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Some of the convivial or drinkingsongs are amusing from their naïveté. We hope our author was libelling the gentle craft, when, speaking of himself and poets in general, he makes the following candid confession :
And still she sang, while Claggan
rang, Re-echoing back the strainHow sweet the days when o'er
" When sober we're dry and as stupid
as asses, We meet ne'er a smile from the
Nymphs of Parnassus."-p. 170.
And when again, in the same song, page 171, waxing bolder as he goes along, he exclaims, with the proud independence of an anti-teetotaller
“Dear lassie! would you gang wi' me,
And leave these hills and vales,
Unfurl her snowy sails;
Amid my lands sae wide, (smile,
“We mind not what statesmen nor
clergymen tell us, Our glasses we'll drink in despite of these fellows !"
his courage is much more to be commended than his prudence. But we will not be captious-we shall merely hint to our friend that the glass, worse than Goldsmith's muse, if it do not "find him poor,” will most undoubtedly make him and “ keep him so."
We have left ourselves only space to give the following ballad, the incident of which seems to have been suggested by Hector Mac Neill's “ Mary of Castle Cary":
“ Fair maiden! he has left you now
A richer maid he's wed;
And laid in bridal bed.
And, were M William here,
“I wad be laith, dear lass! to see
M.William gain your hand-
Is like his barren land;
But wears the cypress shade,
“But now afar from me he's borne,
And our lov'd trysting tree-
Where wild-fish swim the sea ;
That he, enraptur'd, stray'd,
To busk his favourite maid :
“Come, lass! and see what land is
In ilka thing that's fair;
Sae free frae care we'll dwell-
" Aft hae I dream'd, my lovely maid,
O'er a'thy witching charms
To woo thee to my arms;
Is fleeter than the wind,
By them I'll keep my fleecy sheep,
M'William courted Jane ! “Nae langer could I be conceal'd
Frae ane sae true and kind,
To ease my troubled mind;
And swore it o'er and o'er,
• What for your lands and stately
towersYour grandeur and your gearThe beauty of our woodland bowers
Grow faint when ye draw near ; I wouldna leave these hills and vales,
Wild though they seem to you, Nor listen to your guile-fraught tales, For a' that charms the view : And still she sang, while Claggan
“Far happier hours I here hae seen,
Beneath our favourite tree,
While absent he's frae me.
“I placed her on my well-tried steed,
And scour'd o'er hill and lea-
Beneath the mother's e'e ;
Adorn'd the dewy west,
A HOUSE AND ITS THREE TENANTS.
CHAPTER VI.-THE SECOND OF THE THREE LAST TENANTS.
The house that had been deserted, as proved too strong for her own conI have attempted to describe, did not stancy, or the forbearance of her long remain tenantless. The luckless parents. This surmise, however, had fate of the last residents furnished the no 'foundation ; for if her outward neighbouring gossips with an abundant lineaments had somewhat of a Spanish relish, until speculation on the new cast, her heart's love, too, had its own comers began to erase the memory of sunny glow, and was thrown entirely their predecessors. People heard that on the man whom she had chosen. the former were a newly-married pair; But the gossips knew nothing of the that the gentleman was young and taint of insanity which hung over his rich, the lady young and handsome. family-the dark, hereditary cloud, A few of the servants came before which the sun of wealth and rank cantheir master, and the ladies'-maids not dissipate ; and an infliction which around lost no time in visiting and had been dwelt upon by the lady's learning all additional information friends, but in vain, when they recom. that could be drawn from these very mended her to decline the offer of his facile oracles. The old, confidential band. Neither did they know any. butler wrapped himself in grave and thing of a certain passage of hate and silent importance, but the others de gloom in the same family history; and clared that their master was perfect- perhaps it was thinking too deeply though they were sorry they could not upon these that so often filled her eye like their mistress quite so well. To with care and watchfulness. be sure, she was very handsome, had After some time, a servant was a large fortune (they knew the exact wanted in the household ; and, among sum), and was of a high family; but the applicants for the situation, came they could not admire people that a man who was unknown to any one were not free and affable_they did in the neighbourhood. His testimonot like to see old heads on young nials of capability and worthiness shoulders.
were, however, very high, and the They came at last, and the neigh. master of the house engaged him in bours found they were very like what preference to the other persons, many young-married couples of high birth of whom had families and connexions and honour often are. The gentle- round him. His wife and confidential man was a tall, slight, well-made per. butler were opposed to his choice. son, with features that one would look The former could assign no cause, at for their comeliness-nothing more. except an indefinite dislike, and she The lady was grave, to be sure, but was too strong-minded to persist in an it was a gravity that harmonized well opposition that had no better foundawith her dark loveliness of face and tion. But the trusty butler urged her figure of faultless beauty. They his more powerfully, though unavailmingled freely in the festivities that ingly. He said the man was too like graced their arrival, and returned the Reillys, ever to be employed by them in becoming fashion, yet it was his master ; he hoped he would turn thought that the lady's whole soul out well, but for his part he could never appeared given up to the merri. never warm to the black eye and thick ment of the passing hour; and her eyebrows. His master only smiled at female acquaintance and neighbours what he called groundless prejudice, soon began to descant upon the hei- and declared that even if the man nousness of pride and reserve. Some were young Reilly himself, he would said, perhaps she lived unbappily with not decline to hire him, to show how her husband-tbat most likely her little he cared for him or his enmity. heart had been another's, when the Accordingly, all objection baving been tempting bait of rank and fortune over-ruled or silenced, the new do. mestic commenced his duties; and his moonbeam showed the outline of conduct fully satisfied his master that thronging heads in the doorway, and his choice had been well made, and glittered on the instruments of death. almost cured the suspicious butler of It was enough-his hour was come; his dislike. A year passed away, and her cry of piercing anguish roused without much worthy of observation, him from his mortal slumber, to be except that the happiness of the owners soon exchanged for the long sleep of a of the fated house seemed to be bloody grave. He ran with mad crowned by the birth of a son. Three speed into the closet off his bedroom, short months after this event, and the whither the men of darkness followed dreary day of rebellion and anarchy him, exchanging their stealthy pace came round. Most of the families of for the firm, quick step of determined weight left the country for places of murder. The slight fastenings yielded greater security, and Mr. Colthurst's to them at once. The false servant friends advised him to do the same; had taken care to draw the charges but he trusted with unbounded confi. from his fire-arms; and the first dence in the good will of his servant assassin that bounded into the narrow and neighbours, to whom he had ever closet was the same traitor-the man proved himself a kind master and a whom his master had hired and trusted generous friend. His wife added no in all the confidence of ignorance. timid solicitings to the advice of his Three times did he pass the sword well-wishers ; for she saw he con- through the body of his prostrate sidered it his duty to remain, and be a victim, and at every bloody thrust be sort of rallying point to the humble shouted, “ Think of Edmund Reilly!" supporters of quiet and good order, The weapon was left behind by its whom narrow circumstances compelled owner, and no further wrong upon to abide, and take their lot of life or the house or its inhabitants, was comdeath, in defence of fireside and family. mitted by the gang. Any of the three But the heretofore peaceful locality deep wounds would have been a death was visited by a band of strange men, in itself, so that there was no quiverand there was one traitor in the ing delay in the separation of soul house.
and body ; the former was immeIn the strange and sudden terror of diately before the throne of the horrid prognostic, his wife had started Eternal, while the hot blood front the several times from her sleep on the latter was crying out for vengeance. night of his death, and thought she And it was not far behind ; they were never heard the wind moan so sadly met by those who, though too late to as it did then. Her husband slept save their friend, were yet early soundly, while she got up and looked enough to avenge him. Some of the out of the window. The moon was murderers were killed on the spot; up, and her white beams were silver some were reserved for the slower ing the lake at some distance- resting punishment of the law; but there was on the leafy masses of the dark trees no certainty about the fate of the that swayed with a rustling noise leader in the deed of blood. nearer to her, and trembling on the Had the widow been a woman of waving grass and small movements of weak mind, or, strong as she was, if sleeping nature, like the young smile she had hail no tie to life, she would upon the lip and cheek of infancy, have died in the first flush of delirious when the eye of its dreaming inno. fever,or might have slowly parted with cence is thronged by the angel figures reason, a victim to gloomy sorrow. that seldom visit our visions in after But his child lived, to claim her care. life. There was abundance of beauty She left the house shortly after, in in that calm night-scene, to have the custody of two old servants, and soothed her anxiety, but she thought went away, no one knew whither ; the owl flitted across the window too but it was believed she would return, often, with his sad cry and dullas she yet retained the property in wing.
her hands. It was strange enough A slight creaking noise fell on her that year after year, as the anniversary watchful ear ; she turned, and saw of her husband's murder came round, that the door of the sleeping-room was she regularly visited the fated houseopen, while, with terrible fidelity, the her coming being very secret, and her
stay strictly private for about a week. At last, after the lapse of several years, she came with the intention of making a more protracted stay-a lonely lady, still clad in the outward signs of mourning, that accorded well with the pensiveness of her pale features, and the mild dignity of her figure and gesture. She looked older than she was, except when an occasional smile hid the traces of years and sorrow on her cheek, as the spring green on the younger boughs of the tall tree, conceal from the observer's eye the blighted branches, that speak eloquently of age and tempest. Her house soon became known as the abode of a feeling heart and generous hand; and the children of affliction bent their way thither, and seldom left her door in the weariness of disappointed bope. When the eye saw her, it gave witness to her, and when the ear heard her, it blessed her ; for her words and act could minister earthly comfort to earthly woe, and also point out the joys and hopes of an eternal heaven.
The Spa had lost its fashion, and most of the votaries of the goddess had of course followed their idol wherever its priests pitched on new temples. Still, there remained some families, to whom she had been known in her year of happiness, and the dark page in her former history gave her a touching interest in the minds of a few, and raised no small curiosity in those of more-a curiosity which was increased by her secluded method of life. All that could be learned by application to her servants was, that her son lived in Germany, but was soon expected home; that she herself slept in the room, which she occupied when she was a wife; and that she spent some part of almost every day in the closet where her husband had been murdered. This latter was a point of interest equally to the servants' curiosity, as to that of the neighbours; because to the former it was a kind of Bluebeard's chamber, their mistress keeping the key of it herself, and never suffering any one to cross its mysterious threshold.
At last her son's time of foreign travel and study drew to an end, and it was understood he was to be shortly home. He did come; and so far as externals went, no one could have
raised too high an expectation of him, to meet any disappointment ; but his cheek was pale from the study of books, especially those of gloomy mysticism, in the perusal of which he culpably revelled, to the neglect of more healthful pages. It was also thinned by a nervous inward-looking upon his own spirit; for he belonged to that order wherein is invested the morbid intensity of feeling, whether it be of good or evil. He was of that order of men, whose imaginations are ever at work with the keen knife of self-torment, tracing and exhibiting to their own heated perceptions the naked anatomy of every mental, every bodily nerve, with its thrill of ecstacy or jar of agony. He was of those into whose minds a single unguarded word often sinks, with a stain deep enough to poison one of memory's fountains for ever. He was of those with whom life never glides smoothly, still less stagnates ; but where the soul's pulses ever beat with fevered haste, and flush with fevered heat. He was of that order upon which the wise philosopher looks with pity, because he has made the theory of genius à subject of his study, and knows well, both from reading and experience, of the sad havoc that idiotcy, mania, broken hearts, and early deaths have made among the ranks of its sons.
But mother and son met with the fullest and fondest love; and a hundred plans of future happiness were formed by the latter in bis first sanguine hour. He was to go abroad no more ; he was to marry, too, and forget the dreamy speculation in which he had indulged too freely, in fulfilling the duties of son, husband, and landlord. was his mother to be blamed if, while she smiled, she felt some inward sadness? For nearly thus, not so enthusiastically, had his father spokennearly thus had his father looked, though his features never wore so glowing an expression as those of his son-such had been the father's pro. mise ; but an early grave of blood and murder had been the bitter fruit.
The servants rejoiced at their young master's return ; indeed the old butler, who had served his grandfather, wept for joy when he saw the tall, handsome youth, and, with respectful love,