I, this morning as I lay awake in my bed, thought so
abstractedly and attentively, that I heard neither wheels nor
hostlers. I reviewed the whole of my past life; I regretted bitterly my
extravagance, my dissipation, my waste of time; I considered how small a
share of enjoyment my wealth had procured, either for myself or others;
how little advantage I had derived from my education, and from all
my opportunities of acquiring knowledge. It had been in my power
to associate with persons of the highest talents, and of the best
information, in the British dominions; yet I had devoted my youth to
loungers, and gamesters, and epicures, and knew that scarcely a trace
of my existence remained in the minds of those selfish beings, who once
called themselves my friends. I wished that I could live my life over
again; and I felt that, were it in my power, I should live in a manner
very different from that in which I had fooled away existence. In the
midst of my self-reproaches, however, I had some consolation in the
idea that I had never been guilty of any base or dishonourable action.
I recollected, with satisfaction, my behaviour to Lady Glenthorn, when
I discovered her misconduct; I recollected that I had always shown
gratitude to poor Ellinor for her kindness; I recollected with pleasure,
that when trusted with power I had not used it tyrannically. My
exertions in favour of my foster-brother, when he was oppressed, I
remembered with much satisfaction; and the steadiness with which
I behaved, when a conspiracy was formed against my life, gave me
confidence in my own courage; and, after having sacrificed my vast
possessions to a sense of justice, no mortal could doubt my integrity:
so that upon the whole, notwithstanding my past follies, I had a
tolerably good opinion of myself, or rather good hopes for the future.
I was certain, that there was more in me than the world had seen; and I
was ambitious of proving that I had some personal merit, independently
of the adventitious circumstances of rank and fortune. But how was I to
distinguish myself?

Just as I came to this difficult question, the chambermaid interrupted
my reverie, by warning me in a shrill voice, that it was very late, and
that she had called me above two hours before.

"Where's my man! send up my man. Oh! I beg your pardon--nothing at all:
only, my good girl, I should be obliged to you if you could let me have
a little warm water, that I may shave myself."

It was new and rather strange to me to be without attendants; but I
found that, when I was forced to it, I could do things admirably
well for myself, that I had never suspected I could perform without
assistance. After I had travelled two days without servants, how I
had travelled with them was the wonder. I once caught myself saying of
myself, "that careless blockhead has forgotten my nightcap." For some
time I was liable to make odd blunders about my own identity; I was apt
to mistake between my old and my new habits, so that when I spoke in the
tone and imperative mood in which Lord Glenthorn had been accustomed
to speak, people stared at me as if I were mad, and I in my turn was
frequently astonished by their astonishment, and perplexed by their ease
of behaviour in my presence.

Upon my arrival in Dublin, I went to a small lodging which Mr. M'Leod
had recommended to me; it was such as suited my reduced finances; but,
at first view, it was not much to my taste; however, I ate with a good
appetite my very frugal supper, upon a little table, covered with a
little table-cloth, on which I could not wipe my mouth without
stooping low. The mistress of the house, a North-country woman, was
so condescending as to blow my fire, remarking, at the same time, that
coals were _a very scarce article_; she begged to know whether I would
choose a fire in my bed-room, and what quantity of coals she should lay
in; she added many questions about boarding, and small-beer, and tea,
and sugar, and butter, and blankets, and sheets, and washerwomen, which
almost overwhelmed my spirits.

"And must I think of all these things for myself?" said I, in a
lamentable tone, and I suppose with a most deplorable length of face,
for the woman could not refrain from laughing: as she left the room, I
heard her exclaim, "Lord help him, he looks as much astray as if he was
just new from the Isle of Skye."

The cares of life were coming fast upon me, and I was terrified by the
idea of a host of petty evils; I sat ruminating, with my feet upon the
bars of the grate, till past midnight, when my landlady, who seemed
to think it incumbent upon her to supply me with common sense, came to
inform me that there was a good fire burning to waste in the bed-room,
and that I should find myself a great deal better there than sitting
over the cinders. I suffered myself to be removed to the bedchamber, and
again established my feet upon the upper bar of the grate.

"Lack! sir, you'll burn your boots," said my careful landlady; who,
after bidding me good night, put her head back into the room, to beg I
would be sure to rake the fire, and throw up the ashes safe, before I
went to bed. Left to my own meditations, I confess I did feel rather
forlorn. I reflected upon my helplessness in all the common business
of life; and the more I considered that I was totally unfit for any
employment or profession, by which I could either earn money, or
distinguish myself, the deeper became my despondency. I passed a
sleepless night, vainly regretting the time that never could be

In the morning, my landlady gave me some letters, which had been
forwarded for me from Glenthorn Castle; the direction to the Earl of
Glenthorn scratched out, and in its place inserted my new address, "_C.
O'Donoghoe, Esq., No. 6, Duke-street, Dublin_." I remember, I held the
letters in my hand, contemplating the direction for some minutes, and
at length reading it aloud repeatedly, to my landlady's infinite
amusement:--she knew nothing of my history, and seemed in doubt whether
to think me extremely silly or mad. One of my letters was from Lord
Y----, an Irish nobleman, with whom I was not personally acquainted, but
for whose amiable character and literary reputation I had always, even
during my days of dissipation, peculiar respect. He wrote to me to
make inquiries respecting the character of a Mr. Lyddell, who had just
proposed himself as tutor to the son of one of his friends. Mr. Lyddell
had formerly been my favourite tutor, the man who had encouraged me in
every species of ignorance and idleness. In my present state of mind I
was not disposed to speak favourably of this gentleman, and I resolved
that I would not be instrumental in placing another young nobleman under
his guidance. I wrote an explicit, indignant, and I will say eloquent
letter upon this occasion; but, when I came to the signature, I felt a
repugnance to signing myself, C. O'Donoghoe; and I recollected, that as
my history could not yet be public, Lord Y---- would be puzzled by
this strange name, and would be unable to comprehend this answer to his
letter. I therefore determined to wait upon his lordship, and to make my
explanations in person: besides my other reasons for determining on
this visit, I had a strong desire to become personally acquainted with
a nobleman of whom I had heard so much. His lordship's porter was not
quite so insolent as some of his brethren; and though I did not come
in a showy equipage, and though I had no laced footmen to enforce my
rights, I gained admission. I passed through a gallery of fine statues,
to a magnificent library, which I admired till the master of the house
appeared, and from that moment he commanded, or rather captivated, my

Lord Y---- was at this time an elderly gentleman. In his address, there
was a becoming mixture of ease and dignity; he was not what the French
call _maniéré_; his politeness was not of any particular school, but
founded on those general principles of good taste, good sense, and
good-nature, which must succeed in all times, places, and seasons. His
desire to please evidently arose not from vanity but benevolence. In
his conversation, there was neither the pedantry of a recluse, nor
the coxcombry of a man of the world: his knowledge was select; his wit
without effort, the play of a cultivated imagination: the happiness of
his expressions did not seem the result of care; and his allusions were
at once so apposite and elegant, as to charm both the learned and the
unlearned: all he said was sufficiently clear and just to strike
every person of plain sense and natural feeling, while to the man of
literature it had often a further power to please, by its less obvious
meaning. Lord Y----'s superiority never depressed those with whom he
conversed; on the contrary, they felt themselves raised by the magic of
politeness to his level; instead of being compelled to pay tribute, they
seemed invited to share his intellectual dominion, and to enjoy with him
the delightful pre-eminence of genius and virtue.

I shall be forgiven for pausing in my own insignificant story, to dwell
on the noble character of a departed friend. That he permitted me to
call him my friend, I think the greatest honour of my life. But let me,
if I can, go on regularly with my narrative.

Lord Y---- took it for granted, during our first half-hour's
conversation, that he was speaking to the Earl of Glenthorn: he thanked
me with much warmth for putting him on his guard against the character
of Mr. Lyddell: and his lordship was also pleased to thank me for making
him acquainted, as he said, with my own character; for convincing him
how ill it had been appreciated by those who imagined that wealth and
title were the only distinctions which the Earl of Glenthorn might
claim. This compliment went nearer to my heart than Lord Y---- could

"My character," said I, "since your lordship encourages me to speak of
myself with freedom, my character has, I hope, been much changed and
improved by circumstances; and perhaps those which might at present
be deemed the most unfortunate, may ultimately prove of the greatest
advantage, by urging me to exertion.--Your lordship is not aware of what
I allude to; a late event in my singular history," continued I, taking
up the newspapers which lay on his library table--"my singular history
has not yet, I fancy, got into the public newspapers. Perhaps you will
hear it most favourably from myself."

Lord Y---- was politely, benevolently attentive, whilst I related to him
the sudden and singular change in my fortune: when I gave an account
of the manner in which I had conducted myself after the discovery of my
birth, tears of generous feeling filled his eyes; he laid his hand upon
mine when I paused--

"Whatever you have lost," said he, "you have gained a friend. Do not be
surprised," continued he, "by this sudden declaration. Before I saw
you this morning, your real character was better known to me than you
imagine. I learnt it from a particular friend of mine, of whose judgment
and abilities I have the highest opinion, Mr. Cecil Devereux; I saw
him just after his marriage; and the very evening before they sailed,
I remember, when Lady Geraldine and he were talking of the regret they
felt in leaving Ireland, among the friends whom they lamented that
they should not see again, perhaps for years, you were mentioned
with peculiar esteem and affection. They called you their generous
benefactor, and fully explained to me the claim you had to this title--a
title which never can be lost. But Mr. Devereux was anxious to convince
me that he was not influenced by the partiality of gratitude in his
opinion of his benefactor's talents. He repeated an assertion, that was
supported with much energy by the charming Lady Geraldine, that Lord
Glenthorn had _abilities to be any thing Tie pleased_; and the high
terms in which they spoke of his talents, and the strong proofs they
adduced of the generosity of his character, excited in my mind a
warm desire to cultivate his acquaintance; a desire which has been
considerably increased within this last hour. May I hope that the Irish
rapidity with which I have passed from acquaintance to friendship may
not shock English habits of reserve; and may not induce you to doubt
the sincerity of the man, who has ventured with so little hesitation or
ceremony to declare himself your friend?"

I was so much moved by this unexpected kindness, that, though I felt how
much more was requisite, I could answer only with a bow; and I was glad
to make my retreat as soon as possible. The very next day, his lordship
returned my visit, to my landlady's irrecoverable astonishment; and I
had increasing reason to regard him with admiration and affection. He
convinced me, that I had interested him in my concerns, and told me, I
must forgive him if he spoke to me with the freedom of a friend: thus I
was encouraged to consult him respecting my future plans. Plans,
indeed, I had none regularly formed; but Lord Y----, by his judicious
suggestions, settled and directed my ideas without overpowering me
by the formality of advice. My ambition was excited to deserve his
friendship, and to accomplish his predictions. The profession of the law
was that to which he advised me to turn my thoughts: he predicted, that,
if for five years I would persevere in application to the necessary
preparatory studies, I should afterwards distinguish myself at the
bar, more than I had ever been distinguished by the title of Earl of
Glenthorn. Five years of hard labour! the idea alarmed, but did not
utterly appal my imagination; and to prevent my dwelling upon it too
long at the first, Lord Y---- suddenly changed the conversation; and,
in a playful tone, said, "Before you immerse yourself in your studies, I
must, however, claim some of your time. You must permit me to carry you
home with me to-day, to introduce you to two ladies of my acquaintance:
the one prudent and old--if a lady can ever be old; the other, young,
and beautiful, and graceful, and witty, and wise, and reasonable. One
of these ladies is much prepossessed in your favour, the other strongly
prejudiced against you--for the best of all possible reasons, because
she does not know you."

I accepted Lord Y----'s invitation; not a little curious to know whether
it was the old and prudent, or the young, beautiful, graceful, witty,
wise, and reasonable lady, who was much prepossessed in my favour.
Notwithstanding my usual indifference to the whole race of _very
agreeable young ladies_, I remember trying to form a picture in my
imagination of this all-accomplished female.


Upon my arrival at Y---- house, I found two ladies in the drawing-room,
in earnest conversation with Lady Y----. In their external appearance
they were nearly what my friend had described; except that the beauty of
the youngest infinitely surpassed my expectations. The elegance of her
form, and the charming expression of her countenance, struck me with
a sort of delightful surprise, that was quickly succeeded by a most
painful sensation.

"Lady Y----, give me leave to introduce to you Mr. O'Donoghoe."

Shocked by the sound of my own name, I was ready to recoil abashed.
The elderly lady turned her eyes upon me for an instant, with that
indifference with which we look at an uninteresting stranger. The young
lady seemed to pity my confusion; for though so well and so long used
to varieties of the highest company, when placed in a situation that
was new to me, I was unaccountably disconcerted. Ah! thought I, how
differently should I be received were I still Earl of Glenthorn!

I was rather angry with Lord Y----, for not introducing me, as he had
promised, to this fair lady; and yet the repetition of my name would
have increased my vexation. In short, I was unjust, and felt
an impatience and irritability quite unusual to my temper. Lady
Y----addressed some conversation to me, in an obliging manner, and I did
my best to support my part till she left me: but my attention was soon
distracted, by a conversation that commenced at another part of the
room, between her and the elderly lady.

"My dear Lady Y----, have you heard the extraordinary news? the most
incredible thing that ever was heard! For my part, I cannot believe
it yet, though we have the intelligence from the best authority. Lord
Glenthorn, that is to say, the person we always called Lord Glenthorn,
turns out to be the son of the Lord knows who--they don't mention the

At this speech I was ready to sink into the earth. Lord Y---- took my
arm, and led me into another room. "I have some cameos," said he, "which
are thought curious; would you like to look at them?"

"Can you conceive it?" continued the elderly lady, whose voice I still
heard, as the folding-doors of the room were open: "Changed at nurse!
One hears of such things in novels, but, in real life, I absolutely
cannot believe it. Yet here, in this letter from Lady Ormsby, are all
the particulars: and a blacksmith is found to be Earl of Glenthorn, and
takes possession of Glenthorn castle, and all the estates. And the man
is married, to some vulgarian of course: and he has a son, and may have
half a hundred, you know; so there is an end of our hopes; and there is
an end too of all my fine schemes for Cecilia."

I felt myself change colour again. "I believe," said I to Lord Y----, "I
ought not to hear this. If your lordship will give me leave, I will shut
the door."

"No, no," said he, smiling, and stopping me; "you ought to hear it, for
it will do you a great deal of good. You know I have undertaken to be
your guide, philosopher, and friend; so you must let me have my own way:
and if it should so happen, hear yourself abused patiently.--Is not this
a fine bust of Socrates?"

Some part of the conversation in the next room I missed, whilst his
lordship spoke. The next words I heard were--

"But my dear Lady Y----, look at Cecilia.--Would not any other girl be
cast down and miserable in Cecilia's place? yet see, see how provokingly
happy and well she looks."

"Yes," replied Lady Y----, "I never saw her appear better: but we are
not to judge of her by what any other young lady would be in her place,
for I know of none at all comparable to Miss Delamere."

"Miss Delamere!" said I to Lord Y----. "Is this the Miss Delamere who is
heiress at law to----"

"The Glenthorn estate. Yes--do not let the head of Socrates fall from
your hands," said his lordship, smiling.

I again lost something that was said in the next room; but I heard the
old lady going on with--

"I only say, my dear, that if the man had been really what he was said
to be, you could not have done better."

"Dearest mother, you cannot be serious," replied the sweetest voice I
ever heard. "I am sure that you never were in earnest upon this subject:
you could not wish me to be united to such a man as Lord Glenthorn was
said to be."

"Why? what was he said to be, my dear?--a little dissipated, a little
extravagant only: and if he had a fortune to support it, child,
what matter?" pursued the mother: "all young men are extravagant
now-a-days--you must take the world as it goes."

"The lady who married Lord Glenthorn, I suppose, acted upon that
principle; and you see what was the consequence."

"Oh, my dear, as to her ladyship, it ran in the blood: let her have
married whom she would, she would have done the same: and I am told
Lord Glenthorn made an incomparably good husband. A cousin of Lady
Glenthorn's assured me that she was present one day, when her ladyship
expressed a wish for a gold chain to wear round her neck, or braid her
hair, I forget for what; but that very hour Lord Glenthorn bespoke for
her a hundred yards of gold chain, at ten guineas a yard. Another time
she longed for an Indian shawl, and his lordship presented her next day
with three dozen real India shawls. There's a husband for you, Cecilia!"

"Not for me, mamma," said Cecilia, laughing.

"Ah, you are a strange romantic girl, and never will be married after
all, I fear."

"Never to a fool, I hope," said Cecilia.

"Miss Delamere will, however, allow," said Lady Y----, "that a man
may have his follies, without being a fool, or wholly unworthy of her
esteem; otherwise, what a large portion of mankind she would deprive of

"As to Lord Glenthorn, he was no fool, I promise you," continued the
mother: "has not he been living prudently enough these three years? We
have not heard of late of any of his _extraordinary landaus_."

"But I have been told," said Cecilia, "that he is quite uninformed,
without any taste for literature, and absolutely incapable of
exertion--a victim to ennui. How miserable a woman must be with such a

"But," said Lady Y----, "what could be expected from a young nobleman
bred up as Lord Glenthorn was?"

"Nothing," said Cecilia; "and that is the very reason I never wished to
see him."

"Perhaps Miss Delamere's opinion might be changed if she had known him,"
said Lady Y----,

"Ay, for he is a very handsome man, I have heard," said the mother.
"Lady Jocunda Lawler told me so, in one of her letters; and Lady Jocunda
was very near being married to him herself, I can tell you, for he
admired her prodigiously."

"A certain proof that he never would have admired me," said Cecilia;
"for two women, so opposite in every respect, no man could have loved."

"Lord bless you, child! how little you know of the matter! After all,
I dare say, if you had been acquainted with him, you might have been in
love yourself with Lord Glenthorn."

"Possibly," said Cecilia, "if I had found him the reverse of what he is
reported to be."

Company came in at this instant. Lord Y---- was called to receive them,
and I followed; glad, at this instant, that I was not Lord Glenthorn.
At dinner the conversation turned upon general subjects; and Lord Y----,
with polite and friendly attention, _drew me out_, without seeming to do
so, in the kindest manner possible.

I had the pleasure to perceive that Cecilia Delamere did not find me a
fool. I never, even in the presence of Lady Geraldine, exerted myself so
much to avoid this disgrace.

After all the company, except Mrs. and Miss Delamere, were gone, Lord
Y---- called me aside.

"Will you pardon," said he, "the means I have taken to convince you how
much superior you are to the opinion that has been commonly formed of
Lord Glenthorn? Will you forgive me for convincing you that when a man
has sufficient strength of mind to rely upon himself, and sufficient
energy to exert his abilities, he becomes independent of common report
and vulgar opinion? He secures the suffrages of the best judges; and
they, in time, lead all the rest of the world. Will you permit me now
to introduce you to your prudent friend and your fair enemy? Mrs.
Delamere--Miss Delamere--give me leave to introduce to you the late Earl
of Glenthorn."

Of the astonishment in the opening eyes of Mrs. Delamere I have
some faint recollection. I can never forget the crimson blush that
instantaneously spread over the celestial countenance of Cecilia. She
was perfectly silent; but her mother went on talking with increased

"Good Heavens! the late Lord Glenthorn! Why, I was talking--but he was
not in the room." The ladies exchanged looks, which seemed to say, "I
hope he did not hear all we said of him."

"My dear Lord Y----, why did not you tell us this before? Suppose we
had spoken of his lordship, you would have been answerable for all the

"Certainly," said Lord Y----.

"But, seriously," said the old lady, "have I the pleasure to speak to
Lord Glenthorn, or have I not? I believe I began, unluckily, to talk of
a strange story I had heard; but perhaps all this is a mistake, and my
country correspondent may have been amusing herself at the expense of
my credulity. I assure you I was not imposed upon; I never believed half
the story."

"You may believe the whole of it, madam," said I; "the story is
perfectly true."

"Oh! my good sir, how sorry I am to hear you say it is all true! And the
blacksmith is really Earl of Glenthorn, and has taken possession of the
castle, and is married, and has a son! Lord bless me, how unfortunate!
Well, I can only say, sir, I wish, with all my heart, you were Earl of
Glenthorn still."

After hearing from Lord Y---- the circumstances of what he was pleased
to call my generous conduct, Mrs. Delamere observed, that I had acted
very generously, to be sure, but that few in my place would have thought
themselves bound to give up possession of an estate, which I had so long
been taught to believe was my own. To have and to hold, she observed,
always went together in law; and she could not help thinking I had done
very injudiciously and imprudently not to let the law decide for me.

I was consoled for Mrs. Delamere's reprehensions by her daughter's
approving countenance. After this visit, Lord Y---- gave me a general
invitation to his house, where I frequently saw Miss Delamere, and
frequently compared her with my recollection of Lady Geraldine ------.
Cecilia Delamere was not so entertaining, but she was more interesting
than Lady Geraldine: the flashes of her ladyship's wit, though always
striking, were sometimes dangerous; Cecilia's wit, though equally
brilliant, shone with a more pleasing and inoffensive light. With as
much generosity as Lady Geraldine could show in great affairs, she had
more forbearance and delicacy of attention on every-day occasions. Lady
Geraldine had much pride, and it often gave offence; Cecilia, perhaps,
had more pride, but it never appeared, except upon the defensive:
without having less candour, she had less occasion for it than Lady
Geraldine seemed to have; and Cecilia's temper had more softness and
equability. Perhaps Cecilia was not so fascinating, but she was
more attractive. One had the envied art of appearing to advantage in
public--the other, the more desirable power of being happy in private.
I admired Lady Geraldine long before I loved her; I loved Cecilia long
before I admired her.

Whilst I possibly could, I called what I felt for Miss Delamere only
esteem; but when I found it impossible to conceal from myself that I
loved, I resolved to avoid this charming woman. How happy, thought
I, would the fortune I once possessed now make me! but in my present
circumstances what have I to hope? Surely my friend Lord Y---- has not
shown his usual prudence in exposing me to such a temptation; but it is
to be supposed, he thinks that the impossibility of my obtaining Miss
Delamere will prevent my thinking of her, or perhaps he depends on the
inertness and apathy of my temper. Unfortunately for me, my sensibility
has increased since I have become poor; for many years, when I was rich,
and could have married easily, I never wished to marry, and now that
I have not enough to support a wife, I immediately fall desperately in

Again and again I pondered upon my circumstances: three hundred a-year
was the amount of all my worldly possessions; and Miss Delamere was not
rich, and she had been bred expensively; for it had never been absent
from her mother's mind, that Cecilia would be heiress to the immense
Glenthorn estate. The present possessor was, however, an excellent
life, and he had a son stout and healthy, so all these hopes of Mrs.
Delamere's were at an end; and as there was little chance, as she said
(laughing), of persuading her daughter to marry Johnny, the young lord
and heir apparent, it was now necessary to turn her views elsewhere, and
to form for Cecilia some suitable alliance. Rank and large fortune were,
in Mrs. Delamere's opinion, indispensable to happiness. Cecilia's
ideas were far more moderate; but, though perfectly disinterested and
generous, she was not so romantic, or so silly, as to think of marrying
any man without the probability of his being able to support her in the
society of her equals: nor, even if I could have thought it possible to
prevail upon Miss Delamere to make an unbecoming and imprudent choice,
would I have taken advantage of the confidence reposed in me by Lord
Y----, to destroy the happiness of a young friend, for whom he evidently
had a great regard. I resolved to see her no more--and for some weeks I
kept my resolution; I refrained from going to Y---- house. I deem this
the most virtuous action of my life; it certainly was the most painful
sacrifice I ever made to a sense of duty. At last, Lord Y---- came to me
one morning, and after reproaching me, in a friendly manner, for having
so long absented myself from his house, declared that he would not be
satisfied with any of those common excuses, which might content a mere
acquaintance; that his sincere anxiety for my welfare gave him a right
to expect from me the frankness of a friend. It was a relief to my mind
to be encouraged in this manner. I confessed with entire openness my
real motive: Lord Y---- heard me without surprise.

"It is gratifying to me," said his lordship, "to be convinced that I was
not mistaken in my judgment, either of your taste, or your integrity;
permit me to assure you, that I foresaw exactly how you would feel, and
precisely how you would act. There are certain moral omens, which old
experience never fails to interpret rightly, and from which unerring
predictions of the future conduct, and consequently of the future fate
of individuals, may be formed. I hold that we are the artificers of our
own fortune. If there be any whom the gods wish to destroy, these are
first deprived of understanding; whom the gods wish to favour, they
first endow with integrity, inspire with understanding, and animate
with activity. Have I not seen integrity in you, and shall I not
see activity? Yes; that supineness of temper or habit with which you
reproach yourself has arisen, believe me, only from want of motive; but
you have now the most powerful of motives, and in proportion to your
exertions will be your success. In our country, you know, the highest
offices of the state are open to talents and perseverance; a man of
abilities and application cannot fail to secure independence, and obtain
distinction. Time and industry are necessary to prepare you for the
profession, to which you will hereafter be an honour, and you will
courageously submit.

    --'Time and industry, the mighty two,
    Which bring our wishes nearer to our view.'

As to the probability that your present wishes may be crowned with
success, I can judge only from my general knowledge of the views and
disposition of the lady whom you admire. I know that her views with
respect to fortune are moderate; and that her disposition and excellent
understanding will, in the choice of a husband, direct her preference to
the essential good qualities, and not to the accidental advantages, of
the candidates for her favour. As to the mother's influence, that will
necessarily yield to the daughter's superior judgment. Cecilia possesses
over her mother that witchcraft of gentle manners, which in the female
sex is always irresistible, even over violent tempers. Prudential
considerations have a just, though not exclusive, claim to Miss
Delamere's attention. But her relations, I fancy, could find means of
providing against any pecuniary embarrassments, if she should think
proper to unite herself to a man who can be content, as she would be,
with a competence, and who should _have proved himself able, by his own
exertions, to maintain his wife in independence_. On this last condition
I must dwell with emphasis, because it is indispensable; and I am
convinced that without it Miss Delamere's consent, even after she is of
age, and at liberty to judge for herself, could never be obtained. You
perceive, then, how much depends upon your own exertions; and this is
the best hope, and the best motive, that I can give to a strong and
generous mind. Farewell--Persevere and prosper."

Such was the general purport of what Lord Y---- said to me; indeed, I
believe that I have repeated his very words, for they made a great
and ineffaceable impression upon my mind. From this day I date the
commencement of a new existence. Fired with ambition,--I hope generous
ambition,--to distinguish myself among men, and to win the favour of the
most amiable and the most lovely of women, all the faculties of my soul
were awakened: I became active, permanently active. The enchantment of
indolence was dissolved, and the demon of ennui was cast out for ever.


If, among those who maybe tempted to peruse my history, there should be
any mere novel readers, let me advise them to throw the book aside at
the commencement of this chapter; for I have no more wonderful incidents
to relate, no more changes at nurse, no more sudden turns of fortune.
I am now become a plodding man of business, poring over law-books from
morning till night, and leading a most monotonous life: yet occupation,
and hope, and the constant sense of approaching nearer to my object,
rendered this mode of existence, dull as it may seem, infinitely more
agreeable than many of my apparently prosperous days, when I had more
money, and more time, than I knew how to enjoy. I resolutely persevered
in my studies.

About a month after I came to town, the doors of my lodging were
blockaded by half a dozen cars, loaded with huge packing-cases, on which
I saw, in the hand-writing which I remembered often to have seen in
my blacksmith's bills, a direction to _Christopher O'Donoghoe,
Esquire--this side upwards: to be kept dry._

One of the carmen fumbled in what he called his pocket, and at last
produced a very dirty note.

"My dear and honourable foster-brother, larning from Mr. M'Leod that you
are thinking of _studdeing_, I send you inclosed by the bearer, who is
to get nothing for the _carrige_, all the bookes from the big booke-room
at the castle, which I hope, being of not as much use as I could wish to
me, your honour will not scorn to accept, with the true veneration of

"Your ever-loving foster-brother, and grateful humble servant, _to

"P.S. No name needful, for you will not be astray about the hand."

This good-natured fellow's present was highly valuable and useful to me.

Among my pleasures at this studious period of my life, when I had few
events to break the uniform tenor of my days, I must mention letters
which I frequently received from Mr. Devereux and Lady Geraldine, who
still continued in India. Mr. Devereux was acquainted with almost all
the men of eminence at the Irish bar; men who are not mere lawyers, but
persons of literature, of agreeable manners, and gentlemanlike habits.
Mr. Desvereux wrote to his friends so warmly in my favour, that, instead
of finding myself a stranger in Dublin, my only difficulty was how to
avoid the numerous invitations which tempted me from my studies.

Those gentlemen of the bar who were intimate with Mr. Devereux honoured
me with particular attention, and their society was peculiarly useful,
as well as agreeable, to me: they directed my industry to the best and
shortest means of preparing myself for their profession; they put into
my hands the best books; told me all that experience had taught them
of the art of distinguishing, in the mass of law-precedents, the
useful from the useless: instructed me in the methods of indexing
and common-placing; and gave me all those advantages, which solitary
students so often want, and the want of which so often makes the study
of the law appear an endless maze without a plan. When I found myself
surrounded with books, and reading assiduously day and night, I could
scarcely believe in my own identity; I could scarcely imagine that I was
the same person, who, but a few months before this time, lolled upon a
sofa half the day, and found it an intolerable labour to read or think
for half an hour together. Such is the power of motive! During the
whole time I pursued my studies, and kept my terms, in Ireland, the only
relaxation I allowed myself was in the society at Lord Y----'s house in
Dublin, and, during my vacations, in excursions which I made with
his lordship to different parts of the country. Lord Y---- had two
country-seats in the most beautiful parts of Ireland. How differently
the face of nature appeared to me now! with what different sensations I
beheld the same objects!

    "No brighter colours paint th' enamell'd fields,
    No sweeter fragrance now the garden yields;
    Whence then this strange increase of joy?
    Is it to love these new delights I owe?"

It was not to love that I owed these new delights, for Cecilia was not
there; but my powers of observation were awakened, and the confinement
and labour to which I had lately submitted gave value to the pleasures
of rest and liberty, and to the freshness of country air, and the
beautiful scenes of nature. So true it is, that all our pleasures
must be earned, before they can be enjoyed. When I saw on Lord Y----'s
estates, and on those of several other gentlemen, which he occasionally
took me to visit, the neat cottages, the well-cultivated farms, the air
of comfort, industry, and prosperity, diffused through the lower classes
of the people, I was convinced that much may be done by the judicious
care and assistance of landlords for their tenantry. I saw this with
mixed sensations of pleasure and of pain--of pain, for I reflected how
little I had accomplished, and how ill I had done even that little,
whilst the means of doing good to numbers had been in my power. For the
very trifling services I did to some of my poor tenants, I am sure I
had abundant gratitude; and I was astonished and touched by instances
of this shown to me after I had lost my fortune, and when I scarcely had
myself any remembrance of the people who came to thank me. Trivial as it
is, I cannot forbear to record one of the many instances of gratitude I
met with from a poor Irishman.

Whilst I was in Dublin, as I was paying a morning visit to Lord Y----,
sitting with him in his library, we heard some disturbance in the inner
court; and looking out of the window, we saw a countryman with a basket
on his arm, struggling with the porter and two footmen.

"He is here; I know to a certainty he is here, and I _shall_ see him,
say what you plase now!"

"I tell you my lord is not at home," said the porter.

"What's the matter?" said Lord Y----, opening the window.

"See, there's my lord himself at the window: are not you ashamed of
yourself now?" said the footman.

"And why would I be ashamed that am telling no lies, and hindering no
one?" said the countryman, looking up to us with so sudden a motion that
his hat fell of. I knew his face, but could not recollect his name.

"Oh! there he is, his own honour; I've found him, and _axe_ pardon for
my boldness; but it's because I've been all day yesterday, and this day,
running through Dublin after _yees_; and when certified by the lady
of the lodgings you was in it here, I could not lave town without my
errand, which is no more than a cheese from my wife of her own making,
to be given to your honour's own hands, and she would not see me if I
did not do it."

"Let him come up," said Lord Y----. "This," continued his lordship,
turning to me, "reminds me of Henry the Fourth, and the Gascon peasant
with his _fromages de boeuf_."

"But our countryman brings his offering to an abdicated monarch," said

The poor fellow presented his wife's cheese to me with as good a grace
as any courtier could have made his offering. Unembarrassed, his manners
and his words gave the natural and easy expression of a grateful heart.
He assured me that he and his wife were the happiest couple in all
Ireland; and he hoped I would one day be as happy myself in a wife as
I _desarved_, who had made others so; and there were many on the estate
remembered as well as he did the good I did to the poor during _my

Then stepping up closer to me, he said, in a lower voice, "I'm Jimmy
Riley, that married _ould_ Noonan's daughter; and now that it is all
over I may tell you a bit of a _secret_, which made me so eager to
get to the speech of your honour, that I might tell it to your own ear
alone--no offence to this gentleman, before whom I'd as soon say it as
yourself, _becaase_ I see he is all as one as another yourself. Then
the thing is--does your honour remember the boy with the cord round his
body, looking for the birds' eggs in the rock, and the 'nonymous bit of
a letter that you got? 'Twas I wrote it, and the _gossoon_ that threw
it to your honour was a cousin of my own that I sent, that nobody, nor
yourself even, might not know him: and the way I got the information
I never can tell till I die, and then only to the priest, _becaase_ I
swore I would not never. But don't go for to think it was by being
a _rubble_ any way; no man can, I thank my God, charge me with
indifferency. So rejoiced to see you the same, I wish you a good morrow,
and long life, and a happy death--when it comes."

About this time I frequently used to receive presents to a considerable
amount, and of things which were most useful to me, but always without
any indication by which I could discover to whom I was indebted for
them: at last, by means of my Scotch landlady, I traced them to Mr.
M'Leod. His kindness was so earnest and peremptory, that it would admit
neither thanks nor refusals; and I submitted to be obliged to a man for
whom I felt such high esteem. I looked upon it as not the least of his
proofs of regard, that he gave me what I knew he valued more than any
thing else--his time. Whenever he came to Dublin, though he was always
hurried by business, so that he had scarcely leisure to eat or sleep,
he used constantly to come to see me in my obscure lodgings; and when
in the country, though he hated all letter-writing, except letters of
business, yet he regularly informed me of every thing that could be
interesting to me. Glenthorn Castle he described as a scene of
riotous living, and of the most wasteful vulgar extravagance. My poor
foster-brother, the best-natured and most generous fellow in the world,
had not sufficient prudence or strength of mind to conduct his
own family; his wife filled the castle with tribes of her vagabond
relations; she chose to be descended from one of the kings of Ireland;
and whoever would acknowledge her high descent, and whoever would claim
relationship with her, were sure to have their claims allowed, and were
welcome to live in all the barbaric magnificence of Glenthorn Castle.
Every instance that she could hear of the former Lady Glenthorn's
extravagance or of mine--and, alas! there were many upon record, she
determined to exceed. Her diamonds, and her pearls, and her finery,
surpassed every thing but the extravagance of some of the Russian
favourites of fortune. Decked out in the most absurd manner, this
descendant of kings, as Mr. M'Leod assured me, often indulged in the
pleasures of the banquet, till, no longer able to support the regal
diadem, she was carried by some of the meanest of her subjects to her
bed. The thefts committed during these interregnums were amazing in
their amount, and the jewels of the crown were to be replaced as fast
as they were stolen. Poor Christy all this time was considered as a
mean-spirited _cratur_, who had no notion of living like a prince; and
whilst his wife and her relations were revelling in this unheard-of
manner, he was scarcely considered as the master of the house: he lived
by the fireside disregarded in winter, and in summer he spent his time
chiefly in walking up and down his garden, and picking fruit. He once
made an attempt to amuse himself by mending the lock of his own room
door; but he was detected in the fact, and exposed to such loud ridicule
by his lady's favourites, that he desisted, and sighing said to Mr.
M'Leod--"And isn't it now a great hardship upon a man like me to have
nothing to do, or not to be let do any thing? If it had not been for my
son Johnny's sake, I never would have quit the forge; and now all will
be spent in _coshering_, and Johnny, at the last, will never be a penny
the better, but the worse for my consinting to be lorded; and what
grieves me more than all the rest, _she_ is such _a negre_,[85] that I
haven't a guinea I can call my own to send, as I'd always laid out to
do at odd times, such little tokens of my love and duty, as would be
becoming to my dear foster-brother there in Dublin. And now, you tell
me, he is going away too, beyond sea to England, to finish making
a lawyer of himself in London; and what friends will he find there,
without money in his pocket? and I had been thinking this while past,
ever since you gave me notice of his being to quit Ireland, that I would
go up to Dublin myself to see him, and wish him a good journey kindly
before he would go; and I had a little _compliment_ here, in a private
drawer, that I had collected _unknownst_ to my wife; but here last
night she _lit_ upon it, and now that her hand has closed upon it, not a
guinea of it shall I ever see more, nor a farthing the better of it
will my dear foster-brother ever be, for it or for me; and this is what
grieves me more than all, and goes to the quick of my heart."

When Mr. M'Leod repeated to me these lamentations of poor Christy, I
immediately wrote to set his heart at ease, as much as I could, by the
assurance that I was in no distress for money; and that my three hundred
a year would support me in perfect comfort and independence, while "I
was making a lawyer of myself in London." I farther assured my good
foster-brother, that I was so well convinced of his affectionate and
generous disposition towards me, that it would be quite unnecessary ever
to send me tokens of his regard. I added a few words of advice about
his wife and his affairs, which, like most words of advice, were, as I
afterwards found, absolutely thrown away.

Though I had taken care to live with so much economy, that I was not
in any danger of being in pecuniary embarrassments, yet I felt much
distress of another kind in leaving Ireland. I left Miss Delamere
surrounded with admirers; her mother using her utmost art and parental
influence to induce Cecilia to decide in favour of one of these
gentlemen, who was a person of rank and of considerable fortune. I had
seen all this going on, and was bound in honour the whole time to
remain passive, not to express my own ardent feelings, not to make the
slightest attempt to win the affections of the woman who was the object
of all my labours, of all my exertions. The last evening that I saw her
at Lord Y----'s, just before I sailed for England, I suffered more than
I thought it was in my nature to feel, especially at the moment when I
went up to make my bow, and take leave of her with all the cold ceremony
of a common acquaintance. At parting, however, in the presence of her
mother and of Lord Y----, Cecilia, with her sweet smile, and, I think,
with a slight blush, said a few words, upon which I lived for months

"I sincerely wish you, sir, the success your perseverance so well

The recollection of these words was often my solace in my lonely
chambers in the Temple; and often, after a day's hard study, the
repeating them to myself operated as a charm that dissipated all
fatigue, and revived at once my exhausted spirits. To be sure, there
were moments when my fire was out, and my candle sinking in the socket,
and my mind over-wearied saw things in the most gloomy point of view;
and at these times I used to give an unfavourable interpretation to
Cecilia's words, and I fancied that they were designed to prevent my
entertaining fallacious hopes, and to warn me that she must yield to
her mother's authority, or perhaps to her own inclinations, in favour
of some of her richer lovers. This idea would have sunk me into utter
despondency, and I should have lost, with my motive, all power of
exertion, had not I opposed to this apprehension the remembrance of Lord
Y----'s countenance, at the moment Cecilia was speaking to me. I then
felt assured, that his lordship, at least, understood the words in a
favourable sense, else he would have suffered for me, and would not
certainly have allowed me to go away with false hopes. Re-animated by
this consideration, I persevered--for it was by perseverance alone that
I could have any chance of success.

It was fortunate for me, that, stimulated by a great motive, I thus
devoted my whole time and thoughts to my studies, otherwise I must, on
returning to London, have felt the total neglect and desertion of all
my former associates in the fashionable world; of all the vast number
of acquaintance who used to lounge away their hours in my company, and
partake of the luxuries of my table and the festivities of my house.
Some, whom I accidentally met in the street, just at my re-appearance in
town, thought proper, indeed, to know me again at first, that they might
gratify their curiosity about the paragraphs which they had seen in the
papers, and the reports which they had heard of my extraordinary change
of fortune; but no sooner had they satisfied themselves that all they
had heard was true, than their interest concerning me ceased. When they
found, that, instead of being Earl of Glenthorn, and the possessor of
a large estate, I was now reduced to three hundred a year, lodging in
small chambers in the Temple, and studying the law, they never more
thought me worthy of their notice. They affected, according to their
different humours, either to pity me for my misfortunes, or to blame
me for my folly in giving up my estate; but they unanimously expressed
astonishment at the idea of my becoming a member of any active
profession. They declared that it was impossible that I could ever
endure the labour of the law, or succeed in such an arduous career.
Their prophecies intimidated me not; I was conscious that these people
did not in the least know me; and I hoped and believed that I had powers
and a character which they were incapable of estimating: their contempt
rather excited than depressed my mind, and their pity I returned
with more sincerity than it was given. I had lived their life, knew
thoroughly what were its pleasures and its pains; I could compare the
ennui I felt when I was a Bond-street lounger with the self-complacency
I enjoyed now that I was occupied in a laborious but interesting and
honourable pursuit. I confess, I had sometimes, however, the weakness
to think the worse of human nature, for what I called the desertion and
ingratitude of these my former companions and flatterers; and I could
not avoid comparing the neglect and solitude in which I lived in London,
where I had lavished my fortune, with the kindness and hospitalities
I had received in Dublin, where I lived only when I had no fortune to
spend. After a little time, however, I became more reasonable and just;
for I considered that it was my former dissipated mode of life,
and imprudent choice of associates, which I should blame for the
mortifications I now suffered from the desertion of companions, who
were, in fact, incapable of being friends. In London I had lived with
the most worthless, in Dublin with the best company; and in each place I
had been treated as, in fact, I deserved. But, leaving the history of my
feelings, I must proceed with my narrative.

One night, after I had dined with an Irish gentleman, a friend of Lord
Y----'s, at the west end of the town, as I was returning late to my
lodgings, I was stopped for some time by a crowd of carriages, in one
of the fashionable streets. I found that there was a masquerade at
the house of a lady, with whom I had been intimately acquainted.
The clamours of the mob, eager to see the dresses of those who were
alighting from their carriages, the gaudy and fantastic figures which I
beheld by the light of the flambeaux, the noise and the bustle, put me
in mind of various similar nights of my past life, and it seemed to
me like a dream, or reminiscence of some former state of existence.
I passed on as soon as the crowd would permit, and took my way down a
narrow street, by which I hoped to get, by a shorter way than usual,
to my quiet lodgings. The rattling of the carriages, the oaths of the
footmen, and the shouts of the mob still sounded in my ears; and the
masquerade figures had scarcely faded from my sight, when I saw, coming
slowly out of a miserable entry, by the light of a few wretched candles
and lanterns, a funeral. The contrast struck me: I stood still to make
way for the coffin; and I heard one say to another, "What matter how
she's buried! I tell you, be at as little expense as possible, for he'll
never pay a farthing." I had a confused recollection of having heard the
voice before: as one of the bearers lifted his lantern, I saw the face
of the woman who spoke, and had a notion of having seen her before.
I asked whose funeral it was; and I was answered, "It is one Mrs.
Crawley's--Lady Glenthorn that was," added the woman. I heard no more: I
was so much shocked, that I believe I should have fallen in the street,
if I had not been immediately supported by somebody near me. When I
recovered my recollection, I saw the funeral had moved on some paces,
and the person who supported me, I now found, was a clergyman. In a mild
voice, he told me that his duty called him away from me at present, but
he added, that if I would tell him where I could be found, he would
see me in the morning, and give me any information in his power, as he
supposed that I was interested for this unfortunate woman. I put a card
with my address into his hands, thanked him, and got home as well as I
could. In the morning, the clergyman called upon me--a most benevolent
man, unknown to fame; but known to all the wretched within the reach of
his consolatory religion. He gave me a melancholy account of the last
days of the unhappy woman, whose funeral I had just seen. I told him who
I was, and what she had been to me. She had, almost in her last moments,
as he assured me, expressed her sense of, what she called, my generosity
to her, and had shown deep contrition for her infidelity. She died in
extreme poverty and wretchedness, with no human being who was, or even
seemed, interested for her, but a maid-servant (the woman whose voice I
recollected), whose services were purchased to the last, by presents of
whatever clothes or trinkets were left from the wreck of her mistress's
fortune. Crawley, it seems, had behaved brutally to his victim. After
having long delayed to perform his promise of marrying her, he declared
that he could never think of a woman who had been divorced in any other
way than a mistress: she, poor weak creature, consented to live with him
on any terms; but, as his passions and his interest soon turned to new
objects, he cast her off without scruple, refusing to pay any of the
tradesmen, who had supplied her while she bore his name. He refused to
pay the expenses even of her funeral, though she had shared with him her
annuity, and every thing she possessed. I paid the funeral expenses,
and some arrears of the maid's wages, together with such debts for
necessaries as I had reason to believe were justly due: the strict
economy with which I had lived for three years, and the parting with a
watch and some other trinkets too fine for my circumstances, enabled
me to pay this money without material inconvenience, and it was a
satisfaction to my mind. The good clergyman who managed these little
matters became interested for me, and our acquaintance with each other
grew every day more intimate and agreeable. When he found that I was
studying the law, he begged to introduce me to a brother of his, who had
been one of the most eminent special pleaders in London, and who now, on
a high salary, undertook to prepare students for the bar. I was rather
unwilling to accept of this introduction, because I was not rich enough
to become a pupil of this gentleman's; but my clergyman guessed the
cause of my reluctance, and told me that his brother had charged him to
overrule all such objections. "My brother and I," continued he, "though
of different professions, have in reality but one mind between us: he
has heard from me all the circumstances I know of you, and they have
interested him so much, that he desires, in plain English, to be of any
service he can to you."

This offer was made in earnest; and if I had given him the largest
salary that could have been offered by the most opulent of his pupils,
I could not have met with more attention, or have been instructed with
more zeal than I was, by my new friend the special pleader. He was also
so kind as to put me at ease by the assurance, that whenever I should
begin to make money by my profession, he would accept of remuneration.
He jestingly said, that he would make the same bargain with me that was
made by the famous sophist Protagoras of old with his pupil, that he
should have the profits of the first cause I should win--certain that I
would not, like his treacherous pupil Evathlus, employ the rhetorician's
arms against himself, to cheat him out of his promised reward. My
special pleader was not a mere man of forms and law _rigmaroles_; he
knew the reason for the forms he used: he had not only a technical, but
a rational knowledge of his business; and, what is still more uncommon,
he knew how to teach what he had learnt. He did not merely set me down
at a desk, and leave me skins after skins of parchment to pore over in
bewildered and hopeless stupidity; he did not use me like a mere copying
machine, to copy sheet after sheet for him, every morning from nine till
four, and again every evening from five till ten. Mine was a law tutor
of a superior sort. Wherever he could, he gave me a clue to guide me
through the labyrinth; and when no reason could be devised for what the
law directs, he never puzzled me by attempting to explain what could not
be explained; he did not insist upon the total surrender of my rational
faculties, but with wonderful liberality would allow me to call
nonsense, nonsense; and would, after two or three hours' hard
scrivening, as the case might require--for this I thank him more than
all the rest--permit me to yawn, and stretch, and pity myself, and
curse the useless repetitions of lawyers, sinking under the weight of
_declarations_, and _replications_, and _double pleas_, and _dilatory,

    _"Of horse pleas, traverses, demurrers,
    Jeofails, imparlances, and errors.
    Averments, bars, and profestandoes.'"_

O! Cecilia, what pains did I endure to win your applause! Yet, that
I may state the whole truth, let me acknowledge, that even these, my
dullest, hardest tasks, were light, compared with the burden I formerly
bore of ennui. At length my period of probation in my pleader's
office was over; I escaped from the dusky desk, and the smell of musty
parchments, and the close smoky room; I finished _eating my terms_ at
the Temple, and returned, even, as the captain of the packet swore, "in
the face and teeth of the wind," to Dublin.

But, in my haste to return, I must not omit to notice, for the sake of
poetical equity, that just when I was leaving England, I heard that
slow but sure-paced justice at last overtook that wretch Crawley. He was
detected and convicted of embezzling considerable sums, the property of
a gentleman in Cheshire, who had employed him as his agent. I saw him,
as I passed through Chester, going to prison, amidst the execrations of
the populace.


As I was not, as formerly, asleep in my carriage on deck, when we came
within sight of the Irish shore, I saw, and hailed with delight, the
beautiful bay of Dublin. The moment we landed, instead of putting myself
out of humour, as before, with every thing at the Marine Hotel, I went
directly to my friend Lord Y----'s. I made my _sortie_ from the hotel
with so much extraordinary promptitude, that a slip-shod waiter was
forced to pursue me, running or shuffling after me the whole length of
the street, before he could overtake me with a letter, which had
been "waiting for my honour, at the hotel, since yesterday's Holyhead
packet." This was a mistake, as the letter had never come or gone by any
Holyhead packet; it was only a letter from Mr. M'Leod, to welcome me
to Ireland again; and to tell me, that he had taken care to secure good
well-aired lodgings for me: he added an account of what was going on at
Glenthorn Castle. The extravagance of _my lady_ had by this time reduced
the family to great difficulties for ready money, as they could neither
sell nor mortgage any part of the Glenthorn estate, which was settled
on the son. My poor foster-brother had, it seems, in vain attempted to
restrain the wasteful folly of his wife, and to persuade Johnny, the
young heir-apparent, to _larn_ to be a _jantleman_: in vain Christy
tried to prevail on his lordship to "refrain drinking whisky
_preferably_ to claret:" the youth pleaded both his father's and
mother's examples; and said, that as he was an only son, and his father
had but a life-interest in the estate, he _expected_ to be indulged; he
repeated continually "a short life and a merry one for me." Mr. M'Leod
concluded this letter by observing, "that far from its being a merry
life, he never saw any thing more sad than the life this foolish boy
led; and that Glenthorn Castle was so melancholy and disgusting a scene
of waste, riot, and intemperance, that he could not bear to go there." I
was grieved by this account, for the sake of my poor foster-brother; but
it would have made a deeper impression upon me at any other time. I must
own that I forgot the letter, and all that it contained, as I knocked at
Lord Y----'s door.

Lord Y---- received me with open arms; and, with all the kindness of
friendship, anticipated the questions I longed, yet feared, to ask.

"Cecilia Delamere is still unmarried--Let these words be enough to
content you for the present; all the rest is, I hope, in your own

In my power!--delightful thought! yet how distant that hope! For I was
now, after all my labours, but just called to the bar; not yet likely,
for years, to make a guinea, much less a fortune, by my profession.
Many of the greatest of our lawyers have gone circuit for ten or twelve
years, before they made a _Fashionable Life_. hundred a year; and I was
at this time four-and-thirty. I confessed to my Lord Y----, that these
reflections alarmed and depressed me exceedingly: but he encouraged me
by this answer--"Persevere--deserve success; and trust the rest, not
to fortune, but to your friends. It is not required of you to make ten
thousand or one thousand a year at the bar, in any given time; but it is
expected from you to give proofs that you are capable of conquering the
indolence of your disposition or of your former habits. It is required
from you to give proofs of intellectual energy and ability. When you
have convinced me that you have the knowledge and assiduity that ought
to succeed at the bar, I shall be certain that only time is wanting to
your actual acquisition of a fortune equal to what I ought to require
for my fair friend and relation. When it comes to that point, it will,
my dear sir, be time enough for me to say more. Till it comes to that
point, I have promised Mrs. Delamere that you will not even attempt to
see her daughter. She blames me for having permitted Cecilia and you to
see so much of each other, as you did in this house when you were last
in Ireland. Perhaps I was imprudent, but your conduct has saved me
from my own reproaches, and I fear no other. I end where I began, with
'Persevere--and may the success your perseverance deserves be your
reward.' If I recollect right, these were nearly Miss Delamere's own
words at parting with you."

In truth, I had not forgotten them; and I was so much excited by their
repetition at this moment, and by my excellent friend's encouraging
voice, that all difficulties, all dread of future labours or evils,
vanished from my view. I went my first circuit, and made two guineas,
and was content; for Lord Y---- was not disappointed: he told me it
would, it must be so. But though I made no money, I obtained gradually,
amongst my associates at the bar, the reputation for judgment and
knowledge. Of this they could judge by my conversation, and by the
remarks on the trials brought on before us. The elder counsel had been
prepared in my favour, first by Mr. Devereux, and afterwards by my
diligence in following their advice, during my studies in Dublin: they
perceived that I had not lost my time in London, and that _my mind was
in my possession_. They prophesied, that from the moment I began to be
employed, I should rise rapidly. Opportunity, they told me, was now all
that I wanted, and for that I must wait with patience. I waited with
as much patience as I could. I had many friends; some among the judges,
some among a more powerful class of men, the attorneys: some of these
friends made for me by Mr. Devereux and Lady Geraldine; some by Lord
Y----; some, may I say it? by myself. Yet the utmost that even the
highest patronage from the bench can do for a young barrister is, to
give him an opportunity of distinguishing himself in preference to other
competitors. This was all I hoped; and I was not deceived in this hope.
It happened that a cause of considerable moment, which had come on in
our circuit, and to the whole course of which I had attended with great
care, was removed, by an appeal, to Dublin. I fortunately, I should say
prudently, was in the habit of constant attendance at the courts: the
counsel who was engaged to manage this cause was suddenly taken ill, and
was disabled from proceeding. The judge called upon me; the attorneys,
and the other counsel, were all agreed in wishing me to take up the
business, for they knew I was prepared, and competent to the question.
The next day the cause, which was then to be finally decided, came on.
I sat up all night to look over my documents, and to make myself sure of
my points. Ten years before this, if any one had prophesied this of me,
how little could I have believed them!

The trial came on--I rose to speak. How fortunate it was for me, that I
did not know my Lord Y---- was in the court! I am persuaded that I
could not have uttered three sentences, if he had caught my eye in the
exordium of this my first harangue. Every man of sensibility--and no man
without it can be an orator--every man of sensibility knows that it is
more difficult to speak in the presence of one anxious friend, of whose
judgment we have a high opinion, than before a thousand auditors who are
indifferent, and are strangers to us. Not conscious who was listening
to me, whose eyes were upon me, whose heart was beating for me, I spoke
with confidence and fluency, for I spoke on a subject of which I had
previously made myself completely master; and I was so full of the
matter, that I thought not of the words. Perhaps this, and my having
the right side of the question, were the causes of my success. I heard
a buzz of thanks and applause round me. The decree was given in our
favour. At this moment I recollected my bargain, and my debt to my good
master the special pleader. But all bargains, all debts, all special
pleaders, vanished the next instant from my mind; for the crowd opened,
Lord Y---- appeared before me, seized my hand, congratulated me actually
with tears of joy, carried me away to his carriage, ordered the coachman
to drive home--fast! fast!

"And now," said he to me, "I am satisfied. Your trial is
over--successfully over--you have convinced me of your powers and your
perseverance. All the hopes of friendship are fulfilled: may all the
hopes of love be accomplished! You have now my free and full approbation
to address my ward and relation, Cecilia Delamere. You will have
difficulties with her mother, perhaps; but none beyond what we good and
great lawyers shall, I trust, be able to overrule. Mrs. Delamere knows,
that, as I have an unsettled estate, and but one son, I have it in my
power to provide for her daughter as if she were my own. It has always
been my intention to do so: but if you marry Miss Delamere, you will
still find it necessary to pursue your profession diligently, to
maintain her in her own rank and style of life; and now that you have
felt the pleasures of successful exertion, you will consider this
necessity as an additional blessing. From what I have heard this day,
there can be no doubt, that, by pursuing your profession, you can
secure, in a few years, not only ease and competence, but affluence and
honours--honours of your own earning. How far superior to any hereditary

The carriage stopped at Lord Y----'s door. My friend presented me to
Cecilia, whom I saw this day for the first time since my return to
Ireland. From this hour I date the commencement of my life of real
happiness. How unlike that life of _pleasure_, to which so many give
erroneously the name of happiness! Lord Y----, with his powerful
influence, supported my cause with Mrs. Delamere, who was induced,
though with an ill grace, to give up her opposition.

"Cecilia," she said, "was now three-and-twenty, an age to judge for
herself; and Lord Y----'s judgment was a great point in favour of
Mr. O'Donoghoe, to be sure. And no doubt Mr. O'Donoghoe might make a
fortune, since he had made a figure already at the bar. In short, she
could not oppose the wishes of Lord Y----, and the affections of her
daughter, since they were so fixed. But, after all," said Mrs. Delamere,
"what a horrid thing it will be to hear my girl called Mrs. O'Donoghoe!
Only conceive the sound of--Mrs. O'Donoghoe's carriage there!--Mrs.
O'Donoghoe's carriage stops the way!"

"Your objection, my dear madam," replied Lord Y----, "is fully as
well founded as that of a young lady of my acquaintance, who could not
prevail on her delicacy to become the wife of a merchant of the name
of _Sheepshanks_. He very wisely, or very gallantly, paid five hundred
pounds to change his name. I make no doubt that your future son-in-law
will have no objection to take and bear the name and arms of Delamere;
and I think I can answer for it, that a king's letter may be obtained,
empowering him to do so. With this part of the business allow me to
charge myself."

I spare the reader the protracted journal of a lover's hopes and fears.
Cecilia, convinced, by the exertions in which I had so long persevered,
that my affection for her was not only sincere and ardent, but likely to
be permanent, did not torture me by the vain delays of female coquetry.
She believed, she said, that a man capable of conquering habitual
indolence could not be of a feeble character; and she therefore
consented, without hesitation, to entrust her happiness to my care.

I hope my readers have, by this time, too favourable an opinion of me to
suspect, that, in my joy, I forgot him who had been my steady friend in
adversity. I wrote to M'Leod, as soon as I knew my own happiness, and
assured him that it would be incomplete without his sympathy. I do not
think there was at our wedding a face of more sincere, though sober joy,
than M'Leod's. Cecilia and I have been now married above a twelvemonth,
and she permits me to say, that she has never, for a moment, repented
her choice. That I have not relapsed into my former habits, the
judicious and benevolent reader will hence infer: and yet I have been in
a situation to be spoiled; for I scarcely know a wish of my heart that
remains ungratified, except the wish that my friend Mr. Devereux and
Lady Geraldine should return from India, to see and partake of that
happiness of which they first prepared the foundation. They first
awakened my dormant intellects, made me know that I had a heart, and
that I was capable of forming a character for myself. The loss of my
estate continued the course of my education, forced me to exert my own
powers, and to rely upon myself. My passion for the amiable and charming
Cecilia was afterwards motive sufficient to urge me to persevering
intellectual labour: fortunately my marriage has obliged me to continue
my exertions, and the labours of my profession have made the pleasures
of domestic life most delightful. The rich, says a philosophic moralist,
are obliged to labour, if they would be healthy or happy; and they call
this labour exercise.

Whether, if I were again a rich man, I should have sufficient voluntary
exertion to take a due portion of mental and bodily exercise, I dare
not pretend to determine, nor do I wish to be put to the trial. Desiring
nothing in life but the continuance of the blessings I possess, I may
here conclude my memoirs, by assuring my readers, that after a full
experience of most of what are called the pleasures of life, I would not
accept of all the Glenthorn and Sherwood estates, to pass another year
of such misery as I endured whilst I was "stretched on the rack of a too
easy chair."

The preceding memoirs were just ready for publication, when I received
the following letter:


"Since the day I parted yees, nothing in life but misfortins has
happened me, owing to my being overruled by my wife, who would be a
lady, all I could say again it. But that's over, and there's no help;
for all and all that ever she can say will do no good. The castle's
burnt down all to the ground, and my Johnny's dead, and I wish I was
dead in his place. The occasion of his death was owing to drink, which
he fell into from getting too much money, and nothing to do--and a snuff
of a candle. When going to bed last night, a little in liquor, what does
he do but takes the candle, and sticks it up against the head of his
bed, as he used oftentimes to do, without detriment, in the cabin where
he was reared, against the mud-wall. But this was close to an ould
window curtain, and a deal of ould wood in the bed, which was all in a
smother, and he lying asleep after drinking, when he was ever hard to
wake, and before he waked at all, it appears the unfortunit _cratur_ was
smothered, and none heard a sentence of it, till the ceiling of my room,
the blue bedchamber, with a piece of the big wood cornice, fell, and
wakened me with terrible uproar, and all above and about me was flame
and smoke, and I just took my wife on my back, and down the stairs with
her, which did not give in till five minutes after, and she screeching,
and all them relations she had screeching and running every one for
themselves, and no thought in any to save any thing at all, but just
what they could for themselves, and not a sarvant that was in his right
rason. I got the ladder with a deal of difficulty, and up to Johnny's
room, and there was a sight for me--he a corpse, and how even to get the
corpse out of that, myself could not tell, for I was bewildered, and how
they took me down, I don't well know. When I came to my sinses, I was
lying on the ground in the court, and all confusion and screaming still,
and the flames raging worse than ever. There's no use in describing
all--the short of it is, there's nothing remaining of the castle but
the stones; and it's little I'd think o' that, if I could have Johnny
back--such as he used to be in my good days; since he's gone, I am no
good. I write this to beg you, being married, of which I give you joy,
to Miss Delamere, that is the _hare_ at law, will take possession of
all immediately, for I am as good as dead, and will give no hindrance.
I will go back to my forge, and, by the help of God, forget at my work
what has passed; and as to my wife, she may go to her own kith and kin,
if she will not abide by me. I shall not trouble her long. Mr. M'Leod
is a good man, and will follow any directions you send; and may the
blessing of God attind, and come to reign over us again, when you will
find me, as heretofore,

"Your loyal foster-brother,


Glenthorn Castle is now rebuilding; and when it is finished, and when
I return thither, I will, if it should be desired by the public, give
a faithful account of my feelings. I flatter myself that I shall not
relapse into indolence; my understanding has been cultivated--I have
acquired a taste for literature, and the example of Lord Y---- convinces
me that a man may at once be rich and noble, and active and happy.

Written in 1804. Printed in 1809.


[73] Clodius Albinus.

[74] I was not the nobleman who laid a wager, that he could ride a fine
horse to death in fifteen minutes. Indeed, I must do myself the justice
to say, that I rejoiced at this man's losing his bet. He _blew_ the
horse in four minutes, and killed it; but it did not die within the time
prescribed by the bet.

[75] If any one should think it impossible that a man of Lord
Glenthorn's consequence should, at the supposed moment of his death,
thus be neglected, let them recollect the scenes that followed the death
of Tiberius--of Henry the Fourth of France--of William Rufus, and of
George the Second.

[76] "For fostering, I did never hear or read, that it was in use or
reputation in any country, barbarous or civil, as it hath been, and yet
is, in Ireland.... In the opinion of this people, fostering hath always
been a stronger alliance than blood; and the foster-children do love and
are beloved of their foster-fathers and their sept (or _clan_) more than
of their natural parents and kindred; and do participate of their
means more frankly, and do adhere unto them, in all fortunes, with
more affection and constancy.... Such a general custom in a kingdom, in
giving and taking children to foster, making such a firm alliance as it
doth in Ireland, was never seen or heard of in any other country of the
world beside."--DAVIES.

See in Lodge's Peerage of Ireland an account of an Irish nurse, who went
from Kerry to France, and from France to Milan, to see her foster-son,
the Lord Thomas Fitzmaurice; and to warn him that his estate was in
danger from an heir-at-law, who had taken possession of it in his
absence. The nurse, being very old, died on her return home.

[77] Verbatim.

[78] Since Lord Glenthorn's Memoirs were published, the editor has
received letters and information from the east, west, north, and
south of Ireland, on the present state of posting in that country. The
following is one of the many, which is vouched by indisputable authority
as a true and recent anecdote, given in the very words in which it was
related to the editor ... Mr. ------, travelling in Ireland, having got
into a hackney chaise, was surprised to hear the driver knocking at
each side of the carriage. "What are you doing?"--"A'n't I nailing
your honour up?"--"Why do you nail me up? I don't wish to be nailed
up."--"Augh! would your honour have the doors fly off the hinges?" When
they came to the end of the stage, Mr. ------ begged the man to unfasten
the doors. "Ogh! what would I he taking out the nails for, to be racking
the doors?"--"How shall I get out then?"--"Can't your honour get out of
the window like any other _jantleman?_" Mr. ------ began the operation;
but, having forced his head and shoulder out, could get no farther, and
called again to the postilion. "Augh! did any one ever see any one get
out of a chay head foremost? Can't your honour put out your feet first,
like a Christian?"

Another correspondent from the south relates, that when he refused to
go on till one of the four horses, who wanted a shoe, was shod, his two
postilions in his hearing commenced thus: "Paddy, where _will_ I get
a shoe, and no smith nigh hand?"--"Why don't you see yon _jantleman's_
horse in the field? can't you go and unshoe him?"--"True for ye," said
Jem; "but that horse's shoe will never fit him."--"Augh! you can but try
it," said Paddy.--So the gentleman's horse was actually unshod, and his
shoe put upon the hackney horse; and, fit or not fit, Paddy went off
with it.

Another gentleman, travelling in the north of Ireland in a hackney
chaise during a storm of wind and rain, found that two of the windows
were broken, and two could not by force or art of man be pulled up: he
ventured to complain to his Paddy of the inconvenience he suffered from
the storm pelting in his face. His consolation was, "Augh! God bless
your honour, and can't you get out and _set_ behind the carriage, and
you'll not get a drop at all, I'll engage."

[79] Mirabeau--Secret Memoirs.

[80] See Philosophical Transactions, vol. lxvii. part ii., Sir George
Shuckburgh's observations to ascertain the height of mountains--for a
full account of the cabin of a couple of Alpine shepherdesses.

[81] See Harrison.

[82] "En petit compris vous pouvez voir     Ce qui comprend beaucoup par renommé,
     Plume, labeur, la langue, et le devoir
     Furent vaincus par l'amant de l'aimée.
     O gentille ame, étant toute estimée!
     Qui te pourra louer, qu'en se taisant?
     Car la parole est toujours réprimée
     Quand le sujet surmonte le disant."

[83] "The stag is roused from the woods that skirt Glenaa mountain, in
which there are many of these animals that run wild; the bottoms and
sides of the mountains are covered with woods, and the declivities are
so long and steep that no horse could either make his way to the bottom,
or climb these impracticable hills. It is impossible to follow the hunt,
either on foot or on horseback. The spectator enjoys the diversion on
the lake, where the cry of hounds, the harmony of the horn, resounding
from the hills on every side, the universal shouts of joy along the
valleys and mountains, which are often lined with foot-people, who come
in vast numbers to partake and assist at the diversion, re-echo from
hill to hill, and give the highest glee and satisfaction that the
imagination can conceive possible to arise from the chase, and perhaps
can nowhere be enjoyed with that spirit and sublime elevation of soul,
that a thorough-bred sportsman feels at a stag-hunt on the Lake of
Killarney. There is, however, one imminent danger which awaits him; that
in his raptures and ecstasies he may forget himself and jump out of
the boat. When hotly pursued, and weary with the constant difficulty of
making his way with his ramified antlers through the woods, the stag,
terrified at the cry of his open-mouthed pursuers, almost at his heels,
now looks toward the lake as his last resource--then pauses and looks
upwards; but the hills are insurmountable, and the woods refuse to
shelter him--the hounds roar with redoubled fury at the sight of their
victim--he plunges into the lake. He escapes but for a few minutes from
one merciless enemy to fall into the hands of another--the shouting
boat-men surround their victim--throw cords round his majestic
antlers--he is haltered and dragged to shore; while the big tears
roll down his face, and his heaving sides and panting flanks speak his
agonies, the keen searching knife drinks his blood, and savages exult at
his expiring groan."

[84] Than.

[85] An Irishman in using this word has some confused notion that it
comes from _negro_; whereas it really means niggard.


    "Horrible monster! hated by gods and men."--PHILLIPS.

"In the higher and middle classes of society," says a celebrated writer,
"it is a melancholy and distressing sight to observe, not unfrequently,
a man of a noble and ingenuous disposition, once feelingly alive to a
sense of honour and integrity, gradually sinking under the pressure of
his circumstances, making his excuses at first with a blush of conscious
shame, afraid to see the faces of his friends from whom he may have
borrowed money, reduced to the meanest tricks and subterfuges to delay
or avoid the payment of his just debts, till, ultimately grown familiar
with falsehood, and at enmity with the world, he loses all the grace and
dignity of man."

Colonel Pembroke, the subject of the following story, had not, at the
time his biographer first became acquainted with him, "grown familiar
with falsehood;" his conscience was not entirely callous to reproach,
nor was his heart insensible to compassion; but he was in a fair way
to get rid of all troublesome feelings and principles. He was connected
with a set of selfish young men of fashion, whose opinions stood him in
stead of law, equity, and morality; to them he appealed in all doubtful
cases, and his self-complacency being daily and hourly dependent upon
their decisions, he had seldom either leisure or inclination to consult
his own judgment. His amusements and his expenses were consequently
regulated by the example of his companions, not by his own choice. To
follow them in every absurd variety of the mode, either in dress
or, equipage, was his first ambition; and all their factitious wants
appeared to him objects of the first necessity. No matter how good the
boots, the hat, the coat, the furniture, or the equipage might be, if
they had outlived the fashion of the day, or even of the hour, they
were absolutely worthless in his eyes. _Nobody_ could be seen in such
things--then of what use could they be to _any body_? Colonel Pembroke's
finances were not exactly equal to the support of such _liberal_
principles; but this was a misfortune which he had in common with
several of his companions. It was no check to their spirit--they could
live upon credit--credit, "that talisman, which realizes every thing
it imagines, and which can imagine every thing." [See Des Casaux sur le
Méchanisme de la Société.] Without staying to reflect upon the immediate
or remote consequences of this system, Pembroke, in his first attempts,
found it easy to reduce it to practice: but, as he proceeded, he
experienced some difficulties. Tradesmen's bills accumulated, and
applications for payment became every day more frequent and pressing. He
defended himself with much address and ingenuity, and practice perfected
him in all the Fabian arts of delay. "_No faith with duns_" became, as
he frankly declared, a maxim of his morality. He could now, with a
most plausible face, protest to a _poor devil_, upon the honour of a
gentleman, that he should be paid to-morrow; when nothing was farther
from his intentions or his power than to keep his word: and when
_to-morrow_ came, he could, with the most easy assurance, _damn the
rascal_ for putting a gentleman in mind of his promises. But there were
persons more difficult to manage than _poor devils_. Colonel Pembroke's
tailor, who had begun by being the most accommodating fellow in the
world, and who had in three years run him up a bill of thirteen
hundred pounds, at length began to fail in complaisance, and had the
impertinence to talk of his large family, and his urgent calls for
money, etc. And next, the colonel's shoe and boot-maker, a man from whom
he had been in the habit of taking two hundred pounds' worth of shoes
and boots every year, for himself and his servants, now pretended to
be in distress for ready money, and refused to furnish more goods upon
credit. "Ungrateful dog!" Pembroke called him; and he actually believed
his creditors to be ungrateful and insolent, when they asked for their
money; for men frequently learn to believe what they are in the daily
habit of asserting [Rochefoucault], especially if their assertions
be not contradicted by their audience. He knew that his tradesmen
overcharged him in every article he bought, and therefore he thought it
but just to delay payment whilst it suited his convenience. "Confound
them, they can very well afford to wait!" As to their pleas of urgent
demands for ready money, large families, &c., he considered these
merely as words of course, tradesmen's cant, which should make no more
impression upon a gentleman than the whining of a beggar.

One day when Pembroke was just going out to ride with some of his
gay companions, he was stopped at his own door by a pale, thin,
miserable-looking boy, eight or nine years old, who presented him with
a paper, which he took for granted was a petition; he threw the child
half-a-crown. "There, take that," said he, "and stand out of the way of
my horse's heels, I advise you, my little fellow."

The boy, however, still pressed closer; and, without picking up the
half-crown, held the paper to Colonel Pembroke, who had now vaulted into
his saddle.

"O no! no! That's too much, my lad--I never read petitions--I'd sooner
give half-a-crown at any time than read a petition."

"But, sir, this is not a petition--indeed, sir, I am not a beggar."

"What is it then?--Heyday! a bill!--Then you're worse than a beggar--a
dun!--a dun! in the public streets, at your time of life! You little
rascal, why what will you come to before you are your father's age?"
The boy sighed. "If," pursued the colonel, "I were to serve you right, I
should give you a good horse-whipping. Do you see this whip?"

"I do, sir," said the boy; "but----"

"But what? you insolent little dun!--But what?"

"My father is dying," said the child, bursting into tears, "and we have
no money to buy him bread, or any thing."

Struck by these words, Pembroke snatched the paper from the boy, and
looking hastily at the total and title of the bill, read--"Twelve pounds
fourteen--John White, weaver."--"I know of no such person!--I have no
dealings with weavers, child," said the colonel, laughing: "My name's
Pembroke--Colonel Pembroke."

"Colonel Pembroke--yes, sir, the very person Mr. Close, the tailor, sent
me to!"

"Close the tailor! D--n the rascal: was it he sent you to dun me? For
this trick he shall not see a farthing of my money this twelvemonth. You
may tell him so, you little whining hypocrite!--And, hark you! the next
time you come to me, take care to come with a better story--let your
father and mother, and six brothers and sisters, be all lying ill of the
fever--do you understand?"

He tore the bill into bits as he spoke, and showered it over the
boy's head. Pembroke's companions laughed at this operation, and he
facetiously called it "powdering a dun." They rode off to the Park in
high spirits; and the poor boy picked up the half-crown, and returned
home. His home was in a lane in Moorfields, about three miles distant
from this gay part of the town. As the child had not eaten any thing
that morning, he was feeble, and grew faint as he was crossing Covent
Garden. He sat down upon the corner of a stage of flowers.

"What are you doing there?" cried a surly man, pulling him up by the
arm; "What business have you lounging and loitering here, breaking my
best balsam?"

"I did not mean to do any harm--I am not loitering, indeed, sir,--I'm
only weak," said the boy, "and hungry."

"Oranges! oranges! fine China oranges!" cried a woman, rolling her
barrow full of fine fruit towards him. "If you've a two-pence in the
world, you can't do better than take one of these fine ripe China

"I have not two-pence of my own in the world," said the boy.

"What's that I see through the hole in your waistcoat pocket?" said the
woman; "is not that silver?"

"Yes, half-a-crown; which I am carrying home to my father, who is ill,
and wants it more than I do."

"Pooh! take an orange out of it--it's only two-pence--and it will do you
good--I'm sure you look as if you wanted it badly enough."

"That may be; but father wants it worse.--No, I won't change my
half-crown," said the boy, turning away from the tempting oranges.

The gruff gardener caught him by the hand.

"Here, I've moved the balsam a bit, and it is not broke, I see; sit ye
down, child, and rest yourself, and eat this," said he, putting into his
hand half a ripe orange, which he just cut.

"Thank you!--God bless you, sir!--How good it is!--But," said the child,
stopping after he had tasted the sweet juice, "I am sorry I have sucked
so much; I might have carried it home to father, who is ill; and what a
treat it would be to him!--I'll keep the rest."

"No--that you sha'n't," said the orange-woman. "But I'll tell you what
you shall do--take this home to your father, which is a better one by
half--I'm sure it will do him good--I never knew a ripe China orange do
harm to man, woman, or child."

The boy thanked the good woman and the gardener, as only those can thank
who have felt what it is to be in absolute want. When he was rested, and
able to walk, he pursued his way home. His mother was watching for him
at the street-door.

"Well, John, my dear, what news? Has he paid us?"

The boy shook his head.

"Then we must bear it as well as we can," said his mother, wiping the
cold dew from her forehead.

"But look, mother, I have this half-crown, which the gentleman, thinking
me a beggar, threw to me."

"Run with it, love, to the baker's. No--stay, you're tired--I'll go
myself; and do you step up to your father, and tell him the bread is
coming in a minute."

"Don't run, for you're not able, mother; don't hurry so," said the boy,
calling after her, and holding up his orange: "see, I have this for
father whilst you are away."

He clambered up three flights of dark, narrow, broken stairs, to the
room in which his father lay. The door hung by a single hinge, and the
child had scarcely strength enough to raise it out of the hollow in the
decayed floor into which it had sunk. He pushed it open, with as little
noise as possible, just far enough to creep in.

Let those forbear to follow him whose fine feelings can be moved only by
romantic, elegant scenes of distress, whose delicate sensibility shrinks
from the revolting sight of real misery. Here are no pictures for
romance, no stage effect to be seen, no poetic language to be heard;
nothing to charm the imagination,--every thing to disgust the senses.

This room was so dark, that upon first going into it, after having been
in broad daylight, you could scarcely distinguish any one object it
contained; and no one used to breathe a pure atmosphere could probably
have endured to remain many minutes in this garret. There were three
beds in it: one on which the sick man lay; divided from it by a tattered
rug was another, for his wife and daughter; and a third for his little
boy in the farthest corner. Underneath the window was fixed a loom, at
which the poor weaver had worked hard many a day and year--too hard,
indeed--even till the very hour he was taken ill. His shuttle now lay
idle upon his frame. A girl of about sixteen--his daughter--was sitting
at the foot of his bed, finishing some plain work.

"Oh, Anne! how your face is all flushed!" said her little brother, as
she looked up when he came into the room.

"Have you brought us any money?" whispered she: "don't say _No_ loud,
for fear father should hear you." The boy told her in a low voice all
that had passed.

"Speak out, my dear, I'm not asleep," said his father. "So you are come
back as you went?"

"No, father, not quite--there's bread coming for you."

"Give me some more water, Anne, for my mouth is quite parched."

The little boy cut his orange in an instant, and gave a piece of it to
his father, telling him, at the same time, how he came by it The sick
man raised his hands to heaven, and blessed the poor woman who gave it
to him.

"Oh, how I love her! and how I hate that cruel, unjust, rich man, who
won't pay father for all the hard work he has done for him!" cried the
child: "how I hate him!"

"God forgive him!" said the weaver. "I don't know what will become of
you all, when I'm gone; and no one to befriend you, or even to work at
the loom. Anne, I think if I was up," said he, raising himself, "I could
still contrive to do a little good."

"Dear father, don't think of getting up; the best you can do for us is
to lie still and take rest."

"Rest! I can take no rest, Anne. Rest! there's none for me in this
world. And whilst I'm in it, is not it my duty to work for my wife and
children? Reach me my clothes, and I'll get up."

It was in vain to contend with him, when this notion seized him that it
was his duty to work till the last. All opposition fretted and made
him worse; so that his daughter and his wife, even from affection, were
forced to yield, and to let him go to the loom, when his trembling hands
were scarcely able to throw the shuttle. He did not know how weak he was
till he tried to walk. As he stepped out of bed, his wife came in with
a loaf of bread in her hand: at the unexpected sight he made an
exclamation of joy; sprang forward to meet her, but fell upon the floor
in a swoon, before he could put one bit of the bread which she broke for
him into his mouth. Want of sustenance, the having been overworked, and
the constant anxiety which preyed upon his spirits, had reduced him to
this deplorable state of weakness. When he recovered his senses, his
wife showed him his little boy eating a large piece of bread; she also
ate, and made Anne eat before him, to relieve his mind from that dread
which had seized it--and not without some reason--that he should see his
wife and children starve to death.

"You find, father, there's no danger for to-day," said Anne; "and
to-morrow I shall be paid for my plain work, and then we shall do very
well for a few days longer; and I dare say in that time Mr. Close
the tailor will receive some money from some of the great many rich
gentlemen who owe him so much; and you know he promised that as soon as
ever he was able he would pay us."

With such hopes, and the remembrance of such promises, the poor man's
spirits could not be much raised; he knew, alas! how little dependence
was to be placed on them. As soon as he had eaten, and felt his strength
revive, he insisted upon going to the loom; his mind was bent upon
finishing a pattern, for which he was to receive five guineas in ready
money: he worked and worked, then lay down and rested himself,--then
worked again, and so on during the remainder of the day; and during
several hours of the night he continued to throw the shuttle, whilst his
little boy and his wife by turns wound spools for him.

He completed his work, and threw himself upon his bed quite exhausted,
just as the neighbouring clock struck one.

At this hour Colonel Pembroke was in the midst of a gay and brilliant
assembly at Mrs. York's, in a splendid saloon, illuminated with
wax-lights in profusion, the floor crayoned with roses and myrtles,
which the dancers' feet effaced, the walls hung with the most expensive
hot-house flowers; in short, he was surrounded with luxury in all its
extravagance. It is said that the peaches alone at this entertainment
amounted to six hundred guineas. They cost a guinea a-piece: the price
of one of them, which Colonel Pembroke threw away because it was not
perfectly ripe, would have supported the weaver and his whole family for
a week.

There are political advocates for luxury, who assert, perhaps justly,
that the extravagance of individuals increases the wealth of nations.
But even upon this system, those who by false hopes excite the
industrious to exertion, without paying them their just wages, commit
not only the most cruel private injustice, but the most important public
injury. The permanence of industry in any state must be proportioned to
the certainty of its reward.

Amongst the masks at Mrs. York's were three who amused the company
particularly; the festive mob followed them as they moved, and their
bon-mots were applauded and repeated by all the best, that is to
say, the most fashionable male and female judges of wit. The three
distinguished characters were a spendthrift, a bailiff, and a dun.
The spendthrift was supported with great spirit and _truth_ by Colonel
Pembroke, and two of his companions were _great_ and _correct_ in the
parts of the bailiff and the dun. The happy idea of appearing in these
characters this night had been suggested by the circumstance that
happened in the morning. Colonel Pembroke gave himself great credit, he
said, for thus "striking novelty even from difficulty;" and he rejoiced
that the rascal of a weaver had sent his boy to dun him, and had thus
furnished him with diversion for the evening as well as the morning.
We are much concerned that we cannot, for the advantage of posterity,
record any of the innumerable _good things_ which undoubtedly were
uttered by this trio. Even the newspapers of the day could speak only
in general panegyric. The probability, however, is, that the colonel
deserved the praises that were lavished upon his manner of supporting
his character. No man was better acquainted than himself with all those
anecdotes of men of fashion, which could illustrate the spendthrift
system. At least fifty times he had repeated, and always with the same
_glee_, the reply of a great character to a creditor, who, upon being
asked when his _bond_ debts were likely to be paid, answered, "On the
day of judgment."

Probably the admiration which this and similar sallies of wit have
excited, must have produced a strong desire in the minds of many
young men of spirit to perform similar feats; and though the ruin of
innumerable poor creditors may be the consequence, that will not surely
be deemed by a certain class of reasoners worthy of a moment's regret,
or even a moment's thought. Persons of tender consciences may, perhaps,
be shocked at the idea of committing injustice and cruelty by starving
their creditors, but they may strengthen their minds by taking an
enlarged political view of the subject.

It is obvious, that whether a hundred guineas be in the pocket of A
or B, the total sum of the wealth of the nation remains the same; and
whether the enjoyments of A be as 100, and those of B as 0,--or whether
these enjoyments be equally divided between A and B,--is a matter of no
importance to the political arithmetician, because in both cases it is
obvious that the total sum of national happiness remains the same. The
happiness of individuals is nothing compared with the general mass.

And if the individual B should fancy himself ill-used by our political
arithmetician, and should take it into his head to observe, that though
the happiness of B is nothing to the general mass, yet that it is every
thing to him, the politician of course takes snuff, and replies, that
his observation is foreign to the purpose--that the good of the whole
society is the object in view. And if B immediately accede to this
position, and only ask humbly whether the good of the whole be not made
up of the good of the parts, and whether as a part he have not some
right to his share of good, the dexterous logical arithmetician answers,
that B is totally out of the question, because B is a negative quantity
in the equation. And if obstinate B, still conceiving himself aggrieved,
objects to this total annihilation of himself and his interests, and
asks why the lot of extinction should not fall upon the debtor C, or
even upon the calculator himself, by whatever letter of the alphabet
he happens to be designated, the calculator must knit his brow, and
answer--any thing he pleases--except, _I don't know_--for this is a
phrase below the dignity of a philosopher. This argument is produced,
not as a statement of what is really the case, but as a popular argument
against political sophistry.

Colonel Pembroke, notwithstanding his success at Mrs. York's masquerade
in his character of a spendthrift, could not by his utmost wit and
address satisfy or silence his impertinent tailor. Mr. Close absolutely
refused to give further credit without valuable consideration; and
the colonel was compelled to pass his bond for the whole sum which was
claimed, which was fifty pounds more than was strictly due, in order to
compound with the tailor for the want of ready money. When the bond
was fairly signed, sealed, and delivered, Mr. Close produced the poor
weaver's bill.

"Colonel Pembroke," said he, "I have a trifling bill here--I am really
ashamed to speak to you about such a trifle--but as we are settling all
accounts--and as this White, the weaver, is so wretchedly poor, that he
or some of his family are with me every day of my life dunning me to get
me to speak about their little demand--"

"Who is this White?" said Mr. Pembroke.

"You recollect the elegant waistcoat pattern of which you afterwards
bought up the whole piece, lest it should become common and
vulgar?--this White was the weaver from whom we got it."

"Bless me! why that's two years ago: I thought that fellow was paid long

"No, indeed, I wish he had been; for he has been the torment of my life
this many a month--I never saw people so eager about their money."

"But why do you employ such miserable, greedy creatures? What can you
expect but to be dunned every hour of your life?"

"Very true, indeed, colonel; it is what I always, on that principle,
avoid as far as possibly I can: but I can't blame myself in this
particular instance; for this White, at the time I employed him first,
was a very decent man, and in a very good way, for one of his sort: but
I suppose he has taken to drink, for he is worth not a farthing now."

"What business has a fellow of his sort to drink? He should leave that
for his betters," said Colonel Pembroke, laughing. "Drinking's too
great a pleasure for a weaver. The drunken rascal's money is safer in my
hands, tell him, than in his own."

The tailor's conscience twinged him a little at this instant, for he
had spoken entirely at random, not having the slightest grounds for his
insinuation that this poor weaver had ruined himself by drunkenness.

"Upon my word, sir," said Close, retracting, "the man may not be a
drunken fellow for any thing I know positively--I purely surmised _that_
might be the case, from his having fallen into such distress, which is
no otherwise accountable for, to my comprehension, except we believe his
own story, that he has money due to him which he cannot get paid, and
that this has been his ruin."

Colonel Pembroke cleared his throat two or three times upon hearing
this last suggestion, and actually took up the weaver's bill with some
intention of paying it; but he recollected that he should want the ready
money he had in his pocket for another indispensable occasion; for
he was _obliged_ to go to Brookes's that night; so he contented his
humanity by recommending it to Mr. Close to pay White and have done with

"If you let him have the money, you know, you can put it down to my
account, or make a memorandum of it at the back of the bond. In short,
settle it as you will, but let me hear no more about it. I have not
leisure to think of such trifles--Good morning to you, Mr. Close."

Mr. Close was far from having any intention of complying with the
colonel's request. When the weaver's wife called upon him after his
return home, he assured her that he had not seen the colour of one
guinea, or one farthing, of Colonel Pembroke's money; and that it was
absolutely impossible that he could pay Mr. White till he was paid
himself--that it could not be expected he should advance money for any
body out of his own pocket--that he begged he might not be pestered and
dunned any more, for that _he really had not leisure to think of such

For want of this trifle, of which neither the fashionable colonel nor
his fashionable tailor had leisure to think, the poor weaver and
his whole family were reduced to the last degree of human misery--to
absolute famine. The man had exerted himself to the utmost to finish a
pattern, which had been bespoken for a tradesman who promised upon the
delivery of it to pay him five guineas in hand. This money he received;
but four guineas of it were due to his landlord for rent of his wretched
garret, and the remaining guinea was divided between the baker, to whom
an old bill was due, and the apothecary, to whom they were obliged
to have recourse, as the weaver was extremely ill. They had literally
nothing now to depend upon but what the wife and daughter could earn
by needlework; and they were known to be so miserably poor, that the
_prudent_ neighbours did not like to trust them with plain work, lest
it should not be returned safely. Besides, in such a dirty place as they
lived in, how could it be expected that they should put any work out
of their hands decently clean? The woman to whom the house belonged,
however, at last procured them work from Mrs. Carver, a widow lady, who
she said was extremely charitable. She advised Anne to carry home the
work as soon as it was finished, and to wait to see the lady herself,
who might perhaps be as charitable to her as she was to many others.
Anne resolved to take this advice: but when she carried home her work
to the place to which she was directed, her heart almost failed her;
for she found Mrs. Carver lived in such a handsome house, that there was
little chance of a poor girl being admitted by the servants farther than
the hall-door or the kitchen. The lady, however, happened to be just
coming out of her parlour at the moment the hall-door was opened
for Anne; and she bid her come in and show her work--approved of
it--commended her industry--asked her several questions about her
family--seemed to be touched with compassion by Anne's account of
their distress--and after paying what she had charged for the work, put
half-a-guinea into her hand, and bid her call the next day, when
she hoped that she should be able to do something more for her. This
unexpected bounty, and the kindness of voice and look with which it was
accompanied, had such an effect upon the poor girl, that if she had not
caught hold of a chair to support herself she would have sunk to the
ground. Mrs. Carver immediately made her sit down--"Oh, madam! I'm well,
quite well now--it was nothing--only surprise," said she, bursting into
tears. "I beg your pardon for this foolishness--but it is only because
I'm weaker to-day than usual, for want of eating."

"For want of eating! my poor child! How she trembles! she is weak
indeed, and must not leave my house in this condition."

Mrs. Carver rang the bell, and ordered a glass of wine; but Anne was
afraid to drink it, as she was not used to wine, and as she knew that it
would affect her head if she drank without eating. When the lady found
that she refused the wine, she did not press it, but insisted upon her
eating something.

"Oh, madam!" said the poor girl, "it is long, long indeed, since I have
eaten so heartily; and it is almost a shame for me to stay eating such
dainties, when my father and mother are all the while in the way they
are. But I'll run home with the half-guinea, and tell them how good you
have been, and they will be so joyful and so thankful to you! My mother
will come herself, I'm sure, with me to-morrow morning--she can thank
you so much better than I can!"

Those only who have known the extreme of want can imagine the joy and
gratitude with which the half-guinea was received by this poor family.
Half-a-guinea!--Colonel Pembroke spent six half-guineas this very day
in a fruit-shop, and ten times that sum at a jeweller's on seals and
baubles for which he had no manner of use.

When Anne and her mother called the next morning to thank their
benefactress, she was not up; but her servant gave them a parcel from
his mistress: it contained a fresh supply of needlework, a gown, and
some other clothes, which were directed _for Anne_. The servant said,
that if she would call again about eight in the evening, his lady
would probably be able to see her, and that she begged to have the
work finished by that time. The work was finished, though with some
difficulty, by the appointed hour; and Anne, dressed in her new clothes,
was at Mrs. Carver's door just as the clock struck eight. The old lady
was alone at tea; she seemed to be well pleased by Anne's punctuality;
said that she had made inquiries respecting Mr. and Mrs. White, and
that she heard an excellent character of them; that therefore she was
disposed to do every thing she could to serve them. She added, that she
"should soon part with her own maid, and that perhaps Anne might supply
her place." Nothing could be more agreeable to the poor girl than this
proposal: her father and mother were rejoiced at the idea of seeing her
so well placed; and they now looked forward impatiently for the day when
Mrs. Carver's maid was to be dismissed. In the mean time the old
lady continued to employ Anne, and to make her presents, sometimes
of clothes, and sometimes of money. The money she always gave to her
parents; and she loved her "good old lady," as she always called her,
more for putting it in her power thus to help her father and mother
than for all the rest. The weaver's disease had arisen from want of
sufficient food, from fatigue of body, and anxiety of mind; and he grew
rapidly better, now that he was relieved from want, and inspired with
hope. Mrs. Carver bespoke from him two pieces of waistcoating, which
she promised to dispose of for him most advantageously, by a raffle, for
which she had raised subscriptions amongst her numerous acquaintance.
She expressed great indignation, when Anne told her how Mr. White had
been ruined by persons who would not pay their just debts; and when
she knew that the weaver was overcharged for all his working materials,
because he took them upon credit, she generously offered to lend them
whatever ready money might be necessary, which she said Anne might
repay, at her leisure, out of her wages.

"Oh, madam!" said Anne, "you are too good to us, indeed--too good! and
if you could but see into our hearts, you would know that we are not

"I am sure _that_ is what you never will be, my dear," said the old
lady; "at least such is my opinion of you."

"Thank you, ma'am! thank you, from the bottom of my heart!--We should
all have been starved, if it had not been for you. And it is owing to
you that we are so happy now--quite different creatures from what we

"Quite a different creature indeed, you look, child, from what you did
the first day I saw you. To-morrow my own maid goes, and you may come at
ten o'clock; and I hope we shall agree very well together--you'll find
me an easy mistress, and I make no doubt I shall always find you the
good, grateful girl you seem to be."

Anne was impatient for the moment when she was to enter into the service
of her benefactress; and she lay awake half the night, considering how
she should ever be able to show sufficient gratitude. As Mrs. Carver had
often expressed her desire to have Anne look neat and smart, she dressed
herself as well as she possibly could; and when her poor father and
mother took leave of her, they could not help observing, as Mrs. Carver
had done the day before, that "Anne looked quite a different creature
from what she was a few weeks ago." She was, indeed, an extremely pretty
girl; but we need not stop to relate all the fond praises that were
bestowed upon her beauty by her partial parents. Her little brother John
was not at home when she was going away; he was at a carpenter's shop
in the neighbourhood mending a wheelbarrow, which belonged to that
good-natured orange-woman who gave him the orange for his father. Anne
called at the carpenter's shop to take leave of her brother. The woman
was there waiting for her barrow--she looked earnestly at Anne when she
entered, and then whispered to the boy, "Is that your sister?"--"Yes,"
said the boy, "and as good a sister she is as ever was born."

"Maybe so," said the woman; "but she is not likely to be good for much
long, in the way she is going on now."

"What way--what do you mean?" said Anne, colouring violently.

"Oh, you understand me well enough, though you look so innocent."

"I do not understand you in the least."

"No!--Why, is not it you that I see going almost every day to that house
in Chiswell-street?"

"Mrs. Carver's?--Yes."

"Mrs. Carver's indeed!" cried the woman, throwing an orange-peel from
her with an air of disdain--"a pretty come-off indeed! as if I did not
know her name, and all about her, as well as you do."

"Do you?" said Anne; "then I am sure you know one of the best women in
the world."

The woman looked still more earnestly than before in Anne's countenance;
and then, taking hold of both her hands, exclaimed, "You poor young
creature! what are you about? I do believe you don't know what you are
about--if you do, you are the greatest cheat I ever looked in the face,
long as I've lived in this cheating world."

"You frighten my sister," said the boy: "do pray tell her what you mean
at once, for look how pale she turns!"

"So much the better, for now I have good hope of her. Then to tell you
all at once--no matter how I frighten her, it's for her good--this Mrs.
Carver, as you call her, is only Mrs. Carver when she wants to pass upon
such as you for a good woman."

"To pass for a good woman!" repeated Anne, with indignation. "Oh, she
is, she is a good woman--you do not know her as I do."

"I know her a great deal better, I tell you: if you choose not to
believe me, go your ways--go to your ruin--go to your shame--go to your
grave--as hundreds have gone, by the same road, before you. Your Mrs.
Carver keeps two houses, and one of them is a bad house--and that's the
house you'll soon go to, if you trust to her: now you know the whole

The poor girl was shocked so much, that for several minutes she could
neither speak nor think. As soon as she had recovered sufficient
presence of mind to consider what she should do, she declared that she
would that instant go home and put on her rags again, and return to the
wicked Mrs. Carver all the clothes she had given her.

"But what will become of us all?--She has lent my father money--a great
deal of money. How can he pay her?--Oh, I will pay her all--I will go
into some honest service, now I am well and strong enough to do any sort
of hard work, and God knows I am willing."

Full of these resolutions, Anne hurried home, intending to tell her
father and mother all that had happened; but they were neither of them
within. She flew to the mistress of the house, who had first recommended
her to Mrs. Carver, and reproached her in the most moving terms which
the agony of her mind could suggest. Her landlady listened to her with
astonishment, either real or admirably well affected--declared that
she knew nothing more of Mrs. Carver but that she lived in a large fine
house, and that she had been very charitable to some poor people in
Moorfields--that she bore the best of characters--and that if nothing
could be said against her but by an orange-woman, there was no great
reason to believe such scandal.

Anne now began to think that the whole of what she had heard might be
a falsehood, or a mistake; one moment she blamed herself for so easily
suspecting a person who had shown her so much kindness; but the next
minute the emphatic words and warning looks of the woman recurred to her
mind; and though they were but the words and looks of an orange-woman,
she could not help dreading that there was some truth in them. The clock
struck ten whilst she was in this uncertainty. The woman of the house
urged her to go without farther delay to Mrs. Carver's, who would
undoubtedly be displeased by any want of punctuality; but Anne wished to
wait for the return of her father and mother.

"They will not be back, either of them, these three hours, for your
mother is gone to the other end of the town about that old bill of
Colonel Pembroke's, and your father is gone to buy some silk for
weaving--he told me he should not be home before three o'clock."

Notwithstanding these remonstrances, Anne persisted in her resolution:
she took off the clothes which she had received from Mrs. Carver,
and put on those which she had been used to wear. Her mother was much
surprised, when she came in, to see her in this condition; and no words
can describe her grief, when she heard the cause of this change. She
blamed herself severely for not having made inquiries concerning Mrs.
Carver before she had suffered her daughter to accept of any presents
from her; and she wept bitterly, when she recollected the money which
this woman had lent her husband.

"She will throw him into jail, I am sure she will--we shall be worse off
a thousand times than ever we were in our worst days. The work that is
in the loom, by which he hoped to get so much, is all for her, and it
will be left upon our hands now; and how are we to pay the woman of this
house for the lodgings?----Oh! I see it all coming upon us at once,"
continued the poor woman, wringing her hands. "If that Colonel Pembroke
would but let us have our own!--But there I've been all the morning
hunting him out, and at last, when I did see him, he only swore, and
said we were all a family of _duns_, or some such nonsense. And then he
called after me from the top of his fine stairs, just to say, that he
had ordered Close the tailor to pay us; and when I went to him there was
no satisfaction to be got from him--his shop was full of customers, and
he hustled me away, giving me for answer, that when Colonel Pembroke
paid him, he would pay us, and no sooner. Ah! these purse-proud
tradesfolk, and these sparks of fashion, what do they know of all we
suffer? What do they care for us?--It is not for charity I ask any of
them--only for what my own husband has justly earned, and hardly toiled
for too; and this I cannot get out of their hands. If I could, we might
defy this wicked woman--but now we are laid under her feet, and she will
trample us to death."

In the midst of these lamentations, Anne's father came in: when he
learned the cause of them, he stood for a moment in silence; then
snatched from his daughter's hand the bundle of clothes, which she had
prepared to return to Mrs. Carver.

"Give them to me; I will go to this woman myself," cried he with
indignation: "Anne shall never more set her foot within those doors."

"Dear father," cried Anne, stopping him as he went out of the door,
"perhaps it is all a mistake: do pray inquire from somebody else before
you speak to Mrs. Carver--she looks so good, she has been so kind to
me, I cannot believe that she is wicked. Do pray inquire of a great many
people before you knock at the door."

He promised that he would do all his daughter desired.

With most impatient anxiety they waited for his return: the time of his
absence appeared insupportably long, and they formed new fears and new
conjectures every instant. Every time they heard a footstep upon
the stairs, they ran out to see who it was: sometimes it was the
landlady--sometimes the lodgers or their visitors--at last came the
person they longed to see; but the moment they beheld him, all their
fears were confirmed. He was pale as death, and his lips trembled
with convulsive motion. He walked directly up to his loom, and without
speaking one syllable, began to cut the unfinished work out of it.

"What are you about, my dear?" cried his wife. "Consider what you are
about--this work of yours is the only dependence we have in the world."

"You have nothing in this world to depend upon, I tell you," cried he,
continuing to cut out the web with a hurried hand--"you must not depend
on me--you must not depend on my work--I shall never throw this shuttle
more whilst I live--think of me as if I was dead--to-morrow I shall be
dead to you--I shall be in a jail, and there must lie till carried out
in my coffin. Here, take this work just as it is to our landlady--she
met me on the stairs, and said she must have her rent directly--that
will pay her--I'll pay all I can. As for the loom, that's only
hired--the silk I bought to-day will pay the hire--I'll pay all my debts
to the uttermost farthing, as far as I am able--but the ten guineas
to that wicked woman I cannot pay--so I must rot in a jail. Don't cry,
Anne, don't cry so, my good girl--you'll break my heart, wife, if you
take on so. Why! have not we one comfort, that let us go out of this
world when we may, or how we may, we shall go out of it honest, having
no one's ruin to answer for, having done our duty to God and man, as far
as we are able?--My child," continued he, catching Anne in his arms, "I
have you safe, and I thank God for it!"

When this poor man had thus in an incoherent manner given vent to his
first feelings, he became somewhat more composed, and was able to relate
all that had passed between him and Mrs. Carver. The inquiries which he
made before he saw her sufficiently confirmed the orange-woman's story;
and when he returned the presents which Anne had unfortunately received,
Mrs. Carver, with all the audacity of a woman hardened in guilt, avowed
her purpose and her profession--declared that whatever ignorance and
innocence Anne or her parents might now find it convenient to affect,
she was "confident they had all the time perfectly understood what she
was about, and that she would not be cheated at last by a parcel of
swindling hypocrites." With horrid imprecations she then swore, that if
Anne was kept from her she would have vengeance--and that her vengeance
should know no bounds. The event showed that these were not empty
threats--the very next day she sent two bailiffs to arrest Anne's
father. They met him in the street, as he was going to pay the last
farthing he had to the baker. The wretched man in vain endeavoured to
move the ear of justice by relating the simple truth. Mrs. Carver was
rich--her victim was poor. He was committed to jail; and he entered his
prison with the firm belief, that there he must drag out the remainder
of his days.

One faint hope remained in his wife's heart--she imagined that if she
could but prevail upon Colonel Pembroke's servants, either to obtain
for her a sight of their master, or if they would carry to him a letter
containing an exact account of her distress, he would immediately pay
the fourteen pounds which had been so long due. With this money she
could obtain her husband's liberty, and she fancied all might yet be
well. Her son, who could write a very legible hand, wrote the petition.
"Ah, mother!" said he, "don't hope that Colonel Pembroke will read
it--he will tear it to pieces, as he did one that I carried him before."

"I can but try," said she; "I cannot believe that any gentleman is so
cruel, and so unjust--he must and will pay us when he knows the whole

Colonel Pembroke was dressing in a hurry, to go to a great dinner at the
Crown and Anchor tavern. One of Pembroke's gay companions had called,
and was in the room waiting for him. It was at this inauspicious time
that Mrs. White arrived. Her petition the servant at first absolutely
refused to take from her hands; but at last a young lad, whom the
colonel had lately brought from the country, and who had either more
natural feeling, or less acquired power of equivocating, than his
fellows, consented to carry up the petition, when he should, as he
expected, be called by his master to report the state of a favourite
horse that was sick. While his master's hair was dressing, the lad was
summoned; and when the health of the horse had been anxiously inquired
into, the lad with country awkwardness scratched his head, and laid the
petition before his master, saying--"Sir, there's a poor woman below
waiting for an answer; and if so be what she says is true, as I take it
to be, 'tis enough to break one's heart."

"Your heart, my lad, is not seasoned to London yet, I perceive," said
Colonel Pembroke, smiling; "why, your heart will be broke a thousand
times over by every beggar you meet."

"No, no; I be too much of a man for that," replied the groom, wiping his
eyes hastily with the back of his hand--"not such a noodle as that comes
to, neither--beggars are beggars, and so to be treated--but this woman,
sir, is no common beggar, not she; nor is she begging any ways--only to
be paid her bill--so I brought it, as I was coming up."

"Then, sir, as you are going down, you may take it down again, if you
please," cried Colonel Pembroke; "and in future, sir, I recommend it
to you to look after your horses, and to trust me to look after my own

The groom retreated; and his master gave the poor woman's petition,
without reading it, to the hair-dresser, who was looking for a piece of
paper to try the heat of his irons.

"I should be pestered with bills and petitions from morning till night,
if I did not frighten these fellows out of the trick of bringing them
to me," continued Colonel Pembroke, turning to his companion. "That
blockhead of a groom is but just come to town; he does not yet know how
to drive away a dun--but he'll learn. They say that the American dogs
did not know how to bark, till they learnt it from their civilized

Colonel Pembroke habitually drove away reflection, and silenced the
whispers of conscience, by noisy declamation, or sallies of wit.

At the bottom of the singed paper, which the hair-dresser left on the
table, the name of White was sufficiently visible. "White!" exclaimed
Colonel Pembroke, "as I hope to live and breathe, these Whites have been
this half-year the torment of my life." He started up, rang the bell,
and gave immediate orders to his servant, that _these Whites_ should
never more be let in, and that no more of their bills and petitions in
any form whatever should be brought to him. "I'll punish them for their
insolence--I won't pay them one farthing this twelvemonth: and if the
woman is not gone, pray tell her so--I bid Close the tailor pay them:
if he has not, it is no fault of mine. Let me not hear a syllable more
about it--I'll part with the first of you who dares to disobey me."

"The woman is gone, I believe, sir," said the footman; "it was not I let
her in, and I refused to bring up the letter."

"You did right. Let me hear no more about the matter. We shall be
late at the Crown and Anchor. I beg your pardon, my dear friend, for
detaining you so long."

Whilst the colonel went to his jovial meeting, where he was the life and
spirit of the company, the poor woman returned in despair to the prison
where her husband was confined.

We forbear to describe the horrible situation to which this family
were soon reduced. Beyond a certain point, the human heart cannot feel

One day, as Anne was returning from the prison, where she had been with
her father, she was met by a porter, who put a letter into her hands,
then turned down a narrow lane, and was out of sight before she could
inquire from whom he came. When she read the letter, however, she could
not be in doubt--it came from Mrs. Carver, and contained these words:--

"You can gain nothing by your present obstinacy--you are the cause
of your father's lying in jail, and of your mother's being as she is,
nearly starved to death. You can relieve them from misery worse than
death, and place them in ease and comfort for the remainder of their
days. Be assured, they do not speak sincerley to you, when they pretend
not to wish that your compliance should put an end to their present
sufferings. It is you that are cruel to them--it is you that are cruel
to yourself, and can blame nobody else. You might live all your days
in a house as good as mine, and have a plentiful table served from one
year's end to another, with all the dainties of the season, and you
might be dressed as elegantly as the most elegant lady in London (which,
by-the-bye, your beauty deserves), and you would have servants of your
own, and a carriage of your own, and nothing to do all day long but
take your pleasure. And after all, what is asked of you?--only to make
a person happy, whom half the town would envy you, that would make it a
study to gratify you in every wish of your heart. The person alluded to
you have seen, and more than once, when you have been talking to me of
work in my parlour. He is a very rich and generous gentleman. If you
come to Chiswell-street about six this evening, you will find all I say
true--if not, you and yours must take the consequences."

       *       *       *       *       *

Coarse as the eloquence of this letter may appear, Anne could not read
it without emotion: it raised in her heart a violent contest. Virtue,
with poverty and famine, were on one side--and vice, with affluence,
love, and every worldly pleasure, on the other.

Those who have been bred up in the lap of luxury; whom the breath of
heaven has never visited too roughly; whose minds from their earliest
infancy have been guarded even with more care than their persons; who in
the dangerous season of youth are surrounded by all that the solicitude
of experienced friends, and all that polished society, can devise for
their security; are not perhaps competent to judge of the temptations by
which beauty in the lower classes of life may be assailed. They who have
never seen a father in prison, or a mother perishing for want of the
absolute necessaries of life--they who have never themselves known the
cravings of famine, cannot form an adequate idea of this poor girl's
feelings, and of the temptation to which she was now exposed. She
wept--she hesitated--and "the woman that deliberates is lost." Perhaps
those who are the most truly virtuous of her sex will be the most
disposed to feel for this poor creature, who was literally half famished
before her good resolutions were conquered. At last she yielded to
necessity. At the appointed hour she was in Mrs. Carver's house. This
woman received her with triumph--she supplied Anne immediately with
food, and then hastened to deck out her victim in the most attractive
manner. The girl was quite passive in her hand. She promised, though
scarcely knowing that she uttered the words, to obey the instructions
that were given to her, and she suffered herself without struggle,
or apparent emotion, to be led to destruction. She appeared quite
insensible--but at last she was roused from this state of stupefaction,
by the voice of a person with whom she found herself alone. The
stranger, who was a young and gay gentleman, pleasing both in his
person and manners, attempted by every possible means to render himself
agreeable to her, to raise her spirits, and calm her apprehensions. By
degrees his manner changed from levity to tenderness. He represented
to her, that he was not a brutal wretch, who could be gratified by
any triumph in which the affections of the heart have no share; and he
assured her, that in any connexion which she might be prevailed upon to
form with him, she should be treated with honour and delicacy.

Touched by his manner of speaking, and overpowered by the sense of her
own situation, Anne could not reply one single word to all he said--but
burst into an agony of tears, and sinking on her knees before him,
exclaimed, "Save me! save me from myself!--Restore me to my parents,
before they have reason to hate me."

The gentleman seemed to be somewhat in doubt whether this was _acting_
or nature: but he raised Anne from the ground, and placed her upon a
seat beside him. "Am I to understand, then, that I have been deceived,
and that our present meeting is against your own consent?"

"No, I cannot say that--oh, how I wish that I could!--I did wrong, very
wrong, to come here--but I repent--I was half-starved--I have a father
in jail--I thought I could set him free with the money----but I will
not pretend to be better than I am--I believe I thought that, beside
relieving my father, I should live all my days without ever more knowing
what distress is--and I thought I should be happy--but now I have
changed my mind--I never could be happy with a bad conscience--I
know--by what I have felt this last hour."

Her voice failed; and she sobbed for some moments without being able to
speak. The gentleman, who now was convinced that she was quite
artless and thoroughly in earnest, was struck with compassion; but his
compassion was not unmixed with other feelings, and he had hopes that,
by treating her with tenderness, he should in time make it her wish to
live with him as his mistress. He was anxious to hear what her former
way of life had been; and she related, at his request, the circumstances
by which she and her parents had been reduced to such distress. His
countenance presently showed how much he was interested in her story--he
grew red and pale--he started from his seat, and walked up and down the
room in great agitation, till at last, when she mentioned the name of
Colonel Pembroke, he stopped short, and exclaimed, "I am the man--I am
Colonel Pembroke--I am that unjust, unfeeling wretch! How often, in the
bitterness of your hearts, you must have cursed me!"

"Oh, no--my father, when he was at the worst, never cursed you; and I am
sure he will have reason to bless you now, if you send his daughter back
again to him, such as she was when she left him."

"That shall be done," said Colonel Pembroke; "and in doing so, I make
some sacrifice, and have some merit. It is time I should make some
reparation for the evils I have occasioned," continued he, taking
a handful of guineas from his pocket: "but first let me pay my just

"My poor father!" exclaimed Anne; "to-morrow he will be out of prison."

"I will go with you to the prison, where your father is confined--I will
force myself to behold all the evils I have occasioned."

Colonel Pembroke went to the prison; and he was so much struck by the
scene, that he not only relieved the misery of this family, but in two
months afterwards his debts were paid, his race-horses sold, and all
his expenses regulated, so as to render him ever afterwards truly
independent. He no longer spent his days, like many young men of
fashion, either in DREADING or in DAMNING DUNS.

_Edgeworthstown_, 1802.


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