Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

horse,' says he, for he's shure-footed
for the road,' says he, an' bring Jim
Soolivan here,' says he, for I think
I'd die asy af I could see him onst,
says he."
"Well," says Jim, "will
I have time," says he, "to go back
to the house, for it would be a conso-
lation," says he, "to tell the bad news
to the woman?" says he.
66 It's too
late you are already," says Micky,
"so come up behind me, for God's
sake," says he, "an' don't waste time;"
an' with that he brought the horse
up beside the ditch, an' Jim Soolivan
mounted up behind Micky, an' they
rode off, an' tin good miles it was iv
a road, an' at the other side iv Keeper
entirely; an' it was snowin' so fast
that the ould baste could hardly go
an at all at all, an' the two bys an
his back was jist like a snowball all
as one, an' almost fruz an' smothered
at the same time, your honour; an'
they wor both mighty sorrowful en-
tirely, an' their toes almost dhroppin'
aff wid the could. And when Jim
got to the farm his uncle was gettin'
an illegantly, an' he was sittin' up
sthrong an' warm in the bed, and im-
provin every minute, an' no signs
av dyin' an him at all at all; so
he had all his throuble for nothin'.
But this wasn't all, for the snow kem
so thick that it was umpassible to get
along the roads at all at all; an'
faix, instead iv gettin' betther, next
mornin' it was only tin times worse;
so Jim had jist to take it asy, an'
stay wid his uncle antil such times
as the snow id melt. Well, your
honour, the evenin' Jim Soolivan wint
away, whin the dark was closin' in,
Nell Gorman, his wife, begind to
get mighty anasy in herself whin she
didn't see him comin' back at all;
an' she was gettin' more an' more
frightful in herself every minute till
the dark kem an, an' divil a taste
iv her husband was comin' at all at
all. "Oh!" says she, "there's no
use in purtendin', I know he's kilt
himself; he has committed infantycide
an himself," says she, "like a dissi-
pated bliggard as he always was,"
says she, "God rest his soul. Oh,
thin, isn't it me an' not you, Jim
Soolivan, that's the unforthunate wo-
man," says she, "for ain't I cryin' here,
an' isn't he in heaven, the bliggard,"
says she.
"Oh, voh, voh, it's not
at home comfortable with your wife
an' family that you are, Jim Soolivan,"
says she, "but in the other world, you
aumathaun, in glory wid the saints, I
hope," says she. "It's I that's the

unforthinate famale," says she, “an'
not yourself, Jim Soolivan," says she.
An' this way she kep an till mornin',
cryin' an' lamintin'; an' wid the first
light she called up all the sarvint bys,
an' she tould them to go out an' to
sarch every inch iv ground to find
the
"for I'm sure," says she,
corpse,
"it's not to go hide himself he would,"
says she. Well, they went as well
as they could rummagin' through the
snow, antil, a last, what should they
come to, sure enough, but the corpse
of a poor thravelling man, that fell
over the quarry the night before by
rason of the snow an' some licqure
he had, maybe; but, at any rate, he
was as dead as a herrin', an' his face
was knocked all to pieces jist like an
over-boiled pitaty, glory be to God;
an' divil a taste iv a nose or a chin,
or a hill or a hollow from one end
av his face to the other but was all
as flat as a pancake; an' he was
about Jim Soolivan's size, an' dhressed
out exactly the same, wid a ridin'
coat an' new cordheroys; so they
carried him home, an they were
all as sure as daylight it was Jim
Soolivan himself, an' they were won-
dherin' he'd do sich a dirty turn as to
go kill himself for spite. Well, your
honour, they waked him as well as they
could, with what neighbours they could
get together, but by rason iv the snow,
there wasn't enough gothered to make
much divarsion; however it was a
plisint wake enough, an' the church-
yard an' the priest bein' convanient,
as soon as the youngsthers had their
bit iv fun and divarsion out iv the
corpse, they burried it without a great
dale iv hrouble; an' about three days
afther the berrin, ould Jim Mallowney,
from th'other side iv the little hill, her
own cousin by the mother's side-he
had a snug bit iv a farm an' a house
close by, by the saine token-kem
walkin' in to see how she was in
her health, an' he dhrew a chair, au'
he sot down an' beginned to convarse
her about one thing an' another, autil
he got her quite an' asy into middlin'
good humour, an' as soon as he seen
it was time, "I'm wondherin," says
he, "Nell Gorman, sich a handsome,
likely girl, id be thinkin' iv nothin'
but lamintin' an' the likes," says he,
"an' lingerin' away her days without
any consolation, or gettin' a husband,"
says he. "Oh," says she, "isn't it
only three days since I burried the
poor man," says she, "an' isn't it
rather soon to be talkin' iv marryin'
agin?" "Divil a taste," says he,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"three days is jist the time to a minute for cryin' afther a husband, an' there's no occasion in life to be keepin' it up," says he; "an' besides all that," says he, “Shrovetide is almost over, an' if you don't be sturrin' your. self an' lookin' about you, you'll be late," says he, "for this year at any rate, an' that's twelve months lost, an' who's to look afther the farm all that time?" says he, "an' to keep the men to their work?" says he. "It's thrue for you, Jin Mallowney," says she, "but I'm afeard the neighbours will be all talkin' about it," says she. "Divil's cure to the word," says he. "An' who would you advise?" says she. "Young Andy Curtis is the boy," says he. "He's a likely boy in himself," says she; "an' as handy a gossoon as is out," says he. "Well, thin, Jim Mallowney," says "here's my hand, an' you may she, be talkin' to Andy Curtis, an' if he's willin' I'm agreable is that enough? says she. So with that he made off with himself strait to Andy Curtis, an' before three days more was past the weddin' kem an, an' Nell Gorman an' Andy Curtis was married as complate as possible; an' if the wake was plisint the weddin' was tin times as agreable, an' all the neighbours that could make their way to it was there, an' there was three fiddlers an' lots iv pipers, an' ould* Connor Shamus the piper himself was in it-by the same token it was the last weddin' he ever played music at, for the next mornin', whin he was goin' home, bein' mighty hearty an' plisint in himself, he was smothered in the snow, undher the ould castle; an' by my sowl he was a sore loss to the bys and girls twenty miles round, for he was the illigantest piper, barrin' the liquer alone, that ever worked a bellows. Well, a week passed over smart enough, an' Nell an' her new husband was mighty well continted with one another, for it was too soon for her to begin to regulate hin the way she used with poor Jim Soolivan, so they wor comfortable enough; but this was too good to last, for the thaw kem an, an' you may be sure Jim Soolivan didn't lose a minute's time as soon as the heavy dhrift iv snow was melted enough between him and home to let him pass, for he didn't hear a word iv news from home sinst he lift it, by rason that no one, good nor bad, could thravel at all, with the way the snow

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was dhrifted. So, one night, when Nell Gorman an' her new husband, Andy Curtis, was snug an' warm in bed, an' fast asleep, an' every thing quite, who should come to the door, sure enough, but Jim Soolivan himself, an' he beginned flakin' the door wid a big blakthorn stick he had, an' roarin' out like the divil to open the door, for he had a dhrop taken. "What the divil's the matther?" says Andy Curtis, wakenin' out iv his sleep. "Who's batin' the door ?" says Nell: "what's all the noise for ?" says she. "Who's in it?" says Andy. "It's me," says Jim. "Who are you?" says Andy; what's your name ?" "Jin Soolivan," says he. By jabers you lie," says Andy. "Wait till I get at you," says Jim, hittin' the door a lick iv the wattle you'd hear half a mile off. "It's him, sure enough," says Nell,; I know his speech; it's his wandherin' sow! that can't get rest, the crass o' Christ betune us an' harm." "Let me in," says Jim, "or I'll dhrive the door in a top iv yis. "Jim Soolivan, Jim Soolivan," says Nell, sittin' up in the bed, an' gropin' for a quart bottle iv holy wather she used to hang by the back iv the bed, "don't come in, darlin', there's holy wather here," says she; "but tell me from where you are is there any thing that's throublin' your poor sinful sowl ?" says she. "An' tell me, how many masses 'ill make you asy, an' by this crass, I'll buy you as many as you want," says she. I don't know what the divil you mane," says Jim. "Go back," says she, "go back to glory, for God's sake," says she. Divil's cure to the bit iv me 'ill go back to glory, or any where else," says he, "this blessed night; so open the door at onst, an' let me in," says he. Lord forbid," says she. By jabers you'd betther," says he, "or it 'ill be worse for you," says he; an' wid that he fell to wallopin' the door till he was fairly tired, an' Andy an' his wife crassin' themselves an' sayin' their prayers for the bare life all the time. "Jim Soolivan," says she, as soon as he was done, "go back, for God's sake, an' don't be freakenin' me an' your poor fatherless childhren," says she. Why, you bosthoon, you," says Jim, "won't you let your husband in," says he, "to his own house ?" says he. "You wor my husband, sure enough," says she, "but it's well you know, Jim Soolivan, you're not my husband

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"The

Literally, Cornelius James-the last name employed as a patronymic. Connor is used, inva riably, in the South, as the short name for Cornelius, or " Crohore."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

now," says she. "You're as dhrunk as can be consaved," says Jim. "Go back, in God's name, pacibly to your grave," says Nell. By my sowl, it's to my grave you'll sind me, sure enough," says he, "you hard-hearted bain', for I'm jist aff wid the cowld," says he. "Jim Sulivan," says she, "it's in your dacent coffin you should be, you unforthunate sperit," says she; "what is it's annoyin' your sowl, in the wide world, at all?" says she; "hadn't you every thing complate?" says she, "the oil, an' the wake, an' the berrin'?" says she. "Och, by the hoky," says Jim, "it's too long I'm makin' a fool iv mysilf, gostherin' wid you outside iv my own door," says he, "for it's plane to be seen," says he, you don't know what you're sayin', an' no one else knows what you mane, you unforthunate fool," says he; "so, onst for all, open the door quietly," says he, "or, by my sowkins, I'll not lave a splinther together," says he. "Well, whin Nell an' Andy seen he was getting vexed, they beginned to bawl out their prayers, with the fright, as if the life was lavin' them; an' the more he bate the door, the louder they prayed, until at last Jim was fairly tired out. "Bad luck to you," says he; "for a rale divil av a woman," says he. "I can't get any advantage av you, any way; but wait till I get hould iv you, that's all," says he. An' he turned aff from the door, an' wint round to the cow-house, an' settled himself as well as he could, in the sthraw; an' he was tired enough wid the thravellin' he had in the day time, an' a good dale bothered with what liquor he had taken; so he was purty sure of sleepin' wherever he thrun himself. But, by my sowl, it wasn't the same way with the man an' the woman in the house-for divil a wink iv sleep, good or bad, could they get at all, wid the fright iv the spirit, as they supposed; an' with the first light they sint a little gossoon, as fast as he could wag, straight off, like a shot, to the priest, an' to desire him, for the love o' God, to come to them an the minute, an' to bring, if it was plasin' to his raverence, all the little things he had for sayin' mass, an' savin' sowls, an' banishin' sperits, an' freckenin' the divil, an' the likes iv that. An' it wasn't long till his raverence kem down, sure enough, on the ould gray mare, wid the little mass-boy behind him, an' the prayer-books an' bibles, an' all the other mystarious articles that was wantin',

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

along wid him ; an' as soon as he kem in, "God save all here," says he. "God save ye, kindly, your raverence," says they. "An' what's gone wrong wid ye ?" says he; "ye must be very bad," says he, "entirely, to disturb my devotions," says he, "this way, jist at breakfast time," says he. By my sowkins," says Nell, "it's bad enough we are, your raverence," says she, "for it's poor Jim's sperit," says she; "God rest his sowl, wherever it is," says she, "that was wandherin' up an' down, opposit the door all night," says she, "in the way it was no use at all, thryin' to get a wink iv sleep," says she. "It's to lay it, you want me, I suppose," says the priest. "If your raverence, 'id do that same, it 'id be plasin' to us," says Andy. "It'ill be rather expinsive," says the priest. "We'll not differ about the price, your raverence," says Andy. "Did the sperit stop long ?" says the priest. Most part iv the night," says Nell, "the Lord be merciful to us all!" says she. "That'll make it more costly than I thought," says he, "An' did it make much noise ?" says he. By my sowl, it's it that did," says Andy; "leatherin' the door wid sticks and stones," says he, antil I fairly thought every minute," says he, "the ould boords id smash, an' the sperit id be in an top iv us-God bless us," says he."Phiew!" says the priest; "it'll cost a power iv money." Well, your raverence," says Andy, "take whatever you like," says he; "only make sure it won't annoy us any more," says he. "Oh! by my sowkins," says the priest, "it'll be the quarest ghost in the siven parishes," says he," if it has the courage to come back," says he, "afther what I'll do this mornin', plase God," says he; "so we'll say twelve pounds; an' God knows it's chape enough," says he, "considherin' all the sarcumstances," says he. Well, there wasn't a second word to the bargain; so they paid him the money down, an' he settled the table out like an althar, before the door, an' he settled it out wid all the things he had wid him; an' he lit a bit iv a holy candle, an' he scathered his holy wather right an' left; an' he took up a big book, an' he wint an readin' for half an hour, good; an' whin he kem to the end, he tuck hould iv his little bell, and he beginned to ring it for the bare life; an', by my sowl, he rung it so well, that he wakened Jim Sulivan in the cow-house, where he was sleepin', an' up he jumped, widout a minute's delay, an' med right for the

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

>

[ocr errors]

house, where all the family an' the
priest, an' the little mass-boy was as-
simbled, layin' the ghost; an' as soon
as his raverence seen him comin' in at
the door, wid the fair fright, he flung
the bell at his head, an' hot him sich a
lick iv it in the forehead, that he
sthretched him an the flour; but faix
he didn't wait to ax any questions, but
he cut round the table as if the divil
was afther him, an' out at the door, an'
didn't stop even as much as to mount
an his mare, but leathered away down
the borheen as fast as his legs could
carry him, though the mud was up to
his knees, savin' your presence. Well,
by the time Jim kem to himself, the
family persaved the mistake, an' Andy
wint home, lavin' Nell to make the ex-

planation. An' as soon as Jim heerd it all, he said he was quite contint to lave her to Andy, entirely; but the priest would not hear iv it; an' he jist med him marry his wife over again, an' a merry widdin' it was, an' a fine collection for his raverence. An' Andy was there along wid the rest, an' the priest put a small pinnance upon him, for bein' in too great a hurry to marry a widdy. An' bad luck to the word he'd allow any one to say an the business, ever after, at all, at all, so, av course, no one offinded his reverence, by spakin' iv the twelve pounds he got for layin' the sperit. An' the neighbours wor all mighty well plased, to be sure, for gettin' all the divarsion of a wake, an' two weddin's for nothin'.

from civilized nations to visit them from curiosity, and who write a book to repay the expenses of their journey, and gratify their countrymen with an account of incidents the most strange and striking, and manners and customs the most dissimilar to their own. Such

[ocr errors]

IRELAND, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS.*
It would be almost paradoxical to as-
sert that a foreigner should write an
able treatise on the social, religious, or
political institutions of any country.
These are matters which none but those
who know them well can adequately
describe; and how can any acquaint-
ance with them be obtained by a
Frenchman during a few months' resi-
dence in this country? Such reflec-
tions at once rushed into our mind on
reading the title-page of this book, and
almost determined us to read no far
ther. Fortunately, we remembered
that travellers frequently profess rather
more than they perform, and that there
was a chance that this book, on peru-
sal, might be found a harmless and
an entertaining account of our manners
and customs as they appear to an intel-
ligent foreigner.

Although the manners and customs
of any country are best known to its
inhabitants, yet they are not always best
described by them. What men are ac-
customed to, as matters of every day
occurrence, will be supposed such mat-
ters of course, as not to be worth de-
scribing. If a "naked Pict" were
giving a description of his countrymen,
he probably would omit to mention
such a trifle as that they never wore
any clothes.
Indeed, he certainly
would make this omission if he had
never travelled, or known that gar-
ments of some kind or other were in
general use among the inhabitants of
other countries. But in savage coun-
tries no books appear descriptive of
their manners. Such works are gene-
rally composed by travellers who come

voyages and travels," when they adhere to truth, are entertaining, and not uninstructive. They are, as it were, a part of the natural history of mankind, and show what changes may be wrought in man by soil or climate, or other circumstances.

The practice of describing civilized countries, with which we have a constant intercourse, either of peace or war, is of much more modern growth among travellers; and the writer who undertakes this task, encounters difficulties, and possesses advantages altogether different from those met with by the voyager of discovery. He dreads no perils from unknown seas, or boundless tracts of uninhabited deserts, or still more dreadful regions occupied by savages in human form, the most ferocious enemies of their fellow-men. He runs no danger of being sold to distant slavery, or sacrificed to some grim idol, or baked and served up as a dainty dish at a solemn festival. Neither, when he returns, can he delight his astonished readers with tales

"Of moving accidents by flood and field,
Of Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders."

His worst adventures relate to a damp bed, an ill-dressed beefsteak, an uncivil innkeeper, or an exorbitant reckoning; and ridicule, not sympathy, will be hig

L'Irlande, Sociale, Politique et Religieuse. Par Gustave de Baumont. 2 Tom. 8vo. Paris, 1839.

lot if he dwells upon the perils and disasters of his little tour. When he returns home, he is denied the common privilege of the traveller; and, if he deviates one iota from the sober truth, there are hundreds on the watch to confront and expose him. Thus he is at once protected from the difficulties, and deprived of the rewards which are dreaded or desired by the adventurous wanderer into unknown regions.

But though the ungentle reader may laugh at the disasters of our modern traveller, we can assure him that their reality more than compensates for the horrors narrated by more ancient voyagers. In many a sleepless night, we have exclaimed that it would be better for us to be served up at one meal to a set of cannibals, than to be consumed, bit by bit, by the myriads that preyed upon us; and we do not admit that it is more wretched to be in a desert country, far removed from all mankind, than to find ourselves wandering among a civilized people, after our last shilling has been filched from us by unexpected charges. Our modern tourist thus may experience very unpleasant adventures, although not of an unusual or very striking nature. And a similar fate attends his book, which may attain a considerable circulation, and be read with general interest, although nothing striking or wonderful be contained in it. He writes upon a subject in which the dullest truth will be found interesting to numbers. His mere narration of the posts, and the inns, and the fares, will be received with interest, and the numbers who are acquainted with the places on which he writes his opinions, will read them eagerly, to ascertain how far they agree with their own. If his work be composed with tolerable ability, it will be read by the inhabitants of the countries which he describes. These will naturally be anxious to learn what impression they themselves, and their manners, habits, and customs made upon an unprejudiced and intelligent observer. Thus a spirit of improvement is propagated; the public becomes acquainted with the particulars in which the habits and institutions of other nations excel our own, and a favourable change is introduced by the spirit of emulation. Even the works of foreigners, describing our own country, are calculated to do us service. They do not know our laws, our habits, or our customs so well as we ourselves do, but they view them with an eye unprejudiced by familiarity with them, and it may be useful to us to learn how those things appear to their

impartial judgments. It almost bestows upon us the much-desired gift, "to see ourselves as others see us." This principle is so obvious, that even writers of. our own country have sought to give additional interest to their works by representing them to be the opinions and compositions of foreigners. In this manuer, Goldsmith made his observations on the customs of the English more freely in his Citizen of the World, by assuming the character of a Chinese wanderer writing home to his friends, to give them an account of what he had

seen.

Such works, however, of foreign writers, to be of any value, must confine themselves to the impression which things are calculated to make upon the mind of a superficial observer. If they endeavour to penetrate further, they go beyond their depth, and discourse on subjects which it is impossible they can comprehend. Yet, of late years, we have met with many books and articles on the internal affairs of England or Ireland written by French or Germans; and our attention was early attracted by the enormous magnitude of some of the falsehoods contained in them. Thus, Mr. Say, the eminent political economist, gravely states, as an instance of the abuses of the English church, that the Bishop of Durham enjoys an income of £120,000 sterling per annum. We could easily fill our sheets with similar instances of misstatements made by distinguished foreigners, even upon subjects respecting which a little research might have procured them the most accurate information, and we once were in the habit of taking notes of such errors. When we did so, we were soon struck by this remarkable peculiarity, that all the falsehoods were in favour of the radicals, and tended to furnish arguments in support of their favourite views. It is now pretty generally known that this is one of the means which the whigs have habitually employed for the purpose of making converts to their opinions. Whenever any foreigner announced his intention of writing a book on England, he was immediately taken up, and courted, and caressed, and fêted by the leaders of that party, until he returned to his native country, thoroughly imbued with the opinions and statements which he heard in whig societies. While his vanity was flattered by his admission into Holland, or Landsdown, or Devonshire House, his opinions were formed on the representations made to him by the underlings of the party whom he met there. The opinions thus

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »