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pier, had she shown such unequivocal marks of attachment, as when he trod upon her toe during that day's dinner. Of the state of Miss Matilda herself it would really be difficult to speak at length without deviating from the necessary sobriety of prose; so elevating, entrancing, soulsubduing were the emotions which took possession of her during the ineffable two hours of their juxtaposition at the dinner-table.
Nothing, in short, could in all ways have succeeded better than this opening of the O'Donagoughs' London campaign ; and the busy future rose before the eyes of all, decked in the very brightest colours, and pregnant with all sorts of agreeable possibilities.
(To be continued.)
LETTERS FROM IRELAND-NO. X.*
BY JOHN CARNE, ESQ.
Few towns in Ireland are more finely situated than Cabir, at the foot of the Galtee mountains, diminutive in height, very graceful in form : the Suir winds amidst gardens and groves, and the vicinity is as rich in its shrubs and plants as the banks of the Blackwater. Myrtles and laurels of equal size and height to those of the south of Ireland, may be found in the west of Cornwall, where the hydrerangia, of great size and beauty, is generally in the cottage garden, and often in the hedges : but the arbutus, the daphne, the azalia, the magnolia, are luxuriant here.
Many an excursion among the magnificent hills and their glens may be made by the stranger: the latter is a species of scenery in which Ireland is very deficient : the deep, noble and savage glen, so various and so perfect in Scotland, is rare in this country. About six miles distant up the hills is the vale of Aherloe, through which lies a solitary path from Cahir to Tipperary : about half-way is a hunting-box of Lord Kingston, splendidly situated on the declivity. Aherloe is thinly peopled and cultivated, a mile and a half broad, and four miles long : on the right, a steep and barren mountain, a lower one on the left, a rapid stream in the centre. There is a wild grandeur about the place, and just as a wish is felt for the softness of nature, the hamlet of Aherloe, and two or three country-seats of wealthy men, in their dark woods, break beautifully in view. Care, taste, and expense, have made these the abodes of luxury, while the other tenants of the vale seem to “ embrace the rock for a shelter.” In the hamlet is a church, a rectory, and an inn : where the people who fill them come from it is not easy to discover : the incumbent has, of course, but little to do, and resides in a happier scene, devolving the slender duties of his charge on the curate, whose salary is small; the excitements of his life miserably few. A Romish chạpel and priest are also here, and to them are attached most of the people.
In these lonely sites the Protestants form a very small proportion of the community: the pastor's field of benevolence and mercy would be very confined if bounded only by his own fock: in his charities he makes little difference, whether the poor be of his own church, or that of Rome. The point of conflict is in cases, now of frequent occurrence, where doubts about their faith arise in the minds of the Romanists, who desire to see the clergyman and listen eagerly to his words: then the chamber of death becomes an arena of jealous and angry feelings on the part of those from whose fold the people desire to depart. An instance of this was related to us by a lady, who was herself the agent.
A delicate-looking young woman came to me one winter's evening: her cloak was old butclean; she had a very neat cap on, under ich her dar black hair was parted plain, upon a fair high forehead. She had attended
Concluded from No. ccxxii., page 395.
the chapel several preceding sabbaths, and spoke in a lowand clear voice, and with much intelligence, of the doubts and fears that had gathered on her mind. The following evening, having missed her in her usual place at worship, I set out in quest of her habitation, and with some difficulty found it, in an obscure row of houses, only to be reached through many a winding lane of poverty and wretchedness. Passing up stairs to a miserable room, in a corner on a little straw, lay the girl : a dark-looking woman sat beside her on the ground, and a wretched fire burned low in the grate. Expressing sorrow at seeing her look so ill, she asked me to be seated on the only
piece of furniture in the room, a little stool; it matters not how humbly or delicately it be, when we sit beside the valley of the shadow of death. She had once heard a lady, two years before, read the Scriptures to an invalid, and so sweet did the language of inspiration sound, that she asked if there was any place where she might hear that word again. After hearing this, I said I would read it to her now: a bright Aush came on her face, on which, and on her hands, was the exquisite whiteness, like a beautiful shroud, that death first puts on as his wedding garment. As soon as I began to read, the woman sitting by her started up and left the room; the sufferer lifted her eyes with a look, I thought, of terror mingled with sorrow. I asked her, “ was that a relative of her's ?" She said, "no; consumption had deprived her of all she loved on earth." I saw that my care was useless now, and that the heaviness of death was on her. I brought some grapes to moisten her parched lips, and knelt beside the bed, giving them. “I am departing," said the girl ; " forgive me, for I have troubled you : you know that I am dying. Those words, now so dear to me, I never heard from our priests : I never found them in our prayers—He died the just for the unjust.' That calming bible is what my country wants, to hush her tumults and heal her sorrows.
She wept much as she spoke: she was alone, the last of her race, and there was an appealing look in her dark and lustrous eyes, as she turned them on me: her hands were very wasted. How beautiful is the hand of the dying, when it points feebly to eternity! She laid one burning hand on mine, and pressed it softly, placed the other on the little volume which I had been reading to her, and became almost unconscious. I heard the noise of many persons coming up stairs; still I bent over that poor frame, but I was soon obliged to gaze on others. The woman, who had re-entered, called my attention by saying, “Father M—" I looked up and saw a tall, fashionable looking young man, gazing on me with no smiling countenance. He asked the girl, in a loud and commanding tone, “ Am I here by your own request ?” She moved not. A man whom I had not seen before said, “ Yes, sir, I am her messenger." I said, " I beg you will let her speak for herself. She has no relative: she is alone in the world : spare her the few moments of loneliness that are left.” We all looked at her: but she still seemed to be unconscious. “Come, come,” said the priest, “ you sent for me : that will do; every one leave the room.” I said, “Is this a time to make converts ?" He replied, “ 'Tis never too late : I wish you to leave the room;" and he pointed to the door. “ I cannot leave this room,” said I, “ without imploring you not to
teach that departing spirit that the Redeemer's work needs any addition!” The people were standing near, looking anxiously at us. The priest, with a mixture of scorn and contempt in his countenance, again pointed to the door, and I left him. That night she died, but not till he had disturbed her last moments by the rites of his church, which she desired and needed not.
The number of converts from popery has been large during the last three years, and is still increasing: in the county Kerry, many hundreds have embraced a purer faith. The most zealous anp efficient agents of this change are the Irish teachers, whose success has alarmed the Romish hierarchy: the more so, as it is impossible to arrest the silent progress and influence of these indefatigable men, who are supported by subscription : their expenses are trifling; their addresses and tracts admirably adapted to the feelings and minds of the people, whose language, tastes, and habits, are theirs also. In all seasons and weathers they traverse the coasts, moors, and remote places of every province: many of them are clever and educated men, and yery many have the quickness of thought and eloquence of tongue peculiarly Irish, which, beside the turf fire in the midst of the family circle, find a way to the hearts and fancies of the hearers.
Clonmel is a large and uninteresting town, with an extensive and improving trade in corn, bacon, and butter : the people are well looking, and there is a decided improvement in the features and complexion of the women. Ireland is not in general a land of female beauty; if the traveller expects often to find comeliness of features, richness of form, or delicacy of complexion, he will be disappointed : can these abound, in the midst of so much poverty and privation, and so habitual a ne glect of niceness and cleanliness? The scenery around Clonmel is peculiar, with rather a foreign aspect : often in this country do its everchanging scenes call to memory some passages and places of far distant lands and climes. The Suir, that seems to bear loveliness on its bosom, bas many a delicious walk on its banks to even twelve miles below. In a hollow of the mountains, in a site bold, wild, and lone, and suited to its own solema character, is the ruined castle of Ardfinnan : its feudal village beside it, whose peasants still love it, for their fathers remembered the day of its power and plenty. A few days may be spent delightfully in this vicinity, wherein are the domains and woods of Lord Donoughmore and other gentlemen. Provisions of all kinds are cheap, as are the charges at the inns. When the projected railways through the heart of the country are accomplished, an Irish tour will be the cheapest in Europe. . The town of Kilkenny, which we visited some days afterwards, is rich in interest, in its castle, abbey, and ancient cathedral, its pleasant site, its clean and prosperous appearance: it is not often that they who run mad about Irish antiquities, can find so orthodox a repast. Its antidote is found in Callao, eight miles distant, a small town of inexpressible wretchedness: almost every one who approached us had an aspect of helpless misery : lost to all energy, they breathed and crawled out of their hovels and in again ; their life had no mercies or compassions : joy must long have forsaken every home in Callan, over whose every door might be written“ here hope pever comes."
How utterly the spirit, even of the Irish, that struggles earnestly to the last, may be crushed, is evident here : destitution, daily and hourly ; want of employment, which no rising or setting of the sun relieves. It was impossible to give to all the groups who gathered fast around : there was no cheerfulness among them, as in other places, no little sallies or smiles, no baits of the fancy to move the heart to charity. Poverty, like an armed man, bound them cruelly together and no hand could break that bond.
Even in this abject misery, they did not seem to hate or reproach each other : there is surely more sympathy among the Irish poor than in the poor of almost any other land. One evening, when wandering in the beautiful environs of Fermoy, a woman passed us with a countenance so expressive of fortitude and kindness, that we could not help accosting her. Her tale was told in a few words, yet it contained a little volume of mercy, that beamed as she spoke, from her large dark eyes. She was a widow and childless; but had an orphan nephew, decrepit, bedridden; yet she loved him as if he was her only son. He was a helpless burden on her life, for he required an anxious care: the daily pittance she earned was most of it devoured by his necessities; yet her's was the exquisite fruit of mercy—that they who love the forsaken shall be greatly comforted. Her words became eloquent as she spoke of his lonely suffering: the pity of the father and mother both taken away, and he was left upon the cold world, without the power to move from his bed,-a desolate bed, on which no smile or tear, save her own, ever fell, to which no other foot came to save him from perishing. And now nothing should ever part them: she left him early in the morning in the poor-room that sheltered them both, worked all day for her wages, fourpence-halfpenny, and then hastened home to sit by his side, to talk to him and share their meal together. He was able to read, and she had got for him a few books and tracts, which anzused the long day: he prayed often, and he prayed for her earnestly : his joy was great when she returned at night; and he had looked forward to this return in his sadness and in his pain, and had watched the decline of day on the walls. Is it any wonder that she loved this decrepit youth? was she not desolate also ? and was it not beautiful to see that the thoughts and feelings, all the hope and love of this orphan, were given to her alone? Was it not better to toil and weep, to fear and watch for him, than to be loved by no one, to be prayed and longed for by no pale lips, by no watchful eye. It was strange how she contrived to support the two on such earnings, which were gained by daily and continual labour. There was a candle to be provided at times in the long winter nights, when he could not sleep for weakness or pain ; his life, but for the love she bore him, was heavy to be borne. She uttered no complaint or murmur, where many would have murmured, or have been depressed at the hopelessness of the lot: if sickness and feebleness should intervene, and she could work no more from morning to night, on what were they then to live? and when all means failed, and fail they must ere many years, for she was now sixty, what gloom would fall upon the home of the widow and the orphan; what sorrow, deepening with every day and night's return ! Yet she was cheerful, her voice was firm and animated. Could they