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About 1830 Davis travelled through England and Scotland, earning his living by his trade as he went, and writing poems all the while, studying at the same time French, Greek, Latin, and Gaelic. During this period also he contributed to the Nation newspaper and to various periodicals, spending some years in Manchester. Returning to Belfast in 1845, he resumed his toil; but his fame had preceded him, and he left the loom to edit the Belfastman's Journal. He then engaged in literary work for a Belfast firm, also contributing to several magazines and journals. He was elected successively to the positions of librarian in the People's Institute and assistant registrar in Queen's College. His poetical works are The Tablet of Shadows, The Lispings of the Lagan, Earlier and Later Leaves, or an Autumn Gathering, and several love poems and patriotic songs.]
CASTE AND CREED.1
Come, man! your hand, a brother sings,
The wars of nations leave to kings,
May all who'd sow opposing views,
Their harvests find tremendous,
What, though the waves should walk the air,
Do these make men the less akin,
Or pleas for hate and slaughter?
Ah, if, indeed, ye hold a creed,
That Conscience calls a high one, Then hold it for your spirit's need, And not a scourge for my one!
We've fair-we've foul in every clime,
We've men to sport their chaff sublime
1 By permission of the author.
If, loathing virtue-blood and bone, Adores the ghost on crutches!
Ah, Virtue, ever in our throats,
Much wear and tear attend thee! For wear thou wilt, as wear our coats, But, faith, 'tis worse to mend thee!
Still wherefore make the wordy moan
O'er ills that mayn't be mended-
Let's hold from frost and ferment--
Like Save-all's Sabbath garment!
Let's clear our light to show the right-
And loathe the bile would green the sight,
My neighbour's weal is weal to me,
He'd care no more than Bruin, I'd say, enjoy your silken shareYea! as I hope for Heaven; For Coin and Care a wedded pair Are six times out of seven!
Miss Fortune trips a painted porch,
Then creeds and classes, To-or-Fro-
Nor deem it an unsound thing—
And many a niche between them; The height may be a tinselled lieThe men are what's within them!
And mark me, men, a day shall dawn
Nor clime nor class shall make the man—
The caste of LOVE-LIGHT STATURE,
God guide its rear and vanguard;
Then, brother man, if all agreed, Though live we mayn't to see such,
There were flowers young and many,
Morning floats her golden hair; While one spirit urged my culling— 'Twas the dark one, not the fair
Till my full heart's solemn heavings, Bounding hopes, and lame misgivings, Rose like voices on the air!
For, though beauties never, never, Burst the teeming earth like these, They were mingled, good and evil—
Body's health, and soul's disease, Holding, in their fieriest splendour, What the fieriest truth might freeze; So, I sighed, and whispered meekly: "Nay, my eyes are dim and weakly, And I know not which should please!"
Then the fairer spirit caught me,
And I wandered where she led, While the darker followed, chiding,
[Dion Boucicault was born in Dublin on December 26, 1822. He was brought up under the guardianship of Dr. Dionysius Lardner, whose life and writings we have noticed in vol. iii. Boucicault had scarcely reached his majority when he produced the play of London Assurance, which was brought out at Covent Garden in March, 1841. It was enormously successful, has since remained a stock piece on the stage, and is perhaps the best of all his works. From that time forward Mr. Boucicault has been constantly before the public, either as author, actor, or theatrical manager, and frequently in the combined character of the three. He has written upwards of fifty pieces. In most of these he has been indebted to some other author for his story, but that does not take away from him the merit of having used his materials with great skill. Most of his works are a singular mixture of merits and defects. He possesses unquestionably wit, skill in describing character, and marvellous ingenuity in stage effects. On the other hand, he depends for a great part of his success on the aid of the stage carpenter, and his plays, when they come to be read, appear very poor in comparison with the impression they produce on the stage. Among his chief pieces may be mentioned London Assurance, already referred to, the Colleen Bawn, the Octoroon, Old Heads and Young Hearts, Janet Pride,
Though I knew not what she said; Till a lake there gleamed beneath me, Like the round moon overhead;
Green its banks, and flower-besprinkled, Then I sat, and songlets tinkled O'er each trefoil round us spread!
Leaves I wove in links together,
Doing what I did not know, Till the fairer spirit's fingers
Pencils things of tinted snowCaught my wreath, and while they strewed it, "Little sweets," she murmured, "go, Root along the coming hours, Seeds are ye of many flowers, Which from out the winds shall grow!"
The Corsican Brothers, Louis XI., and The Shaughraun. Since 1876 Mr. Boucicault has lived in New York, where he has brought out several pieces, some of which have appeared on the London stage.]
THE MAN OF FASHION IN THE COUNTRY.
(FROM "LONDON ASSURANCE.")
[Sir Harcourt Courtly is a London man of fashion: Charles is his son, a wild-going scapegrace: Max Harkaway is a country gentleman: Grace, his niece, is intended for Sir Harcourt: Meddle is a rural attorney, Dazzle a town adventurer, and Cool Sir Harcourt's servant.]
Enter MAX and SIR HARCOURT. Max. Here we are at last. Now give ye welcome to Oak Hall, Sir Harcourt, heartily.
Sir H. (Languidly.) Cool, assist me. (Cool takes off his furred cloak, gloves; gives him white gloves and a white handkerchief, then places a flower in his coat.)
Max. Why, you require unpacking as carefully as my best bin of port. Well, now you are decanted, tell me what did you think of my park as we came along?
Sir H. That it would never come to an end. You said it was only a stone's throw from
your infernal lodge to the house; why it's ten miles at least.
Max. I'll do it in ten minutes any day. Sir H. Yes, in a steam-carriage. Cool, perfume my handkerchief.
Max. Don't do it. Don't! perfume in the country! why it's high treason in the very face of Nature; 'tis introducing the robbed to the robber. Here are the sweets from which your fulsome essences are pilfered, and libelled with their names,-don't insult them too.
Sir H. (To Meddle, who is by a rose-bush.) Oh! cull me a bouquet, my man!
Max. (Turning.) Ah, Meddle! how are you? This is Lawyer Meddle.
Sir H. Oh! I took him for one of your people.
Meddle. Ah! naturally-um-Sir Harcourt Courtly, I have the honour to congratulate happy occasion approaches. Ahem! I have no hesitation in saying this very happy occasion approaches.
Sir H. Cool, is the conversation addressed towards me?
Cool. I believe so, Sir Harcourt.
Meddle. Oh, certainly! I was complimenting you.
Sir H. Sir, you are very good: the honour is undeserved; but I am only in the habit of receiving compliments from the fair sex. Men's admiration is so d--ably insipid. (Crosses to Max, who is seated on a bench.) If the future Lady Courtly be visible at so unfashionable an hour as this, I shall beg to be introduced.
Max. Visible! Ever since six this morning. -I'll warrant ye. Two to one she is at din
Sir H. Dinner! Is it possible! Lady Courtly dine at half-past one P.M.!
Meddle. I rather prefer that hour to peck a little my-
Sir H. Dear me! who was addressing you? Meddle. Oh! I beg pardon.
Max. Here, James! (Calling.)
Tell Miss Grace to come here directly. [Exit James. Now prepare, Courtly, for, though I say it, she is with the exception of my bay mare Kitty the handsomest thing in the country. Considering she is a biped she is a wonder! Full of blood, sound wind and limb, plenty of bone, sweet coat, in fine condition, with a thorough-bred step, as dainty as a pet greyhound.
Sir H. Don't compare her to a horse. Max. Well, I wouldn't, but she's almost as fine a creature,—close similarities.
Meddle. Oh, very fine creature! Close similarity amounting to identity.
Sir H. Good gracious, sir! What can a lawyer know about woman?
Meddle. Everything. The consistorial court is fine study of the character, and I have no hesitation in saying that I have examined more women than Jenks orSir H. Oh, d-- Jenks! Meddle. Sir, thank you.
Grace. (Runs to him.) My dear uncle! Max. Ah, Grace! you little jade, come here. Sir H. (Eyeing her through his glass.) Oh, dear! she is a rural Venus! I'm astonished
Max. Won't you kiss your old uncle? (He kisses her.)
Sir H. (Draws an agonizing face.) Oh!ah-um!-N'importe!—my privilege in embryo-hem! It's very tantalizing though.
Max. You are not glad to see me, you are not. (Kissing her.)
Sir II. Oh! no, no, (aside) that is too much. I shall do something horrible presently if this goes on. (Aloud.) I should be sorry to curtail any little ebullition of affection; butahem! May I be permitted?
Sir Harcourt, your husband that will be. Go Max. Of course you may. There, Grace, is to him, girl. (She curtseys.)
Sir H. Permit me to do homage to the charms, the presence of which have placed me in sight of paradise.
(Sir Harcourt and Grace retire.)
Dazzle. Ah! old fellow, how are you? (Crosses to him.)
Max. I'm glad to see you! are you comfortably quartered yet, eh?
Dazzle. Splendidly quartered! What a place you've got here! Why it's a palace. Here, Hamilton.
Enter CHARLES COURTLY. COOL sees him and looks astonished.
Permit me to introduce my friend, Augustus Hamilton. (Aside.) Capital fellow! drinks like a sieve, and rides like a thunder-storm.
Max. (Crosses.) Sir, I'm devilish glad to see you. Here, Sir Harcourt, permit me to intro
duce to youcourt.)
(Goes up stage to Sir Har-ing, that it for a moment-the equilibrium of my etiquette 'pon my life I-permit me to request your pardon.
Courtly. The devil!
Dazzle. (Aside.) What's the matter? Courtly. (Aside.) Why, that is my governor, by Jupiter!
Dazzle. (Aside.) What, old Whiskers! you don't say that!
Courtly. (Aside.) It is! what's to be done now?
Dazzle. Oh, I don't know.
Max. (Advancing.) Mr. Hamilton, Sir Harcourt Courtly-Sir Harcourt Courtly, Mr. Hamilton.
James. Luncheon is on the table, sir.
Sir H. Miss Harkaway, I never swore before a lady in my life-except when I promised to love and cherish the late Lady Courtly,
Sir H. (Advancing.) Hamilton! Good gra- which I took care to preface with an apology, cious! bless me why, Charles, is it possible!--I was compelled to the ceremony, and conwhy, Max, that's my son! sequently not answerable for the languagebut to that gentleman's identity I would have
Max. Your son!
Grace. Your son, Sir Harcourt! have you pledged—my hair. a son as old as that gentleman?
Sir H. No-that is-a-yes,-not by twenty years-a-Charles, why don't you answer me,
Grace. (Aside.) If that security were called for, I suspect the answer would be-no effects. [Exit Sir Harcourt and Grace. Meddle. (To Max.) I have something very
Courtly. (Aside to Dazzle.) What shall I particular to communicate. say? Max. Can't listen at present. [Exit. Meddle. (To Dazzle and Courtly.) I can afford you information which I Dazzle. Oh, don't bother! Courtly. Go to the devil! S
Meddle. Now, I have no hesitation in saying
Dazzle. (Aside.) Deny your identity. Courtly. (Aside.) Capital! - (Pause they look at each other-aloud.) What's the matter, sir?
Meddle. Sir Harcourt, don't apologize, don't bring an action. I'm witness.
Sir H. Some one take this man away. (Meddle goes up the stage with Cool.)
Sir H. How came you down here, sir? Courtly. By one of Newman's best fours-in twelve hours and a quarter.
Sir H. Isn't your name Charles Courtly?
Sir H. Do you mean to say you are usually information concerning the last census of the called Augustus Hamilton? population of Oldborough and vicinity, six
Courtly. Lamentable fact―and quite correct. and-eightpence.
Dazzle. How very odd!
Sir H. Well, I never-Cool, is that my son? Cool. No, sir-that is not Mr. Charles--but is very like him.
Max. I cannot understand all this. Į (Go up a } little.) Grace. (Aside.) I think I can. Dazzle. (Aside to Courtly.) Give him a touch of the indignant.
Courtly. (Crosses.) Allow me to say what, Sir What-d'ye-call'em-Carthorse Hartly?
Dazzle. Sir Walker Cartly.
Cool. Oh, you mean to make me pay this, do you?
Cool. Well, I have no objection--the charge is fair-but remember, I am a servant on board wages, will you throw in a little advice gratis—if I give you the money.
Meddle. Ahem!-I will.
Cool. A fellow has insulted me. I want to abuse him-what terms are actionable? Meddle. You may call him anything you please, providing there are no witnesses.
Cool. Oh, may I? (Looks round.) Then— you rascally pettifogging scoundrel!
Sir H. Hartly, sir! Courtly, sir. Courtly! Courtly. Well, Hartley, or Court-heart, or whatever your name may be, I say your conduct is-a-a-, and was it not for the presence of this lady, I should feel inclined-toto.
Meddle. Hallo! (Retreats.)
Cool. (Following him.) You mean-dirtydisgrace to your profession.
Sir H. No, no, that can't be my son,-he never would address me in that way.- Sir, Cool. (Going up, turns.) Aye, but where are your likeness to my son Charles is so astonish- your witnesses?