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NERO fiddled while Rome was burning, at least he is said to have fiddled; and, as he has got no friends, (and never had any) any one may say what they please of him, and so he will probably have credit for having done so till doomsday. And it is a fact, that in modern times no very gigantic scene of wholesale devastation and butchery, not even a battle in China, is ever enacted without the accompaniment of military music. Nevertheless, military music is capable of better things (as the critics were so good as to say of Lord Byron) and the bugle, universally execrated at 11 A.M., when it clamoured of parade, was considered a very respectable instrument at 6} p.M., when it sounded the last dinner horn in the Barrack Square of Ballykilldaniel, one rainy evening in the December of 1830, and the personages to whom it was addressed, the well beloved and trusty to whom his most gracious Majesty, having full confidence in their valour and discretion, had been pleased to entrust the charge of disciplining and exercising his 100th regiment of foot, understood it perfectly, and obeyed it with true military alacrity.

The veteran major, who, as the young gentlemen were accustomed figuratively to say, “ drove the coach, when the colonel was away, was leaning pensively against the mantelpiece, apparently measuring with his eyes the capacity of the little anteroom for holding the twelve officers then at head-quarters, and the six guests who were to honour them with their company to dinner that day, in case the whole party should arrive before dinner was ready. The question never arose, for the dinner was announced, and the diners adjourned to the messroom, minus, of course, the greater part of the guests, – it being a remarkable feature in the history (or the perversity of the human mind, for they are pretty nearly convertible terms) of the human mind, that neither by word of mouth or by letter, by expostulation or by experience, by entreaty, by warning, or by cold soup, can it be driven into the head of a civilian that a mess sits down at the hour named, and no later ;

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and that a dozen hungry men will by no means wait twenty minutes for their dinner (many of them having been thinking of nothing else for the last two hours) because Ensign Higginbotham's anonymous friend, whom none of them have ever seen before, and whom few of them are likely to see again, chooses

to sham fashionable in a remote village, in Munster, or Connaught. The 100th, accordingly, sat down to dinner, and a young man, apparently about twenty-two or three years of age, the wings on whose shoulders announced that the light company was his especial charge, took the chair. He was rather above the middle height, very compactly made, and evidently possessing great personal strength in a small compass; his features were regular, his complexion always dark, was still farther bronzed by exposure to an Indian sun, and a coal black, penetrating, unshrinking eye, gave a character of decision and self-reliance to a countenance which, except when he spoke, would otherwise have seemed to be saddened by an habitual expression of hopeless melancholy.

Harry, my boy,” said Major Marsden, as they sat down, “ let me introduce you to Mr. MacGallaher, -Captain Mowbray,” — and Mr. MacGallaher and Captain Mowbray bowed to one another very courteously.

Many thanks for the snipe, Harry," continued the Major; “they came in capitally at breakfast.”

“ I brought home something more than snipe to-day, Sir,” answered the Captain, with a slight, but significant smile.

“ What! wild fowl ?”.
« No."
" A hare ?
“ No:”
« What then?
• A man!”

A what !” said Mr. MacGallaher, in a gurgling tone, through a throatful of soap.

“ A man," repeated the Captain.

“ You did not cut off his head, did you, as you did that Burmese scoundrel's in the jungle ?” asked the Major, laughing at Mr. MacGallaher's evident mystification.

“No !” said Mowbray, with a bit of a blush, and a deprecating look: for a story went of the gallant officer, that upon his first joining the regiment, which was then engaged in operations on the banks of the Irawaddy against the Golden Feet; he being not yet sixteen years old, had strayed into the jungle, where he was attacked by a gigantic Burmese, who was prowling about, according to the custom of the country, to see whether he could not pick up a stray European head or two, in which researches after wandering English, those dingy hunters were occasionally a little too successful, and caught Tartars, as occurred in this case. It cannot be said that the Burman came for wool, and went home shorn, for he went home no more, our hero, after a short, but animated professional debate, in which the sabre proved an overmatch for spear and dagger, having probably by way of a compliment to the Burmese territory, disposed of the question upon Burmese principles, that is to say, he cut off the head of this Goliath of the jungle, and brought it into camp ; for he had observed that there was a good deal of cutting off of heads going on, and he conjectured this was the proper and correct thing to do for the satisfaction of his colonel and brother officers : and his doing so at the time will be better understood when it is remembered that a few days before, the body of an unfortunate British officer who had been made prisoner in much the same manner that our hero's liberty was attempted, had been sent down the river on a raft horribly and hideously mutilated in the usual abominable Asiatic manner. Such things make an impression on soldiers, that the loss in battle of hundreds is nothing compared to: they are duly remembered, and suitably acknowledged in due season. This ebullition of boyish triumph had been a standing joke against him ever since, but as Mr. MacGallaber did not understand the joke, though he understood the question, he fidgetted in his chair, and looked somewhat uneasily at his new friend as if he were something between a cannibal and a crocodile.

"Did you shoot him, Captain ?” said he, apparently desirous of appeasing his dangerous neighbour; “I'll go bail he deserved it.”

“What is the story ?” asked the Major.

“ I was shooting in that large bog, about eight miles off, on the road to Glenuiske.”

" The bog of Carrickamore, I'll lay a shilling,” interrupted Mr. MacGallaher.

“ I believe that is the name," said Mowbray, “Well, I was shooting there, when I found that I was dogged by a stout countryman, in a frieze coat, who would follow me and offer to carry my bag: he would come so close several times, that I had to warn him to keep off.”

" He wanted your gun, i'll lay a shilling,” said Mr. MacGallaher.

“ He did,” returned the other, “and he got it, and something more that he did not bargain for. I knew precisely what he was about, and at last I got so provoked and annoyed at his persisting in following me, that I determined that if wilful would to water, wilful should drench. Hitherto I had always kept him off by keeping one barrel in reserve, but now a snipe got up, which I missed, I let the other barrel go, and before I almost knew what he was about, my friend had closed with me, and had got the gun out of my hand.”

The murdering villain !" said Mr. MacGallaher, “ I'll lay a shilling he'll shoot somebody with it.”

“ I rather think not,” said the narrator : “you never saw a man in such a state of triumph; he danced about and shouted like a savage, hugging and kissing the gun.-You did that cleverly,' said I.-- Trust me for that,' said he. Ah, its mightily obliged to you I am, Captain jewel, I don't know how we poor boys would get on without the English officers ; thank you kindly, Sir.'— Well, how am I to get out of this bog? said I.-I'll show you the way, and welcome, Sir,' said he, and took me safe enough through the bog, until we stood at last in the road together. • It's eight miles that way, Sir, to Ballykilldaniel, and I wish you a pleasant journey, for the other road is the way I'm going, and I'm thinkin' it would not be convanient for me to go any further with you.'_' It's only four miles to the police station,

at Newtown, I think,' said 1.– That's all, Sir,' said he, and by the time you get there, I'll be six miles up the mountains, and that 'll be just ten miles betchuxt me and the polis ; that's a comfortable distance, and I'm content with it ; I am an 'asy goin' man.'— . I'm glad of that,' said I, 'for I suspect you have a long journey to go.'—Where 'll that be ?' said he. To Botany Bay.' I said- and he gave me a most triumphant wink.--' Will it, indeed ? Ethen its countin'

your

chickens you are before they're hatched, Captain avourneen ; the polisman isn't pupped that'll catch me!'— Possibly not,' returned I, but in that case you must take the trouble of walking to the police station yourself.'— Will I, by Jabers ?' said he. · Och Millia murder, what'll I do at all at all! Spare my life, Captain jewel, for the love of Heaven! Sure I was only jokin !'- It was past a joke, for the man was not four yards from me, and I had his head covered with a double-barrelled pistol, that he had by no means calculated on as forming part of my sporting equipments.

“ More power to your elbow," shouted Mr. MacGallaher, “I'd lav a shilling, Captain, you were too old a soldier to let yourself be robbed by a vagabond like that !”

Well, he gave me no more trouble,” continued the Captain; “for the click of cocking the pistol completely floored him, he cried like a child, and made no attempt at resisting, but walked very submissively along to the police-station, where I left him in charge. He seemed to me to be rather glad to get out of my clutches; for I fancy he thought my patience might not last for ever, and that I might take it into my head to shoot him. I believe it is a transportable felony."

“Well, that bates cockfighting," said Mr. MacGallaher, swallowing a glass of champagne, which he was not aware held half a pint. Dinner was now advancing rapidly towards its completion, and Mr. MacGallaher having dissolved his fear of Harry in champagne, had become very loving, and pestered him exceedingly by his pressing solicitations to come and partake of the hospitalities and other wild sports of BallyMacGallaher Castle, which that gentleman, from having frequently passed it in his rambles, perfectly well knew was an uninhabitable house in an inaccessible bog. He promised, as an inducement, that his guest should be attended in his shooting excursions by a tenant of his own, whose personal prowess was the terror and the admiration (the first, masculine; the second, feminine) of the neighbourhood.

It's little arms or firelocks Mick Rooney 'd want,” said he, “ I'll bet a shilling he'd kill a man with a blow of his fist as soon as look at him."

Captain Mowbray smiled. Where would he hit to do that?asked he.

Oh, that's his look out,” answered the other, who was beginning to talk a very little thick.

“ I have seen a man killed in that way,” said Major Marsden ; "and I do not think that the man that did it was a particularly strong man either ; but he knew where and how to hit; to be sure the man he killed was in a state of the highest excitement, and I do not know how far that may have been the cause of death. It was a Malay running

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