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yards of parliamentary oratory. Finally, as to the style of the work, it is such as a realistic book should be-unpretentious, lucid, and spontaneous.
Miss Keary suffered for some time before her death from a tedious and painful illness, and on March 3, 1879, she passed away at Eastbourne. At the time of her death her story, A Doubting Heart, was appearing, and continued for some months after, to appear in Macmillan's Magazine. "To the very large circle of her family and intimate friends," says a short obituary note in that periodical, "whom her talents, and still more her singular sweetness, wisdom, and unselfishness, had endeared her in no common degree, her loss will be deep and enduring."]
A SCENE IN THE FAMINE.
[The passage describes the visit of Ellen Daly, daughter of the Irish squire, to Dennis Malachy, who had formerly been one of the Castle Daly tenants. He had been evicted by John Thornley, an English agent of upright principles and excellent intentions, but mistaken from ignorance of Irish feelings. Malachy, in revenge, had fired at Thornley, but had in mistake killed Mr. Daly, the landlord, whom he and all the tenants loved. Finally, to understand the scene, it must be said that John Thornley is in love with Miss Ellen Daly.]
When Ellen had climbed the steep head of the ravine, and rounded the jutting-out ledge of rock that partly concealed Malachy's rude shieling, she paused to rest for an instant, and looking across the craggy wall into the hollow
beneath was relieved to find that her companion had not attempted to follow her, even with his eyes. He was standing sentinel at the foot of the rock stairs she had clambered, with his face towards he opening of the
and lift eyes full of a terrible hunger to her face.
His figure was diminished in size by the distance, but Ellen wished him still further away, when she remembered the sight that would meet her eyes as soon as she pushed open the rough door at the end of the path she had entered on. From some dark corner of the rude shed the gaunt shape of a man would start up at the sound of her footstep,
By permission of Messrs. Macmillan & Co.
It was now nearly a year since these two-the man she had left below and him she was about to visit-had been hunting each other, one with the hope and purpose in his mind of bringing the actors in a great crime to just punishment, the other with a deadly hunger for vengeance in his heart that the pangs of bodily hunger had scarcely had power to tame. Ellen's heart sank in fear at the thought of their discovering each other's neighbourhood, even now; but she thought it better to run this risk than to leave her errand unaccomplished. Malachy's wife and children and old mother shared the shelter of the shieling with him, and had become, since the famine, objects of almost equal dislike to the neighbours, who believed that a curse rested on the family, and who were capable of leaving them to starve unthought of—though they would not on any temptation have delivered up the man to justice.
The cabin door stood open, and there was no smoke issuing from the aperture; but Ellen was not surprised. The weather was warm, and as it was three days since any member of the household had been to Eagle's Edge to beg for food, it was only too probable that there was nothing in the cabin to cook. She pushed the door a little; it seemed to resist the pressure, as if something lay across the threshold, and it was not without considerable effort, and with a dull thud as of some heavy body thrust aside, that it yielded so far as to allow her to squeeze herself inside.
It was almost dark in the inclosure, for though the loosely-fitted stones let air and light through, the upper end of the ravine lay in deep shadow just then, and the eye had to grow accustomed to the dim light for anything to be seen distinctly.
"Molly," Ellen said, softly, "it is I come to bring you food at last. Are you all asleep? Molly! Dennis!" She called twice, and then her eyes beginning to see what was around her, grew large with horror, and a fit of cold shuddering seized her. The place was not empty, but it was very still. Just opposite to her was a figure half-seated on the ground with its back to the wall. A child's form lay motionless across its knees, the head rested on a stone in the wall, and there was light enough through a crevice above to show Ellen that the death-pale, hollow face, with dropped jaw and half-closed eyes that looked so strangely without seeing were those of Malachy's young
wife. "Nora," she tried to say, but the word would not come, only a hoarse sob in her throat; then she turned and looked into the dense darkness at the end of the shed where it sloped up towards the mountain side. A heap of dead fern-leaves and moss lay along the floor there, and on it were stretched two other motionless bodies of an old woman and a child.
Ellen forced herself to stoop over them, and in desperation dragged away the tattered shawl that half hid the old woman's face, and putting her hand on her shoulder, shook her gently. "Molly, Molly, wake! I have brought you help." The figure fell back into its settled position again as soon as her hand left it, and
len sta ed up horror-struck again. Her hand had come in contact with the withered cheek, and its touch stung her with cold. She felt she must struggle out into the open air before she fainted, and then, preparing to move, she perceived what the object was that had impeded the opening of the door. It lay almost over her feet; she had stepped on it in entering; the prostrate body of Dennis Malachy, who seemed to have fallen down beside the threshold as he was attempting to leave the shieling, perhaps to seek help in the last extremity of his wife and children, perhaps to escape from the chamber of death. There was something in his attitude less lifeless than in that of the others. Sick and trembling as she was Ellen could not step over him again without ascertaining whether there might not be a spark of life left. She turned the face, which was towards the floor, upwards, drew it to the opening, and rested the head on the door-sill where the air could blow upon it; then, hardly knowing whether she most dreaded to see the eyes remain shut, or that they should open on her with some look of unspeakable pain, such as she could never forget afterwards, she rushed out of the cabin and tottered down the rocky path, stumbling and dragging herself up again, but never pausing till she had reached the spot where John Thornley stood, and seized him by the arm.
"Come! come! there are people dying up there. There are dead people up there."
Her voice sounded strange and hoarse to herself, and greatly startled him, as did her pale face and horror-stricken looks.
and calmness in a degree, now that a living fellow-creature's face was near to be looked at. "Let me go back; there is a man in the cabin up there who has some life in him still, I think; if I go back to him with you, and we can do anything for him, I shall not always have such a great horror of what I have seen."
"How near is help to be had?" John asked, as they were climbing the path, "for I cannot let you stay here if the man you speak of recovers and lingers a while. Some one else must be fetched to watch him."
"It would not be so hard as another watch we had," Ellen said, the scene of her father's death flashing on her memory as she spoke, and with it a shuddering wonder that she should be going to minister to the last moments of the man to whose thirst for revenge he had fallen a victim, and with John Thornley to aid her. She had been forgetting who it was that was dying during the last moment or two.
John could have knelt down and kissed the stone on which her foot rested at the moment, in gratitude for that we; but she was not thinking of him except as a strange coadjutor in the strange task. He would not let her enter the cabin till he had gone in first. When he beckoned her to follow, Dennis Malachy had been lifted from the threshold of the door, and placed on a heap of straw near the wall, with a log of wood under his head. John had opened Ellen's basket, and was attempting to put some drops of brandy between the parched lips. "He is not dead," he said, "but I don't think there is a possibility of saving him; he is so terribly wasted, he must die."
Ellen knelt down on the floor and began to bathe the temples with water. "He breathes still. I wish you would go down into the village and find a priest, and bring him here. The old woman who is lying dead there did that for papa."
"This is Dennis Malachy then, your father's murderer? I did not know him."
"The cause of his death, but not his murderer," said Ellen, quickly, withdrawing her hand instinctively at the word from the brow she was bathing. "He told me solemnly it was not his hand that sent the bullet."
"You have known where he was ever since?"
"No, only since hunger drove him to betray himself to me. I remembered then that papa forgave. Only he forgave-no one else could;
the others hunted Dennis to his death. he was not always a bad man; I remember him when he was good and gentle, and used to meet us on our walks, and carry us home on his shoulder when we were tired. I don't know whose fault it was that he came to this, but I don't believe that it was all his own." With the last words she slipped her arm under his head, and raised it a little. The lids that drooped over the half-closed eyes quivered, the breast heaved, and with a sudden spasm of parting strength the dying man sat half upright, and stared wildly round him. John Thornley involuntarily put up his hand to shade his eyes from the stare fixed on him.
"An orphan's curse might drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But, oh, more terrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye."
The lines came into John's mind, and stayed there, and could not be exorcised for long afterwards. Then the dying man's eyes were turned on Ellen, and the hands that had clutched convulsively were spread out imploringly towards her.
"Miss Eileen, Miss Eileen, save me! don't let me do it or I'll lose me soul. Why did ye bring him here, that I might curse him wid me last breath, and lose me soul?"
"You shall not, Dennis," Ellen said, bending over him so as to hide Mr. Thornley's face from his sight. "Look at me, and remember the words I said to you that night, when I told you my father forgave you, and that the Father in heaven forgives us when we forgive our enemies."
"Shure you bade me spare him, and I did your bidding, and I'm glad. It's all over wid us now, Miss Eileen. Praise be to God and His blessed Mother! the starving's over, and the pain wid all of us, and I'm going. Why would we any of us live any longer?--dying's a dale aisier in peace." The head sank back again, the last words were murmured between lips that quivered, and then became convulsed in a strong spasm. There was a long, shuddering gasp, then Mr. Thornley came round and drew Ellen's arm from under the head.
"It is over," he said. "Come away with me; you must not stay here a moment longer; there is nothing more for you to do; I will take care that all is done that is right by these." He glanced round at the corpses. "We shall surely be able to persuade some one from the next village to come up and do what is necessary."
"But are you sure there is nothing more we can do? The children,” said Ellen; "the little girl lying by the grandmother in the bedlittle Nora-I hardly looked at her."
"But I have looked. Those two must have been dead many hours; it is a terrible sight; you must come away." Almost by force he raised her from her kneeling position on the floor, and lifted her over the threshold into the open air. Then she sat down on a stone by the wayside, and burying her face in her hands, gave way to the tears that had been choking her for so long. He stood by watching the bright drops that trickled through her fingers on to the ground, longing for the right and the power to comfort her, and almost hating himself for the excess of feeling that made it impossible to say a word that would not betray too much; and then again for not having courage even in that moment to say
She lifted up her head after a long time, and turned to him with one of the appealing confiding looks, free from all self-consciousness, that always touched him so deeply-so much more deeply than any consciousness would have done, even if it had given him more hope.
"Do you think," she said humbly, "that this was at all my fault?"
"Your fault! how could it be? I was thinking that there was no one on earth but yourself who, under the circumstances, would have acted towards that man as you have acted."
"But I went away last week to stay with cousin Anne, trusting that Father Peter would look after the Malachys, and you see he was not able."
"In times like these, when there is so much misery around, it will not do to waste strength in regretting what was unavoidable. It must have been a miserable death-in-life they lived up here shunned by every one."
"Cousin Anne offered to take the children, but Nora and Molly would not give them up. They said they would all hold together till the end, and so they have done."
By this time Ellen had risen from the stone, and they proceeded to descend the hill. When they reached the head of the ravine, John Thornley said,
"Which way shall we turn? Shall I take you home and get help from Eagle's Edge, or will you persevere in going to the Hollow?"
"To the Hollow, I think. We are more than half-way there, and about half a mile
from this place there is a hamlet where I know | change was so great and sudden. My dear a great many people are congregated to-day." father blamed himself, you know, and thought The walk was almost a silent one, for it was that death-shot his due." impossible to talk on any common topic; and the horror of the scene they had left seemed to grow instead of lessen in John's mind as they walked through the smiling green valley in the glorious autumn afternoon; the air, fragrant with the thymy scent of the thousand minute flowers that bordered the road, musical with placid country sounds-sheep-bleatings and cattle-lowings from the hill-sides, and with the plover's shrill cry as the bird skimmed across their path and darted away, rising high in the air and dipping again in search of food on the boggy surface of the valley.
After a pause of thought, John took up the conversation again. "I begin to see where the fault lies. A few minutes ago I was saying vehemently to myself that at least I had been guilty of no injustice, yet I felt that the sting of remorse would not strike so deep if I were really blameless. Now I see how it is. I ought never to have come here, knowing so little as I did of the people I had to deal with, having scarcely glanced at the problems that rise up before me now as almost unfathomable. I know what Miss O'Flaherty thought of my presumption. If I had been less self-confident, less contemptuous of other people's doings, less full of system, perhaps but I dare not look back in that way, the consequences are too terrible. Your father's death, the miserable end of that man and his family-it will not do to look back and trace consequences in cases of such tremendous importance; it would be giving conscience too terrible a power; the burden of life would be too heavy to carry for a day."
"I cannot get the remembrance of that man's face out of my mind," John began abruptly, when they were near enough to the village to hear the stroke of the little chapel bell that was still tolling. "I am afraid the terrible reproach there was in it when he looked his last on me will haunt me in every miserable or weak moment of my life henceforth. Yet, looking back soberly, as I must try to do, I don't think I ought to blame myself for any part of my conduct to him. I only did what I believed to be my duty.”
"Yes, indeed," said Ellen, "if we had to carry all by ourselves. We should be tempted to put off seeing our own share of responsibility in all the ill that happens, however much worse the suffering might be in the end, when we had to see the truth."
"Don't speak of yourself as if you had any share in the pain to-day has brought to me."
"It did not look like duty to him, you see, because he had grown up with notions of rights and law very different from yours. He appeared to you only a lawless robber holding on to property that did not belong to him; but in his own mind there were stubborn, blind beliefs in right that had come down to him through centuries of his ancestors, and these were too much a part of him to be thrown off at any bidding of yours. He could not have explained himself to you or any one, but the conviction that you were the robber and injurer, and not he, was strong in his thoughts and confused all his relations to you. I have often talked over these things with cousin Anne lately, when we have been trying to account for the terrible crimes this year has witnessed among people whose generosity of nature we believe in, and for the wild projects current now among Connor's friends."
"But I have. I don't think any great wrong or misery can befall without more or less blame belonging to all the lookers-on. It is a circle that spreads out farther than our dull consciences can trace. Here we are in the hamlet I spoke of. That little cottage among the trees half-way up the hill is the priest's house, where you are sure to find plenty of people to-day. I think I will go into the chapel down there. Some service or other is going on now, and I shall perhaps see some one I know who will help us if your errand fails; and I shall rest there while you go up the hill."
"If I had gone to the appointed meeting that night, and been shot, Dennis would have been looked upon as a hero. These people would not have connected that crime with punishment. Yet I was only acting in your father's interest."
"They did not understand that, because my father was such a careless ruler, and the
John despatched his business more speedily than he expected, and turned his steps towards the little white-washed building that served the villagers for a place of worship. The narrow space was so crowded to-day with people thronging round the different little altars that he had some difficulty in finding Ellen. He saw her at last among a throng of women kneeling in a circle at the end of the
that Eternal Day would cast on the perplexities and sufferings and wrongs of our lives. It would be easy, the preacher said, to forgive all wrongs, fancied or real, when all the links that had bound our lives together and to God were made clear. Ellen turned her face, radiant with a tremulous tearful smile, towards him at the words, and held out her hand. The moment he held it seemed to John Thornley to open the door for him into a new life. It might not be a life of happy human love, but one tending to higher, nobler, more self-sacrificing ends than he had yet known; he prayed low to himself that it might be. The next moment the blessing was given, there was a movement among the kneelers by the altar, and Ellen rose and they left the place together.
chapel, and he made his way up to her. The | about the new light which the dawning of women drew apart as he approached, to make room for him at her side; and almost involuntarily he knelt down a little way behind her. There was preaching going on. He had not come in at the beginning, and could not make out whether any text for the sermon had been given out; but the sentence, "Man does not live by bread alone," was repeated several times by the preacher, and each time a groan of acquiescence burst forth from the pale lips of the famine-stricken people kneeling round, who seemed to hang upon the speaker's words as if they were food indeed. Then the preacher went on to describe in glowing words, and with much metaphor and eloquence, the spirit life-nourished by the true bread-into the full enjoyment of which the good priest who had addressed his flock from that spot two days ago had now entered. At another time John might have listened critically-questioning the wisdom or the utility of such an exercise under such circumstances; but now kneeling on the mud floor among that sea of pale faces that were gradually losing their ghastliness under the illumination of hope in the Unseen, thus set forth before eyes that in every other quarter beheld only despair, he could not question. Here were needs-depths and breadths and lengths and heights of suffering-which no science or philosophy of his could reach or touch, but which seemed here in these words of childlike faith to find solution swallowed up in yet more unfathomable heights and depths and lengths and breadths of love. At the end of the sermon something was said
They met Peter Lynch in the throng outside the chapel door, who gave Ellen such a gloomy account of his mistress's state of health that she was glad to accept his offer of a seat on the three-wheeled car which had brought him to the village, and so hasten her arrival at the Hollow.
John Thornley, after placing her in the car, shook hands with her in silence. It did not seem necessary for him to say, "We shall meet to-morrow." That hand-clasp in the chapel seemed just then to have made him independent of future meetings or partings, and to have given him a spiritual hold on her presence so firm that no distance of space nor spite of circumstance could ever oblige him to let it go again. Far or near, dear to her or indifferent, he believed he should live from henceforth in its light.
[William Allingham was born at Ballyshan- | Ireland is a picture of contemporary Ireland. non, that picturesquely situated town in the It is written in decasyllabic couplets, and is north of Ireland to which his poems have so divided into twelve chapters. Having originoften recurred. He early began to contribute ally appeared in Fraser, it was, in 1869, pubto London periodicals, writing, among others, lished in volume form. Songs, Poems, and in the Athenæum and Household Words. In Ballads, which appeared in 1877, is a revised 1850 his first volume of poems was published. collection from previous works, along with In 1854 a second, under the title Day and many new pieces which Mr. Allingham had Night Songs, was issued; and in the following contributed from time to time to periodical year appeared another edition of the same literature. It will not be necessary to pass work, enlarged, and illustrated by Millais and any critical judgment here on a poet who has several other artists. Fifty Modern Poems an assured position. The specimens we quote appeared in 1865. Laurence Bloomfield in from Laurence Bloomfield will give a good