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fighting, too, are so intimately united in Ireland, that a courtship rarely progresses without at least one exchange of shots between some of the parties concerned. My first twenty-four hours in Dublin is so pleasantly characteristic of this that I may as well relate it here, while the subject is before us; besides, as these "Confessions" are intended as warnings and guides to youth, I may convey a useful lesson, showing why a man should not "make love in the dark."
It was upon a raw, cold, drizzling morning in February, 18-, that our regiment landed on the North-wall from Liverpool, whence we had been hurriedly ordered to repress some riots and disturbances then agitating Dublin. We marched to the Royal Barracks, our band playing Patrick's Day to the very considerable admiration of as naked a population as ever loved music. The th dragoons were at the same time quartered there-right pleasant, jovial fellows, who soon gave us to understand that the troubles were over before we arrived, and that the great city authorities were now returning thanks for their preservation from fire and sword, by a series of entertainments of the most costly, but somewhat incongruous kind-the company being scarcely less mêlée than the dishes. Peers and play actors, judges and jailors, archbishops, tailors, attorneys, ropemakers and apothecaries, all uniting in the festive delight of good feeding, and drinking the glorious memory"-but of whom half the company knew not, only surmising "it was something agin the papists.' You may smile, but these were pleasant times, and I scarcely care to go back there since they were changed. But to return. The -th had just received an invitation to a ball, to be given by the high sheriff, and to which they most considerately said we should also be invited. This negociation was so well managed that before noon we all received our cards from the hands of a green-liveried youth, mounted upon a very emaciated poney-the whole turnout not auguring flatteringly of the high sheriff's taste in equipage.
We dined with the th, and, as customary before going to an evening party, took the "other bottle" of claret that lies beyond the frontier of prudence. In fact, from the lieutenantcolonel down to the newly-joined ensign, there was not a face in the party that did not betray" signs of the times" that boded most favorably for the mirth
of the sheriff's ball. We were so perfectly up to the mark, that our major, a Connemara man, said, as we left the mess-room, "a liqueur glass would spoil us."
In this acmé of our intellectual wealth, we started about eleven o'clock upon every species of conveyance that chance could press into the service. Of hackney coaches there were few-but in jingles, noddies, and jaunting-cars, with three on a side and "one in the well," we mustered strong-down Barrack-street we galloped--the mob cheering us, we laughing, and I'm afraid shouting a little, too-the watchmen springing their rattles, as if instinctively at noise, and the whole population up and awake, evidently entertaining a high opinion of our convivial qualities. Our voices became gradually more decorous, however, as we approached the more civilized quarter of the town; and with only the slight stoppage of the procession to pick up an occasional dropper off, as he lapsed from the seat of a jaunting-car, we arrived at length at our host's residence, somewhere in Sackville-street.
Had our advent conferred the order of knighthood upon the host, he could not have received us with more empressement." He shook us all in turn by the hand, to the number of eight and thirty, and then presented us seriatim to his spouse, a very bejewelled lady of some forty years-who, what between bugles, feathers, and her turban, looked excessively like a Chinese pagoda upon a saucer. The rooms were crowded to suffocation-the noise awful-and the company crushing and elbowing rather a little more than you expect where the moiety are of the softer sex. However, 66 ou s'habilue a tout," sayeth the proverb, and with truth, for we all so perfectly fell in with the habits of the place, that ere half an hour we squeezed, ogled, Icered, and drank champagne like the rest of the corporation.
"Devilish hot work, this," said the colonel, as he passed me with two rosycheeked, smiling ladies on either arm;
the mayor-that little fellow in the punch-colored shorts-has very nearly put me hors de combat with champagne; take care of him, I advise you."
Tipsy as I felt myself, I was yet sufficiently clear to be fully alive to the drollery of the scene before me. Flirtations that, under other circumstances, would demand all the secrecy and solitude of a country green lane, or
some garden bower, were here conducted in all the open effrontery of wax lights and lustres; looks were interchanged; hands were squeezed; soft things whispered, and smiles returned; till the intoxication of "punch negus" and spiced port gave way to the far greater one of bright looks and tender glances. Quadrilles and country dances waltzing there was none, (perhaps all for the best)-whist, backgammon, loo-unlimited for uproarsandwiches, and warm liquors, einployed us pretty briskly till supper was announced, when a grand squeeze took place on the stairs-the population tending thitherward with an eagerness that a previous starvation of twentyfour hours could alone justify. Among this dense mass of moving muslin, velvet, and broad cloth, I found myself chaperoning an extremely tempting little damsel, with a pair of laughing blue eyes and dark lashes, who had been committed to my care and guidance for the passage.
"Miss Moriarty, Mr. Lorrequer," said an old lady in green and spangles, who I afterwards found was the lady mayoress.
"The nicest girl in the room," said a gentleman with a Tipperary accent, "and has a mighty nice place near Athlone."
The hint was not lost upon me, and I speedily began to faire l'amiable to my charge; and before we reached the supper room, learned certain particulars of her history, which I have not yet forgot. She was, it seems, sister to a lady then in the room, the wife of an attorney, who rejoiced in the pleasing and classical appellation of Mr. Mark Anthony Fitzpatrick; the aforesaid Mark Anthony being a tall, raw-boned, black-whiskered, illlooking dog, that from time to time contrived to throw very uncomfortable looking glances at me and Mary Anne, for she was so named, the whole time of supper. After a few minutes, however, I totally forgot him, and, indeed, every thing else, in the fascination of my fair companion. She shared her chair with me, upon which I supported her by my arm passed round the back; we eat our pickled salmon, jelly, blanc mange, cold chicken, ham, and custard, off the same plate, with an occasional squeeze of the finger, as our hands met, her eyes making sad havock with me all the while, as I poured my tale of love-love, lasting, burning, allconsuming into her not unwilling ear.
"Ye are, are ye ?" replied Mark, eyeing me askance. "Troth and I think the gentleman would be better if he went off to his flea-bag himself."
In my then mystified intellect this west country synonyme for a bed a little puzzled me.
"Yes, sir, the lady is engaged to me: have you any thing to say to that ?"
Nothing at present, at all," said Mark, almost timidly.
"Oh dear, oh dear," sobbed Mary Anne; "they're going to fight, and he'll be killed-I know he will."
For which of us this fate was destined, I stopped not to consider, but taking the lady under my arm, elbowed my way to the drawing-room, amid a very sufficient patting upon the back, and thumping between the shoulders, bestowed by members of the company who approved of my proceedings. The three fiddles, the flute, and bassoon, that formed our band, being by this time sufficiently drunk, played after a fashion of their own, which, by one of those strange sympathies of our nature, imparted its influence to our legs, and
a country dance was performed in a style of free and easy gesticulation that defies description. At the end of eighteen couple, tired of my exertions and they were not slight-I leaned my back against the wall of the room, which I now, for the first time, perceived was covered with a very peculiar and novel species of hanging--no less than a kind of rough, green baize cloth, that moved and floated at every motion of the air. I paid little attention to this, till suddenly turning my head, something gave way behind it. I felt myself struck upon the back of the neck, and fell forward into the room, covered by a perfect avalanche of fenders, fire-irons, frying-pans, and copper kettles, mingled with the lesser artillery of small nails, door keys, and holdfasts. There I lay, amid the most vociferous mirth I ever listened to, under the confounded torrent of ironmongery that half-stunned me. The laughter over, I was assisted to rise, and having drank about a pint of vinegar, and had my face and temples washed in strong whiskey punch-the allocation of the fluids being mistaken, I learned that our host, the high sheriff, was a celebrated tin and iron man, and that his salles de reception were no less than his magazine of metals, and that to conceal the wellfilled shelves from the gaze of his aristocratic guests, they were clothed in the manner related; which my unhappy head, by some misfortune, displaced, and thus brought on a calamity scarcely less afflicting to him than to myself. I should scarcely have stopped to mention this here, were it not that Mary Anne's gentle nursing of me in my misery went far to complete what her fascination had begun; and although she could not help laughing at the occurrence, I forgave her readily
for her kindness.
"Remember," said I, trying to ogle through a black eye, painted by the angle of a register grate-"remember, Mary Aune, I am to see you home." "Oh! dear, sir, sure I don't kuow how you can manage it
Here Mark Anthony's entrance cut short her speech, for he came to declare that some of the officers had taken his coach, and was, as might be supposed, in a towering passion.
"If, sir," said I, with an air of the most balmy courtesy-"If I can be of any use in assisting you to see your friends home
"Ah! then, ye'r a nice looking article
to see ladies home. I wish you seen yourself this minute," said he.
As I felt it would be no breach of
the unities-time, place, and everything considered-to smash his skull; I should certainly have proceeded to do so, had not a look of the most im ploring kind from Mary Anne restrained under the arm, and was leading her me. By this time, he had taken her away. I stood irresolute, till a glance I rallied at once, and followed them from my charmer caught me; when down stairs: here the scene was to the full as amusing as above. The the ladies being certainly as mirthcloaking, shawling, shoeing, &c., of moving a process as I should wish to
collect their daughters, as a hen her Here were mothers trying to chickens, and, as in that case, the pursuit of one usually lost all the others; testy papas swearing, lovers leering, as throats of their sweethearts; vows of they twisted the boas round the fair love, mingling with complaints for Sometimes the candles were extina lost slipper, or a stray mantle. guished, and the melee became greater till order and light were restored together. Meanwhile, all of our fellows had secured his fair one, save myself, and I was exposed to no small ridicule for my want of savoir faire. Nettled by this, I made a plunge to the corner of the room, where Mary Anne was threw her cloak over her shoulders, and shawling; I recognised her pink sash, at the very moment that Mark Anthony drew his wife's arm within his, I performed the same by my friend, and followed them to the door. Here, the grim brother-in-law turned round to take Mary Anne's arm, and seeing her with me, merely gave a kind of hoarse chuckle, and muttered, sir: upon my conscience, you will have Very well, so occupied was I in watching him, it, I see." During this brief interval, that I never once looked in my fair friend's face; but the gentle squeeze of sured me that I had her approval of her arm, as she leaned upon me, aswhat I was doing.
What were the precise train of my thoughts, and what the subjects of conversation between us, I am unfortunately now unable to recall. It is sufficient, I remember, that I could not believe five minutes had elapsed, when we arrived at York-street. "Then you confess you love me," said I, as I squeezed her arm to my side.
Then, by this kiss," said I, "I tion on the way homeward, sometimes swear, never to relinquish." in the very words I used.
What I was about to add, I am sure I know not but true it is, that a certain smacking noise here attracted Mr. Mark Anthony's attention, who started round, looked us full in the face, and then gravely added, "Enough is as good as a feast. I wish you pleasant drames, Mr. Larry Kar, if that's your name; and you'll hear from me in the morning."
"I intend it," said I. "Good night, dearest, think of The slam of the street door in my face spoiled the peroration, and I turned towards home. By the time I reached the barracks, the united effects of champagne, sherry, and ironmongery, had, in a good measure subsided, and my head had be come sufficiently clear to permit a slight retrospect of the evening's amusement. From two illusions I was at least awakened :-First, the high sheriff's ball was not the most accurate representation of high society; secondly, I was not deeply enamoured of Mary Anne Moriarty. Strange as it may seem, and how little the apparent connexion between those two facts, the truth of one had a considerable influence in deciding the other. N'imporle, said I, the thing is over; it was rather good fun, too, upon the wholesaving the "chute des casseroles;" and as to the lady, she must have scen it was a joke as well as myself. At least, so I am decided it shall be; and as there was no witness to our conversation, the thing is easily got out of. The following day, as I was dressing to ride out, my servant annouuced no less a person than Mr. Mark Anthony Fitzpatrick, who said "that he came upon a little business, and must see me immediately."
Mr. Fitzpatrick, upon being announced, speedily opened his negocia tion by asking in very terse and unequivocal phrase, my intentions regarding his sister-in-law. After professing the most perfect astonishment at the question, and its possible import, I replied, that she was a most charming person, with whom I intended to have nothing whatever to do.
"And maybe you never proposed for her at the ball last night?"
"Propose for a lady at a ball the first time I ever met her !"
"Just so. Can you carry your memory so far back? or, perhaps, I had better refresh it ;" and he here repeated the whole substance of my conversa
But, my dear Sir, the young lady could never have supposed I used such language as this you have repeated ?"
"So, then, you intend to break off? Well, then, it's right to tell you that you're in a very ugly scrape, for it was my wife you took home last nightnot Miss Moriarty; and I leave choose at your leisure whether you'd rather be defendant in a suit for breach of promise or seduction; and, upon my conscience, I think it's civil in me to give you a choice."
So that while I was imagining, myself What a pretty disclosure was here! heart of the fair Mary Aune, I was squeezing the hand and winning the merely making a case of strong evidence for a jury, that might expose mc to the world, and half ruin me in damages. There was but one course open-to make a fight for it; and from what I saw of my friend Mark Anthony this did not seem difficult.
I accordingly assumed a high tonelaughed at the entire affair-said it was a way we had in the army"that "we never meant any thing by it,"
In a few minutes I perceived the bait was taking. Mr. Fitzpatrick's west country blood was up: all thought of the legal resource was abandoned, and he flung out of the room to find a friend, I having given him the name of one of ours" as mine upon the occasion.
Very little time was lost, for before three o'clock that afternoon a meeting was fixed for the following morning, at the North Bull; and I had the satisfaction of hearing that I only escaped the malignant eloquence of Holmes in the King's Bench, to he "blazed" at by the best shot on the western circuit. The thought was no way agreeable, and I indemnified myself for the scrape by a very satisfactory anathema upon the high sheriff and his ball, and his confounded saucepans, for to the lady's sympathy for my sufferings I attributed much of my folly.
At eight the next morning, I found myself standing with Curzon and the doctor upon that bleak portion of her majesty's dominion they term the North Bull, waiting in a chilly rain, and a raw fog, till it pleased Mark Anthony Fitzpatrick to come and shoot me-such being the precise
terms of our combat, in the opinion of all parties.
The time, however, passed on, and half-past eight, three quarters, and at last nine o'clock, without his appearing; when, just as Waller had resolved upon our leaving the ground, a hack jaunting-car was seen driving at full speed along the road near us. It came nearer, and at length drew up; two men leaped off, and came towards us; one of whom, as he came forward, took his hat off politely, and introduced himself as Mr. O'Gorman, the fighting friend of Mark Anthony.
"It's a mighty unpleasant business I'm come upon, gentlemen," said he. "Mr. Fitzpatrick has been unavoidably prevented from having the happiness to meet you this morning
"Then you can't expect us, sir, to dance attendance upon him here to morrow," said Curzon, interrupting.
By no manner of means," replied the other, placidly; "for it would be equally inconvenient for him to be here then. But I have only to say, that as I'm here for my friend, and know all the particulars of the case, maybe you'd have the kindness to waive all etiquette, and let me stand in his place."
why, sir, we have no quarrel with you; never saw you before."
Well, now, isn't this hard ?" said Mr. O'Gorman, addressing his friend, who stood by, with a pistol-case under "but I told Mark that I was sure they'd be standing upon punctilio, for they were English. Well, sir," said he, turning towards Curzon, "there's but one way to arrange it now, that I see. Mr. Fitzpatrick, you must know, was arrested this morning for a trifle of £140. If you or your friend there, will join us in the bail, we can get him out, and he'll fight you in the morning to your satisfaction."
When the astonishment this proMr. O'Gorman that we were noways posal had created subsided, we assured disposed to pay such a price for our
menus plaisirs"-a fact that seemed considerably to surprise both him and his friend and adding, that to Mr. Fitzpatrick personally, we should feel bound to hold ourselves pledged at a future period, we left the ground, Curzon laughing heartily at the original expedient thus suggested, and I inwardly pronouncing a most glowing eulogy upon the law of imprisonment for debt.
Before Mr. Fitzpatrick obtained the benefit of the act, we were ordered abroad, and I have never since heard of him.
IRELAND, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS.-PART II.
SINCE, according to M. De Beaumont, the evils of Ireland all arise from its vicious aristocracy, their proper and only remedy is to be found in the destruction of that aristocracy. He arrives at this as the natural and logical conclusion from his premises. Other remedies, indeed, he suggests, but it is only for the purpose of demonstrating their impracticability or their inadequacy. The three systems which he thus puts up for the purpose of refuting, are 1st, that an endeavour should be made to procure employment for the idle poor; 2nd, to reduce the number of the superabundant population, by assisting the poor to establish themselves in some foreign country or colony; 3rd, to support, at the expense of the country, the poor who are destitute of employment or property.
These three systems he briefly denominates, "industry," emigration," poor laws." Of these our author admits the first to be the most desirable, but he denies its practicability, and endeavours to make out his proposition by some very strong assertions and some very feeble arguments. In order to give us a favourable idea of his moderation, he admits, page 106, that it is an exaggeration to state that the number of men in Ireland without any employment whatever amounts to four millions. After this candid admission, he even refers to what he calls official documents, to prove that there are only one million inhabitants totally destitute of employment. But he adds that in Ireland, and, he might truly say, in every other country, "the poor do not chiefly consist of those who have no
L'Irlande, Sociale, Politique et Religieuse. 8vo. Paris, 1839.
Par Gustave de Beaumont. 2 Tom.