Gerald Griffin, The Collegians (1829)

[ cont. ]

Chapter 4: How Mr. Daly The Middleman Rose up from Breakfast
But what pen less gifted than his of Chios, or his of Avon, the delineator of Vulcan or of Grumin, can suffice to convey to the reader any idea of the mental and bodily proportions of this new comer, who thrust his small and shining head in upon the family party, to awaken their curiosity, and to rob Mr. Daly of so many attentive listeners as he numbered around him at this moment!
 The person who opened the door acted as a kind of herdsman or out-door servant to the family, and was a man of a rather singular appearance. The nether parts of his frame were of a size considerably out of proportion with the trunk and head which they supported. His feet were broad and flat like those of a duck; his legs long and clumsy, with knees and ancles like the knobs on one of those grotesque walking-sticks, which were in fashion among the fine gentlemen of our own day, some time since; his joints hung loosely, like those of a paste-board merry-andrew; his body was very small; his chest narrow; and his head so diminutive, as to be even too little for his herring shoulders. It seemed as if nature, like an extravagant projector, had laid the foundation of a giant, but running short of material, as the structure proceeded, had been compelled to terminate her undetaking within the dimensions of a dwarf. So far was this economy pursued, that the head, small as it was, was very scantily furnished with hair; and the nose, with which the face was garnished, might be compared for its flatness to that of a young kid. “It looked” as the owner of this mournful piece of journeywork himself facetiously observed, “as if his head were not thought worth a roof, nor his countenance worth a handle.” His hands and arms were likewise of a smallness that was much to be admired, when contrasted with the hugeness of the lower members, and brought to mind the fore-paws of a Kangaroo, or the fins of a seal, the latter similitude prevailing when the body was put in motion, on which occasions they dabbled about in a very extraordinary manner. But there was one feature in which a corresponding prodigality had been manifested, namely the ears, which were as long as those of Riquet with the Tuft, or of any ass in the Barony.
 The costume which enveloped this singular frame, was no less anomalous than was the nature of its own construction. A huge riding coat of grey frieze hung lazily from his shoulders, and gave to view in front a waistcoat of calf-skin with the hairy side outwards; a shirt, of a texture almost as coarse as sail-cloth, made from the refuse of flax; and a pair of corduroy nether garments, with two bright new patches upon the knees. Grey worsted stockings, with dog-skin brogues well paved in the sole, and greased until they shone again, completed the personal adornments of this unaspiring personage. On the whole, his appearance might have brought to the recollection of a modern beholder one of those architectural edifices, so fashionable in our time, in which the artist, with an admirable ambition, seeks to unite all that is excellent in the Tuscan, Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic order, in one coup d’oeil.
 The expression of the figure though it varied with circumstances, was for the most part thoughtful and deliberative; the effect in a great measure of habitual penury and dependance. At the time of Lord Halifax’s administration, Lowry Looby, then a very young man, held a spot of ground in the neighbourhood of Limerick, and was well to do in the world, but the scarcity which prevailed in England at the time, and which occasioned a sudden rise in the price of beef, butter, and other produce of grazing land in Ireland, threw all the agriculturists out of their little holdings, and occasioned a general destitution, similar to that produced by the anti-cottier system in the present day. Lowry was among the sufferers. He was saved, however, from the necessity of adopting one of the three ultimata of Irish misery, begging, listing, or emigrating, by the kindness of Mr. Daly, who took him into his service as a kind of runner between his farms, an office for which Lowry, by his long and muscular legs, and the lightness of the body that encumbered them, was qualified in an eminent degree. His excelling honesty, one of the characteristics of his country, which he was known to possess, rendered him a still more valuable acquisition to the family than had been first anticipated. He had moreover the national talent for adroit flattery, a quality which made him more acceptable to his patron than the latter would willingly admit, and every emulsion of this kind was applied under the disguise of a simpleness, which gave it a wonderful efficacy.
 “Ha! Lowry ...,” said Mr. Daly. “Well, have you made your fortune since you have agreed with the Post-master?”
 Lowry put his hands behind his back, looked successively at the four corners of the room, then round the cornice, then cast his eyes down at his feet, turned up the soles a little, and finally straightening his person, and gazing on his master replied, “To lose it I did, Sir, for a place.”
 “To lose what?” “The place as postman, sir, through the country westwards. Sure there I was a gentleman for life if it wasn’t my luck.”
 “I do not understand you Lowry. “I’ll tell you how it was, masther. Afther the last postman died, sir, I took your ricommendation to the Post-masther, an’ axed him for the place. ‘I’m used to thravelling, sir,’ says I, ‘for Misther Daly, over, and -.’ ‘Aye,’ says he, takin’ me up short, ‘an’ you have a good long pair o’ legs I see.’ ‘Middling, sir,’ says I (he’s a very pleasant gentleman) its equal to me any day, winther or summer, whether I go ten miles or twenty, so as I have the nourishment. ‘’Twould be hard if you didn’t get that any way,’ says he, ‘Well, I think I may as well give you the place, for I don’ know any gentleman that I’d sooner take his ricommendation then Misther Daly’s, or one that I’d sooner pay him a compliment, if I could.”
 “Well, and what was your agreement?”
 “Ten pounds a year, sir, answered Lowry, opening his eyes, as if he announced something of wonderful importance, and speaking in a loud voice, to suit the magnitude of the sum, “besides my clothing and shoes throughout the year.”
 “’Twas very handsome, Lowry.”
 “Handsome, masther? ’Twas wages for a prince, sir. Sure there I was a made gentleman all my days, if it wasn’t my luck, as I said before.”
 “Well, and how did you lose it?”
 “I’ll tell you, sir,” answered Lowry, “I was going over to the Post-masther yestherday, to get the Thralee mail from him, and to start off with myself, on my first journey. Well an’ good, of all the world, who should I meet, above upon the road, just at the turn down to the Post-office, but that red-headed woman that sells the free-stone, in the sthreets? So I turned back.”
 “Turned back, for what?”
 “Sure the world knows, masther, that it isn’t lucky to meet a red-haired woman an’ you going of a journey.”
 “And you never went for the mail-bags!”
 “Faiks, I’m sure I didn’t that day.”
 “Well, and the next morning?”
 “The next morning, that’s this morning, when I went, I found they had engaged another boy in my place.”
 “And you lost the situation!”
 “For this turn, sir, any way. ’Tis luck that does it all. Sure I thought I was cock sure of it, an’ I having the Pust-masther’s word. But indeed, if I meet that free-stone crathur again, I’ll knock her red head against the wall.”
 “Well, Lowry, this ought to show you the folly of your superstition. If you had not minded that woman when you met her, you might have had your situation now.”
 “’Twas she was in fault still, begging your pardon, sir,” said Lowry, “for sure if I didn’t meet her at all this wouldn’t have happened me.”
 “Oh,” said Mr. Daly, laughing, “I see that you are well provided against all argument. I have no more to say, Lowry.”
 The man now walked slowly towards Kyrle, and bending down with a look of solemn importance, as if he had some weighty intelligence to communicate, he said, “The horse, sir, is ready, this way, at the doore abroad.”
 “Very well, Lowry. I shall set out this instant.”
 Lowry raised himself erect again, turned slowly round and walked to the door with his eyes on the ground, and his hand raised to his temple, as if endeavouring to recollect something farther which he had intended to say.
 “Lowry!” said Mr. Daly as the handle of the door was turned a second time. Lowry looked round.
 “Lowry, tell me - did you see Eily O’Connor, the rope-maker’s daughter, at the fair of Garryowen yesterday?”
 “Ah, you’re welcome to your game, Masther.”
 “’Pon my word, then, Eily is a very pretty girl, Lowry, and I’m told the old father can give her something besides her pretty face.”
 Lowry opened his huge mouth (we forgot to mention that it was a huge one,) and gave vent to a few explosions of laughter which much more nearly resembled the braying of an ass. “You are welcome to your game, masther,” he repeated; - “long life to your honour.”
 “But is it true, Lowry, as I have heard it insinuated, that old Mihil O’Connor used, and still does, twist ropes for the use of the County Gaol?”
 Lowry closed his lips hard, while the blood rushed into his face at this unworthy allegation. Treating it however as a new piece of “the masther’s game,” he laughed and tossed his head.
 “Folly* on-sir-folly on.”
 “Because, if that were the case, Lowry, I should expect to find you a fellow of too much spirit to become connected, even by affinity, with such a calling. A rope-maker! a manufacturer of rogue’s last neckcloths - an understrapper to the gallows - a species of collateral hangman!”
 “A’ then, Missiz, do you hear this? And all rising out of a little ould fable of a story that happened as good as five year ago, because Moriarty the crooked hangman (the thief!) stepped into Mihil’s little place of a night, and nobody knowen of him, an bought a couple o’ pen’orth o’ whip-cord for some vagary or other of his own. And there’s all the call Mihil O’Connor had ever to the gallowses or hangmen in his life. That’s the whole toto o’ their insiniwaytions.”
 “Never mind your master, Lowry,” said Mrs. Daly, “he is only amusing himself with you.”
 “Oh, ha! I’m sure I know it ma’am; long life to him, and ’tis he that’s welcome to his joke.”
 “But Lowry ...”
 “A’ heavens bless you, now masther, an let me alone. I’ll say nothing to you.”
 “Nay, nay, I only wanted to ask you what sort of a fair it was at Garryowen yesterday.”
 “Middling, sir, like the small piatees, they tell me,” said Lowry, suddenly changing his manner to an appearance of serious occupation, “but ’tis hard to make out what sort a fair is when one has nothing to sell himself. I met a huxter an she told me ’twas a bad fair because she could not sell her piggins, an I met a pig-jobber, an he told me ’twas a dear fair, pork ran so high, an I met another little meagre creatur, a neighbour that has a cabin on the road above, an he said ’twas the best fair that ever come out o’ the sky, because begot a power for his pig. But Mr. Hardress Cregan was there, and if he didn’t make it a dear fair to some of ‘em, you may call me an honest man.”
 “A very notable undertaking that would be, Lowry. But how was it?”
 “Some o’ them boys, them Garryowen lads, sir, to get about Danny Mann, the Lord, Mr. Hardress’s boatman, as he was comen down from Mihil’s with a new rope for some part o’ the boat, and to begin reflecting on him in regard o’ the hump on his back, poor creatur! Well, if they did, Masther Hardress heerd ‘em, and he having a stout blackthorn in his hand, this way, and he made up to the foremost of ‘em, ‘What’s that you’re saying, you scoundrel?’ says he, ‘What would you give to know?’ says the other, mighty impudent. Master Hardress made no more, only up with the stick, and without saying this or that, or by your leave, or how do you do, he stretched him. Well, such a scuffle as began among ‘em was never seen. They all fell upon Master Hardress, but faix they had only the half of it, for he made his way through the thick of ‘em without as much as a mark. Aw, indeed, it isn’t a goose or a duck they had to do with when they came across Mr. Cregan, for all.”
 “And where were you all this while, Lowry?”
 “Above, in Mihil’s door, standen an looken about the fair for myself.”
 “And Eily?” “Ah, hear to this again, now! I’ll run away out o’ the place entirely from you, master, that’s what I’ll do.”
 And, suiting the action to the phrase, exit Lowry Looby.
 “Well, Kyrle,” said Mr. Daly, as the latter rose and laid aside his chair, “I suppose we are not to expect you back to night?”
 “Likely not, sir. If I have any good news to tell, I shall send an answer by Lowry, who goes with me; and if ...” something seemed to stick in his throat, and he tried to laugh it out ...” if I should be unsuccessful, I will ride on to the dairy-farm at Gurtenaspig, where Hardress Cregan promised to meet me.”
 Mr. Daly wished him better fortune than he seemed to hope for, and repeated an old proverb about a faint heart and a fair lady. The affectionate mother, who felt the feverishness of the young lover’s hand as he placed it in her’s, and probably in secret participated in his apprehensions, followed him to the steps of the hall-door. He was already on horseback.
 “Kyrle,” said Mrs. Daly smiling while she looked up in his face and shaded her own with her hand, “Remember, Kyrle, if Anne Chute should play the tyrant with you, that there is many a prettier girl in Munster.”
 Kyrle seemed about to reply, but his young horse became restive, and as the gentleman felt rather at a loss, he made the impatience of the animal an apology for his silence. He waved his hand to the kind old lady, and rode away.
 “And if she should play the tyrant with you, Kyrle,” Mrs. Daly continued in soliloquy, while she saw his handsome and graceful figure diminish in the distance, “Anne Chute is not of my mind.”
 So said the mother as she returned to the parlour, and so would many younger ladies have said, had they known Kyrle Daly as well as she did.
 While Mrs. Daly, who was the empress of all housekeepers, superintended the removal of the breakfast table, not disdaining, with her own fair hands, to restore the plate and china to their former neatness, the old gentleman called all his children around him, to undergo a customary examination. They came flocking to his knees, the boys with their satchels thrown over their shoulders, and the girls with their gloves and bonnets on, ready for school. Occasionally, as they stood before the patriarchal sire, their eyes wandered from his face toward a lofty pile of sliced bread and butter, and a bowl of white sugar which stood near his elbow.
 “North-East!” Mr. Daly began, addressing the eldest. -
 It should be premised that this singular name was given to the child in compliance with a popular superstition; for sensible as the Dalys were accounted in their daily affairs, they were not wholly exempt from the prevailing weakness of their countrymen. Mrs. Daly’s three first children died at nurse, and it was suggested to the unhappy parents that if the next little stranger were baptized by the name of North-East, the curse would be removed from their household. Mrs. Daly acceded to the proposition, adding to it at the same time the slight precaution of changing her nurses. With what success this ingenious remedy was attended, the flourishing state of Mr. Daly’s nursery thenceforward sufficiently testified.
 “North-East,” said the old gentleman, “When was Ireland first peopled?”
 “By Partholanus, sir, in anno mundi 1956, the great, great, great, great, great, great grandson of Noah.”
 “Six greats. Right my boy. Although the Cluan Mac Noisk makes it 1969. But a difference of a few years at a distance of nearly four thousand, is not a matter to be quarrelled with. Stay, I have not done with you yet. Mr. Tickleback tells me you are a great Latinist. What part of Ovid are you reading now?”
 “The Metamorphoses, sir, book the thirteenth.” “Ah, poor Ajax! He’s an example and a warning for all Irishmen. Well, North-East, Ulysses ought to supply you with Latin enough to answer me one question. Give me the construction of this, Mater mea sus est mala.”
 The boy hesitated a moment, laughed, reddened a little and looked at his mother. “That’s a queer thing, sir,” he said at last.
 “Come, construe, construe.”
 “My mother is a bad sow,” said North-East, laughing, “that’s the only English I can find for it.”
 “Ah, North-East! Do you call me names, my lad?” said Mrs. Daly, while she laid aside the china in a cup-board.
 “’Tis dadda you should blame, ma’am, ’twas he said it. I only told him the English of it.”
 This affair produced much more laughter and merriment than it was worth. At length Mr. Daly condescended to explain. “You gave me one construction of it,” said he, “but not the right one. However, these things cannot be learned all in a day, and your translation was correct, North-East, in point of grammar, at all events. But (he continued, with a look of learned wisdom,) “the true meaning of the sentence is this, Mater, mother, mea, hasten, sus, the sow, est, eats up (edere, my boy, not esse,) mala, the apples.”
 “Oh, it’s a cran I see,” said the boy with some indignation of tone. “One isn’t obliged to know crans. I’d soon puzzle you if I was to put you all the crans I know.”
 “Not so easily as you suppose perhaps,” said his father in dignified alarm, lest his reputation should suffer in the eyes of his wife, who really thought him a profound linguist. “But you are a good boy. Go to school, North-East. Here, open your satchel.”
 The satchel was opened, a huge slice of bread from the top of the pile above mentioned was dropt into it, and North-East set off south-south-west out of the house.”
 “Charles, who is the finest fellow in Ireland?”
 “Henry Grattan, sir.”
 “Why so, Sir?”
 “Because he says we must have a free trade, sir.”
 “You shall have a lump of sugar with your bread for that. Open your satchel. There. Run away now to school. Patcy!”
 “Sir?”
 “Patcy, tell me, who was the first Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the present reign?”
 Patcy, an idle young rogue, stood glancing alternately at the pile of bread, and at his father’s face, and shifting from one foot to another like a foundered nag. At last he said stoutly -
 “Julius Caesar, sir.”
 “That’s a good boy. Ah, you young villain, if I had asked you who won the last boat-race, or how many hookers went by this morning, you’d give me a better answer than that. Was it Julius Caesar sailed round the revenue Cutter, near Tarbert, the other day?”
 “No, sir, it was Larry Kets.”
 “I’ll engage you know that. Well, tell me this, and I’ll forgive you - Who was the bravest seaman you ever heard of? always excepting Hardress Cregan.”
 “Brown, sir, the man that brought the Bilboa ship into Youghal, after making prisoners of nine Frenchmen - the fellows, dadda,” the boy continued warming with his subject - “that were sent to take the vessel into France, and Brown had only three men and a boy with him, and they retook the ship and brought her into Youghal. But sure one Irishman was more than a match for two Frenchmen.”
 “Well, I perceive you have some knowledge in physics, and comparative physiology. There’s some hope of you. Go to school.” And the pile of bread appeared a few inches lower.
 The remainder was distributed amongst the girls, to whom the happy father put questions, in history, geography, catechism, &c. proportioned to the capacity of each. At length, he descended to the youngest, a little cherub with roses of three years’ growth in her cheeks.
 “Well, Sally, my pet, what stands for sugar?”
 “I, dadda.”
 “Ah, Sally’s a wag I see. You do stand for it indeed, and you shall get it. We must not expect to force nature” he added, looking at his wife and tossing his head. “Every beginning is weak - and Sam Johnson himself was as indifferent a philologist once in his day. And now, to school at once, darlings, and bring home good judgments. Nelly will go for you at three o’clock.”
 The little flock of innocents, who were matched in size like the reeds of a pandean pipe, ‘each under each’ having left the scene, Mr. Daly proceeded to dispatch his own affairs, and possessed himself of his hat and cane.
 “I’ll step over to the meadow, my dear - and see how the hay gets on. And give me that pamphlet of Hutchinson’s - Commercial Restraints - I promised to lend it to father Malachy. And let the stranger’s room be got ready, my love, and the sheets aired, for I expect Mr. Windfall the tax-gatherer to sleep here to-night. And, Sally, if Ready should come about his pigs that I put in pound last night, let him have them free of cost, but not without giving the fellow a fright about them; and above all, insist upon having rings in their noses before night. My little lawn is like a fallow field with them. I’ll be back at five.”
 Saying this, and often turning his head as some new commission arose to his memory, the Munster ‘Middleman’ sallied out of his house, and walked along the gravelled avenue humming, as he went, a verse of the popular old song -

“And when I at last must throw off this frail covering
Which I’ve worn for three score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hovering,
Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again.
My face in the glass I’ll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow,
For this old worn out stuff that is threadbare to-day,
May become everlasting tomorrow.
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
May become everlasting tomorrow!”

 Such, in happier days than ours, was the life of a Munster farmer. Indeed, the word is ill adapted to convey to an English reader an idea of the class of persons whom it is intended to designate, for they were and are, in mind and education, far superior to the persons who occupy that rank in must other countries. Opprobrious as the term ‘middleman’ has been rendered in our own time, it is certain that the original formation of the sept was both natural and beneficial. When the country was deserted by its gentry, a general promotion of one grade took place amongst those who remained at home. The farmers became gentlemen, and the labourers became farmers, the former assuming, together with the station and influence, the quick and honourable spirit, the love of pleasure, and the feudal authority which distinguished their aristocratic archetypes - while the humbler classes looked up to them for advice and assistance, with the same feeling of respect and of dependance which they had once entertained for the actual proprietors of the soil. The covetousness of landlords themselves, in selling leases to the highest bidder, without any enquiry into his character or fortunes, first tended to throw imputations on this respectable and useful body of men, which in progress of time swelled into a popular outcry, and ended in an act of the legislature for their gradual extirpation. There are few now in that class as prosperous, many as intelligent and high-principled, as Mr. Daly

Chapter 5: How Kyrle Daly Rode Out to Woo, and How Lowry Looby Told Him Some Stories on the Way
Kyrle Daly had even better grounds than he was willing to insist upon for doubting his success with Anne Chute. He had been introduced to her for the first time in the course of the preceding Spring, at an Assize ball, and thought her, with justice, the finest girl in the room, he danced two sets of country-dances - (Ah! ces beaux jours!) - with her, and was ravished with her manners; he saw her home at night and left his heart behind him when he bade her farewell.
 The conquest of his affections might not have been so permanent as to disturb his quiet, had it not been quickly followed by that of his reason likewise. His subsequent acquaintance with the young lady produced a confirmation of his first impressions, from which he neither sought nor hoped to be delivered. The approbation of his parents fixed the closing rivet in the chain which bound him. Mrs. Daly loved Anne Chute for her filial tenderness and devotion, and Mr. Daly, with whom portionless virtue would have met but a tardy and calm acceptance, was struck motionless when he heard that she was to have the mansion and demesne of Castle Chute, which he knew had been held by her father’s family at a pepper-corn rent. Insomuch that Kyrle might have said with Lubin in the French comedy, “Il ne tiendra qu’à elle que nous ne soyons mariés ensemble.”
 Nothing however in the demeanour of the young lady led him to believe that their acquaintance would be likely to terminate in such a catastrophe. It was true she liked him, for Kyrle was a popular character amongst all his fair acquaintances. He had, in addition to his handsome appearance, that frank and cheerful manner, not unmingled with a certain degree of tenderness and delicacy, which is said to be most successful in opening the way to the female heart. Good nature spoke in his eyes, in his voice, and in “the laughter of his teeth,” - and he carried around him a certain air of ease and freedom, governed by that happy and instinctive discretion which those who affect the quality in vain attempt to exercise, and always overstep. But he could not avoid seeing that it was as a mere acquaintance he was esteemed by Miss Chute, an intimate, familiar, and, he sometimes flattered himself, a valued one, but still a mere acquaintance. She had even received some of his attentions with a coldness intentionally marked, but as an elegant coldness formed a part of her general manner, the lover, with a lover’s willing blindness, would not receive those intimations as he at first thought they were intended.
 When the affections are once deeply impressed with the image of beauty, every thing in nature that is beautiful to the eyes, musical to the ears, or pleasing to any of the senses, awakens a sympathetic interest within the heart, and strengthens the impression under which it languishes. The loveliness of the day, and of the scenes through which he passed, occasioned a deep access of passion in the breast of our fearful wooer. The sky was mottled over with those small bright clouds which sailors, who look on them as ominous of bad weather, term mackrel, large masses of vapour lay piled above the horizon, and the deep blue openings over-head, which were visible at intervals, appeared streaked with a thin and drifted mist which remained motionless, while the clouds underneath were driven fast across by a wind that was yet unfelt on earth.
 The wooded point of land which formed the site of Castle Chute projected considerably into the broad river at a distance of many miles from the road on which he now travelled, and formed a point of view on which the eye, after traversing the extent of water which lay between, reposed with much delight. Several small green islands, and rocks black with sea-weed, and noisy with the unceasing cry of sea-fowl, diversified the surface of the stream, while the shores were clothed in that graceful variety of shade and light and hue which is peculiar to the season. As Kyrle with the fidelity of a lover’s eye fixed his gaze on the point of land above mentioned, and on the tall castle which overtopped the elms, and was reflected in the smooth and shining waters underneath, he saw a white sailed pleasure boat glide under its walls and stand out again into the bed of the river. A sudden flash shot from her bow, and after the lapse of a few seconds, the report of a gun struck upon his ear. At the same moment, the green flag which hung at the peak of the boat, was lowered in token of courtesy, and soon after hoisted again to its former position. Kyrle, who recognised the Nora Creina, felt a sudden hurry in his spirits at the sight of this telegraphic communion with the family of his beloved. The picture instantly rushed into his mind of the effects produced by this incident in the interior of Castle Chute. Anne Chute looking up and starting from her work-table; her mother leaning on her gold headed cane and rising with difficulty from her easy chair to move towards the window; the cross old steward, Dan Dawley, casting a grum side-glance from his desk, through the hall window; the house-maid, Syl Carney, pausing, brush in hand, and standing like an evoked spirit in a cloud of dust, to gape in admiration of the little pageant; the lifting of the sash, and the waving of a white handkerchief in answer to the greeting from the water; but could it be visible at that distance? He put spurs to his horse and rode forward at a brisker rate.
 The figure of Lowry Looby, moving forward at a sling trot on the road before him, was the first object that directed his attention from the last mentioned incident, and turned his thoughts into a merrier channel. The Mercury of the cabins, with a hazel stick for his herpe, and a pair of well-paved brogues for his talaria, jogged forward at a rate which obliged his master to trot at the summit of his speed in order to overtake him. He carried the skirts of his great frieze “riding-coat” under his arm, and moved - or, more properly, sprang forward, throwing out his loose-jointed legs forcibly and with such a careless freedom, that it seemed as if when once he lifted his foot from the ground he could not tell where it would descend again. His hat hung so far back on his head that the disk of the crown was fully visible to his followers, while his head was so much in the rear of his shoulders, and moved from side to side with such a jaunty air, that it seemed at times as if the owner had a mind to leave it behind him altogether. In his right hand, fairly balanced in the centre, he held the hazel stick before alluded to, while he half hummed, half sung aloud a verse of a popular ballad:-

“Bryan O’Lynn had no small-clothes to wear,
He cut up a sheepskin to make him a pair,
With the skinny side out and the woolly side in,
’Tis pleasant and cool,’ says Bryan O’Lynn.”

 “Lowry!” shouted Kyrle Daly.
 “Going, sir!”
 “Going? I think you are going, and at a pretty brisk rate too; - you travel merrily, Lowry.”
 “Middlen, sir, middlen; as the world goes. I sing for company, ever and always, when I go a long road by myself, an’ I find it a dale pleasanter and lighter on me. Equal to the lark, that the louder he sings the higher he mounts, its the way with me an’ I travellen, the lighter my heart, the faster the road slips from under me.

“I am a bold bachelor, airy and free,
Both cities and counties are equal to me
Among the fair females of every degree
I care not how long I do tarry.”

 “Lowry, what do you think of the day?”
 “What do I think of it, sir? I’m thinken ’twill rain, an’ I’m sorry for it, an’ the masters hay out yet. There’s signs o’ wind an’ rain. The forty days ar’nt out yet, and there was a sighth o’ rain the last Saint Sweeten.” And he again resumed his melody, suffering it to sink and swell in a manner alternately distinct and inarticulate, with a slight mixture of that species of enunciation which Italians term the voice of the head:-

“I never will marry while youth’s at my side,
For my heart it is light and the world is wide,
I’ll ne’er be a slave to a haughty old bride,
To curb me and keep me uneasy.”


 “And why should last Saint Sweeten have any thing to do with this day?”
 “Oyeh, then, sure enough, sir. But they tell an ould fable about Saint Sweeten when he was first buried ...”
 “Why, was he buried more than once, Lowry?”
 “Ayeh, hear to this! Well, well, - ’tis maken a hand o’ me your honour is fairly, kind father for you. He was, then, buried more than once, if you go to that of it. He was a great Saint living, an’ had a long berrin when he died, and when they had the grave dug an’ were for putten him into it, the sky opened an’ it kep poweren, poweren rain for the bare life, an’ stopt so for forty days an’ nights ...”
 “And they couldn’t bury him?”
 “An’ they couldn’t bury him, till the forty days were over ...”
 “He had a long wake, Lowry.”
 “Believe it, sir. But ever since that, they remark whatever way Saint Sweeten’s day is, its the same way for forty days after. You don’t b’lieve that sir, now?”
 “Indeed, I am rather doubtful.”
 “See that why! Why then I seen a schoolmaster westwards that had as much Latin and English as if he swallowed a dictionary, an’ he’d outface the world that it was as true as you’re going the road this minute. But the quollity doesn’t give in to them things at all. Heaven be with ould times! There is nothing at all there, as it used to be, Master Kyrle. There isn’t the same weather there, nor the same peace, nor comfort, nor as much money, nor as strong whiskey, nor as good piatees, nor the gentlemen isn’t so pleasant in themselves, nor the poor people so quiet, nor the boys so divarten’, nor the girls so coaxen’, nor nothen’ at all is there as it used to be formerly. Hardly, I think, the sun shines as bright in the day, an’ nothen’ shows itself now by night, neither spirits nor good people. In them days, a man couldn’t go a lonesome road at night without meeten’ things that would make the hair of his head stiffen equal to bristles. Now you might ride from this to Dingle without seeing anything uglier than yourself on the way. But what help for it?”

“Once in fair England my Blackbird did flourish,
He was the chief flower that in it did spring;
Prime ladies of honour his person did nourish,
Because that he was the true son of a king.
       But this false fortune,
       Which still is uncertain,
Has caused this long parting between him an me,
       His name I’ll advance,
       In Spain an’ in France,
An’ seek out my Blackbird wherever he be.”

 “An’ you wouldn’t b’lieve, now, Masther Kyrle, that any thing does be showen’ itself at night at all? Or used to be of ould?”
 “It must be a very long while since, Lowry.”
 “Why then, see this, sir. The whole country will tell you, that after Mr. Chute died, the ould man of all, Mr. Tom’s father, you heerd of him?”
 “I recollect to have heard of a fat man, that ...”
 “Fat!” exclaimed Lowry, in a voice of surprise; “you may say fat. There isn’t that doore on hinges that he’d pass in, walken with a fair front, widout he turned sideways or skamed in, one way or other. You an’ I, an’ another along wid us, might be made out o’ the one half of him, aisy. His body coat, when he died, med a whole shoot for Dan Dawley the steward, besides a jacket for his little boy; an’ Dan was no fishing-rod that time, I tell you. But any way, fat or lain, he was buried, an’ the world will tell you, that he was seen rising a forthnight after be Dan Dawley, in the shape of a drove o’ young pigs.”
 “A whole drove?”
 “A whole drove. An’ tisn’t lain, lanky caishes of store pigs either, only fat, fit for bacon. He was passen’ the forge, near the ould gate, an’ the moon shinen’ as bright as silver, when he seen him comen’ again’ him on the road. Sure he isn’t the same man ever since.”
 “Dan Dawley is not easily caught by appearances. What a sharp eye he must have had, Lowry, to recognise his master under such a disguise!”
 “Oyeh, he knew well what was there. Tisn’t the first time with Dan Dawley seeing things o’ the kind. Didn’t you ever hear, what happened Dan, in regard of his first wife, sir?”
 “No.”
 “Well, aisy, an’ I’ll tell you. Dan was married to a girl o’ the Hayeses, a very inthricate little creatur, that led him a mighty unaisy life from the day they married, out. Well, it was Dan’s luck she got a stitch an’ died one mornen’, an’ if she did, Dan made a pilliloo an’ a lave over her, as if he lost all belongen’ to him. They buried her, for all, an’ Dan was sitten’ in his own doore, and he twisten’ a gad to hang a little taste o’ bacon he had, an’ he singen’ the Rovin’ Journeyman for himself, when, tundher alive! who should walk in the doore to him, only his dead wife, an’ she living as well as ever! Take it from me he didn’t stay long where he was. ‘E’ is that you, Cauth?’ says he, ‘The very one,’ says she, ‘how does the world use you, Dan?’ Wisha, middlen,’ says Dan again. ‘I didn’t think we’d see you any more, Cauth,’ says he. ‘Nor you wouldn’t either’ says she, ‘only for yourself.’ ‘Do you tell me so?’ says Dan Dawley, ‘how was that?’ ‘There are two dogs,’ says she, ‘that are sleeping on the road I was going in the other world, an’ the noise you made cryen’ over me wakened ‘em, an’ they riz again’ me, an’ wouldn’t let me pass.’ ‘See that why!’ says Dan, grinning, ‘war’nt they the conthrairy pair?’ Well, after another twelvemonth, Cauth died the second time: but I’ll be your bail, it was long from Dan Dawley to cry over her this turn as he did at first. ‘Twas all his trouble to see would he keep the women at the wake from keening over the dead corpse, or doing any thing in life that would waken the dogs. Signs on, she passed ‘em, for he got neither tale nor tiden’s of her, from that day to this. ‘Poor Cauth!’ says Dan, ‘why should I cry, to have them dogs tearen’ her may be!”
 “Dan Dawley was a lucky man,” said Kyrle. “Nether Orpheus, nor Theseus had so much to say for themselves as he had.”
 “I never hear talks o’ them gentlemen, sir. Wor they o’ these parts?”
 “Not exactly. One of them was from the county of Attica, and the other from the county Thrace.”
 “I never hear of ‘em. I partly guessed they wor strangers,” Lowry continued with much simplicity; “but any way Dan Dawley was a match for the best of ‘em, an’ a luckier man than I told you yet, moreover, that’s in the first beginnen’ of his days.”
 At this moment, a number of smart young fellows, dressed out in new felt hats, clean shoes and stockings with ribbands flying at the knees, passed them on the road. They touched their hats respectfully to Mr. Daly, while they recognised his attendant by a nod, a smile, and a familiar “Is that the way, Lowry?”
 “The very way, then, lads,” said Lowry, casting a longing look after them, “Going to Garryowen they are now, divarten, for the night,” he added in a half envious tone, after which he threw the skirt of his coat from the left to the right arm, looked down at his feet, struck the ground with the end of his stick, and trotted on, singing -

“I’m noted for dancen a jig in good order,
A min’et I’d march, an I’d foot a good reel,
In a country dance still I’d be the leading partner,
I ne’er faultered yet from a crack on the heel.”

 “My heart is with ye, boys, this night. But I was tellen you, Master Kyrle, about Dan Dawley’s luck! Listen hether.”
 He dried his face, which was glistening with moisture and flushed with exercise, in his frieze coat, and commenced his story.
 “’Tisn’t in Castle Chute the family lived always, sir, only in ould Mr. Chute’s time, he built it, an’ left the fort above, an’ I’ll tell you for what raison. The ould man of all that had the fort before him, used to be showing himself there at night, himself an’ his wife, an’ his two daughters, an’ a son, an’ there were the strangest noises ever you hear; going on above stairs. The master had six or seven sarvints, one after another; stopping up to watch him, but there isn’t one of ‘em but was killed by the spirit. Well, he was forced to quit at last on the ‘count of it, an’ it is then he built Castle Chute, the new part of it, where Miss Anne an’ the old lady lives now. Well an’ good, if he did, he was standen one mornen oppozzit his own gate on the road side, out, an’ the sun shining, an’ the birds singing for themselves in the bushes, when who should he see only Dan Dawley, an’ he a little gaffer the same time serenaden’ down the road for the bare life. ‘Where to now, lad?’ says Mr. Chute (he was a mighty pleasant man). ‘Looking for a master; then’ says Dan Dawley. ‘Why then, never go past this gate for him,’ says Mr. Chute, ‘if you’ll do what I bid you,’ says he. ‘What’s that, sir?’ says the boy. So he up an’ told him the whole story about the fort, an’ how something, used to be showen itself there, constant, in the dead hour o’ the night; ‘an’ have you the courage,’ says he ‘to sit up a night an’ watch it?’ ‘What would I get by it?’ says Dan, looking him up in the face. ‘I’ll give you twenty guineas in the mornen’, an’ a table, an’ a chair; an’ a pint o’ whiskey, an’ a fire, an’ a candle, an’ your dinner before you go,’ says Mr. Chute. ‘Never say it again,’ says the gorsoon, “tis high wages for one night’s work, an’ I never yet done,’ says he, ‘any thing that would make me in dread o’ the living or the dead; or afraid to trust myself into the hands o’ the Almighty.’ ‘Very well, away with you,’ says the gentleman, ‘an’ I’ll have your life if you tell me a word of a lie in the mornen’,’ says he. ‘I will not, sir;’ says the boy, ‘for what?’ Well, he went there, an’ he drew the table a-near the fire for himself, an’ got his candle, an’ began readen his book. ‘Tis the lonesomest place you ever see. Well! that was well an’ good, ‘till he heerd the greatest racket that ever was, going on above stairs, as if all the slates on the roof were fallen. ‘I’m in dread,’ says Dan, ‘that these people will do me some bad hurt,’ says he. An’ hardly he said the word, when the doore opened, and in they all walked, the ould gentleman with a great big wig on him, an’ the wife, an’ the two daughters, an’ the son. Well, they all put elbows upon themselves, an’ stood looken at him out in the middle o’ the floore. He said nothen, an’ they said nothen, an’ at last, when they were tired o’ looken, they went out an’ walked the whole house, an’ went up stairs again. The gentleman came in the mornen’ early. ‘Good morrow, good boy,’ says he, ‘Good morrow, sir;’ says the boy, ‘I had a dale o’ fine company here last night,’ says he, ‘ladies an’ gentlemen.’ ‘Its a lie you’re tellen me,’ says Mr. Chute. “Tis not a word of a lie, sir;’ says Dan, ‘there was an ould gentleman with a big wig, an’ an ould lady, an’ two young ones, and a young gentleman,’ says he.’True for you,’ says Mr. Chute, putten a hand in his pocket, an reachen him twinty guineas. ‘Will you stay there another night?’ says he. ‘I will, sir;’ says Dan. Well, he went walken’ about the fields for himself, an’ when night come ...”
 “You may pass over the adventures of the second night, Lowry,” said Kyrle, “for I suspect that nothing was effected until the third.”
 “Why then, you just guessed it, sir. Well, the third night he said to himself ‘Escape how I can,’ says he, ‘I’ll speak to that ould man with the wig, that does be putten’ an elbow on himself an looken at me! Well, the ould man an’ all of ‘em came an’ stood oppozzit him with elbows on ‘em as before. Dan got frightened, seeing ‘em stop so long in the one place, and the ould man looken’ so wicked - (he was after killing six or seven, in the same Fort,) an’ he went down on his two knees, an’ he put his hands together, and, says he ...”
 A familiar incident of Irish pastoral life, occasioned an interruption in this part of the legend. Two blooming country girls, their hair confined with a simple black ribband, their cotton gowns pinned up in front, so as to disclose the greater portion of the blue stuff petticoat underneath, and their countenances bright with health and laughter, ran out from a cottage door and intercepted the progress of the travellers. The prettier of the two skipped across the road, holding between her fingers a worsted thread, while the other retained between her hands the large ball from which it had been unwound. Kyrle paused, too well acquainted with the country customs to break through the slender impediment.
 “Pay your footing, now, Master Kyrle Daly, before you go farther,” said one.
 “Don’t overlook the wheel, sir,” added the girl who remained next the door.
 Kyrle searched his pocket for a shilling, while Lowry, with a half smiling, half censuring, face, murmured - “Why then, heaven send ye sense as it is it ye want this mornen’.”
 “And you manners, Mr. Looby. Single your freedom, an’ double your distance, I beg o’ you. Sure your purse, if you have one, is safe in your pocket. Long life an’ a good wife to you, Master Kyrle, an’ I wisht I had a better hould than this o’ you. I wisht you were in looze, an’ that I had the finding of you this mornen’.”
 So saying, while she smiled merrily on Kyrle, and darting a scornful glance at Lowry Looby, she returned to her woollen wheel, singing as she twirled it round:-

“I want no lectures from a learned master,
He may bestow em on his silly train -
I’d sooner walk through my blooming garden,
An’ hear the whistle of my jolly swain.”

To which Lowry, who received the lines, as they were probably intended, in a satirical sense, replied, as he trotted forwards, in the same strain:

“Those dressy an’ smooth-faced young maidens,
Who now looks at present so gay,
Has borrowed some words o’ good English,
An’ knows not one half what they say.
No female is fit to be married,
Nor fancied by no man at all,
But those who can sport a drab mantle,
An’ likewise a cassimere shawl.”

 “Hoop-whishk! Why then, she’s a clean made little girl for all, isn’t she, Master Kyrle? But I was tellen’ you - where’s this I was? Iss, just. Dan Dawley going on his knees an’ talking to the sperrit. Well! he raised his two hands this way, an’ ‘The Almighty be betune you an’ me this night,’ says he. ‘Ah! that’s my good boy,’ says the ould man, ‘I was waiting these three nights to have you speak first, an’ if you hadn’t that time, I’d have your life equal to all the others,’ says he. ‘But come with me now, an’ I’ll make a gentleman o’ you, for you’re the best boy that ever I see, says he. Well, the boy got a trembling, an’ he couldn’t folly him. ‘Don’t be one bit afeerd o’ me,’ says the ould gentleman, ‘for I wont do you a ha’p’orth o’ hurt.’ Well, he carried Dan after him through the house, an’ he shewed him three crocks o’ gould buried behind a doore, an’ ‘D’ye hear to me now, says he, ‘tell my son to give one o’ these crocks to my daughter, an’ another to you, an’ to keep the third himself; an’ then I won’t show myself this way any more,’ says he - ’for its the gould that does be always troubling us in the ground. An’ tell him if he lives,’ says he, ‘to give you my daughter in marriage, an’ this Fort along with her.’ ‘Alilu! me tell him!’ cries Dan Dawley. ‘I’m sure I wouldn’t take him such a message for the world.’ ‘Do, ayeh,’ says the ould man, ‘an’ shew him this ring for a token, ‘an’ tell him I’ll be shewing myself be day and be night to him, until he’ll give her to you.’ So he vanished in the greatest tundther ever you hear. That was well an’ good - well, the next mornen Mr. Chute come, an’ if he did, ‘Good morrow, good boy,’ says he; ‘Good morrow, sir,’ says Dan.’Have you any news for me after the night?’ says he, ‘I have, very good news,’ says Dan, ‘I have three crocks o’ gould for you, I got from the ould gentleman,’ says he, an’ he up an’ tould him all about it, an’ showed him the gould. ‘Its a lie you’re tellen’ me, ‘ says Mr. Chute, ‘an’ I’ll have your life,’ says he - ’you went rooten’ an’ found these yourself.’ So Dan put a hand in his pocket an’ pulled out the ring and gave it into his hand. It was the ring, sir, his father wore the day he was buried. ‘I give it in to you,’ says Mr. Chute, ‘you did see them surely. What else did he say to you?’ Well, Dan begin looken’ down an’ up, an’ this way, an’ that way, an’ didn’t know what to say. ‘Tell me at once, says Mr. Chute, ‘an’ fear nothing.’ Very well. He did. ‘Sir’ says he, ‘the ould gentleman told me, an’ sure ’tis a thing I don’t expect - but he said I should get Miss Anna, your sister, in marriage.’ Well, Mr. Chute stood looken’ at Dan as if he had three heads on him. ‘Give you my sister, you keowt of a geoeogh!’ says he, ‘You flog Europe for bouldness - Get out o’ my sighth,’ says he, ‘this minute, or I’ll give you a kick that ‘ll raise you from poverty to the highest pitch of affluence.’ ‘An’ wont I get the crock o’ gould, sir?’ says Dan. ‘Away out o’ that with you,’ says the gentleman, “tis to rob me you want, I believe, you notorious delinquent.’ Well, Dan was forced to cut, but in a while after, the ould man sent for him, an’ made him a compliment o’ something handsome, an’ put him over his business, as he is to-day with the present people, and an honest creatur as could be. There’s more people says that it was all a fable, an’ that Dan Dawley dremt of it, but this was his own story. - An’ sure I might as well be draming, too,” he added, casting a side glance at Kyrle, “for its little attention you are paying to me or my story.”
 In this assertion, Lowry was perfectly correct, for his young master’s thoughts at that moment were occupied by a far more interesting subject.

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