Gerald Griffin, The Collegians (1829)

[ cont. ]

Chapter 32: How Kyrle Daly’s Warlike Ardour Was Checked by an Untoward Incident
A joyous piece of news awaited Kyrle Daly, at the door of his own home. Lowry Looby met him on the avenue, his little arms out-stretched, and his huge mouth expanded with an expression of delighted astonishment.
 “Oh, masther Kyrle!” he said, “you’re just come in time. I was goin’ off for you. Hurry in - hurry in, sir! There’s a new little sister within, waiting for you this way.”
 “And your mistress, Lowry?” said Kyrle springing from his horse, and tossing the rein to the servant.
 “Finely, finely, sir, thank heaven.”
 “Thank heaven, indeed!” echoed Daly, hurrying on, with a flushed and gladdened face, toward the hall door. Every thing of self, his disappointment, the treachery of his friend, the loss of his mistress, and his dilemma with the duellist, were all forgotten, in his joy at the safety of his mother. The door stood open, and the hall was crowded with servants, children, and tenants. In the midst of a hundred exclamations of wonder, delight, and affection, which broke from the lips of the group, the faint cry of a baby was heard, no louder than the wail of a young kitten. He saw his father holding the little stranger in his arms, and looking in its face with a smile, which he was in vain endeavouring to suppress. The old kitchen maid stood on his right, with her apron to her eyes, crying for joy. One or two younger females, the wives of tenants, were on the other side, gazing on the red and peevish little face of the innocent, with a smile of maternal sympathy and compassion. A fair haired girl clung to her father’s skirt, and petitioned loudly to be allowed to nurse it for a moment. Another looked rebukingly upon her, and told her to be silent. North East, and Charles, had clambered up on a chair to overlook the throng which they could not penetrate. Patcy stood near the parlour door, jumping with all his might, and clapping his hands like one possessed. There appeared only one discontented figure on the scene. It was that of little Sally, hitherto the pet and plaything of the family, who stood in a distant corner, with her face turned to the wall, her lip pouting, and her blue eyes filling up with jealous tears.
 The moment Kyrle made his appearance at the door, the uproar was redoubled. “Kyrle! Kyrle! Here’s Kyrle! Kyrle, look at your sister! look at your sister!” exclaimed a dozen voices, while the group at the same moment opened, and admitted him into the centre.
 “Poor little darling!” said Kyrle, patting it on the cheek, “Is it not better take it in out of the cold, sir?”
 “I think so, Kyrle. Nurse! Where’s the nurse?” The door of Mrs. Daly’s sleeping chamber opened, and a woman appeared on the threshold looking rather anxious. She ran hastily through the hall, got a bowl of water in the kitchen, and hurried back again into the bed-room.
 “Why doesn’t she come?” said Mr. Daly. “The little thing cries so, I am afraid it is pinched by the air.”
 “I suppose she is busy with my aunt O’Connell, and her patient, yet,” said Kyrle. A hurried trampling of feet was now heard in the bed-room, and the sound of rapid voices, in anxiety and confusion. A dead silence sunk upon the hall. Mr. Daly and his son exchanged a glance of thrilling import. A low moan was the next sound that proceeded from the room. The husband placed the child in the arms of the old woman, and hurried to the chamber door. He was met at the threshold, by his sister, Mrs. O’Connell (a grave looking lady in black) who placed her hand against his breast, and said with great agitation of manner.
 “Charles, you must not come in yet.”
 “Why so, Mary? how is she?”
 “Winny,” said Mrs. O’Connell, addressing the old woman who held the infant, “take the child into the kitchen until the nurse can come to you.”
 “How is Sally?” repeated the anxious husband.
 “You had better go into the parlour, Charles. Recollect yourself now, my dear Charles, remember your children ...”
 The old man began to tremble. “Mary,” he said, “Why will you not answer me? How is she?”
 “She is not better, Charles.”
 “Not better!”
 “No, far otherwise.”
 “Far otherwise! Come! woman, let me pass into the room.”
 “You must not, in deed you must not Charles!” exclaimed his sister flinging her arms round his neck, and bursting into tears. “Kyrle, Kyrle! Speak to him!”
 Young Daly caught his father’s arm. “Well, well!” said the latter looking round with a calm yet ghastly smile, “if you are all against me, I must of course submit.”
 “Come with me to the parlour,” said Mrs. O’Connell, “and I will explain to you.”
 She took him by the arm, and led him with a vacant countenance, and passive demeanour, through the silent and astonished group. They entered the parlour, and the door was closed by Mrs. O’Connell. Kyrle Daly remained fixed like a statue, in the same attitude in which his aunt had left him, and a moment of intense and deep anxiety ensued.
 That rare and horrid sound, the scream of an old man in suffering, was the first that broke on the portentous stillness. It acted like a spell upon the group in the hall. They were dispersed in an instant. The women ran shrieking in various directions. The men looked dismayed, and uttered hurried sentences of wonder and affright. The children, terrified by the confusion, added their shrill and helpless wailings to the rest. The death cry was echoed in the bed-room, in the parlour, in the kitchen. From every portion of the dwelling, the funeral shriek ascended to the heavens; and Death, and Sorrow, like armed conquerors, seemed to have possessed themselves, by sudden storm, of this little hold where peace, and happiness had reigned so long and calmly.
 Kyrle’s first impulse, on hearing his father’s voice, made him rush to the bed room of his mother. There was no longer any opposition at the door, and he entered with a throbbing heart. The nurse was crying aloud, and wringing her hands at the fire-place. Mrs. Leahy, the midwife, was standing near the bedside, with a troubled and uneasy countenance, evidently as much concerned for the probable injury to her own reputation as for the affliction of the family. Kyrle passed them both, and drew back the curtain of the bed. His mother was lying back, quite dead, and with an expression of languid pain upon her features.
 “I never saw a case o’ the kind in my life,” muttered Mrs. Leahy. “I have attended hundreds in my time, an’ I never saw the like. She was sitting up in the bed, sir, as well as I’d wish to see her, an’ I just stepped to the fire, to warm a little gruel, when I heard Mrs. O’Connell calling me. I ran to the bed, an’ sure there I found her dying! She just gave one moan, and ’twas all over. I never heard of such a case. All the skill in the world wouldn’t be any good in such a business.”
 Kyrle Daly felt no inclination to dispute the point with her. A heavy, dizzy sensation was in his brain, which made his actions and his manner resemble those of a person who walks in his sleep. He knelt down to pray, but a feeling like lethargy disqualified him for any exercise of devotion. He rose again, and walked listlessly into the hall.
 Almost at the same moment, Mr. Daly appeared at the parlour door, followed by his aged sister, who was still in tears. The old man glanced at his children, and waved his hands before him. “Take them from my sight!” he said in a low voice. “Let the orphans be removed. Go now, my children, we never shall be happy here again.”
 “Charles, my dear Charles!” said his sister, in a tone of gentle remonstrance, while she laid her hand upon his shoulder.
 “Well, Mary, I will do whatever you like. Heaven knows, I am not fit to direct myself, now. Ha, Kyrle, are you returned? I remember I wrote you word to come home to conclude the Christmas with us. I did not think you would have so mournful a home to come to. When did you come?”
 “You forget, Charles, that you saw Kyrle awhile ago,” said Mrs. O’Connell.
 “Did I? I had forgotten it,” returned Mr. Daly, tossing his head. He extended his hand to Kyrle, and burst into tears. Kyrle could not do so. He passed his father and aunt, and entered the parlour which was now deserted. He sat down at a small table before the window, and leaning on his elbow, looked out upon the face of the river. The wintry tide was flowing against a sharp and darkening gale, and a number of boats with close-reefed sails, and black hulls heeling to the blast were beating through the yellow waves. The sky was low and dingy, the hills of Cratloe rose on the other side in all their bleak and barren wildness of attire. A harsh wind stirred the dry and leafless woodbines that covered the front of the cottage, and every object in the landscape seemed to wear a character of dreariness and discomfort.
 Here he remained for several hours in the same dry and stolid mood of reflection. Not a single tear, not a single sound of sorrow, was added by him to the general clamour of the household. He never before had been tried by an occasion of this nature, and his present apathy filled him with alarm and astonishment. He listened to the wailings of the women and children, and he looked on the moistened faces of those who hurried past his chair from time to time, until he began to accuse himself of want of feeling and affection.
 While he sat thus silent, the door was opened, and Lowry Looby thrust in his head to inform him that the family were assembled to say a litany in the other room. Kyrle rose, and proceeded thither without reply or question, while Lowry, oppressed with grief, made his retreat into the kitchen. Here he was met by the nurse, who asked him for some half-pence, that she might lay them according to custom, on the lips and eyes of the corpse.
 “I didn’t like,” she said, “to be tazing any o’ the family about it, an’ they in throuble.”
 “Surely, surely;” said Lowry, while he searched his pockets for the coin. “Ah, nurse, so that’s the way ye let her go between ye! - Oh, asthora, Mrs. Daly, an’ tis I that lost the good misthress, in you, this day! Soft and pleasant be your bed in heaven this night! An’ so it will. You never refused to feed the hungry here, an’ God won’t refuse to feed you where you are gone. - You never turned the poor out o’ your house in this world, an’ God won’t turn you out of his house in the other. Soft and pleasant be your bed in heaven this night, Mrs. Daly! Winny, eroo, wasn’t it you was telling me that the misthress’s three first childher died at nurse?”
 Old Winny was sitting by the fire-side, dandling the now forgotten little infant in her arms, and lulling it with an ancient ditty, of which the following beautiful fragment formed the burthen:

Gilli beg le m’onum thu
Gilli beg le m’ chree
Coth yani me von Gilli beg,
’N heur ve thu more a creena

 “They did,” she said, in answer to Lowry’s question, “all, before Masther North-aist, went off so fast as they wor wained.”
 “See that!” said Lowry, “She cried, I wasn’t in the family then, but still I know she cried a pottle for every one o’ them. An’ see how it is now. She has them three little angels waiting to recave her at the gate of heaven this day. Here is the money, nurse, an’ I wish every coin of it was goold for the use you’re going to make of it.”
 The nurse left the kitchen, and Lowry took his seat upon the settle-bed, where he remained for some time, looking downwards, and striking the end of his walking stick against the floor, gently, and at regular intervals. The crying of the child disturbed his meditations, and he frequently lifted his head, and stared with a look of stern remonstrance at the unconscious innocent. “
 The Lord forgive you, you little disciple!” said Lowry, “’tis little you know what harm you done this day! Do’ all you can, grow up as fine as a queen, an’ talk like an angel, ’twill set you to fill up the place o’ the woman you took away from us this day. Howl your tongue, again, I tell you, ’tis we that have raison to cry, an’ not you.”
 The news of this unexpected visitation became diffused throughout the country, with a speed resembling that of sound itself. Friend after friend dropped in as evening fell, and the little parlour was crowded before midnight. It was a dreadful night without, the same (it will be remembered) on which Eily O’Connor left the cottage in the gap. The thunder clattered close over-head, the rain fell down in torrents, and the reflection of the frequent lightning flashes danced upon the glasses and bowl, around which the company were seated in the parlour. It was yet too soon for the report to have reached the ears of the real friends of the family, whose condolence might have been more efficacious than that of the humbler crowd of distant relatives and dependants, who were now assembled in the house of mourning. Kyrle considered this, and yet he could not avoid a certain dreary and desolate feeling, as he looked round upon the throng of persons by whom their hearth was girded. But though he could not receive from them the delicate condolence which his equals might have afforded, their sympathy was not less cordial and sincere.
 The night passed away in silence and watching. A few conversed in low whispers, and some pressed each other, by signs, to drink; but this courtesy was for the most part declined by a gathering of the brows, and a shake of the head. The grey and wintry morning found the dwelling thronged with pale, unwashed, and lengthened faces. Some strayed out on the little lawn, to breathe the river air. Others thronged the room of death, where an early mass was celebrated for the soul of the departed. At intervals, a solitary cry of pain and grief was heard to break from some individual of the crowd, but it was at once repressed, by the guests, with low sounds of anger and surprise. The family were silent in their woe, and it was thought daring in a stranger to usurp their prerogative of sorrow.
 The arrivals were more frequent in the course of the second evening, and a number of gigs, curricles, and outside jaunting cars, were laid by in the yard. No circumstance could more fully demonstrate the estimation in which this family was held, than the demeanour of the guests as they entered the house. Instead of the accustomed ceremonial which friends use at meeting, they recognised each other in silence and with reserve, as in a house of worship. Sometimes a lifting of the eye-lid and a slight elevation of the hand, expressed their dismay and their astonishment; and if they did exchange a whisper it was only to give expression to the same feeling. “It was a dreadful loss!” they said, “Poor man! What will become of the children?”
 About night-fall on the second evening, Kyrle was standing at the window of the room in which the corpse was laid out. The old nurse was lighting the candles that were to burn on either side of the death-bed. The white curtains were festooned with artificial roses, and a few were scattered upon the counterpane. Kyrle was leaning with his arm against the window- sash, and looking out upon the river, when Mrs. O’Connell laid her hand upon his shoulder:
 “Kyrle,” said she, “I wish you would speak to your father, and make him go to bed to-night. It would be a great deal too much for him to go without rest the two nights successively.”
 “I have already spoken to’ him, aunt; and he has promised me, that he will retire early to his room. We ought to be all obliged to you, aunt, for your attention; it is in conjunctures like this, that we discover our real friends. I am only afraid that you will suffer from your exertions. Could you not find somebody to attend to the company to-night, while you are taking a little rest?”
 “Oh, I am an old nurse-tender,” said Mrs. O’Connell. “I am accustomed to sit up. Do not think of me, Kyrle.” She left the room, and Kyrle resumed his meditative posture. Up to this moment, he had not shed a single tear; and the nurse was watching him, from time to time, with an anxious and uneasy eye. As he remained looking out, an old man, dressed in dark frieze, and with a stooping gait, appeared upon the little avenue. The eye of Kyrle rested on his figure, as he walked slowly forward, assisting his aged limbs with a seasoned blackthorn stick. He figured, involuntarily, to his own mind, the picture of this poor old fellow in his cottage, taking his hat and stick, and telling his family that he would “step over to Mrs. Daly’s wake.” To Mrs. Daly’s wake! His mother, with whom he had dined on the Christmas day just past, in perfect health and security! The incident was slight, but it struck the spring of nature in his heart. He turned from the window, threw himself into a chair, extended his arms, let his head hang back, and burst, at once, into a loud and hysterical passion of grief.
 In an instant, the room was thronged with anxious figures. All gathered around his chair, with expressions of compassion and condolence.
 “Come out, come out into the air, masther Kyrle!” said the nurse, while she added her tears to his, “don’t a’ra gal! Don’t now, IOh, then ’tis little wondher you should feel your loss.”
 “Kyrle!” said Mrs. O’Connell, in a voice nearly as convulsive as his whom she sought to comfort, “remember your father, Kyrle, don’t disturb him.”
 “Let me alone, oh, let me alone, aunt Mary!” returned the young man, waving his hands, and turning away his head, in deep suffering. “I tell you I shall die if you prevent me.” And he abandoned himself, once more, to’ a convulsive fit of weeping.
 “Let him alone, as he says,” whimpered old Winny. “I’m sure I thought it wasn’t natural he should keep it on his heart so long. It will do him good. Oh, vo, vo’! it is a frightful thing to hear a man crying!”
 Suddenly, Mr. Daly appeared amid the group. He walked up to Kyrle’s chair, and took him by the arm. The latter checked his feelings on the instant, and arose with a calm and ready obedience. As they passed the foot of the bed, the father and son paused, as if by a consent of intelligence. They exchanged one silent glance, and then flinging themselves each on the other’s neck, they wept long, loudly, and convulsively together. There was no one now to interfere. No one dared at this moment to assume the office of comforter, and every individual acted the part of a principal in the affliction. The general wail of sorrow, which issued from the room, was once more echoed in the other parts of the dwelling, and the winds bore it to the ear of Hardress Cregan, as he approached the entrance of the avenue.  

* “Gilli beg le m’onum thu
Gilli beg le m’ chree
Coth yani me von Gilli beg,
’N heur ve thu more a creena

My soul’s little darling you are
My heart’s little darling!
What will I do without my little darling,
When you’re grown up and old?”

Chapter 33: How Hardress Met a Friend of Eily’s at the Wake
He entered the house with that species of vulgar resolution which a person feels who is conscious of deserving a repulse, and determined to outface it. But his bravery was wholly needless. Poor Kyrle was busy now with other thoughts than those of Cregan’s treachery.
He was shown into the parlour, in which the gentlemen were seated round the fire, and listening to the mournful clamour which yet had hardly subsided in the distant room. The table was covered with decanters of wine, bowls of whiskey-punch, and long glasses. A large turf fire blazed in the grate, and Lowry Looby was just occupied in placing on the table a pair of plated candlesticks almost as long as himself. Mr. Barnaby Cregan, Mr. Connolly, Doctor Leake, and several other gentlemen were seated at one side of the fire. On the other stood a vacant chair from which Mr. Daly had been summoned a few minutes before, by the voice of his son in suffering. A little farther back, on a row of chairs which was placed along the wall, the children were seated; some of them with countenances touchingly dejected, and a few of the very youngest appearing still more touchingly unconscious of their misfortune. The remainder of the circle (which though widened to the utmost limit, completely filled the room,) consisted of the more fortuneless connections of the family, their tradesmen, and some of the more comfortable class of tenants. One or two persons took upon themselves the office of attending to the company, supplying them with liquor, and manufacturing punch, according as the fountain was exhausted.
 When Hardress appeared at the door, his eye met that of Connolly, who beckoned to him in silence, and made room for him upon his own chair. He took his place, and looked round for some member of the family. It was perhaps rather to his relief, than disappointment, that he could not discern Kyrle Daly, or his father, among the company.
 Shortly afterwards, two or three clergymen made their appearance, and were, with difficulty, accommodated with places. While Hardress was occupied in perusing the countenances of these last, he felt his arm grasped, and, turning round, received a nod of recognition, and a handshake (such as was then in fashion) from Doctor Leake.
 “A dreadful occasion this, doctor,” whispered Hardress.
 The doctor shut his eyes, knit his brows, thrust out his lips, and shook his head, with an air of deep reproof. Laying his hand familiarly on Hardress’s knee, and looking fixedly in his face, he said, in a low whisper:
 “My dear Cregan, ’tis a warning - ’tis a warning to the whole country. This is what comes of employing unscientific persons.”
 Some whispering conversation now proceeded amongst the guests, which however was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Kyrle Daly at the parlour door. He walked across the room with that port of mournful ease and dignity which men are apt to exhibit under any deep emotion, and took possession of the vacant chair before alluded to. Not forgetful, in his affliction, of the courtesy of a host, he looked around to see what new faces had entered during his absence. He recognized the clergymen, and addressed them with a calm, yet cordial, politeness.
 “I hope,” he said, smiling courteously, yet sadly, as he looked round upon the circle: “I hope the gentlemen will excuse my father for his absence. He was anxious to return, indeed; but I prevented him. I thought a second night’s watching would have been too severe a trial of his strength.”
 A general murmur of assent followed this appeal, and the speaker, resting his forehead on his hand, was silent for an instant.
 “I wish you would follow his example, Kyrle,” said Mr. Cregan. “I am sure we can all take care of ourselves, and you must want rest.”
 “It is madness,” said Connolly, “for the living to injure their health, when it can be of no possible use.”
 “Pray, do not speak of it,” said Kyrle, “if I felt in the least degree fatigued, I should not hesitate. Lowry!” he added, calling to the servant, who started, and turned round on his heel, with a serious eagerness, that would at any other time have been comic in its effect. “Lowry, will you tell Mrs. O’Connell to send in some tea? Some of the gentlemen may wish to take it.”
 Lowry disappeared, and Kyrle relapsed into his attitude of motionless dejection. A long silence ensued, the guests conversing only by secret whispers, signs, gestures, and significant contortions of the face. It was once more broken by Kyrle, who, looking at Mr. Cregan, said, in a restrained and steady voice:
 “Has Hardress returned from Killarney yet, Mr. Cregan?”
 Hardress felt his blood rush through his veins, like that of a convict, when he hears from the bench those fearful words, “Bring him up for judgment!” He made a slight motion in his chair, while his father answered the question of Kyrle.
 “Hardress is here,” said Mr. Cregan, “he came in while you were out.”
 “Here! is he? I ought to be ashamed of myself,” said Kyrle rising slowly from his chair, and meeting his old friend halfway with an extended hand. They looked, to the eyes of the guests, pale, cold, and passionless like two animated corpses.
 “But Hardress,” continued Kyrle, with a ghastly lip, “will excuse me, I hope. Did you leave Mrs. Cregan well?”
 “Quite well,” muttered Hardress, with a confused bow.
 “I am glad of it,” returned Kyrle, in the same tone of calm, dignified and yet mournful politeness.
 “You are fortunate, Hardress, in that. If I had met you yesterday, I would have answered a similar question with the same confidence. And see how short ... “
 A sudden passion choked his utterance, he turned aside, and both the young men resumed their seats in silence. There was something to Hardress, infinitely humiliating in this brief interview. The manner of Kyrle Daly, as it regarded him, was merely indifferent. It was not cordial, for then it must necessarily have been hypocritical, but neither could he discern the slightest indication of a resentful feeling. He saw that Kyrle Daly was perfectly aware of his treason, he saw that his esteem and friendship were utterly extinct, and he saw, likewise, that he had formed the resolution of never exchanging with him a word of explanation or reproach, and of treating him in future as an indifferent acquaintance, who could not be esteemed, and ought to be avoided. This calm avoidance was the stroke that cut him to the quick.
 Lowry now entered with tea, and a slight movement took place amongst the guests. Many left their places, and when order was restored, Hardress found himself placed between two strangers, of a rank more humble than his own. He continued to sip his tea for some time in silence, when a slight touch on his arm made him turn round. He beheld on his right, an old man dressed in dark frieze, with both hands crossed on the head of his walking stick, his chin resting upon those, and his eyes fixed upon Hardress, with an air of settled melancholy. It was the same old man whose appearance on the avenue had produced so deep an effect on Kyrle Daly - Mihil O’Connor, the rope-maker.
 “I beg your pardon, sir,” he said, gently, “but I think I have seen your face somewhere before now. Did you ever spend an evening at Garryowen?”
 If, as he turned on his chair, the eye of Hardress had encountered that of the corpse which now lay shrouded and coffined in the other room, he could not have experienced a more sudden revulsion of affright. He did not answer the question of the old man (his father-in-law! the plundered parent!) but remained staring, and gaping on him, in silence.
 Old Mihil imagined that he was at a loss, and labouring to bestir his memory. “Don’t you remember, sir,” he added - “ on a Patrick’s eve, saving an old man and a girl from a parcel o’ the boys in Mungret Street?”
 “I do,” answered Hardress, in a low and hoarse voice.
 “I thought I remembered the face, and the make,” returned Mihil. - “Well, sir, I’m that same old man, and many is the time since that night that I wished (if it was heaven’s will,) that both she an’ I had died that night, upon that spot together. I wished that when you seen us that time you passed us by, and never riz a hand to save us, - always if it was heaven’s will, for I’m submissive, the will of heaven be done, for I’m a great sinner and I deserved great punishment, and great punishment I got; great punishment that’s laid on my old heart this night!”
 “I pity you!” muttered Hardress, involuntarily. “I pity you, although you may not think it.”
 “For what?” exclaimed the old man still in a whisper, elevating his person and planting his stick upright upon the floor. “For what would you pity me? You know nothing about me, man, that you’d pity me for. If I was to tell you my story, you’d pity me, I know, for there isn’t that man living, with a heart in his breast, that wouldn’t feel it. But I won’t tell it to you, sir. I’m tired of telling it, that’s what I am. I’m tired of talking of it, and thinking of it, and draming of it, an’ I wisht I was in my grave, to be done with it for ever for a story - always, always,” he added, lifting his eyes in devout fear - “ always, if it was Heaven’s will. Heaven forgi’ me! I say what I oughtn’t to say, sometimes, thinken’ of it.”
 “I understand,” muttered Hardress, incoherently. The old man did not hear him.
 “An’ still, for all,” Mihil added, after a pause, “as I spoke of it, at all, I’ll tell you something of it. That girl you saw that night with me - she was a beautiful little girl, sir, wasn’t she?”
 “Do you think so?” Hardress murmured, still without knowing what he said.
 “Do I think so?” echoed the father with a grim smile. “It’s little matter what her father thought. The world knew her for a beauty, but what was the good of it? She left me there; afther that night, an’ went off with a sthranger.”
 Hardress again said something, but it resembled only the delirious murmurs of a person on the rack.
 “Oh, vo, Eily!” that night, that woeful night!” continued the old man. “I’m ashamed o’ myself, to be always this way, like an ould woman, moaning and ochoning, among the neighbours; like an ould goose, that would be cackling afther the flock, or a fool of a little bird, whistling upon a bough of a summer evening, afther the nest is robbed.”
 “How close this room is!” exclaimed Hardress, “the heat is suffocating.”
 “I thought at first,” continued Mihil, “that it is dead she was, but a letther come to a neighbour o’ mine, to let me know that she was alive and hearty. I know how it was. Some villyan that enticed her off. I sent the neighbour westwards to look afther her, an’ I thought he’d be back to day, but he isn’t. I tould him to call at my brother’s, the priest’s, in Castle-Island. Sure, he writes me word, he seen her himself of a Christmas-day last, an’ that she tould him she was married, and coming home shortly. Ayeh, I’m afraid the villyan deçaived her, an’ that she’s not rightly married; for I made it my business to enquire of every priest in town and counthry, an’ none of ’em could tell me a word about it. She deçaived me, and I’m afeerd he’s deçaiven’ her. There let him! there let him! But there’s a throne in heaven, and there’s One upon it, an’ that man, an’ my daughter, and I, will stand together before that throne one day!”
 “Let me go!” cried Hardress, aloud and breaking from the circle, with violence, “let me go! let me go! - can any one bear this?”
 Such an incident, amid the general silence, and on this solemn occasion, could not fail to produce a degree of consternation amongst the company. Kyrle looked up with an expression of strong feeling. “What’s the matter?” “What has happened?” was asked by several voices. “It is highly indecorous.” “It is very unfeeling,” was added by many more.
 Hardress staid not to hear their observations, but struggled through the astonished crowd, and reached the door. Kyrle, after looking in vain for an explanation, once more leaned down, with his forehead on his hand, and remained silent.
 “He’s a good young gentleman,” said Mihil O’Connor, looking after Hardress, and addressing those who sat around him. “I was telling him the story of my daughter. He’s a good young gentleman - he has great nature.”
 The unfortunate Hardress, in the mean time, strayed onward through the hall of the cottage, with the feeling of a man who has just escaped from the hands of justice. He entered another room, appropriated to the female guests, where Mrs. O’Connell presided at the tea table. The gradation of ranks in this apartment was similar to that in the other, but the company were not quite so scrupulous in the maintenance of silence. A general and very audible whispering conversation was carried on, in which a few young gentlemen who were sprinkled among the ladies, took no inactive part. A hush, of some moments’ duration, took place on the entrance of Hardress, and a hundred curious eyes were turned on his figure. His extreme paleness, the wildness of his eyes, and the ghastly attempt at courtesy which he made as he entered, occasioned a degree of general surprise. He passed on, and took his seat by the side of Mrs. O’Connell, who, like Mihil, placed his agitation to the account of sympathy, and entered him at once upon her list of favourites.
 A number of young ladies were seated on the right of this good lady, and at a distance from the long table, round which were placed a number of females of an humbler rank, dressed out in all their finery, and doing honour to Mrs. O’Connell’s tea and coffee. One or two young gentlemen were waiting on the small circle of ladies who sat apart near the fire, with tea, cakes, toast, &c. The younger of the two, a handsome lad, of a cultivated figure, seemed wholly occupied in showing off his grace and gallantry. The other, a grave wag, strove to amuse the ladies by paying a mock ceremonious attention to the tradesmen’s wives and daughters at the other side of the fire, and to amuse himself by provoking the ladies to laugh.
 Revolutions in private, as in public life, are occasions which call into action the noblest and meanest principles of our nature; the extremes of generosity and of selfishness. As Lowry Looby took away the tea-service he encountered, in the hall and kitchen, a few sullen and discontented faces. Some complained that they had not experienced the slightest attention since their arrival, and others declared they had not got “as much as one cup o’ tay.”
 “Why then, mend ye!” said Lowry, “why didn’t ye call for it? Do ye think people that’s in throuble that way, has nothing else to do but to be thinking of ye, an’ of ye’r aiting an’ drinking? What talk it is? There’s people in this world, I b’lieve, that thinks worse of their own little finger, than of the lives an’ fortunes of all the rest.”
 So saying, he took a chair before the large kitchen fire, which, like those in the two other apartments was surrounded by a new class of watchers. On a wooden form at one side, were seated the female servants of the house, and opposite to them the hearse driver, the mutes, the drivers of two or three hack carriages, and one or two of the gentlemen’s servants. The table was covered with bread, jugs of punch, and Cork porter. A few, exhausted by the preceding night’s watching, and overpowered by the heat of the fire, were lying asleep in various postures, on the settle-bed at the farther end.
 “’Twill be a great funeral,” said the hearse-driver, laying aside the mug of porter, from which he had just taken a refreshing draught.
 “If it isn’t it ought,” said Lowry; “they’re people, sir, that are well known in the counthry.”
 “Surely, surely,” said one of the hack-coachmen, taking a pipe from the corner of his mouth, “an well liked, too, by all accounts.”
 A moan from the females gave a mournful assent to this proportion. “Ah, she was a queen of a little woman,” said Lowry. “She was too good for this world. O vo! where’s the use o’ talking at all? Sure ’twas only a few days since, I was salting the bacon at the table over, an’ she standing a-near me, knitting. “I’m afraid, Lowry,” says she, “we won’t find that bacon enough, I’m sorry I didn’t get another o’ them pigs killed.” Little she thought that time, that they’d outlast herself. She never lived to see ’em in pickle!”
 A pause of deep affliction followed this speech, which was once more broken by the hearse-driver.
 “The grandest funeral,” said he, “that ever I see in my life, was that of the Marquis of Watherford, father to the present man. It was a sighth for a king. There was six men marching out before the hearse, with goold sticks in their hands, an’ as much black silk about ’em as a lady. The coffin was covered all over with black velvet an’ goold, an’ there was his name above upon the top of it, on a great goold plate intirely, that was shining like the sun. I never seen such a sighth before nor since. There was forty six carriages afther the hearse, an’ every one of ’em belonging to a lord, or an estated man, at the laste. It flogged all the shows I ever see since I was able to walk the ground.”
 The eyes of the whole parry were fixed in admiration upon the speaker, while he made the above oration, with much importance of look and gesture. Lowry, who felt that poor Mrs. Daly’s funeral must necessarily shrink into insignificance, in comparison with this magnificent description, endeavoured to diminish its effect upon the imaginations of the company, by a few philosophical remarks.
 “’Twas a great funeral surely,” he began.
 “Great!” exclaimed the hearse-driver, “It was worth walking to Watherford to see it.”
 “Them that has money,” added Lowry, “can aisily find mains to sport it. An’ still, for all, now, sir, if a man was to look into the rights o’ the thing, what was the good of all that? What was the good of it, for him that was in the hearse, or for them that wor afther it? The Lord save us, it isn’t what goold or silver they had upon their hearses, they’ll be axed, where they are going; only what use they made of the goold an’ silver, that was given them in this world? - ’Tisn’t how many carriages was afther ’em, but how many good actions went before ’em; nor how they were buried, they’ll be axed, but how they lived. Them are the questions, the Lord save us, that’ll be put to us all, one day; and them are the questions that Mrs. Daly could answer this night, as well as, the Marquis of Watherford, or any other lord or marquis in the land.”
 The appeal was perfectly successful: the procession of the marquis, the gold sticks, the silks, the velvet, and the forty-six carriages were forgotten; the hearse-driver resumed his mug of porter, and the remainder of the company returned to their attitudes of silence and dejection.

Chapter 34: How the Wake Concluded
It was intended that the funeral should proceed at day-break. Towards the close of a hurried breakfast, which the guests took by candle-light, the tinkling of a small silver bell summoned them to an early mass, which was being celebrated in the room of the dead. As Hardress obeyed its call, he found the apartment already crowded, and a number of the domestics, and other dependents of the family, kneeling at the door and in the hall. The low murmur of the clergyman’s voice was only interrupted occasionally by a faint moan, or a short, thick sob, heard amid the crowd. The density of the press around the door prevented Hardress from ascertaining the individuals, from whom those sounds of affliction proceeded.
When the ceremony had concluded, and when the room became less thronged, he entered, and took his place near the window. There was some whispering between Mrs. O’Connell, his father, Hepton Connolly, and one or two other friends of the family. They were endeavouring to contrive some means of withdrawing Kyrle and his father from the apartment, while that most mournful crisis of this domestic calamity was carried on, the removal of the coffin from the dwelling of its perished inmate. Mr. Daly seemed to have some suspicion of an attempt of this kind, for he had taken his seat close by the bed’s head, and sat erect in his chair with a look of fixed and even gloomy resolution. Kyrle was standing at the head of the coffin, his arms crossed upon the bed, his face buried between them, and his whole frame as motionless as that of one in a deep slumber. The priest was unvesting himself at the table near the window, which had been elevated a little, so as to serve for an altar. The clerk was at his side, placing the chalice, altar cloths, and vestments in a large ticken bag according as they were folded. A few old women still remained kneeling at the foot of the bed, rocking their persons from side to side, and often striking their bosoms with the cross of the long rosary. The candles were now almost burnt down and smouldering in their sockets, and the winter dawn, which broke through the open window, was gradually overmastering their yellow and imperfect light.
 “Kyrle,” said Hepton Connolly, in a whisper, touching the arm of the afflicted son,” come with me into the parlour, for an instant, I want to speak to you.”
 Kyrle raised his head, and stared on the speaker, like one who suddenly wakes from a long sleep. Connolly took him by the sleeve with an urgent look, and led him, altogether passive, out of the apartment.
 Mr. Daly saw the manoeuvre, but he did not appear to notice it. He kept the same rigid, set position, and looked straight forwards with the same determined and unwinking glance, as if he feared that the slightest movement might unhinge his resolution.
 “Daly,” said Mr. Cregan, advancing to his side, “Mr. Neville, the clergyman, wishes to speak with you in the middle room.”
 “I will not leave this!” said the widower, in a low, short, and muttering voice, while his eyes filled up with a gloomy fire, and his mannor resembled that of a tigress, who suspects some invasion of her young, but endeavours to conceal that suspicion until the first stroke is made. “I will not stir from this, sir, if you please.”
 Mr. Cregan turned away at once, and cast a desponding look at Mrs. O’Connell. That lady lowered her eyelids significantly, and glanced at the door. Mr. Cregan at once retired, beckoning to his son that he might follow him.
 Mrs. O’Connell now took upon herself the task which had proved so complete a failure in the hands of Mr. Cregan. She leaned over her brother’s chair, laid her hand on his, and said in an earnest voice:
 “Charles, will you come with me to the parlour for one moment?”
 “I will not,” replied Mr. Daly, in the same hoarse tone, “I will not go, ma’am, if you please.”
 Mrs. O’Connell pressed his hand, and stooped over his shoulder. “Charles,” she continued with increasing earnestness, “will you refuse me this request?”
 “If you please;” said the bereaved husband. “I will not go, - indeed, ma am, I wont stir!”
 “Now is the time, Charles, to show that you can be resigned. I feel for you, indeed I do, but you must deny yourself. Remember your duty to heaven, and to your children, and to yourself. Come with me, my dear Charles!”
 The old man trembled violently, turned round on his chair, and fixed his eyes upon his sister.
 “Mary,” said he with a broken voice, “this is the last half hour that I shall ever spend with Sally in this world, and do not take me from her.”
 “I would not,” said the good lady, unable to restrain her tears, “I would not, my dear Charles. But you know her well. You know how she would act if she were in your place. Act that way, Charles, and that is the greatest kindness you can show to Sally now.”
 “Take me where you please,” cried the old man, stretching out his arms, and bursting into a fit of convulsive weeping, “Oh, Sally,” he exclaimed, turning round and stretching his arms toward the coffin, as he reached the door, “Oh, Sally, is this the way that we are parted, after all? This day, I thought your friends would have been visiting you and your babe in health and happiness. They are come to visit you, my darling, but it is in your coffin, not in your bed, they find you! They are come, not to your babe’s christening, but to your own funeral. For the last time now, good bye, my darling Sally. It is not now, to say, good bye for an hour, or good bye for a day, or for a week, - but for ever and for ever; God be with you, Sally! For ever and for ever! They are little words, Mary!” he added, turning to his weeping sister, “but there’s a deal of grief in them. Well, now Sally, my days are done for this world. It is time for me, now, to think of a better life. I am satisfied. Far be it from me to murmur. My life was too happy, Mary, and I was becoming too fond of it. This will teach me to despise a great many things that I valued highly until yesterday, and to warn my children to despise them likewise. I believe, Mary, if every thing in this world went on as we could wish, it might tempt us to forget that there was another before us. This is my comfort - and it must be my comfort now for evermore. Take me where you please now, Mary, and let them take her, too, wherever they desire. Oh, Sally, my poor love, it is not to-day, nor to-morrow, nor the day after, that I shall feel your loss, but when weeks and months are gone by, and when I am sitting all alone by the fire-side; or when I am talking of you, to my orphan children. It is then, Sally, that I shall feel what happened yesterday! That is the time when I shall think of you, and of all our happy days, until my heart is breaking in my bosom!” These last sentences the old man spoke standing erect, with his hands clenched and trembling above his head, his eyes filled up, and fixed on the coffin, and every feature swollen and quivering with the strong emotion. As he concluded, he sank, exhausted by the passionate lament, upon the shoulder of his sister.
 Almost at the same instant, little Sally came peeping in at the door, with a face of innocent wonder and timidity. Mrs. O’Connell, with the quick feeling of a woman, took advantage of the incident, to create a diversion in the mind of her brother.
 “My dear Charles,” she said, “do try and conquer this dejection. You will not be so lonely as you think. Look there, Charles; you have got a Sally still to care for you.”
 The aged father glanced a quick eye around him, and met the sweet and simple gaze of the little innocent, upturned to seek his own. He shook his sister’s hand forcibly, and said with vehemence: -
 “Mary, Mary! I thank you! from my heart I am obliged to you for this!” He caught the little child into his breast, devoured it with kisses and murmurs of passionate fondness, and hurried with it, as with a treasure, to a distant part of the dwelling.
 Mr. Cregan, in the mean while, had been engaged, at the request of Mrs. O’Connell, in giving out the gloves, scarfs, and cypresses, in the room, which, on the preceding night, had been allotted to the female guests. In this matter, too, the selfishness of some unworthy individuals was made to appear, in their struggles for precedence, and in their disssatisfaction at being neglected in the allotment of the funeral favours. In justice, however, it should be stated that the number of those unfeeling individuals was inconsiderable.
 The last and keenest trial was now begun. The coffin was borne on the shoulders of men to the hearse, which was drawn up at the hall door. The hearse-driver had taken his seat, the mourners were already in the carriages, and a great crowd of horsemen, and people on foot, were assembled around the front of the house, along the avenue, and on the road. The female servants of the family were dressed in scarfs, and huge head dresses of white linen. The house-maid and Winny sat on the coffin, and three or four followed, on an outside jaunting car. In this order, the procession began to move, and the remains of this kind mistress, and affectionate wife and parent, were borne away for ever from the mansion which she had blessed so many years by her gentle government.
 The scene of desolation which prevailed from the time in which the coffin was first taken from the room, until the whole procession had passed out of sight, it would be a vain effort to describe. The shrieks of the women and children pierced the ears and the hearts of the multitude. Every room presented a picture of affliction. Female figures flying to and fro, with expanded arms, and cries of heart-broken sorrow, children weeping and sobbing aloud in each other’s arms, men clenching their hands close, and stifling the strong sympathy that was making battle for loud utterance in their breasts, and the low groans of exhausted agony, which proceeded from the mourning coaches that held the father, Kyrle Daly, and the two nearest sons. In the midst of these affecting sounds, the hearse began to move, and was followed to a long distance on its way, by the wild lament that broke from the open doors and windows of the now forsaken dwelling.
 “Oh, misthress!” exclaimed Lowry Looby, as he stood at the avenue gate, clapping his hands and weeping, while he gazed, not without a sentiment of melancholy pride, on the long array which lined the uneven road, and saw the black hearse plumes becoming indistinct in the distance, while the rear of the funeral train was yet passing him by. “Oh, misthress! misthress! ’tis now I see that you are gone in airnest. I never would believe that you wor lost, until I saw your coffin goen’ out the doores!”
 From the date of this calamity, a change was observed to have taken place in the character and manners of this amiable family. The war of instant affliction passed away, but it left deep and perceptible traces in the household. The Dalys became more grave, and more religious; their tone of conversation of a deeper turn, and the manner, even of the younger children, more staid and thoughtful. Their natural mirth (the child of good nature, and conscious innocence of heart) was not extinguished, the flame lit up again, as time rolled on, but it burned with a calmer, fainter, and perhaps a purer radiance. Their merriment was frequent and cordial, but it never again was boisterous. With the unhappy father, however, the case was different. He never rallied. The harmony of his existence was destroyed, and he seemed to have lost all interest in those occupations of rural industry which had filled up the great proportion of his time from boyhood. Still, from a feeling of duty, he was exact and diligent in the performance of those obligations, but he executed them as a task, not as a pleasure. He might still be found, at morning, superintending his workmen, at their agricultural employments, but he did not join so heartily as of old, in the merry jests and tales which made their labour light. It seemed, as if he had, on that morning, touched the perihelium of his existence, and from that hour, the warmth and sunshine of his course was destined to decline from day to day.  

Chapter 35: How Hardress at Length Received Some News of Eily
The marriage of Hardress Cregan and Anne Chute was postponed for some time, in consequence of this affliction of their old friends. Nothing, in the meantime, was heard of Eily, or her escort; and the remorse, and the suspense endured by Hardress, began to affect his mind and health in a degree that excited deep alarm in both families. His manner to Anne still continued the same as before they were contracted; now, tender, passionate, and full of an intense affection; and now, sullen, short, intemperate and gloomy. Her feeling, too, towards him, continued still unchanged. His frequent unkindness pained her to the soul; but she attributed all to a natural or acquired weakness of temper, and trusted to time and to her own assiduous gentleness to cure it. He had yet done nothing to show himself unworthy of her esteem, and while this continued to be the case, her love could not be shaken by mere infirmities of manner, the result, in all probability, of his uncertain health, for which he had her pity, rather than resentment.
But on Mrs. Cregan it produced a more serious impression. In her frequent conversations with her son, he had, in the agony of his heart, betrayed the workings of a deeper passion, and a darker recollection, than she had ever imagined possible. It became evident to her, from many hints let fall in his paroxysms of anxiety, that Hardress had done something to put himself within the power of outraged justice, as well as that of an avenging conscience. From the moment on which she arrived at this discovery, she avoided as much as possible all farther conversation, on those topics, with her son, and it was observed that she, too, had become subject to fits of abstraction and of seriousness in her general manner.
 While the fortunes of the family remained thus stationary, the day arrived on which Hepton Connolly was to give his hunting dinner. Hardress looked forward to this occasion with some satisfaction, in the hope that it would afford a certain degree of relief to his mind, under its present state of depression, and when the morning came, he was one of the earliest men upon the ground.
 The fox was said to have kennelled in the side of a hill, near the river-side, which, on one side was grey with lime-stone crag, and on the other covered with a quantity of close furze. Towards the water, a miry, and winding path among the underwood led downward to an extensive marsh, or corcass, which lay close to the shore. It was overgrown with a dwarfish rush, and intersected with numberless little creeks and channels, which were never filled, except when the spring-tide was at the full. On a green and undulating champagne above the hill, were a considerable number of gentlemen mounted, conversing in groups, or cantering their horses around the plain, while the huntsman, whippers-in, and dogs, were busy among the furze, endeavouring to make the fox break cover. A crowd of peasants, boys, and other idlers, were scattered over the green, awaiting the commencement of the sport; and amusing themselves, by criticising with much sharpness of sarcasm, the appearance of the horses, and the action and manner of their riders.
 The search after the fox continued for a long time without avail. The gentlemen became impatient, began to look at their watches, and to cast, from time to time, an apprehensive glance at the heavens. This last movement was not without a cause. The morning, which had promised fairly, began to change and darken. It was one of those sluggish days, which frequently usher in the spring season in Ireland. On the water, on land, in air, on earth, every thing was motionless and calm. The boats slept upon the bosom of the river. A low and dingy mist concealed the distant shores and hills of Clare. Above, the eye could discern neither cloud nor sky. A heavy haze covered the face of the heavens, from one horizon to the other. The sun was wholly veiled in mist, his place in the heavens being indicated only by the radiance of the misty shroud in that direction. A thin, drizzling shower, no heavier than a summer dew, descended on the party, and left a hoary and glistening moisture on their dresses, on the manes, and forelocks of the horses, and on the face of the surrounding landscape.
 “No fox to-day, I fear,” said Mr. Cregan, riding up to one of the groups before mentioned, which comprised his son Hardress, and Mr. Connolly. “At what time,” he added, addressing the latter, “did you order dinner? I think there is little fear of our being late for it.,”
 “You all deserve this,” said a healthy looking old gentleman, who was one of the group, “Feather-bed sportsmen every one of you. I rode out to-day from Limerick myself, was at home before seven, went out to see the wheat shaken in, and on arriving on the ground at ten, found no one there but this young gentleman, whose thoughts seem to be hunting on other ground at this moment. When I was a young man, daybreak never found me napping that way.”
 “Good people are scarce, said Connolly, “it is right we should take care of ourselves. Hardress, will you canter this way?”
 “He is cantering elsewhere,” said the same old gentleman, looking on the absent boy. “Mind that sigh. Ah, she had the heart of a stone!”
 “I suspect he is thinking of his dinner, rather,” said his father.
 “If Miss Chute had asked him to make a circuit with her,” said Connolly, “she would not have found it so hard to get an answer.”
 “Courage, sir!” exclaimed the old gentleman, “she is neither wed nor dead.”
 “Dead, did you say?” cried Hardress, starting from his reverie. “Who says it? ...Ah, I see!” A burst of laughter, from the gentlemen, brought the young man to his recollection, and his head sunk upon his breast, in silence and confusion.
 “Come, Hardress,” continued Connolly, “although you are not in love with me, yet we may try a canter together. Hark! What is that? What are the dogs doing now?”
 “They have left the cover on the hill,” cried a gentleman, who was galloping past, “and are trying the corcass.”
 “Poor Dalton!” said Mr. Cregan, “that was the man that would have had old Reynard out of cover before now.”
 “Poor Dalton!” exclaimed Hardress, catching up the word with passionate emphasis, “poor - poor Dalton! O days of my youth!” he added, turning aside on his saddle, that he might not be observed, and looking out upon the quiet river, “O days - past, happy days! my merry boyhood, and my merry youth! - my boat! the broad river, the rough west wind, the broken waves, and the heart at rest! O miserable wretch, what have you now to hope for? My heart will burst before I leave this field!”
 “The dogs are chopping!” said Connolly, “they have found him. Come! come away!”
 “’Tis a false scent,” said the old gentleman, “Ware hare!”
 “Ware hare!” was echoed by many voices. A singular hurry was observed amongst the crowd upon the brow of the hill, which overlooked the corcass, and presently all had descended to the marsh.
 “There is something extraordinary going forward,” said Cregan, “What makes all the crowd collect upon the marsh?”
 A pause ensued, during which Hardress experienced a degree of nervous anxiety, for which he could not account. The hounds continued to chop in concert, as if they had found a strong scent, and yet no fox appeared.
 At length a horseman was observed riding up the miry pass before mentioned, and gallopping towards them. When he approached, they could observe that his manner was flurried and agitated, and that his countenance wore an expression of terror, and compassion. He tightened the rein suddenly, as he came upon the group.
 “Mr. Warner,” he said, addressing the old gentleman already alluded to, “I believe you are a magistrate?”
 Mr. Warner bowed.
 “Then come this way, sir, if you please. A terrible occasion makes your presence necessary, on the other side of the hill.”
 “No harm, sir, to any of our friends I hope?” said Mr. Warner, putting spurs to his horse, and gallopping away. The answer of the stranger was lost, in the tramp of the hoofs, as they rode away.
 Immediately after, two other horsemen came gallopping by. One of them held in his hand a straw bonnet, beaten out of shape, and draggled in the mud of the corcass. Hardress just caught the word ’horrible,’ as they rode swiftly by.
 “What’s horrible?” shouted Hardress aloud, and rising on his stirrup. The two gentlemen were already out of hearing. He sunk down again on his seat, and glanced aside at his father and Connolly, “What does he call horrible?” he repeated.
 “I did not hear him,” said Connolly, “but come down upon the corcass, and we shall learn.”
 They gallopped in that direction. The morning was changing fast, and the rain was now descending in much greater abundance. Still, there was not a breath of wind to alter its direction, or to give the slightest animation to the general lethargic look of nature. As they arrived on the brow of the hill, they perceived the crowd of horsemen and peasants, collected into a dense mass, around one of the little channels, before described. Several of those in the centre were stooping low, as if to assist a fallen person. The next rank, with their heads turned aside over their shoulders, were employed in answering the questions of those behind them. The individuals who stood outside were raised on tiptoe, and endeavoured, by stretching their heads over the shoulders of their neighbours, to peep into the centre. The whipper-in, meanwhile, was flogging the hounds away from the crowd, while the dogs reluctantly obeyed. Mingled with the press, were the horsemen, bending over their saddle-bows, and gazing downwards on the centre.
 “Bad manners to ye!” Hardress heard the whipper-in exclaim, as he passed, “what a fox ye found for us, this morning. How bad ye are, now, for a taste o the Christian’s flesh!”
 As he approached nearer to the crowd, he was enabled to gather farther indications of the nature of the transaction, from the countenances and gestures of the people. Some had their hands elevated in strong fear, many brows were knitted in eager curiosity, some raised in wonder, and some expanded in affright. Urged by an unaccountable impulse, and supported by an energy, he knew not whence derived, Hardress alighted from his horse, threw the reins to a countryman, and penetrated the group with considerable violence. He dragged some by the collars, from their places, pushed others aside with his shoulder, struck those who proved refractory with his whip handle, and in a few moments attained the centre of the ring.
 Here he paused, and gazed in motionless horror, upon the picture which the crowd had previously concealed.
 A small space was kept clear in the centre. Opposite to Hardress, stood Mr. Warner, the magistrate and coroner of the county, with a small note-book in his hand in which he made some entries with a pencil. On his right stood the person who had summoned him to the spot. At the feet of Hardress was a small pool, in which the waters now appeared disturbed and thick with mud, while the rain descending straight, gave to its surface the semblance of ebullition. On a bank at the other side, which was covered with sea-pink and a species of short moss peculiar to the soil, an object lay on which the eyes of all were bent, with a fearful and gloomy expression. It was for the most part concealed beneath a large blue mantle, which was drenched in wet and mire, and lay so heavy on the thing beneath, as to reveal the lineaments of a human form. A pair of small feet, in Spanish-leather shoes, appearing from below the end of the garment, showed that the body was that of a female; and a mass of long, fair hair, which escaped from beneath the capacious hood, demonstrated that this death, whether the effect of accident or malice, had found the victim untimely in her youth.
 The cloak, the feet, the hair, were all familiar objects to the eye of Hardress. On very slight occasions, he had often found it absolutely impossible to maintain his self-possession in the presence of others. Now, when the fell solution of all his anxieties was exposed before him, - now, when it became evident that the guilt of blood was upon his head, - now, when he looked upon the shattered corpse of Eily, of his chosen and once beloved wife, murdered in her youth - almost in her girlhood, by his connivance, it astonished him to find that all emotion came upon the instant to a dead pause within his breast. Others might have told him that his face was rigid, sallow, and bloodless as that of the corpse on which he gazed. But he himself felt nothing of this. Not a sentence that was spoken was lost upon his ear. He did not even tremble, and a slight anxiety for his personal safety was the only sentiment of which he was perceptibly conscious. It seemed as if the great passion, like an engine embarrassed in its action, had been suddenly struck motionless, even while the impelling principle remained in active force.
 “Has the horse and car arrived?” asked Mr. Warner, while he closed his note-book. “Can any one see it coming? We shall be all drenched to the skin before we get away.”
 “Can we not go to the nearest Inn and proceed with the Inquest,” said a gentleman in the crowd, “while some one stays behind to see the body brought after?”
 “No, sir,” said Mr. Warner, with some emphasis,” the Inquest must be held super viscum corporis, or it is worth nothing. “
 “Warner,” whispered Connolly to Cregan with a smile, “Warner is afraid of losing his four-guinea fee. He will not let the body out of his sight.”
 “You know the proverb,” returned Cregan, “a bird in the hand, &c. What a fine fat fox he has caught this morning!”
 At this moment the hounds once more opened in a chopping concert, and Hardress, starting from his posture of rigid calmness, extended his arms, and burst at once into a passion of wild fear.
 “The hounds! The hounds!’ he exclaimed, “Mr. Warner, do you hear them? Keep off the dogs! They will tear her if ye let them pass? Good sir, will ye suffer the dogs to tear her? I had rather be torn myself, than look upon such a sight. Ye may stare as ye will, but I tell you all a truth, gentlemen. A truth, I say; - upon my life, a truth.”
 “There is no fear,” said Warner, fixing a keen and practised eye upon him.
 “Aye, but there is, sir, by your leave,” cried Hardress, “Do you hear them now? Do you hear that yell for blood? I tell you, I hate that horrid cry. It is enough to make the heart of a Christian burst. Who put the hounds upon that horrid scent? That false scent! - I am going mad, I think. I say, sir, do you hear that yelling now? Will you tell me now there is no fear? Stand close! Stand close, and hide me - her, I mean; stand close!”
 “I think there is none whatever,” said the Coroner, probing him. “And I tell you,” cried Hardress, grasping his whip, and abandoning himself to an almost delirious excess of rage. “I tell you there is. If this ground should open before me, and I should hear the hounds of Satan yelling upward from the deep, it could not freeze me with a greater fear! But, sir, you can pursue what course you please,” continued Hardress, bowing and forcing a smile, “you are here in office, sir. You are at liberty to contradict as you please, sir, but I have my remedy. You know me, sir, and I know you. I am a gentleman. Expect to hear farther from me on this subject.”
 So saying, and forcing his way through the crowd, with as much violence as he had used in entering, he vaulted with the agility of a Mercury into his saddle, and gallopped, as if he were on a steeple-chase, in the direction of Castle Chute.
 “If you are a gentleman,” said Mr. Warner, “you are as ill-tempered a gentleman as ever I met, or something a great deal worse.”
 “Take care what you say, sir,” said Mr. Cregan, riding rapidly up, after a vain effort to arrest his son’s flight; and after picking up from a straggler, not three yards from the scene of action, the exaggerated report that Hardress and the Coroner had given each other the lie. “Take care what you say, sir,” he said. “Remember, if you please, that the gentleman, ill-tempered or otherwise, is my son.
 “Mr. Cregan,” exclaimed the Magistrate, at length growing somewhat warm. “If he were the son of the Lord Lieutenant, I will not be interrupted in my duty. There are many gentlemen here present; they have witnessed the whole occurrence, and if they will tell you that I have done or said any thing unbecoming a gentleman, I am ready to give you, or your son either, the satisfaction of a gentleman.”
 With this pacificatory and Christian-like speech, the exemplary Irish peace-preserver turned upon his heel, and went to meet the carman who was now within a few paces of the crowd.
 While the pitying and astonished multitude were conveying the shattered remains of Eily O’Connor to the nearest Inn, her miserable husband was flying with the speed of Fear, in the direction of Castle Chute. He alighted at the Norman archway, by which Kyrle Daly had entered, on the day of his rejection, and throwing the reins to Falvey, rushed, without speaking, up the stone stair-case. That talkative domestic still retained a lingering preference for the discarded lover, and saw him with grief supplanted by this wild and passionate young gentleman. He remained for a moment, holding the rein in his hand, and looking back with a gaze of calm astonishment at the flying figure of the rider. He then compressed his lips, moved to a little distance from the horse, and began to contemplate the wet and reeking flanks, and trembling limbs, of the beautiful animal. The creature presented a spectacle calculated to excite the compassion of a practised attendant upon horses. His eyes were opened wide, and full of fire - his nostrils expanded, and red as blood. His shining coat was wet from ear to flank, and corded by numberless veins, that were now swollen to the utmost by the accelerated circulation. As he panted and snorted in his excitement, he scattered the flecks of foam over the dress of the attendant.
 “Oh, murther, murther!” exclaimed the latter, after uttering that peculiar sound of pity which is used by the vulgar in Ireland, and in some continental nations. “Well, there’s a man that knows how to use a horse. Look at that crather! Well, he ought to be ashamed of himself, so he ought, any gentleman to use a poor dumb crather in that way. As if the hunt wasn’t hard enough, upon her without bringin’ her up in a gallop to the very doore!”
 “An’ as if my throuble wasn’t enough besides,” grumbled the groom as he took the rein out of Falvey’s hand. “He ought to stick to his boating, that’s what he ought, an’ to lave horses for those that knows how to use ’em.”
 “Who rode that horse?” asked old Dan Dawley, the steward, as he came along sulky and bent by age, to the hall-door.
 “The young masther we’re gettin’,” returned Falvey.
 “Umph!” muttered Dawley as he passed into the house, “that’s the image of the thratement he’ll give all that he gets into his power.
 “It’s thrue for you,” said Falvey.
 Dawley paused, and looked back over his shoulder. “It’s thrue for me!” he repeated gruffly. “It’s you that say that, an’ you were the first to praise him when he came into the family.”
 “It stood to raison I should,” said Falvey. “I liked him then betther than masther Kyrle itself, for bein’ an offhand gentleman, an’ aisily spoken to. But sure a Turk itself couldn’t stand the way he’s goin’ on of late days!” Dawley turned away with a harsh grunt; the groom led out the heated steed upon the lawn, and Falvey returned to make the cutlery refulgent in the kitchen.  

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