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Meddle. Give me the costs-six-and-eight- | narrow when seen in front; height, five-feet eight; weight, 150 pounds, and not an ounce Cool. I deny that you gave me information of fat at that, all bone and sinew. Under a at all. shock of brown hair a broad beaming face defied delineation, for the features were constantly on the move. A mouth vigorous, large, full of gleaming teeth, seemed shrewd and mischievous, over which two blue eyes, under long, black brows, were like limpid wells of good nature and fun.
Meddle. You do!
Cool. Yes, where are your witnesses?
[Exit. Meddle. Ah-damme! I'm done at last!
ORIGIN OF "THE SHAUGHRAUN."
A SKETCH FROM LIFE.
"George, it is five o'clock! Let us get away from the course before the crowd of carriages encumber the road. Recollect, we must reach Dublin by half-past six."
We were at Punchestown races, and I was announced to play the same evening in the "Colleen Bawn" at the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
"She can do it," said George D- as he fondly patted the sleek coat of his mare, a splendid specimen of an Irish hunter, from whose quarters he had just slipped the rug. "I'll bet three pounds to one we are in College Green at six twenty."
"I'd like to take that, yer honour," said a low, sweet voice, that seemed to come from under the animal.
"Ha! is that yourself, Jack," said George, as he jumped into the dog-cart and gathered up the reins. "Do you think the mare cannot do it? You ought to know her better! She brought us down this morning in eighty-five minutes, and the whip never left the socket." "Then she'll not go back in three hours this night, barrin' she goes by rail," said the man, rising from the stooping posture and standing back as he looked at the beast's near foreleg.
He was a lithe boy of some twenty years, dressed in a ragged scarlet coat, and an old black hunting cap, the cast-off suit of some whipper-in. One leg boasted a top-boot, on which a rusty spur was tied about his heel with a "taste of cord." On the other leg was the remainder of a Wellington boot. His breeches were like Joseph's coat of many colours; waistcoat and shirt he had none. The attire, pulled anyway about him, could not conceal one of those model shapes that Ireland alone contributes to the light cavalry of the English army. Broad in the shoulders, thin in the flank, his frame is what is vulgarly called "herring-gutted;" very long in the arms; the hips, when seen in profile, were broad, but
"What's the matter with her leg, Jack?" ""Tisn't in the leg, yer honour, it's in the near fore fut. I watched her favourin' this whole day, and more betoken, it's hot as blazes round the coronet. I'm afeard, Master George, the crature has a touch o' the vickular."
"A touch of the navicular! Pooh! A touch of your grandmother! What do you know about it?"
"I know why the gintleman wants to get back to Dublin so airly, God bless him," he added, touching his ragged cap. "Wasn't I in the gallery of the Royal last Saturday, and I seen him fish the 'Colleen Bawn' out of the
water. Whoo! It bates Banagher! Gorra, but I'd like to have a"--here he made a plunge at the earth, and turning what is called “a wheel," bounded lightly on his feet with a yell. The mare sprang on one side, and rose into the air, while George uttered a volley of imprecations upon my admirer's voluble athletics.
I threw the fellow half a sovereign, and the look of amazement and the parting gleam of gratitude that he shared between the coin and me was worth the money.
"Confound the fool!" said my companion, as the animal plunged forward. “I nearly broke a trace. So! Jenny, so! What's the matter with you?" The mare was cantering, and he tried to shape her down to a trot. "That was a queer figure," said I.
"He is well known about here," replied George D--; "he's called Cantering Jack. There's not a fair or a race or a wedding, or any other public or private 'divarsion,' at which Jack is not to be found. Two years ago he rode this mare for me. (So, Jenny.) She was entered for the stakes, a steeplechase, and won me five hundred pounds. The scoundrel rides like a monkey, and has the light hand of a child."
'Why is he called Cantering Jack?" "He lives under a hedge, and when he spies a carriage full of 'grandees,' Jack unstrings his fiddle, receives them with a wild dance, and will follow the carriage for miles, never failing to get sixpence sooner or later from
the party. I have known him to run behind a dog-cart for twelve or fifteen miles, and never turn a hair or lose breath."
the craythur might not last. You are not angry, sir, bekase I kep an eye on ye," said he, apologizing to George for his presence.
"Don't stop to explain," he replied testily. "My friend must reach Dublin in fifty minutes. You know every foot of the road and every quadruped in the county. Can it be done? Can you 'beg, borrow, or steal' a horse that will carry him to town?"
Jack ran his fingers under his ragged cap to scratch his head.
"Well, to be sure," said he, after a moment's hesitation, "there's only one chance."
"Make it a certainty, Jack," I cried, "and I'll give you a five-pound note."
"I'll thry, anyway," said the boy; "take off her harness quick, while I'm off to see what's to be done;" and he disappeared in the gloom.
We stripped the mare and lighted the lamps
"She has strained her fetlock; we must go of the dog-cart, and then, having no more quietly; this is very unfortunate.” to say nor else to do, we lighted cigars and waited.
The condemned felon on the morning of his execution, listening for the approaching footsteps of his executioner, never strained his ears more anxiously than we stretched ours. Hope wanted four footsteps. Fear dreaded two. Hark! Minute after minute passed and seemed like hours. Hark! patter! patter! brush! a pause-a gate swings opens and closes to.
I did not like to add my anxiety to his annoyance, so I held my tongue, and began to measure anxiously the distance to the theatre, and the dismal consequences of arriving late. The lord-lieutenant had given a "command" on that night, and that means he was coming in state, with his court, in gala uniform, and escorted by a troop of cavalry. On such occasions all Dublin turns out, and every available seat in the theatre is filled. I recollected the j'ai failli attendre of Louis XIV., and felt proportionately uncomfortable. The brave beast struggled with her pain, but at last, and rather suddenly, as if she had concealed its acuteness, she broke down to a walk. Darkness had set in, and the last milestone said sixteen miles still lay between us and the city. We were miles from the turnpike, where I might have picked up some conveyance, or found a good-natured party returning home, who would give me a lift. I looked at my watch-it wanted twelve minutes to six.
By this time we had left the main road to avoid the vehicles, and had entered a side lane by which George D-- assured me the distance to Dublin was nearly a mile shorter than by the highway. After pursuing these lanes for nearly twenty minutes, the mare that had never settled down to a square trot, began to show the cause of her uneasiness. George brought her to a standstill, and after resting her a minute, started her at a walk. There remained no doubt the animal was lame. He got down to examine the leg, while I held the reins. After a few moments he went a score of yards ahead, and asked me to drive her gently toward him. I did so, and he leaped up beside me.
"Could I hire a horse from one of the farmers in the neighbourhood? Do you know where we are? Who lives near this place?"
"I have no idea," replied my companion, so dejectedly I had not the heart to exhibit my despair. Darkness was increasing, and the first drops of rain began to patter on the leaves above us. "I do not know where we are or what to do. I'm fairly at my wit's end." The hedge that topped the bank skirting the road was divided above our heads, and a dark form bounded across the ditch, and Cantering Jack alighted beside us.
Long life to your honours. I was afraid
"He has found a horse!" cried George. "If he had been alone he would have vaulted that gate and never stopped to open it. Here he comes!"
Up the lane he came, leading a horse by the forelock.
"Quick, now, for the love o' God. Slip the harness on him; gi' me the headstall; aisy wid them breechings, he is lively wid his heels."
While Jack and I clothed the horse, the mare standing patiently by and thankfully quiet, George D-- took out one of the lamps to light our labours.
"Good heavens, Jack! why I cannot be deceived. It is Mal"——
"Whisht, if ye please, sir. I made an oath to meself I'd land his honour there in Dublin before Misther Lavey would dhrop the flag to the fiddlers, and begorra I'll be good as the word."
George stood agape as Jack ran the light dog-cart shafts over the flanks of the horse, who shivered as he was tucked in and buckled to. Seizing the reins, Jack leaped to the driver's seat, and I sprang up beside him.
"Whew!" he uttered a low whistle, and the
horse, with a snort and a plunge, went forward | outside cars before its door.
"Ah, ye vagabone! ye ould thief o' the world! d'ye hear me talkin' to ye? Aisy, now, sure nobody wants to hurt the likes of ye. The Lord bless every bone in your skin."
The canter settled down to a trot as we mounted a hill, from the top of which we saw the gaslights of Dublin sparkling in the distance. Then I drew a breath. By the light of my cigar I looked at my watch-it wanted thirty-three minutes to seven-we had done between eleven and twelve miles in under forty minutes. The horse was now tolerably quiet, settled down to work.
"Now we are all right,” said I, as we turned into the broad turnpike road, bordered by gas-lamps and tolerably clear of vehicles.
"Hould fast-he has never trod the stones nor seen a street; he's not aisy in his mindlook at his ears," whispered Jack; "don't spake, sir, if you please; I don't want him to know that any one else but meself is behind him."
Jack was right, and all his soft voice and light hand could do, he barely kept the startled animal in the roadway; for he swerved in fright from right to left, and back again, as the brilliant glare of the shops startled him. "Surely it is some time since he was in shafts?" I whispered.
"Bedad, your honour may say that, for to-night is the first time he ever felt a collar on him."
As we ap
proached it I saw the reins were tightening, and Jack was using all his power; but the bit was fast jammed between the teeth of the brute.
"Can you stop her? I'll take one of those cars," I said, as coolly as I could. "Never fear, sir; I'll dhrive ye all the way." 'No, Jack, I prefer to release you now." "All right, your honour," and with a quick jerk he sawed the bit in the horse's mouth and pulled him upon his haunches. I leaped out and ran to his head. Jack was soon by my side.
"Hold on to him awhile, sir. I'll pick you a man that will rowl you up to the Royal;" and he ran up to the group of drivers drinking at the door. Presently one of them jumped on to his car and came down to where I stood. "Now, Reilly, help me to get this harness
The two men unloosed the harness, while Jack drew a "taste of a rope" out of his pocket, and quick as thought had thrown it into the shape of a halter over the horse's head.
"Now, Reilly," said he, "get the dog-cart and harness undher the shed beyant, and keep them dry until Misther George D—— will send for it: d'ye hear now?"
Reilly, aghast, was looking at the horse. which Cantering Jack held by the halter.
"Holy Moses!" cried the man, "what baste is that you have been dhrivin'? It is Malfac".
"Howld yer dirty whisht, if ye want the gintleman to give ye five shillin's for takin' him to the Royal in sixteen minutes."
I handed Jack the five-pound note. He uttered a blessing and swung himself on the horse's back. A demivolte and a clash of hoofs, a smothered yell, a million sparks of fire, and the horse and man disappeared in the gloom.
Well, to be sure! Oh, murdher!" ejaculated the man, looking with open mouth after Jack. "Well! well! Egorra! That bates the world."
Beyond such exclamations my driver uttered not a word during our rapid course through the city, and as I entered the theatre I heard the first bars of the overture to the "Colleen Bawn," mingled with the shouts of the audience greeting the lord-lieutenant and his party.
Instinctively I gripped the rail, and I think I must have turned, if not white, at least drab. But the cigar I had been smoking slipped from my mouth, while I began to calculate the number of corners we had to turn, and the width of the streets through which we had to pass on our road to College Green.
That night I supped with the aides-decamps of the viceregal party. During the
A roadside public-house had attracted a few repast my ear caught these words "I lay
three to two Malefactor comes in first or | like to show you my nags. The farm where second." The speaker was Lord Acelebrated sporting nobleman.
they are stabled is only about fifteen miles
"As I went down to the races this morning," remarked one of the party, "I stopped at the farm, and saw Malefactor in his paddock. He looked in splendid condition, fit to run for a man's life."
"Yes," replied Lord A- "I gave 1200 guineas for him last spring, and I think he is greatly improved."
"Are you fond of horses, Mr. Bcontinued, turning quietly to me.
-?" he "I should
[Miss Browne is one of the most remarkable examples of the victories which perseverance and strength of will can achieve over great physical and social obstacles. She was born in Stranorlar, county Donegal, on January 16, 1816. An attack of small-pox deprived her of eyesight in infancy, but as she grew up she managed to teach herself and to get others to teach her, and she had at an early age intimate acquaintance with the chief masters of English literature. Her father was but a village postmaster, and she had to seek for a means of livelihood for herself. She began by sending a poem to the Irish Penny Journal, which was accepted. She next succeeded in obtaining admission to the Athenæum, Hood's Magazine, the Keepsake, and other periodicals. The editor of the first-named journal proved a warm friend of the struggling young poetess, and did much to call public attention to her works. In 1844 she ventured on the publication of a collection of her poems, under the title The Star of Atteghei, the Vision of Schwartz, and other Poems.
Lord A- never dreamed I had done those fifteen miles behind his 1200 guinea horse; for the suspicion I entertained then became a certainty-that Malefactor had been stolen for the job by Cantering Jack.
Such is the personage he still exists-that furnished me with the character of Conn, the hero of the "Shaughraun."
Miss Browne left Ireland in 1847, and has since resided either in Edinburgh or London. She has also written Lyrics and Miscellaneous Poems; Legends of Ulster; The Ericksons, a tale; The Hidden Sin, a novel (1866); and a sort of autobiography, entitled My Share in the World (1862). She enjoys a small pension from the civil list bestowed upon her by the late Sir Robert Peel. The poems of Miss Browne deserve attention altogether apart from the personal circumstances of the authoress. They are lucid in style, smooth in rhythm, and full of picturesque imagery.]
THE RETURNING JANISSARY.
There came a youth at dawn of day
And an arm that well could wield;
But he came with a form of matchless mould-
On the dying Spartan's shield;—
For the days of his boyhood's bonds were o'er,
They brought him robes of the richest dyes,
Of honour's path and pleasure's bowers,
Till a warrior's death unfold
And thy welcome beam'd by the Houris' eyes."
That have fill'd mine exiled years
To her wanderer's memory wears-
The faith that clings with a deathless hold
Will they joy with its myriad hosts to tread
That far land's love-for ye cannot part His country from the exile's heart!"
They said "Thine isle is a land of slaves; It gives no galley to the waves
No cry with the battle's onset blent
No banner broad on its breezes sent
No name to the lists of fame;
Thy home still stands by its winding shore,
For a stranger bears her name
And, bright though her smile and glance may be, They're not like those that grew dim for thee."
"I know that my country's fame hath found
No rest by her storied streams—
And deep is the track its weight hath worn!
In the home of my thousand dreams;—
One beckoning light-'tis the glancing sheen Of a Grecian maiden's hair;
Alas, for the clouds that rose between
My gaze and one so fair!
Alas! for many a morning ray
So spake the Greek, but the tempter said
'Why seek'st thou the flowers of summer fled?
The years that have made thy kindred strange Have they not breathed with the breath of change On thine early chosen too?
They have bound the wealth of that flowing hairThey have crossed the brow with a shade of care; For thy young and thy glad of heart hath grown A matron, saddened in glance and tone—
From whose undreaming view Life's early lights have fallen-and thou Art a long-forgotten vision now."
There rose a cloud in his clear dark eye, Like the mist of coming tears
Yet it passed in silence, and there came
And a charge of Grecian spears!
That bright dream's promise ne'er may be-
To seek the hosts of some Christian land-
Yet, oft when the stranger's fight is done,
THE LAST FRIENDS.1
I come to my country, but not with the hope That brightened my youth like the cloud-lighting bow,
For the vigour of soul, that seemed mighty to cope With time and with fortune, hath fled from me now;
And love, that illumined my wanderings of yore,
But the hills of my country they welcome me yet!
The hue of their verdure was fresh with me still, When my path was afar by the Tanais' lone track;
From the wide-spreading deserts and ruins, that fill
The lands of old story, they summoned me back; They rose on my dreams through the shades of the West,
They breathed upon sands which the dew never wet,
For the echoes were hushed in the home I loved best
But I knew that the mountains would welcome me yet!
The dust of my kindred is scattered afar
They lie in the desert, the wild, and the wave; For serving the strangers through wandering and
The isle of their memory could grant them no grave.
1 One of the United Irishmen, who lately returned to his country after many years of exile, being asked what had induced him to revisit Ireland when all his friends were gone, answered: "I came back to the mountains.'