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than Matty Brian—and though I icknowledge he's no fit company nor shuitable acquaintance for Mickky Magrath-as I said afore, there 's worse than Matty Brian.”
“There 's not a thing under the canopy of heaven I hate but that man,” and Ellen laid a stress on the word hate with a vehemence that brought the ruddy rush to her pale cheek.
There was a silence of some seconds, when the old woman again resumed.
“ Well! may be an' may be you know best Eileen, only Matty bears a fair outside 'mong the neighbours, and nobody ever haard mooch harum of him barin' goin' to the cock-fights an' the hurlin's an' the pattherns and the likes—but nobody ever accused Matty Brian of takin' as mooch as a penny piece from mortial sowl-no more they didn't-and Eileen honey, you know as well and betther than myself could laarn you, that our religion taches us to do onto others as others would do onto us. I don't think a great dale of Matty Brian myself, and I can't have no notion at all how he could possible put his comhether over Mickky-but there they are collogin' together mornin', noon, an' night, for all the world like a pair of courthers—and Mickky neglects his genteel business and spends all his time and money in ale-housesmusha sorry I am and sorry for his father's son, an' if he had any advisers at all at all to turn him from his ould ways—he'd be an honour to his counthry yet—so he would—and may be Ellen when you—"
Here granny look'd up from her stocking, and perceived that Ellen had left her seat, and on turning her head observed her earnestly gazing down the road as she leant over the garden gate.
“Ay-ay-ay-ay," mutter'd Mrs. Glindon to herself, halfsighing and half-smiling, as she closely watched Ellen's varying countenance: “here he comes-her white-headed boy-her dhream be night, and her thought be day-I wish they were marred out o'my sight, and not dillyin' dallyin' this way, month afther month, day afther day-Ellen," she called aloud, "what are you looking
“Oh! yes mother! he is coming,” answered Ellen-her whole thought so bent upon one object as to exclude every idea save what referred to it.
Alas! for Ellen's love—the youthful—the pure--the devoted the doomed. Alas! and alas ! for that heart whose every beat is not its own—whose floating fancies—whose cherished wisheswhose hoping fears and doubting hopes—whose pillowed visions and daily imaginings—whose prayers due to all, and adoration that belonged to heaven were all lost in one absorbing image, and that one, oh! how worthless, alas! for thee, Ellen. There was but one light under the happy sky for thee, and that light was the charnel flame that fickers only in corruption ;-but one hope, and that one had long lost her winning smile' and 'golden hair.' Oh! woman !-woman !--still firm in affection, still unflinching in glory and shame, she sees the brightness of her idol dimmed, her bright idol still. Shame may degrade--disgrace may blacken --friends fall off and misery fall on-her love still follows through storm and wreck-in darkness and in sorrow a meteor, whose beam allures the sinner to repentarce-the wretched to hope. And such was Ellen's love, and such her idol. She knew him 'a stray babe,' a seceder from the faith of rectitude, yet loved him not the less for his apostacy. She could not close her eyes upon his evil ways, but she shut her heart against his accusation, and for every fault discovered some plea, for every error an extenuation. And yet if love requited, such as man too seldom pays to woman's confiding faith—if love, removed from every stain of earthly or fleshly impurity-alas! no small panegyric on any affection)—if love, whose destiny awaited her happiness, not self-gratification, could atone for deeds of frailty sad,' and scare away the memories of illnesses remediless, her lover's hopes had shed a heavenlier light, and Ellen herself displayed a brighter cheek and fed a heart less sad.
"Oh! yes, mother-he is coming."
She leant over the garden gate, and looked down the hill that leads from the town to Windgap. Two men were ascending the road: they demand a moment's attention.
The youngest of the two was a fine bold-looking young man, of about five-and-twenty. His hair and eyes were dark, his mouth large and playful, his teeth resplendent, his forehead open, and his whole air impressive of the frankness and buoyancy of vivacious youth. He was dressed neatly, though somewhat carelessly, his garments being of that make and fashion that the higher grades of aspiring tradesmen are wont to assume. It is not necessary to describe it: we are not writing a novel. His companion was of a different aspect. He seemed about two or three-andthirty, was rather good looking, though of a sinister countenance, to which a pair of thin sandy whiskers added but little grace; his figure, which was awkward and slouching, and his gait, which was straitened and cumbersome, showed in high contrast to the poplar-like bearing and lively bound of the other. His dress was characteristic of a straggler in low life, displaying, independent of its. dubious quality, an unaptness as to fit, thereby plainly indicating the wearer's having been ever freed from the disagreeable ordeal of the tailor's measurement. To a stranger passing the way, it might seem that a young gentleman and his gamekeeper, a hireling, were journeying together : but no such tie united the fortunes of Mickky Magrath and Matty Bryan.
Mickky Magrath was the only child of a respectable saddler, in the far-famed city of Kilkenny, who died while his son was still in his apprenticeship, leaving his widow and him in possession of a few hundred pounds, and a small rental.
The boy paid little or no attention to his trade, and at the period we write of, when he had reached his five-and-twentieth year, his business, which his mother and himself had contrived to manage between them for a long period, was sinking fast and daily, and threatened soon to immerse them from comfort into poverty. While his father was living, the youth had received a tolerable education, which was totally neglected after his death, for he betrayed not merely an aversion to books and study, but an antipathy to every occupation that would tend to increase his store of knowledge or learning. This love of idleness met with no resistance or counteraction on the part of his mother. Loving him with all an Irish mother's love-fondly, foolishly and blindly, she suffered no wish of his to remain ungratified, however extravagant;-and as he grew up, although his demands became more unreasonable and his ways more faulty, she never refused him the former, and but seldom reprehended him for the latter, and even then, less through a conviction of his error, than from a moment of pique or passion.
From his very infancy Mickky displayed a most generous and open nature, a heart almost noble, and a sensibility of the keenest emotions; but left thus early uncontrolled and perfect master of himself, where there was but little government, his better dispositions were subverted and his kindlier feelings deranged. Grown callous to the world's censure and indifferent to its applause, he threw off all his school-boy acquaintances, and sought for friendship in the community of ale-houses, as more congenial to his temperament. Unfortunately he was born to that station in life that required effort and perseverance to place him on a footing with the respectable, but being wanting in both, he became a prey to those beneath him, and preferred reigning 'small Triton of the minnows' to aiming at or aspiring to the holding his birth entitled him to. The great fault of his nature was a want of firmness, which laid him open to the wiles of flatterers and impostors—this made him the tool of the avaricious and the cunning—and as easily prevailed as imposed upon, he was led into scenes and acts from which his nature shrunk, but which he had neither resolution to withstand, nor strength of mind to withdraw from.
Having generally money at command, he was looked up to as chief' among the boys, who made him grand director and conductor in all their sports and mischiefs. Was there a cock fight to take place, Mickky was chosen arranger of the battle, umpire and stakeholder, of which said stakes he was sure to pay the greatest portion, if not all, himself:--was there a hurling, a football, or a hand-ball match, Magrath was always first better and supporter:-were the church windows to be broken, or the knockers wrenched from the hall doors, or sedan-chairs thrown into areas, or two cats tied to a lamp post, our wayward youth was main-spring and mover of each and all. Such doings could not always escape