Gerald Griffin, The Collegians (1829)

[ cont. ]

Chapter 9: How Myles Murphy Is Heard on Behalf of His Ponies
Pat Falvey, supposing that he had remained a sufficient time without, to prevent the suspicion of any private understanding between him and Mr. Daly, now made his appearance with luncheon. A collared head, cream cheese, honey, a decanter of gooseberry wine, and some garden fruit, were speedily arranged on the table, and the visitors, no way loth, were pressed to make a liberal use of the little banquet; for the time had not yet gone by, when people imagined that they could not display their regard for a friend or guest more effectually, than by cramming him up to the throat with food and strong drink. Kyrle Daly was in the act of taking wine with Mrs. Chute, when he observed Falvey stoop to his young mistress’ ear, and whisper something with a face of much seriousness.
 “A boy wanting to speak to me?” said Miss Chute. “Has he got letters? - Let him send up his message.”
 “He says he must see yourself, Miss. ’Tis in regard of some ponies of his that were impounded by Mr. Dawley for trespassing above here, last night. He hasn’t the mains of relasing ’em, poor cratur, an’ he’s far from home. I’m sure he’s an honest boy. He says he’d have a good friend in Mr. Cregan if he knew he was below.”
 “Me?” said Mr. Cregan - “why what’s the fellow’s name?”
 “Myles Murphy, sir, from Killarney, westwards.”
 “Oh, Myles-na-Coppulleen? - Poor fellow, is he in tribulation? We must have his ponies out by all means.”
 “It requires more courage than I can always command” said Miss Chute “to revoke any command of Dawley’s. He is an old man, and, whether that he was crossed in love, or from a natural peevishness of disposition, he is such a morose creature, that I am quite afraid of him. But I will hear this Myles at all events.”
 She was moving to the door when her uncle’s voice made her turn. “Stay, Anne,” said Mr. Cregan, “let him come up. ’Twill be as good as a play to hear him and the steward pro and con. Kyrle Daly, here, who is intended for the bar, will be our assessor to decide on the points of law. I can tell you, Kyrle, that Myles will give you a lesson in the art of pleading that may be of use to you on Circuit at one time or another.”
 Anne laughed and looked to Mrs. Chute, who with a smile of tolerating condescension said, while she cleared with a silken kerchief the glasses of her spectacles, “If your uncle desires it, my love, I can see no objection. Those mountaineers are amusing creatures.”
 Anne returned to her seat, and the conversation proceeded, while Falvey with an air of great and perplexed importance went to summon Myles up stairs.
 “Mountaineers!” exclaimed Captain Gibson, “You call every upland a mountain here in Ireland, and every one that lives out of sight of the sea a mountaineer.” “But this fellow is a genuine mountaineer,” cried Mr. Cregan “with a cabin two thousand feet above the level of the sea. If you are in the country next week, and will come down and see us at the Lakes, along with our friends here, I promise to shew you as sturdy a race of mountaineers as any in Europe. Doctor Leake can give you a history of ’em up to Noah’s flood, some time when you’re alone together - where the country was first peopled by one Parable, or Sparable.” -
 “Paralon,” said Doctor Leake, Paralon or Migdonia, as the Psalter sings:

“On the fourteenth day, being Tuesday,
They brought their bold ships to anchor,
In the blue fair port with beauteous shore,
Of well defended Inver Sceine.”

 “In the rest of Munster, where ...”
 “Yes - well, you’ll see ’em all, as the Doctor says, if you come to Killarney,” resumed Mr. Cregan, interrupting the latter to whose discourse, a country residence, a national turn of character, and a limited course of reading, had given a tinge of pedantry; and who was moreover a firm believer in all the ancient Shanachus, from the yellow book of Moling, to the black book of Molaga. “And if you like to listen to him, he’ll explain to you every action that ever befel, on land or water, from Ross Castle up to Carriguline.”
 Kyrle, who felt both surprise and concern at learning that Miss Chute was leaving home so soon, and without having thought it worth her while to make him aware of her intention, was about to address her on the subject, when the clatter of a pair of heavy and well paved brogues, on the small flight of stairs in the lobby, produced a sudden hush of expectation amongst the company. They heard Pat Falvey urging some instructions, in a low and smothered tone, to which a strong and not unmusical voice replied in that complaining accent which distinguishes the dialect of the more western descendants of Heber. “A’ lay me alone, you foolish boy; do you think did I ever speak to quollity in my life before?”
 The door opened, and the uncommissioned master of horse made his appearance. His figure was at once strikingly majestic and prepossessing, and the natural ease and dignity with which he entered the room might almost have become a peer of the realm, coming to solicit the interest of the family for an electioneering candidate. A broad and sunny forehead, light and wavy hair, a blue cheerful eye, a nose that in Persia might have won him a throne, healthful cheeks, a mouth that was full of character, and a well knit and almost gigantic person, constituted his external claims to attention; of which his lofty and confident, although most unassuming carriage, showed him to be in some degree conscious. He wore a complete suit of brown frieze, with a gay coloured cotton handkerchief around his neck, blue worsted stockings, and brogues carefully greased, while he held in his right hand an immaculate felt hat, the purchase of the preceding day’s fair. In the left he held a straight handled whip and a wooden rattle, which he used for the purpose of collecting his ponies when they happened to straggle. An involuntary murmur of admiration ran amongst the guests at his entrance. Doctor Leake was heard to pronounce him a true Gadelian, and Captain Gibson thought he would cut a splendid figure in a helmet and cuirass, under one of the arches in the horse-guards.
 Before he had spoken, and while the door yet remained open, Hyland Creagh roused Pincher with a chirping noise, and gave him the well known countersign of “Baithershin!”
 Pincher waddled towards the door, raised himself on his hind-legs, closed it fast, and then trotted back to his master’s feet, followed by the staring and bewildered gaze of the mountaineer. “Well,” he exclaimed, “that flogs cock-fighting. I never thought I’d live to have a dog taich me manners, any way. ’Baithershin!’ says he. An’ he shets the doore like a christian!”
 The mountaineer now commenced a series of most profound obeisances to every individual of the company, beginning with the ladies, and ending with the officer. After which he remained glancing from one to another with a smile of mingled sadness and courtesy, as if waiting, like an evoked spirit, the spell word of the enchantress who had called him up. - “’Tisn’t manners to speak first before quollity,” was the answer he would have been prepared to render in case any one had enquired the motive of his conduct.
 “Well, Myles, what wind has brought you to this part of the country?” said Mr. Barney Cregan.
 “The ould wind always, then, Mr. Cregan,” said Myles, with another deep obeisance, “seeing would I get a feow o’ the ponies off. Long life to you, sir; I was proud to hear you wor above stairs, for it is n’t the first time you stood my friend in trouble. My father (the heavens be his bed this day!) was a fosterer o’ your uncle Mick’s an’ a first an’ second cousin, be the mother’s side, to ould Mrs. O’Leary, your honour’s aunt, westwards. So ’tis kind for your honour to have a leaning towards uz.”
 “A clear case, Myles; - but what have you to say to Mrs. Chute about the trespass?”
 “What have I to say to her? why then a deal. Its a long while since I see her now, an’ she wears finely, the Lord bless her! Ah, Miss Anne! - Oyeh, murther! murther! Sure I’d know that face all over the world, - your own liven’ image, ma’am (turning to Mrs. Chute,) an’ a little, dawney touch o’ the masther (heaven rest his soul!) about the chin you’d think. My grandmother an’ himself wor third cousins. Oh, vo! vo!”*
 “He has made out three relations in the company already,” said Anne, to Kyrle, “could any courtier make interest more skilfully?”
 “Well, Myles, about the ponies.”
 “Poor craturs, true for you sir. There’s Mr. Creagh there, long life to him, knows how well I airn ’em, for ponies. You seen what trouble I had with’em, Mr. Creagh, the day you fought the jewel with young M’Farlane from the North. They went skelping like mad, over the hills, down to Glena, when they heerd the shots. Ah, indeed, Mr. Creagh, you cowed the North Countryman that morning fairly. ’My honour is satisfied,’ says he, ’if Mr. Creagh will apologize.’ ’I didn’t come to the ground to apologize,’ says Mr. Creagh. ’Its what I never done to any man,’ says he, ’an’ it’ll be long from me to do it to you.’ ’Well, my honour is satisfied any way,’ says the other, when he heerd the pistols cocking for a second shot. I thought I’d split laughing.”
 “Pooh! pooh! nonsense, man,” said Creagh, endeavouring to hide a smile of gratified vanity, “your unfortunate ponies will starve, while you stay inventing wild stories.’”
 “He has gained another friend since,” whispered Miss Chute.
 “Invent!” echoed the mountaineer. “There’s Doctor Leake was on the spot the same time, an’ he knows if I invent. An’ you did a good job too that time, Docthor,” he continued, turning to the latter, “Old Keys, the piper, gives it up to you of all the docthors going, for curing his eye-sight. And he has a great leaning to you, moreover, your such a fine Irishian.’”*
 “Another,” said Miss Chute, apart.
 “Yourself an’ ould Mr. Daly;” he continued, “I hope the master is well in his health, sir? (turning to Kyrle with another profound congé) may the Lord fasten the life in you an’ him! That’s a gentleman that would n’t see a poor boy in want of his supper, or a bed to sleep in, an’ he far from his own people, nor persecute him in regard of a little trespass that was done unknownst.”
 “This fellow is irresistible,” said Kyrle. “A perfect Ulysses.”
 “And have you nothing to say to the Captain, Myles? Is he no relation of yours?”
 “The Captain, Mr. Cregan? Except in so far as we are all servants of the Almighty, and children of Adam, I know of none. But I have a feeling for the red coat, for all. I have three brothers in the army, serving in America. One of ’em was made a corporal, or an admiral, or some ral or another, for behavin’ well at Quaybec, the time of Woulf’s death. The English showed themselves a great people that day, surely.”
 Having thus secured to himself what lawyers call “the ear of the court,” the mountaineer proceeded to plead the cause of his ponies with much force and pathos, dwelling on their distance from home, their wild habits of life, which left them ignorant of the common rules of boundaries, enclosures, and field-gates, setting forth with equal emphasis, the length of road they had travelled, their hungry condition, and the barrenness of the common on which they had been turned out; and finally urging in mitigation of penalty, the circumstance of this being a first offence, and the improbability of its being ever renewed in future.
 The surly old steward, Dan Dawley, was accordingly summoned for the purpose of ordering the discharge of the prisoners, a commission which he received with a face as black as winter. Miss Anne might “folly her liking” he said - but it was the last time he’d ever trouble himself about damage or trespass any more. What affair was it of his, if all the horses in the barony were turned loose into the kitchen garden itself?
 “Horses, do you call ’em?” exclaimed Myles, bending on the old man a frown of dark remonstrance - “A parcel of little ponies not the heighth o’ that chair.”
 “What signify is it?” snarled the steward - “they’d eat as much, an’ more, than a racer.
 “Is it they, the craturs? They’d hardly injure a plate o’ stirabout if it was put before em.
 “Ayeh! - hugh!”
 “An’ tisn”t what I’d expect from you Mr. Dawley, to be going again, a relation o’ your own in this manner.
 “A relation o’ mine!” growled Dawley, scarcely deigning to cast a glance back over his shoulder as he hobbled out of the room.
 “Yes, then, o’ yours.”
 Dawley paused at the door and looked back.
 “Will you deny it o’ me, if you can,” continued Myles, fixing his eye on him, “that Biddy Nale, your own gossip, an’ Larry Foley wor second cousins? Deny that o’ me, if you can!”
 “For what would I deny it?”
 “Well, why! An’ Larry Foley was uncle to my father’s first wife - (the angels spread her bed this night!) An’ I tell you another thing, the Dawleys would cut a poor figure in many a fair westwards, if they hadn’t the Murphys to back ’em, so they would. But what hurt? Sure you can folly your own pleasure.”
 The old steward muttered something which nobody could hear, and left the room. Myles of the ponies, after many profound bows to all his relations, and a profusion of thanks to the ladies, followed him, and was observed in a few minutes after on the avenue talking with much earnestness and apparent agitation to Lowry Looby. Kyrle Daly, who remembered the story of the mountaineer’s misfortune at Owen’s garden, concluded that Lowry was making him aware of the abduction of the beautiful Eily, and felt a pang of sympathetic affliction for the poor fellow, in which, probably, no one else in the room would have participated; at least, not altogether so deeply.

*Equivalent to the French Helas! the Italian Oime! and the Spanish Ay de mi!, &c.
*One skilled in Irish antiquities, language, &c.

Chapter 10: How Kyrle Daly Sped in His Wooing
The sun was in the west when the party arrived at the bridle road that turned off to the race ground. To Kyrle Daly’s great delight, Mr. Cregan had taken his horse, resigning to him the agreeable office of driving Anne Chute in the curricle, while he rode forward with the gentlemen. Seldom indeed, I believe, did the wheels of that vehicle enter so many ruts, or come in contact with so many obstacles as in this short drive, a circumstance rather to be attributed to the perplexity of the driver’s mind, than to any deficiency of skill or practice in his hand.
 None of the company knew, or indeed cared to be informed, what the nature was of the conversation which had passed between Miss Chute and her young escort, on the road. They observed, however, when the curricle drew up, that Kyrle looked pale and flurried, and that his manner was absent; while that of his fair companion was marked by an unusual degree of seriousness, not unmingled with confusion.
 “What!” exclaimed Cregan, “you look as ruffled as if you had been sparring. Get your hutts in order, then, for you must be set again before you come to the ground. You have a quarter of a mile through the fields to travel yet.”
 “Why, uncle, does not the road sweep by it?”
 “No nearer than I tell you; and the curricle can go no farther. Come, Creagh, give my niece her little hunter, and walk with me across the fields. Mr. Daly, I resign your seat to you once more. A pretty stepping thing this is of yours. I’d like to see her tried with ten or twelve stone weight at a steeple chase.”
 “Do not,” said Kyrle, in a low and earnest tone, addressing Anne Chute, “do not I entreat of you, deprive me of this last opportunity. I would give the world for a minute’s conversation.”
 “I believe I shall walk, uncle,” said the young lady with some hesitation, “and Mr. Daly is kind enough to say he will accompany me on foot.”
 “With all my heart,” cried the cock-fighter. “I remember the time, Daly, when I would not have given up a walk through the fields with a fine girl on a sunshiny evening, for all the races in Munster. If Hepton Connolly be on the ground, as his insolent groom tells me he is, I will make him keep the Staggeens at the starting post until you come up.”
 So saying, he rode on with the ci-devant sweater, to overtake the doctor and captain, who he observed, had grown as thick as two pick pockets, since morning. “I am afraid,” said Kyrle, with a mixture of dignity and dissappointment in his manner, “I am afraid, Miss Chute, that you will think this importunate, after what you have already told me. But that rejection was so sudden - I will not say so unexpected - that I cannot avoid entering more at length into the subject. Besides, it may, it must be a long time before we shall meet again.”
 “I am sorry you should think that necessary, Mr. Daly,” said Anne, “I always liked you as a friend, and there is not a person I know whose society, in that light, I could prize more highly; but if you think it necessary to your own peace of mind, to remain away from us, it would be very unreasonable in me to murmur. Yet, I think, and hope.” she added, affecting a smiling air as she looked round upon him, “that it will not be long before we shall see you again with altered sentiments, and a mind as much at ease as ever.”
 “You do me wrong, Anne!” said Kyrle with sudden passion. “I am not so ignorant of my own character as to suppose that possible. No, Miss Chute. This is not with me a boyish fancy - a predilection suddenly formed, and capable of being just as suddenly laid aside. If you had said this last summer, a few weeks after I first saw you, the remark perhaps might have been made with justice. I knew little of you then, besides your beauty, your talents, and your accomplishments; and I will say, in justice to myself, that those qualities, in any women, never could so deeply fix or interest me as to produce any lasting disquiet in my mind. But our acquaintance has been since too much prolonged. I have seen you too often - I have known you too well - I have loved you too deeply, and too sincerely, to feel this disappointment as any thing less than a dreadful stroke. Let me entreat of you,” he continued with increasing warmth, and disregarding the efforts which Miss Chute made to interrupt him, “let me implore you to recall that hasty negative. You said you were unprepared - that you did not expect such a proposal from me. I do not press you to an answer at this moment; the torture of suspense itself is preferable to absolute despair. Say you will think of it, say anything rather than at once decide on my - destruction, I cannot but call it.”
 “I must not, I will not act with so much injustice,” said Anne, who was considerably distressed by the depth of feeling that was evident in her lover’s voice and manner. “I should be treating you most unfairly, Mr. Daly, if I did so. It is true that I did not expect such a declaration as you have made, not in the least; but my decision is taken notwithstanding. It is impossible I can ever give you any other answer than you have already received. Do not, I will entreat of you in my turn, give way to any groundless expectations, any idea of a change in my sentiments on this subject. It is as impossible we should ever be united as if we lived in two separate planets.”
 The unhappy suitor looked the very image of pale and ghastly despair itself. His eye wandered, his cheek grew wan, and every muscle in his face quivered with passion. His words, for several moments, were so broken as to approach a degree of incoherency, and his knees trembled with a sickly faintness. He continued, nevertheless, to urge his addresses. Might he not be favoured with Miss Chute’s reasons? Was there any thing in his own conduct? Any thing that might be altered? The dejection that was in his accents as well as in his appearance, touched and almost terrified his obdurate mistress, and she took some pains to alleviate his extreme despondency, without, however, affording the slightest ground for a hope which she felt could never be accomplished. The consolations which she employed, were drawn rather from the probability of a change in his sentiments than her own.
 “You are not in a condition,” she said, “to judge of the state of your own mind. Believe me, this depression will not continue as you seem to fear. The Almighty is too just to interweave any passion with our nature which it is not in the power of our reason to subdue.”
 “Aye, Anne,” said Kyrle, “but there are some persons for whose happiness the struggle is quite sufficient. I am not so ignorant as you suppose of the effect of a disappointment like this. I know that it will not be at all times as violent and oppressive as I feel it at this moment; but I know, too, that it will be as lasting as life itself. I have often experienced a feeling of regret that amounted to actual pain, in looking back to years that have been distinguished by little beyond the customary enjoyments of boyhood. Imagine, then, if you can, whether I have not reason to apprehend the arrival of those hours when I shall sit alone in the evening, and think of the time that was spent in your society!”
 Miss Chute heard this speech with a feeling of deep, and even sympathetic emotion. As Kyrle ventured to glance at her countenance, and observed the peculiar expression of her sorrow, the idea of a rival, which till that moment had not once occurred to him, now flashed upon his mind, and changed the current of his feelings to a new direction. The sentiment of jealousy was almost an useful stimulus, in the excessive dejection under which he laboured.
 “Will you forgive me,” he said, “and take the present state of my feelings as an apology, if there should be any thing offensive in the question I am about to ask you? There can be only one reason for my rejection which would save my pride the mortification of believing myself altogether unworthy. I should feel some consolation in knowing that my own misery was instrumental to your happiness; indeed, I should not think of breathing another word upon the subject, if I thought that your affections had been already engaged?”
 The agitation seemed now to have passed over to the lady’s side. Her brow became dark red, and then returned to more than its accustomed whiteness. “I have no other engagement,” she said, after a pause - “If I had, I should think it hardly fair to press such an enquiry. But, I assure you, I have none. And since you have spoken of my own views in life, I will be more explicit and confess to you, that I do not at present think it is likely I shall ever contract any. I love my mother; and her society is all that I desire or hope to enjoy at present. Let me now entreat you, as a friend, for my sake as well as your own, never again to renew any conversation on this subject.”
 This was said in a tone of such decision, that Kyrle saw it would be impossible, without hazarding the loss of the young lady’s friendship, to add another word of remonstrance, or of argument. Both, therefore, continued their walk in silence, nor did they exchange even an indifferent observation until they reached the summit of the little slope from which the course was visible.
 Their thoughts, however, were not subjected to the same restriction, and the train of reflection in either case was not calculated to awaken envy.
 She received my question with embarrassment, thought Kyrle, and she evaded a reply. I have a rival, it is evident, and a favoured, at least, if not a declared one. - WelI, if she is to be happy, I am content; but unquestionably the most miserable contented man upon the earth.
 The lady’s meditations also turned upon the same crisis in the conversation. All that I desire? she mentally repeated, quoting her own words to her rejected suitor. And have I so far conquered my own feelings as to be capable with perfect sincerity of making an assertion such as that? Or, if it be sincere, am I sure that I run no risk of disqualifying myself for retaining the same liberty of mind by accepting my uncle’s invitation? But it is not possible, surely, that my peace should be endangered in the society of one who treats me with something more, and colder, than indifference itself; and if it were, my part is already taken, and it is now too late to retract. Poor Kyrle, he wastes his eloquence in exciting my commiseration for a state of mind with which I have been long and painfully conversant. If he knew how powerful a sympathy my own experience had awakened for him, he need not use an effort to encrease it.
 A loud shout of welcome, sent forth in honour of the heiress of Castle Chute, and the lady patroness of the day’s amusements, broke in upon these sombre meditations, and called the attention of that lady, and of her downcast escort, to a novel scene, and new performers.

Clamorem immensum tollit, quo pontus et omnes
Intremuere undae, penitusque exterrita tellus

The sounds of greeting then sank into a babbling murmur, and at last into a hush of expectation, similar to that with which Pasta is welcomed at the Italian opera when she comes forward to stop the mouths of the unintelligible chorus, and to thrill the bright assembly with the frantic sorrows of Medea.
 The spot selected for the occasion, was the shore of a small bay, which was composed of a fine hard sand that afforded a very fair and level course for the horses. At the farther end was a lofty pole, on the top of which was suspended by the stirrup a new saddle, the destined guerdon of the conqueror. A red handkerchief, stripped from the neck of Dan Hourigan, the house carpenter, was hoisted over-head, and a crowd of country people, drest, notwithstanding the fineness of the day, in their heavy frieze great coats, stood round the winning-post, each faction being resolved to see justice done to its own representative in the match. A number of tents, composed of old sheets, bags and blankets, with a pole at the entrance, and a sheaf of reed, a broken bottle, or a sod of turf erected for a sign, were discernible among the multitude that thronged the side of the little rising ground before mentioned. High above the rest Mick Normile’s sign-board waved in the rising wind. Busy was the look of that lean old man, as he bustled to and fto among his pigs, kegs, mugs, pots and porringers. A motley mass of felt hats, white muslin caps and ribbands, scarlet cloaks, and blue riding jocks, filled up the spaces between the tents, and moved in a continual series of involutions, whirls and eddies, like those which are observable on the surface of a fountain newly filled. The horses were to start from the end of the bay, opposite to the winning-post, go round Mick Normile’s tent, and the cowel on the hill side, and returning to the place from whence they came, run straight along the sand for the saddle. This was to be the victor’s prize,

Hic, qui fortè velint rapido contendere cursu,
Invitat pretiis animos, et premia ponit.

The solatia victo were to be had at the rate of four-pence a tumbler, at Mick Normile’s tent. A rejected lover can hardly be supposed to have any predilection for the grotesque. Kyrle Daly however, observing that Miss Chute made an effort to appear disembarrassed, and feeling, in the sincerity of his affection, a sentiment of grief for the uneasiness he had occasioned her, compelled himself to assume the appearance of his usual good humour, and entered with some animation into the spirit of the scene. Captain Gibson, who now approached them on foot, could not, with the recollections of Ascot and Doncaster fresh in his mind, refrain from a roar of laughter at almost every object he beheld, - at the condition of the horses; the serious and important look of the riders; the Teniers appearance of the whole course; the band, consisting simply of a blind fiddler with a piece of listing about his waist and another about his old hat; the self-importance of the stewards, Tim Welsh the baker, and Batt Kennedy the poet or janius of the village, as they went in a jog trot round the course, collecting shilling subscriptions to the saddle from all who appeared on horseback.
 “Well, Anne,” said Mr. Cregan, riding up to the group, “we have lost three of our company. Hepton Connolly is gone off to fight a duel with some fellow from the mountains that called him a scoundrel, and taken Creagh with him for a second. That’s the lad that’1l see them properly set. Doctor Leake has followed for the purpose of stopping up any holes they may happen to make in one another, so we have all the fun to ourselves. If the doctor had staid, we should have had so many accounts of the sports of Tailton and all that. He is a very learned little man, the doctor, I don’t suppose there’s so long a head in the county; but he talks too much. Captain, I see you laugh a great deal, but you mustn’t laugh at our girls, though; there are some pretty bits o’ muslin there, I can tell you.”
 “I like them uncommonly,” said the Captain, “their dress, in particular, I think very becoming. The muslin cap, with a ribband tied under the chin and a pretty knot above, is a very simple and rural head dress. And the scarlet cloak and hood, which seems to be a favourite article of costume, gives a gay and flashy air to their rustic assemblies. Look at that girl, now, with the black eyes, on the bank, what a pretty, modest dress that is! A handkerchief pinned across the bosom, a neat figured gown, and check apron; but what demon whispered her to case her little feet in black worsted stockings and brogues?”
 “They are better than the clouted shoes of the continent,” said Anne, “and durability must sometimes be preferred to appearance.
 “Why that’s Syl Carney, Anne,” exclaimed Cregan.
 “It is, sir. She has seen her beau somewhere on the course, I will venture to say.
 A roar of laughter from Captain Gibson here attracted their attention. “Look at that comical fellow on horseback,” he cried, “did you ever see such a pair of long legs with so small a head. A fire-tongs would sit a horse as well. And observe the jaunty way he carries the little head, and his nods and winks at the girls. That’s an excruciating fellow! And the arms, the short arms, how the fellow gathers up the bridle and makes the lean animal hold up his head and jog airily forward. Is that fellow really going to run for the stake?”
 Kyrle Daly turned his eyes in the same direction, and suffered them to dilate with an expression of astonishment, when he beheld his own saucy squire seated upon the hair-cutter’s mare, and endeavouring to screen himself from his master’s observation by keeping close to the side of Batt Kennedy, the janius; while the latter recited aloud a violent satire which he had made upon a rival versifier in the neighbourhood. In fact, Lowry Looby, understanding that Syl Carney was to be at the course, and wishing to cut a figure in her eyes, had coaxed Foxy Dunat “out of the loand of his mare for one hate,” while that indifferent equestrian refreshed his galled person with a “soft sate,” on the green sod in Mick Normile’s tent.
 Mr. Cregan here left the party, with the view of assuming his place as judge of the course at the winning-post; while the staggeens with their riders moved forward surrounded by a dense arid noisy crowd to the starting post near the elevation that was occupied by our three friends.
 “We are at a loss here,” said Miss Chute, “for a list, ‘a list of this day’s running horses, the colour of the rider and the rider’s name.’ (Here she imitated, with some liveliness, the accent of the boys who sell those bills at more regular fêtes of the kind.) “But you, Captain Gibson, seem to take an interest in the proceeding, and I am acquainted not only with the characters of the heroes who hold the reins, but with all the secret machinery of intrigue which is expected to interfere with the fair-dealing of the day; I will, therefore, if you please, let you into the most amusing parts of their history as they pass.”
 Captain Gibson, with a fresh burst of laughter, protested that “he would give the world for a peep into the social policy of an Irish village.”
 “Well, then,” said Anne, assuming a Mock-Ossianic manner, “the first whom you see advancing, on that poor half-starved black mare with the great lump on her knee, and the hay rope for a saddle-girth, is Jerry Dooley, our village nailer, famed alike for his dexterity in shaping the heads of his brads and demolishing those of his acquaintances. Renowned in war is Jerry, I can tell you, - Gurtenaspig and Derrygortnacloghy re-echo with his fame. Next to him, on that spavined grey horse, rides John O’Reilly, our blacksmith, not less esteemed in arms, or rather in cudgels. Not silent, Captain Gibson, are the walks of Garryowen on the deeds of John O’Reilly, and the bogs of Ballinvoric quake when his name is mentioned. A strength of arm, the result of their habitual occupation, has rendered both these heroes formidable among the belligerent factions of the village, but the nailer is allowed a precedence. He is the great Achilles, O’ReilIy the Telemon Ajax of the neighbourhood. And to follow up my Homeric parallels, close behind him on that long-backed, ungroomed creature, with the unnameable colour, rides the crafty Ulysses of the assemblage, Dan Hogan the process-server. You may read something of his vocation in the sidelong glance of his eye and in the paltry deprecating air of his whole demeanour. He starts as if afraid of a blow whenever any one addresses him. As he is going to be married to Dooley’s sister, it is apprehended by the O’Reillys that he will attempt to cross the blacksmith’s mare, but the smoky Achilles, who gets drunk with him every Saturday night, has a full reliance on his friendship. Whether, however, Cupid or Bacchus will have the more powerful influence upon the process-server, is a question that I believe yet remains a mystery even to himself; and I suspect he will adopt the neutral part of doing all he can to win the saddle for himself. The two who ride abreast behind Hogan are mountaineers, of whose motives or intentions I am not aware; the sixth and last is Lowry Looby, a retainer of my friend Mr. Daly’s, and the man whose appearance made you laugh so heartily a little while since. He is the only romantic individual of the match. He rides for love, and it is to the chatty disposition of the lady of his affections, our own housemaid, that I am indebted for all this information.”
 One would have thought the English officer was about to die with laughter several times during the course of this speech. He leaned, in the excess of his mirth, upon the shoulder of Kyrle Daly, who in spite of all his depression was compelled to join him, and placing his hand against his forehead -

“... laughed, sans intermission,
An hour by the dial.”

The mere force of sympathy compelled the lady and gentleman to lay aside for the moment their more serious reflections, and adapt their spirits to the scene before them. It seemed curious to Kyrle Daly, that slightly as he esteemed this new military acquaintance, he felt jealous for the moment of the influence thus exercised by the latter on the temper of Anne Chute, and wished at the time that it were in his power to laugh as heartily as Captain Gibson. But a huge diaphragm, though an useful possession in general society, is not one that is most likely to win the affections of a fine girl. In affairs of the heart your mere laugher is a fool to your thinker and sentimentalist.
 Before the Captain could sufficiently recover himself to make his acknowledgments for the entertainment which Miss Chute had afforded him, a cry of “Clear the coorse! Clear the coorse!” resounded along the sand, and the two stewards, the baker and poet, came galloping round at a furious rate, laying about them stoutly with their cord-whips, while their horses scattered the sand and pebbles in all directions with their hoofs, and the stragglers were seen running off to the main body of the spectators to avoid a fate similar to that sustained by the victims of Jaggernaut, in that pious procession to which his Majesty’s non-emancipating government so largely and so liberally contribute. “Clear the coorse!” shouted the baker, with as authoritative an accent as if he were King Pharaoh’s own royal doughkneader. “Clear the coorse!” sung the melodious Batt Kennedy, the favourite of the muses, as he spurred his broken-winded Pegasus after the man of loaves; and of course, the course was cleared, and kept clear, less perhaps by the violence of Tim Welsh than the amenity of Batt Kennedy, who, though not a baker, was the more pithy and flowery orator of the two.

Chapter 11: How Kyrle Daly Has the Good Luck to See a Staggeen-Race
THE SIGNAL was given - and the six horsemen started in good order, and with more zeal and eagerness in their faces than was to be found in the limbs of the animals which they bestrode. For a few moments the strife seemed doubtful, and Victory hovered, with an indecisive wing, now over one helmet, and now over another. The crowd of spectators, huddling together on a heap, with faces that glowed and eyes that sparkled with intense interest, encouraged the riders with shouts and exclamations of hoarse and vehement applause. “Success! success, Jerry!” “Its done; a half-pint wit you, Dan Hogan wins!” “I depend my life upon John O’Reilly.” “Give her a loose, Lowry,” and other expressions of a similar nature.
 But ere they again came round the winning-post, the position of the horses was altered. O’Reilly rode in front, lashing his horse in the flank with as much force as if he were pounding on his own anvil. Dooley the nailer came close behind, drubbing his black mare’s lean ribs with the calves of his legs as if designing to beat the poor beast out of the last remnant of her wind. The others followed, lashing their horses and one another, each abusing his neighbour in the grossest terms, all except Lowry Looby, who prudently kept out of harm’s way, keeping a loose in his hand, and giving the hair-cutter’s mare the advantage of what jockies term a sob, a relief, indeed, of which the poor creature stood in the utmost need. He was thus prepared to profit by the accident which followed. The blacksmith’s grey horse started at a heap of sea-weed, and suffered the nailer’s mare to come down like a thunderbolt upon his haunches. Both steeds fell, and the process-server, who rode on their heels, falling foul of them as they lay kicking on the sand, was compelled to share in their prostration. This accident produced among the fallen heroes a series of kicks and bruises in which the horses were not idle. O’Reilly, clenching his hand, hit the nailer a straight-forward blow between the eyes, which so effectually interfered with the exercise of those organs, that he returned the favour with a powerful thrust in the abdomen of his own prostrate steed. For this good office he was rewarded by the indignant quadruped with a kick over the right ear which made it unnecessary to inflict a second, and the quarrel remained between the process-server and blacksmith, who pummelled one another as if they were pounding flax, and with as much satisfaction as if they had never got drunk together in their lives. They were at length separated, and borne from the ground all covered with blood and sand, while their horses with much difficulty were set upright on their legs, and led off to the neighbouring slope.
 In the meantime, our party observed Lowry Looby returning from the winning-post under the protection of Mr. Cregan, with the saddle torn to fritters between his hands, and his person exhibiting tokens of severe ill-usage. He had contrived to outstrip the mountaineers, and obtained the prize; but the adverse factions, irritated at beholding their laurels flourishing on a stranger’s brow, had collected around and dragged him from his horse, alleging that it was an unfair heat, and that there should be a second trial. Mr. Cregan, however; with some exertion succeeded in rescuing Lowry from their hands; but not until every man in the crowd had put a mark upon him by which he might be easily distinguished at any future meeting.
 Tired of the deafening uproar that surrounded him, and longing for retirement, that he might brood at leisure over his disappointment, Kyrle Daly now left the course, notwithstanding the invitation of Anne Chute, that he would return and dine at the Castle. His intention was, to spend the night at the Cottage on one of his father’s dairy-farms, which lay at the distance of a few miles lower on the river side; and where one neat room was always kept in order for his use, whenever he joined Hardress Cregan in a shooting excursion towards the mouth of the stream. Hardress had promised to visit him at this cottage, a few weeks before, and as he knew that his young friend must have come to an anchor in waiting for the tide, he judged it not unlikely that he might see him this very night. He had now an additional reason for desiring to hold conversation with Hardress, in order that he might receive the consolations of his friendship, under his own disappointment; and, if possible, obtain some knowledge of the true condition of his mistress’s affections.
 Lowry Looby, once more reduced to his legs, followed him at a distance somewhat more considerable than that recommended by Dean Swift as proper to be observed by gentlemen’s gentlemen. He lingered only to restore the mare to Foxy Dunat, presenting him at the same time with the mutilated saddle, and obstinately declining the hair-cutter’s proposal of “trating him to the best that the Cat an’ Bagpipes could afford.” After which conversatiun the two friends threw their arms about each other’s neck, kissed, as in France, and separated.
 The night had fallen before Kyrle alighted at the cottage door. Mrs. Frawley, the dairy-woman, had been provident enough to light a fire in the little yellow room, and to place beside it the arm-chair and small painted table, with the volume of Blackstone which her young master was accustomed to look into in the evening. The night, she observed “was smart enough to make an air o’ the fire no unpleasant thing; and even if it were not cold, a fire was company when one would be alone that way.” With equal foresight, she had prepared the materials for a tolerable dinner, such as a hungry man might not contemn without trial. Whether it were the mere effect of custom, or an indication of actual and unromantic appetite, the eye of our desponding lover was not displeased, on entering the little parlour, to see the table decorated with a snow-white damask cloth, a cooler of the sweetest butter, a small cold ham, and an empty space which he knew to be destined for a roast duck or chickens. There is no time at which the heart is more disposed to estimate in a proper light the comforts of home and a quiet fire-side, than when it has experienced some severe rejection in society, and it was with the feeling of one who after much and harrassing annoyance, encounters a sudden refuge, that our drooping traveller flung himself into the chair, and exclaimed in the words of Oriana:

“Though but a shadow, but a sliding.
Let me know some little joy,
We that suffer long annoy,
Are contented with a thought,
Through an idle fancy wrought,
Oh, let my joys have some abiding!”

While Mrs. Frawley superintended the dressing of the fowl in the kitchen, much wondering at the forlorn and absent air with which her officious attentions were received by the young collegian, that meditative gentleman was endeavouring to concentrate his attention on the pages of the learned work that lay before him. His eyes wandered over the concise and lucid detail of the reciprocal rights and duties of baron and feme; but what purpose could this answer, except to remind him that he could never claim the lovely Anne Chute as his femme, nor would the lovely Anne Chute consent to acknowledge him as her baron. He closed the volume, and laying it on the little chimney-piece resumed his mood of settled meditation by the fire.
 The silence of the place was favourable to that sort of drowsy musing in which the mind delights to repose its energies after any strong and passionate excitement. There was no effort made to invite or pursue a particular train of reflection; but those thoughts which lay nearest to the heart, those memories, hopes, fears, and wishes, with which they were most intimately associated passed in long and still procession before his mind. It was a dreary and funereal train to witness, but yet the lover found a luxurious indulgence in its contemplation. He remained gazing on the fire, with his hand supporting his temple, until every crackling turf and fagot became blended in his thoughts with the figures which his memory called up from the past, or his fancy created for the future.
 While he leaned thus silent in his chair, he overheard in the adjoining kitchen a conversation, which for the moment diverted his attention from the condition of his own fortunes.
 “Whereto are you running in such a hurry, Mary?” said Mrs. Frawley, “One would think it was for the seed o’ the fire you come. Sit down again.”
 “O wisha,” said a strange voice, “I’m tired from sitting. Is it to look after the butter Mr. Kyrle is come down to ye?”
 “Oyeh, no. He doesn’t meddle in them things at all. If he did, we’d have a bad story to tell him. You’ll burn that dock, Nelly, if you don’t mind it.”
 “Why so, a bad story, Mrs. Frawley?”
 “I’ll tell you, Mary. I don’t know what the reason of it is, but our butter is going from us this two months now. I’d almost take the vestment* of it, that Mr. Euright’s dairyman, Bill Noonan, made a pishog* and took away’ our butter.”
 “What else, what would become of it? Sure Bill himself told me they had double their compliment last week, at a time when, if we were to break our hearts churning from this till Doomsday, we could get nothing but the buttermilk in the latter end.”
 “Did you watch your cows last May-eve, to see that nobody milked ’em from you?”
 “I did to be sure. I sat up until twelve o’clock, to have the first milk myself: for Shaun Lauther, the fairy doctor; told me that if another milked ’em that night, she’d have their butter the whole year round. And what good was it for me? I wouldn’t wonder if old Moll Noonan had a hand in it.”
 “Nor I neither. They say she’s a witch. Did I ever tell you what Davy Neal’s wife did to her of a time?”
 “Not as I know.”
 “The same way as with yourself, the butter, no, ’tisn’t the butter, but the milk itself, was going from Katty Neal, although her little cow was a kind Kerry, and had the best of grazing. Well, she went, as you done, to Shaun Lauther, the knowledgeable man, and put a half-a-crown into his hand, and asked his advice. Well! ’Tell me,’ says Shaun, ‘were you at Moll Noonan’s yesterday?’ ‘I was,’ says Kate. ‘And did you see a hair spancel hanging over the chimney?’ says he. ‘I did see that too,’ says Kate. ‘Well,’ says Shaun, ‘’tis out of that spancel that Mull do be milking your cows every night, by her own chimney corner, and you breaking your heart at a dry udder the same time.’ ‘And what am I to do?’ says Kate; ‘I’ll tell you,’ says he. ‘Go home and redden this horse-shoe in the fire, and observe when you’re milking, that a grey cat will sit by you on the bawn. Just strike her with the red shoe, and your business will be done.’ Well, she did his bidding. She saw the grey cat, and burnt her with the shoe, till she flew screeching over the hedge.
 “O, murther, hadn’t she the courage?”
 “She had. Well, the next day she went to Moll Noonan’s, and found her keeping her bed, with a great scald, she said she got from a pot of boiling water she had down for scalding the keelers. Ayeh, thought Kate, I know what ails you well, my old lady. But she said nothing, and I’ll engage she had the fine can o’ milk from her cows next morning.”
 “Well, she was a great girl.”
 “A’, what should ail her?” said Nelly, the servant wench, who was employed in turning the duck, “I remember Jug Flannigan, the cooper’s wife, above, was in the same way’, losing all her butter, and she got it again, by putten’ a taste o’ the last year’s butter into the churn, before churning, along with the crame, and into every keeler in the house. Here, Mrs. Frawley, will you have an eye to the spit a minute, while I go look at them hens in the coob abroad? Master Kyrle might like a fresh egg fur his tay, an’ I hear them clockin’.”
 “Do then, Nell, a’ra gal, and, as you’re going, turn in the turkeys, for the wind is rising, and I’m in dread it will be a bad night.”
 A loud knocking at the door was the next sound that invaded the ear of Kyrle Daly. The bolt flew back, and a stranger rushed in, while at the same moment, a gust of wind and rain dashed the door with violence against the wall, and caused a cloud of smoke and ashes to penetrate even to the room in which he sat.
 “Shut out the doore! shut out the doore!” screamed Mrs. Frawley, “The duck will be all destroyed from the ashes. A’, Lowry, what kep you till now?”
 “Oh, let me alone woman,’ exclaimed Lowry, in a loud and agitated voice, “Where’s himself? Where’s Master Kyrle?”
 “Sitting in the parlour within. - “What’s the matter, eroo?”
 Without making any reply, Lowry Louby presented himself at the parlour door, and waving his hand with much force, exclaimed, “Come out! come out, Masther Kyrle! There’s the Nora Creina abroad just going down, an’ every soul aboard of her. She never will retch the shore! O vo! vo! ’tis frightful to see the swell that’s round her. The Lord in his mercy sthretch out his hand upon the wathers, this fearful night!”
 Kyrle started up in alarm, snatched his hat, and rushed out of the room, not paying any attention to the recommendation of Mrs. Frawley, that he would throw the frieze riding coat over his shoulders before he went out in the rain. Lowry Looby, with many ejaculations of terror and of compassiun, followed his master to the shore, within a gun-shot of which the cottage was situated. They arrested their steps on a rocky point, which, jutting far into the river, commanded a wide prospect on either side. It was covered with wet sea-weed and shell-fish, and afforded a slippery footing to the young collegian and his squire. A small fishing-boat lay at anchor on the leeward side of the point, and her crew, consisting of a swarthy old man and a youth, were standing on the shore, and watching the pleasure-boat with much interest.

*Swear on the priest’s vestment.
* A mystic rite, by which one person is enabled to make a supernatural transfer of his neighbour’s butter into his own churns. This failure and diminution of butter at different times, from the poverty of the cream, appears so unaccountable, that the country people can only attribute it to witchcraft; and those dairy superstitions have prevailed to a similar degree in the country parts of England. In The Devil is an Ass, his Satanic Majesty is thus made to jest on the petty mischief of his imp, Pug, who seeks a month’s furlough to the earth:

                        “You have some plot now,
Upon a tunning of ale, to stale the yeast,
Or keep the churn so that the earth come not,
Spite of the housewife’s cord and her hot spit.”

Chapter 12: How Fortune Brings Two Old Friends Together
The situation of the little vessel was in reality terrific. A fierce westerly wind, encountering the receding tide, occasioned a prodigious swell in the centre of the channel; and even near shore, the waves lashed themselves with so much fury against the rocky head-land before mentioned, that Kyrle and his servant were covered with spray and foam. There was yet sufficient twilight in the sky, to enable them to discern objects on the river, and the full autumnal moon, which ever and anon, shot, like a flying ghost, from one dark mass of vapour to another, revealed them at intervals with a distinctness scarcely inferior to that of day. The object of the pleasure-boat seemed to be that of reaching the anchorage above alluded to, and with this view the helmsman held her head as close to the wind as a reefed mainsail and heavy swell would allow him. The white canvass, as the boat came foaming and roaring towards the spectators, appeared half drenched in brine from the breaking of the sea against the windward bow. The appearance of the vessel was such as to draw frequent ejaculations of compassion from Lowry and the boatmen, and to make Kyrle Daly’s heart sink low with fear and anxiety. At one time, she was seen on the ridge of a broken wave, showing her keel to the moonlight, and bending her white and glistening sails over the dark gulf upon her lee. At another, the liquid mountain rolled away and left her buried in the trough, while her vane alone was visible to the landsmen, and the surges leaping and whitening in the moonshine, seemed hurrying to overwhelm and engulf their victim. Again, however, suddenly emerging into the light, she seemed to ride the waters in derision, and left the angry monsters roaring in her wake.
 “She never’ll do it, I’m in dread,” said Lowry, bending an inquisitive glance on the boatman. The latter was viewing intently, and with a grim smile, the gallant battle made by the little vessel against the elements.
 “’Tis a good boy that has the rudder in his hand,” he said; “and as for their lives, ’tis the same Lord that is on the water as on the land. When their hour is come, on sea or shore, ’tis all the same to ’em. I wouldn’t wondther if he done it yet. Ah, that swell put him off of it. He must make another tack. ’Tis a right good boy that houlds the rudder.”
 “What?” exclaimed Kyrle, “do you think it will be necessary for them to pot out into the tide again?”
 “Indeed I don’t say she’ll ever do without it,” said the old boatman, still keeping his eyes fixed on the Nora Creina. “There she comes round. She spins about like a top, God bless her!” Then putting his huge chapped hands at either side of his mouth, so as to form a kind of speaking trumpet, he cried out in a voice as loud and hoarse as that of the surges that rolled between them, “Ahoy! Ahoy! Have an oar out in the bow, or she’ll miss-stay in the swell.”
 “Thank you, thank you, it is done already!” shouted the helmsman in answer - “Kyrle, my boy, how are you? Kyrle, have a good fire for us when we go in. This is cold work.”
 “Cold work?” repeated Lowry Looby. “Dear knows, its true for you. A’ then, isn’t it little he makes of it after all, God bless him, an’ it blowing a parfect harico.”
 Notwithstanding the vigour and confidence which spoke in the accents of the hardy helmsman, Kyrle Daly, when he saw the vessel once more shoot out into the deep, felt as if he had been listening to the last farewell of his friend. He could not return his gallant greeting, and remained with his head leaning forward, and his arm outstretched, and trembling, while his eyes followed the track of the pleasure-boat. Close behind him stood Lowry - his shoulder raised against the wind, and his hand placed over that ear on which it blew - clacking his tongue against his palate for pity, and indulging in many sentiments of commiseration for “Masther Hardress!” and “the family,” not forgetting “Danny the Lord,” and his sister, “Fighting Poll of the Reeks.”
 We shall follow the vessel in her brief but daring course. The young helmsman has been already slightly introduced to the reader in the second chapter of this history, but the change which circumstances had since effected in his appearance, renders it well worthy of our pains to describe his person and bearing with more accuracy and distinctness. His figure was tall, and distinguished by that muscularity and firmness of set, which characterizes the inhabitants of the south-west of Europe. His attitude, as he kept one hand on the rudder, and his eye fixed upon the foresail, was such as displayed his form to extreme advantage. It was erect, composed and manly. Every movement seemed to be dictated by a judgment perfectly at ease, and a will that, far from being depressed, had caught a degree of fire and excitement from the imminent dangers with which it had to struggle. The warm and heroic flush upon his cheek could not be discovered in the pale and unequal light that shone upon him, but the settled and steady lustre of his large dark eye, over which, not even the slightest contraction of the arched brow could he discerned; the perfect calmness of his manner, and the half smiling expression of his mouth (that feature, which of all others is most traitorous to the dissembling coward) bespoke a mind and heart that were pleased to encounter danger, and well calculated to surmount it. It was such a figure as would have at once awakened associations in the beholder’s mind, of camps and action, of states confounded in their councils, and nations overrun by sudden conquest. His features were brightened by a lofty and confident enthusiasm, such as the imagination might ascribe to the Royal Adventurer of Sweden, as he drew his sword on his beleaguers at Belgrade. His forehead was ample and intellectual in its character; his hair “coal-black” and curling; his complexion of that rich deep Gipsy yellow, which, shewing as it did the healthy bloom beneath, was far nobler in its character than the feminine white and red. The lower portion of his physiognomy was finely and delicately turned, and a set of teeth as white as those of a young beagle, gave infinite vivacity to the expression of his lips. The countenance was such an one as men seldom look upon, but when once beheld can never be forgotten.
 On a seat at the weather side sat a young girl, her slight person wrapped in a blue cloak, while her eyes were raised to the cheerful face of the helmsman as if from him she derived all her hope and her security. The wind had blown back the hood from her shoulders and the head and countenance which thus “unmasked their beauty to the moon” were turned with a Sylph-like grace and lightness. The mass of curly hair which was blown over her left temple, seemed of a pale gold, that harmonized well with the excelling fairness and purity of her complexion; and the expression of her countenance was tender, affectionate and confiding.
 In the bow sat a being who did not share the beauty of his companions. He bore a prodigious hunch upon his shoulders, which however did not prevent his using his limbs with agility and even strength, as he tended the foresail, and bustled from side to side with an air of the utmost coolness and indifference. His features were not disagreeable, and were distinguished by that look of pert shrewdness which marks the low inhabitant of a city, and vents itself in vulgar cant, and in ridicule of the honest and wondering ignorance of rustic simplicity.
 Such were the individuals whom the spirit of the tempest appeared at this moment to hold environed by his hundred perils; and such was the manner in which they prepared to encounter their destiny.
 “Mind your hand, Mr. Hardress,” said the boatman, in a careless tone, ’we are in the tide.”
 It required the hand of an experienced helmsman to bring the little vessel through the danger which he thus announced. An immense, overtopping billow, capped in foam, came thundering downward like an avalanche upon her side. In spite of the precautions of Hardress, and the practised skill with which he timed the motion of the wave, as one would take a ball upon the bound, or a hunter on the rise - the bowsprit dipped and cracked like a withered sapling, a whole ton of water was flung over the stern, drenching the crew as completely as if they had been drawn through the river. The boat seemed to stagger and lose her way like a stricken hart, and lay for a moment weltering in the gloomy chasm in which the wasted wave had left her. A low and smothered scream was breaking from the female, when her eye again met that of Hardress Cregan, and her lip though pale and quivering was silent. “That was right well done, sir:” said Danny Mann, as the boat once more cleft the breakers on her landward course.
 “A minute sooner, or a minute later, up with the hand, would put it all into her.”
 “A second would have done it,” said Hardress, “but all is well now. A charming night this would be” he continued smiling on the girlXX” for beaver and feathers.”
 This jest produced a short hysteric laugh, in answer, which was rather startling than agreeable to the person who addressed her. In a few minutes after, and without any more considerable disaster, the vessel dropped her peek, and ran alongside the rocks on which Kyrle Daly was expecting them.
 “Remain in the boat,” said Hardress, addressing the girl: while he fastened the hood over her head; - “I see that talkative fellow, Looby, above on the rocks. I will procure you an unoccupied room, if possible, in the cottage, as a neighbour and relative of Danny Mann. Endeavour to conceal your countenance, and speak as little as possible. We are ruined, if I should be seen paying you any attention.”
 “And am I not to see you to-night again?” said the girl, in a broken and affectionate accent.
 “My own love, I would not go to rest without taking leave of you for all the world. Be satisfied” he added, pressing her hand tenderly, and patting her upturned cheek. “You are a noble girl. Go, pray - pray and return thanks for your husband’s life as he shall do for your’s. I thought we should have supped in heaven. Dan!” he continued aloud, calling to the boatman “take care of your sister.”
 “His sisther!” echoed Lowry Looby on the rocks. “Oh, murther, is Fighting Poll of the Reeks aboard too? Why then he needn’t bid Danny to take care of her, for she is well able to do that job for herself.”
 Hardress leaped out upon the shore and was received by Kyrle Daly with a warmth and delight proportioned to the anxiety which he had previously experienced.
 “My dear fellow, I thought I should have never seen you on your feet again. A thousand and a hundred thousand welcomes! Lowry, run to the house, and get dinner hastened - Stay! - Hardress, have you any things on board?”
 “Only a small trunk and my gun - you would for ever oblige me, Kyrle, by procuring a comfortable lodging - if you have no room to spare, for this poor fellow of mine and his sister. He is sickly, and you know he is my foster brother.”
 “He shall be taken care of - I have a room - come along - you are dripping wet. Lowry, take up Mr. Cregan’s trunk and gun to the cottage. Come along, Hardress, you will catch your death of cold. Pooh! are you afraid Fighting Poll will break her tender limbs that you look back and watch her so closely?”
 “No - no, my dear Daly - but I am afraid that fellow - Booby - Looby - (what’s his stupid name?) - will break my trunk; - he is watching the woman and peering about her, instead of minding what he is doing. But come along! - Well, Kyrle, how are you? I saw you all in the window to-day when I was sailing by.”
 “Yes - you edified my mother with that little feat you performed at the expense of the fishermen.”
 “Ah, no - was she looking at that, though? I shall not be able to show my face to her this month to come. Hallo, you sir, Booby! Looby, come along! Do you remain long in the west, Kyrle?”
 “As long as you will take a bed in the cottage with me. But we will talk of this when you have changed your dress and dined. You came on the very point of time. Rem acu tetigisti, as our old college tutor Doyle would say. Mrs. Frawley was just preparing to dish me a roast duck. I bless the wind, all boisterous as it was, that blew you on these shores, for I thought I should have spent a lonesome evening, with the recollections of merry old times, like so many evil familiars, to dine, and sup, and sleep with me. But now that we are met again, farewell the past! The present and the future shall furnish our entertainment, after we have done with the roast duck.”
 “The fume of which salutes my sense at this moment with no disagreeable odour” said Hardress, following his friend into the little hall of the cottage. “Mrs. Frawley, as fat and fair and rosy as ever! Well, Mrs. Frawley, how do you and the cows get on? Has any villainous imp been making pishogs over your keelers? Does the cream mount? Does the butter break? Have you got the devil well out of your churn?”
 “Oh, fie, masther Cregan, to go spake of such a thing at all. Oh, vo, a vich-o, you’re drown’ded wet, an’ that’s what you are. Nelly, eroo, bring hether the candle. Oh, sir, you never will get over it.”
 “Never mind, Mrs. Frawley. I’ll be stout enough to dance at your wedding yet.” “My wedding, a-vourneen!” returned the buxom dairy-woman, in a gentle scream of surprise, not unqualified however by a gracious smile, “Oyeh, if you never fut a moneen till then! - Make haste hether with the candle, Nelly, eroo, what are you doing?”
 Nelly, not altogether point device in her attire, at length appeared with a light to conduct the gentlemen to their chamber; while Mrs. Frawley returned to the kitchen. This accident of the stranger’s arrival was of fatal consequence to three individuals in the cottage; namely, two fat chickens and a turkey pout, upon whom sentence of death was immediately pronounced and executed, without more form of law than might go to the hanging of a Croppy. Mrs. Frawley, meantime, fulfilled the office of Sheriff on the occasion, ejaculating, out of a smiling reverie, while she gazed listlessly on the blood of the innocent victims, “Why then I declare that Misther Hardress is a mighty pleasant gentleman.”
 In the meantime, Lowry Looby was executing the commission he had received with regard to Mr. Cregan’s trunk. Lowry, who was just as fond of obtaining, as of communicating strange intelligence, had his own good reasons for standing in awe of the far-famed Fighting Poll of the Reeks, who was renowned in all the western fairs, as a fearless, whiskey drinking virago, over six-feet in her stocking vamps, and standing no more in awe of the gallows than she might of her mother’s arms. It may at once be seen that a character of this description was the very last that could have been personated with any success by the lovely young creature who accompanied Hardress, and indeed her only chance of escaping detection consisted in the unobtrusiveness of the attempt she made, and the care she used in concealing her features. The first circumstance that excited the astonishment of Lowry, as he stood bowing with his hat off, upon the rocks, while Danny the Lord assisted her to land, was the comparative diminutiveness of her stature, and the apparent slightness of her form.
 “Your sarvent, Mrs. Naughten,” he said in a most insinuating accent. “I hope I see you well in your health, ma’am. You wouldn’t remember a boy of the Looby’s at all, you met of a time at Nelly Hewsan’s wake, westwards (heaven rest her soul this night!) That was the place where the great giving-out was, surely.”
 To this gentle remembrance of old merry times, the female in the blue cloak only answered by a slight, short courtesy, while she drew the hood closer about her face, and began, though with a feeble and tottering step, to ascend the rocks.
 “Bread, an’ - beef, an’ - tay an’ - whiskey an’ - turkies an’ - cakes - an’ every thing that the heart could like,” the officious Lowry continued following the pseudo amazon among the stones and sea-weed and marvelling not a little at her unaccustomed taciturnity. “The Hewsans could well afford it, they were strong, snug farmers, relations o’ your own, I’m thinking, ma’am. Oh, vo! sure I forgot the trunk and there’s Mr. Hardress calling to me. Larry Kett,” he continued, addressing the old boatman beforementioned, “will you show Mrs. Naughten the way to the house while I’m getting the thrunk out o’ the boat; an’ if you want a fire o’ turf or a gwal o’ piatees, Mrs. Frawley will let you have ’em an’ welcome.”
 The old boatman willingly came into terms so easy and advantageous; and the fair counterfeit hurried on, well pleased at the exchange of companions. Lowry in the meantime returned to the boat, and stole into conversation with Danny the Lord, whom, in fear of his sneering satirical temper, he always treated with nearly as much respect as if his title were not so purely a thing of courtesy. Danny Mann, on the other hand, received his attentions with but little complaisance; for he looked on Lowry as a foolish, troublesome fellow, whose property in words (like the estate of many a young absentee) far overbalanced his discretion and ability in their employment. He had often told Looby in confidence, “that it would be well for him he had a bigger head an’ a smaller mouth,” alluding to that peculiar conformation of Lowry’s upper man with which the reader has been already made acquainted. The country people (who are never at a loss for a simile) when they saw this long-legged fellow, following the sharp-faced little hunch-back from place to place, used to lean on their spades, and call the attention of their companions to “the wran an’ the cuckoo, goen’ the road.”
 The “cuckoo” now found the “wran” employed in coiling up a wet cable on the fore-castle, while he sang in a voice that more nearly resembled the grunting of a pig at the approach of rain, than the melody of the sweet songstress of the hedges above named:-

“An’ of all de meat dat ever was hung,
A cheek o’ pork is my fancy,
’Tis sweet an’ toothsome when ’tis young.
Fait, dat’s no lie, says Nancy.
’Twill boil in less dan half an hour,
Den wit your nail you may try it,
’Twill taste like any cauliflower,
’Tis better do dat dan to fry it.
”Sing re-rig-i-dig-i-dum-derom-dum.”

 “How does the world use Misther Mann this evening?” was the form of Lowry’s first greeting, as he bent over the gun-wale of the stern, and laid his huge paws on the small trunk.
 “As you see me Lowry,” was the reply.
 “A smart evening ye had of it.”
 “Purty fair for de matter o’ dat.”
 “Dear knows, its a wondther ye worn’t drown’ded. ’Twas blown’ a harico. An’ you singen’ now as if you wor comen’ from a jig-house, or a wake, or a weddin’. A’ then tell me, now, Misther Mann, wasn’t it your thought when you wor abroad, that time, how long it was since you were with the priest before?”
 “I tought o’ dat first, Lowry, an’ I tried to say a prayer, but it was so long from me since I did de like before, dat I might as well try to talk latin, or any oder book-larning. But sure if I tought o’ myself rightly, dere wasn’t de laste fear of us, for I had a book o’ Saint Margaret’s confessions in me buzzom, an’ as long as I’d have dat, I,tnew dat if de boat was to go down under me itself, she’d come up again.”
 “Erra, no!”
 “Iss, dear knows.”
 “I wisht I had one of ’em,” said Lowry, “I do be often goen’ in boats across the Cratloe, an’ them places.”
 “You’d have no business of it, Lowry. Dem dat’s born for one death, has no reason to be afeerd of anoder.”
 “Gondoutha! You’re welcome to your joke this evening. Well, if I was to put my eyes upon sticks, Misther Mann, I never would know your sisther again.”
 “She grew a dale, I b’lieve.”
 “Grew? - If she did, its like the cow’s tail, downwards. Why, she isn’t, to say, taller than myself, now, in place o’ being the head an’ two shoulders above me. An’ she isn’t at all the rattlen’ girl she was of ould. She didn’t spake a word.”
 “An’ dat’s a failing, dat’s new to both o’ ye,” said his lordship, “but Poll made a vow again talken’ of a Tuesday, bekeys it was of a Tuesday her first child died, an’ dey said he was hoist away be de good people, while Poll was gossiping wit Ned Hayes, over a glass at de public.”
 “And that’s her raison!”
 “Dat’s her riason.”
 “An’ in regard o’ the drink?”
 “Oh, she’s greatly altered dat way too, dough ’twas greatly again’ natur. A lime-burner’s bag was notten to her for soaken formerly, but now she’d take no more dan a wet spunge.”
 “That’s great, surely. An’ about the cursen’ an’ swearen’?”
 “Cursen’? You’d no more find a curse after her, dan you would after de clargy. An’ tisn’t dat itself, but you wouldn’t get a crooked word outside her lips, from year’s end to year’s end.”
 “Why then, it was long from her to be so mealy-mouthed when I knew her. An’ does she lift a hand at the fair at all now? Oyeh, what a terrible ’oman she was, comen’ again a man with her stocken off, an’ a stone in the foot of it!”
 “She was. Well, she wouldn’t raise her hand to a chicken, now.”
 “That flogs cock-fighting.”
 “Only, I’ll tell you in one case. She’s apt to be contrary to any one dat would be comen’ discoorsen’ her of a Tuesday at all, or peepen’ or spyen’ about her, she’s so vexed in herself not to be able to make ’em an answer. It used to be a word an’ a blow wit her, but now as she can’t have de word, ’tis de blow comes mostly first, and she did n’t make e’er a vow again’ dat.”
 “Shasthone!” exclaimed Lowry, who laid up this hint for his own edification. “Great changes, surely. Well, Misther Mann, an’ will you tell me now if you plase, is your master goen’ westwards in the boat to-morrow?”
 “I don’t know, an’ not maken’ you a short answer, Lowry - I don’t care. And a word more on de hack o’ dat again, aldough I have a sort of a rattlen’ regard for you, still an’ all, I’d rader be taking a noggin o’ whiskey, to warm de heart in me dis cold night, dan listening to your talken’ dere. Dat I may be happy, but I would, an’ dat’s as good as if I was after taking all de books in Ireland of it.”
 This hint put an end to the conversation for the present, and Danny the Lord (who exercised over Lowry Looby an influence somewhat similar to that which tied Master Matthew to the heels of Bobadil) adjourned with that loquacious person to the comforts of Mrs. Frawley’s fire-side.

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