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The Moors and the Fens. In 1860 Too Much Alone appeared, which was very favourably received by the critical press. It is a thoroughly good novel, with a well conceived and well wrought-out story; and from its ability a successful career was predicted for the writer. After this, volume succeeded volume in rapid succession, until Mrs. Riddell is now the author of about twenty different novels, the reception of which by the press and the reading public has justified the early anticipations of her success in this field of literature. In 1857 Miss Cowan married J. H. Riddell, grandson of Luke Riddell, Esq., Winson Green House, Staffordshire. Her earlier works had appeared under the pseudonym of "F. G. Trafford," but after the appearance of George Geith of Fen Court in 1864-a story which fully established her literary reputation, and which the Athenæum called an "excellent novel, powerfully and carefully written"-she has used her marital name. Besides those above mentioned, we may notice what are considered as among the best of Mrs. Riddell's works-City and Suburb (1861), Maxwell Drewitt (1865), Phemie Keller (1866), Far above Rubies (1867), A Life's Assize (1870) -from which we quote; Mortomley's Estate (1874), Above Suspicion (1875), and a very readable novel entitled Her Mother's Darling (1877). In 1867 Mrs. Riddell became coproprietor and editor of the St. James's Magazine, and she has also contributed to the pages of Once a Week (in which appeared The Race for Wealth), Illustrated London News, London Society, &c. &c.]

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gown, and smiled to himself at the sound of that ominous conjunction.

Word upon word, line upon line, the judge piled up against the prisoner. He showed how every presumption in the case went to support the idea of his guilt. They had the evidence of two witnesses to the fact of a button being missing from the prisoner's coat. There was no reason to doubt the truthfulness of Euphemia Stewart's testimony, and she distinctly swore that not merely a button was gone, but also that a piece of cloth had gone with it. The jury would bear in mind that no such rent had been discovered in any coat worn by the prisoner, but he would not have them place too much importance on this circumstance, since the question involved really was, had the prisoner three suits of tweed or only two? He had ample time and opportunity for disposing of one suit between the hour of his leaving New Abbey and that of his arrival at Kirkcudbright. He had a lonely shore; the darkness of night; the absence of any company; all in his favour. One circumstance, however, that looked like innocence, must not be overlooked, namely, that he had not changed his original route, but went straight forward to Kirkcudbright, as though no murder had been committed. On the other hand, the jury would bear in mind they had not in this case to deal with a criminal of the ordinary type, but with a highly-educated and clever man, possessed evidently of a mind capable of weighing consequences and calculating possibilities; and this consideration, also, should have considerable weight with them in deciding the exact amount of credence which they ought to attach to the evidence of the witness Anthony Hardell.

He (the judge) did not consider that witness had given his evidence in a satisfactory manner. He was evidently biassed by his friendship for the accused. He was labouring under considerable excitement, and had fenced off important questions with more cleverness than straightforwardness.

If the jury believed the bulk of the evidence which had been that day given, they could scarcely fail to arrive at the conclusion that the prisoner had first betrayed the confidence of a man who trusted too much in his honour, and then murdered that man.

Whether the blow were dealt in passion or in cool blood, whether it terminated a quarrel or were given treacherously, was not the matter for them to consider.

The real question for them to decide was whe

ther Kenneth Challerson was murdered, and, if so, whether the panel were his murderer.

And Lord Glanlorn looked as though he thought the jury ought to deliver their verdict without leaving the box.

The jury, however, apparently arrived at a different conclusion, for after a little whispering among themselves, and putting together of heads, they retired to consult.

Then came a time, when, like Agag, the prisoner said to himself, "Surely the bitterness of death is past."

He knew it had all gone against him; already he seemed to be like one clean forgotten, one for whom the world's pleasures and prizes were but as the memory of a dream.

What he might have done-oh, God! what he might have done, but for this awful misfortune. He saw himself a successful preacher, a happy husband, the father of children, a respected and useful member of society-that was the might-have-been of his life-and this was the reality.

A felon's dock in a far country—with the evening shadows stealing down-not a friendly face near him, and fifteen men in an adjoining room deciding whether or not he should hang by the neck till he was dead.

He sat in the dock, with his hands clasped, and his head bowed-his eyes were so misty with tears that he could not see the scene distinctly—but he had a confused memory afterwards of observing the judges leave the bench, and perceiving the counsel break up into knots and talking with the sheriffs and such of the spectators as had seats assigned to them in the boxes near the bench.

He knew they were speaking about him. Well-well, let the future bring what it might, he thought vaguely, it could never bring an hour of such intense misery-such utter loneliness as that. He was an interesting speculation to those people, nothing more. He felt very bitter against them all-unjustly bitter, for there were many there who, even believing him guilty, pitied him exceedingly.

After a minute or two his own advocate came over to speak to him,-told him not to despair yet, to keep up for a little while longer.

Then he too went away, and the darkness deepened. Candles were brought into court -dips that guttered down and made long wicks-and soon after the judges returned and resumed their seats, and the jury trooped back into their places, and there was a great silence for a moment.

Instinctively the prisoner rose to meet his doom. The faces of the jury looked in the fitful light, pale and stern and just-inexorably just. You might have heard a pin drop in court when, in answer to the judge's question, the foreman said—

"We find a verdict of NOT PROVEN."

Of what happened after that, Andrew Hardell had no clear recollection. He remembered that the judge said something to him, but of what nature he never could tell. He knew that one of the men who had sat guarding him allowed him to pass out on the side farthest from the trap-door through which he had ascended from the subterranean passage. He felt the cool air blowing on his forehead, and he saw a way cleared for him by the people, who closed up again and followed him out into the street.

There was only one man to wish him joy. "Thank the Lord!" said a voice in his ear; and turning, he saw the face of the waiter from the "King's Arms."

"Take me to some place where I can be quiet," Andrew petitioned, "where nobody will know me;" and thus entreated, the man, under cover of the darkness, led him hurriedly along Buccleugh Street, and down the steps into the lane below, where not a soul was stirring.

"Ye'll be in need of something to eat," said the man, and Andrew thankfully yielded himself to such friendly guidance.

There was only a single feeling uppermost in his mind as he hurried along guided by David Johnstoun, and that was a wondering thankfulness at his deliverance.

As to the future, he was too bewildered to think of it. He was free-the trial was over -the danger past. As to the actual meaning of the verdict he had not yet quite grasped it.

He was spent, and he wanted rest. He was confused, and he needed time to collect his thoughts. He was faint, and he required food. He never could accurately remember what he felt while he walked through the twilight up the narrow streets, except that he was very glad.

He had not yet realized the nature of his hurt; it was not mortal, he knew, and that was then enough for him to comprehend.

Out of the darkness they turned into an inn of the commoner description, where, around a blazing fire, a number of men were gathered drinking and smoking.

A comely, middle-aged woman was in the act of supplying one of her customers with

another "noggin" of whisky, when David | cold dreariness with the warmth and coziness beckoned and spoke to her in a low tone. of the kitchen below.

Instantly she bent her eyes on his companion with a look of curious inquiry, then, without a word, led the way up a narrow staircase and into a bed-room on the first floor.

"Ye'll be quiet enough here," she said, set-long wick with a cross of blackness at the top ting the candlestick she carried down on a of the flame; he surveyed the empty grate small round table, and again favouring Andrew and the strip of matting, and then his eye, Hardell with the same look of irrepressible still wandering round the room, fell on the curiosity she had honoured him with below. looking-glass. Moved by a sudden impulse, "And ye wad like something till eat-what he took up the light, and holding it close to will ye please to have?" the mirror, beheld his own reflection.

"I will come down wi' ye and see to that," David Johnstoun hurriedly interposed. "Will ye sit, Mr. Hardell, and rest yourself a-bit?" and the pair departed from the room, leaving Andrew alone.

Then all at once there fell upon him such a sense of desolation as I might never hope to put into words; the comprehension of his position dropped down into his heart as a stone drops down into a well, troubling the waters at the bottom. He was not innocent-he knew that; and the sentence pronounced declared as much.

Not proven--ay, not proven in law-but there was not a creature in court-not an inhabitant of Dumfries-not even the waiter from the "King's Arms," the only friend who had stopped to congratulate him that believed he was other than guilty.

They had hurried him through the kitchen that he might not be recognized. They had brought him up to this room, not that he might physically be more comfortable, but that mentally he should escape annoyance.

He looked round the apartment, in which no fire blazed cheerfully, which was only lighted by a solitary dip, and contrasted its

He glanced at the bed placed in one corner, at the chest of drawers near the door, at the small round three-legged table where the candle was guttering down and making for itself a

[There are few men, even among the many laborious and brilliant Celtic scholars of the last quarter of a century, who have done more towards the elucidation of Irish history than Mr. John T. Gilbert. He has written the first book on the metropolis of Ireland which could make even a pretence to the dignity of a history; he has told the stories of the various Irish viceroys; and his republication of several old manuscripts has thrown quite a new light on some of the most important and most eagerly discussed passages in Irish annals.

He looked at himself with a bitter smile. He had been, if not handsome, at least wellfavoured. His had been that sort of face which mothers bless as "bonnie,” and women admire for its frank, fearless, honest comeliness. He had never boasted chiselled features, nor dreamy, poetic speaking eyes. He had not been beautiful as a dream. In his best days no person could have said of him that he looked as though he had stepped down from the canvas of one of the old masters to walk amongst men-but yet he had been something more than passable, and he had been young.

Now he seemed young no longer; since he stood before a free man, another sculptor than nature had taken chisel and mallet in hand to alter her work. His face was worn, his cheek hollow. There was a drawn expression about his mouth; his eyes were sunk; he had lines across his forehead; his hair was thin, and streaks of gray appeared amidst the brown; his clothes hung upon him, and the hand which held the candlestick looked, reflected in the glass, like the hand of a skeleton. The beauty of his youth was gone, and the hope of his youth with it.


Mr. Gilbert's chief work is his History of Dublin (3 vols. 1854-9). For this he was presented with the gold medal of the Royal Irish Academy-perhaps the highest literary honour that can be conferred by any body in Ireland. The work is full of the most interesting and varied matter. "As illustrating the wide range of subjects treated of," justly observed the president of the Academy in presenting Mr. Gilbert with the medal for his work, "under their respective localities, I may cite the account of the tribe of Mac

Gillamocholmog (vol. i. p. 230) traced through | London, honorary librarian of the Royal Irish

Academy, and honorary secretary of the Irish Archæological and Celtic Society for the publication of Materials for the History of Ireland.]

unpublished Gaelic and Anglo-Irish records from the remote origin of the family to its extinction in the fifteenth century; while, as a specimen of the work in a totally different department, I may refer to the history of Crow Street Theatre, as giving the only accurate details hitherto published of that oncenoted establishment, verified by original documents never before printed, from the autograph of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and other dramatic celebrities."

The History of the Viceroys of Ireland (1865), like its predecessor, contains an enormous amount of fresh information. The work displays a great and even astonishing width of acquaintance with all the sources-whether printed or in MS.-of Irish history, and the author has the tact, which is not always a gift with laborious investigators, of weaving his facts into a connected and readable story. The book, dealing with the chief rulers of Ireland, really comes to be a history of the country since the Anglo-Norman invasion; and thus the work has a large historical sweep, as well as a series of most interesting studies into the characters and careers of some highly picturesque figures in the annals of Ireland.



Before the commencement of the fifteenth century so much of the English settlement had been regained by the Irish, that even in Leinster only the four shires of Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Louth partially acknowledged the jurisdiction of the crown of England. The great lords of the Anglo-Norman descent, as the Earls of Kildare, of Desmond, and of Ormonde, absorbed their revenues in their own districts, where they administered justice, jealously excluding the king's officials. Some of the chief branches of the Anglo-Norman families repudiated the authority of England, and confederated with the Irish; but, when it suited their ends, they asserted rights under English law, and seldom failed to obtain charters of pardon through the interest of their influential kinsmen. "These English rebels," says a viceregal despatch, "style them

The other labours in which Mr. Gilbert has been engaged consist principally of the re-selves men of noble blood and idelmen, publication of old Irish documents. In 1870 whereas, in truth, they are strong marauders." he edited Historic and Municipal Documents The enactments against such secessionists reof Ireland, A.D. 1172-1320, which was pub-mained inoperative, as royal officers would lished in the government series of "Chronicles not incur the perils of essaying to carry them and Memorials." He also superintended the into effect. production of Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland—a large folio with coloured plates, which is considered the finest publication of its class ever issued by government. A yet more important work is a Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, 1641-52 (6 vols. 4to). This book brings documents to light which for the first time presents the Irish view of the momentous period of the Roman Catholic rising, and goes far towards superseding the statements hitherto current in English his


Mr. Gilbert, who is a native of Dublin, was secretary of the Public Record Office of Ireland till that office was abolished, when government awarded him a special pension for his services. He is at present engaged in editing for government the National MSS. of Ireland, and in examining and reporting on the manuscripts in collections in Ireland for the Royal Commission on Historical MS. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of

The "Statute of Kilkenny" was promulgated in several successive parliaments, but the settlers found the strict application of its provisions more prejudicial to themselves than the natives. The King of England was thus fain to accede to petitions in which the commonalties of his towns declared their inability to pay taxes, and that they should be ruined or famished, unless authorized to trade and make purchases from the Irish. Numerous applications were also made by the settlers for permission to send out their children to be fostered among the Irish; and we have on record the official concession to a memorial from some liege English praying that an Irish minstrel might be allowed to sojourn among them, notwithstanding the express prohibition under the "Statute of Kilkenny." Governmental licenses were also frequently issued for holding parleys with the Irish. These negotia

1 By permission of the author.

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tions were usually held on the borders, the respective parties coming to the appointed place with a few attendants, while their troops were drawn up within call. The borders formed the resort of bodies of mercenary native lightarmed foot soldiery, styled "kerns" and battleaxe men, called gallocclach, or galloglasses, who, living by war, were ever ready to accept service from either Irish or colonists who secured them payment and maintenance. Beyond the wasted and desolated "marches," or borders, lay the Irish territories, almost inaccessible through woods and narrow defiles, rendered impassable with peculiar art in times of war. Within these and other defences were the habitations, and the cultivated lands which supplied the septs with stores of corn and provender for their large herds of cattle. The rights of the chief, sub-chiefs, and families of each sept were regulated under the Brehon code, which, with minute precision, laid down rules for adjudicating on almost every variety of dispute, encroachment, or breach of law. Although the main attribute of the head of a clan was that of unfailing vigour and prowess in arms, to defend his territory against both foreigners and encroaching Irish, there were other duties deemed scarcely secondary. Such were the improvement of the land, the observance of strict justice, the liberal support of religious establishments, under the patronage of the saints of the tribe; implicit obedience to the decrees of the hereditary Brehons or judges, and the maintenance of the endowments made of old for the support of their learned men and chroniclers. Their intimate relations with Scotland, and frequent pilgrimages to France, Spain, and Italy, rendered the chiefs and their families conversant with the affairs of the Continent, with which constant communication was maintained by their clergy and ecclesiastical students. The internal condition of the settlement, and the manifold injustices perpetrated by the officials of the colonial government on those under their control, tended to repel, rather than attract, the independent Irish towards the English system as then administered. Many of the judges and chief legal officials of the colony were illiterate and ignorant of law, obtained their appointments by purchase, and leased them to deputies, who promoted and encouraged litigation, with the object of accumulating fees. Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer were multiplied, before whom persons were constantly summoned by irresponsible non-residents, to such an extent that no man

could tell when he might be indicted or outlawed, or if a process had issued to eject him from his property. The king's officers often seized lands and appropriated their rents, so long as legal subterfuges enabled them to baffle the claims of the rightful proprietors ; and thus agriculture and improvements were impeded. Ecclesiastics, lords, and gentlemen were not unfrequently cast into jail by officers of the crown on unfounded charges, without indictment or process, and detained in durance till compelled by rigorous treatment to purchase their liberation. The agricultural settlers and landholders were harassed by troops of armed "kerns" and mounted "idelmen," who levied distresses, maltreated and chained those who resisted, and held forcible possession of the farmer's goods till redeemed with money. The troops engaged for the defence of the colonists became little less oppressive than enemies. Under the name of "livere," or liverey, the soldiery took, without payment, victuals for themselves and provender for their horses, and exacted weekly money payments,designated "coygnes." It was not unusual for a soldier having a billet for six or more horses to keep only three, but to exact provender for the entire number, and on a single billet the same trooper commonly demanded and took "livery " in several parts of a county. The constables of royal castles, and the purveyors of the households of the viceroys, seldom paid for what they took, and for the purpose of obtaining bribes to release their seizure they made exactions much more frequently than needed. These grievances, wrote the prelates, lords, and commons to the King of England, have reduced your loyal subjects in Ireland to "a state of distraction and impoverishment, and caused them even to hate their lives." Most of the king's manors, customs, and other sources of revenue having been granted or sold to individuals, but little came to the treasury of the fees, fines, and crown profits, which previously had defrayed part of the expenses of the colonial government. These reduced finances were nearly exhausted by pensions and annuities, paid to propitiate the chiefs of the border Irish, and to secure the settlement against their inroads. Various good towns and hamlets of the colony were destroyed, while several royal castles and fortresses became ruinous, as those in charge of them embezzled the rents and profits allocated for their maintenance, repairs, and garrisons.

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