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Vous ne me
room, I entered into conversation with her, during which I ventured to ask the cause of her being there.
“ I am here,” said she, “ in consequence of the cruelty of my landlady, who turned me to the door for arrears of lodging, and the faint resistance I could make was called a breach of the peace. If I bad but a friend,” said she.
I then began to suspect the cause of all those stolen glances at me; and, from one inquiry to another, at last began to assume the tone of advice - nay, as I warmed in my discourse (for I really felt an interest in the poor girl) I proceeded to remonstrance. There was something in her manner which, as it gradually changed under my reproof, both surprised and displeased me. At last she fairly begged of me.
« Of what avail, Félicie," said I, for that she told me was her name, “ of what avail will a few poor pieces of money be, if
“ Vous ne me donnez rien, donc,” she here broke in, donnez rien ?”
Never shall I forget the lightning change that flashed into those blue eyes and pervaded the whole of her frame-never, the ribaldry and invective that flew from her tongue. Every expression of profane or obscene intensity which the vocabulary of Parisian low life could afford was poured out upon me; and, when the astonished Jeremiah returned, the metamorphosis had been so complete that he declared he should scarcely have recognised his fair inquirer. Shocked and disgusted as I was, I inquired of the guardian of the room who the wretched woman was?
“ One of our most constant and most troublesome inmates," said the man, with indifference; “ and, since she has learned the additional incitement of drinking, from rous autres Anglais I suppose, she has become doubly unmanageable. Everything has been done to reclaim her, but she does not mend.”
Our own situation now began to occupy my whole thoughts. Figgs seemed scarcely conscious of our situation, and so completely was he absorbed by the one engrossing subject, that he never even expressed any regret for having involved me in so unpleasant an adventure. My very particular and fervent desire, on the contrary, was to get out; the night was advancing, and, independent of the involuntary feelings of disgrace in such a position, my snug dressing-gown and slippers, which were at that moment airing before my bed-room fire at Meurice's, began to flit before my eyes. To whom could I apply? To the master of the hotel? a sense of the ridiculous withheld me from the exposure. To Down? Soloman could be of no use to me that I knew of. So there I sat moping and fretting, my hat drawn over my eyes, and swinging myself backwards and forwards on my umbrella; with the constant dread, moreover, of a return to the charge by Félicie. At last, between fatigue and chagrin, which, in the long run, are both sedatives, I fell fast asleep, nor woke until near break of day. At an early hour we were conveyed to the authorities, who, after some puzzling about Jeremiah's state and vocation, (having only heard of Quakers, which denomination Figgs indignantly rejected,) we were dismissed with a sort of an apology to me, and an admonition not to venture our persons or opinions again among the fair occupants of the Halle,
(To be continued)
AN IRISH INCIDENT IN NINETY-EIGHT.
During the rebellion in Ireland, an officer, whom we shall call Wentworth, was Brigade Major to Lord C-Long before the troubles began, his beauteous and elegant wife had joined him. No sooner did affairs assume a serious aspect, than she received an invitation to reside with the Bartons, a protestant family of great wealth and influence, possessing a seat near Derry. Mrs. Wentworth gladly availed herself of the comfort and protection thus proffered, whilst her husband was occupied in his military duties, which day after day became more arduous, from the reckless daring of the rebel forces.
A skirmish had taken place not far from the town, the King's troops were the victors, and some twenty or thirty prisoners had been taken. These wretched and misguided men were brought in, under a strong escort of yeomanry, and it was lamentable to observe the fierce passion and inveterate hate to their better regulated brethren that they exhibited. The group was principally composed of men in the very summer of their days, full of life and robust health, clothed in tatters, with feet unconscious of covering, lacerated in their late conflict, hasty retreat, and the march to which they had been forced to submit.
Amongst them was a lad about eighteen years old, whose dress bespoke him of a more respectable class than his associates; his demeanour was also at variance with that of his fellows; instead of the air of insolent scorn with which they viewed their captors, he marched amongst them the very image of despair, scarcely lifting his eyes from the ground, whilst his cheek, alternately deadly pale and flushed with the deepest crimson, gave evidence of the intense anguish he endured.
The prisoners were safely stowed, and the Major was on his road to Mr. Barton's, when suddenly his horse started at some object in the road. The shades of evening had fallen sufficiently to prevent his seeing the cause; but his first impulse was to disengage a pistol from his holsters, and prepare for the worst.
"Och, then, for the love of Jasus, don't shoot, Major aroon, but harken to what I have to say! There's life and death upon it; 'tis not from meself that you'll larn the truth, but from one dearer to me than me heart's core. Och, Major darling, did you obsarve the poor prisoners that the army brought in ? Did you notice one of them, the finest lad that ever blessed a fond mother's eyes ? and he now in jail, and the grief chokin' me as I spake of it."
Here the wretclied mother burst into a flood of tears, and wrung her hands, with that impassioned air and mournful sound usual to the Irish in affliction. The Major, accustomed to hear such lamentations, often time from hired mourners, was about to ride on, when the woman, seizing his bridle, exclaimed
Och, then, a vourncen, turn your liorse's head towards Derry, make at once for the jail, and order Ned Farrell to be brought before you ; but, for the love of the saints, do it quietly; don't let his comrades know that
you have call to him, or his blood will flow by their hands, fettered though they be. My son it was who sent me after you. Mother, dear,' says he, 'would you risk a thrifle to save me?'--Would I vally
my own life or salvation for your sake, a rich ma chree ?* says I. Mighty well,' says he, and thank ye; folly the Major, and get speech wid him outside the town; but have a care, for he may take you for an impostor ; and, if my party guessed your interference, you'd not be safe. Tell Major Wentworth Í have that to say will be worth the while of his listening, but to no human soul save himself will I spake; and when the Orangeman's rope has been round me neck, why then it will be too late for the both of us.' 'Tis no lie I'm telling you, Sir; take my advice, and ride back without delay!”
There was an earnestness in the woman's manner so intense, that Wentworth yielded to her desire, and in a short time reached the prison.
The lad he wished to see was easily distinguished from his fellows, and the officer of the guard arranged that he should be brought to the keeper's room, without exciting the observation of the other prisoners. On entering the chamber he bowed to the Major, and approaching him, said, in an under tone, “ I beg pardon, Sir, for me bouldness; but, before I spake on the business that brought you, we must be alone.”
Wentworth signified the boy's wish to the officer and the gaoler-they retired. The moment the door was closed Ned began :
“ You've seen my mother?” " I have.”
“ Her heart is breakin' at the thought of me fate; 'tis for her sake, and not for my own, that I wish to have my life spared. If you will get Lord C- to grant me a free pardon, why then I'll tell you how to presarve them that is dearest to you from certain destruction, and a cruel death. Let me have his Lordship’s own hand and seal to it, and you'll bless the hour that you listened to me mother's entreaty. 'Tis for you to chuse-save my life, and that of the unborn babe wid its lovely mother-let me hang, and they will soon fill a bloody grave.”
Wentworth did not hesitate for a moment : leaving directions that Farrell should remain where he was till his return, he hastened to Lord C-, and speedily procured permission to make terms with the rebel.
The face of Farrell was pale, and his frame much agitated on the reentrance of the Major. “ Am I saved ?” he eagerly demanded.
Listen,” said Wentworth. “ If what you are about to communicate proves true, and is the means of preserving the lives of those to whom you have alluded, I have the guarantee of your pardon ; but, if you have invented any falsehood to mislead me, hanged you will be, as sure as that you were taken in arms against your rightful sovereign. So attempt not to deceive either yourself or me-upon your own words your life depends."
Enough!" said the prisoner. “You know O'Dwyer, butler to Mr. Barton, at the big house?”
“Mighty well then. Next Friday night by the blessin' no, I don't mane that-next Friday night, as the clock strikes twelve, O’Dwyer manes to let in the boys;' and I ueedn't say if he does, not a living soul in the house will be saved. You may well stare, Major, but
* Son of my heart. Nov.-VOL. LIV. NO. ccxv.
its the truth I'm tellin', as you'll know yourself to a sartainty, if you go cleverly to work. I have no more to say. Saturday mornin' I shall expect you with my relase in
hand.” As soon as this brief conference was ended, the Major retraced his steps, and shortly reached his destination.
He cautiously apprised Mr. Barton of what he had so strangely learnt.
“ Impossible!” exclaimed the listener, " it is all a vile fabrication. O'Dwyer has lived with me from childhood. I'd stake my life upon his honesty and affection.”
" It will be easy to ascertain if he be the honest creature you suppose,' said the Major ; " but, in this matter, I implore you to be guided by my advice, and suffer me to arrange matters so as to be prepared for the threatened danger. Precautionary measures can do no harm.”
Mr. Barton, confident of his servant's devotion to him, yielded at length an unwilling
consent. On Friday—the Friday named by the captive-O’Dwyer was sent to Derry, with a large sum of money, and directions to purchase such a variety of articles, that the execution of his commissions must necessarily detain him till late in the day. As soon as he was gone, Wentworth contrived to get into the house, in small parties of two and three at a time, some twenty infantry soldiers; these were smuggled in unseen by the servants or the family, and secreted in his wife's room, she being, with the exception of Barton, the only person aware of the circumstances connected with such measures.
In the evening O'Dwyer returned, and handed over receipts for the various disbursements. This confirmed the confidence in his integrity which his kind-hearted master felt for him, who, after expressing his satisfaction at the punctuality and zeal displayed, inquired if he had brought any news.
“ Nothing, your honor, but the defate of the Croppies; the murthering thieves have been beaten right and left, and the town gaol is full of the villians. High hanging to the blackguards, saving your presence your honor. Shure its well that none of the vagybones ever took it into their heads to pay this house a visit.”
“ If they did, you would show fight in the good cause, would you not, O’Dwyer ?” asked his master.
“ Pon my conscience, then, Sir," replied the butler, with an air of great simplicity, “ Irish as I am, I was never too fond of fighting when I was young, and now its pace I’m for entirely, for good eating has burdened my years with fat and laziness; but, may be I could still be of use, comforting the mistress, and taking care of the darlints, not to spake of the friends staying with you. The heart of me you'd find was in the cause, tho' my arum may be waker nor it was, years agone, master dear!”
The old gentleman poured him out a glass of wine, and, O’Dwyer taking it, continued
May the Madara choke me, Sir, if I'd not lay down my life for the family!"
“ I believe you, my good O’Dwyer," said his master; " and yet —
“And yet," interrupted the Major, perceiving that the incredulous Barton was on the point of recounting the accusation against him,
" And yet there can be no harm in our taking the usual precautions; so, finish
your wine, get your supper, and don't sit up to let me out; I mean to stay here to-night, as all appears likely to be quiet in town.”
“ 'Tis to be hoped and in country too, Major. Good night and sound rest to both your honors !" said O’Dwyer, as he retired.
For many years it had been the custom of the house for the butler to lock the hall-door at night, and retain possession of the key till morning. The mansion in which the events I am endeavouring to record occurred, was an old-fashioned building, having a wide staircase, with spacious galleries (or, as they are termed in Ireland," lobbies"), communicating with the various floors.
On the first of these lobbies Wentworth had a few minutes before midnight quietly posted his small party of infantry so as to command the hall-door, the men being directed to crouch behind the antique and massive balustrades. This had scarcely been effected, when O'Dwyer, the faithful and exemplary butler, appeared, carrying a dark lantern, the light of which enabled Wentworth to trace his every movement. He crept cautiously round the hall, listened—with stealthy pace he soon reached the door, and before he applied the key, shook his clenched hand with a threatening action in the direction of his master's bed-room. The key was in the lock-Wentworth whispered,
Up, men, and present!” The door opened, and instantly a body of about thirty rebels rushed in, with a hellish yell: they made their way towards the stair-foot, “Now, lads, fire !" cried the Major.
The whole house vibrated with the volley. Screams, groans, curses, and the noise of retreating steps followed. "Load and be ready," said the Major: "Lights there!"
A man left for the purpose brought candles. Wentworth hastened down stairs to ascertain the effect of the musquetry, a reception the intruders very little expected. Four men lay dead, two were severely wounded; the traitor, O'Dwyer, who had been the chief contriver of this harm, had received a ball in his forehead, the lantern which he carried serving to direct the aim by which he fell. Leaving half the soldiers in the hall, the Major led the others round the house and adjacent shrubberies, but the rest of the scoundrels had fled.
On his return, Wentworth found Mr. Barton and his wife actively engaged in quieting the alarms of the family. In answer to Barton's inquiry as to the fate of the miscreant, O'Dwyer, Wentworth led him to the spot where the body lay, the countenance awfully distorted. The kind-hearted master burst into tears at the sight of his intended assassin, and, with more of mercy than justice, exclaimed,
“May the Lord, in his goodness, forgive you, O’Dwyer, for the evil you contemplated against your indulgent master!"
“ Rather, thank Heaven, Sir, that the villain has been overtaken in his treachery, and the lives of the innocent spared,” remarked Wentworth, somewhat irritated at the misplaced compassion of his host.
The butler's crime seemed indeed gratuitous; for, though himself a Papist, he had never obtruded one difference of opinion on his heretic patron, and would certainly have gained less by plundering than by sparing the liberal Mr. Barton. The soldiers remained on the qui vive all night; the proper authorities