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for production, as the kit under his arm. By his own account Peter was a" Philiposopher," and belonged to the school of "Pollypotaties, or Walking Sect," which he had selected from choice, as his "gaynius inclined more to the infanthry than the cavaldry." He was a disciple also of the goddess "Terpkickory," one of the Nine Graces, "who presided over the aancient science of flure navigayshin, vulgarly called dancing." His violin he called Mrs. Sleveen ; his family, he said, were "ould Phaynicians" (a caste above my cousin Gilbert's, and the association made me smile), and his lineal ancestress was Queen Dido herself, who came over to Ireland a little after the flood, and took lodgings in the town of Galway, where she was baptized by St. Patrick and St. Larry O'Toole in the blessed well of Tubber ReaMoses and Nebbycodnazor standing godfathers for the occasion." When worn out with dancing, he would commence story-telling, in which he had great encouragement from the unwearied interest displayed by his auditory; and when tired of romancing in prose, he would take to rhyming, and pour the doggrel off his tongue as fast as marbles could hop and tumble from a school-boy's bag.
I recollect an improvisation which he delivered to Madeline, after she had ordered him to have his breakfast from the parlour window, and which has clung to my memory ever since, in company, I grieve to say, with many other unprofitable things. It was as follows:
TO THE RIGHT HON. LADY OF THE DARRAGH.
Invinted on the spot, and spoken
PETER SLEVEEN, Walking Philiposopher,
Professor of the Art of
My Lady Miss Nu-
Of elegant crame,
And this he concluded with a flourish on his violin, or a profusion of bows, or a caper or two cut in the air, and all the time looking as grave as an owl at a funeral, and as solemn and as doleful as if he was just on the eve of being led out to be hanged. My uncle pitied him, but never would witness his dancing, which he thought a wretched and contemptible way of earning his bread; and so the good old man, being well-assured of the creature's honesty, had offered to make him messenger to the post and town, and give him an old mule to carry him by day, and a comfortable lodge at our back gate to shelter him by night, and a fair compensation in wages for his trouble. But this proffer was declined with many thanks, and bows innumerable, with the excuse of there being but the one man who taught dancing in the country, viz., himself, and therefore he could not be spared ; and on the personal plea of expediency, inasmuch as Flure Navigayshin" was absolutely necessary for the said Peter's happiness and health. On the present occasion he was performing a "Rooshian Dingdongo, one of the latest arrivals from the island of Bohaymia ;" and the execution of which greatly amused Mrs. Cardonald and her fair daughter-the latter entering into it with a gusto which quite astonished me, and made my uncle, to whom I mentioned her enjoyment of it afterwards, cry, "Phoo, phoo!" But Peter's chef d'œuvre was his "Paw sowl" (pas
seul), which consisted in his hopping on one leg, and howling out a recitation of gibberish which he asserted was French; while his bow and fiddle were moved so rapidly and violently up and down, rasping, and scraping, and tearing, and throttling each other like two dogs fighting, that they seemed almost an integral part of his excitable self, and gave the spectator the idea that the whole concern, artist and instrument, was labouring under an active paroxysm of the falling sickness.
When he had finished his "Navigayshin," and partaken of a good luncheon, under the beef-and-beeradministering auspices of Mrs. Doxey --and, like all lean men, he was huge feeder" -he slipped his pumps into one of his pockets, and a-halfcrown my uncle sent him into the other, and drawing on his large heavy boots over his trousers, and making a profusion of solemn bows, he went clattering up the avenue like a cat shod with cockles, and evanished from sight in a loose trot.
On his departure, one of the grooms -a new comer-brought me a note which Peter had delivered to him "for the General's nephew." I opened it without looking at the address, though the seal-a very beautifully cut coat of arms-took my attention for a minute. The billet ran thus :-
This was addressed to my cousin Gilbert; but I had not looked at the outside, so I enclosed it to him by post, explaining and apologizing for my mistake.
The rain had now ceased for several hours, and as we sat at an early luncheon, my uncle announced that the weather-glass was looking up" and that the wind was veering to the north-west. As he spoke, a bright sun ray streamed in on his face and form, and rested on the Admiral's old chair; and the next moment a dull, thundering sound like the distant but distinct report of a large piece of artillery was heard by us all. "Ha!" said the General, "that shot is from Thubber-a-Thallin, the largest of our puffing holes, and it is fully three
miles off. There must be a springtide running now; and see, the seagulls are wheeling over the lawn. Depend upon it, we shall have a gale of wind, and there will be a magnificent surf breaking all along our coast in a few hours. Now, ladies, if you want to see the grand old Atlantic in all its magnificence, and are not afraid of a little fatigue, we will order the jaunting-car, and the two little mules will take us to the cliffs swiftly and safely; and if you are afraid of rain, I believe we have muffling enough in this house to thatch a whole barony of adventurous ladies." Mrs. Carndonald and her daughter were but too happy at the proposal; and, truth to say, we were all delighted to get out once more into the free air, after our long and doleful incarceration by that dripping janitor, the rain.
The mules flew with us up the avenue. The General's Yorkists could not equal them in their trot. On leaving the avenue we made right across the rabbit warren, through which ran a road, flanked by sand hillocks and bent grass: startled by our approach, thousands of the timid population were seen scampering to their holes, kicking up their hind legs, and evanishing with a parting glance of their white tails into their burrows. The General called them his Troglodyte subjects. On emerging from the warren, we turned off at right angles towards the cliffs; our road now was parallel to the sea, and as Miss Cardonald and I occupied the side of the car next it, its appearance was inexpressibly grand and sublime. It was all in billowy foam, the waves rolling in like liquid mountains, and breaking and crashing on the beach, like the hoarse clangor and bray of ten thousand brazen trumpets. The gale was frshening every minute, and the mighty yet melodious noise of the rejoicing sea, with its warring, clashing, bursting and battling waves, was momentarily becoming louder and more exciting on the senses. I stole a look at my companion, but I think she generally repelled my enthusiasm by never sharing it, and I felt reproved under the coldness of her want of sympathy; and timid to express emotions which I was afraid she considered as appertaining more
to a boy than belonging to wiser and maturer manhood. This feeling of my being considered by my companion merely as a wild romantic youth made me positively miserable, and often tied my tongue for fear I should not speak sensibly enough, or "like folk of this world” to my fair friend, who was so strangely unimpulsive if not phlegmatic. I think on the present occasion the spray and thin sand flying on the wind were annoying her, for her eyes were fast shut, and presently she pulled down her veil, leaving me alone in the glory of my feelings and my fervour; for surely there is nothing in physical nature so stirring to the blood, so bracing to the animal nerves, so quickening to the pulses, and so delightfully bewildering, as the roar of a great ocean weltering in the agony of a tempest, or scourged into madness by the lashings of a wild nor-wester. While amidst the world of its waves, some rise, and swell, and rushing cast their foam into air; some meet each other, and scatter in fierce collision, and perish in the strife; others come rollingly on in suicidal madness, to dash themselves to death against the beach; while some, like snowy wolves, are seen to climb the black stern cliffs, only to fall back again and mingle in the sweeping surge in which they are lost for ever.
Before us now, the mountains were clear and defined in sharp outlines against a deep indigo sky; behind us the clouds were all huddled together in grey and black masses, moving and disarranged, like the broken squares of a beaten army unwilling to fly, and still obstinately contending for supremacy. Between the thundering of the sea, and the wind blowing so strongly in our faces, it was difficult to hear; but as we neared the cliffs, the deep tones of my uncle's voice were audible, "Now, Mrs. Cardonald, do you see yonder little white house? There we must alight and leave our car; from thence to the puffing hole is only ashort hour's walk, but along so beautiful a path that you will scarce feel any fatigue; for I will take you to the cliffs by the way of our lovely Glenroe, than which there is not in the wide world a valley more sweet.' Amidst broken sentences of response on the part of
the lady, which came to us across the car, like "winged words" of "charming!" "interesting!" "intellectual!" we had now arrived at the farm house, where we alighted, and disencumbering our fair companions of their muffling, we proceeded up a long bureen or bridle road which ascended from the plain, till suddenly coming to a gate, we turned in at right angles along a wooded path which ran up one side of a very narrow and dark gorge of the mountain. Opposite to us, the side of the glen presented a lofty wall of black slate, with scarce a ledge which would support a crow; in the centre ran a river, murmuring over its pebbles, like the wail of infancy, when compared to the terrible roar of wave and wind we had just left, and from which the seclusion of our present position entirely sheltered us. ladies were delighted with the rural beauty of the place. "Quite a happy valley, General," said Mrs. Cardonald. "I can fancy Mr. Walter as another Rasselas, while you might enact Imlac from your superior wisdom." uncle smiled, and Miss Cardonald suddenly asked me "had I ever fished this stream, and were there large trout in it, or in the small lake from which it issued, and which lay at the head of the gorge." I replied that "Mr. Montfort had often whipped the stream, and caught fine trout there." The General pointed out how thickly the copsewood grew; how rich were the rowan trees, and beech and dwarf oak; and to what a prodigious size the laurels had attained. "The whole glen,” said he,
was full of splendid oak trees a century ago, but the Admiral cut them all down to pay a wine bill, and the present stunted forest timber is but a rénaissance of what was originally a fine wood. You perceive how the glen is sheltered from all winds but the south, and my gardener tells me it would grow myrtles and geraniums and other delicate plants successfuily; and the verdure of that long strip of meadow which skirts the stream is as soft and as velvety as the emerald grass which grows on the banks of our far-famed Colnabinna river in this county. I could not help smiling "happy when you spoke of this as a valley;" for whatever be our felicity at
this moment, this glen was once the theatre of utter misery and wretchedness. It is a sad truth, that most of our national local legends, like the floor of Holyrood Palace, have the stain of blood upon them; and this place has its name of Glenroe, or the red glen, from a deed of murder. In the year 1641, when the Irish massacre took place, a Scotchman lived here; he fed sheep, snared hares, shot red deer, and traded in rabbit skins. Do you see far down across the bend of the river, on a flat bank, a huge cairn of stones? His house was there, but it is now his tomb. He was a hard, stern, money-making man, and an alien in religion from the people. So when the rebellion broke out, they murdered him and his aged maiden sister, an equally unamiable person by all accounts as himself. When we have gone a hundred yards further, we shall open on a long flat stone. It is called "The Macdougal's Red Table," for the rebels dragged the brother and sister to it and there slew them, as if they had been re-enacting the barbaric solemnities of their northern ancestors, and this stone had been a cromlech for human sacrifices. The legend is, that the blood of the victims remained an inch deep on the stone for twenty-four hours after the deed was done; and that all the rains and dews from heaven of near two hundred years cannot efface the guilty stain. But the true fact is, that the rock is covered with the red lichen called, I think, (for I am but a very fallible botanist) Cocciferus, or scarlet cupped lichen, whose colour favors the legend." As he spoke, the gorge was narrowing to our advancing and ascending sreps; the path became more steep; the shadows fell more black; the air was closer; the rocks were darker; the sides of the glen more broken and precipitous, and studded with trees, moss clad rocks, and ferns. "Now," said my uncle, who led the way, "the red table is yonder amidst the long fern; see how the modest ivy, as if ashamed of the cruel slaughter, is wreathing and wrapping it in its shining green mantle. This is our magnificent large leaved Irish ivy, which you, my good English neighbours, cannot always match: but here is a natural arbour, and a soft bank to rest on. I fear
you are fatigued, so pray be seated; and surely a more exquisite glenlandscape could not be met with, as the eye falls from this spot into the whole green and shadowy sweep of the rocky hollow of Glenroe."
Mrs. Cardonald was profuse in her admiration and compliments; her daughter did not speak much, nor did she appear to have any particular share of enthusiasm concerning scenery; perhaps she was not an artist. I should say she had more sense than sentiment, and was rather of a reasoning than a romantic nature. She had been collecting Irish mosses and plants; and now said quietly, "I wish I had some of that scarlet licken from the red table, as a curiosity for my herbal." “Well, dear young lady," said my uncle, "I know not of what stuff modern youths are made; but some fifty years ago, when I was a boy-cragsman, your wish should not long have been ungratified." He had scarce finished speaking, when I threw myself over the step bank, along whose side our path crept. The descent was all but perpendicular, but I was strong, and very active, and by swinging myself from branch to branch, and holding on by the stems of trees, I reached the bottom in two minutes, with a few scratches, and having had a couple of hearty rolls from a branch breaking, and the grass being so slippery. Crossing the valley through the tall wet fern, I leaped the brook, at its narrowest and deepest place here, and reached the "red table," where I culled the freshest garland of ivy, and the reddest moss, and returned to my party, rather out of breath, having had a tough scramble up the bank, down whose face I had come rather too hastily, some ten minutes before.
Miss Cardonald received my offering with a pleased smile, and a blush, which sent my boy's blood back on my heart, and awoke a rush of feeling within me. Her mother was exuberant in her praises of my prowess, which made me feel ashamed and half vexed, till my uncle came to the rescue, and said laughingly, "Why it was very awkwardly done: I advise you when next you go over a precipice, Walter, to take it more coolly :-I assure you, Mrs. Cardonald, he was twice as composed when he acted as my aid-decamp on the night of the battle of the
Darragh. The next time you go on a message down a steep bank, Walter, you must keep your feet better, and tumble less. You had a most ungraceful fall yonder, I assure you, just as you completed your descent; and I was by no means certain that you had not broken some of your bones, till I saw you bounding over the river like a stag-hound." And thus the good old man's pleasantry relieved me from all embarrassment. "How singularly still is every thing here," remarked Mrs. Cardonald--(we were all sitting together on a mossy knoll)-“ I can hear nothing but the faint bleat of yonder lambs, and that but indistinctly." She had scarcely spoken, when a wild cry or bark resounded from above us, and over a lofty scarp of rock at the opposite side of the glen, a large brown eagle sailed with the wind into the valley we all started to our feet to watch him. "Ha," said the General, " parlez des agneaux et voila le loup. I hope he is not going to meddle with our bleating population; yet the poor people here say that the eagle is like the agent he always comes at Lammas time. See how he is wheeling over
We watched him as he flew slowly up and down the valley. "I declare he is a noble bird," said the General: "a fine golden eagle-the aquila chrysaetos, as my friend Dr. Macrologos of T.C.D. would style him. He is the gentleman of his tribe, and as stately as you please, 'proud eye; plumed limb; fierce claw; strong wing,' is an old definition of this bird. See how he is rowing himself with those strong wings out of the glen; and borne on the breeze, he will be among my rabbits at once, and will scarce go home to his eyrie in the cliff without having made a full meal. But what is that you are saying, Miss Cardonald, about destroying these birds ?"
Miss Cardonald.-"I was telling Mr. Nugent, sir, how my father had all the cagles on his estate in Scotland killed, they were so destructive to his lambs; and how he was in the habit of quoting the practice of a certain grand jury in the North of Ireland, who paid out of the county funds 20s. for every dead eagle, 10s. for every hawk, and so on in a decreasing scale down to foxes, otters, and ferrets."
The General (rather indignant).
"And did these gentlemen classify these animals, noble and ignoble, altogether as vermin ?"
Miss Cardonald." I believe that was the name they gave to all."
The General (much excited).-"I confess I am not utilitarian enough to join this guerilla warfare against animated nature; if I had lived in King Edgar's days, I would have shot my wolf, and joined heartily in extirpating the savage enemy of my species; but I could not-would not shoot an eagle; he is, at all events when here, my noble guest; and is welcome to his dinner, choose it where he will. Why should we quarrel with him because he has, like ourselves, carnivorous tastes? I think it is La Fontaine who makes an ox the judge, who with a sober jury of twelve calves, brings in man guilty of death for eating beef and having an appetite for veal. 'Nomine mutato, de te fabula narratur.' the tables were thus to be turned, I am afraid it would go very hard with us all; not to speak of our penchant for venison, and our decided mutton iniquities. But this is a rare and wonderful bird. I could not maim so noble a creature, or break with ruffian shot the proud brown wing which bears him to the sun, or dim that kingly eye."
Miss Cardonald (smiling).-"Yet, sir, I have heard you speak with much enthusiasm of a day in the mountains spent in killing grouse."
The General." A fair rejoinder! dear young lady. I suppose I am a little inconsistent; but wild-fowl like the grouse are our natural food. We are permitted, nay enjoined their use in the Bible. We may arise, kill, and eat;' but we should not arise, kill, and torture; much less ought we to arise, kill, and extirpate; and that, one of the Creator's truest patterns of nobleness; which this bird, living so lonely a life in his lofty eyrie, so dignified in his habits, and so independent and so rarely obtrusive, most surely is.
Mrs. Cardonald.—“ My dear General, I quite agree with you; your sentiments are mine precisely, and I think the sweet Bard of Avon has a fine idea about cruelty to animals, and how excessively improper it is to kill flies, or tread on a beetle, if we can possibly help it. The late Judge lost a good number of lambs off his sleep