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duced to the ladies, who, as far as ap- sub-letting; and as he had been otherpearances went, I would have taken wise a good tenant, Mr. Waller gave the for English. At breakfast I was seated entire farm to the eldest son, giving next Emily, and was delighted to find the other sons the price of their houses, that she did not eat with her knife, and small sums to set them up in other and was surprised to hear her ask me places; and the widow twelve pounds if I would take some meat-pie, in quite a-year. For this he had been held up a distinct tone, such as I was totally at the altar as an exterminator, and unprepared for ; indeed, only for her obliged to travel guarded by policeattention, I should have fared badly, men. I found that this story was never being naturally of a retiring and bash- denied by any of the peasantry, but ful disposition--a complaint which did also that it was looked upon as a great not trouble Mr. Cuppage or Finny, hardship. One day, on asking a man who, after laying a strong foundation who was showing me some grouse of pickled salmon, attacked the meat- shooting, if he did not think twelve pie with redoubled ardour.
pounds a-year annuity very handsome “Gad, what an appetite a drive for the widow, he repliedbefore breakfast gives one !" said Cup- “Ye, than why so ? Hadn't the page, to the company in general, as honest woman the whole farm once?" he took a third help of it.
“ But they can't all have it. Has After breakfast we drove to a wood not her eldst son it now?" a few miles off, which we were to shoot “ Ab, its little they care for the over. Before we commenced, Cup- poor - living in fine houses, with the page declared that the pickled salmon best of ating and dhrinking." lay rather cold upon his stomach, and “ But what would you have Mr. expressed a wish for a drop of some- Waller do? He can't give the farm thing warm, which Mr. Ormsby fur. to four people. He gave the widow nished him with from a flask; but al- an annuity, and the other sons the though it set his stomach to rights, it price of their cottages and some modid not improve his shooting, as he ney." fired once at Moore through a holly- “ Sure they were dhruv) out from bush, in which he said he thought he where they had been from childer." saw a woodcock. We kept him well I tried in vain to explain that Mr. a-head during the rest of the day, and Waller had not objected to their living he only once again endangered our in the village, and acting as labourers lives, when he turned suddenly round on the farm, or living with their bro. and fired at a cock a few feet over my ther, if he would permit it, only obhead. He always discharged both jecting to the farm being divided into barrels at every cock that was flushed, four parts ; but all I could get was and laid claim to every bird, being al- “Sure yer honour knows best. God ways persuaded that he had touched it help the poor. May be there's a day with the second barrel.
coming when they will have their own We returned home to dinner, with again." seven brace. The only addition to the At dinner I was seated next Miss party was a Mr. Waller, a fresh.com- Maria, a sentimental, blue-eyed girl. plexioned, good-natured-looking man, As I have remarked, being of rather a who, from his looks, seemed free from retiring disposition, during the soup most of the cares of life; but I found and fish I made but little progress. I was mistaken in this, as he came However, after a couple of glasses of guarded by two policemen. I was wine I began to feel a little less nerrather astonished at this specimen of vous, and enlarged, I am convinced, the brutal landlords of whom I had with some degree of humour on our heard so much. I afterwards learned, day's shooting ; but I soon found that from good authority, the nature of his sentiment alone was the thing; and offence. A large farm had fallen out getting myself up to the mark with nuof lease by the death of the tenant, merous glasses of sherry, I turned the and on going to examine it, he found conversation to “ Ernest Maltravers," that it had been divided among the which stood me in good need. With three sons, during the father's life, who the skill of an accomplished general, I now laid claim to it--the widow claim dashed in medias res, and soon found ing her husband's share. There had myself very much out of my depth. been a strict clause in the lease against 'I felt Maria's soft blue eye upon me
as she trifled with the wing of a chicken. Waller,” said I, “bargaining in this The sweet girl had eaten absolutely way about a pound of flesh.” nothing; but as I looked upon her Here Mr. Cuppage, who had a beautifully-rounded figure, over which great knack of making other people's her golden hair fell lightly, a shade of things his own, thought fit to break in dark suspicion crossed my mind. Per- “ That's not fair, Mr. Anstruther; haps she had lunched. Even goddess- you must have seen me going to say es in former days were not nourished on
took it out of my mouth.” air. The chaste Minerva, perhaps, “Well," said I, looking steadily at sometimes had a cut of Ambrosial mut- his imperial, “I allow that I do see a ton; Venus was known to have taken deuced shy-lock on your face. Pera cup of nectar from her lame hus- haps that suggested it.” band's hand; perhaps the delicate I felt that I had crushed him. Phoebe took a light repast with Gany- I now resumed my conversation mede before the immortal feast was with Maria, in that low and thrilling served. But I banished such material voice which lovers use in a legitimate thoughts, as I listened to her silvery novel. I could see that her hand voice.
trembled with emotion, as she sought “ What,” she said, in a thrilling in vain to place an obstinate piece of voice, “would be the riches, the enjoy- blanc-mange on her plate. I offered my ments of the world, to one who was assistance; my heart also beat more severed from all that was dearest to strongly, as I saw it glide gracefully him in life?"
into her lap off the hot plate, which “Nothing," said I, in a tone of the stupid servant brought, and held deep emotion and sherry. “When once in a slanting position. She endeavourthe heart has learned to love, its every ed to speak, in vain. Our eyes met. feeling is wound round the object of its adoration
When the cloth was removed, a Heaven knows what I would have large square decanter of whisky was said more; but certainly it must have placed in the centre of the table, been something very beautiful, when I Aanked with lemons and sugar. perceived that there was a dead silence, * Put the church in the centre of and that I was the observed of all. the parish," said Mr. Ormsby, giving
“ Bravo! - excellent !” said Mr. directions to the servant. I saw it was Waller, who was seated opposite me. a daily joke, and, of course, laughed. “ If that does not amount to a decla. I was proceeding to follow the examration
ple of the others, and mix a tumbler, I never felt such a thorough abhor- when Miss Strong kindly offered to rence of what is termed a quiz, and make it for me, observing, that could with pleasure have hurled the English people did not know how to decanter of sherry at his head. I tried make whisky punch. I felt convinced to look as if I was not blushing. Mr. that this was only a feint to blind the Cuppage also thought fit to be amused, others, who were Irish, to none of but I rather think I turned the laugh whom she had made the same offer. against him afterwards. Mr. Waller Feeling higbly flattered, I accepted it. and Mr. Ormsby bad been arguing Often had it been my lot to taste the what weight each rode hunting; and various compositions known under the as they were both stout, each felt con- name, from Roman down to milk; but vinced that the other had increased in I may exclaim, in the words of the weight, while he himself had remained poet – “Never such as this.” After as before.
having finished half of it, I found my“ I'll bet you two to one, Waller, self in a most argumentative strain, that you ride at least three pounds, or and was deep in a discussion on the say one, for argument sake, heavier poor laws, about which I knew absothan you did three months ago, when lutely nothing, and on the represen. we weighed.”
tation of Ireland, of which I knew, if “With all my heart; but you will anything, less. find that you have increased the pound, * If our members only stood by us," and not I. It was only yesterday that said Mr. Waller, “ all would be right; Corbet was remarking how fat you but when they elect a parcel of paupers, were growing.”
how can we hope that they will have * You remind me of Shylock, Mr. courage or strength of mind enough to refuse situations which a minister Miss Maria, who was too well-bred to can bestow? Who cut our throats by move, was on tenter-hooks, and with joining against all measures beneficial a feeling of triumph, I led her to the to Ireland ? The Irish members, who piano. take paltry bribes, and keep aloof, and “I am sure you sing," she said to disgust any Englishman who is anxious me, when she had finished the song, to benefit Ireland. The Irish mem- during which Cuppage turned over a bers
leaf too soon, and nearly put her out. “ Then," said I, giving the table a I resisted in vain ; the punch was blow, " why not bribe them your- doing its work, and I acceded, if she selves ? Get up a society for bribing would accompany me. I cannot vendistressed Members of Parliament, ture to state how I got through it, but and you may one day see Ireland I know that I felt remarkably shaky on prosperous and happy."
the high notes. I was loudly encored I felt that I had made a grand and applauded when I had finished, stroke, and retired from the field into and felt convinced that I must have the drawing-room. I arrived in that succeeded beyond my warmest expechappy state of mind which is the result tations, for Cuppage, with a jealousy of strong punch and a clear conscience. which was inherent to him, actually I must confess that I felt a little jea- put in for, and attempted a song; for. lous, when I saw Mr. Cuppage butter- getting the fate that attended his last ing Miss Maria's slim cake, and whis- endeavours. pering Childe Harold into her ear, es- He commenced in the key too high, pecially as the brute never read a line and then in the one too low; at length of poetry except the day before, when he got into the right one, but it was he deceived my unsuspecting nature, flat and unprofitable. With a smile at by asking me to show him an effective the vanity of human nature, I saw him passage.
leave the piano. In what words can I I drank my tea, and ate my slim describe the remainder of that evencake moodily; but swallowing my in. ing? I remember teaching Maria dignation with them, I requested Ormsby the polka, and then chasing Miss Maria to give us a song.
her into the hall, and kissing her, “I am sure you sing, Mr. Anstru- which I was constrained to do to rether," said the charming girl.
deem my watch which was pledged “Mr. Cuppage will be happy to sing during a game of forfeits. When it for you, by-and-bye, I have no doubt," was time to leayc, I felt an Irishman I said pointedly, as he was always all over. boring us with a remarkably common- I now became a constant visitor at place story of how he cracked his Loughlinstown. My days were pleavoice, and which I had just heard him santly spent riding with Emily, or tell after he had disposed of the slim flirting sentimentally with Maria, gecake and Childe Harold.
nerally winding up with dining there, “Is it possible you never heard how In a short time I used to be asked to I lost my voice? I was drinking tea take the bottom of the table, and carve, with my grandmother, a fine old lady, and whenever we bad no other invitaand remarkably fond of singing, and, tion to dine out, we were expected as usual, had to sing, 'A frog he would there. Three months passed pleasantly a wooing go, heigh-ho, said Roly;' away, when the confounded peasantry when just as I came to the Gammon took it into their heads to become and spinache,' I felt my voice go with peaceable, and to give up landlorda sort of wheeze."
shooting. Although glad for the sake This story, which I have compressed, of several of my friends there, I could occupied a long time in telling, as he not but help wishing that they would was fond of dwelling on his grand get up a small rebellion, to keep us mother, who, he informed us, was “no there longer; but like their pigs, they more,” in connexion with his own are an obstinate race, and with a heavy youthful days and pastimes, and it af- heart, we got the route. forded him an opportunity of enlarging Before I left, I paid a visit to Mr. on his youthful feelings, which were Waller, to whom, in spite of his banuninteresting to an unconcerned spec- tering propensities, I had taken a great tator.
fancy. When I was leaving, he of. I could see that during its recital, fered to go part of the way with me,
and show me a specimen of an Irish
Here Mr. Waller, sick of excuses, tenant, on his property.
rode on, and I followed him. When we We rode on, Mr. Waller having the came to the farm, which was as badly butt-end of a large horse-pistol stick- kept as the house, I saw the gate in ing out of his breast pocket; and, question. It was a stout iron one, very keeping a good look-out when any rusty ; and, instead of being hung in people were in sight, we proceeded up the usual manner on the posts, was laid a villainous road to the farm-house, leaning on its side against them, with which presented an appearance of filth much ingenuity, so as to let a drove of and misery such as I had never wit. cows into the young corn. nessed. The thatch was a small field “Oh! glory be to God and the Vir. of bad grass in itself; the door was gin! I'm ruined intirely; all the corn broken, and an old hat supplied the trod down! Oh, wisha! wisha !” explace of glass in the window; a pool claimed Mr. Sheedy, who had followed of stagnant water, which flooded the us, and who stood wringing his hands, house in wet weather, was close by the but never making the slightest effort door ; and the dunghill was under to drive out the cows. the window. The owner of this para- “Why don't you drive them out bedise was worthy of it as far as appear- fore they do more mischief?" said Mr. ances went. He was a short, thickset Waller, angrily. man, with an unpleasant down-look, “Oh! don't be sphakeing to meand a shock-head of red hair, which he don't be sphakeing to me.
I'm ruined was disagreeably fond of scratching. intirely. Oh, wisha! wisha!”
“Well, Sheedy," said Mr. Waller, At length, he was induced to turn “I thought you were to have this place, them out, stopping every now and cleaned up. I told you, three months then to wring his bands, and give vent ago, that I had a table to give you when to a particularly heart-rending “Ob, everything should be clean and nice." wisha! wisha!"
“Why, then, yer hanner," said Mr. “ And do you mean to tell me that Sheedy, looking intently at a pool of you have many of that class here?" dirty water in which he was standing, said I, as we rode off. “I towlt the boys to do it, but they're “He is one of a numerous body," gone to the races; but if I might be said Mr. Waller, sadly. « That fellow bowld eneough to ask yer hanner for bored me to death for that gate, which the table ye promised me— for the pig, you saw falling to pieces from rust, and bad cess to her, knocked the legs off which he has never even swung. If I the old wan, and broke all the chany." swung it for him, he would not take
“More fool you for letting the pig the trouble to close it after him. Kind. into the house ; you know I often ness cannot improve him, nor starvaspoke to you about that. What do tion teach him; and yet if I turn him you think I built you a pigsty for?" out, I am held up as an exterminator.
“Ye, than, God knows yer hanner's That fellow will declare, with tears in the good, kind landlord that did so; but his eyes, that he has not a shilling in she's accustomed to play with the chil. the world, and the next Sunday he will der, and we put turnips into the pig- give ten at chapel to the O'Connell sty."
tribute. You have seen him in dirt " That is no reason. I allowed you and wretchedness, which a few hours for building a barn and offices.” would remove, and which the bribe of
“Ah then, that yer hanner did ; but a table cannot induce bim to do; and the boy wid the flurin' never came; if you could listen unperceived, you and we have the cows below, and would hear him carping at the dispari. there's no room for the praties either, ty of the lot which has placed him in but in the cabin ; but if yer hanner wretchedness, and me in a grand house. would give us the table
There are many bad landlords in Ire. “No, no; not until this place is land; as many, or, perhaps, more than clean, and the house whitewashed, and in England. There are absentees. the dunghill removed. But I am losing There are men who live in towns, and time. I hope that gate is up at last.” who, if put on their own property,
“ Why, then, yer hanner" (I never would not know it by sight, as they do heard so many honours as Mr. Sheedy not the tenants by name — many who made use of in his discourse), “I was let at high or rack rents; but they going yesterday to put it up."
have all been classed together, and none have tried to find out what they Mr. Timothy Quinlan - the poorhad to struggle against — religious bi- rate collector-was a man sprung from gotry, prejudice, and intolerance ; the people. He was one of those whom where trying to innovate or improve the troubles of the present day had is looked upon with suspicion and dis- brought into life. In him the law of like, and doing a kindness as a snare Nature was fully carried out. He was for some future time. It is a thankless one of the maggots which the corrupand up-hill office, that of a resident tion of everything good had brought Irish landlord. The English news- into existence. He was destined to papers, judging truly of a part, have flourish and grow fat on it; and, perclassed the whole together, and their haps, after fulfilling his destiny in name has become a by-word. Excuse that shape, to start into a new life, my warmth. I have been annoyed at as a plethoric blue-bottle, and sport the state of things here. If ever you in the sunshine of future prosperity, come to this part of the country again, His public life had not been, on the pay me a visit.
whole, fortunate. He was discovered I never saw him again. He was to have watered the poorhouse milk, fired at, and desperately wounded, when he had the contract; and was about a year after I left. The trial not perfectly cleared from a suspicion was, I understand, very interesting ; of having adulterated the Indian meal, and Mr. Sheedy played a principal cha- But he knew human nature too well, racter in the proceedings.
to suppose that to a genuine radical I now lost sight of my friends at and repealer such trifles would make Loughlinstown, and can only describe any difference. No. He came forthe remainder as I heard it.
ward at public meetings, and abused the The potato disease, and consequent landlords with a virtuous dignity that poverty, were every day ruining hun- won him the plaudits of the multitude. dreds of the Irish gentry. The Orms- Never was the saying, “set a thief bys suffered among the rest. Most of to catch a thief," more truly justified the tenants ran off to America with the than in Mr. Quinlan ; no one who had rents. The all-devouring poor-rate not spent his life in flattering the mob, swallowed up his remaining capital. He and abusing the gentry, could pounce was unable to stock his domain and with half the quickness on a poor farm. The estate was bankrupt, and man's cow or sheep, seize and sell for the Ormsbys were beggars.
five pounds corn that was worth twenty, One of the few whose acquaintance and let the owner go to the poorhouse. I had made there, who was not ruined Such was the man who was born to be or severely pinched, was Mr. Cuppage. the bane of Mr. Cuppage's existence. He, on the contrary, rather benefited Mr. Cuppage was taking a late by it, as a doctor, by a steady mortali- breakfast, and thinking moodily over ty; and when it was determined that a calf which the poor-rate collector had the cut-up and unfinished roads should seized and sold under his very nose; be left as they were, and he was thrown the county-cess was not collected, and out of employment, he found himself the day for settling accounts was fast appointed county-cess collector. approaching. He took a large bite out
Every state of life has its peculiar of a round of toast, and gnashed his trials, and county-cess collectors are teeth, when he thought of the poornot free from them more than other rate collector and the large pound. men. The bar—the stumbling-block in age he would have compared to him. Mr. Cuppage's life-was the poor-law Just as he was raising his cup to his collector. It was no use to think that lips his servant, Pat Delany, rushed he was of higher birth than him. What into the room with anxiety and delight was birth to a man who could scent, at on his countenance. a mile's distance, a pig belonging to a “Glory be to the Lord, Misther poor-rate defaulter, and who snapped John, but there's a cow of Paddy it up, and had it up to auction before Dwyer's strayed away on the domain Mr. Cuppage was out of bed in the of Loughlinstown; I've been following morning? A gentle melancholy preyed and watching her this hour, and she's on his mind; but the cup was not yet now safe in the clover-field near the full, and one more trial remained, to house. The cob is ready saddled; good convert him into a confirmed misan-luck to ye, and seize her before that thrope.
bloody villain Quinlan hears of it."