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More than thy immemorial wells, like those
Am I of those have felt thy charmed air
Flew as 'twas guided by the bright-eyed Greek ;-
THE MISSIONARIES AT SMYRNA.
For you, dear exiles from far-distant shores-
Ye two young hearts, whose crushed affection pours
No! I have felt, with you, the city rock
Shook subterranean chains ;-the earthquake's shock,
In memory yet, each dark deserted tree
Round some plague-smitten roof, whose weeping flock
"I know thy works." To this world's children leave
They now lie in one grave, asleep in Jesus.'
lately had their coffins removed to the burial-ground of the new chapel, as the government would not allow the former one to be completed." -M.S. Letter from Smyrna. +
"Mrs. D. and her little boy were bath buried within a few days of each other" "Mr. D. (I need scarcely tell you) never left his wife, and had to bury his dear child himself!" M.S. Letter from Smyrna.
We meet no more by the old fig-trees there-
And bursting forth till midnight moonbeams shine,
Of those that tread the grapes :-but, oh! in prayer
E'en 'mid those turban'd crowds that prostrate fall
Till my life's sun in our dim West shall set
Can I those hours' communionship forget
That even in brighter worlds ungrieved we shall recall!
Jeremiah, xxv. 30.
E. M. H.
"They said she saw strange visions, for her eye
One phantom did-a deathless memory
That never, never from her mind might pass."
Thou art present in thy beauty, I see thee even now,
With the silken rings of shining hair just parting on thy brow,
Thou art present in thy beauty when I lay me on my couch,
Thou are present in thy beauty through all the livelong day,
Thou art present in thy beauty to my memory and my heart,
I remember there were bitter tears sometimes when we had met-
M. A. BROWNE.
THAT elegant and inimitable historian of the "Irish fairies," Mr. Crofton Croker, in treating of the popular Irish superstition respecting changelings, or, as they are called in the Irish language, sheoges,* says:"When a child appears delicate, or a young woman consumptive, the conclusion is, that they are carried off to be made a playmate or nurse to the young fairies, and that a substitute, resembling the person taken away, is deposited in their place, which gradually declines, and ultimately dies. The inhuman means used by ignorant parents to discover if an unhealthy child be their offspring or a change ling, (the name given to the illusory image), is placing the child, undressed, on the road side, where it is suffered to lie a considerable time exposed to the cold. After such ceremony, they conclude that a natural disorder
has caused the symptoms of decay; and the child is then treated with more tenderness, from an idea, that had it been possessed by a fairy, that spirit would not have brooked such indignity, but made its escape. Paralytic affections are attributed to the same agency, whence the term 'fairy-struck;' and the same cruel treatment is observed towards aged persons thus affected."
Now this is very good, and strictly true; but with all due deference to the superior merits and high talents of Mr. Crofton Croker, I must be bold to say, that his observations on, or description of, the "fairy-finding" ordeal is very meagre and limited, and the absurd means employed by persons for the aforesaid purpose, much more inhuman and barbarous than one would be led to imagine, from reading the above extract from that gentleman. It ap
"Sheoge"-Anglice, "young fairy," from she, a fairy, and oge young.
pears strange to me if Mr. Croker, who, of all who have written on such subjects, is the most entertaining, the best informed, and seems to have been the most assiduous in exploring every matter connected with the popular superstitions of Ireland, can be ignorant of the various other ways in which poor suspected urchins are tortured, in order to arrive at that grand desideratum, i. e. whether they are imps or "nathural Christians." In that part of the country where I have been brought up, this superstition is as firmly rooted in the minds of the peasantry, as the most darling tenet of the creed which they profess, and, consequently, the means employed to counteract the influence of the dreaded fairy, and "evil eye," are equally singular and absurd. Whenever a child is suspected to be "struck," it is thought useless to apply to a medical person; consequently the disease under which the poor thing labours, being neglected, increasesthe child loses its strength and its appetite-it pines away-gets sickly and emaciated and the conclusion then is, that it is "no right thing," that it is a 66 'sheoge" which has been substituted in the stead of the "purty darlint," who is now wandering amongst the faries in the caverns of the earth, or in the ranks of the "slua-shee,* winging its way through the regions of the air, in the much feared and terrible " shee-gehy"+ Then, as a matter of necessity, some plan must be had to get rid of the unearthly urchin ; but before they deem themselves justified in putting that plan into execution, some test must be adopted to make assurance doubly sure," and to convince themselves and their neighbours that they are justified in what they are about, and that the unhappy little creature is, in reality, not of mortal lineage, but a denizen of the fairy kingdom. The poor victim is then placed on an iron shovel, and no matter what may be the state of the atmosphere-whether the snows or storms of winter drive round its shivering form, or the burning heats of the midsummer parch its skin-it is conveyed to the dung-heap, and there left naked for a certain assigned period, before the expiration of which, in case
*"Slua-shee"-the fairy host or band.
it be a fairy bantling, it will scamper off to its native haunts in some lonely rath, or beneath some green hillock, or grassy mound in the neighbourhood; but should it maintain its ground, despite of the inclemency of the weather, it is then considered to be their own offspring, and is, accordingly brought back and treated kindly; but it is then generally too late, as the wretched sufferer has contracted some disease, generally a cold or a fever, which terminates in the death of the poor little victim. Another test, but one which was more commonly adopted in former times than at present, is to carry the suspected being to some bridge or ford, then to fling in into the stream; in which case, if it sank and was drowned, it was deemed innocent; but if, on the contrary, it swam down the current, metamorphosed into a bundle of ferns or flaggers, it was-and what wonder!
bona fide, a regular imp. I could enumerate many other species of cruelty put into operation on such occasions, such as placing the suspected person between smoking fires, torturing them with red-hot irons, &c. &c., but as these barbarous and shameful practices are fast wearing away, and as a repetition of them could neither be amusing nor interesting to the reader, I will dismiss the subject, and relate one of the many curious stories which are current in my native village, connected with this wild and absurd superstition.
Close by the fine old castle of Gurtnaclea, there lived, some seventy or eighty years ago, a wealthy scul logue, or small farmer, named Pat M'Mahon. He was married at an
early age to a blooming girl of the village, and in due time became the joyful father of a fine little girl, which, after his pretty wife, he named Maria. Pat and his wife were extremely fond of the little Maria, and no wonder, for in the country round there was not so fine, so rosy-cheeked, or so healthylooking a child; and then, she was of such a lively, playful disposition, and so quiet and engaging, that she was the favourite of every one who saw her; and many an old hag of the neighbourhood, as she gazed on the beautiful features of the lovely child,
Those sudden whirlwinds so
+ "Shee-gehy"-the fairy storm or tempest. prevalent in the summer season are imagined by the country people to be caused by the fairy host, in their passage from one place to another.
shook her grey head, and muttered an orison, which, in the language of Şir Walter Scott,
"Although the holiest names were there
obscuring the light from the moon as she vanished, and the whole house apparently shaking to the foundation.
The little girl continued shaking and trembling all night, and her cries were so violent and incessant, that all her
for the future safety and well-being of mother could do was not able to pacify the cherubic girl.
The little Maria was about two years old, when Mrs. M'Mahon gave birth to a son, which was named John; and now the fond pair congratulated themselves on the happiness they were likely to enjoy in having a fine offspring, and, withal, in having a means to support them in comfort and comparative independence. But however proposeth," yet it is Providence "that disposeth," and generally contrary to human hopes and human desires; and Little did Pat M'Mahon or his worthy spouse dream of the storm which was gathering around their heads, and which was, at 66 no distant date," to frustrate their hopes of bliss, and level
their air-built castles to the dust.
The beautiful Maria had completed her third year, and her little brother was nearly a year old, when one day, in the month of August, their father left home to go to a neighbouring town to a fair, and as he had a good deal of business to do, he was not to come back that night. He had often been out before, and his wife felt no apprehension at remaining at home in his absence, but as soon as night fell, secured her house, and retired to rest, taking her two children with her as company. She soon fell asleep, and had slept, she knew not how long, when she was suddenly awoke by a loud scream from Maria. She jumped up; the little window of the apartment was open, and the silver beams of the broad full moon, gleamed in brightly about the room. She looked around, and was horrified at seeing the figure of a little, dark-looking, old woman, richly arrayed in black silk and velvet, beautified with ornaments of gold and silver, leaning over Maria, and breathing audibly into her mouth and nostrils. The poor woman was almost frightened to death; she screamed violently, and seizing the child in her arms, she said
May God and the holy virgin protect thee, my own darling."
The old hag turned a scowl of withering ven geance on her, and, uttering what a border minstrel" would term an "eldritch cry," flew out through the window, in a fia me of bright fire,
her, even for a moment. Towards daylight, she fell into an uneasy slumber, and reposed a few hours, but on awaking, again renewed her outcries, and continued so afterwards. Recourse was had to doctors, quacks, and "fairy women," but in vain; she still remained ill, and every day got worse and worse. She lost her speech, and her walk; the flesh wasted from her bones; her skin became hard and yellow; her hair stood erect; her once beautiful blue eyes became dim and crooked; her limbs got bent and clubbed; in fine, from being the loveliest child in the district, she became one of the most hideous and disgusting objects ever beheld; whilst, to wind up the climax, her appetite was so enormous, that she would eat as much as would satisfy three ordinary men, and as soon as she had devoured one meal, she began to shout for the next, and continued that provoking, whining, and unnatural cry until again supplied with more food, which she would again attack with the rapacity of a wild animal. Her parents were distracted at the fate of their darling child, yet they knew not what to do. They had tried every possible means to effect a cure, but without effect; and they often wished, if it was the will of heaven, that she was stretched quietly in the lonesome churchyard. Various people advised them to carry her to the gully-a little murky stream which ran at a small distance from their residenceand throw her into it, but they always rejected this and the many other savage plans recommended to them to get rid of the wretched urchin.
In the mean time, John, or, as he was more commonly called, " Johnnie," grew up a fine, promising boy, and as heaven never blessed the worthy couple with another child, he was treated with all the tenderness which fond parents are capable of exercising towards an only son.
The wretched Maria had now attained her twenty-third year, when one fine Sunday morning, early in the month of May, Pat M Mahon and his wife left home to attend mass at a little rude chapel in the neighbourhood, leaving John to take care of