WILLY REILLY

by William Carleton





CONTENTS

PREFACE    To The Second Edition

CHAPTER I.  An Adventure and an Escape.

CHAPTER II.  The Cooleen Baum.

CHAPTER III.  Daring Attempt of the Red Rapparee

CHAPTER IV.  His Rival makes his Appearance, and its Consequences

CHAPTER V.  The Plot and the Victims.

CHAPTER VI.  The Warning an Escape

CHAPTER VII.  An Accidental Incident favorable to Reilly

CHAPTER VIII.  A Conflagration An Escape And an Adventure

CHAPTER IX.  A Prospect of Bygone Times

CHAPTER X.  Scenes that took place in the Mountain Cave

CHAPTER XI.  The Squire's Dinner and his Guests.

CHAPTER XII.  Sir Robert Meets a Brother Sportsman

CHAPTER XIII.  Reilly is Taken, but Connived at by the Sheriff

CHAPTER XIV.  Reilly takes Service with Squire Folliard.

CHAPTER XV.  More of Whitecraft's Plots and Pranks

CHAPTER XVI.  Sir Robert ingeniously extricates Himself out of difficulty

CHAPTER XVII.  Awful Conduct of Squire Folliard

CHAPTER XVIII.  Something not very Pleasant for all Parties.

CHAPTER XIX.  Reilly's Disguise Penetrated

CHAPTER XX.  The Rapparee Secured

CHAPTER XXI.  Sir Robert Accepts of an Invitation.

CHAPTER XXII.  The Squire Comforts Whitecraft in his Affliction.

CHAPTER XXIII.    The Squire becomes Theological and a Proselytizer

CHAPTER XXIV.  Jury of the Olden Time

CHAPTER XXV.  Reilly stands his Trial






PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

I am agreeably called upon by my bookseller to prepare for a Second Edition of "Willy Reilly." This is at all times a pleasing call upon an author; and it is so especially to me, inasmuch as the first Edition was sold at the fashionable, but unreasonable, price of a guinea and a half—a price which, in this age of cheap literature, is almost fatal to the sale of any three-volume novel, no matter what may be its merits. With respect to "Willy Reilly," it may be necessary to say that I never wrote any work of the same extent in so short a time, or with so much haste. Its popularity, however, has been equal to that of any other of my productions; and the reception which it has experienced from the ablest public and professional critics of the day has far surpassed my expectations. I accordingly take this opportunity of thanking them most sincerely for the favorable verdict which they have generously passed upon it, as I do for their kindness to my humble efforts for the last twenty-eight years. Nothing, indeed, can be a greater encouragement to a literary man, to a novel writer, in fact, than the reflection that he has an honest and generous tribunal to encounter. If he be a quack or an impostor, they will at once detect him; but if he exhibit human nature and truthful character in his pages, it matters not whether he goes to his bookseller's in a coach, or plods there humbly, and on foot; they will forget everything but the value and merit of what he places before them. On this account it is that I reverence and respect them; and indeed I ought to do so, for I owe them the gratitude of a pretty long literary life.

Concerning this Edition, I must say something. I have already stated that it was written rapidly and in a hurry. On reading it over for correction, I was struck in my cooler moments by many defects in it, which were, kindly overlooked, or, perhaps, not noticed at all. To myself, however, who had been brooding over this work for a long time, they at once became obvious. I have accordingly added an underplot of affection between Fergus Reilly—mentioned as a distant relative of my hero—and the Cooleen Bawn's maid, Ellen Connor. In doing so, I have not disturbed a single incident in the work; and the reader who may have perused the first Edition, if he should ever—as is not unfrequently the case—peruse this second one, will certainly wonder how the additions were made. That, however, is the secret of the author, with which they have nothing to do but to enjoy the book, if they can enjoy it.

With respect to the O'Reilly name and family, I have consulted my distinguished' friend—and I am proud to call him so—John O'Donovan, Esq., LL.D., M.R.I.A., who, with the greatest kindness, placed the summary of the history of that celebrated family at my disposal. This learned gentleman is an authority beyond all question. With respect to Ireland—her language—her old laws—her history—her antiquities—her archaeology—her topography, and the genealogy of her families, he is a perfect miracle, as is his distinguished fellow-laborer in the same field, Eugene Curry. Two such men—and, including Dr. Petrie, three such men—Ireland never has produced, and never can again—for this simple reason, that they will have left nothing after them for their successors to accomplish. To Eugene Curry I am indebted for the principal fact upon which my novel of the "Tithe Proctor" was written—the able introduction to which was printed verbatim from a manuscript with which he kindly furnished me. The following is Dr. O'Donovan's clear and succinct history of the O'Reilly family from the year 435 until the present time:

"The ancestors of the family of O'Reilly had been celebrated in Irish history long before the establishment of surnames in Ireland. In the year 435 their ancestor, Duach Galach, King of Connaught, was baptized by St. Patrick on the banks of Loch Scola, and they had remained Christians of the old Irish Church, which appears to have been peculiar in its mode of tonsure, and of keeping Easter (and, since the twelfth century, firm adherents to the religion of the Pope, till Dowell O'Reilly, Esq., the father of the present head of the name, quarrelling with Father Dowling, of Stradbally, turned Protestant, about the year 1800).

"The ancestor, after whom they took the family name, was Reillagh, who was chief of his sect, and flourished about the year 981.

"From this period they are traced in the Irish Annals through a long line of powerful chieftains of East Breifny (County Cavan), who succeeded each other, according to the law of Tanistry, till the year 1585, when two rival chieftians of the name, Sir John O'Reilly and Edmund O'Reilly, appeared in Dublin, at the parliament summoned by Perrot. Previously to this, John O'Reilly, finding his party weak, had repaired to England, in 1583, to solicit Queen Elizabeth's interest, and had been kindly received at Court, and invested with the order of Knighthood, and promised to be made Earl, whereupon he returned home with letters from the Queen to the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland, instructing them to support him in his claims. His uncle, Edmund, of Kilnacrott, would have succeeded Hugh Connallagh O'Reilly, the father of Sir John, according to the Irish law of Tanistry, but he was set aside by Elizabeth's government, and Sir John set up as O'Reilly in his place. Sir John being settled in the chieftainship of East Breifny, entered into certain articles of agreement with Sir John Perrot, the Lord Deputy, and the Council of Ireland, whereby he agreed to surrender the principality of East Breifny to the Queen, on condition of obtaining it again from the crown in capite by English tenure, and the same to be ratified to him and the heirs male of his body. In consequence of this agreement, and with the intent of abolishing the tanistic succession, he, on the last day of August, 1590, perfected a deed of feofment, entailing thereby the seignory of Breifny (O'Reilly) on his eldest son, Malmore (Myles), surnamed Alainn (the comely), afterwards known as the Queen's O'Reilly.

"Notwithstanding these transactions, Sir John O'Reilly soon after joined in the rebellion of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, and died on the first of June, 1596. After his death the Earl of Tyrone set up his second brother, Philip, as the O'Reilly, and the government of Elizabeth supported the claim of Sir John's son, Malmore, the comely, in opposition to Philip, and Edmund of Kilnacrott. But Malmore, the Queen's O'Reilly, was slain by Tyrone in the great battle of the Yellow Ford, near Benburb, on the 14th of August, 1528, and the Irish of Ulster agreed to establish Edmund of Kilnacrott, as the O'Reilly.

"The lineal descendants of Sir John passed into the French service, and are now totally unknown, and probably extinct. The descendants of Edmund of Kilnacrott have been far more prolific and more fortunate. His senior representative is my worthy old friend Myles John O'Reilly, Esq., Heath House, Emo, Queen's Co., and from him are also descended the O'Reillys of Thomastown Castle, in the County of Louth, the Counts O'Reilly of Spain, the O'Reillys of Beltrasna, in Westmeath, and the Reillys of Scarva House, in the County of Down.

"Edmund of Kilnacrott had a son John who had a son Brian, by Mary, daughter of the Baron of Dunsany, who had a famous son Malmore, commonly called Myles the Slasher. This Myles was an able military leader during the civil wars of 1641, and showed prodigies of valor during the years 1641, 1642, and 1643; but, in 1644, being encamped at Granard, in the County of Longford, with Lord Castlehaven, who ordered him to proceed with a chosen detachment of horse to defend the bridge of Finea against the Scots, then bearing down on the main army with a very superior force, Myles was slain at the head of his troops, fighting bravely on the middle of the bridge. Tradition adds, that during this action he encountered the colonel of the Scots in single combat, who laid open his cheek with a blow of his sword; but Myles, whose jaws were stronger than a smith's vice, held fast the Scotchman's sword between his teeth till he cut him down, but the main body of the Scots pressing upon him, he was left dead on the bridge.

"This Myles the Slasher was the father of Colonel John O'Reilly, of Ballymacadd, in the County Meath, who was elected Knight of the Shire for the County of Cavan, in the parliament held at Dublin on the 7th of May, 1689. He raised a regiment of dragoons, at his own expense, for the service of James II., and assisted at the siege of Londonderry in 1689. He had two engagements with Colonel Wolsley, the commander of the garrison of Belturbet, whom he signally defeated. He fought at the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim, and was included in the articles of capitulation of Limerick, whereby he preserved his property, and was allowed to carry arms.

"Of the eldest son of this Colonel John O'Reilly, who left issue, my friend Myles J. O'Reilly, Esq., is now the senior representative.

"From Colonel John O'Reilly's youngest son, Thomas O'Reilly, of Beltrasna, was descended Count Alexander O'Reilly, of Spain, who took Algiers! immortalized by Byron. This Alexander was born near Oldcastle, in the County Meath, in the year 1722. He was Generalissimo of his Catholic Majesty's forces, and Inspector-General of the Infantry, etc., etc. In the year 1786 he employed the Chevalier Thomas O'Gorman to compile for him a history of the House of O'Reilly, for which he paid O'Gorman the sum of 1,137 10.s., the original receipt for which I have in my possession.

"Prom this branch of the O'Reilly family was also descended the illustrious Andrew Count O'Reilly, who died at Vienna in 1832, at the age of 92. He was General of Cavalry in the Austrian service. This distinguished man filled in succession all the military grades in the Austrian service, with the exception of that of Field Marshal, and was called by Napoleon 'le respectable General O'Reilly.'

"The eldest son of Myles J. O'Reilly, Esq., is a young gentleman of great promise and considerable fortune. His rencontre with Lord Clements (now Earl of Leitrim) has been not long since prominently before the public, and in a manner which does justice to our old party quarrels! Both are, however, worthy of their high descent; and it is to be hoped that they will soon become good friends, as they are boih young, and remarkable for benevolence and love of fatherland."

As this has been considered by some persons as a historical novel, although I really never intended it as such, it may be necessary to give the reader a more distinct notion of the period in which the incidents recorded in it took place. The period then was about that of 1745, when Lord Chesterfield was Governor-General of Ireland. This nobleman, though an infidel, was a bigot, and a decided anti-Catholic; nor do I think that the temporary relaxation of the penal laws against Catholics was anything else than an apprehension on the part of England that the claims of the Pretender might be supported by the Irish Catholics, who then, so depressed and persecuted, must have naturally felt a strong interest in having a prince who professed their own religion placed upon the English throne. Strange as it may appear, however, and be the cause of it what it may, the Catholics of Ireland, as a people and as a body, took no part whatever in supporting him. Under Lord Chesterfield's administration, one of the most shocking and unnatural Acts of Parliament ever conceived passed into a law. This was the making void and null all intermarriages between Catholic and Protestant that should take place after the 1st of May, 1746. Such an Act was a renewal of the Statute of Kilkenny, and it was a fortunate circumstance to Willy Reilly and his dear Cooleen Bawn that he had the consolation of having been transported for seven years. Had her father even given his consent at an earlier period, the laws of the land would have rendered their marriage impossible. This cruel law, however, was overlooked; for it need hardly be said that it was met and spurned not only by human reason, but by human passion. In truth, the strong and influential of both religions treated it with contempt, and trampled on it without any dread of the consequences. By the time of his return from transportation, it was merely a dead letter, disregarded and scorned by both parties, and was no obstruction to either the marriage or the happiness of himself and his dear Cooleen Bawn.

I know not that there is any thing else I can add to this preface, unless the fact that I have heard several other ballads upon the subject of these celebrated lovers—all of the same tendency, and all in the highest praise of the beauty and virtues of the fair Cooleen Bawn. Their utter vulgarity, however, precludes them from a place in these pages. And, by the way, talking of the law which passed under the administration of Lord Chesterfield against intermarriages, it is not improbable that the elopement of Reilly and the Cooleen Bawn, in addition to the execution of the man to whom I have given the name of Sir Robert Whitecraft, may have introduced it in a spirit of reaction, not only against the consequences of the elopement, but against the baronet's ignominious death. Thus, in every point from which we can view it, the fate of this celebrated couple involved not only popular feeling, but national importance.

I have not been able to trace with any accuracy or satisfaction that portion or branch of the O'Reilly family to which my hero belonged. The dreary lapse of time, and his removal from the country, have been the means of sweeping into oblivion every thing concerning him, with the exception of his love for Miss Folliard, and its strange consequences. Even tradition is silent upon that part of the subject, and I fear that any attempt to throw light upon it must end only in disappointment. I have reason to believe that the Counsellor Fox, who acted as his advocate, was never himself raised to the bench; but that that honor was reserved for his son, who was an active judge a little before the close of the last century.

W. Carleton.

Dublin, December, 1856.





CHAPTER I.—An Adventure and an Escape.

Spirit of George Prince Regent James, Esq., forgive me this commencement! *

     * I mean no offence whatsoever to this distinguished and
     multitudinous writer; but the commencement of this novel really
     resembled that of so many of his that I was anxious to avoid the
     charge of imitating him.

It was one evening at the close of a September month and a September day that two equestrians might be observed passing along one of those old and lonely Irish roads that seemed, from the nature of its construction, to have been paved by a society of antiquarians, if a person could judge from its obsolete character, and the difficulty, without risk of neck or limb, of riding a horse or driving a carriage along it. Ireland, as our English readers ought to know, has always been a country teeming with abundance—a happy land, in which want, destitution, sickness, and famine have never been felt or known, except through the mendacious misrepresentations of her enemies. The road we speak of was a proof of this; for it was evident to every observer that, in some season of superabundant food, the people, not knowing exactly how to dispose of their shilling loaves, took to paving the common roads with them, rather than they should be utterly useless. These loaves, in the course of time, underwent the process of petrifaction, but could not, nevertheless, be looked upon as wholly lost to the country. A great number of the Irish, within six of the last preceding years—that is, from '46 to '52—took a peculiar fancy for them as food, which, we presume, caused their enemies to say that we then had hard times in Ireland. Be this as it may, it enabled the sagacious epicures who lived upon them to retire, in due course, to the delightful retreats of Skull and Skibbereen,* and similar asylums, there to pass the very short remainder of their lives in health, ease, and luxury.

     * Two poor-houses in the most desolate parts of the County of
     Cork, where famine, fever, dysentery, and cholera, rendered more
     destructive by the crowded state of the houses and the consequent
     want of ventilation, swept away the wretched in-mates to the
     amount, if we recollect rightly, of sometimes from fifty to
     seventy per diem in the years '45 and '47.

The evening, as we have said, was about the close of September, when the two equestrians we speak of were proceeding at a pace necessarily slow. One of them was a bluff, fresh-complexioned man, of about sixty summers; but although of a healthy look, and a frame that had evidently once been vigorous, yet he was a good deal stooped, had about him all the impotence of plethora, and his hair, which fell down his shoulders, was white as snow. The other, who rode pretty close to him, was much about his own age, or perhaps a few years older, if one could judge by a face that gave more undeniable evidences of those furrows and wrinkles which Time usually leaves behind him. This person did not ride exactly side by side with the first-mentioned, but a little aback, though not so far as to prevent the possibility of conversation. At this time it may be mentioned here that every man that could afford it wore a wig, with the exception of some of those eccentric individuals that are to be found in every state and period of society, and who are remarkable for that peculiar love of singularity which generally constitutes their character—a small and harmless ambition, easily gratified, and involving no injury to their fellow-creatures. The second horseman, therefore, wore a wig, but the other, although he eschewed that ornament, if it can be called so, was by no means a man of that mild and harmless character which we have attributed to the eccentric and unfashionable class of whom we have just spoken. So far from that, he was a man of an obstinate and violent temper, of strong and unreflecting prejudices both for good and evil, hot, persevering, and vindictive, though personally brave, intrepid, and often generous. Like many of his class, he never troubled his head about religion as a matter that must, and ought to have been, personally, of the chiefest interest to himself, but, at the same time, he was looked upon as one of the best and staunchest Protestants of the day. His loyalty and devotedness to the throne of England were not only unquestionable, but proverbial throughout the country; but, at the same time, he regarded no clergyman, either of his own or any other creed, as a man whose intimacy was worth preserving, unless he was able to take off his three or four bottles of claret after dinner. In fact, not to keep our readers longer in suspense, the relation which he and his companion bore to each other was that of master and servant.

The hour was now a little past twilight, and the western sky presented an unusual, if not an ominous, appearance. A sharp and melancholy breeze was abroad, and the sun, which had set among a mass of red clouds, half placid, and half angry in appearance, had for some brief space gone down. Over from the north, however, glided by imperceptible degrees a long black bar, right across the place of his disappearance, and nothing could be more striking than the wild and unnatural contrast between the dying crimson of the west and this fearful mass of impenetrable darkness that came over it. As yet there was no moon, and the portion of light or rather "darkness visible" that feebly appeared on the sky and the landscape, was singularly sombre and impressive, if not actually appalling. The scene about them was wild and desolate in the extreme; and as the faint outlines of the bleak and barren moors appeared in the dim and melancholy distance, the feelings they inspired were those of discomfort and depression. On each side of them were a variety of lonely lakes, abrupt precipices, and extensive marshes; and as our travellers went along, the hum of the snipe, the feeble but mournful cry of the plover, and the wilder and more piercing whistle of the curlew, still deepened the melancholy dreariness of their situation, and added to their anxiety to press on towards the place of their destination.

"This is a very lonely spot, your honor," said his servant, whose name was Andrew, or, as he was more familiarly called, Andy Cummiskey.

"Yes, but it's the safer, Andy," replied his master. "There is not a human habitation within miles of us."

"It doesn't follow, sir, that this place, above all others in the neighborhood, is not, especially at this hour, without some persons about it. You know I'm no coward, sir."

"What, you scoundrel! and do you mean to hint that I'm one?"

"Not at all, sir; but you see the truth is, that, this being the very hour for duck and wild-fowl shootin', it's hard to say where or when a fellow might start up, and mistake me for a wild duck, and your honor for a curlew or a bittern."

He had no sooner spoken than the breeze started, as it were, into more vigorous life, and ere the space of many minutes a dark impenetrable mist or fog was borne over from the solitary hills across the dreary level of country through which they passed, and they felt themselves suddenly chilled, whilst a darkness, almost palpable, nearly concealed them from each other. Now the roads which we have described, being almost without exception in remote and unfrequented parts of the country, are for the most part covered over with a thick sole of close grass, unless where a narrow strip in the centre shows that a pathway is kept worn, and distinctly marked by the tread of foot-passengers. Under all these circumstances, then, our readers need not feel surprised that, owing at once to the impenetrable obscurity around them, and the noiseless nature of the antique and grass-covered pavement over which they went, scarcely a distance of two hundred yards had been gained when they found, to their dismay,' that they had lost their path, and were in one of the wild and heathy stretches of unbounded moor by which they were surrounded.

"We have lost our way, Andy," observed his master. "We've got off that damned old path; what's to be done? where are you?"

"I'm here, sir," replied his man; "but as for what's to be done, it would take Mayo Mullen, that sees the fairies and tells fortunes, to tell us that. For heaven's sake, stay where you are, sir, till I get up to you, for if we part from one another, we're both lost. Where are you, sir?"

"Curse you, sirra," replied his master angrily, "is this either a time or place to jest in? A man that would make a jest in such a situation as this would dance on his father's tombstone."

"By my soul, sir, and I'd give a five-pound note, if I had it, that you and I were dancing 'Jig Polthogue' on it this minute. But, in the mane time, the devil a one o' me sees the joke your honor speaks of."

"Why, then, do you ask me where I am, when you know I'm astray, that we're both astray, you snivelling old whelp? By the great and good King William, I'll be lost, Andy!"

"Well, and even if you are, sir," replied Andy, who, guided by his voice, had now approached and joined him; "even if you are, sir, I trust you'll bear it like a Christian and a Trojan."

"Get out, you old sniveller—what do you mean by a Trojan?"

"A Trojan, sir, I was tould, is a man that lives by sellin' wild-fowl. They take an oath, sir, before they begin the trade, never to die until they can't help it."

"You mean to say, or to hint at least, that in addition to our other dangers we run the risk of coming in contact with poachers?"

"Well, then, sir, if I don't mistake they're out to-night. However, don't let us alarm one another. God forbid that I'd say a single word to frighten you; but still, you know yourself that there's many a man not a hundred miles from us that 'ud be glad to mistake you for a target, a mallard, or any other wild-fowl or that description."

"In the meantime we are both well armed," replied his master; "but what I fear most is the risk we run of falling down precipices, or walking into lakes or quagmires. What's to be done? This fog is so cursedly cold that it has chilled my very blood into ice."

"Our best plan, sir, is to dismount, and keep ourselves warm by taking a pleasant stroll across the country. The horses will take care of themselves. In the meantime keep up your spirits—we'll both want something to console us; but this I can tell you, that devil a bit of tombstone ever will go over either of us, barrin' the sky in heaven; and for our coffins, let us pray to the coffin-maker, bekaise, you see, it's the maddhu ruah * (the foxes), and ravens, and other civilized animals that will coffin us both by instalments in their hungry guts, until our bones will be beautiful to look at—afther about six months' bleaching—and a sharp eye 'twould be that 'ud know the difference between masther and man then, I think."

We omitted to say that a piercing and most severe hoar frost had set in with the fog, and that Cummiskey's master felt the immediate necessity of dismounting, and walking about, in order to preserve some degree of animal heat in his body.

"I cannot bear this, Andy," said he, "and these two gallant animals will never recover it after the severe day's hunting they've had. Poor Fiddler and Piper," he exclaimed, "this has proved a melancholy day to you both. What is to be done, Andy? I am scarcely able to stand, and feel as if my strength had utterly left me."

"What, sir," replied his servant, who was certainly deeply attached to his master, "is it so bad with you as all that comes to? Sure I only thought to amuse you, sir. Come, take courage; I'll whistle, and maybe somebody will come to our relief."

He accordingly put his two fingers into his mouth, and uttered a loud and piercing whistle, after which both stood still for a time, but no reply was given.

"Stop, sir," proceeded Andrew; "I'll give them another touch that'll make them spake, if there's any one near enough to hear us."

He once more repeated the whistle, but with two or three peculiar shakes or variations, when almost instantly one of a similar character was given in reply.

"Thank God," he exclaimed, "be they friends or foes, we have human creatures not far from us. Take courage, sir. How do you feel?"

"Frozen and chilled almost to death," replied his master; "I'll give fifty pounds to any man or party of men that will conduct us safely home."

"I hope in the Almighty," said Andrew to himself in an anxious and apprehensive tone of voice, "that it's not Parrah Ruah (Red Patrick), the red Rapparee, that's in it, and I'm afeered it is, for I think I know his whistle. There's not a man in the three baronies could give such a whistle as that, barring himself. If it is, the masther's a gone man, and I'll not be left behind to tell the story, God protect us!

"What are you saying, Andy?" asked his master: "What were you muttering just now?"

"Nothing, sir, nothing; but there can be no harm, at all events, to look to our pistols. If there should be danger, let us sell our lives like men."

"And so we will, Andy. The country I know is in a disturbed and lawless state, and ever since that unfortunate affair of the priest, I know I am not popular with a great many. I hope we won't come across his Rapparee nephew."

"Whether we do or not, sir, let us look to our firearms. Show me yours till I settle the powdher in them. Why, God bless me, how you are tremblin'."

"It is not from fear, sir," replied the intrepid old man, "but from cold. If any thing should happen me, Andy, let my daughter know that my will is in the oaken cabinet; that is to say, the last I made. She is my heiress—but that she is by the laws of the land. However, as I had disposed of some personal property to other persons, which disposition I have revoked in the will I speak of—my last, as I said—I wish you to let her know where she may find it. Her mother's jewels are also in the same place—but they, too, are hers by right of law—her mother bequeathed them to her."

"All! sir, you are right to remember and think well of that daughter. She has been a guardian angel to you these five years. But why, sir, do you give me this message? Do you think I won't sell my life in defence of yours? If you do you're mistaken."

"I believe it, Andrew; I believe it, Andy," said he again, familiarizing the word; "but if this red Rapparee should murder me, I don't, wish you to sacrifice your life on my account. Make your escape if he should be the person who is approaching us, and convey to my daughter the message I have given you."

At this moment another whistle proceeded from a quarter of the moor much nearer them, and Andy, having handed back the pistols to his master, asked him should he return it.

"Certainly," replied the other, who during all this time was pacing to and fro, in order to keep himself from sinking; "certainly, let us see whether these persons are friends or enemies."

His servant then replied to the whistle, and in a few minutes it was answered again, whilst at the same time a strong but bitter wind arose which cleared away the mist, and showed them with considerable distinctness the position which they occupied.

Within about ten yards of them, to the left, the very direction in which they had been proceeding, was a small deep lake' or tarn, utterly shoreless, and into which they unquestionably would have walked and perished, as neither of them knew how to swim. The clearing away of the mist, and the light of the stars (for the moon had not yet risen), enabled the parties to see each other, and in a few minutes Andrew and his master were joined by four men, the principal person among them being the identical individual whom they both had dreaded—the Red Rapparee.

"Master," said Cummiskey, in a whisper, on seeing them approach, "we must fight for it, I'm afeered, but let us not be rash; there may be a friend or two among them, and it is better to come off peaceably if we can."

"I agree with you," replied his master. "There is no use in shedding unnecessary blood; but, in any event, let us not permit them to disarm us, should they insist on doing so. They know I never go three yards from my hall-door without arms, and it is not improbable they may make a point of taking them from us. I, however, for one, will not trust to their promises, for I know their treachery, as I do their cowardice, when their numbers are but few, and an armed opponent or two before them, determined to give battle. Stand, therefore, by me, Andy, and, by King William, should they have re-course to violence, we shall let them see, and feel too, that we are not unprepared."

"I have but one life, sir," replied his faithful follower; "it was spent—at least its best days were—in your service, and sooner than any danger should come to you, it will be lost in your defence. If it was only for the sake of her, that is not here, the Cooleen Bawn, I would do it."

"Who goes there?" asked a deep and powerful voice when the parties had come within about twenty yards of each other.

"By the powers!" exclaimed Andrew in a whisper, "it's himself the Red Rapparee!"

"We are friends," he replied, "and have lost our way."

The other party approached, and, on joining our travellers, the Rapparee started, exclaiming, "What, noble Squire, is it possible that this is you? Hut! it can't be—let me look at you closer, till I make sure of you."

"Keep your distance, sir," replied the old man with courage and dignity; "keep your distance; you see that I and my servant are both well armed, and determined to defend ourselves against violence."

An ominous and ferocious glance passed from the Rapparee to his comrades, who, however, said nothing, but seemed to be resolved to guide themselves altogether by his conduct. The Red Rapparee was a huge man of about forty, and the epithet of "Red" had been given to him in consequence of the color of his hair. In expression his countenance was by no means unhandsome, being florid and symmetrical, but hard, and with scarcely any trace of feeling. His brows were far asunder, arguing ingenuity and invention, but his eyes, which were small and treacherous, glared—whenever he became excited—with the ferocity of an enraged tiger. His shoulders were broad, his chest deep and square, his arms long and powerful, but his lower limbs were somewhat light in proportion to the great size of his upper figure. This, however, is generally the case when a man combines in his own person the united qualities of activity and strength. Even at the period we are describing, when this once celebrated character was forty years of age, it was well known that in fleetness of foot there was no man in the province able to compete with him. In athletic exercises that required strength and skill he never had a rival, but one—with whom the reader will soon be made acquainted. He was wrapped loosely in a gray frieze big-coat, or cothamore, as it is called in Irish—wore a hat of two colors, and so pliant in texture that he could at any time turn it inside out. His coat was—as indeed were all his clothes—made upon the time principle, so that when hard pressed by the authorities he could in a minute or two transmute himself into the appearance of a nun very different from the individual described to them. Indeed he was such a perfect Proteus that no vigilance of the Executive was ever a match for his versatility of appearance, swiftness of foot, and caution. These frequent defeats of the authorities of that day made him extremely popular with the people, who were always ready to afford him shelter and means of concealment, in return for which he assisted them with food, money, and the spoils of his predatory life. This, indeed, was the sagacious principle of the Irish Robbers and Rapparees from the beginning to rob from the rich and give to the poor being their motto.

The persons who accompanied him on this occasion were three of his own gang, who usually constituted his body-guard, and acted as videttes, either for his protection or for the purpose of bringing him information of such travellers as from their known wealth or external appearance might be supposed worth attacking. They were well-made, active, and athletic men, in whom it would not be easy to recognise any particular character at variance with that of the peasantry around them. It is unnecessary to say that they were all armed. Having satisfied himself as to the identity of master and man, with a glance at his companions, the Rapparee said,

"What on earth brought you and Andy Cummiskey here, noble squire? Oh! you lost your way Andy says. Well now," he proceeded, "you know I have been many a day and night on the lookout for you; aye, could have put daylight through you many and many a time; and what do you think prevented me?"

"Fear of God, or of the gallows, I hope," replied the intrepid old man.

"Well," returned the Rapparee, with a smile of scorn, "I'm not a man—as I suppose you may know—that ever feared either of them much—God forgive me for the one, I don't ask his forgiveness for the other. No, Squire Folliard, it was the goodness, the kindness, the generosity, and the charity of the Cooleen Bawn, your lovely daughter, that held my hand. You persecuted my old uncle, the priest, and you would a' hanged him too, for merely marryin' a Protestant and a Catholic together. Well, sir, your fair daughter, and her good mother—that's now in heaven, I hope—went up to Dublin to the Lord Lieutenant, and before him the Cooleen Bawn, went on her two knees and begged my uncle's life, and got it; for the Lord Lieutenant said that no one could deny her any thing. Now, sir, for her sake, go home in peace. Boys, get their horses."

Andy Cummiskey would have looked upon all this as manly and generous, but he could not help observing a particular and rather sinister meaning in the look which the Rapparee turned on his companions as he spoke. He had often heard, too, of his treacherous disposition and his unrelenting cruelty whenever he entertained a feeling of vengeance. In his present position, however, all he could do was to stand on his guard; and with this impression strong upon him he resolved to put no confidence in the words of the Rapparee. In a few minutes the horses were brought up, and Randy (Randall) Ruah having wiped Mr. Folliard's saddle—for such was his name—with the skirt of his cothamore, and removed the hoar frost or rime which had gathered on it, he brought the animal over to him, and said, with a kind of rude courtesy,

"Come, sir, trust me; I will help you to your saddle."

"You have not the reputation of being trustworthy," replied Mr. Folliard; "keep back, sir, at your peril; I will not trust you. My own servant will assist me."

This seemed precisely the arrangement which the Rapparee and his men had contemplated. The squire, in mounting, was obliged, as every man is, to use both his hands, as was his servant also, while assisting him. They consequently put up their pistols until they should get into the saddles, and, almost in an instant, found themselves disarmed, and prisoners in the hands of these lawless and unscrupulous men.

"Now, Squire Folliard," exclaimed the Rapparee, "see what it is not to trust an honest man; had you done so, not a hair of your head would be injured. As it is, I'll give you five minutes to do three things; remember my uncle, the priest, that you transported."

"He acted most illegally, sir," replied the old man indignantly; "and, in my opinion, I say that, in consequence of his conduct, the country had a good riddance of him. I only wish I could send you after him; perhaps I shall do so yet. I believe in Providence, sirra, and that God can protect me from your violence even here."

"In the next place," proceeded the Rapparee, "think of your daughter, that you will never see again, either in this world or the next."

"I know I am unworthy of having such an angel," replied the old man, "but unless you were a cruel and a heartless ruffian, you would not at this moment mention her, or bring the thoughts of her to my recollection."

"In the last place," continued the other, "if you have any thing to say in the shape of a prayer, say it, for in five minutes' time there will be a bullet through your heart, and in five more you will be snug and warm at the bottom of the loch there below—that's your doom."

"O'Donnel," said Andy, "think that there's a God above you. Surely you wouldn't murdher this ould man and make the sowl within your body redder—if the thing's possible—than the head that's on the top of it, though in throth I don't think it's by way of ornament it's there either. Come, come, Randal, my man, this is all feastalagh (nonsense). You only want to frighten the gentleman. As for your uncle, man alive, all I can say is that he was a friend to your family, and to religion too, that sent him on his travels."

"Take off your gallowses" (braces)! said the Rapparee; "take them off, a couple of you—for, by all the powers of darkness, they'll both go to the bottom of the loch together, back to back. Down you'll go, Andy."

"By my soul, then," replied the unflinching servant, "if we go down you'll go up; and we have those belongin' to us that will see you kiss the hangman yet. Yerra, now, above all words in the alphabet what could put a gallows into your mouth? Faith, Randal, it's about your neck it'll go, and you'll put out your tongue at the daicent people that will attend your own funeral yet—that is, if you don't let us off."

"Put them both to their knees," said the Rapparee in a voice of thunder, "to their knees with them. I'll take the masther, and, Kineely, do you take the man."

The companions of the Rapparee could not avoid laughing at the comic courage displayed by Cummiskey, and were about to intercede for him, when O'Donnel, which was his name, stamped with fury on the ground and asked them if they dared to disobey him. This sobered them at once, and in less than a minute Mr. Folliard and Andy were placed upon their knees, to await the terrific sentence which was about to be executed on them, in that wild and lonely moor, and under such appalling circumstances. When placed in the desired posture, to ask that mercy from God which they were not about to experience at the hands of man, Squire Folliard spoke:

"Red Rapparee," said he, "it is not that I am afraid of death as such, but I feel that I am not prepared to die. Suffer my servant and myself to go home without harm, and I shall engage not only to get you a pardon from the Government of the country, but I shall furnish you with money either to take you to some useful calling, or to emigrate to some foreign country, where nobody will know of your misdeeds, or the life you have led here."

"Randal, my man," added Andy, "listen to what the gentleman says, and you may escape what you know yet. As for my master, Randal, let him pass, and take me in his place. I may as well die now, maybe, as another time. I was an honest, faithful servant, at all times. I have neither chick nor child to cry for me. No wife, thank God, to break my heart afther. My conscience is light and airy, like a beggarmans blanket, as they say; and, barrin' that I once got drunk wid your uncle in Moll Flanagan's sheebeen house, I don't know that I have much to trouble me. Spare him, then, and take me, if it must come to that. He has the Cooleen Bawn to think for. Do you think of her, too; and remember that it was she who saved your uncle from the gallows."

This unlucky allusion only deepened the vengeance of the Red Rapparee, who looked to the priming of his gun, and was in the act of preparing to perpetrate this most in-human and awful murder, when all interruption took place for which neither party was prepared.

Now, it so happened that within about eight or ten yards of where they stood there existed the walls and a portion of the arched roof of one of those old ecclesiastical ruins, which our antiquarians denominate Cyclopean, like lucus a non lucendo, because scarcely a dozen men could kneel in them. Over this sad ruin was what sportsmen term "a pass" for duck and widgeon, and, aided by the shelter of the building, any persons who stationed themselves there could certainly commit great havoc among the wild-fowl in question. The Red Rapparee then had his gun in his hand, and was in the very act of adjusting it to his shoulder, when a powerful young man sprung forward, and dashing it aside, exclaimed:

"What is this, Randal? Is it a double murder you are about to execute, you inhuman ruffian?"

The Rapparee glared at him, but with a quailing and subdued, yet sullen and vindictive, expression.

"Stand up, sir," proceeded this daring and animated young man, addressing Mr. Folliard; "and you, Cummiskey, get to your legs. No person shall dare to injure either of you while I am here. O'Donnel—stain and disgrace to a noble name—begone, you and your ruffians. I know the cause of your enmity against this gentleman; and I tell you now, that if you were as ready to sustain your religion as you are to disgrace it by your conduct, you would not become a curse to it and the country, nor give promise of feeding a hungry gallows some day, as you and your accomplices will do."

Whilst the young stranger addressed these miscreants with such energy and determination, Mr. Folliard, who, as well as his servant, had now got to his legs, asked the latter in a whisper who he was.

"By all that's happy, sir," he replied, "it's himself, the only man living that the Red Rapparee is afraid of; it's 'Willy Reilly.'"





CHAPTER II. The Cooleen Baum.

The old man became very little wiser by the information of his servant, and said in reply, "I hope, Andy, he's not a Papist;" but checking the unworthy prejudice—and in him such prejudices were singularly strong in words, although often feeble in fact he added, "it matters not—we owe our lives to him—the deepest and most important obligation that one man can owe to another. I am, however, scarcely able to stand; I feel be-numbed and exhausted, and wish to get home as soon as possible."

"Mr. Reilly," said Andy, "this gentleman is very weak and ill; and as you have acted so much like a brave man and a gentleman, maybe you'd have no objection to see us safe home."

"It is my intention to do so," replied Reilly. "I could not for a moment think of leaving either him or you to the mercy of this treacherous man, who dishonors a noble name. Randal," he proceeded, addressing the Rapparee, "mark my words!—if but a single hair of this gentleman's head, or of any one belonging to him, is ever injured by you or your gang, I swear that you and they will swing, each of you, from as many gibbets, as soon as the course of the law can reach you. You know me, sir, and my influence over those who protect you. As for you, Fergus," he added, addressing one of the Rapparee's followers, "you are, thank God! the only one of my blood who has ever disgraced it by leading such a lawless and guilty life. Be advised by me—leave that man of treachery,rapine, and murder—abandon him and re-form your life—and if you are disposed to become a good and an industrious member of society, go to some other country, where the disgrace you have incurred in this may not follow you. Be advised by me, and you shall not want the means of emigrating. Now begone; and think, each of you, of what I have said."

The Rapparee glanced at the noble-looking young fellow with the vindictive ferocity of an enraged bull, who feels a disposition to injure you, but is restrained by terror; or, which is quite as appropriate, a cowardly but vindictive mastiff, who eyes you askance, growls, shows his teeth, but has not the courage to attack you.

"Do not look at me so, sir," said Reilly; "you know I fear you not."

"But the meantime," replied the Rapparee, "what's to prevent me from putting a bullet into you this moment, if I wish to do it?"

"There are ten thousand reasons against it," returned Reilly. "If you did so, in less than twenty-four hours you would find yourself in Sligo jail—or, to come nearer the truth, in less than five minutes you would find yourself in hell."

"Well, now, suppose I should make the trial," said the Rapparee. "You don't know, Mr. Reilly, how you have crossed me to-night. Suppose now I should try—and suppose, too, that not one of you three should leave the spot you stand on only as corpses—wouldn't I have the advantage of you then?"

Reilly turned towards the ruined chapel, and simply raising his right hand, about eight or ten persons made their appearance; but, restrained by signal from him, they did not advance.

"That will do," said he. "Now, Randal, I hope you understand your position. Do not provoke me again; for if you do I will surround you with toils from which you could as soon change your fierce and brutal nature as escape. Yes, and I will take you in the midst of your ruffian guards, and in the deepest of your fastnesses, if ever you provoke me as you have done on other occasions, or if you ever injure this gentleman or any individual of his family. Come, sir," he proceeded, addressing the old man, "you are now mounted—my horse is in this old ruin—and in a moment I shall be ready to accompany you."

Reilly and his companions joined our travellers, one of the former having offered the old squire a large frieze great-coat, which he gladly accepted, and having thus formed a guard of safety for him and his faithful attendant, they regained the old road we I have described, and resumed their journey.

When they had gone, the Rapparee and his companions looked after them with blank faces for some minutes.

"Well," said their leader, "Reilly has knocked up our game for this night. Only for him I'd have had a full and sweet revenge. However, never mind: it'll go hard with me, or I'll have it yet. In the mane time it won't be often that such another opportunity will come in our way."

"Well, now that it is over, what was your intention, Randal?" asked the person to whom Reilly had addressed himself.

"Why," replied the miscreant, "after the deed was done, what was to prevent us from robbing the house to-night, and taking away his daughter to the mountains. I have long had my eye on her, I can tell you, and it'll cost me a fall, or I'll have her yet."

"You had better," replied Fergus Reilly, for such was his name, "neither make nor meddle with that family afther this night. If you do, that terrible relation of mine will hang you like a dog."

"How will he hang me like a dog?" asked the Rapparee, knitting his shaggy eyebrows, and turning upon him a fierce and gloomy look.

"Why, now, Randal, you know as well as I do," replied the other, "that if he only raised his finger against you in the country, the very people that harbor both you and us would betray us, aye, seize us, and bind us hand and foot, like common thieves, and give us over to the authorities. But as for himself, I believe you have sense enough to let him alone. When you took away Mary Traynor, and nearly kilt her brother, the young priest—you know they were Reilly's tenants—I needn't tell you what happened: in four hours' time he had the country up, followed you and your party—I wasn't with you then, but you know it's truth I'm spakin'—and when he had five to one against you, didn't he make them stand aside until he and you should decide it between you? Aye, and you know he could a' brought home every man of you tied neck and heels, and would, too, only that there was a large reward offered for the takin' of you livin' or dead, and he scorned to have any hand in it on that account."

"It was by a chance blow he hit me," said the Rapparee—"by a chance blow."

"By a couple dozen chance blows," replied the other; "you know he knocked you down as fast as ever you got up—I lave it to the boys here that wor present."

"There's no use in denyin' it, Randal," they replied; "you hadn't a chance wid him."

"Well, at all events," observed the Rapparee, "if he did beat me, he's the only man in the country able to do it; but it's not over, curse him—Ill have another trial with him yet."

"If you take my advice," replied Reilly, "you'll neither make nor meddle with him. He's the head o' the Catholics in this part of the country, and you know that; aye, and he's their friend, and uses the friendship that the Protestants have towards him for their advantage, wherever he can. The man that would injure Willy Reilly is an enemy to our religion, as well as to every thing that's good and generous; and mark me, Randal, if ever you cross him in what he warned you against this very night, I'll hang you myself, if there wasn't another livin' man to do it, and to the back o' that again I say you must shed no blood so long as I am with you."

"That won't be long, then," replied the Rapparee, pulling out a purse; "there's twenty guineas for you, and go about your business; but take care, no treachery."

"No," replied the other, "I'll have none of your money; there's blood in it. God forgive me for ever joinin' you. When I want money I can get it; as for treachery, there's none of it in my veins; good-night, and remember my words."

Having thus spoken, he took his way along the same road by which the old squire and his party went.

"That fellow will betray us," said the Rapparee.

"No," replied his companions firmly, "there never was treachery in his part of the family; he is not come from any of the Queen's O'Reillys.* We wish you were as sure of every man you have as you may be of him."

     * Catholic families who were faithful and loyal to Queen
     Elizabeth during her wars in Ireland were stigmatized by the
     nickname of the Queen's friends, to distinguish them from
     others of the same name who had opposed her, on behalf of
     their religion, in the wars which desolated Ireland during
     her reign; a portion of the family of which we write were on
     this account designated as the Queen's O'Reillys.

"Well, now," observed their leader, "a thought strikes me; this ould squire will be half dead all night. At any rate he'll sleep like a top. Wouldn't it be a good opportunity to attack the house—aise him of his money, for he's as rich as a Jew—and take away the Colleen Bawn? We'll call at Shane Bearna's** stables on our way and bring the other boys along wid us. What do you say?"

     ** Shane Bearna was a celebrated Rapparee, who, among his
     other exploits, figured principally as a horse-stealer. He
     kept the stolen animals concealed in remote mountain caves,
     where he trimmed and dyed them in such a way as made it
     impossible to recognize them. These caves are curiosities at
     the present day, and are now known as Shane Bearna's
     Stables. He was a chief in the formidable gang of the
     celebrated Redmond O'Manion. It is said of him that he was
     called Bearna because he never had any teeth; but tradition
     tells us that he could, notwithstanding, bite a piece out of
     a thin plate of iron with as much ease as if it were
     gingerbread.

"Why, that you'll hang yourself, and every man of us."

"Nonsense, you cowardly dogs," replied their leader indignantly; "can't we lave the country?"

"Well, if you're bent on it," replied his followers, "we won't be your hindrance."

"We can break up, and be off to America," he added.

"But what will you do with the Cooleen Bawn, if you take her?" they asked.

"Why, lave her behind us, afther showin' the party creature the inside of Shane Bearea's stables. She'll be able to find her way back to her father's, never fear. Come, boys, now or never. To say the truth, the sooner we get out of the country, at all events, the better."

The Rapparee and his men had moved up to the door of the old chapel already alluded to, whilst this conversation went on; and now that their dreadful project had been determined on, they took a short cut across the moors, in order to procure additional assistance for its accomplishment.

No sooner had they gone, however, than an individual, who had been concealed in the darkness within, came stealthily to the door, and peeping cautiously out, at length advanced a few steps and looked timidly about him. Perceiving that the coast was clear, he placed himself under the shadow of the old walls—for there was now sufficient light to cast a shadow from any prominent object; and from thence having observed the direction which the Rapparee and his men took, without any risk of being seen himself, he appeared satisfied. The name of this individual—who, although shrewd and cunning in many things, was nevertheless deficient in reason—or rather the name by which he generally went, was Tom Steeple, a sobriquet given to him on account of a predominant idea which characterized and influenced his whole conversation. The great delight of this poor creature was to be considered the tallest individual in the kingdom, and indeed nothing could be more amusing than to witness the manner in which he held up his head while he walked, or sat, or stood. In fact his walk was a complete strut, to which the pride, arising from the consciousness of, or rather the belief in, his extraordinary height gave an extremely ludicrous appearance. Poor Tom was about five feet nine in height, but imagined himself to be at least a foot higher. His whole family were certainly tall, and one of the greatest calamities of the poor fellow's life was a bitter reflection that he himself was by several inches the lowest of his race. This was the only exception he made with respect to height, but so deeply did it affect him that he could scarcely ever allude to it without shedding tears. The life he had was similar in most respects to that of his unhappy class. He wandered about through the country, stopping now at one farmer's house, and now at another's, where he always experienced a kind reception, because he was not only amusing and inoffensive, but capable of making himself useful as a messenger and drudge. He was never guilty of a dishonest act, nor ever known to commit a breach of trust; and as a quick messenger, his extraordinary speed of foot rendered him unrivalled. His great delight, however, was to attend sportsmen, to whom he was invaluable as a guide and director. Such was his wind and speed of foot that, aided by his knowledge of what is termed the lie of the country, he was able to keep up with any pack of hounds that ever went out. As a soho man he was unrivalled. The form of every hare for miles about was known to him, and if a fox or a covey of partridges were to be found at all, he was your man. In wild-fowl shooting he was infallible. No pass of duck, widgeon, barnacle, or curlew, was unknown to him. In fact, his principal delight was to attend the gentry of the country to the field, either with harrier, foxhound, or setter. No coursing match went right if Torn were not present; and as for night shooting, his eye and ear were such as, for accuracy of observation, few have ever witnessed. It is true he could subsist a long time without food, but, like the renowned Captain Dalgetty, when an abundance of it happened to be placed before him, he displayed the most indefensible ignorance as to all knowledge of the period when he ought to stop, considering it his bounden duty on all occasions to clear off whatever was set before him—a feat which he always accomplished with the most signal success.

"Aha" exclaimed Tom, "dat Red Rapparee is tall man, but not tall as Tom; him no steeple like Tom; but him rogue and murderer, an' Tom honest; him won't carry off Cooleen Bawn dough, nor rob her fader avder. Come, Tom, Steeple Tom, out with your two legs, one afore toder, and put Rapparee's nose out o' joint. Cooleen Bawn dats good to everybody, Catlieks (Catholics) an' all, an' often ordered Tom many a bully dinner. Hicko! hicko! be de bones of Peter White—off I go!"

Tom, like many other individuals of his description, was never able to get over the language of childhood—a characteristic which is often appended to the want of reason, and from which, we presume, the term "innocent" has been applied in an especial manner to those who are remarkable for the same defect.

Having uttered the words we have just recited, he started off at a gait, peculiar to fools, which is known by the name of "a sling trot," and after getting out upon the old road he turned himself in the direction which Willy Reilly and his party had taken, and there we beg to leave him for the present.

The old squire felt his animal heat much revived by the warmth of the frieze coat, and his spirits, now that the dreadful scene into which he had been so unexpectedly cast had passed away without danger, began to rise so exuberantly that his conversation became quite loquacious and mirthful, if not actually, to a certain extent, incoherent.

"Sir," said he, "you must come home with me—confound me, but you must, and you needn't say nay, now, for I shall neither take excuse nor apology. I am a hospitable man, Mr.—what's this your name is?"

"My name, sir," replied the other, "is Reilly—William Reilly, or, as I am more generally called, Willy Reilly. The name, sir, though an honorable one, is, in this instance, that of an humble man, but one who, I trust, will never disgrace it."

"You must come home with me, Mr. Reilly. Not a word now."

"Such is my intention, sir," replied Reilly. "I shall not leave you until I see that all risk of danger is past—until I place you safely under your own roof."

"Well, now," continued the old squire, "I believe a Papist can be a gentleman—a brave man—a man of honor, Mr. Reilly."

"I am not aware that there is any thing in his religion to make him either dishonorable or cowardly, sir," replied Reilly with a smile.

"No matter," continued the other, who found a good deal of difficulty in restraining his prejudices on that point, no matter, sir, no matter, Mr.—a—a—oh, yes, Reilly, we will have nothing to do with religion—away with it—confound religion, sir, if it prevents one man from being thankful, and grateful too, to another, when that other has saved his life. What's your state and condition in society, Mr.—? confound the scoundrel! he'd have shot me. We must hang that fellow—the Red Rapparee they call him—a dreadful scourge to the country; and, another thing, Mr.—Mr. Mahon—you must come to my daughter's wedding. Not a word now—by the great Boyne, you must. Have you ever seen my daughter, sir?"

"I have never had that pleasure," replied Reilly, "but I have heard enough of her wonderful goodness and beauty."

"Well, sir, I tell you to your teeth that I deny your words—you have stated a falsehood, sir—a lie, sir."

"What do you mean, sir?" replied Reilly, somewhat indignantly. "I am not in the habit of stating a falsehood, nor of submitting tamely to such an imputation."

"Ha, ha, ha, I say it's a lie still, my friend. What did you say? Why, that you had heard enough of her goodness and beauty. Now, sir, by the banks of the Boyne, I say you didn't hear half enough of either one or other. Sir, you should know her, for although you are a Papist you are a brave man, and a gentleman. Still, sir, a Papist is not—curse it, this isn't handsome of me, Willy. I beg your pardon. Confound all religions if it goes to that. Still at the same time I'm bound to say as a loyal man that Protestantism is my forte, Mr. Reilly—there's where I'm strong, a touch of Hercules about me there, Mr. Reilly—Willy, I mean. Well, you are a thorough good fellow, Papist and all, though you—ahem!—never mind though, you shall see my daughter, and you shall hear my daughter; for, by the great Boyne, she must salute the man that saved her father's life, and prevented her from being an orphan. And yet see, Willy, I love that girl to such a degree that if heaven was open for me this moment, and that Saint Peter—hem!—I mean the Apostle Peter, slid to me, 'Come, Folliard, walk in, sir,' by the great Deliverer that saved us from Pope and Popery, brass money, and—ahem! I beg your pardon—well, I say if he was to say so, I wouldn't leave her. There's affection for you; but she deserves it. No, if ever a girl was capable of keeping an old father from heaven she is."

"I understand your meaning, sir," replied Reilly with a smile, "and I believe she is loved by every one who has the pleasure of knowing her—by rich and poor."

"Troth, Mr. Reilly," observed Andy, "it's a sin for any one to let their affections, even for one of their own childer, go between them and heaven. As for the masther, he makes a god of her. To be sure if ever there was an angel in this world she is one."

"Get out, you old whelp," exclaimed his master; "what do you know about it?—you who never had wife or child? isn't she my only child?—the apple of my eye? the love of my heart?"

"If you loved her so well you wouldn't make her unhappy then."

"What do you mean, you despicable old Papist?"

"I mean that you wouldn't marry her to a man she doesn't like, as you're goin' to do. That's a bad way to make her happy, at any rate."

"Overlook the word Papist, Mr. Reilly, that I applied to that old idolater—the fellow worships images; of course you know, as a Papist, he does—ahem!—but to show you that I don't hate the Papist without exception, I beg to let you know, sir, that I frequently have the Papist priest of our parish to dine with me; and if that isn't liberality the devil's in it. Isn't that true, you superstitious old Padareen? No, Mr. Reilly, Mr. Mahon—Willy, I mean—I'm a liberal man, and I hope we'll be all saved yet, with the exception of the Pope—ahem! yes, I hope we shall all be saved."

"Throth, sir," said Andy, addressing himself to Reilly, "he's a quare gentleman, this. He's always abusing the Papists, as he calls us, and yet for every Protestant servant undher his roof he has three Papists, as he calls us. His bark, sir, is worse than his bite, any day."

"I believe it," replied Reilly in a low voice, "and it's a pity that a good and benevolent man should suffer these idle prejudices to sway him."

"Divil a bit they sway him, sir," replied Andy; "he'll damn and abuse them and their religion, and yet he'll go any length to serve one o' them, if they want a friend, and has a good character. But here, now we're at the gate of the avenue, and you'll soon see the Cooleen Bawn"

"Hallo!" the squire shouted out, "what the devil! are you dead or asleep there? Brady, you Papist scoundrel, why not open the gate?"

The porter's wife came out as he uttered the words, saying, "I beg your honor's pardon. Ned is up at the Castle;" and whilst speaking she opened the gate.

"Ha, Molly!" exclaimed her master in a tone of such bland good nature as could not for a moment be mistaken; "well, Molly, how is little Mick? Is he better, poor fellow?"

"He is, thank God, and your honor."

"Hallo, Molly," said the squire, laughing, "that's Popery again. You are thanking God and me as if we were intimate acquaintances. None of that foolish Popish nonsense. When you thank God, thank him; and when you thank me, why thank me; but don't unite us, as you do him and your Popish saints, for I tell you, Molly, I'm no saint; God forbid! Tell the doctorman to pay him every attention, and to send his bill to me when the child is properly recovered; mark that—properly recovered."

A noble avenue, that swept along with two or three magnificent bends, brought them up to a fine old mansion of the castellated style, where the squire and his two equestrian attendants dismounted, and were ushered into the parlor, which they found brilliantly lighted up with a number of large wax tapers. The furniture of the room was exceedingly rich, but somewhat curious and old-fashioned. It was such, however, as to give ample proof of great wealth and comfort, and, by the heat of a large peat fire which blazed in the capacious hearth, it communicated that sense of warmth which was in complete accordance with the general aspect of the apartment. An old gray-haired butler, well-powdered, together with two or three other servants in rich livery, now entered, and the squire's first inquiry was after his daughter.

"John," said he to the butler, "how is your mistress?" but, without waiting for a reply, he added, "here are twenty pounds, which you will hand to those fine fellows at the hall-door."

"Pardon me, sir," replied Reilly, "those men are my tenants, and the sons of my tenants: they have only performed towards you a duty, which common humanity would require at their hands towards the humblest person that lives."

"They must accept it, Mr. Reilly—they must have it—they are humble men—and as it is only the reward of a kind office, I think it is justly due to them. Here, John, give them the money."

It was in vain that Reilly interposed; the old squire would not listen to him. John was, accordingly, dispatched to the hall steps, but found that they had all gone.

At this moment our friend Toni Steeple met the butler, whom he approached with a kind of wild and uncouth anxiety.

"Aha! Mista John," said he, "you tall man too, but not tall as Tom Steeple—ha, ha—you good man too, Mista John—give Tom bully dinners—Willy Reilly, Mista John, want to see Willy Reilly."

"What do you want with him, Tom? he's engaged with the master."

"Must see him, Mista John; stitch in time saves nine. Hicko! hicko! God's sake, Mista John: God's sake! Up dere;" and as he spoke he pointed towards the sky.

"Well, but what is your business, then? What have you to say to him? He's engaged, I tell you."

Tom, apprehensive that he might not get an opportunity of communicating with Reilly, bolted in, and as the parlor door stood open, he saw him standing near the large chimney-piece.

"Willy Reilly!" he exclaimed in a voice that trembled with earnestness, "Willy Reilly, dere's news for you—for de squire too—bad news—God's sake come wid Tom—you tall too, Willy Reilly, but not tall as Tom is."

"What is the matter, Tom?" asked Reilly; "you look alarmed."

"God's sake, here, Willy Reilly," replied the kind-hearted fool, "come wid Tom. Bad news."

"Hallo!" exclaimed the squire, "what is the matter? Is this Tom Steeple? Go to the kitchen, Tom, and get one of your 'bully dinners'—my poor fellow—off with you—and a pot of beer, Tom."

An expression of distress, probably heightened by his vague and unconscious sense of the squire's kindness, was depicted strongly on his countenance, and ended in a burst of tears.

"Ha!" exclaimed Reilly, "poor Tom, sir, was with us to-night on our duck-shooting excursion, and, now that I remember, remained behind us in the old ruin—and then he is in tears. What can this mean? I will go with you, Tom—excuse me, sir, for a few minutes—there can be no harm in hearing what he has to say."

He accompanied the fool, with whom he remained for about six or eight minutes, after which he re-entered the parlor with a face which strove in vain to maintain its previous expression of ease and serenity.

"Well, Willy?" said the squire—"you see, by the way, I make an old acquaintance of you—"

"You do me honor, sir," replied Reilly. "Well, what was this mighty matter? Not a fool's message, I hope? eh!"

"No, sir," said the other, "but a matter of some importance."

"John," asked his master, as the butler entered, "did you give those worthy fellows the money?"

"No, your honor," replied the other, they were gone before I went out."

"Well, well," replied his master, "it can't be helped. You will excuse me, Mr.—a—a—yes—Mr. Reilly—Willy—Willy—ay, that's it—you will excuse me, Willy, for not bringing you to the drawing room. The fact is, neither of us is in a proper trim to go there—both travel-soiled, as they say—you with duck-shooting and I with a long ride—besides, I am quite too much fatigued to change my dress—John, some Madeira. I'm better than I was—but still dreadfully exhausted and afterwards, John, tell your mistress that her father wishes to see her here. First, the Madeira, though, till I recruit myself a little. A glass or two will do neither of us any harm, Willy, but a great deal of good. God bless me! what an escape I've had! what a dreadful fate you rescued me from, my young friend and preserver—for as such I will ever look upon, you."

"Sir," replied Reilly, "I will not deny that the appearance of myself and my companions, in all probability, saved your life."

"There was no probability in it, Willy—none at all; it would have been a dead certainty in every sense. My God! here, John—put it down here—fill for that gentleman and me—thank you, John—Willy," he said as he took the glass in his trembling hand—"Willy—John, withdraw and send down, my daughter—Willy"—the old man looked at him, but was too full to utter a word. At this moment his daughter entered the room, and her father, laying down the glass, opened his arms, and said in a choking voice, "Helen, my daughter—my child—come to me;" and as she threw herself into them he embraced her tenderly and wept aloud.

"Dear papa!" she exclaimed, after the first burst of his grief was over, "what has affected you so deeply? Why are you so agitated?"

"Look at that noble young man," he exclaimed, directing her attention to Reilly, who was still standing. "Look at him, my life, and observe him well; there he stands who has this night saved your loving father from the deadly aim of an assassin—from being murdered by O'Donnel, the Red Rapparee, in the lonely moors."

Reilly, from the moment the far-famed Cooleen Dawn entered the room, heard not a syllable the old man had said. He was absorbed, entranced, struck with a sensation of wonder, surprise, agitation, joy, and confusion, all nearly at the same moment. Such a blaze of beauty, such elegance of person, such tenderness and feeling as chastened the radiance of her countenance into something that might be termed absolutely divine; such symmetry of form; such harmony of motion; such a seraphic being in the shape of woman, he had, in fact, never seen or dreamt of. She seemed as if surrounded by an atmosphere of light, of dignity, of goodness, of grace; but that which, above all, smote him, heart on, the moment was the spirit of tenderness and profound sensibility which seemed to predominate in her whole being. Why did his manly and intrepid heart palpitate? Why did such a strange confusion seize upon him? Why did the few words which she uttered in her father's arms fill his ears with a melody that charmed him out of his strength? Alas! is it necessary to ask? To those who do not understand this mystery, no explanation could be of any avail; and to those who do, none is necessary.

After her father had spoken, she raised herself from his arms, and assuming her full height—and she was tall—looked for a moment with her dark, deep, and terrible eyes upon Reilly, who in the meantime felt rapt, spell-bound, and stood, whilst his looks were riveted upon these irresistible orbs, as if he had been attracted by the influence of some delightful but supernatural power, under which he felt himself helpless.

That mutual gaze and that delightful moment! alas! how many hours of misery—of sorrow—of suffering—and of madness did they not occasion!

"Papa has imposed a task upon me, sir," she said, advancing gracefully towards him, her complexion now pale, and again over-spread with deep blushes. "What do I say? Alas—a task! to thank the preserver of my father's life—I know not what I say: help me, sir, to papa—I am weak—I am—"

Reilly flew to her, and caught her in his arms just in time to prevent her from falling.

"My God!" exclaimed her father, getting to his feet, "what is the matter? I was wrong to mention the circumstance so abruptly; I ought to have prepared her for it. You are strong, Reilly, you are strong, and I am too feeble—carry her to the settee. There, God bless you!—God bless you!—she will soon recover. Helen! my child! my life! What, Helen! Come, dearest love, be a woman. I am safe, as you may see, dearest. I tell you I sustained no injury in life—not a hair of nay head was hurt; thanks to Mr. Reilly for it thanks to this gentleman. Oh! that's right, bravo, Helen—bravo, my girl! See that, Reilly, isn't she a glorious creature? She recovers now, to set her old loving father's heart at ease."

The weakness, for it did not amount altogether to insensibility, was only of brief duration.

"Dear papa," said she, raising herself, and withdrawing gently and modestly from Reilly's support, "I was unprepared for the account of this dreadful affair. Excuse me, sir; surely you will admit that a murderous attack on dear papa's life could not be listened to by his only child with indifference. But do let me know how it happened, papa."

"You are not yet equal to it, darling; you are too much agitated."

"I am equal to it now, papa! Pray, let me hear it, and how this gentleman—who will be kind enough to imagine my thanks, for, indeed, no language could express them—and how this gentleman was the means of saving you."

"Perhaps, Miss Folliard," said Reilly, "it would be better to defer the explanation until you shall have gained more strength."

"Oh, no, sir," she replied; "my anxiety to hear it will occasion me greater suffering, I am sure, than the knowledge of it, especially now that papa is safe."

Reilly bowed in acquiescence, but not in consequence of her words; a glance as quick as the lightning, but full of entreaty and gratitude, and something like joy—for who does not know the many languages which the single glance of a lovely woman can speak?—such a glance, we say, accompanied her words, and at once won him to assent.

"Miss Folliard may be right, sir," he observed, "and as the shock has passed, perhaps to make her briefly acquainted with the circumstances will rather relieve her."

"Right," said her father, "so it will, Willy, so it will, especially, thank God, as there has been no harm done. Look at this now! Get away, you saucy baggage! Your poor loving father has only just escaped being shot, and now he runs the risk of being strangled."

"Dear, dear papa," she said, "who could have thought of injuring you—you with your angry tongue, but your generous and charitable and noble heart?" and again she wound her exquisite and lovely arms about his neck and kissed him, whilst a fresh gush of tears came to her eyes.

"Come, Helen—come, love, be quiet now, or I shall not tell you any thing more about my rescue by that gallant young fellow standing before you."

This was followed, on her part, by another glance at Reilly, and the glance was as speedily followed by a blush, and again a host of tumultuous emotions crowded around his heart.

The old man, placing her head upon his bosom, kissed and patted her, after which he related briefly, and in such a way as not, if possible, to excite her afresh, the circumstances with which the reader is already acquainted. At the close, however, when he came to the part which Reilly had borne in the matter, and dwelt at more length on his intrepidity and spirit, and the energy of character and courage with which the quelled the terrible Rapparee, he was obliged to stop for a moment, and say,

"Why, Helen, what is the matter, my darling? Are you getting ill again? Your little heart is going at a gallop—bless me, how it pit-a-pats. There, now, you've heard it all—here I am, safe—and there stands the gentleman to whom, under God, we are both indebted for it. And now let us have dinner, darling, for we have not dined?"

Apologies on the part of Reilly, who really had dined, were flung to the winds by the old squire.

"What matter, Willy? what matter, man?—sit at the table, pick something—curse it, we won't eat you. Your dress? never mind your dress. I am sure Helen here will not find fault with it. Come, Helen, use your influence, love. And you, sir, Willy Reilly, give her your arm." This he added in consequence of dinner having been announced while he spoke; and so they passed into the dining-room.





CHAPTER III.—Daring Attempt of the Red Rapparee

—Mysterious Disappearance of His Gang—The Avowal

We must go back a little. When Helen sank under the dreadful intelligence of the attempt made to assassinate her father, we stated at the time that she was not absolutely insensible; and this was the fact. Reilly, already enraptured by such wonderful grace and beauty as the highest flight of his imagination could never have conceived, when called upon by her father to carry her to the sofa, could scarcely credit his senses that such a lovely and precious burden should ever be entrusted to him, much less borne in his very arms. In order to prevent her from falling, he was literally obliged to throw them around her, and, to a certain extent, to press her—for the purpose of supporting her—against his heart, the pulsations of which were going at a tremendous speed. There was, in fact, something so soft, so pitiable, so beautiful, and at the same time so exquisitely pure and fragrant, in this lovely creature, as her head lay drooping on his shoulder, her pale cheek literally lying against his, that it is not at all to be wondered at that the beatings of his heart were accelerated to an unusual degree. Now she, from her position upon his bosom, necessarily felt this rapid action of its tenant; when, therefore, her father, after her recovery, on reciting for her the fearful events of the evening, and dwelling upon Reilly's determination and courage, expressed alarm at the palpitations of her heart, a glance passed between them which each, once and forever, understood. She had felt the agitation of him who had risked his life in defence of her father, for in this shape the old man had truly put it; and now she knew from her father's observation, as his arm lay upon her own, that the interest which his account of Reilly's chivalrous conduct throughout the whole affair had excited in it were discovered. In this case heart spoke to heart, and by the time they sat down to dinner, each felt conscious that their passion, brief as was the period of their acquaintance, had become, whether for good or evil, the uncontrollable destiny of their lives.

William Reilly was the descendant of an old and noble Irish family. His ancestors had gone through all the vicissitudes and trials, and been engaged in most of the civil broils and wars, which, in Ireland, had characterized the reign of Elizabeth. As we are not disposed to enter into a disquisition upon the history of that stormy period, unless to say that we believe in our souls both parties were equally savage and inhuman, and that there was not, literally, a toss up between them, we have only to add that Reilly's family, at least that branch of it to which he belonged, had been reduced by the ruin that resulted from the civil wars, and the confiscations peculiar to the times. His father had made a good deal of money abroad in business, but feeling that melancholy longing for his native soil, for the dark mountains and the green fields of his beloved country, he returned to it, and having taken a large farm of about a thousand acres, under a peculiar tenure, which we shall mention ere we close, he devoted himself to pasturage and agriculture. Old Reilly had been for some years dead, and his eldest son, William, was now not only the head of his immediate family, but of that great branch of it to which he belonged, although he neither claimed nor exercised the honor. In Reilly, many of those irreconcilable points of character, which scarcely ever meet in the disposition of any but an Irishman, were united. He was at once mild and impetuous; under peculiar circumstances, humble and unassuming, but in others, proud almost to a fault; a bitter foe to oppression in every sense, and to bigotry in every creed. He was highly educated, and as perfect a master of French, Spanish, and German, as he was of either English or Irish, both of which he spoke with equal fluency and purity. To his personal courage we need not make any further allusion. On many occasions it had been well tested on the Continent. He was an expert and unrivalled swordsman, and a first-rate shot, whether with the pistol or fowling-piece.

At every athletic exercise he was matchless; and one great cause of his extraordinary popularity among the peasantry was the pleasure he took in promoting the exercise of such manly sports among them. In his person he combined great strength with remarkable grace and ease. The wonderful symmetry of his form took away apparently from his size; but on looking at and examining him closely, you felt surprised at the astonishing fulness of his proportions and the prodigious muscular power which lay under such deceptive elegance. As for his features, they were replete with that manly expression which changes with, and becomes a candid exponent of, every feeling that influences the heart. His mouth was fine, and his full red lips exquisitely chiselled; his chin was full of firmness; and his large dark eyes, though soft, mellow, and insinuating, had yet a sparkle in them that gave evidence of a fiery spirit when provoked, as well as of a high sense of self-respect and honor. His complexion was slightly bronzed by residence in continental climates, a circumstance that gave a warmth and mellowness to his features, which, when taken into consideration with his black, clustering locks, and the snowy whiteness of his forehead, placed him in the very highest order of handsome men.

Such was our hero, the fame of whose personal beauty, as well as that of the ever-memorable Cooleen Bawn, is yet a tradition in the country.

On this occasion the dinner-party consisted only of the squire, his daughter, and Reilly. The old man, on reflecting that he was now safe, felt his spirits revive apace. His habits of life were jolly and convivial, but not actually intemperate, although it must be admitted that on some occasions he got into the debatable ground. To those who did not know him, and who were acquainted through common report only with his unmitigated abuse of Popery, he was looked upon as an oppressive and overbearing tyrant, who would enforce, to the furthest possible stretch of severity, the penal enactments then in existence against Roman Catholics. And this, indeed, was true, so far as any one was concerned from whom he imagined himself to have received an injury; against such he was a vindictive tyrant, and a most implacable persecutor. By many, on the other hand, he was considered as an eccentric man, with a weak head, but a heart that often set all his anti-Catholic prejudices at complete defiance.

At dinner the squire had most of the conversation to himself, his loquacity and good-humor having been very much improved by a few glasses of his rich old Madeira. His daughter, on the other hand, seemed frequently in a state of abstraction, and, on more than one occasion, found herself incapable of answering several questions which he put to her. Ever and anon the timid, blushing glance was directed at Reilly, by whom it was returned with a significance that went directly to her heart. Both, in fact, appeared to be influenced by some secret train of thought that seemed quite at variance with the old gentleman's garrulity.

"Well," said he, "here we are, thank God, all safe; and it is to you, Willy, we owe it. Come, man, take off your wine. Isn't he a fine young fellow, Helen?"

Helen's heart, at the moment, had followed her eyes, and she did not hear him.

"Hello! what the deuce! By the banks of the Boyne, I believe the girl has lost her hearing. I say, Helen, isn't Willy Reilly here, that prevented you from being an orphan, a fine young fellow?"

A sudden rosy blush suffused her whole neck and face on hearing this blunt and inconsiderate question.

"What, darling, have you not heard me?"

"If Mr. Reilly were not present, papa, I might give an opinion on that subject; but I trust you will excuse me now."

"Well, I suppose so; there's no getting women to speak to the point. At all events, I would give more than I'll mention that Sir Hobert Whitecraft was as good-looking a specimen of a man; I'll engage, if he was, you would have no objection to say yes, my girl."

"I look to the disposition, papa, to the moral feelings and principles, more than to the person.

"Well, Helen, that's right too—all right, darling, and on that account Sir Robert must and ought to be a favorite. He is not yet forty, and for this he is himself my authority, and forty is the prime of life; yet, with an immense fortune and strong temptations, he has never launched out into a single act of imprudence or folly. No, Helen, he never sowed a peck of wild oats in his life. He is, on the contrary, sober, grave, silent—a little too much so, by the way—cautious, prudent, and saving. No man knows the value of money better, nor can contrive to make it go further. Then, as for managing a bargain—upon my soul, I don't think he treated me well, though, in the swop of 'Hop-and-go-constant' against my precious bit of blood, 'Pat the Spanker.' He made me pay him twenty-five pounds boot for an old—But you shall see him, Reilly, you shall see him, Willy, and if ever there was a greater take in—you needn't smile, He en, nor look at Willy. By the good King William that saved us from Pope, and—ahem—I beg pardon, Willy, but, upon my soul, he took me completely in. I say, I shall show you 'Hop-and-go-constant', and when you see him you'll admit the 'Hop,' but the devil a bit you will find of the 'Go-constant.'"

"I suppose the gentleman's personal appearance, sir," observed Reilly, glancing at Miss Folliard, "is equal to his other qualities."

"Why—a—ye-s. He's tall and thin and serious, with something about him, say, of a philosopher. Isn't that true, Helen?"

"Perfectly, papa," she replied, with a smile of arch humor, which, to Reilly, placed her character in a new light.

"Perfectly true, papa, so far as you have gone; but I trust you will finish the portrait for Mr. Reilly."

"Well, then, I will. Where was I? Oh, yes—tall, thin, and serious; like a philosopher. I'll go next to the shoulders, because Helen seems to like them—they are a little round or so. I, myself, wish to goodness they were somewhat straighter, but Helen says the curve is delightful, being what painters and glaziers call the line of beauty."

A sweet light laugh, that rang with the melody of a musical bell, broke from Helen at this part of the description, in which, to tell the truth, she was joined by Reilly. The old man himself, from sheer happiness and good-humor, joined them both, though utterly ignorant of the cause of their mirth.

"Aye, aye," he exclaimed, "you may laugh—by the great Boyne, I knew I would make you laugh. Well, I'll go on; his complexion is of a—a—no matter—of a good standing color, at all events; his nose, I grant you, is as thin, and much of the same color, as pasteboard, but as a set-off to that it's a thorough Williamite. Isn't that true, Helen?"

"Yes, papa; but I think King William's nose was the worst feature in his face, although that certainly cannot be said of Sir Robert."

"Do you hear that, Reilly? I wish Sir Robert heard it, but I'll tell him—there's a compliment, Helen—you're a good girl—thank you, Helen."

Helen's face was now radiant with mirthful enjoyment, whilst at the same time Reilly could perceive that from time to time a deep unconscious sigh would escape from her, such a sigh as induced him to infer that some hidden care was at work with her heart. This he at once imputed to her father's determination to force her into a marriage with the worthy baronet, whom in his simplicity he was so ludicrously describing.

"Proceed, papa, and finish as you have begun it."

"I will, to oblige and gratify you, Helen. He is a little close about the knees, Mr. Reilly—a little close about the knees, Willy."

"And about the heart, papa," added his daughter, who, for the life of her, could not restrain the observation.

"It's no fault to know the value of money, my dear child. However, let me go on—close about the knees, but that's a proof of strength, because they support one another: every one knows that."

"But his arms, papa?"

"You see, Reilly, you see, Willy," said the squire, nodding in the direction of his daughter, "not a bad sign that, and yet she pretends not to care about him. She is gratified, evidently. Ah, Helen, Helen! it's hard to know women."

"But his arms, papa?"

"Well, then, I wish to goodness you would allow me to skip that part of the subject—they are an awful length, Willy, I grant. I allow the fact, it cannot be denied, they are of an awful length."

"It will give him the greater advantage in over-reaching, papa."

"Well, as to his arms, upon my soul Willy, I know no more what to do with them—"

"Than he does himself, papa."

"Just so, Helen; they hang about him like those of a skeleton on wires; but, on the other hand, he has a neck that always betokens true blood, long and thin like that of a racer. Altogether he's a devilish interesting man, steady, prudent, and sober. I never saw him drink a third glass of—"

"In the meantime, papa," observed Helen, "in the enthusiasm of your description you are neglecting Mr. Reilly."

Ah, love, love! in how many minute points can you make yourself understood!

"By the great William, and so I am. Come, Willy, help yourself"—and he pushed the bottle towards him as he spoke.

And why, gentle reader, did Reilly fill his glass on that particular occasion until it became literally a brimmer? We know—but if you are ignorant of it we simply beg you to remain so; and why, on putting the glass to his lips, did his large dark eyes rest upon her with that deep and melting glance? Why, too, was that glance returned with the quickness of thought before her lids dropped, and the conscious blush suffused her face? The solution of this we must also leave to your own ingenuity.

"Well," proceeded the squire, "steady, prudent, sober—of a fine old family, and with an estate of twelve thousand a year—what do you think of that, Willy? Isn't she a fortunate girl?"

"Taking his virtues and very agreeable person into consideration, sir, I think so," replied Reilly in a tone of slight sarcasm, which was only calculated to reach one of his audience.

"You hear that, Helen—you hear what Mr. Reilly—what Willy-says. The fact is, I'll call you nothing but Willy in future, Willy—you hear what he says, darling?"

"Indeed I do, papa—and understand it perfectly."

"That's my girl. Twelve thousand a year—and has money lent out at every rate of interest from six per cent. up."

"And yet I cannot consider him as interesting on that account, papa."

"You do, Helen—nonsense, my love—you do, I tell you—it's all make-believe when you speak to the contrary—don't you call the curve on his shoulders the line of beauty? Come—come—you know I only want to make you happy."

"It is time, papa, that I should withdraw," she replied, rising.

Reilly rose to open the door.

"Good-night, papa-dear, dear papa," she added, putting her snowy arms about his neck and kissing him tenderly. "I know," she added, "that the great object of your life is to make your Cooleen Bawn happy—and in doing so, dear papa—there now is another kiss for you—a little bribe, papa—in doing so, consult her heart as well as your own. Good-night."

"Good-night, my treasure."

During this little scene of affectionate tenderness Reilly stood holding the door open, and as she was going out, as if recollecting herself, she turned to him and said, "Pardon me, Mr. Reilly, I fear you must think me ungrateful; I have not yet thanked you for the service—the service indeed so important that no language could find expression for it—which you have rendered to dear papa, and to me. But, Mr. Reilly, I pray you do not think me ungrateful, or insensible, for, indeed, I am neither. Suffer me to feel what I owe you, and do not blame me if I cannot express it."

"If it were not for the value of the life which it is probable I have saved, and if it were not that your happiness was so deeply involved in it," replied Reilly, "I would say that you overrate what I have done this evening. But I confess I am myself now forced to see the value of my services, and I thank heaven for having made me the humble instrument of saving your father's life, not only for his own sake, Miss Folliard, but for yours. I now feel a double debt of gratitude to heaven for it."

The Cooleen Bawn did not speak, but the tears ran down her cheeks. "Good-night, sir," she said. "I am utterly incapable of thanking you as you deserve, and as I ought to thank you. Good-night!"

She extended her small snowy hand to him as she spoke. Reilly took it in his, and by some voluntary impulse he could not avoid giving it a certain degree of pressure. The fact is, it was such a hand—so white—so small—so soft—so warm—so provocative of a squeeze—that he felt his own pressing it, he knew not how nor wherefore, at least he thought so at the time; that is to say, if he were capable of thinking distinctly of any thing. But heaven and earth! Was it true! No delusion? No dream? The pressure returned! the slightest, the most gentle, the most delicate pressure—the barely perceptible pressure! Yes! it was beyond all doubt; for although the act itself was light as delicacy and modesty could make it, yet the spirit—the lightening spirit—which it shot into his bounding and enraptured heart could not be for a moment mistaken.

As she was running up the stairs she returned, however, and again approaching her father, said—whilst Reilly could observe that her cheek was flushed with a feeling that seemed to resemble ecstasy—"Papa," said she, "what a stupid girl I am! I scarcely know what I am saying or doing."

"By the great Boyne," replied her father, "I'll describe him to you every night in the week. I knew the curve—the line of beauty—would get into your head; but what is it, darling?"

"Will you and Mr. Reilly have tea in the drawing-room, or shall I send it down to you?"

"I am too comfortable in my easy chair, dear Helen: no, send it down."

"After the shock you have received, papa, perhaps you might wish to have it from the hand of your own Cooleen Bawn?"

As the old man turned his eyes upon her they literally danced with delight. "Ah, Willy!" said he, "is it any wonder I should love her?"

"I have often heard," replied Reilly, "that it is impossible to know her, and not to love her. I now believe it."

"Thank you, Reilly; thank you, Willy; shake hands. Come, Helen, shake hands with him. That's a compliment. Shake hands with him, darling. There, now, that's all right. Yes, my love, by all means, come down and give us tea here."

Innocent old man—the die is now irrevocably cast! That mutual pressure, and that mutual glance. Alas! alas! how strange and incomprehensible is human destiny!

After she had gone upstairs the old man said, "You see, Willy, how my heart and soul are in that angelic creature. The great object, the great delight of her life, is to anticipate all my wants, to study whatever is agreeable to me—in fact, to make me happy. And she succeeds. Every thing she does pleases me. By the grave of Schomberg, she's beyond all price. It is true we never had a baronet in the family, and it would gratify me to hear her called Lady Whitecraft; still, I say, I don't care for rank or ambition; nor would I sacrifice my child's happiness to either. And, between you and me, if she declines to have him, she shan't, thats all that's to be said about it. He's quite round in the shoulders; and yet so inconsistent are women that she calls a protuberance that resembles the letter C the line of beauty. Then again he bit me in 'Hop-and-go-constant;' and you know yourself, Willy, that no person likes to be bit, especially by the man he intends for his son-in-law. If he gives me the bite before marriage, what would he not do after it?"

"This, sir, is a subject," replied Reilly, "on which I must decline to give an opinion; but I think that no father should sacrifice the happiness of his daughter to his own inclinations. However, setting this matter aside, I have something of deep importance to mention to you."

"To me! Good heavens! What is it?"

"The Red Rapparee, sir, has formed a plan to rob, possibly to murder, you, and what is worse—"

"Worse! Why, what the deuce—worse! Why, what could be worse?"

"The dishonor of your daughter. It is his intention to carry her off to the mountains; but pardon me, I cannot bear to dwell upon the diabolical project."

The old man fell back, pale, and almost insensible, in his chair.

"Do not be alarmed, sir," proceeded Keilly, "he will be disappointed. I have taken care of that."

"But, Mr. Reilly, what—how—for heaven's sake tell me what you know about it. Are you sure of this? How did you come to hear of it? Tell me—tell me every thing about it! We must prepare to receive the villains—we must instantly get assistance. My child—my life—my Helen, to fall into the hands of this monster!"

"Hear me, sir," said Reilly, "hear me, and you will perceive I have taken measures to frustrate all his designs, and to have him a prisoner before to-morrow's sun arises."

He then related to him the plan laid by the Red Rapparee, as overheard by Tom Steeple, and as it was communicated to himself by the same individual subsequently, after which he proceeded:

"The fact is, sir, I have sent the poor fool, who is both faithful and trustworthy, to summon here forty or fifty of my laborers and tenants. They must be placed in the out-houses, and whatever arms and ammunition you can spare, in addition to the weapons which they shall bring along with them, must be made available. I sent orders that they should be here about nine o'clock. I, myself, will remain in this house, and you may rest assured that your life, your property, and your child shall be all safe. I know the strength of the ruffian's band; it only consists of about twelve men, or rather twelve devils, but he and they will find themselves mistaken."

Before Miss Folliard came down to make tea, Reilly had summoned the servants, and given them instructions as to their conduct during the expected attack. Having arranged this, he went to the yard, and found a large body of his tenants armed with such rude weapons as they could procure; for, at this period, it was a felony for a Roman Catholic to have or carry arms at all. The old squire, however, was well provided in that respect, and, accordingly, such as could be spared from the house were distributed among them. Mr. Folliard himself felt his spirit animated by a sense of the danger, and bustled about with uncommon energy and activity, considering what he had suffered in the course of the evening. At all events, they both resolved to conceal the matter from Helen till the last moment, in order to spare her the terror and alarm which she must necessarily feel on hearing of the contemplated violence. At tea, however, she could not avoid observing that something had disturbed her father, who, from his naturally impetuous character, ejaculated, from time to time, "The bloodthirsty scoundrel!—murdering ruffian! We shall hang him, though; we can hang him for the conspiracy. Would the fool's, Tom Steeples', evidence be taken, do you think?"

"I fear not, sir," replied Reilly. "In the meantime, don't think of it, don't further distress yourself about it."

"To think of attacking my house, though; and if it were only I myself that—however, we are prepared, that's one comfort; we are prepared, and let them—hem!—Helen, my darling, now that we've had our tea, will you retire to your own room. I wish to talk to Mr. Reilly here, on a particular and important subject, in which you yourself are deeply concerned. Withdraw, my love, but don't go to bed until I see you again."

Helen went upstairs with a light foot and a bounding heart. A certain hope, like a dream of far-off and unexpected happiness, rushed into and filled her bosom with a crowd of sensations so delicious that, on reaching her own room, she felt completely overpowered by them, and was only relieved by a burst of tears. There was now but one image before her imagination, but one image impressed upon her pure and fervent heart; that image was the first that love had ever stamped there, and the last that suffering, sorrow, madness, and death were ever able to tear from it.

When the night had advanced to the usual hour for retiring to rest, it was deemed necessary to make Helen acquainted with the meditated outrage, in order to prevent the consequences of a nocturnal alarm for which she might be altogether unprepared. This was accordingly done, and her natural terrors were soothed and combated by Reilly and her father, who succeeded in reviving her courage, and in enabling her to contemplate what was to happen with tolerable composure.

Until about the hour of two o'clock every thing regained silent. Nobody went to bed—the male servants were all prepared—the females, some in tears, and others sustaining and comforting those who were more feeble-hearted. Miss Folliard was in her own room, dressed. At about half past two she heard a stealthy foot, and having extinguished the light in her apartment, with great presence of mind she rang the bell, whilst at the same moment her door was broken in, and a man, as she knew by his step, entered. In the meantime the house was alarmed; the man having hastily projected his arms about in several directions, as if searching for her, instantly retreated, a scuffle was heard outside on the lobby, and when lights and assistance appeared, there were found eight or ten men variously armed, all of whom proved to be a portion of the guard selected by Reilly to protect the house and family. These men maintained that they had seen the Red Rapparee on the roof of the house, through which he had descended, and that having procured a ladder from the farmyard, they entered a back window, at a distance of about forty feet from the ground, in hope of securing his person—that they came in contact with some powerful man in the dark, who disappeared from among them—but by what means he had contrived to escape they could not guess. This was the substance of all they knew or understood upon the subject.

The whole house was immediately and thoroughly searched, and no trace of him could be found until they came to the skylight, which was discovered to be opened—wrenched off the hinges—and lying on the roof at a distance of two or three yards from its place.

It soon became evident that the Rapparee and his party had taken the alarm. In an instant those who were outside awaiting to pounce upon them in the moment of attack got orders to scour the neighborhood, and if possible to secure the Rapparee at every risk; and as an inducement the squire himself offered to pay the sum of five hundred pounds to any one who should bring him to Corbo Castle, which was the name of his residence. This was accordingly attempted, the country far and wide was searched, pursuit given in every direction, but all to no purpose. Not only was the failure complete, but, what was still more unaccountable and mysterious, no single mark or trace of them could be found. This escape, however, did not much surprise the inhabitants of the country at large, as it was only in keeping with many of a far more difficult character which the Rapparee had often effected. The only cause to which it could be ascribed was the supposed fact of his having taken such admirable precautions against surprise as enabled his gang to disappear upon a preconcerted plan the moment the friendly guards were discovered, whilst he himself daringly attempted to secure the squire's cash and his daughter.

Whether the supposition was right or wrong will appear subsequently; but, in the meantime, we may add here, that the event in question, and the disappearance of the burglars, was fatal to the happiness of our lovers, for such they were in the tenderest and most devoted sense of that strange and ungovernable passion.

Early the next morning the squire was so completely exhausted by the consequences of watching, anxiety, and want of rest, that he felt himself overcome by sleep, and was obliged to go to bed. Before he went, however, he made Reilly promise that he would not go until he had breakfasted, then shook him cordially by the hand, thanked him again and again for the deep and important obligations he had imposed upon him and his child, and concluded by giving him a general invitation to his house, the doors of which, he said, as well as the heart of its owner, should be ever ready to receive him.

"As for Helen, here," said he, "I leave her to thank you herself, which I am sure she will do in a manner becoming the services you have rendered her, before you go."

She then kissed him tenderly and he retired to rest.

At breakfast, Reilly and Miss Folliard were, of course, alone, if we may say so. Want of rest and apprehension had given a cast of paleness to her features that, so far from diminishing, only added a new and tender character to her beauty. Reilly observed the exquisite loveliness of her hand as she poured out the tea; and when he remembered the gentle but significant pressure which it had given to his, more than once or twice, on the preceding night, he felt as if he experienced a personal interest in her fate—as if their destinies were to be united—as if his growing spirit could enfold hers, and mingle with it forever. The love he felt for her pervaded and softened his whole being with such a feeling of tenderness, timidity, and ecstasy, that his voice, always manly and firm, now became tremulous in its tones; such, in truth, as is always occasioned by a full and overflowing heart when it trembles at the very opportunity of pouring forth the first avowal of its affection.

"Miss Folliard," said he, after a pause, and with some confusion, "do you believe in Fate?"

The question appeared to take her somewhat by surprise, if one could judge by the look she bestowed upon him with her dark, flashing eyes.

"In Fate, Mr. Reilly? that is a subject, I fear, too deep for a girl like me. I believe in Providence."

"All this morning I have been thinking of the subject. Should it be Fate that brought me to the rescue of your father last night, I cannot but feel glad of it; but though it be a Fate that has preserved him—and I thank Almighty God for it—yet it is one that I fear has destroyed my happiness."

"Destroyed your happiness, Mr. Reilly! why, how could the service you rendered papa last night have such an effect?"

"I will be candid, and tell you, Miss Folliard. I know that what I am about to say will offend you—it was by making me acquainted with his daughter, and by bringing me under the influence of beauty which has unmanned—distracted me—beauty which I could not resist—which has overcome me—subdued me—and which, because it is beyond my reach and my deserts, will occasion me an unhappy life—how long soever that life my last."

"Mr. Reilly," exclaimed the Cooleen Bawn, "this—this—is—I am quite unprepared for—I mean—to hear that such noble and generous conduct to my father should end in this. But it cannot be. Nay, I will not pretend to misunderstand you. After the service you have rendered to him and to myself, it would be uncandid in me and unworthy of you to conceal the distress which your words have caused me."

"I am scarcely in a condition to speak reasonably and calmly," replied Reilly, "but I cannot regret that I have unconsciously sacrificed my happiness, when that sacrifice has saved you from distress and grief and sorrow. Now that I know you, I would offer—lay down—my life, if the sacrifice could save yours from one moment's care. I have often heard of what love—love in its highest and noblest sense—is able to do and to suffer for the good and happiness of its object, but now I know it."

She spoke not, or rather she was unable to speak; but as she pulled out her snow-white handkerchief, Reilly could observe the extraordinary tremor of her hands; the face, too, was deadly pale.

"I am not making love to you, Miss Folliard," he added. "No, my religion, my position in life, a sense of my own unworthiness, would prevent that; but I could not rest unless you knew that there is one heart which, in the midst of unhappiness and despair, can understand, appreciate, and love you. I urge no claim. I am without hope."

The fair girl (Cooleen Bawn) could not restrain her tears; but wept—yes, she wept. "I was not prepared for this," she replied. "I did not think that so short an acquaintance could have—Oh, I know not what to say—nor how to act. My father's prejudices. You are a Catholic."

"And will die one, Miss Folliard."

"But why should you be unhappy? You do not deserve to be so."

"That is precisely what made me ask you just now if you believed in fate."

"Oh, I know not. I cannot answer such a question; but why should you be unhappy, with your brave, generous, and noble heart? Surely, surely, you do not deserve it."

"I said before that I have no hope, Miss Folliard. I shall carry with me my love of you through life; it is my first, and I feel it will be my last—it will be the melancholy light that will burn in the sepulchre of my heart to show your image there. And now, Miss Folliard, I will bid you farewell. Your father has proffered me hospitality, but I have not strength nor resolution to accept it. You now know my secret—a hopeless passion."

"Reilly," she replied, weeping bitterly, "our acquaintance has been short—we have not seen much of each other, yet I will not deny that I believe you to be all that any female heart could—pardon me, I am without experience—I know not much of the world. You have travelled, papa told me last night; I do not wish that you should be unhappy, and, least of all, that I, who owe you so much, should be the occasion of it. No, you talk of a hopeless passion. I know not what I ought to say—but to the preserver of my father's life, and, probably my own honor, I will say, be not—but why should love be separated from truth?" she said—"No, Reilly, be not hopeless."

"Oh," replied Reilly, who had gone over near her, "but my soul will not be satisfied without a stronger affirmation. This moment is the great crisis of my life and happiness. I love you beyond all the power of language or expression. You tremble, dear Miss Folliard, and you weep; let me wipe those precious tears away. Oh, would to God that you loved me!"

He caught her hand—it was not withdrawn—he pressed it as he had done the evening before. The pressure was returned—his voice melted into tenderness that was contagious and irresistible: "Say, dearest Helen, star of my life and of my fate, oh, only say that I am not indifferent to you."

They were both standing near the chimney-piece as he spoke—"only say," he repeated, "that I am not indifferent to you."

"Well, then," she replied, "you are not indifferent to me."

"One admission more, my dearest life, and I am happy forever. You love me? say it, dearest, say it—or, stay, whisper it, whisper it—you love me!"

"I do," she whispered in a burst of tears.





CHAPTER IV.—His Rival makes his Appearance, and its Consequences

—A Sapient Project for our Hero's Conversion

We will not attempt to describe the tumult of delight which agitated Reilly's heart on his way home, after this tender interview with the most celebrated Irish beauty of that period. The term Cooleen Bawn, in native Irish, has two meanings, both of which were justly applied to her, and met in her person. It signifies fair locks, or, as it may be pronounced fair girl; and in either sense is peculiarly applicable to a blonde beauty, which she was. The name of Cooleen Bawn was applied to her by the populace, whose talent for finding out and bestowing epithets indicative either of personal beauty or deformity, or of the qualities of the mind or character, be they good or evil, is, in Ireland, singularly felicitous. In the higher ranks, however, she was known as "The Lily of the Plains of Boyne," and as such she was toasted by all parties, not only in her own native county, but throughout Ireland, and at the viceregal entertainments in the Castle of Dublin. At the time of which we write, the penal laws were in operation against the Roman Catholic population of the country, and her father, a good-hearted man by nature, was wordy and violent by prejudice, and yet secretly kind and friendly to many of that unhappy creed, though by no means to all. It was well known, however, that in every thing that was generous and good in his character, or in the discharge of his public duties as a magistrate, he was chiefly influenced by the benevolent and liberal principles of his daughter, who was a general advocate for the oppressed, and to whom, moreover, he could deny nothing. This accounted for her popularity, as it does for the extraordinary veneration and affection with which her name and misfortunes are mentioned down to the present day. The worst point in her father's character was that he never could be prevailed on to forgive an injury, or, at least, any act that he conceived to be such, a weakness or a vice which was the means of all his angelic and lovely daughter's calamities.

Reilly, though full of fervor and enthusiasm, was yet by no means deficient in strong sense. On his way home he began to ask himself in what this overwhelming passion for Cooleen Bawn must end. His religion, he was well aware, placed an impassable gulf between them. Was it then generous or honorable in him to abuse the confidence and hospitality of her father by engaging the affections of a daughter, on whose welfare his whole happiness was placed, and to whom, moreover, he could not, without committing an act of apostasy that he abhorred, ever be united as a husband? Reason and prudence, moreover, suggested to him the danger of his position, as well as the ungenerous nature of his conduct to the grateful and trusting father. But, away with reason and prudence—away with everything but love. The rapture of his heart triumphed over every argument; and, come weal or woe, he resolved to win the far-famed "Star of Connaught," another epithet which she derived from her wonderful and extraordinary beauty.

On approaching his own house he met a woman named Mary Mahon, whose character of a fortune-teller was extraordinary in the country, and whose predictions, come from what source they might, had gained her a reputation which filled the common mind with awe and fear.

"Well, Mary," said he, "what news from futurity? And, by the way, where is futurity? Because if you don't know," he proceeded, laughing, "I think I could tell you."

"Well," replied Mary, "let me hear it. Where is it, Mr. Reilly?"

"Why," he replied, "just at the point of your own nose, Mary, and you must admit it is not a very long one; pure Milesian, Mary; a good deal of the saddle in its shape."

The woman stood and looked at him for a few moments.

"My nose may be short," she replied, "but shorter will be the course of your happiness."

"Well, Mary," he said, "I think as regards my happiness that you know as little of it as I do myself. If you tell me any thing that has passed, I may give you some credit for the future, but not otherwise."

"Do you wish to have your fortune tould, then," she asked, "upon them terms?"

"Come, then, I don't care if I do. What has happened me, for instance, within the last forty-eight hours?"

"That has happened you within the last forty-eight hours that will make her you love the pity of the world before her time. I see how it will happen, for the complaint I speak of is in the family. A living death she will have, and you yourself during the same time will have little less."

"But what has happened me, Mary?"

"I needn't tell you—you know—it. A proud heart, and a joyful heart, and a lovin' heart, you carry now, but it will be a broken heart before long."

"Why, Mary, this is an evil prophecy; have you nothing good to foretell?"

"If it's a satisfaction to you to know, I will tell you: her love for you is as strong, and stronger, than death itself; and it is the suffering of what is worse than death, Willy Reilly, that will unite you both at last."

Reilly started, and after a pause, in which he took it for granted that Mary spoke merely from one of those shrewd conjectures which practised impostors are so frequently in the habit of hazarding, replied, "That won't do, Mary; you have told me nothing yet that has happened within the last forty-eight hours. I deny the truth of what you say."

"It won't be long so, then, Mr. Reilly; you saved the life of the old half-mad squire of Corbo. Yes, you saved his life, and you have taken his daughter's! for indeed it would be better for her to die at wanst than to suffer what will happen to you and her."

"Why, what is to happen?"

"You'll know it too soon," she replied, "and there's no use in making you unhappy. Good-by, Mr. Reilly; if you take a friend's advice you'll give her up; think no more of her. It may cost you an aching heart to do so, but by doin' it you may save her from a great deal of sorrow, and both of you from a long and heavy term of suffering."

Reilly, though a young man of strong reason in the ordinary affairs of life, and of a highly cultivated intellect besides, yet felt himself influenced by the gloomy forebodings of this notorious woman. It is true he saw, by the force of his own sagacity, that she had uttered nothing which any person acquainted with the relative position of himself and Cooleen Bawn, and the political circumstances of the country, might not have inferred as a natural and probable consequence. In fact he had, on his way home, arrived at nearly the same conclusion. Marriage, as the laws of the country then stood, was out of the question, and could not be legitimately effected. What, then, must the consequence of this irresistible but ill-fated passion be? An elopement to the Continent would not only be difficult but dangerous, if not altogether impossible. It was obviously evident that Mary Mahon had drawn her predictions from the same circumstances which led himself to similar conclusions; yet, notwithstanding all this, he felt that her words had thrown a foreshadowing of calamity and sorrow over his spirit, and he passed up to his own house in deep gloom and heaviness of heart. It is true he remembered that this same Mary Mahon belonged to a family that had been inimical to his house. She was a woman who had, in her early life, been degraded by crime, the remembrance of which had been by no means forgotten. She was, besides, a paramour to the Red Rapparee, and he attributed much of her dark and ill-boding prophecy to a hostile and malignant spirit.

On the evening of the same day, probably about the same hour, the old squire having recruited himself by sleep, and felt refreshed and invigorated, sent for his daughter to sit with him as was her wont; for indeed, as the reader may now fully understand, his happiness altogether depended upon her society, and those tender attentions to him which constituted the chief solace of his life.

"Well, my girl," said he, when she entered the dining-room, for he seldom left it unless when they had company, "Well, darling, what do you think of this Mr. Mahon—pooh!—no—oh, Reilly—he who saved my life, and, probably, was the means of rescuing you from worse than death? Isn't he a fine—a noble young fellow?"

"Indeed, I think so, papa; he appear's to be a perfect gentleman."

"Hang perfect gentlemen, Helen! they are, some of them, the most contemptible whelps upon earth. Hang me, but any fellow with a long-bodied coat, tight-kneed breeches, or stockings and pantaloons, with a watch in each fob, and a frizzled wig, is considered a perfect gentleman—a perfect puppy, Helen, an accomplished trifle. Reilly, however, is none of these, for he is not only a perfect gentleman, but a brave man, who would not hesitate to risk his life in order to save that of a fellow-creature, even although he is a Papist, and that fellow-creature a Protestant."

"Well, then, papa, I grant you," she replied with a smile, which our readers will understand, "I grant you that he is a—ahem!—all you say."

"What a pity, Helen that he is a Papist."

"Why so, papa?"

"Because, if he was a staunch Protestant, by the great Deliverer that saved us from brass money, wooden shoes, and so forth, I'd marry you and him together. I'll tell you what, Helen, by the memory of Schomberg, I have a project, and it is you that must work it out."

"Well, papa," asked his daughter, putting the question with a smile and a blush, "pray what is this speculation?"

"Why, the fact is, I'll put him into your hands to convert him—make him a staunch Protestant, and take him for your pains. Accomplish this, and let long-legged, knock-kneed Whitecraft, and his twelve thousand a year, go and bite some other fool as he bit me in 'Hop-and-go-constant.'"

"What are twelve thousand a year, papa, when you know that they could not secure me happiness with such a wretch? Such a union, sir, could not be—cannot be—must not be, and I will add, whilst I am in the possession of will and reason, shall not be."

"Well, Helen," said her father, "if you are obstinate, so am I; but I trust we shall never have to fight for it. We must have Reilly here, and you must endeavor to convert him from Popery. If you succeed, I'll give long-shanks his nunc dimittis, and send him home on a trot."

"Papa," she replied, "this will be useless—it will be ruin—I know Reilly."

"The devil you do! When, may I ask, did you become acquainted?"

"I mean," she replied, blushing, "that I have seen enough of him during his short stay here to feel satisfied that no earthly persuasion, no argument, could induce him, at this moment especially, to change his religion. And, sir, I will add myself—yes, I will say for myself, dear papa, and for Reilly too, that if from any unbecoming motive—if for the sake of love itself, I felt satisfied that he could give up and abandon his religion, I would despise him. I should feel at once that his heart was hollow, and that he was unworthy either of my love or my respect."

"Well, by the great Boyne, Helen, you have knocked my intellects up. I hope in God you have no Papist predilections, girl. However, it's only fair to give Reilly a trial; long-legs is to dine with us the day after tomorrow—now, I will ask Reilly to meet him here—perhaps, if I get an opportunity, I will sound him on the point myself—or, perhaps, you will. Will you promise to make the attempt? I'll take care that you and he shall have an opportunity."

"Indeed, papa, I shall certainly mention the subject to him."

"By the soul of Schomberg, Helen, if you do you'll convert him."

Helen was about to make some good-natured reply, when the noise of carriage wheels was heard at the hall-door, and her father, going to the window, asked, "What noise is that? A carriage!—who can it be? Whitecraft, by the Boyne! Well, it can't be helped."

"I will leave you, papa," she said; "I do not wish to see this unfeeling and repulsive man, unless when it is unavoidable, and in your presence."

She then withdrew.

Before we introduce Sir Robert Whitecraft, we must beg our readers to accompany us to the residence of that worthy gentleman, which was not more than three miles from that of Reilly. Sir Robert had large estates and a sumptuous residence in Ireland, as well as in England, and had made the former principally his place of abode since he became enamored of the celebrated Cooleen Bawn. On the occasion in question he was walking about through his grounds when a female approached him; whom we beg the reader to recognize as Mary Mahon. This mischievous woman, implacable and without principle, had, with the utmost secrecy, served Sir Robert, and many others, in a capacity discreditable alike to virtue and her sex, by luring the weak or the innocent within their toils.

"Well, Mary," said he, "what news in the country? You, who are always on the move, should know."

"No very good news for you, Sir Robert," she replied.

"How is that, Mary?"

"Why, sir, Willy Reilly—the famous Willy Reilly—has got a footing in the house of old Squire Folliard."

"And how can that be bad news to me, Mary?"

"Well, I don't know," said she, with a cunning leer; "but this I know, that they had a love scene together this very morning, and that he kissed her very sweetly near the chimney-piece."

Sir Robert Whitecraft did not get into a rage; he neither cursed nor swore, nor even looked angrily, but he gave a peculiar smile, which should be seen in order to be understood. "Where is your—ahem—your friend now?" he asked; and as he did so he began to whistle.

"Have you another job for him?" she inquired, in her turn, with a peculiar meaning. "Whenever I fail by fair play, he tries it by foul."

"Well, and have not I often saved his neck, as well by my influence as by allowing him to take shelter under my roof whenever he was hard pressed?"

"I know that, your honor; and hasn't he and I often sarved you, on the other hand?"

"I grant it, Molly; but that is a matter known only to ourselves. You know I have the reputation of being very correct and virtuous."

"I know you have," said Molly, "with most people, but not with all."

"Well, Molly, you know, as far as we are concerned, one good turn deserves another. Where is your friend now, I ask again?"

"Why, then, to tell you the truth, it's more than I know at the present speaking."

"Follow me, then," replied the wily baronet; "I wish you to see him; he is now concealed in my house; but first, mark me, I don't believe a word of what you have just repeated."

"It's as true as Gospel for all that," she replied; "and if you wish to hear how I found it out I'll tell you."

"Well," said the baronet calmly, "let us hear it."

"You must know," she proceeded, "that I have a cousin, one Betty Beatty, who is a housemaid in the squire's. Now, this same Betty Beatty was in the front parlor—for the squire always dines in the back—and, from a kind of natural curiosity she's afflicted with, she puts her ear to the keyhole, and afterwards her eye. I happened to be at the squire's at the time, and, as blood is thicker that wather, and as she knew I was a friend of yourrs, she tould me what she had both heard and seen, what they said, and how he kissed her."

Sir Robert seemed very calm, and merely said, "Follow me into the house," which she accordingly did, and remained in consultation with him and the Red Rapparee for nearly an hour, after which Sir Robert ordered his carriage, and went to pay a visit, as we have seen, at Corbo Castle.

Sir Robert Whitecraft, on entering the parlor, shook hands as a matter of course with the squire. At this particular crisis the vehement but whimsical old man, whose mind was now full of another project with reference to his daughter, experienced no great gratification from this visit, and, as the baronet shook hands with him, he exclaimed somewhat testily.

"Hang it, Sir Robert, why don't you shake hands like a man? You put that long yellow paw of yours, all skin and bones, into a man's hand, and there you let it lie. But, no matter, every one to his nature. Be seated, and tell me what news. Are the Papists quiet?"

"There is little news stirring, sir; at least if there be, it does not come my way, with the exception of this report about yourself, which I hope is not true; that there was an attempt made on your life yesterday evening?"

Whilst Sir Robert spoke he approached a looking-glass, before which he presented himself, and commenced adjusting his dress, especially his wig, a piece of vanity which nettled the quick and irritable feelings of the squire exceedingly. The inference he drew was, that this wealthy suitor of his daughter felt more about his own personal appearance before her than about the dreadful fate which he himself had so narrowly escaped.

"What signifies that, my dear fellow, when your wig is out of balance? it's a little to the one side, like the ear of an empty jug, as they say."

"Why, sir," replied the baronet, "the fact is, that I felt—hum!—hum—so much—so much—a—anxiety—hum!—to see you and—a—a—to know all about it—that—a—I didn't take time to—a—look to my dress. And besides, as I—hum!—expect to have—a—the pleasure of an interview with Miss Folliard—a—hum!—now that I'm here—I feel anxious to appear to the best advantage—a—hum!"

While speaking he proceeded with the readjustment of his toilet at the large mirror, an operation which appeared to constitute the great object on which his mind was engaged, the affair of the squire's life or death coming in only parenthetically, or as a consideration of minor importance.

In height Sir Robert Whitecraft was fully six feet two; but being extremely thin and lank, and to all appearance utterly devoid of substance, and of every thing like proportion, he appeared much taller than even nature had made him. His forehead was low, and his whole character felonious; his eyes were small, deep set, and cunning; his nose was hooked, his mouth was wide, but his lips thin to a miracle, and such as always—are to be found under the nose of a miser; as for a chin, we could not conscientiously allow him any; his under-lip sloped off until it met the throat with a curve not larger than that of an oyster-shell, which when open to the tide, his mouth very much resembled. As for his neck, it was so long that no portion of dress at that time discovered was capable of covering more than one third of it; so that there were always two parts out of three left stark naked, and helplessly exposed to the elements. Whenever he smiled he looked as if he was about to weep. As the squire said, he was dreadfully round-shouldered—had dangling arms, that kept napping about him as if they were moved by some machinery that had gone out of order—was close-kneed—had the true telescopic leg—and feet that brought a very large portion of him into the closest possible contact with the earth.

"Are you succeeding, Sir Robert?" inquired the old man sarcastically, "because, if you are, I swear you're achieving wonders, considering the slight materials you have to work upon."

"Ah! sir," replied the baronet, "I perceive you are in one of your biting humors to-day."

"Biting!" exclaimed the other. "Egad, it's very well for most of your sporting acquaintances that you're free from hydrophobia; if you were not, I'd have died pleasantly between two feather beds, leaving my child an orphan long before this. Egad, you bit me to some purpose."

"Oh, ay, you allude to the affair of 'Hop-and-go-constant' and 'Pat the Spanker;' but you know, my dear sir, I gave you heavy boot;" and as he spoke, he pulled up the lapels of his coat, and glanced complacently at the profile of his face and person in the glass.

"Pray, is Miss Folliard at home, sir?"

"Again I'm forgotten," thought the squire. "Ah, what an affectionate son-in-law he'd make! What a tender husband for Helen! Why, hang the fellow, he has a heart for nobody, but himself. She is at home, Sir Robert, but the truth is, I don't think it would become me, as a father anxious for the happiness of his child, and that child, an only one, to sacrifice her happiness—the happiness of her whole life—to wealth or ambition. You know she herself entertains a strong prejudice—no, that's not the word—"

"I beg your pardon, sir; that is the word; her distaste to me is a prejudice, and nothing else."

"No, Sir Robert; it is not the word. Antipathy is the word. Now I tell you, once for all, that I will not force my child."

"This change, Mr. Folliard," observed the baronet, "is somewhat of the suddenest. Has any thing occurred on my part to occasion it?"

"Perhaps I may have other views for her, Sir Robert."

"That may be; but is such conduct either fair or honorable towards me, Mr. Folliard? Have I got a rival, and if so, who is he?"

"Oh, I wouldn't tell you that for the world."

"And why not, pray?"

"Because," replied the squire, "if you found out who he was, you'd be hanged for cannibalism."

"I really don't understand you, Mr. Folliard. Excuse me, but it would seem to me that something has put you into no very agreeable humor to-day."

"You don't understand me! Why, Sir Robert," replied the other, "I know you so well that if you heard the name of your rival you would first kill him, then powder him, and, lastly, eat him. You are such a terrible fellow that you care about no man's life, not even about mine."

Now it was to this very point that the calculating baronet wished to bring him. The old man, he knew, was whimsical, capricious, and in the habit of taking all his strongest and most enduring resolutions from sudden contrasts produced by some mistake of his own, or from some discovery made to him on the part of others.

"As to your life, Mr. Folliard, let me assure you," replied Sir Robert, "that there is no man living prizes it, and, let me add, you character too, more highly than I do; but, my dear sir, your life was never in danger."

"Never in danger! what do you mean, Sir Robert? I tell you, sir, that the murdering miscreant, the Red Rapparee, had a loaded gun levelled at me last evening, after dark."

"I know it," replied the other; "I am well aware of it, and you were rescued just in the nick of time."

"True enough," said the squire, "just in the nick of time; by that glorious young fellow—a—a—yes—Reilly—Willy Reilly."

"This Willy Reilly, sir, is a very accomplished person, I think."

"A gentleman, Sir Robert, every inch of him, and as handsome and fine-looking a young fellow as ever I laid my eyes upon."

"He was educated on the Continent by the Jesuits."

"No!" replied the squire, dreadfully alarmed at this piece of information, "he was not; by the great Boyne, he wasn't."

This mighty asseveration, however, was exceedingly feeble in moral strength and energy, for, in point of fact, it came out of the squire's lips more in the shape of a question than an oath.

"It is unquestionably true, sir," said the baronet; "ask himself, and he will admit it."

"Well, and granting that he was," replied the squire, "what else could he do, when the laws would not permit of his being educated here? I speak not against the laws, God forbid, but of his individual case."

"We are travelling from the point, sir," returned the baronet. "I was observing that Reilly is an accomplished person, as indeed every Jesuit is. Be that as it may, I again beg to assure you that your life stood in no risk."

"I don't understand you, Sir Robert. You're a perfect oracle; by the great Deliverer from Pope and Popery, wooden shoes, and so forth, only that Reilly made his appearance at that moment I was a dead man."

"Not the slightest danger, Mr. Folliard. I am aware of that, and of the whole Jesuitical plot from the beginning, base, ingenious, but diabolical as it was."

The squire rose up and looked at him for a minute, without speaking, then sat down again, and, a second time, was partially up, but resumed his seat.

"A plot!" he exclaimed; "a plot, Sir Robert! What plot?"

"A plot, Mr. Folliard, for the purpose of creating an opportunity to make your acquaintance, and of ingratiating himself into the good graces and affections of your lovely daughter; a plot for the purpose of marrying her."

The Squire seemed for a moment thunderstruck, but in a little time he recovered. "Marrying her!" he exclaimed; "that, you know, could not be done, unless he turned Protestant."

It was now time for the baronet to feel thunderstricken.

"He turn Protestant! I don't understand you, Mr. Folliard. Could any change on Reilly's part involve such a probability as a marriage between him and your daughter?"

"I can't believe it was a plot, Sir Robert," said the squire, shifting the question, "nor I won't believe it. There was too much truth and sincerity in his conduct. And, what is more, my house would have been attacked last night; I myself robbed and murdered, and my daughter-my child, carried off, only for him. Nay, indeed, it was partially attacked, but when the villainy found us prepared they decamped; but, as for marriage, he could not marry my daughter, I say again, so long as he remains a Papist."

"Unless he might prevail on her to turn Papist."

"By the life of my body, Sir Robert, I won't stand this. Did you come here, sir, to insult me and to drive me into madness? What devil could have put it into your head that my daughter, sir, or any one with a drop of my blood in their veins, to the tenth generation, could ever, for a single moment, think of turning Papist? Sir, I hoped that you would have respected the name both of my daughter and myself, and have foreborne to add this double insult both to her and me. The insolence even to dream of imputing such an act to her I cannot overlook. You yourself, if you could gain a point or feather your nest by it, are a thousand times much more likely to turn Papist than either of us. Apologize instantly, sir, or leave my house."

"I can certainly apologize, Mr. Folliard," replied the baronet, "and with a good conscience, inasmuch as I had not the most remote intention of offending you, much less Miss Folliard—I accordingly do so promptly and at once; but as for my allegations against Reilly, I am in a position to establish their truth in the clearest manner, and to prove to you that there wasn't a. single robber, nor Rapparee either, at or about your house last night, with the exception of Reilly and his gang. If there were, why were they neither heard nor seen?"

"One of them was—the Red Rapparee himself."

"Do not be deceived, Mr. Folliard; did you yourself, or any of your family or household, see him?"

"Why, no, certainly, we did not; I admit that."

"Yes, and you will admit more soon. I shall prove the whole conspiracy."

"Well, why don't you then?"

"Simply because the matter must be brought about with great caution. You—must allow me a few days, say three or four, and the proofs shall be given."

"Very well, Sir Robert, but in the meantime I shall not throw Reilly overboard."

"Could I not be permitted to pay my respects to Miss Folliard before I go, sir?" asked Sir Robert.

"Don't insist upon it," replied her father; "you know perfectly well that she—that you are no favorite with her."

"Nothing on earth, sir, grieves me so much," said the baronet, affecting a melancholy expression of countenance, which was ludicrous to look at.

"Well, well," said the old man, "as you can't see her now, come and meet Reilly here at dinner the day after to-morrow, and you shall have that pleasure."

"It will be with pain, sir, that I shall force myself into that person's society; however, to oblige you, I shall do it."

"Consider, pray consider, Sir Robert," replied the old squire, all his pride of family glowing strong within him, "just consider that my table, sir, and my countenance, sir, and my sense of gratitude, sir, are a sufficient guarantee to the worth and respectability of any one whom I may ask to my house. And, Sir Robert, in addition to that, just reflect that I ask him to meet my daughter, and, if I don't mistake, I think I love, honor, and respect her nearly as much as I do you. Will you come then, or will you not?"

"Unquestionably, sir, I shall do myself the honor."

"Very well," replied the old squire, clearing up at once—undergoing, in fact, one of those rapid and unaccountable changes which constituted so prominent a portion of his character. "Very well, Bobby; good-by, my boy; I am not angry with you; shake hands, and curse Popery."

Until the morning of the day on which the two rivals were to meet, Miss Folliard began to entertain a dreadful apprehension that the fright into which the Red Rapparee had thrown her father was likely to terminate, ere long, in insanity. The man at best was eccentric, and full of the most unaccountable changes of temper and purpose, hot, passionate, vindictive, generous, implacable, and benevolent. What he had seldom been accustomed to do, he commenced soliloquizing aloud, and talking to himself in such broken hints and dark mysterious allusions, drawing from unknown premises such odd and ludicrous inferences; at one time brushing himself up in Scripture; at another moment questioning his daughter about her opinion on Popery—sometimes dealing about political and religious allusions with great sarcasm, in which he was a master when he wished, and sometimes with considerable humor of illustration, so far, at least, as he could be understood.

"Confound these Jesuits," said he; "I wish they were scourged out of Europe. Every man of them is sure to put his finger in the pie and then into his mouth to taste what it's like; not so the parsons—Hallo! where am I? Take care, old Folliard; take care, you old dog; what have you to say in favor of these same parsons—lazy, negligent fellows, who snore and slumber, feed well, clothe well, and think first of number one? Egad, I'm in a mess between them. One makes a slave of you, and the other allows you to play the tyrant. A plague, as I heard a fellow say in a play once, a plague o' both your houses: if you paid more attention to your duties, and scrambled less for wealth and power, and this world's honors, you would not turn it upside down as you do. Helen!"

"Well, papa."

"I have doubts whether I shall allow you to sound Reilly on. Popery."

"I would rather decline it, sir."

"I'll tell you what; I'll see Andy Cummiskey—Andy's opinion is good on any thing." And accordingly he proceeded to see his confidential old servant. With this purpose, and in his own original manner, he went about consulting every servant under his roof upon their respective notions of Popery, as he called it, and striving to allure them, at one time by kindness, and at another by threatening them, into an avowal of its idolatrous tendency. Those to whom he spoke, however, knew very little about it, and, like those of all creeds in a similar predicament, he found that, in proportion to their ignorance of its doctrines, arose the vehemence and sincerity of their defence of it. This, however, is human nature, and we do not see how the learned can condemn it. Upon the day appointed for dinner only four sat down to it—that is to say, the squire, his daughter, Sir Robert Whitecraft, and Reilly. They had met in the drawing-room some time before its announcement, and as the old man introduced the two latter, Reilly's bow was courteous and gentlemanly, whilst that of the baronet, who not only detested Reilly with the hatred of a demon, but resolved to make him feel the superiority of rank and wealth, was frigid, supercilious, and offensive. Reilly at once saw this, and, as he knew not that the baronet was in possession of his secret, he felt his ill-bred insolence the more deeply. He was too much of a gentleman, however, and too well acquainted with the principles and forms of good breeding, to seem to notice it in the slightest degree. The old squire at this time had not at all given Reilly up, but still his confidence in him was considerably shaken. He saw, moreover, that, notwithstanding what had occurred at their last interview, the baronet had forgotten the respect due both to himself and his daughter; and, as he had, amidst all his eccentricities, many strong touches of the old Irish gentleman about him, he resolved to punish him for his ungentlemanly deportment. Accordingly, when dinner was announced, he said:

"Mr. Reilly, you will give Miss Folliard your arm."

We do not say that the worthy baronet squinted, but there was a bad, vindictive look in his small, cunning eyes, which, as they turned upon Reilly, was ten times more repulsive than the worst squint that ever disfigured a human countenance. To add to his chagrin, too, the squire came out with a bit of his usual sarcasm.

"Come, baronet," said he, "here's my arm. I am the old man, and you are the old lady; and now for dinner."

In the meantime Reilly and the Cooleen Bawn had gone far enough in advance to be in a condition to speak without being heard.

"That," said she, "is the husband my father intends for me, or, rather, did intend; for, do you know, that you have found such favor in his sight that—that—" she hesitated, and Reilly, looking into her face, saw that she blushed deeply, and he felt by her arm that her whole frame trembled with emotion.

"Proceed, dearest love," said he; "what is it?"

"I have not time to tell you now," she replied, "but he mentioned a project to me which, if it could be accomplished, would seal both your happiness and mine forever. Your religion is the only obstacle."

"And that, my love," he replied, "is an insurmountable one."

"Alas! I feared as much," she replied, sighing bitterly as she spoke.

The old squire took the head of the table, and requested Sir Robert to take the foot; his daughter was at his right hand, and Reilly opposite her, by which means, although denied any confidential use of the tongue, their eyes enjoyed very gratifying advantages, and there passed between them occasionally some of those rapid glances which, especially when lovers are under surveillance, concentrate in their lightning flash more significance, more hope, more joy, and more love, than ever was conveyed by the longest and tenderest gaze of affection under other circumstances.

"Mr. Reilly," said the squire, "I'm told that you are a very well educated man; indeed, the thing is evident. What, let me ask, is your opinion of education in general?"

"Why, sir," replied Reilly, "I think there can be but one opinion about it. Without education a people can never be moral, prosperous, or happy. Without it, how are they to learn the duties of this life, or those still more important ones that prepare them for a better?"

"You would entrust the conduct and control of it, I presume, sir, to the clergy?" asked Sir Robert insidiously.

"I would give the priest such control in education as becomes his position, which is not only to educate the youth, but to instruct the man, in all the duties enjoined by religion."

The squire now gave a triumphant look at the baronet, and a very kind and gracious one at Reilly.

"Pray, sir," continued the baronet, in his cold, supercilious manner, "from the peculiarity of your views, I feel anxious, if you will pardon me, to ask where you yourself have received your very accomplished education."

"Whether my education, sir, has been an accomplished one or otherwise," replied Reilly, "is a point, I apprehend, beyond the reach of any opportunity you ever had to know. I received my education, sir, such as it is, and if it be not better the fault is my own, in a Jesuit seminary on the Continent."

It was now the baronet's time to triumph; and indeed the bitter glancing look he gave at the squire, although it was intended for Reilly, resembled that which one of the more cunning and ferocious beasts of prey makes previous to its death-spring upon its victim. The old man's countenance instantly fell. He looked with surprise, not unmingled with sorrow and distrust, at Reilly, a circumstance which did not escape his daughter, who could not, for the life of her, avoid fixing her eyes, lovelier even in the disdain they expressed, with an indignant look at the baronet.

The latter, however, felt resolved to bring his rival still further within the toils he was preparing for him, an object which Reilly's candor very much facilitated.

"Mr. Reilly," said the squire, "I was not prepared to hear—a—a—hem—God bless me, it is very odd, very deplorable, very much to be regretted indeed!"

"What is, sir?" asked Reilly.

"Why, that you should be a Jesuit. I must confess I was not—ahem!—God bless me. I can't doubt your own word, certainly."

"Not on this subject," observed the baronet coolly.

"On no subject, sir," replied Reilly, looking him sternly, and with an indignation that was kept within bounds only by his respect for the other parties, and the roof that covered him; "On no subject, Sir Robert Whitecraft, is my word to be doubted."

"I beg your pardon, sir," replied the other, "I did not say so."

"I will neither have it said, sir, nor insinuated," rejoined Reilly. "I received my education on the Continent because the laws of this country prevented me from receiving it here. I was placed in a Jesuit seminary, not by my own choice, but by that of my father, to whom I owed obedience. Your oppressive laws, sir, first keep us ignorant, and then punish us for the crimes which that ignorance produces."

"Do you call the laws of the country oppressive?" asked the baronet, with as much of a sneer as cowardice would permit him to indulge in.

"I do, sir, and ever will consider them so, at least so long as they deprive myself and my Catholic fellow-countrymen of their civil and religious rights."

"That is strong language, though," observed the other, "at this time of day."

"Mr. Reilly," said the squire, "you seem to be very much attached to your religion."

"Just as much as I am to my life, sir, and would as soon give up the one as the other."

The squire's countenance literally became pale, his last hope was gone, and so great was his agitation that, in bringing a glass of wine to his lips, his hand trembled to such a degree that he spilled a part of it. This, however, was not all. A settled gloom—a morose, dissatisfied expression—soon overshadowed his features, from which disappeared all trace of that benignant, open, and friendly hospitality towards Reilly that had hitherto obtained from them. He and the baronet exchanged glances of whose import, if Reilly was ignorant, not so his beloved Cooleen Bawn. For the remainder of the evening the squire treated Reilly with great coolness; always addressing him as Mister, and evidently contemplating him in a spirit which partook of the feeling that animated Sir Robert Whitecraft.

Helen rose to withdraw, and contrived, by a sudden glance at the door, and another as quick in the direction of the drawing-room, to let her lover know that she wished him to follow her soon. The hint was not lost, for in less than half an hour Reilly, who was of very temperate habits, joined her as she had hinted.

"Reilly," said she, as she ran to him, "dearest Reilly! there is little time to be lost. I perceive that a secret understanding respecting you exists between papa and that detestable baronet. Be on your guard, especially against the latter, who has evidently, ever since we sat down to dinner, contrived to bring papa round to his own way of thinking, as he will ultimately, perhaps, to worse designs and darker purposes. Above all things, speak nothing that can be construed against the existing laws. I find that danger, if not positive injury, awaits you. I shall, at any risk, give you warning."

"At no risk, beloved!"

"At every risk—at all risks, dearest Reilly! Nay, more—whatever danger may encompass you shall be shared by me, even at the risk of my life, or I shall extricate you out of it. But perhaps you will not be faithful to me. If so, I shudder to think what might happen."

"Listen," said Reilly, taking her by the hand, "In the presence of heaven, I am yours, and yours only, until death!"

She repeated his words, after which they had scarcely taken their seats when the squire and Sir Eobert entered the drawing-room.





CHAPTER V.—The Plot and the Victims.

Sir Robert, on entering the room along with the squire, found the Cooleen Bawn at the spinnet. Taking his place at the end of it, so as that he could, gain a full view of her countenance, he thought he could observe her complexion considerably heightened in color, and from her his glance was directed to Reilly. The squire, on the other hand, sat dull, silent, and unsociable, unless when addressing himself to the baronet, and immediately his genial manner returned to him.

With his usual impetuosity, however, when laboring under what he supposed to be a sense of injury, he soon brought matters to a crisis.

"Sir Robert," said he, "are the Papists quiet now?"

"They are quiet, sir," replied the other, "because they dare not be otherwise."

"By the great Deliverer, that saved us from Pope and Popery, brass money and wooden shoes, I think the country will never be quiet till they are banished out of it."

"Indeed, Mr. Folliard, I agree with you."

"And so do I, Sir Robert," said Reilly. "I wish from my soul there was not a Papist, as you call them, in this unfortunate country! In any other country beyond the bounds of the British dominions they could enjoy freedom. But I wish it for another reason, gentlemen; if they were gone, you would then be taught to your cost the value of your estates and the source of your incomes. And now, Mr. Folliard, I am not conscious of having given you any earthly offence, but I cannot possibly pretend to misunderstand the object of your altered conduct and language. I am your guest, at your own express invitation. You know I am a Roman Catholic—Papist, if you will—yet, with the knowledge of this, you have not only insulted me personally, but also in the creed to which I belong. As for that gentleman, I can only say that this roof and the presence of those who are under it constitute his protection. But I envy not the man who could avail himself of such a position, for the purpose of insinuating an insult which he dare not offer under other circumstances. I will not apologize for taking my departure, for I feel that I have been too long here."

Cooleen Bawn arose in deep agitation. "Dear papa, what is this?" she exclaimed. "What can be the cause of it? Why forget the laws of hospitality? Why, above all things, deliberately insult the man to whom you and I both owe so much? Oh, I cannot understand it. Some demon, equally cowardly and malignant, must have poisoned your own naturally generous mind. Some villain, equally profligate and hypocritical, has, for some dark purpose, given this unworthy bias to your mind."

"You know nothing of it, Helen. You're altogether in the dark, girl; but in a day or two it will all be made clear to you."

"Do not be discomposed, my dear Miss Folliard," said Sir Robert, striding over to her. "Allow me to prevail upon you to suspend your judgment for a little, and to return to the beautiful air you were enchanting us with."

As he spoke he attempted to take her hand. Reilly, in the meantime, was waiting for an opportunity to bid his love goodnight.

"Touch me not, sir," she replied, her glorious eyes flashing with indignation. "I charge you as the base cause of drawing down the disgrace of shame, the sin of ingratitude, on my father's head. But here that father stands, and there you, sir, stand; and sooner than become the wife of Sir Robert Whitecraft I would dash myself from the battlements of this castle. William Reilly, brave and generous young man, goodnight! It matters not who may forget the debt of gratitude which this family owe you—I will not. No cowardly slanderer shall instil his poisonous calumnies against you into my ear. My opinion of you is unchanged and unchangeable. Farewell! William Relly!"

We shall not attempt to describe the commotions of love, of happiness, of rapture, which filled Reilly's bosom as he took his departure. As for Cooleen Bawn, she had now passed the Rubicon, and there remained nothing for her but constancy to the truth of her affection, be the result what it might. She had, indeed, much of the vehemence of her father's character in her; much of his unchangeable purpose, when she felt or thought she was right; but not one of his unfounded whims or prejudices; for she was too noble-minded and sensible to be influenced by unbecoming or inadequate motives. With an indignant but beautiful scorn, that gave grace to resentment, she bowed to the baronet, then kissed her father affectionately and retired.

The old man, after she had gone, sat for a considerable time silent. In fact, the superior force of his daughter's character had not only surprised, but overpowered him for the moment. The baronet attempted to resume the conversation, but he found not his intended father-in-law in the mood for it. The light of truth, as it flashed from the spirit of his daughter, seemed to dispel the darkness of his recent suspicions; he dwelt upon the possibility of ingratitude with a temporary remorse.

"I cannot speak to you, Sir Robert," he said; "I am confused, disturbed, distressed. If I have treated that young man ungratefully, God may forgive me, but I will never forgive myself."

"Take care, sir," said the baronet, "that you are not under the spell of the Jesuit and your daughter too. Perhaps you will find, when it is too late, that she is the more spellbound of the two. If I don't mistake, the spell begins to work already. In the meantime, as Miss Folliard will have it, I withdraw all claims upon her hand and affections. Good-night, sir;" and as he spoke he took his departure.

For a long time the old man sat looking into the fire, where he began gradually to picture to himself strange forms and objects in the glowing embers, one of whom he thought resembled the Red Rapparee about to shoot him; another, Willy Reilly making love to his daughter; and behind all, a high gallows, on which he beheld the said Reilly hanging for his crime.

In about an hour afterwards Miss Folliard returned to the drawing-room, where she found her father asleep in his arm-chair. Having awakened him gently from what appeared a disturbed dream, he looked about him, and, forgetting for a moment all that had happened, inquired in his usual eager manner where Reilly and Whitecraft were, and if they had gone. In a few moments, however, he recollected the circumstances that had taken place, and after heaving a deep sigh, he opened his arms for his daughter, and as he embraced her burst into tears.

"Helen," said he, "I am unhappy; I am distressed; I know not what to do!—may God forgive me if I have treated this young man with ingratitude. But, at all events, a few days will clear it all up."

His daughter was melted by the depth of his sorrow, and the more so as it was seldom she had seen him shed tears before.

"I would do every thing—anything to make you happy, my dear treasure," said he, "if I only knew how."

"Dear papa," she replied, "of that I am conscious; and as a proof that the heart of your daughter is incapable of veiling a single thought that passes in it from a parent who loves her so well, I will place its most cherished secret in your own keeping. I shall not be outdone even by you, dear papa, in generosity, in confidence, in affection. Papa," she added, placing her head upon his bosom, whilst the tears flowed fast down her cheeks, "papa, I love William Reilly—love him with a pure and disinterested passion!—with a passion which I feel constitutes my destiny in this life—either for happiness or misery. That passion is irrevocable. It is useless to ask me to control or suppress it, for I feel that the task is beyond my power. My love, however, is not base nor selfish, papa, but founded on virtue and honor. It may seem strange that I should make such a confession to you, for I know it is un—usual in young persons like me to do so; but remember, dear papa, that except yourself I have no friend. If I had a mother, or a sister, or a cousin of my own sex, to whom I might confide and unburden my feelings, then indeed it is not probable I would make to you the confession which I have made; but we are alone, and you are the only being left me on whom can rest my sorrow—for indeed my heart is full of sorrow."

"Well, well, I know not what to say. You are a true girl, Helen, and the very error, if it be one, is diminished by the magnanimity and truth which prompted you to disclose it to me. I will go to bed, dearest, and sleep if I can. I trust in God there is no calamity about to overshadow our house or destroy our happiness."

He then sought his own chamber; and Cooleen Bawn, after attending him thither, left him to the care of his attendant and retired herself to her apartment.

On reaching home Reilly found Fergus, one of his own relatives, as we have said, the same who, warned by his remonstrances, had abandoned the gang of the Red Rapparee, waiting to see him.

"Well, Fergus," said he, "I am glad that you have followed my advice. You have left the lawless employment of that blood-stained man?"

"I have," replied the other, "and I'm here to tell you that you can now secure him if you like. I don't look upon sayin' this as treachery to him, nor would I mention it only that Pavideen, the smith, who shoes and doctors his horses, tould me something that you ought to know."

"Well, Fergus, what is it?"

"There's a plot laid, sir, to send you out o' the country, and the Red Rapparee has a hand in it. He is promised a pardon from government, and some kind of a place as thief-taker, if he'll engage in it against you. Now, you know, there's a price upon his head, and, if you like, you can have it, and get an enemy put out of your way at the same time."

"No, Fergus," replied Keilly; "in a moment of indignation I threatened him in order to save the life of a fellow-creature. But let the laws deal with him. As for me, you know what he deserves at my hands, but I shall never become the hound of a government which oppresses me unjustly. No, no, it is precisely because a price is laid upon the unfortunate miscreant's head that I would not betray him."

"He will betray you, then."

"And let him. I have never violated any law, and even though he should betray me, Fergus, he cannot make me guilty. To the laws, to God, and his own conscience, I leave him. No, Fergus, all sympathy between me and the laws that oppress us is gone. Let them vindicate themselves against thieves and robbers and murderers, with as much vigilance and energy as they do against the harmless forms of religion and the rights of conscience, and the country will soon be free from such licentious pests as the Red Rapparee and his gang."

"You speak warmly, Mr. Reilly."

"Yes," replied Keilly, "I am warm, I am indignant at my degradation. Fergus, Fergus, I never felt that degradation and its consequences so deeply as I do this unhappy night."'

"Well, will you listen to me?"

"I will strive to do so; but you know not the—you know not—alas! I have no language to express what I feel. Proceed, however," he added, attempting to calm the tumult that agitated his heart; "what about this plot or plan for putting me out of the country?"

"Well, sir, it's determined on to send you, by the means of the same laws you speak of, out of the country. The red villain is to come in with a charge against you and surrender himself to government as a penitent man, and the person who is to protect him is Sir Robert Whitecraft."

"It's all time, Fergus," said Reilly; "I see it at a glance, and understand it a great deal better than you do. They may, however, be disappointed. Fergus, I have a friend—friend—oh, such a friend! and it will go hard with that friend, or I shall hear of their proceedings. In the meantime, what do you intend to do?"

"I scarcely know," replied the other. "I must lie quiet for a while, at any rate."

"Do so," said Reilly; "and listen, Fergus. See Paudeen, the smith, from time to time, and get whatever he knows out of him. His father was a tenant of ours, and he ought to remember our kindness to him and his."

"Ay," said Fergus, "and he does too."

"Well, it is clear he does. Get from him all the information you can, and let me hear it. I would give you shelter in my house, but that now would be dangerous both to you and me. Do you want money to support you?"

"Well, indeed, Mr. Reilly, I do and I do not. I can—"

"That's enough," said Reilly; "you want it. Here, take this. I would recommend you, as I did before, to leave this unhappy country; but as circumstances have turned out, you may for some time yet be useful to me. Good-night, then, Fergus. Serve me in this matter as far as you can, for I stand in need of it."

As nothing like an organized police existed in Ireland at the period of which we speak, an outlaw or Rapparee might have a price laid upon his head for months—nay, for years—and yet continue his outrages and defy the executive. Sometimes it happened that the authorities, feeling the weakness of their resources and the inadequacy of their power, did not hesitate to propose terms to the leaders of these banditti, and, by affording them personal protection, succeeded in inducing them to betray their former associates. Now Reilly was well aware of this, and our readers need not be surprised that the communication made to him by his kinsman filled him not only with anxiety but alarm. A very slight charge indeed brought forward by a man of rank and property—such a charge, for instance, as the possession of firearms—was quite sufficient to get a Roman Catholic banished the country.

On the third evening after this our friend Tom Steeple was met by its proprietor in the avenue leading to Corbo Castle.

"Well, Tom," said the squire, "are you for the Big House?" for such is the general term applied to all the ancestral mansions of the country.

Tom stopped and looked at him—for we need scarcely observe here that with poor Tom there was no respect of persons; he then shook his head and replied, "Me don't know whether you tall or not. Tom tall—will Tom go to Big House—get bully dinnel—and Tom sleep under the stairs—eh? Say aye, an' you be tall too."

"To be sure, Tom; go into the house, and your cousin Larry Lanigan, the cook, will give you a bully dinner; and sleep where you like."

The squire walked up and down the avenue in a thoughtful mood for some moments until another of our characters met him on his way towards the entrance gate. This person was no other than Molly Mahon.

"Ha!" said he, "here is another of them—well, poor devils, they must live. This, though, is the great fortune-teller. I will try her."

"God save your honor," said Molly, as she approached him and dropped a courtesy.

"Ah, Molly," said he, "you can see into the future, they say. Well, come now, tell me my fortune; but they say one must cross your palm with silver before you can manage the fates; here's a shilling for you, and let us hear what you have to say."

"No, sir," replied Molly, putting back his hand, "imposthors may do that, because they secure themselves first and tell you nothing worth knowin' afterwards. I take no money till I first tell the fortune."

"Well, Molly, that's honest at all events; let me hear what you have to tell me."

"Show me your hand, sir," said she, and taking it, she looked into it with a solemn aspect. "There, sir," she said, "that will do. I am sorry I met you this evening."

"Why so, Molly?"

"Because I read in your hand a great deal of sorrow."

"Pooh, you foolish woman—nonsense!"

"There's a misfortune likely to happen to one of your family; but I think it may be prevented."

"How will it be prevented?"

"By a gentleman that has a title and great wealth, and that loves the member of your family that the misfortune is likely to happen to."

The squire paused and looked at the woman, who seemed to speak seriously, and even with pain.

"I don't believe a word of it, Molly; but granting that it be true, how do you know it?"

"That's more than I can tell myself, sir," she replied. "A feelin' comes over me, and I can't help speakin' the words as they rise to my lips."

"Well, Molly, here's a shilling for you now; but I want you to see my daughter's hand till I hear what you have to say for her. Are you a Papist, Molly?"

"No, your honor, I was one wanst; but the moment we take to this way of life we mustn't belong to any religion, otherwise we couldn't tell the future."

"Sell yourself to the devil, eh?"

"Oh, no, sir; but—"

"But what? Out with it."

"I can't, sir; if I did, I never could tell a fortune agin."

"Well—well; come up; I have taken a fancy that you shall tell my daughter's for all that."

"Surely there can be nothing but happiness before her, sir; she that is so good to the poor and distressed; she that has all the world admirin' her wonderful beauty. Sure, they say, her health was drunk in the Lord Lieutenant's house in the great Castle of Dublin, as the Lily of the Plains of Boyle and the Star of Ireland."

"And so it was, Molly, and so it was; there's another shilling for you. Come now, come up to the house, and tell her fortune; and mark me, Molly, no flattery now—nothing but the truth, if you know it."

"Did I flatter you, sir?"

"Upon my honor, any thing but that, Molly; and all I ask is that you won't flatter her. Speak the truth, as I said before, if you know it."

Miss Folliard, on being called down by her father to have her fortune told, on seeing Molly, drew back and said, "Do not ask me to come in direct contact with this woman, papa. How can you, for one moment, imagine that a person of her life and habits could be gifted with that which has never yet been communicated to mortal (the holy prophets excepted)—a knowledge of futurity?"

"No matter, my darling, no matter; give her your hand; you will oblige and gratify me."

"Here, then, dear papa, to please you—certainly."

Molly took her lovely hand, and having looked into it, said, turning to the squire, "It's very odd, sir, but here's nearly the same thing that I tould to you awhile ago."

"Well, Molly," said he, "let us hear it."

Miss Folliard stood with her snowy hand in that of the fortune-teller, perfectly indifferent to her art, but not without strong feelings of disgust at the ordeal to which she submitted.

"Now, Molly," said the squire, "what have you to say?"

"Here's love," she replied, "love in the wrong direction—a false step is made that will end in misery—and—and—and—"

"And what, woman?" asked Miss Folliard, with an indignant glance at the fortune-teller. "What have you to add?"

"No!" said she, "I needn't speak it, for it won't come to pass. I see a man of wealth and title who will just come in in time to save you from shame and destruction, and with him you will be happy."

"I could prove to you," replied the Cooleen Dawn, her face mantling with blushes of indignation, "that I am a better prophetess than you are. Ask her, papa, where she last came from."

"Where did you come from last, Molly?" he asked.

"Why, then," she replied, "from Jemmy Hamilton's at the foot of Cullaniore."

"False prophetess," replied the Cooleen Bawn, "you have told an untruth. I know where you came from last."

"Then where did I come from, Miss Folliard?" said the woman, with unexpected effrontery.

"From Sir Robert Whitecraft," replied Miss Folliard, "and the wages of your dishonesty and his corruption are the sources of your inspiration. Take the woman away, papa."

"That will do, Molly—that will do," exclaimed the squire, "there is something' additional for you. What you have told us is very odd—very odd, indeed. Go and get your dinner in the kitchen."

Miss Folliard then withdrew to her own room.

Between eleven and twelve o'clock that night a carriage drew up at the grand entrance of Corbo Castle, out of which stepped Sir Robert Whitecraft and no less a personage than the Red Rapparee. They approached the hall door, and after giving a single knock, it was opened to them by the squire himself, who it would seem had been waiting to receive them privately. They followed him in silence to his study.

Mr. Folliard, though a healthy-looking man, was, in point of fact, by no means so. Of a nervous and plethoric habit, though brave, and even intrepid, yet he was easily affected by anything or any person that was disagreeable to him. On seeing the man whose hand had been raised against his life, and what was still more atrocious, whose criminal designs upon the honor of his daughter had been proved by his violent irruption into her chamber, he felt a suffocating sensation of rage and horror that nearly overcame him.

"Sir Robert," he said, "excuse me; the sight of this man has sickened me. I got your note, and in your society and at your request I have suffered him to come here; under your protection, too. May God forgive me for it! The room is too close—I feel unwell—pray open the door."

"Will there be no risk, sir, in leaving the door open?" said the baronet.

"None in the world! I have sent the servants all to bed nearly an hour ago. Indeed, the fact is, they are seldom up so late, unless when I have company."

Sir Robert then opened the door—that is to say, he left it a little more than ajar, and returning again took his seat.

"Don't let the sight of me frighten you, sir," said the Rapparee. "I never was your enemy nor intended you harm."

"Frighten me!" replied the courageous old squire; "no, sir, I am not a man very easily frightened; but I will confess that the sight of you has sickened me and filled me with horror."

"Well, now, Mr. Folliard," said the baronet, "let this matter, this misunderstanding, this mistake, or rather this deep and diabolical plot on the part of the Jesuit, Reilly, be at once cleared up. We wish, that is to say I wish, to prevent your good nature from being played upon by a designing villain. Now, O'Donnel, relate, or rather disclose, candidly and truly, all that took place with respect to this damnable plot between you and Reilly."

"Why, the thing, sir," said the Rapparee, addressing himself to the squire, "is very plain and simple; but, Sir Robert, it was not a plot between me and Reilly—the plot was his own. It appears that he saw your daughter and fell desperately in love with her, and knowin' your strong feeling against Catholics, he gave up all hopes of being made acquainted with Miss Folliard, or of getting into her company. Well, sir, aware that you were often in the habit of goin' to the town of Boyle, he comes to me and says in the early part of the day, 'Randal, I will give you fifty goolden guineas if you help me in a plan I have in my head.' Now, fifty goolden guineas isn't easily earned; so I, not knowing what the plan was at the time, tould him I could not say nothing till I heard it. He then tould me that he was over head and ears in love with your daughter, and that have her he should if it cost him his life. 'Well,' says I, 'and how can I help you?' 'Why,' said he, 'I'll show you that: her ould persecuting scoundrel of a father'—excuse me, sir—I'm givin' his own words—"

"I believe it, Mr. Folliard," said the baronet, "for these are the identical terms in which he told me the story before; proceed, O'Donnel."

"'The ould scoundrel of a father,' says he, 'on his return from Boyle, generally comes by the ould road, because it is the shortest cut. Do you and your men lie in wait in the ruins of the ould chapel, near Loch na Garran'—it is called so, sir, because they say there's a wild horse in it that comes out of moonlight nights to feed on the patches of green that are here and there among the moors—'near Loch na Gaitan,' says he; 'and when he gets that far turn out upon him, charge him with transportin' your uncle, and when you are levellin' your gun at him, I will come, by the way, and save him. You and I must speak angry to one another, you know; then, of course, I must see him home, and he can't do less than ask me to dine with him. At all events, thinkin' that I saved his life, we will become acquainted.'"

The squire paused and mused for some time, and then asked, "Was there no more than this between you and him?"

"Nothing more, sir."

"And tell me, did he pay you the money?"

"Here it is," replied the Rapparee, pulling out a rag in which were the precise number of guineas mentioned.

"But," said the squire, "we lost our way in the fog."

"Yes, sir," said the Rapparee. "Everything turned out in his favor. That made very little difference. You would have been attacked in or about that place, whether or not."

"Yes, but did you not attack my house that night? Did not you yourself come down by the skylight, and enter, by violence, into my daughter's apartment?"

"Well, when I heard of that, sir, I said, 'I give Reilly up for ingenuity.' No, sir, that was his own trick; but afther all it was a bad one, and tells aginst itself. Why, sir, neither I nor any of my men have the power of makin' ourselves invisible. Do you think, sir—I put it to your own common-sense—that if we had been there no one would have seen us? Wasn't the whole country for miles round searched and scoured, and I ask you, sir, was there hilt or hair of me or any one of my men seen or even heard of? Sir Robert, I must be going now," he added. "I hope Squire Folliard understands what kind of a man Reilly is. As for myself, I have nothing more to say."

"Don't go yet, O'Donnel," said Whitecraft; "let us determine what is to be done with him. You see clearly it is necessary, Mr. Folliard, that this deep-designing Jesuit should be sent out of the country."

"I would give half my estate he was fairly out of it," said the squire. "He has brought calamity and misery into my family. Created world! how I and mine have been deceived and imposed upon! Away with him—a thousand leagues away with him! And that quickly too! Oh, the plausible, deceitful villain! My child! my child!" and here the old man burst into tears of the bitterest indignation. "Sir Robert, that cursed villain was born, I fear, to be the shame and destruction of my house and name."

"Don't dream of such a thing," said the baronet. "On the day he dined here—and you cannot forget my strong disinclination to meet him—but even on that day you will recollect the treasonable language he used against the laws of the realm. After my return home I took a note of them, and I trust that you, sir, will corroborate, with respect to this fact, the testimony which it is my purpose to give against him. I say this the rather, Mr. Folliard, because it might seriously compromise your own character with the Government, and as a magistrate, too, to hear treasonable and seditious language at your own table, from a Papist Jesuit, and yet decline to report it to the authorities."

"The laws, the authorities, and you be hanged, sir!" replied the squire; "my table is, and has been, and ever shall be, the altar of confidence to my guests; I shall never violate the laws of hospitality. Treat the man fairly, I say, concoct no plot against him, bribe no false witnesses, and if he is justly amenable to the law I will spend ten thousand pounds to have him sent anywhere out of the country."

"He keeps arms," observed Sir Robert, "contrary to the penal enactments."

"I think not," said the squire; "he told me he was on a duck-shooting expedition that night, and when I asked him where he got his arms, he said that his neighbor, Bob Gosford, always lent him his gun whenever he felt disposed to shoot, and, to my own knowledge, so did many other Protestant magistrates in the neighborhood, for this wily Jesuit is a favorite with most of them."

"But I know where he has arms concealed," said the Rapparee, looking significantly at the baronet, "and I will be able to find them, too, when the proper time comes."

"Ha! indeed, O'Donnel," said Sir Robert, with well-feigned surprise; "then there will be no lack of proof against him, you may rest assured, Mr. Folliard; I charge myself with the management of the whole affair. I trust, sir, you will leave it to me, and I have only one favor to ask, and that is the hand of your fair daughter when he is disposed of."

"She shall be yours, Sir Robert, the moment that this treacherous villain can be removed by the fair operation of the laws; but I will never sanction any dishonorable treatment towards him. By the laws of the land let him stand or fall."

At this moment a sneeze of tremendous strength and loudness was heard immediately outside the door; a sneeze which made the hair of the baronet almost stand on end.

"What the devil is that?" asked the squire. "By the great Boyne, I fear some one has been listening after all."

The Rapparee, always apprehensive of the "authorities," started behind a screen, and the baronet, although unconscious of any cause for terror, stood rather undecided. The sneeze, however, was repeated, and this time it was a double one.

"Curse it, Sir Robert," said the squire, "have you not the use of your legs? Go and see whether there has been an eavesdropper"

"Yes, Mr. Folliard," replied the doughty baronet, "but your house has the character of being haunted; and I have a terror of ghosts."

The squire himself got up, and, seizing a candle, went outside the door, but nothing in human shape was visible.

"Come here, Sir Robert," said he, "that sneeze came from no ghost, I'll swear. Who ever heard of a ghost sneezing? Never mind, though; for the curiosity of the thing I will examine for myself, and return to you in a few minutes."

He accordingly left them, and in a short time came back, assuring them that every one in the house was in a state of the most profound repose, and that it was his opinion it must have been a cat.

"I might think so myself," observed the baronet, "were it not for the double sneeze. I am afraid, Mr. Folliard, that the report is too true—and that the house is haunted. O'Donnel, you must come home with me to-night."

O'Donnel, who entertained no apprehension of ghosts, finding that the "authorities" were not in question, agreed to go with him, although he had a small matter on hand which required his presence in another part of the country.

The baronet, however, had gained his point. The heart of the hasty and unreflecting squire had been poisoned, and not one shadow of doubt remained on his mind of Reilly's treachery. And that which convinced him beyond all arguments or assertions was the fact that on the night of the premeditated attack on his house not one of the Red Rapparee's gang was seen, or any trace of them discovered.





CHAPTER VI.—The Warning—an Escape

Reilly, in the meantime, was not insensible to his danger. About eleven o'clock the next day, as he was walking in his garden, Tom Steeple made his appearance, and approached him with a look of caution and significance.

"Well, Tom," said he, "what's the news?"

Tom made no reply, but catching him gently by the sleeve of his coat, said, "Come wid Tom; Tom has news for you. Here it is, in de paper;" and as he spoke, he handed him a letter, the contents of which we give:

"Dearest Reilly: The dreadful discovery I have made, the danger and treachery and vengeance by which you are surrounded, but, above all, my inexpressible love for you, will surely justify me in not losing a moment to write to you; and I select this poor creature as my messenger because he is least likely to be suspected. It is through him that the discovery of the accursed plot against you has been made. It appears that he slept in the castle last night, as he often does, and having observed Sir Thomas Whitecraft and that terrible man, the Red Rapparee, coming into the house, and going along with papa into his study, evidently upon some private business, he resolved to listen. He did so, and overheard the Rapparee stating to papa that every thing which took place on the evening you saved his life and frustrated his other designs upon the castle, was a plan preconceived by you for the purpose of making papa's acquaintance and getting introduced to the family in order to gain my affections. Alas! if you have resorted to such a plan, you have but too well succeeded. Do not, however, for one moment imagine that I yield any credit to this atrocious falsehood. It has been concocted by your base and unmanly rival, Whitecraft, by whom all the proceedings against you are to be conducted. Some violation of the penal laws, in connection with carrying or keeping arms, is to be brought against you, and unless you are on your guard you will be arrested and thrown into prison, and if not convicted of a capital offence and executed like a felon, you will at least be sent forever out of the country. What is to be done? If you have arms in or about your house let them be forthwith removed to some place of concealment. The Rapparee is to get a pardon from government, at least he is promised it by Sir Robert, if he turns against you. In one word, dearest Reilly, you cannot, with safety to your life, remain in this country. You must fly from it, and immediately too. I wish to see you. Come this night, at half-past ten, to the back gate of our garden, which you will find shut, but unlocked. Something—is it my heart?—tells me that our fates are henceforth inseparable, whether for joy or sorrow. I ought to tell you that I confessed my affection for you to papa on the evening you dined here, and he was not angry; but this morning he insisted that I should never think of you more, nor mention your name; and he says that if the laws can do it he will lose ten thousand pounds or he will have you sent out of the country. Lanigan, our cook, from what motive I know not, mentioned to me the substance of what I have now written. He is, it seems, a cousin to the bearer of this, and got the information from him after having had much difficulty, he says, in putting it together. I know not how it is, but I can assure you that every servant in the castle seems to know that I am attached to you.

"Ever, my dearest Reilly, yours, and yours only, until death,

"Helen Folliard."

We need not attempt to describe the sensations of love and indignation produced by this letter. But we shall state the facts.

"Here, Tom," said Reilly, "is the reward for your fidelity," as he handed him some silver; "and mark me, Tom, don't breathe to a human being that you have brought me a letter from the Cooleen Bawn. Go into the house and get something to eat; there now—go and get one of your bully dinners."

"It is true," said he, "too true I am doomed-devoted. If I remain in this country I am lost. Yes, my life, my love, my more than life—I feel as you do, that our fates, whether for good or evil, are inseparable. Yes, I shall see you this night if I have life."

He had scarcely concluded this soliloquy when his namesake, Fergus Reiliy, disguised in such a way as prevented him from being recognized, approached him, in the lowly garb of a baccah or mendicant.

"Well, my good fellow," said he, "what do you want? Go up to the house and you will get food."

"Keep quiet," replied the other, disclosing himself, "keep quiet; get all your money into one purse, settle your affairs as quickly as you can, and fly the country this night, or otherwise sit down and make your will and your peace with God Almighty, for if you are found here by to-morrow night you sleep in Sligo jail. Throw me a few halfpence, making as it were charity. Whitecraft has spies among your own laborers, and you know the danger I run in comin' to you by daylight. Indeed, I could not do it without this disguise. To-morrow night you are to be taken upon a warrant from Sir Robert Whitecraft; but never mind; as to Whitecraft, leave him to me—I have a crow to pluck with him."

"How is that, Fergus?"

"My sister, man; did you not hear of it?"

"No, Fergus, nor I don't wish to hear of it, for your sake; spare your feelings, my poor fellow; I know perfectly well what a hypocritical scoundrel he is."

"Well," replied Fergus, "it was only yesterday I heard of it myself; and are we to bear this?—we that have hands and eyes and limbs and hearts and courage to stand nobly upon the gallows-tree for striking down the villain who does whatever he likes, and then threatens us with the laws of the land if we murmur? Do you think this is to be borne?"

"Take not vengeance into your own hand, Fergus," replied Reilly, "for that is contrary to the laws of God and man. As for me, I agree with you that I cannot remain in this country. I know the vast influence which Whitecraft possesses with the government. Against such a man I have no chance; this, taken in connection with my education abroad, is quite sufficient to make me a marked and suspected man. I will therefore leave the country, and ere to-morrow night, I trust, I shall be beyond his reach. But, Fergus, listen: leave Whitecraft to God; do not stain your soul with human blood; keep a pure heart, and whatever may happen be able to look up to the Almighty with a clear conscience."

Fergus then left him, but with a resolution, nevertheless, to have vengeance upon the baronet very unequivocally expressed on his countenance.

Having seriously considered his position and all the circumstances' of danger connected with it, Reilly resolved that his interview that night with his beloved Cooleen Bawn should be his last. He accordingly communicated his apprehensions to an aged uncle of his who resided with him, and entrusted the management of his property to him until some change for the better might take place. Having heard from Fergus Reilly that there were spies among his own laborers, he kept moving about and. making such observations as he could for the remainder of the day. When the night came he prepared himself for his appointment, and at, or rather before, the hour of half-past ten, he had reached the back gate, or rather door of the garden attached to Corbo Castle. Having ascertained that it was unlocked, he entered with no difficulty, and traversed the garden without being able to perceive her whose love was now, it might be said, all that life had left him. After having satisfied himself that she was not in the garden, he withdrew to an arbor or summer-house of evergreens, where he resolved to await until she should come. He did not wait long. The latch of the entrance gate from the front made a noise; ah, how his heart beat! what a commotion agitated his whole frame! In a few moments she was with him.

"Reilly," said Cooleen Bawn, "I have dreadful news to communicate."

"I know all," said he; "I am to be arrested to-morrow night."

"To-night, dearest Reilly, to-night. Papa told me this evening, in one of his moods of anger, that before to-morrow morning you would be in Sligo jail."

"Well, dearest Helen," he replied, "that is certainly making quick work of it. But, even so, I am prepared this moment to escape. I have settled my affairs, left the management of them to my uncle, and this interview with you, my beloved girl, must be our last."

As he uttered these melancholy words the tears came to his eyes.

"The last!" she exclaimed. "Oh, no; it must not be the last. You shall not go alone, dearest William. My mind is made up. Be it for life or for death, I shall accompany you."

"Dearest life," he replied, "think of the consequences."

"I think of nothing," said Cooleen Bawn, "but my love for you. If you were not surrounded by danger as you are, if the whoop of vengeance were not on your trail, if death and a gibbet were not in the background, I could part with you; but now that danger, vengeance, and death, are hovering about you, I shall and must partake of them with you. And listen, Reilly; after all it is the best plan. Papa, if I accompany you—supposing that we are taken—will relent for my sake. I know his love for me. His affection for me will overcome all his prejudices against you. Then let us fly. To-night you will be taken. Your rival will triumph over both of us; and I—I, oh! I shall not survive it. Save me, then, Reilly, and let me fly with you."

"God knows," replied Reilly, with deep emotion, "if I suffered myself to be guided by the impulse of my heart, I would yield to wishes at once so noble and disinterested. I cannot, however, suffer my affection, absorbing and inexpressible as it is, to precipitate your ruin. I speak not of myself, nor of what I may suffer. When we reflect, however, my beloved girl, upon the state of the country, and of the law, as it operates against the liberty and property of Catholics, we must both admit the present impossibility of an elopement without involving you in disgrace. You know that until some relaxation of the laws affecting marriage between Catholics and Protestants takes place, an union between us is impossible; and this fact it is which would attach disgrace to you, and a want of honor, principle, and gratitude to me. We should necessarily lead the lives of the guilty, and seek the wildest fastnesses of the mountain solitudes and the oozy caverns of the bleak and solitary hills."

"But I care not. I am willing to endure it all for your sake."

"What!—the shame, the misinterpretation, the imputed guilt?"

"Neither care I for shame or imputed guilt, so long as I am innocent, and you safe."

"Concealment, my dearest girl, would be impossible. Such a hue and cry would be raised after us as would render nothing short of positive invisibility capable of protecting us from our enemies. Then your father!—such a step might possibly break his heart; a calamity which would fill your mind with remorse to the last day of your life!"

She burst again into tears, and replied, "But as for you, what can be done to save you from the toils of your unscrupulous and powerful enemies?"

"To that, my beloved Helen, I must forthwith look. In the meantime, let me gather patience and await some more favorable relaxation in the penal code. At present, the step you propose would be utter destruction to us both, and an irretrievable stain upon our reputation. You will return to your father's house, and I shall seek some secure place of concealment until I can safely reach the continent, from whence I shall contrive to let you hear from me, and in due time may possibly be able to propose some mode of meeting in a country where the oppressive laws that separate us here shall not stand in the way of our happiness. In the meanwhile let our hearts be guided by hope and constancy." After a mournful and tender embrace they separated.

It would be impossible to describe the agony of the lovers after a separation which might probably be their last. Our readers, however, may very well conceive it, and it is not our intention to describe it here. At this stage of our story, Reilly, who was, as we have said, in consequence of his gentlemanly manners and liberal principles, a favorite with all classes and all parties, and entertained no apprehensions from the dominant party, took his way homewards deeply impressed with the generous affections which his Cooleen Bawn had expressed for him. He consequently looked upon himself as perfectly safe in his own house. The state of society in Ireland, however, was at that melancholy period so uncertain that no Roman Catholic, however popular, or however innocent, could for one week calculate upon safety either to his property or person, if he happened to have an enemy who possessed any influence in the opposing Church. Religion thus was made the stalking-horse, not only of power, but of persecution, rapacity, and selfishness, and the unfortunate Roman Catholic who considered himself safe to-day might find himself ruined tomorrow, owing to the cupidity of some man who turned a lustful eye upon his property, or who may have entertained a feeling of personal ill-will against him. Be this as it may, Reilly wended his melancholy way homewards, and had got within less than a quarter of a mile of his own house when he was met by Fergus in his mendicant habit, who startled him by the information he disclosed.

"Where are you bound for, Mr. Reilly?" said the latter.

"For home," replied Reilly, "in order to secure my money and the papers connected with the family property."

"Well, then," said the other, "if you go home now you are a lost man."

"How is that?" asked Reilly.

"Your house at this moment is filled with sogers, and surrounded by them too. You know that no human being could make me out in this disguise; I had heard that they were on their way to your place, and afeered that they might catch you at home, I was goin' to let you know, in ordher that you might escape them, but I was too late; the villains were there before me. I took heart o' grace, however, and went up to beg a little charity for the love and honor of God. Seem' the kind of creature I was, they took no notice of me; for to tell you the truth, they were too much bent on searchin' for, and findin' you. God protect us from such men, Mr. Reilly," and the name he uttered in alow and cautious voice; "but at all events this is no country for you to live in now. But who do you think was the busiest and the bittherest man among them?"

"Why Whitecraft, I suppose."

"No; he wasn't there himself—no; but that double distilled traitor and villain, the Red Rapparee, and bad luck to him. You see, then, that if you attempt to go near your own house you're a lost man, as I said."

"I feel the truth of what you say," replied Reilly, "but are you aware that they committed any acts of violence? Are you aware that they disturbed my property or ransacked my house?"

"Well, that's more than I can say," replied Fergus, "for to tell you the truth, I was afraid to trust myself inside, in regard of that scoundrel the Rapparee, who, bein' himself accustomed to all sorts of disguises, I dreaded might find me out."

"Well, at all events," said Reilly, "with respect to that I disregard them. The family papers and other available property are too well secreted for them to secure them. On discovering Whitecraft's jealousy, and knowing, as I did before, his vindictive spirit and power in the country, I lost no time in putting them in a safe place. Unless they burn the house they could never come at them. But as this fact is not at all an improbable one—so long as Whitecraft is my unscrupulous and relentless enemy—I shall seize upon the first opportunity of placing them elsewhere."

"You ought to do so," said Fergus, "for it is not merely Whitecraft you have to deal wid, but ould Folliard himself, who now swears that if he should lose half his fortune he will either hang or transport you."

"Ah! Fergus," replied the other, "there is an essential difference between the characters of these two men. The father of Cooleen Bawn is, when he thinks himself injured, impetuous and unsparing in his resentment; but then he is an open foe, and the man whom he looks upon as his enemy always knows what he has to expect from him. Not so the other; he is secret, cautious, cowardly, and consequently doubly vindictive. He is a combination of the fox and the tiger, with all the treacherous cunning of the one, and the indomitable ferocity of the other, when he finds that he can make his spring with safety."

This conversation took place as Reilly and his companion bent their steps towards one of those antiquated and obsolete roads which we have described in the opening portion of this narrative.

"But now," asked Fergus, "where do you intend to go, or what do you intend to do with yourself?"

"I scarcely know," replied Reilly, "but on one thing my mind is determined—that I will not leave this country until I know the ultimate fate of the Cooleen Bawn. Rather than see her become the wife of that diabolical scoundrel, whom she detests as she does hell, I would lose my life. Let the consequences then be what they may, I will not for the present leave Ireland. This resolution I have come to since I saw her to-night. I am her only friend, and, so help me God, I shall not suffer her to be sacrificed—murdered. In the course of the night we shall return to my house and look about us. If the coast be clear I will secure my cash and papers as I said. It is possible that a few stragglers may lurk behind, under the expectation of securing me while making a stolen visit. However, we shall try. We are under the scourge of irresponsible power, Fergus; and if Whitecraft should burn my house to-night or to-morrow, who is to bring him to an account for it? or if they should, who is to convict him?"

The night had now become very dark, but they knew the country well, and soon found themselves upon the old road they were seeking.

"I will go up," said Reilly, "to the cabin of poor widow Buckley, where we will stop until we think those blood-hounds have gone home. She has a free cottage and garden from me, and has besides been a pensioner of mine for some time back, and I know I can depend upon her discretion and fidelity. Her little place is remote and solitary, and not more than three quarters of a mile from us."

They accordingly kept the old road for some time, until they reached a point of it where there was an abrupt angle, when, to their utter alarm and consternation, they found themselves within about twenty or thirty yards of a military party.

"Fly," whispered Fergus, "and leave me to deal with them—if you don't it's all up with you. They won't know me from Adam, but they'll know you at a glance."

"I cannot leave you in danger," said Reilly.

"You're mad," replied the other. "Is it an ould beggar man they'd meddle with? Off with you, unless you wish to sleep in Sligo jail before mornin."

Reilly, who felt too deeply the truth of what he said, bounded across the bank which enclosed the road on the right-hand side, and which, by the way, was a tolerably high one, but fortunately without bushes. In the meantime a voice cried out, "Who goes there? Stand at your peril, or you will have a dozen bullets in your carcass."

Fergus advanced towards them, whilst they themselves approached him at a rapid pace, until they met. In a moment they were all about him.

"Come, my customer," said their leader, "who and what are you? Quick—give an account of yourself."

"A poor creature that's lookin' for my bit, sir, God help me."

"What's your name?"

"One Paddy Brennan, sir, please your honor."

"Ay—one Paddy Brennan (hiccough), and—and—one Paddy Brennan, where do you go of a Sunday?"

"I don't go out at all, sir, of a Sunda'; whenever I stop of a Saturday night I always stop until Monday mornin'."

"I mean, are you a Papish?"

"Troth, I oughtn't to say I am, your honor—or at least a very bad one."

"But you are, a Papish."

"A kind of one, sir."

"Curse me, the fellow's humbug-gin' you, sergeant," said one of the men; "to be sure he's a Papish."

"To be sure," replied several of the others—"doesn't he admit he's a Papish?"

"Blow me, if—if—I'll bear this," replied the sergeant. "I'm a senior off—off—officer conductin' the examination, and I'll suffer no—no—man to intherfare. I must have subor—or—ordination, or I'll know what for. Leave him to me, then, and I'll work him up, never fear. George Johnston isn't the blessed babe to be imposed upon—that's what I say. Come, my good fellow, mark—mark me now. If you let but a quarter of—of—an inch of a lie out of your lips, I you're a dead man. Are you all charged, gentlemen?"

"All charged, sergeant, with loyalty and poteen at any rate; hang the Pope."

"Shoulder arms—well done. Present arms. Where is—is—this rascal? Oh, yes, here he is. Well, you are there—are you?"

"I'm here, captain."

"Well blow me, that's not—not—bad, my good fellow; if I'm not a captain, worse men have been so (hiccough); that's what I say."

"Hadn't we better make a prisoner of him at once, and bring him to Sir Robert's?" observed another.

"Simpson, hold—old—your tongue, I say. Curse me if I'll suffer any man to in—intherfere with me in the discharge of my duty."

"How do we know," said another, "but I he's a Rapparee in disguise?—for that matter, he may be Reilly himself."

"Captain and gentlemen," said Fergus, "if you have any suspicion of me, I'm willin' to go anywhere you like; and, above all things, I'd like to go to Sir Robert's, bekaise they know me there—many a good bit and sup I got in his kitchen."

"Ho, ho!" exclaimed the sergeant; "now I have you—now I know whether you can tell truth or not. Answer me this. Did ever Sir Robert himself give you charity? Come, now."

Fergus perceived the drift of the question at once. The penurious character of the baronet was so well known throughout the whole barony that if he had replied in the affirmative every man of them would have felt that the assertion was a lie, and he would consequently have been detected. He was prepared, however.

"Throth then, gintlemen," he replied, "since you must have the truth, and although maybe what I'm goin' to say won't be plaisin' to you, as Sir Robert's friends, I must come out wid it; devil resave the color of his money ever I seen yet, and it isn't but I often axed him for it. No—but the sarvints often sind me up a bit from the kitchen below."

"Well, come," said the sergeant, "if you have been lyin' all your life, you've spoke the truth now. I think we may let him go."

"I don't think we ought," said one of them, named Steen, a man of about fifty years of age, and of Dutch descent; "as Bamet said, 'we don't know what he is,' and I agree with him. He may be a Rapparee in disguise, or, what is worse, Reilly himself."

"What Reilly do yez mane, gintlemen, wid submission?" asked Fergus.

"Why, Willy Reilly, the famous Papish," replied the sergeant. (We don't wish to fatigue the reader with his drunken stutterings.) "It has been sworn that he's training the Papishes every night to prepare them for rebellion, and there's a warrant out for his apprehension. Do you know him?"

"Throth I do, well; and to tell yez the truth, he doesn't stand very high wid his own sort."

"Why so, my good fellow?"

"Bekaise they think that he keeps too much company wid Prodestans, an' that he's half a Prodestan himself, and that it's only the shame that prevents him from goin' over to them altogether. Indeed, it's the general opinion among the Catholics—"

"Papishes! you old dog."

"Well, then, Papishes—that he will—an' throth, I don't think the Papishes would put much trust in the same man."

"Where are you bound for now? and what brings you out at an illegal hour on this lonely road?" asked Steen.

"Troth, then, I'm on my way to Mr. Graham's above; for sure, whenever I'm near him, poor Paddy Brennan never wants for the good bit and sup, and the comfortable straw bed in the barn. May God reward him and his for it!"

Now, the truth was, that Graham, a wealthy and respectable Protestant farmer, was uncle to the sergeant; a fact which Fergus well knew, in consequence of having been a house servant with him for two or three years.

"Sergeant," said the Williamite settler, "I think this matter may be easily settled. Let two of the men go back to your uncle's with him, and see whether they know him there or not."

"Very well," replied the sergeant, "let you and Simpson go back with him—I have no objection. If my uncle's people don't know him, why then bring him down to Sir Roberts'."

"It's not fair to put such a task upon a man of my age," replied Steen, "when you know that you have younger men here."

"It was you proposed it, then," said the sergeant, "and I say, Steen, if you be a true man you have a right to go, and no right at all to shirk your duty. But stop—I'll settle it in a word's speaking: here you—you old Papish, where are you?—oh, I see—you're there, are you? Come now, gentlemen, shoulder arms—all right—present anns. Now, you confounded Papish, you say that you have often slept in my uncle's barn?"

"Is Mr. Graham your uncle, sir?—bekaise, if he is, I know that I'm in the hands of a respectable man."

"Come now—was there anything particular in the inside of that barn?—Gentlemen, are you ready to slap into him if we find him to be an imposther?"

"All ready, sergeant."

"Come now, you blasted Papish, answer me—"

"Troth, and I can do that, sargin'. You say Mr. Graham's your uncle, an' of coorse you have often been in that barn yourself. Very well, sir, don't you know that there's a prop on one side to keep up one of the cupples that gave way one stormy night, and there's a round hole in the lower part of the door to let the cats in to settle accounts wid the mice and rats."

"Come, come, boys, it's all right. He has described the barn to a hair. That will do, my Papish old cock. Come, I say, as every man must have a religion, and since the Papishes won't have ours, why the devil shouldn't they have one of their own?"

"That's dangerous talk," said Steen, "to proceed from your lips, sergeant. It smells of treason, I tell you; and if you had spoken these words in the days of the great and good King William, you might have felt the consequences."

"Treason and King William be hanged!" replied the sergeant, who was naturally a good-natured, but out-spoken fellow—"sooner than I'd take up a poor devil of a beggar that has enough to do to make out his bit and sup. Go on about your business, poor devil; you shan't be molested. Go to my uncle's, where you'll get a bellyfull, and a comfortable bed of straw, and a winnow-cloth in the barn. Zounds!—it would be a nice night's work to go out for Willy Reilly and to bring home a beggar man in his place."

This was a narrow escape upon the part of Fergus, who knew that if they had made' a prisoner of him, and produced him before Sir Robert Whitecraft, who was a notorious persecutor, and with whom the Red Rapparee was now located, he would unquestionably have been hanged like a dog. The officer of the party, however—to wit, the worthy sergeant—was one of those men who love a drop of the native, and whose heart besides it expands into a sort of surly kindness that has something comical and not disagreeable in it. In addition to this, he never felt a confidence in his own authority with half the swagger which he did when three quarters gone. Steen and he were never friends, nor indeed was Steen ever a popular man among his acquaintances. In matters of trade and business he was notoriously dishonest, and in the moral and social relations of life, selfish, uncandid, and treacherous. The sergeant, on the other hand, though an out-spoken and flaming anti-Papist in theory, was, in point of fact, a good friend to his Roman Catholic neighbors, who used to say of him that his bark was worse than his bite.

When his party had passed on, Fergus stood for a moment uncertain as to where he should direct his steps. He had not long to wait, however. Reilly, who had no thoughts of abandoning him to the mercy of the military, without at least knowing his fate, nor, we may add, without a firm determination to raising his tenantry, and rescuing the generous fellow at every risk, immediately sprung across the ditch and joined him.

"Well, Fergus," said he, clasping his hand, "I heard everything, and I can tell you that every nerve in my body trembled whilst you were among them."

"Why," said Fergus, "I knew them at once by their voices, and only that I changed my own as I did I won't say but they'd have nabbed me."

"The test of the barn was frightful; I thought you were gone; but you must explain that."

"Ay, but before I do," replied Fergus, "where are we to go? Do you still stand for widow Buckley's?"

"Certainly, that woman may be useful to me."

"Well, then, we may as well jog on in that direction, and as we go I will tell you."

"How then did you come to describe the barn—or rather, was your description correct?"

"Ay, as Gospel. You don't know that by the best of luck and providence of God, I was two years and a half an inside laborer with Mr. Graham. As is usual, all the inside men-servants slept, wintrier and summer, in the barn; and that accounts for our good fortune this night. Only for that scoundrel, Steen, however, the whole thing would not have signified much; but he's a black and deep villain that. Nobody likes him but his brother scoundrel, Whitecraft, and he's a favorite with him, bekaise he's an active and unscrupulous tool in his hands. Many a time, when these men—military-militia-yeomen, or whatever they call them, are sent out by this same Sir Robert, the poor fellows don't wish to catch what they call the unfortunate Papish-es, and before they come to the house they'll fire off their guns, pretinding to be in a big passion, but only to give their poor neighbors notice to escape as soon as they can."

In a short time they reached widow Buckley's cabin, who, on understanding that it was Reilly who sought admittance, lost not a moment in opening the door and letting them in. There was no candle lit when they entered, but there was a bright turf fire "blinkin' bonnilie" in the fireplace, from which a mellow light emanated that danced upon the few plain plates that were neatly ranged upon her humble dresser, but which fell still more strongly upon a clean and well-swept hearth, on one side of which was an humble armchair of straw, and on the other a grave, but placid-looking cat, purring, with half-closed eyes, her usual song for the evening.

"Lord bless us! Mr. Reilly, is this you? Sure it's little I expected you, any way; but come when you will, you're welcome. And who ought to be welcome to the poor ould widow if you wouldn't?"

"Take a stool and sit down, honest man," she said, addressing Fergus; "and you, Mr. Reilly, take my chair; it's the one you sent me yourself, and if anybody is entitled to a sate in it, surely you are. I must light a rush."

"No, Molly," replied Reilly, "I would be too heavy for your frail chair. I will take one of those stout stools, which will answer me better."

She then lit a rush-light, which she pressed against a small cleft of iron that was driven into a wooden shaft, about three feet long, which stood upon a bottom that resembled the head of a churn-staff. Such are the lights, and such the candlesticks, that are to be found in the cabins and cottages of Ireland. "I suppose, Molly," said Reilly, "you are surprised at a visit from me just now?"

"You know, Mr. Reilly," she replied, "that if you came in the deadest hours of the night you'd be welcome, as I said—and this poor man is welcome too—sit over to the fire, poor man, and warm yourself. Maybe you're hungry; if you are I'll get you something to eat."

"Many thanks to you, ma'am," replied Fergus, "I'm not a taste hungry, and could ait nothing now; I'm much obliged to you at the same time."

"Mr. Reilly, maybe you'd like to ait a bit. I can give you a farrel of bread, and a sup o' nice goat's milk. God preserve him from evil that gave me the same goats, and that's your four quarthers, Mr. Reilly. But sure every thing I have either came or comes from your hand; and if I can't thank you, God will do it for me, and that's betther still."

"No more about that, Molly—not a word more. Your long residence with my poor mother, and your affection for her in all her trials and troubles, entitle you to more than that at the hands of her son."

"Mrs. Buckley," observed Fergus, "this is a quiet-looking little place you have here."

"And it is for that I like it," she replied. "I have pace here, and the noise of the wicked world seldom reaches me in it. My only friend and companion here is the Almighty—praise and glory be to his name!"—and here she devoutly crossed herself—"bar-rin', indeed, when the light-hearted girshas (young girls) comes a kailyee* wid their wheels, to keep the poor ould woman company, and rise her ould heart by their light and merry songs, the cratures."

     *This means to spend a portion of the day, or a few hours of
     the night, in a neighbor's house, in agreeable and amusing
     conversation.

"That must be a relief to you, Molly," observed Reilly, who, however, could with difficulty take any part in this little dialogue.

"And so indeed it is," she replied; "and, poor things, sure if their sweethearts do come at the dusk to help them to carry home their spinning-wheels, who can be angry with them? It's the way of life, sure, and of the world."

She then went into another little room—for the cabin was divided into two—in order to find a ball of woollen thread, her principal occupation being the knitting of mittens and stockings, and while bustling about Fergus observed with a smile,

"Poor Molly! little she thinks that it's the bachelors, rather than any particular love for her company, that brings the thieves here."

"Yes, but," said Reilly, "you know it's the custom of the country."

"Mrs. Buckley," asked Fergus, "did the sogers ever pay you a visit?"

"They did once," she replied, "about six months ago or more."

"What in the name of wondher," he repeated, "could bring them to you?"

"They were out huntin' a priest," she replied, "that had done something contrary to the law."

"What did they say, Mrs. Buckley, and how did they behave themselves?"

"Why," she answered, "they axed me if I had seen about the country a tight-looking fat little man, wid black twinklin' eyes and a rosy face, wid a pair o' priest's boots upon him, greased wid hog's lard? I said no, but to the revarse. They then searched the cabin, tossed the two beds about—poor Jemmy's—God rest my boy's sowl!—an'—afterwards my own. There was one that seemed to hould authority over the rest, and he axed who was my landlord? I said I had no landlord. They then said that surely I must pay rent to some one, but I said that I paid rent to nobody; that Mr. Reilly here, God bless him, gave me this house and garden free."

"And what did they say when you named Mr. Reilly?"

"Why, they said he was a dacent Papish, I think they called it; and that there wasn't sich another among them. They then lighted their pipes, had a smoke, went about their business, and I saw no more of them from that day to this."

Reilly felt that this conversation was significant, and that the widow's cabin was any thing but a safe place of refuge, even for a few hours. We have already said that he had been popular with all parties, which was the fact, until his acquaintance with the old squire and his lovely daughter. In the meantime the loves of Willy Reilly and the far-famed Cooleen Bawn had gone abroad over the whole country; and the natural result was that a large majority among those who were anxious to exterminate the Catholic Church by the rigor of bigoted and inhuman laws, looked upon the fact of a tolerated Papist daring to love a Protestant heiress, and the daughter of a man who was considered such a stout prop of the Establishment, as an act that deserved death itself. Reilly's affection for the Cooleen Bawn was considered, therefore, not only daring but treasonable. Those men, then, he reflected, who had called upon her while in pursuit of the unfortunate priest, had become acquainted with the fact of her dependence upon his bounty; and he took it for granted, very naturally and very properly, as the event will show, that now, while "on his keeping," it would not be at all extraordinary if they occasionally searched her remote and solitary cabin, as a place where he might be likely to conceal himself. For this night, however, he experienced no apprehension of a visit from them, but with what correctness of calculation we shall soon see.

"Molly," said he, this poor man and I must sit with you for a couple of hours, after which we will leave you to your rest."

"Indeed, Mr. Reilly," she replied, "from what I heard this day I can make a party good guess at the raison why you are here now, instead of bein' in your own comfortable house. You have bitther enemies; but God—blessed be his name—is stronger than any of them. However, I wish you'd let me get you and that poor man something to eat."

This kind offer they declined, and as the short rush-light was nearly burned out, and as she had not another ready, she got what is called a cam or grisset, put it on the hearth-stone, with a portion of hog's lard in it; she then placed the lower end of the tongs in the fire, until the broad portion of them, with which the turf is gripped, became red hot; she then placed the lard in the grisset between them, and squeezed it until nothing remained but pure oil; through this she slowly drew the peeled rushes, which were instantly saturated with the grease, after which she left them on a little table to cool. Among the poorer classes—small farmers and others—this process is performed every evening a little before dusk. Having thus supplied them with these lights, the pious widow left them to their own conversation and retired to the little room in order to repeat her rosary. We also will leave them to entertain themselves as best they can, and request our readers to follow us to a different scene.





CHAPTER VII.—An Accidental Incident favorable to Reilly

—And a Curious Conversation

We return to the party from whom Fergus Reilly had so narrow an escape. As our readers may expect, they bent their steps to the magnificent residence of Sir Robert Whitecraft. That gentleman was alone in his library, surrounded by an immense collection of books which he never read. He had also a fine collection of paintings, of which he knew no more than his butler, nor perhaps so much. At once sensual, penurious, and bigoted, he spent his whole time in private profligacy—for he was a hypocrite, too—in racking his tenantry, and exhibiting himself as a champion for Protestant principles. Whenever an unfortunate Roman Catholic, whether priest or layman, happened to infringe a harsh and cruel law of which probably he had never heard, who so active in collecting his myrmidons, in order to uncover, hunt, and run down his luckless victim? And yet he was not popular. No one, whether of his own class or any other, liked a bone in his skin. Nothing could infect him with the genial and hospitable spirit of the country, whilst at the same time no man living was so anxious to partake of the hospitality of others, merely because it saved him a meal. All that sustained his character at the melancholy period of which we write was what people called the uncompromising energy of his principles as a sound and vigorous Protestant.

"Sink them all together," he exclaimed upon this occasion, in a kind of soliloquy—"Church and bishop and parson, what are they worth unless to make the best use we can of them? Here I am prevented from going to that girl to-night—and that barbarous old blockhead of a squire, who was so near throwing me off for a beggarly Papist rebel: and doubly, trebly, quadruply cursed be that same rebel for crossing my path as he has done. The cursed light-headed jade loves him too—there's no doubt of that—but wait until I get him in my clutches, as I certainly shall, and, by —-, his rebel carcass shall feed the crows. But what noise is that? They have returned; I must go down and learn their success."

He was right. Our friend the tipsy sergeant and his party were at the hall-door, which was opened as he went down, and he ordered lights into the back parlor. In a few minutes they were ushered in, where they found him seated as magisterially as possible in a large arm-chair.

"Well, Johnston," said he, assuming as much dignity as he could, "what has been your success?"

"A bad evening's sport, sir; we bagged nothing—didn't see a feather."

"Talk sense, Johnston," said he sternly, "and none of this cant. Did you see or hear any thing of the rebel?"

"Why, sir, we did; it would be a devilish nice business if a party led and commanded by George Johnston should go out without hearin' and seein' something."

"Well, but what did you see and hear, sir?"

"Why, we saw Reilly's house, and a very comfortable one it is; and we heard from the servants that he wasn't at home."

"You're drunk, Johnston."

"No, sir, begging your pardon, I'm only hearty; besides, I never discharge my duty half so well as when I'm drunk; If feel no colors then."

"Johnston, if I ever know you to get drunk on duty again I shall have you reduced."

"Reduced!" replied Johnston, "curse the fig I care whether you do or not; I'm actin' as a volunteer, and I'll resign."

"Come, sir," replied Sir Robert, "be quiet; I will overlook this, for you are a very good man if you could keep yourself sober."

"I told you before, Sir Robert, that I'm a better man when I'm drunk."

"Silence, sir, or I shall order you out of the room."

"Please your honor," observed Steen, "I have a charge to make against George Johnston."

"A charge, Steen—what is it? You are a staunch, steady fellow, I know; what is this charge?"

"Why, sir, we met a suspicious character on the old bridle road beyond Reilly's, and he refused to take him prisoner."

"A poor half-Papist beggarman, sir," replied Johnston, "who was on his way to my uncle's to stop there for the night. Divil a scarecrow in Europe would exchange clothes with him without boot."

Steen then related the circumstances with which our readers are acquainted, adding that he suggested to Johnston the necessity of sending a couple of men up with him to ascertain whether what, he said was true or not; but that he flatly refused to do so—and after some nonsense about a barn he let him off.

"I'll tell you what, sir," said Johnston, "I'll hunt a priest or a Papish that breaks the law with any man livin', but hang me if ever I'll hunt a harmless beggarman lookin' for his bit."

At this period of the conversation the Red Rapparee, now in military uniform, entered the parlor, accompanied by some others of those violent men.

"Steen," said the baronet, "what or who do you suppose this ragged ruffian was?"

"Either a Rapparee, sir, or Reilly himself."

"O'Donnel," said he, addressing the Red Robber, "what description of disguises do these villains usually assume? Do they often go about as beggarmen?"

"They may have changed their hand, sir, since I became a legal subject, but, before that, three-fourths of us—of them—the villains, I mane—went about in the shape of beggars."

"That's important," exclaimed the baronet. "Steen, take half a dozen mounted men—a cavalry party have arrived here a little while ago, and are waiting further orders—I thought if Reilly had been secured it might have been necessary for them to escort him to Sligo. Well, take half a dozen mounted I men, and, as you very properly suggested, proceed with all haste to farmer Graham's, and see whether this mendicant is there or not; if he is there, take him into custody at all events, and if he is not, then it is clear he is a man for whom we ought to be on the lookout."

"I should like to go with them, your honor," said the Red Rapparee.

"O'Donnel," said Sir Robert, "I have other business for you to-night."

"Well, plaise your honor," said O'Donnel, "as they're goin' in that direction, let them turn to the left after passin' the little stranie that crosses the road, I mane on their way home; if they look sharp they'll find a little boreen that—but indeed they'll scarcely make it out in the dark, for it's a good way back in the fields—I mane the cabin of widow Buckley. If there's one house more than another in the whole countryside where! Reilly is likely to take shelter in, that's it. He gave her that cabin and a large garden free, and besides allows her a small yearly pension. But remember, you can't bring your horses wid you—you must lave some of the men to take charge of them in the boreen till you come back. I wish you'd let me go with them, sir."

"I cannot, O'Donnel; I have other occupation for you to-night."

Three or four of them declared that they knew the cottage right well, and could find it out without much difficulty. "They had been there," they said, "some six or eight months before upon a priest chase." The matter was so arranged, and the party set out upon their expedition.

It is unnecessary to say that these men had their journey for nothing; but at the same time one fact resulted from it, which I was, that the ragged mendicant they had met must have been some one well worth looking after. The deuce of it was, however, that, owing to the darkness of the night, there was not one among them who could have known Fergus the next day if they had met him. They knew, however, that O'Donnel, the Rapparee, was a good authority on the subject, and the discovery of the pretended mendicant's imposture was a proof of it. On this account, when they had reached the boreen alluded to, on their return from Graham's, they came to the resolution of leaving their horses in charge, as had been suggested to them, and in silence, and with stealthy steps, pounce at once into the widow's cabin. Before they arrived there, however, we shall take the liberty of preceding them for a few minutes, and once more transport our readers to its bright but humble hearth.

About three hours or better had elapsed, and our two friends were still seated, maintaining the usual chat with Mrs. Buckley, who had finished her prayers and once, more rejoined them.

"Fergus, like a good fellow," whispered Reilly, "slip out for a minute or two; there's—a circumstance I wish to mention to Molly—I assure you it's of a very private and particular nature and only for her own ear."

"To be sure," replied Fergus; "I want, at all events, to stretch my legs, and to see what the night's about."

He accordingly left the cabin.

"Mrs. Buckley," said Reilly, "it was not for nothing I came here to-night. I have a favor to ask of you."

"Your favor's granted, sir," she replied—"granted, Mr. Reilly, even before I hear it—that is, supposin' always that it's in my power—to do it for you."

"It is simply to carry a letter—and be certain that it shall be delivered to the proper person."

"Well," she replied, "sure that's aisily done. And where am I to deliver it?" she asked.

"That I shall let you know on some future occasion—perhaps within the course of a week or so."

"Well, sir," she replied, "I'd go twenty miles to deliver it—and will do so wid a heart and a half."

"Well, Molly, I can tell you your journey won't be so far; but there is one thing you are to observe—you must never breathe it to a human creature."

"I thought you knew me better, Mr. Reilly."

"It would be impossible, however, to be too strict here, because you don't know how much depends upon it."

At this moment Fergus put in his head, and said, "For Christ's sake, snuff out the candle, and Reilly—fly!—There are people in the next field!—quick!—quick!"

Reilly snatched up his hat, and whispered to the widow, "Deny that you saw me, or that there was any one here!—Put out the candle!—they might see our figures darkening the light as we go out!"

Fergus and Reilly immediately planted themselves behind a whitethorn hedge, in a field adjoining the cabin, in order to reconnoitre the party, whoever they might be, which they could do in safety. This act of reconnoitering, however, was performed by the ear, and not at all by the eye; the darkness of the night rendered that impossible. Of course the search in the widow's cabin was equally fruitless.

"Now," whispered Reilly, "we'll go in a line parallel with the road, but at a safe distance from them, until they reach the cross-roads. If they turn towards my house, we are forewarned, but if they turn towards Sir Robert's, it is likely that I may have an opportunity of securing my cash and papers." On reaching the cross-roads alluded to, the party, much to the satisfaction of Reilly and his companion, did turn towards the residence of Sir Robert Whitecraft, thus giving the fugitives full assurance that nothing further was to be apprehended from them that night. The men in fact felt fatigued and were anxious to get to bed.

After approaching Reilly's house very cautiously, and with much circumspection—not an outhouse, or other place of concealment, having been left unexamined—they were about to enter, when Reilly, thinking that no precaution on such an occasion ought to be neglected, said:

"Fergus, we are so far safe; but, under all circumstances, I think it right and prudent that you should keep watch outside. Mark me, I will place Tom Corrigan—you know him—at this window, and if you happen to see anything in the shape of a human being, or to hear, for instance, any noise, give the slightest possible tap upon the glass, and that will be sufficient."

It was so arranged, and Reilly entered the house; but, as it happened, Fergus's office proved a sinecure; although, indeed, when we consider his care and anxiety, we can scarcely say so. At all events, Reilly returned in about half an hour, bearing under his arm a large dark portfolio, which, by the way, was securely locked.

"Is all right?" asked Fergus.

"All is right," replied the other. "The servants have entered into an arrangement to sit up, two in turn each night, so as to be ready to give me instant admittance whenever I may chance to come."

"But now where are you to place these papers?" asked his companion. "That's a difficulty."

"It is, I grant," replied Reilly, "but after what has happened, I think widow Buckley's cabin the safest place for a day or two. Only that the hour is so unseasonable, I could feel little difficulty in finding a proper place of security for them, but as it is, we must only deposit them for the present with the widow."

The roads of Ireland at this period—if roads they could be called—were not only in a most shameful, but dangerous, state. In summer they were a foot deep with dust, and in winter at least eighteen inches with mud. This, however, was by no means the worst of it. They were studded, at due intervals, with ruts so deep that if a horse! happened to get into one of them he went down to the saddle-skirts. They were treacherous, too, and such as no caution could guard against; because, where the whole surface of the road was one mass of mud, it was impossible to distinguish these horse-traps at all. Then, in addition to these, were deep gullies across the roads, worn away by small rills, proceeding from rivulets in the adjoining uplands, which were; principally dry, or at least mere threads of | water in summer, but in winter became pigmy torrents that tore up the roads across which they passed, leaving them in the dangerous state we have described.

As Reilly and his companion had got out upon the road, they were a good deal surprised, and not a little alarmed, to see a horse, without a rider, struggling to extricate himself out of one of the ruts in question. "What is this?" said Fergus. "Be on your guard."

"The horse," observed Reilly, "is without! a rider; see what it means."

Fergus approached with all due caution, and on examining the place discovered a man lying apparently in a state of insensibility.

"I fear," said he, on returning to Reilly, "that his rider has been hurt; he is lying senseless about two or three yards before the horse."

"My God!" exclaimed the other, "perhaps he has been killed; let us instantly assist him. Hold this portfolio whilst I render him whatever assistance I can."

As he spoke they heard a heavy groan, and on approaching found the man sitting; but still unable to rise.

"You have unfortunately been thrown, sir," said Reilly; "I trust in God you are not seriously hurt."

"I hope not, sir," replied the man, "but I was stunned, and have been insensible for some time; how long I cannot say."

"Good gracious, sir!" exclaimed Reilly, "is this Mr. Brown?"

"It is, Mr. Reilly; for heaven's sake aid me to my limbs—that is, if I shall be able to stand upon them." Reilly did so, but found that he could not stand or walk without' assistance. The horse, in the meantime, had extricated himself.

"Come, Mr. Brown," said Reilly, "you! must, allow me to assist you home. It is very fortunate that you have not many perches to go. This poor man will lead your horse up to the stable."

"Thank you, Mr. Reilly," replied the gentleman, "and in requital for your kindness you must take a bed at my house tonight. I am aware of your position," he added in a confidential voice, "and that you cannot safely sleep in your own; with me you will be secure."

Reilly thanked him, and said that this kind offer was most welcome and acceptable, as, in point of fact, he scarcely knew that night where to seek rest with safety. They accordingly proceeded to the parsonage—for Mr. Brown was no other than the Protestant rector of the parish, a man with whom Reilly was on the most friendly and intimate terms, and a man, we may add, who omitted no opportunity of extending shelter, protection, and countenance to such Roman Catholics as fell under the suspicion or operation of the law. On this occasion he had been called very suddenly to the deathbed of a parishioner, and was then on his return home, after having administered to the dying man the last consolations of religion.

On reaching the parsonage, Fergus handed the portfolio to its owner, and withdrew to seek shelter in some of his usual haunts for the night; but Mr. Brown, aided by his wife, who sat up for him, contrived that Reilly should be conducted to a private room, without the knowledge of the servants, who were sent as soon as possible to bed. Before Reilly withdrew, however, that night, he requested Mr. Brown to take charge of his money and family papers, which the latter did, assuring him that they should be forthcoming whenever he thought proper to call for them. Mr. Brown had, not been seriously hurt, and was able in a day or two to pay the usual attention to the discharge of his duties.

Reilly, having been told where to find his bedroom, retired with confidence to rest. Yet we can scarcely term it rest, after considering the tumultuous and disagreeable events of the evening. He began to ponder upon the life of persecution to which Miss Folliard must necessarily be exposed, in consequence of her father's impetuous and fiery temper; and, indeed, the fact was, that he felt this reflection infinitely more bitter than any that touched himself. In these affectionate calculations of her domestic persecution he was a good deal mistaken, however, Sir Robert Whitecraft had now gained a complete ascendancy over the disposition and passions of her father. The latter, like many another country squire—especially of that day—when his word and will were law to his tenants and dependants, was a very great man indeed, when dealing with them. He could bluster and threaten, and even carry his threats into execution with a confident swagger that had more of magisterial pride and the pomp of property in it, than a sense of either light or justice. But, on the other hand, let him meet a man of his own rank, who cared nothing about his authority as a magistrate, or his assumption as a man of large landed property, and he was nothing but a poor weak-minded tool in his hands. So far our description is correct; but when such a knave as Sir Robert Whitecraft came in his way—a knave at once calculating, deceitful, plausible, and cunning—why, our worthy old squire, who thought himself a second Solomon, might be taken by the nose and led round the whole barony.

There is no doubt that he had sapiently laid down his plans—to harass and persecute his daughter into a marriage with Sir Robert, and would have probably driven her from under his roof, had he not received the programme of his conduct from Whitecraft. That cowardly caitiff had a double motive in this. He found that if her father should "pepper her with persecution," as the old fellow said, before marriage, its consequences might fall upon his own unlucky head afterwards—in other words, that Helen would most assuredly make him then suffer, to some purpose, for all that his pretensions to her hand had occasioned her to undergo previous to their union; for, in truth, if there was one doctrine which Whitecraft detested more than another—and with good reason too—it was that of Retribution.

"Mr. Folliard," said Whitecraft in the very last conversation they had on this subject, "you must not persecute your daughter on my account."

"Mustn't I? Why hang it, Sir Robert, isn't persecution the order of the day? If she doesn't marry you quietly and willingly, we'll turn her out, and hunt her like a priest."

"No, Mr. Folliard, violence will never do. On the contrary, you must change your hand, and try an opposite course. If you wish to rivet her affections upon that Jesuitical traitor still more strongly, persecute her; for there is nothing in this life that strengthens love so much as opposition and violence. The fair ones begin to look upon themselves as martyrs, and in proportion as you are severe and inexorable, so in proportion are they resolved to win the crown that is before them. I would not press your daughter but that I believe love to be a thing that exists before marriage—never after. There's the honeymoon, for instance. Did ever mortal man or mortal woman hear or dream of a second honeymoon? No, sir, for Cupid, like a large blue-bottle, falls into, and is drowned, in the honey-pot."

"Confound me," replied the squire, "if I understand a word you say. However, I dare say it may be very good sense for all that, for you always had a long noddle. Go on."

"My advice to you then, sir, is this-make as few allusions to her marriage with me as possible; but, in the meantime, you may praise me a little, if you wish; but, above all things, don't run down Reilly immediately after paying either my mind or person any compliment. Allow the young lady to remain quiet for a time. Treat her with your usual kindness and affection; for it is possible, after all, that she may do more from her tenderness and affection for you than we could expect from any other motive; at all events, until we shall succeed in hanging or transporting this rebellious scoundrel."

"Very good—so he is. Good William! what a son-in-law I should have! I who transported one priest already!"

"Well, sir, as I was saying, until we shall have succeeded in hanging or transporting him. The first would be the safest, no doubt: but until we shall be able to accomplish either one or the other, we have not much to expect in the shape of compliance from your daughter. When the villain is removed, however, hope, on her part, will soon die out—love will lose its pabulum."

"Its what?" asked the squire, staring at him with a pair of round eyes that were full of perplexity and wonder.

"Why, it means food, or rather fodder."

"Curse you, sir," replied the squire indignantly; "do you want to make a beast of my daughter?"

"But it's a word, sir, applied by the poets, as the food of Cupid."

"Cupid! I thought he was drowned in the honey-pot, yet he's up again, and as brisk as ever, it appears. However, go on—let us understand fairly what you're at. I think I see a glimpse of it; and knowing your character upon the subject of persecution as I do, it's more, I must say, than I expected from you. Go on—I bid you."

"I say, then, sir, that if Reilly were either hanged or out of the country, the consciousness of this would soon alter matters with Miss Folliard. If you, then, sir, will enter into an agreement with me, I shall undertake so to make the laws bear upon Reilly as to rid either the world or the country of him; and you shall promise not to press upon your daughter the subject of her marriage with me until then. Still, there is one thing you must do; and that is, to keep her under the strictest surveillance."

"What the devil's that?" said the squire.

"It means," returned his expected son-in-law, "that she must be well watched, but without feeling that she is so."

"Would it not be better to lock her up at once?" said her father. "That would be making the matter sure."

"Not at all," replied Whitecraft. "So sure as you lock her up, so sure she will break prison."

"Well, upon my soul," replied her father. "I can't see that. A strong lock and key are certainly the best surety for the due appearance of any young woman disposed to run away. I think the best way would be to make her feel at once that her father is a magistrate, and commit her to her own room until called upon to appear."

Whitecraft, whose object was occasionally to puzzle his friend, gave a cold grin, and added:

"I suppose your next step would be to make her put in security. No—no, Mr. Folliard; if you will be advised by me, try the soothing system; antiphlogistic remedies are always the best in a case like hers."

"Anti—what? Curse me, if I can understand every tenth word you say. However, I give you credit, Whitecraft; for upon my soul I didn't think you knew half so much as you do. That last, however, is a tickler—a nut that I can't crack. I wish I could only get my tongue about it, till I send it among the Grand Jury, and maybe there wouldn't be wigs on the green in making it out."

"Yes, I fancy it would teach them a little supererogation."

"A little what? Is it love that has made you so learned, Whitecraft, or so unintelligible, which? Why, man, if your passion increases, in another week there won't be three men out of Trinity College able to understand you. You will become a perfect oracle. But, in the meantime, let us see how the arrangement stands. Imprimus, you are to hang or transport Keilly; and, until then, I am not to annoy my daughter with any allusions to this marriage: but, above all things, not to compare you and Reilly with one another in her presence, lest it might strengthen her prejudices against you."

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Folliard. I did not say so; I fear no comparison with the fellow."

"No matter, Sir Robert, if you did not knock it down you staggered it. Omitting the comparison, however, I suppose that so far I am right."

"I think so, sir," replied the other, conscious, "after all, that he had got a touch of 'Roland for his Oliver'."

Then he proceeded: "I'm to watch her closely, only she's not to know it. Now, I'll tell you what, Sir Robert, I know you carry a long noddle, with more hard words in it than I ever gave you credit for—but with regard to what you expect from me now—"

"I don't mean that you should watch her personally yourself, Mr. Folliard."

"I suppose you don't; I didn't think you did; but I'll tell you what—place the twelve labors of Hercules before me, and I'll undertake to perform them, if you wish, but to watch a woman, Sir Robert—and that woman keen and sharp upon the cause of such vigilance—without her knowing it in one half hour's time—that is a task that never was, can, or will be accomplished. In the meantime, we must only come as near its accomplishment as we can."

"Just so, sir; we can do no more. Remember, then, that you perform your part of this arrangement, and, with the blessing of God, I shall leave nothing undone to perform mine."

Thus closed this rather extraordinary conversation, after which Sir Robert betook himself home, to reflect upon the best means of performing his part of it, with what quickness and dispatch, and with what success, our readers already know.

The old squire was one of those characters who never are so easily persuaded as when they do not fully comprehend the argument used to convince them. Whenever the squire found himself a little at fault, or confounded by either a difficult word or a hard sentence, he always took it for granted that there was something unusually profound and clever in the matter laid before him. Sir Robert knew this, and on that account played him off to a certain extent. He was too cunning, however, to darken any part of the main argument so far as to prevent its drift from being fully understood, and thereby defeating his own purpose.





CHAPTER VIII.—A Conflagration—An Escape—And an Adventure

We have said that Sir Robert Whitecraft was anything but a popular man—and we might have added that, unless among his own clique of bigots and persecutors, he was decidedly unpopular among Protestants in general. In a few days after the events of the night we have described, Reilly, by the advice of Mr. Brown's brother, an able and distinguished lawyer, gave up the possession of his immense farm, dwelling-house, and offices to the landlord. In point of fact, this man had taken the farm for Reilly's father, in his own name, a step which many of the liberal and generous Protestants of that period were in the habit of taking, to protect the property for the Roman Catholics, from such rapacious scoundrels as Whitecraft, and others like him, who had accumulated the greater portion of their wealth and estates by the blackest and most iniquitous political profligacy and oppression. For about a month after the first night of the unsuccessful pursuit after Reilly, the whole country was overrun with military parties, and such miserable inefficient police as then existed. In the meantime, Reilly escaped every toil and snare that had been laid for him. Sir Robert Whitecraft, seeing that hitherto he had set them at defiance, resolved to glut his vengeance on his property, since he could not arrest himself. A description of his person had been, almost from the commencement of the proceedings, published in the Hue-and-Cry, and he had been now outlawed. As even this failed, Sir Robert, as we said, came with a numerous party of his myrmidons, bringing along with them a large number of horses, carts, and cars. The house at this time was in the possession only of a keeper, a poor, feeble man, with a wife and a numerous family of small children, the other servants having fled from the danger in which their connection with Reilly involved them. Sir Robert, however, very deliberately brought up his cars and other vehicles, and having dragged out all the most valuable part of the furniture, piled it up, and had it conveyed to his own outhouses, where it was carefully-stowed. This act, however, excited comparatively little attention, for such outrages were not unfrequently committed by those who had, or at least who thought they had; the law in their own hands. It was now dusk, and the house had been gutted of all that had been most valuable in it—but the most brilliant part of the performance was yet to come. We mean no contemptible pun. The young man's dwelling-house, and office-houses were ignited at this moment by this man's military and other official minions, and in about twenty minutes they were all wrapped in one red, merciless mass of flame. The country people, on observing this fearful conflagration, flocked from all quarters; but a cordon of outposts was stationed at some distance around the premises, to prevent the peasantry from marking the chief actors in this nefarious outrage. Two gentlemen, however, approached, who, having given their names, were at once admitted to the burning premises. These were Mr. Brown, the clergyman, and Mr. Hastings, the actual and legal proprietor of all that had been considered Reilly's property. Both of them observed that Sir Robert was the busiest man among them, and upon making inquiries from the party, they were informed that they acted by his orders, and that, moreover, he was himself the very first individual who had set fire to the premises. The clergyman made his way to Sir Robert, on whose villainous countenance he could read a dark and diabolical triumph.

"Sir Robert Whitecraft," said Mr. Brown, "how conies such a wanton and unnecessary waste of property?"

"Because, sir," replied that gentleman, "it is the property of a popish rebel and outlaw, and is confiscated to the State."

"But do you possess authority for this conduct?—Are you the State?"

"In the spirit of our Protestant Constitution, certainly. I am a loyal Protestant magistrate, and a man of rank, and will hold myself accountable for what I do and have done. Come you, there," he added, "who have knocked down the pump, take some straw, light it up, and put it with pitchforks upon the lower end of the stable; it has not yet caught the flames."

This order was accordingly complied with, and in a few minutes the scene, if one could dissociate the mind from the hellish spirit which created it, had something terribly sublime in it.

Mr. Hastings, the gentleman who accompanied the clergyman, the real owner of the property, looked on with apparent indifference, but uttered not a word. Indeed, he seemed rather to enjoy the novelty of the thing than otherwise, and passed with Mr. Brown from place to place, as if to obtain the best points for viewing the fire.

Reilly's residence was a long, large, two-story house, deeply thatched; the kitchen, containing pantry, laundry, scullery, and all the usual appurtenances connected with it, was a continuation of the larger house, but it was a story lower, and also deeply thatched. The out-offices ran in a long line behind the dwelling house, so that both ran parallel with each other, and stood pretty close besides, for the yard was a narrow one. In the meantime, the night, though dry, was dark and stormy. The wind howled through the adjoining trees like thunder, roared along the neighboring hills, and swept down in savage whirlwinds to the bottom of the lowest valleys. The greater portion of the crowd who were standing outside the cordon we have spoken of fled home, as the awful gusts grew stronger and stronger, in order to prevent their own houses from being stripped or unroofed, so that very few remained to witness the rage of the conflagration at its full height. The Irish peasantry entertain a superstition that whenever a strong storm of wind, without rain, arises, it has been occasioned by the necromantic spell of some guilty sorcerer, who, first having sold himself to the devil, afterwards raises him for some wicked purpose; and nothing but the sacrifice of a black dog or a black cock—the one without a white hair, and the other without a white feather—can prevent him from carrying away, body and soul, the individual who called him up, accompanied by such terrors. In fact the night, independently of the terrible accessory of the fire, was indescribably awful. Thatch portions of the ribs and roofs of houses were whirled along through the air; and the sweeping blast, in addition to its own howlings, was burdened with the loud screamings of women and children, and the stronger shoutings of men, as they attempted to make each other audible, amidst the roaring of the tempest.

This was terrible indeed; but on such a night, what must not the conflagration have been, fed by such pabulum—as Sir Robert himself would have said—as that on which it glutted its fiery and consuming appetite. We have said that the offices and dwelling-house ran parallel with each other, and such was the fact. What appeared singular, and not without the possibility of some dark supernatural causes, according to the impressions of the people, was, that the wind, on the night in question, started, as it were, along with the fire; but the truth is, it had been gamboling in its gigantic play before the fire commenced at all. In the meantime, as we said, the whole premises presented one fiery mass of red and waving flames, that shot and drifted up, from time to time, towards the sky, with the rapidity, and more than the terror, of the aurora borealis. As the conflagration proceeded, the high flames that arose from the mansion, and those that leaped up from the offices, several times met across the yard, and mingled, as if to exult in their fearful task of destruction, forming a long and distinct arch of flame, so exact and regular, that it seemed to proceed from the skill and effort of some powerful demon, who had made it, as it were, a fiery arbor for his kind. The whole country was visible to an astonishing distance, and overhead, the evening sky, into which the up-rushing pyramids seemed to pass, looked as if it had caught the conflagration, and was one red mass of glowing and burning copper. Around the house and premises the eye could distinguish a pin; but the strong light was so fearfully red that the deep tinge it communicated to the earth seemed like blood, and made it appear as if it had been sprinkled with it.

It is impossible to look upon a large and extensive conflagration without feeling the mind filled with imagery and comparisons, drawn from moral and actual life. Here, for instance, is a tyrant, in the unrestrained exercise of his power—he now has his enemy in his grip, and hear how he exults; listen to the mirthful and crackling laughter with which the fiendish despot rejoices, as he gains the victory; mark the diabolical gambols with which he sports, and the demon glee with which he performs his capricious but frightful exultations. But the tyrant, after all, will become exhausted—his strength and power will fail him; he will destroy his own subjects; he will become feeble, and when he has nothing further on which to exercise his power, he will, like many another tyrant before him, sink, and be lost in the ruin he has made.

Again: Would you behold Industry? Here have its terrible spirits been appointed their tasks. Observe the energy, the activity, the persevering fury with which they discharge their separate duties. See how that eldest son of Apollyon, with the appetite of hell, licks into his burning maw every thing that comes in contact with his tongue of fire. What quickness of execution, and how rapidly they pass from place to place! how they run about in quest of employment! how diligently and effectually they search every nook and corner, lest anything might escape them! Mark the activity with which that strong fellow leaps across, from beam to beam, seizing upon each as he goes. A different task has been assigned to another: he attacks the rafters of the roof—he fails at first, but, like the constrictor, he first licks over his victim before he destroys it—bravo!—he is at it again—it gives way—he is upon it, and about it; and now his difficulties are over—the red wood glows, splits and crackles, and flies off in angry flakes, in order to become a minister to its active and devouring master. See! observe! What business—what a coil and turmoil of industry! Every flame at work—no idle hand here—no lazy lounger reposing. No, no—the industry of a hive of bees is nothing to this. Running up—running down—running in all directions: now they unite together to accomplish some general task, and again disperse themselves to perform their individual appointments.

But hark! what comes here? Room for another element. 'Tis the windstorm, that comes to partake in the triumph of the victory which his ministers have assisted to gain. But lo! here he comes in person; and now they unite—or how?—Do they oppose each other? Here does the windstorm drive back the god of fire from his victim; again the fiery god attempts to reach it; and again he feels that he has met more than his match. Once, twice, thrice he has failed in getting at it. But is this conflict real—this fierce battle between the elements? Alas, no; they are both tyrants, and what is to be expected?

The wind god, always unsteady, wheels round, comes to the assistance of his opponent, and gives him new courage, new vigor, and new strength. But his inferior ministers must have a share of this dreadful repast. Off go a thousand masses of burning material, whirling along. Off go the; glowing timbers and rafters, on the wind, by which they are borne in thousands of red meteors across the sky. But hark, again! Room for the whirlwind! Here it comes, and addresses itself to yon tall and waving pyramid; they embrace; the pyramid is twisted into the figure of a gigantic corkscrew—round they go, rapid as thought; the thunder of the wind supplies them with the appropriate music, and continues until; this terrible and gigantic waltz of the elements is concluded. But now these fearful ravagers are satisfied, because they have nothing more on which they can glut themselves. They appear, however, to be seated. The wind has become low, and is only able to work up a feeble effort at its former strength. The flames, too, are subsiding—their power is gone; occasional jets of fire I come forth, but they instantly disappear. By degrees, and one after another, they vanish. Nothing now is visible but smoke, and every thing is considered as over—when lo! like a great general, who has achieved a triumphant victory, it is deemed right to; take a last look at the position of the enemy. Up, therefore, starts an unexpected burst of flame—blazes for a while; looks about it, as it were; sees that the victory is complete, and drops down into the darkness from which it came. The conflagration is over; the wind-storm is also appeased. Small hollow gusts, amongst the trees and elsewhere, are now all that are heard. By degrees, even these cease; and the wind is now such as it was in the course of the evening, when the elements were comparatively quiet and still.

Mr. Brown and his friend, Mr. Hastings, having waited until they saw the last rafter of unfortunate Reilly's house and premises sink into a black mass of smoking ruins, turned their steps to the parsonage, which they had no sooner entered than they went immediately to Reilly's room, who was still there under concealment. Mr. Brown, however, went out again and returned with some wine, which he placed upon the table.

"Gentlemen," said Reilly, "this has become an awful night; the wind has been tremendous, and has done a good deal of damage, I fear, to your house and premises, Mr. Brown. I heard the slates falling about in great numbers; and the inmates of the house were, as far as I could judge, exceedingly alarmed."

"It was a dreadful night in more senses than one," replied Mr. Brown.

"By the by," said Reilly, "was there not a fire somewhere in the neighborhood, I observed through the windows a strong light flickering and vibrating, as it were, over the whole country. What must it have been?"

"My dear Reilly," replied Mr. Brown, "be calm; your house and premises are, at this moment, one dark heap of smouldering ruins."

"Oh, yes—I understand," replied Reilly—"Sir Robert Whitecraft."

"Sir Robert Whitecraft," replied Mr. Brown; "it is too true, Reilly—you are now houseless and homeless; and may God forgive him!"

Reilly got up and paced the room several times, then sat down, and filling himself a glass of wine, drank it off; then looking at each of them, said, in a voice rendered hoarse by the indignation and resentment which he felt himself compelled, out of respect for his kind friends, to restrain, "Gentlemen," he repeated, "what do you call this"

"Malice—persecution—vengeance," replied Mr. Brown, whose resentment was scarcely less than that of Reilly himself. "In the presence of God, and before all the world. I would pronounce it one of the most diabolical acts ever committed in the history of civil society. But you have one consolation, Reilly; your money and papers are safe."

"It is not that," replied Reilly; "I think not of them. It is the vindictive and persecuting spirit of that man—that monster—and the personal motives from which he acts, that torture me, and that plant in my heart a principle of vengeance more fearful than his. But you do not understand me, gentlemen; I could smile at all he has done to myself yet. It is of the serpent-tooth which will destroy the peace of others, that I think. All these motives being considered, what do you think that man deserves at my hand?"

"My dear Reilly," said the clergyman, "recollect that there is a Providence; and that we cannot assume to ourselves the disposition of His judgments, or the knowledge of His wisdom. Have patience. Your situation is one of great distress and almost unexampled difficulty. At all events, you are, for the present, safe under this roof; and although I grant you have much to suffer, still you have a free conscience, and, I dare say, would not exchange your position for that of your persecutor."

"No," said Reilly; "most assuredly not—most assuredly not; no, not for worlds. Yet is it not strange, gentlemen, that that man will sleep sound and happily to-night, whilst I will lie upon a bed of thorns?"

At this moment Mrs. Brown tapped gently at the door, which was cautiously opened by her husband.

"John," said she, "here is a note which I was desired to give to you without a moment's delay."

"Thank you, my love; I will read it instantly.".

He then bolted the door, and coming to the table took up one of the candles and read the letter, which he handed to Mr. Hastings. Now we have already stated that this gentleman, whilst looking on at the destruction of Reilly's property, never once opened his lips. Neither did he, from the moment they entered Reilly's room. He sat like a dumb man, occasionally helping himself to a glass of wine. After having perused the note he merely nodded, but said not a word; he seemed to have lost the faculty of speech. At length Mr. Brown spoke:

"This is really too bad, my dear Reilly; here is a note signed H.F., which informs me that your residence, concealment, or whatever it is, has been discovered by Sir Robert Whitecraft, and that the military are on their way here to arrest you; you must instantly fly."

Hastings then got up, and taking Reilly's hand, said:

"Yes, Reilly, you must escape—disguise yourself—take all shapes—since you will not leave the country; but there is one fact I wish to impress upon you: meddle not with—injure not—Sir Robert Whitecraft. Leave him to me."

"Go out by the back way," said Mr. Brown, "and fly into the fields, lest they should surround the house and render escape impossible. God bless you and preserve you from the violence of your enemies!"

It is unnecessary to relate what subsequently occurred. Mr. Brown's premises, as he had anticipated, were completely surrounded ere the party in search of Reilly had demanded admittance. The whole house was searched from top to bottom, but, as usual, without success. Sir Robert Whitecraft himself was not with them, but the party were all but intoxicated, and, were it not for the calm and unshrinking firmness of Mr. Brown, would have been guilty of a very offensive degree of insolence.

Reilly, in the meantime, did not pass far from the house. On the contrary, he resolved to watch from a safe place the motions of those who were in pursuit of him. In order to do this more securely, he mounted into the branches of a magnificent oak tree that stood in the centre of a field adjoining a kind of back lawn that stretched from the walled garden of the parsonage. The fact is, that the clergyman's house had two hall-doors—one in front, and the other in the rear—and as the rooms commanded a view of the scenery behind the house, which was much finer than that in front, on this account the back hall-door was necessary, as it gave them a free and easy egress to the lawn we have mentioned, from which a magnificent prospect was visible.

It was obvious that the party, though unsuccessful, had been very accurately informed. Finding, however, that the bird had flown, several of them galloped across the lawn—it was a cavalry party, having been sent out for speed and passed into the field where the tree grew in which Reilly was concealed. After a useless search, however, they returned, and pulled up their horses under the oak.

"Well," said one of them, "it's a dear case that the scoundrel can make himself invisible. We have orders from Sir Eobert to shoot him, and to put the matter upon the principle of resistance against the law, on his side. Sir Robert has been most credibly informed that that disloyal parson has concealed him in his house for nearly the last month. Now who could ever think of looking for a Popish rebel in the house of a Protestant parson? What the deuce is keeping those fellows? I hope they won't go too far into the country."

"Any man that says Mr. Brown is a disloyal parson is a liar," said one of them in a stem voice.

"And I say," said another, with a hiccough, "that, hang me, but I think this same Reilly is as loyal a man as e'er a one amongst us. My name is George Johnston, and I'm not ashamed of it; and the truth is, that only Miss Folliard fell in love with Reilly, and refused to marry Sir Robert, Reilly would have been a loyal man still, and no ill-will against him. But, by —- it was too bad to burn his house and place—and see whether Sir Robert will come off the better of it. I myself am a good Protestant—show me the man that will deny that, and I'll become his schoolmaster only for five minutes. I do say, and I'll tell it to Sir Robert's face, that there's something wrong somewhere. Give me a Papish that breaks the law, let him be priest or layman, and I'm the boy that will take a grip of him if I can get him. But, confound me, if I like to be sent out to hunt innocent, inoffensive Papishes, who commit no crime except that of having property that chaps like Sir Robert have their eye on. Now suppose the Papishes had the upper hand, and that they treated us so, what would you say?"

"All I can say is," replied another of them, "that I'd wish to get the reward."

"Curse the reward," said Johnston, "I like fair play."

"But how did Sir Robert come to know?" asked another, "that Reilly was with the parson'?"

"Who the deuce here can tell that?" replied several.

"The thing was a hoax," said Johnston, "and a cursed uncomfortable one for us. But here comes these fellows, just as they went, it seems. Well, boys, no trail of this cunning fox?"

"Trail!" exclaimed the others. "Gad, you might as well hunt for your grandmother's needle in a bottle of straw. The truth is, the man's not in the country, and whoever gave the information as to the parson keeping him was some enemy of the parson's more than of Reilly's, I'll go bail. Come, now, let us go back, and give an account of our luck, and then to our barracks."

Now at this period it was usual for men who were prominent for rank and loyalty, and whose attachment to the Constitution and Government was indicated by such acts and principles as those which we have hitherto read in the life of Sir Robert. Whitecraft—we say, it was usual for such as him to be allowed a small detachment of military, whose numbers were mostly rated, according to the services he required of them, by the zeal and activity of their employer, as well as for his protection; and, in order to their accommodation, some uninhabited house in the neighborhood was converted into a barrack for the purpose. Such was the case in the instance of Sir Robert Whitecraft, who, independently of his zeal for the public good, was supposed to have an eye in this disposition of things, to his own personal Safety. He consequently, had his little barrack so closely adjoining his house that a notice of five minutes could at any time have its inmates at his premises, or in his presence.

After these men went away, Reilly, having waited a few minutes, until he was satisfied that they had actually, one and all of them, disappeared, came down from the tree, and once more betook himself to the road. Whither to go he knew not. In consequence of having received his education abroad, his personal knowledge of the inhabitants belonging to the neighborhood was very limited. Go somewhere, however, he must. Accordingly, he resolved to advance, at all events, as far as he might be able to travel before bed-time, and then resign himself to chance for a night's shelter. One might imagine, indeed, that his position as a wealthy Roman Catholic gentleman, suffering persecution from the tool and scourge of a hostile government, might have calculated upon shelter and secrecy from those belonging to his own creed. And so, indeed, in nineteen cases out of twenty he might; but in what predicament should he find himself if the twentieth proved treacherous? And against this he had no guarantee. That age was peculiarly marked by the foulest personal perfidy, precipitated into action by rapacity, ingratitude, and the blackest ambition. The son of a Roman Catholic gentleman, for instance, had nothing more to do than change his creed, attach himself to the government, become a spy and informer on his family, and he ousted his own father at once out of his hereditary property—an ungrateful and heinous proceeding, that was too common in the time of which we write. Then, as to the people themselves, they were, in general, steeped in poverty and ignorance, and this is certainly not surprising when we consider that no man durst educate them. The government rewards, therefore, assailed them with a double temptation. In the first, the amount of it—taking their poverty into consideration—was calculated to grapple with and overcome their scruples; and in the next, they were certain by their treachery to secure the protection of government for themselves.

Such, exactly, was the state of the country on the night when Reilly found himself a solitary traveller on the road, ignorant of his destiny, and uncertain where or in what quarter he might seek shelter until morning.

He had not gone far when he overtook another traveller, with whom he entered into conversation.

"God save you, my friend."

"God save you kindly, sir," replied the other; "was not this an awful night?"

"If you may say so," returned Reilly unconsciously, and for the moment forgetting himself, "well may I, my friend."

Indeed it is probable that Reilly was thrown somewhat off his guard by the accent of his companion, from which he at once inferred that he was a Catholic.

"Why, sir," replied the man, "how could it be more awful to you than to any other man?"

"Suppose my house was blown down," said Reilly, "and that yours was not, would not that be cause sufficient?"

"My house!" exclaimed the man with a deep sigh; "but sure you ought to know, sir, that it's not every man has a house."

"And perhaps I do know it."

"Wasn't that a terrible act, sir—the burning of Mr. Reilly's house and place?"

"Who is Mr. Reilly?" asked the other.

"A Catholic gintleman, sir, that the soldiers are afther," replied the man.

"And perhaps it is right that they should be after him. What did he do? The Catholics are too much in the habit of violating the law, especially their priests, who persist in marrying Protestants and Papists together, although they know it is a hanging matter. If they deliberately put their necks into the noose, who can pity them?"

"It seems they do, then," replied the man in a subdued voice; "and what is still more strange, it very often happens that persons of their own creed are somewhat too ready to come down wid a harsh word upon 'em."

"Well, my friend," responded Reilly, "let them not deserve it; let them obey the law."

"And are you, of opinion, sir," asked the man with a significant emphasis upon the personal pronoun which we have put in italics; "are you of opinion, sir, that obedience to the law is always a security to either person or property?"

The direct force of the question could not be easily parried, at least by Reilly, to whose circumstances it applied so powerfully, and he consequently paused for a little to shape his thoughts into the language he wished to adopt; the man, however, proceeded:

"I wonder what Mr. Reilly would say if such a question was put to him?"

"I suppose," replied Reilly, "he would say much as I say—that neither innocence nor obedience is always a security under any law or any constitution either."

His companion made no reply, and they walked on for some time in silence. Such indeed was the precarious state of the country then that, although the stranger, from the opening words of their conversation, suspected his companion to be no other than Willy Reilly himself, yet he hesitated to avow the suspicions he entertained of his identity, although he felt anxious to repose the fullest confidence in him; and Reilly, on the other hand, though perfectly aware of the true character of his companion, was influenced in their conversation by a similar feeling. Distrust it could not be termed on either side, but simply the operation of that general caution which was generated by the state of the times, when it was extremely difficult to know the individual on whom you could place dependence. Reilly's generous nature, however, could bear this miserable manoeuvring no longer.

"Come, my friend," said he, "we have been beating about the bush with each other to no purpose; although I know not your name, yet I think I do your profession."

"And I would hold a wager," replied other, "that Mr. Reilly, whose house was burned down by a villain this night, is not a thousand miles from me."

"And suppose you are right?"

"Then, upon my veracity, you're safe, if I am. It would ill become my cloth and character to act dishonorably or contrary to the spirit of my religion.

     'Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.'

You see, Mr. Reilly, I couldn't make use of any other gender but the feminine without violating prosody; for although I'm not so sharp at my Latin as I was, still I couldn't use ignarus, as you see, without fairly committing myself as a scholar; and indeed, if I went to that, it would surely be the first time I have been mistaken for a dunce."

The honest priest, now that the ice was broken, and conscious that he was in safe hands, fell at once into his easy and natural manner, and rattled away very much to the amusement of his companion. "Ah!" he proceeded, "many a character I have been forced to assume."

"How is that?" inquired Reilly. "How did it happen that you were forced into such a variety of characters?"

"Why, you see, Mr. Reilly—troth and maybe I had better not be naming you aloud; walls have ears, and so may hedges. How, you ask? Why, you see, I'm not registered, and consequently have no permission from government to exercise my functions."

"Why," said Reilly, "you labor under a mistake, my friend; the bill for registering Catholic priests did not pass; it was lost by a majority of two. So far make your mind easy. The consequence is, that if you labor under no ecclesiastical censure you may exercise all the functions of your office—that is, as well as you can, and as far as you dare."

"Well, that same's a comfort," said the priest; "but the report was, and is, that we are to be registered. However, be that as it may, I have been a perfect Proteus. The metamorphoses of Ovid were nothing to mine. I have represented every character in society at large; to-day I've been a farmer, and to-morrow a poor man (a mendicant), sometimes a fool—a rare character, you know, in this world—and sometimes a tiddler, for I play a little."

"And which character did you prefer among them all?" asked Reilly, with a smile which he could not repress.

"Oh, in troth, you needn't ask that, Mr. R.—hem—you needn't ask that. The first morning I took to the fiddle I was about to give myself up to government at once. As for my part, I'd be ashamed to tell you how sent those that were unlucky enough to ear my music scampering across the country."

"And, pray, how long is that since?"

"Why, something better than three weeks, the Lord pity me!"

"And what description of dress did you wear on that occasion?" asked Reilly.

"Dress-why, then, an old yellow caubeen, a blue frieze coat, and—movrone, oh! a striped breeches. And the worst of it was, that big Paddy Mullin, from Mullaghmore, having met me in old Darby Doyle's, poor man, where I went to take a little refreshment, ordered in something to eat, and began to make me play for him. There was a Protestant in the house, too, so that I couldn't tell him who I was, and I accordingly began, and soon cleared the house of them. God bless you, sir, you could little dream of all I went through. I was one day set in the house I was concealed in, in the town of Ballyrogan, and only for the town fool, Art M'Kenna, I suppose I'd have swung before this."

"How was that?" asked Reilly.

"Why, sir, one day I got the hard word that they would be into the house where I was in a few minutes. To escape them in my own dress I knew was impossible; and what was to be done? The poor fool, who was as true as steel, came to my relief. 'Here,' said he, 'exchange wid me. I'll put on your black clothes, and you'll put on my red ones'—he was dressed like an old soldier—'then I'll take to my scrapers, an' while they are in pursuit of me you can escape to some friend's house, where you may get another dress. 'God knows,' said he, with a grin on him I didn't like, 'it's a poor exchange on my part. You can play the fool, and cock your cap, without any one to ask you for authority,' says he, 'and if I only marry a wrong couple I may be hanged. Go off now.' Well, sir, out I walked, dressed in a red coat, military hat, white knee-breeches, and black leggings. As I was going out I met the soldiers. 'Is the priest inside, Art?' they asked. I pointed in a wrong direction. 'Up by Kilclay?' I nodded. They first searched the house, however, but found neither priest nor fool; only one of them, something sharper than the rest, went out of the back door, and saw unfortunate Art, dressed in black, running for the bare life. Of course they thought it was me they had. Off they started; and a tolerable chase Art put them to. At last he was caught, after a run across the country of about four miles; but ne'er a word came out of his lips, till a keen fellow, on looking closely at him, discovered the mistake. Some of them were then going to kill the poor fool, but others interfered, and wouldn't allow him to be touched; and many of them laughed heartily when they saw Art turned into a clergyman, as they said. Art, however, was no coward, and threatened to read every man of them out from the altar. 'I'll exkimnicate every mother's son of you,' said he. 'I'm a reverend clargy; and, by the contents of my soger's cap, I'll close the mouths on your faces, so that a blessed pratie or a boult of fat bacon will never go down one of your villainous throats again; and then,' he added, 'I'll sell you for scarecrows to the Pope o' Room, who wants a dozen or two of you to sweep out his palace.' It was then, sir, that, while I was getting out of my red clothes, I was transformed again; but, indeed, the most of us are so now, God help us!"

They had now arrived at a narrow part of the road, when the priest stood.

"Mr. Reilly," said he, "I am very tired; but, as it is, we must go on a couple of miles further, until we reach Glen Dhu, where I think I can promise you a night's lodging, such as it will be."

"I am easily satisfied," replied his companion; "it would be a soft bed that would win me to repose on this night, at least."

"It will certainly be a rude and a rough one," said the priest, "and there will be few hearts there free from care, no more than yours, Mr. Reilly. Alas! that I should be obliged to say so in a Christian country."

"You say you are fatigued," said Reilly. "Take my arm; I am strong enough to yield you some support."

The priest did so, and they proceeded at a slower pace, until they got over the next two miles, when the priest stopped again.

"I must rest a little," said he, "although we are now within a hundred yards of our berth for the night. Do you know where you are?"

"Perfectly," replied Reilly; "but, good mercy! sure there is neither house nor home within two miles of us. We are in the moors, at the very mouth of Glen Dhu.'

"Yes," replied his companion, "and I am glad we are here."

The poor hunted priest felt himself, indeed, very much exhausted, so much so that, if the termination of his journey had been at a much longer distance from thence, he would scarcely have been able to reach it.

"God help our unhappy Church," said he, "for she is suffering much; but still she is suffering nobly, and with such Christian fortitude as will make her days of trial and endurance the brightest in her annals. All that power and persecution can direct against us is put in force a thousand ways; but we act under the consciousness that we have God and truth on our side, and this gives us strength and courage to suffer. And if we fly, Mr. Reilly, and hide ourselves, it is not from any moral cowardice we do so. It certainly is not true courage to expose our lives wantonly and unnecessarily to the vengeance of our enemies. Read the Old Testament and history, and you will find how many good and pious men have sought shelter in wildernesses and caves, as we have done. The truth is, we feel ourselves called upon, for the sake of our suffering and neglected flocks, to remain in the country, and to afford them all the consolation and religious support in our power, God help them."

"I admire the justice of your sentiments," replied Reilly, "and the spirit in which they are—expressed. Indeed I am of opinion that if those who foster and stimulate this detestable spirit of persecution against you only knew how certainly and surely it defeats their purpose, by cementing your hearts and the hearts of your flocks together, they would not, from principles even of worldly policy, persist in it. The man who attempted to break down the arch by heaping additional weight upon it ultimately found that the greater the weight the stronger the arch, and so I trust it will be with us."

"It would seem," said the priest, "to be an attempt to exterminate the religion of the people by depriving them of their pastors, and consequently of their Church, in order to bring them to the impression that, upon the principle of any Church being better than no Church, they may gradually be absorbed into Protestantism. This seems to be their policy; but how can any policy, based upon such persecution, and so grossly at variance with human liberty, ever succeed? As it is, we go out in the dead hours of the night, when even persecution is asleep, and administer the consolations of religion to the sick, the dying, and the destitute. Now these stolen visits are sweeter, perhaps, and more efficacious, than if they took place in freedom and the open day. Again, we educate their children in the principles of their creed, during the same lonely hours, in waste houses, where we are obliged to keep the windows stuffed with straw, or covered with blinds of some sort, lest a chance of discovery might ensue. Such is the life we lead—a life of want and misery and suffering, but we complain not; on the contrary, we submit ourselves to the will of God, and receive this severe visitation as a chastisement intended for our good."

The necessities of our narrative, however, compel us to leave them here for the present; but not without a hope that they found shelter for the night, as we trust we shall be able to show.





CHAPTER IX.—A Prospect of Bygone Times

—Reilly's Adventure Continued—Reilly Gets a Bed in a Curious Establishment.

We now beg our readers to accompany us to the library of Sir Robert Whitecraft, where that worthy gentleman sits, with a bottle of Madeira before him; for Sir Robert, in addition to his many other good qualities, possessed that of being a private drinker. The bottle, we say, was before him, and with a smile of triumph and satisfaction on his face, he arose and rang the bell. In a few minutes a liveried servant attended it.

"Carson, send O'Donnel here."

Carson bowed and retired, and in a few minutes the Red Rapparee entered.

"How is this, O'Donnel? Have you thrown aside your uniform?"

"I didn't think I'd be called out on duty again to-night, sir."

"It doesn't matter, O'Donnel—it doesn't matter. What do you think of the bonfire?"

"Begad, it was a beauty, sir, and well managed."

"Ay, but I am afraid, O'Donnel, I went a little too far—that I stretched my authority somewhat."

"But isn't he a rebel and an outlaw, Sir Robert? and in that case—"

"Yes, O'Donnel; and a rebel and an outlaw of my own making, which is the best of it. The fellow might have lain there, concocting his treason, long enough, only for my vigilance. However, it's all right. The government, to which I have rendered such important services, will stand by me, and fetch me out of the burning—that is, if there has been any transgression of the law in it. The Papists are privately recruiting for the French service, and that is felony; Reilly also was recruiting for the French service—was he not?"

"He offered me a commission, sir."

"Very good; that's all right, but can you prove that?"

"Why, I can swear it, Sir Robert."

"Better still. But do you think he is in the country, O'Donnel?"

"I would rather swear he is, sir, than that he is not. He won't lave her aisily."

"Who do you mean by her, sir?"

"I would rather not name her, your honor, in connection with the vagabond."

"That's delicate of you, O'Donnel; I highly approve of your sentiment. Here, have a glass of wine."

"Thank you, Sir Robert; but have you any brandy, sir? My tongue is as dry as a stick, wid that glorious bonfire we had; but, besides, sir, I wish to drink success to you in all your undertakings. A happy marriage, sir!" and he accompanied the words with a ferocious grin.

"You shall have one glass of brandy, O'Donnel, but no more. I wish you to deliver a letter for me to-night. It is to the sheriff, who dines with Lord ———, a friend of mine; and I wish you to deliver it at his lordship's house, where you will be sure to find him. The letter is of the greatest importance, and you will take care to deliver it safely. No answer by you is required. He was out to-day, levying fines from Popish priests, and a heavy one from the Popish bishop, and I do not think, with a large sum of money about him, that he will go home to-night. Here is the letter. I expect he will call on me in the morning, to breakfast—at least I have asked him, for we have very serious business to discuss."

The Rapparee took the letter, finished his glass of brandy, and disappeared to fulfil his commission.

Now it so happened that on that very evening, before the premises had been set on fire, Mary Mahon, by O'Donnel's order, had entered the house, and under, as it were, the protection of the military, gathered up as much of Reilly's clothes and linen as she could conveniently carry to her cottage, which was in the immediate vicinity of Whitecraft's residence—it being the interest of this hypocritical voluptuary to have the corrupt wretch near him. The Rapparee, having left Whitecraft to his reflections, immediately directed his steps to her house, and, with her connivance, changed the dress he had on for one which she had taken from Reilly's wardrobe. He then went to the house of the nobleman where the sheriff was dining, but arrived only in time to hear that he was about to take horse on his return home. On seeing him preparing to mount, bearing a lantern in his hand, as the night was dark and the roads bad, he instantly changed his purpose as to the letter, and came to the resolution of not delivering it at all.

"I can easily say," thought he, "that the sheriff had gone home before I came, and that will be a very sufficient excuse. In the meantime," he added, "I will cross the country and be out on the road before him."

The sheriff was not unarmed, however, and felt himself tolerably well prepared for any attack that might be made on him; and, besides, he was no coward. After a ride of about two miles he found himself stopped, and almost at the same instant the lantern that he carried was knocked out of his hand and extinguished, but not until he caught a faint glimpse of the robber's person, who, from his dress, appeared to be a man much above the common class. Quick as lightning he pulled out one of his pistols, and, cocking it, held himself in readiness. The night was dark, and this preparation for self-defence was unknown to his assailant. On feeling the reins of his horse's bridle in the hands of the robber, he snapped the pistol at his head, but alas! it only flashed in the pan. The robber, on the other hand, did not seem anxious to take his life, for it was a principle among the Rapparees to shed, while exercising their rapacious functions, as little blood as possible. They have frequently taken life from a feeling of private vengeance, but not often while robbing on the king's highway. The sheriff, now finding that one pistol had missed, was about to draw out the second, when he was knocked insensible off his horse, and on recovering found himself minus the fines which he had that day levied—all the private cash about him—and his case of pistols. This indeed was a bitter incident to him; because, in addition to the loss of his private purse and firearms—which he valued as nothing—he knew that he was responsible to government for the amount of the fines.

With considerable difficulty he was able to remount his horse, and with a sense of stupor, which was very painful, he recommenced his journey home. After a ride of about two miles he met three horsemen, who immediately challenged him and demanded his name and residence.

"I am the sheriff of the county," he replied, "and have been robbed of a large sum of money and my pistols; and now," he added, "may I beg to know who you are, and by what authority you demand my name and residence?"

"Excuse us, Mr. Sheriff," they replied; "we belong to the military detachment which government has placed under the control of Sir Robert Whitecraft."

"Oh, indeed," exclaimed the sheriff; "I wish to heaven you had been a little more advanced on your journey; you might have saved me from being plundered, as I have been, and probably secured the robber."

"Could you observe, sir, what was the villain's appearance?"

"I had a small lantern," replied the functionary, "by which I caught a brief but uncertain glance of him. I am not quite certain that I could recognize his features, though, if I saw him again—but—perhaps I might, certainly I could his dress."

"How was he dressed, sir?" they inquired.

"Quite beyond the common," said the sheriff; "I think he had on a brown coat, of superior cloth and make, and I think, too, the buckles of his slices were silver."

"And his features, Mr. Sheriff?"

"I cannot exactly say," he returned; "I was too much agitated to be able to recollect them; but indeed the dim glimpse I got was too brief to afford me an opportunity of seeing them with any thing like distinctness."

"From the description you have given, sir," said one of them, "the man who robbed you must have been Reilly the Outlaw. That is the very dress he has been in the habit of wearing. Was he tall, sir, and stout in person?"

"He was a very large man, certainly," replied the sheriff; "and I regret I did not see his face more distinctly."

"It can be no other, Mr. Sheriff," observed the man; "the fellow has no means of living now, unless by levying contributions on the road. For my part, I think the scoundrel can make himself invisible; but it must go hard with us or we will secure him yet. Would you wish an escort home, Mr. Sheriff? because, if you do, we shall accompany you."

"No," replied the other, "I thank you. I would not have ventured home unattended if the Red Rapparee had still been at his vocation, and his gang undispersed; but as he is now on the safe side, I apprehend no danger."

"It's not at all impossible but Reilly may step into his shoes," said the cavalryman.

"I have now neither money nor arms," continued the sheriff; "nothing the villain robbers could covet, and what, then, have I to fear?"

"You have a life, sir," observed the man respectfully, "and if you'll allow me to say it—the life of a man who is not very well liked in the country, in consequence of certain duties you are obliged to perform. Come, then, sir, we shall see you home."

It was so arranged, and the sheriff reached his own residence, under their escort, with perfect safety.

This indeed was a night of adventure to Reilly—hunted, as he was, like a beast of prey. After what had taken place already in the early portion of it, he apprehended no further pursuit, and in this respect he felt his mind comparatively at ease—for, in addition to any other conviction of his safety, he knew that the night was far advanced, and as the country was unsettled, he was not ignorant that the small military parties that were in the habit of scouring the country generally—unless when in the execution of some express duty—retired to their quarters at an early hour, in order to avoid the severe retaliations which were frequently made upon them by the infuriated peasantry whom they—or rather the government which employed them—had almost driven to madness, and—would have driven to insurrection had the people possessed the means of rising. As it was, however, he dreaded no further pursuit this night, for the reasons which we have stated.

In the meantime the sheriff, feeling obliged by the civility of the three dragoons, gave them refreshments on a very liberal scale, of which—rather exhausted as they were—they made a very liberal use. Feeling themselves now considerably stimulated by liquor, they mounted their horses and proceeded towards their barracks—at a quick pace. In consequence of the locality in which the sheriff lived, it was necessary that they should travel in a direction opposite to that by which Reilly and the priest were going. At all events, after riding a couple of miles, they overtook three infantry soldiers who were also on their way to quarters. The blood, however, of the troopers was up—thanks to the sheriff; they mentioned the robbery, and requested the three infantry to precede them as an advanced guard, as quietly as possible, stating that there might still be a chance of coming across the villain who had plundered the sheriff, intimating their impression, at the same time, that Reilly was the man, and adding that if they could secure him their fortune was made. As has always been usual in executing cases, of the law attended with peculiar difficulty, these men—the infantry—like our present detectives, had gone out that night in colored clothes. On perceiving two individuals approaching them in the dim distance, they immediately threw their guns into the ditch, lest they should put our friends upon their guard and cause them to escape if they could. Reilly could have readily done so; but having, only a few minutes before heard from the poor old priest that he had, for some months past, been branded and pursued us a felon, he could not think of abandoning him now that he was feeble and jaded with fatigue as well as with age. Now it so happened that one of these fellows had been a Roman Catholic, and having committed some breach of the law, found it as safe as it was convenient to change his creed, and as he spoke the Irish language fluently—indeed there were scarcely any other then spoken by the peasantry—he commenced clipping his hands on seeing the two men, and expressing the deepest sorrow for the loss of his wife, from whose funeral, it appeared from his lamentations, he was then returning.

"We have nothing to apprehend, here," said Reilly; "this poor fellow is in sorrow, it seems—God help him! Let us proceed."

"Oh!" exclaimed the treacherous villain, clapping his hands—[we translate his words]—"Oh, Yeeah. Yeeah! (God, God!) what a bitther loss you'll be, my darlin' Madge, to me and your orphan childher, now and for evermore! Oh, where was there sich a wife, neighbors? who ever heard her harsh word, or her loud voice? And from mornin' till night ever, ever busy in keepin' every thing tight and clane and regular! Let me alone, will yez? I'll go back and sleep upon her grave this night—so I will; and if all the blasted sogers in Ireland—may sweet bad luck to them!—were to come to prevent me, I'd not allow them. Oh, Madge, darlin', but I'm the lonely and heartbroken man widout you this night!"

"Come, come," said the priest, "have firmness, poor man; other people have these calamities to bear as well as yourself. Be a man."

"Oh, are you a priest, sir? bekase if you are I want consolation if ever a sorrowful man did."

"I am a priest," replied the unsuspecting I man, "and any thing I can do to calm your mind, I'll do it."

He had scarcely uttered these words when! Reilly felt his two arms strongly pinioned, and as the men who had seized him were | powerful, the struggle between him and them was dreadful. The poor priest at the same moment found himself also a prisoner in the hands of the bereaved widower, to whom he proved an easy victim, as he was incapable of making resistance, which, indeed, he declined to attempt. If he did not possess bodily strength, however, he was not without presence of mind. For whilst Reilly and his captors were engaged in a fierce and powerful conflict, he placed his fore-finger and thumb in his mouth, from which proceeded a whistle so piercingly loud and shrill that it awoke the midnight echoes around them.

This was considered by the dragoons as a signal from their friends in advance, and, without the loss of a moment, they set spurs to their horses, and dashed up to the scene of struggle, just as Reilly had got his right arm extricated, and knocked one of his captors down. In an instant, however, the three dragoons, aided by the other men, were upon him, and not less than three cavalry pistols were levelled at his head. Unfortunately, at this moment the moon began to rise, and the dragoons, on looking at him more closely, observed that he was dressed precisely as the sheriff had described the person who robbed him—the brown coat, light-colored breeches, and silver buckles—for indeed this was his usual dress.

"You are Willy Reilly," said the man who had been spokesman in their interview with the sheriff: "you needn't deny it, sir—I know you!"

"If you know me, then," replied Reilly, "where is the necessity for asking my name?"

"I ask again, sir, what is your name? If you be the man I suspect you to be, you will deny it."

"My name," replied the other, "is William Reilly, and as I am conscious of no crime against society—of no offence against the State—I shall not deny it."

"I knew I was right," said the dragoon. "Mr. Reilly, you are our prisoner on many charges, not the least of which is your robbery of the sheriff this night. You must come with us to Sir Robert Whitecraft; so must this other person who seems your companion."

"Not a foot I'll go to Sir Eobert Whitecraft's to-night," replied the priest. "I have made my mind up against such a stretch at such an hour as this; and, with the help of God, I'll stick to my resolution."

"Why do you refuse to go?" asked the man, a good deal surprised at such language.

"Just for a reason I have: as for that fellow being Willy Reilly, he's no more Willy Reilly than I am; whatever he is, however, he's a good man and true, but must be guided by wiser heads than his own; and I now tell him—ay, and you too—that he won't see Sir Robert Whitecraft's treacherous face to-night, no more than myself."

"Come," said one of them, "drag the idolatrous old rebel along. Come, my old couple-beggar, there's a noose before you."

He had scarcely uttered the words when twenty men, armed with strong pikes, jumped out on the road before them, and about the same number, with similar weapons, behind them. In fact, they were completely hemmed in; and, as the road was narrow and the ditches high, they were not at all in a capacity to make resistance.

"Surrender your prisoners," said a huge man in a voice of thunder—"surrender your prisoners—here are we ten to one against you; or if you don't, I swear there won't be a living man amongst you in two minutes' time. Mark us well—we are every man of us armed—and I will not ask you a second time."

As to numbers and weapons the man spoke truth, and the military party saw at once that their prisoners must be given up.

"Let us have full revenge on them now, boys," exclaimed several voices; "down with the tyrannical villains that are parse-cuting and murdherin' the country out of a face. This night closes their black work;" and as the words were uttered, the military felt themselves environed and pressed in upon by upwards of five-and-twenty sharp and bristling pikes.

"It is true, you may murder us," replied the dragoon; "but we are soldiers, and to die is a soldier's duty. Stand back," said he, "for, by all that's sacred, if you approach another step, William Reilly and that rebel priest will fall dead at your feet. We may die then; but we will sell our lives dearly. Cover the priest, Robinson."

"Boys," said the priest, addressing the insurgent party, "hold back, for God's sake, and for mine. Remember that these men are only doing their duty, and that whoever is to be blamed, it is not they—no, but the wicked men and cruel laws that set them upon us. Why, now, if these; men, out of compassion and a feeling of kindness to poor persecuted creatures, as we are, took it into their heads or their hearts to let that man and me off, they would have been, probably, treated like dogs for neglecting their duty. I am, as you know, a minister of God, and a man of peace, whose duty it is to prevent bloodshed whenever I can, and save human life, whether it is that of a Catholic or a Protestant. Recollect, my friends, that you will, every one of you, have to stand before the judgment throne of God to seek for mercy and salvation. As you hope for that mercy, then, at the moment of your utmost need, I implore, I entreat you, to show these men mercy now, and allow them to go their way in safety."

"I agree with every word the priest has said," added Reilly; "not from any apprehension of the threat held out against myself, but from, I trust, a higher principle. Here are only six men, who, as his Reverence justly said, are, after all, only in the discharge of their public duty. On the other hand, there are at least forty or fifty of you against them. Now I appeal to yourselves, whether it would be a manly, or generous, or Christian act, to slaughter so poor a handful of men by the force of numbers. No: there would be neither credit nor honor in such an act. I assure you, my friends, it would disgrace your common name, your common credit, and your common country. Nay, it would seem like cowardice, and only give a handle to your enemies to tax you with it. But I know you are not cowards, but brave and generous men, whose hearts and spirits are above a mean action. If you were cowardly butchers, I know we might speak to you in vain; but we know you are incapable of imbruing your hands, and steeping your souls, in the guilt of unresisting blood—for so I may term it—where there are so few against so many. My friends, go home, then, in the name of God, and, as this reverend gentleman said, allow these men to pass their way 'without injury.'"

"But who are you?" said their huge leader, in his terrible voice, "who presumes to lecture us?"

"I am one," replied Reilly, "who has suffered more deeply, probably, than any man here. I am without house or home, proscribed by the vengeance of a villain—a villain who has left me without a shelter for my head—who, this night, has reduced my habitation, and all that appertained to it, to a heap of ashes—who is on my trail, night and day, and who will be on my trail, in order to glut his vengeance with my blood. Now, my friends, listen—I take God to witness, that if that man were here at this moment, I would plead for his life with as much earnestness as I do for those of the men who are here at your mercy. I feel that it would be cowardly and inhuman to take it under such circumstances; yes, and unworthy of the name of William Reilly. Now," he added, "these men will pass safely to their quarters."

As they were about to resume their journey, the person who seemed to have the command of the military said:

"Mr. Reilly, one word with you: I feel that you have saved our lives; I may requite you for that, generous act yet;" and he pressed his hand warmly as he spoke, after which they proceeded on their way.

That the person of Reilly was not recognized by any of these men is accounted for by a well-known custom, peculiar to such meetings, both then and now. The individuals before and around him were all strangers, from distant parts of the country; for whenever an outrage is to be committed, or a nocturnal drilling to take place, the peasantry start across the country, in twos and threes, until they quietly reach some lonely and remote spot, where their persons are not known.

No sooner had he mentioned his name, however, than there arose a peculiar murmur among the insurgents—such a murmur indeed as it was difficult to understand; there was also a rapid consultation in Irish, which was closed by a general determination to restrain their vengeance for that night, at least, and for the sake of the celebrated young martyr—for as such they looked upon him—to allow the military to pass on without injury. Reilly then addressed them in Irish, and thanked them, both in his own name and that of the priest, for the respect evinced by, their observation of the advice they had given them. The priest also addressed them in Irish, aware, as he was, that one sentence in that language, especially from a person in a superior rank of life, carries more weight than a whole oration in the language of the Sassenagh. The poor old man's mind was once more at ease, and after these rough, but not intractable, men had given three cheers for "bould Willy Reilly," three more for the Cooleen Bawn, not forgetting the priest, the latter, while returning thanks, had them in convulsions of laughter. "May I never do harm," proceeded his reverence humorously, "but the first Christian duty that every true Catholic ought to learn is to whistle on his fingers. The moment ever your children, boys, are able to give a squall, clap their forefinger and thumb in their mouth, and leave the rest to nature. Let them talk of their spinnet and sinnet, their fiddle and their diddle, their dancing and their prancing, but there is no genteel accomplishment able to be compared to a rousing whistle on the fingers. See what it did for us to-night. My soul to glory, but only for it, Mr. Reilly and I would have soon taken a journey with our heels foremost; and, what is worse, the villains would have forced us to take a bird's-eye view of our own funeral from the three sticks, meaning the two that stand up, and the third that goes across them (The gallows). However, God's good, and, after all, boys, you see there is nothing like an accomplished education. As to the soldiers, I don't think myself that they'll recover the bit of fright they got until the new potatoes come in. Troth, while you were gathering in about them, I felt that the unfortunate vagabonds were to be pitied; but, Lord help us, when men are in trouble—especially in fear of their lives—and with twelve inches of sharp iron near their breasts, it's wonderful what effect fear will have on them. Troth, I wasn't far from feeling the same thing myself, only I knew there was relief at hand; at all events, it's well you kept your hands off them, for now, thank goodness, you can step home without the guilt of murder on your souls."

Father Maguire, for such was his name, possessed the art of adapting his language and dialect to those whom he addressed, it mattered not whether they were South, West, or North; he was, in fact, a priest who had never been in any college, but received ordination in consequence of the severity of the laws, whose operation, by banishing so many of that class from the country, rendered the services of such men indispensable to the spiritual wants of the people. Father Maguire, previous to his receiving holy orders, had been a schoolmaster, and exercised his functions on that capacity in holes and corners; sometimes on the sheltery or sunny side of a hedge, as the case might be, and on other occasions when and where he could. In his magisterial capacity, "the accomplishment" of whistling was absolutely necessary to him, because it often happened that in stealing in the morning from his retreat during the preceding night, he knew no more where to meet his little flock of scholars than they did where to meet him, the truth being that he seldom found it safe to teach two days successively in the same place. Having selected the locality for instruction during the day, he put his forefinger and thumb into his mouth, and emitted a whistle that went over half the country. Having thus given the signal three times, his scholars began gradually and cautiously to make their appearance, radiating towards him from all-directions, reminding one of a hen in a farm-yard, who, having fallen upon some wholesome crumbs, she utters that peculiar sound which immediately collects her eager little flock about her, in order to dispense among them the good things she has to give. Poor Father Maguire was simplicity itself, for, although cheerful, and a good deal of a humorist, yet he was pious, inoffensive, and charitable. True, it is not to be imagined that he could avoid bearing a very strong feeling of enmity against the Establishment, as, indeed, we do not see, so long as human nature is what it is, how he could have done otherwise; he hated it, however, in the aggregate, not in detail, for the truth is, that he received shelter and protection nearly as often from the Protestants themselves, both lay and clerical, as he did from those of his own creed. The poor man's crime against the State proceeded naturally from the simplicity of his character and the goodness of his heart. A Protestant peasant had seduced a Catholic young woman of considerable attractions, and was prevailed upon to marry her, in order to legitimize the infant which she was about to bear. Our poor priest, anxious to do as much good, and to prevent as much evil as he could, was prevailed upon to perform the ceremony, contrary to the law in that case made and provided. Ever since that, the poor man had been upon his keeping like a felon, as the law had made him; but so well known were his harmless life, his goodness of heart, and his general benevolence of disposition—for, alas! he was incapable of being benevolent in any practical sense—that, unless among the bigoted officials of the day, there existed no very strong disposition to hand him over to the clutches of the terrible statute which he had, good easy man, been prevailed on to violate.

In the meantime, the formidable body who had saved Reilly's life and his own dispersed, or disappeared at least; but not until they had shaken hands most cordially with Reilly and the priest, who now found themselves much in the same position in which they stood previous to their surprise and arrest.

"Now," said Reilly, "the question is, what are we to do? where are we to go? and next, how did you come to know of the existence in this precise locality of such a body of men?"

"Because I have set my face against such meetings," replied the priest. "One of those who was engaged to be present happened to mention the fact to me as a clergyman, but you know that, as a clergyman, I can proceed no further."

"I understand," said Reilly, "I perfectly understand you. It is not necessary. And now let me say—"

"Always trust in God, my friend," replied the priest, in an accent quite different from that which he had used to the peasantry. "I told you, not long ago, that you would have, a bed to-night: follow me, and I will lead you to a crypt of nature's own making, which, was not known to mortal man three months ago, and which is now known only to those whose interest it is to keep the knowledge of it silent as the grave."

They then proceeded, and soon came to a gap or opening on the left-hand side of the road through which they passed, the priest leading. Next they found themselves in a wild gully or ravine that was both deep and narrow. This they crossed, and arrived at a ledge of precipitous rocks, most of which were overhung to the very ground with long luxuriant heather. The priest went along this until he came to one particular spot, when he stooped, and observed a particular round stone bedded naturally in the earth.

"God-blessed be his name—has made nothing in vain," he whispered; "I must go foremost, but do as I do." He then raised up the long heath, and entered a low, narrow fissure in the rocks, Reilly following him closely. The entrance was indeed so narrow that it was capable of admitting but one man at a time, and even that by his working himself in upon his knees and elbows. In this manner they advanced in utter darkness for about thirty yards, when they reached a second opening, about three feet high, which bore some resemblance to a Gothic arch. This also it was necessary to enter consecutively. Having passed this they were able to proceed upon their legs, still stooping, however, until, as they got onwards, they found themselves able to walk erect. A third and larger opening, however, was still before them, over which hung a large thick winnow-cloth.

"Now," said the priest, "leave every thing to me. If we were to put our heads in rashly here we might get a pair of bullets through them that would have as little mercy on us as those of the troopers, had we got them. No clergyman here, or anywhere else, ever carries firearms, but there are laymen inside who are not bound by our regulations. The only arms we are allowed to carry are the truths of our religion and the integrity of our lives."

He then advanced a step or two, and shook the winnow-cloth three times, when a deep voice from behind it asked, "Quis venit?"

"Introibo ad altare Dei," replied the priest, who had no sooner uttered the words than the cloth was partially removed, and a voice exclaimed, "Benedicite, dilecte frater; beatus qui venit in nomine Domini el sacrosanctae Ecclesiae."

Reilly and his companion then entered the cave, which they had no sooner done than the former was seized with a degree of wonder, astonishment, and awe, such as he had never experienced in his life before. The whole cavern was one flashing scene of light and beauty, and reminded him of the gorgeous descriptions that were to be found in Arabian literature, or the brilliancy of the fairy palaces as he had heard of them in the mellow legends of his own country. From the roof depended gorgeous and immense stalactites, some of them reaching half way to the earth, and others of them resting upon the earth itself. Several torches, composed of dried bog fir, threw their strong light among them with such effect that the eye became not only dazzled but fatigued and overcome by the radiance of a scene so unusual. In fact, the whole scene appeared to be out of, or beyond, nature. There were about fifteen individuals present, most of them in odd and peculiar disguises, which gave them a grotesque and supernatural appearance, as they passed about with their strong torches—some bright and some flashing red; and as the light of either one or other fell upon the stalactites, giving them a hue of singular brilliancy or deep purple, Reilly could not utter a word. The costumes of the individuals about him were so strange and varied that he knew not what to think. Some were in the dress of clergymen, others in that of ill-clad peasants, and nearly one-third-of them in the garb of mendicants, who, from their careworn faces, appeared to have suffered severely from the persecution of the times. In a few minutes, however, about half a dozen diminutive beings made their appearance, busied, as far as he could guess, in employments, which his amazement at the whole spectacle, unprepared as he was for it, prevented him from understanding. If he had been a man of weak or superstitious mind, unacquainted with life and the world, it is impossible to say what he might have imagined. Independently of this—strong-minded as he was—the impression made upon him by the elf-like sprites that ran about so busily, almost induced him, for a few moments, to surrender to the illusion that he stood among individuals who had little or no natural connection with man or the external world which he inhabited. Reflection, however, and the state of the country, came to his aid, and he reasonably inferred that the cavern in which he stood was a place of concealment for those unfortunate individuals who, like himself, felt it necessary to evade the vengeance of the laws.

Whilst Reilly was absorbed in the novelty and excitement of this strange and all but supernatural spectacle, the priest held a short conversation, at some distance from him, with the strange figures which had surprised him so much. Whenever he felt himself enabled to take his eyes from the splendor and magnificence of all he saw around him, to follow the motions of Father Maguire, he could observe that that gentleman, from the peculiar vehemence of his attitudes and the evident rapidity of his language, had made either himself or his presence there the topic of very earnest discussion. In fact it appeared to him that the priest, from whatever cause, appeared to be rather hard set to defend him and to justify his presence among them. A tall, stern-looking man, with a lofty forehead and pale ascetic features—from which all the genial impulses of humanity, that had once characterized them, seemed almost to have been banished by the spirit of relentless persecution—appeared to bear hard upon him, whatever the charge might be, and by the severity of his manner and the solemn but unyielding emphasis of his attitudes, he seemed to have wrought himself into a state of deep indignation. But as it is better that our readers should be made acquainted with the topic of their discussion, rather than their attitudes, we think it necessary to commence it in a new chapter.





CHAPTER X.—Scenes that took place in the Mountain Cave

"I will not hear your apology, brother," said the tall man with the stern voice; "your conduct, knowing our position, and the state of this unhappy and persecuted country, is not only indiscreet, but foolish, indefensible, mad. Here is a young man attached—may God pardon him—to the daughter of one of the most persecuting heretics in the kingdom. She is beautiful, by every report that we have heard of her, even as an angel; but reflect that she is an heiress—the inheritress of immense property—and that, as a matter of course, the temptations are a thousand to one against him. He will yield, I tell you, to the heretic syren; and as a passport to her father's favor and her affection, he will, like too many of his class, abandon the faith of his ancestors, and become an apostate, for the sake of wealth and sensual affection."

"I question, my lord," replied the priest, "whether it is consistent with Christian charity to impute motives of such heinous guilt, when we are not in a condition to bear out our suspicions. The character of this young gentleman as a Catholic is firm and faithful, and I will stake my life upon his truth and attachment to our Church."

"You know him not, father," replied the bishop, for such he was; "I tell you, and I speak from better information than you possess, that he is already suspected. What has been his conduct? He has associated himself more with Protestants than with those of his own Church; he has dined with them, partaken of their hospitality, joined in there amusements, slept in their houses, and been with them as a familiar friend and boon companion. I see, father, what the result will necessarily be; first, an apostate—next, an informer—and, lastly, a persecutor; and all for the sake of wealth and the seductive charms of a rich heiress. I say, then, that deep in this cold cavern shall be his grave, rather than have an opportunity of betraying the shepherds of Christ's persecuted flock, and of hunting them into the caverns of the earth like beasts of prey. Our retreat here is known only to those who, for the sake of truth and their own lives, will never disclose the knowledge of it, bound as they are, in addition to this, by an oath of the deepest and most dreadful solemnity—an oath the violation of which would constitute a fearful sacrilege in the eye of God. As for these orphans, whose parents were victims to the cruel laws that are grinding us, I have so trained and indoctrinated them into a knowledge of their creed, and a sense of their duty, that they are thoroughly trustworthy. On this very day I administered to them the sacrament of confirmation. No, brother, we cannot sacrifice the interests and welfare of our holy Church to the safety of a single life—to the safety of a person who I foresee will be certain to betray us."

"My lord," replied the priest, "I humbly admit your authority and superior sanctity, for in what does your precious life fall short of martyrdom but by one step to the elevation which leads to glory? I mean the surrendering of that life for the true faith. I feel, my lord, that in your presence I am nothing; still, in our holy Church there is the humble as well as the exalted, and your lordship will admit that the gradations of piety, and the dispensations of the higher and the lower gifts, proceed not only from the wisdom of God but from the necessities of man."

"I do not properly understand you, father," said the bishop in a voice whose stern tones were mingled with something like contempt.

"I beg your lordship to hear me," proceeded Father Maguire. "You say that Reilly has associated more frequently with Protestants than he has with persons of our own religion. That may be true, and I grant that it is so; but, my lord, are you aware that he has exercised the influence which he has possessed over them for the protection and advantage and safety of his Catholic friends and neighbors, to the very utmost of his ability, and frequently with success?"

"Yes; they obliged him because they calculated upon his accession to their creed and principles."

"My lord," replied the priest with firmness, "I am an humble but independent man; if humanity and generosity, exercised as I have seen them this night, guided and directed by the spirit of peace, and of the word of God itself, can afford your lordship a guarantee of the high and Christian principles by which this young man's heart is actuated, then I may with confidence recommend him to your clemency."

"What would you say?" asked the bishop.

"My lord, he was the principal means of saving the lives of six Protestants-heretics, I mean—from being cut off in their iniquities and sins this night."

"How do you mean?" replied the stern bishop; "explain yourself!"

The good priest then gave a succinct account of the circumstances with which the reader is already acquainted; and, after having finished his brief narrative, the unfortunate man perceived that, instead of having rendered Reilly a service, he had strengthened the suspicions of the prelate against him.

"So!" said the bishop, "you advance the history of this dastardly conduct as an argument in his favor!"

As he uttered these words, his eyes, which had actually become bloodshot, blazed again; his breath went and came strongly, and he ground his teeth with rage.

Father Maguire, and those who were present, looked at each other with eyes in which might be read an expression of deep sorrow and compassion. At length a mild-looking, pale-faced man, with a clear, benignant eye, approached him, and laying his hand in a gentle manner upon his arm, said, "Pray, my dear lord, let me entreat your lordship to remember the precepts of our great Master: 'Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.' And surely, my lord, no one knows better than you do that this is the spirit of our religion, and that whenever it is violated the fault is not that of the creed, but the man."

"Under any circumstances," said the bishop, declining to reply to this, and placing his open hand across his forehead, as if he felt confusion or pain—"under any circumstances, this person must take the oath of secrecy with respect to the existence of this cave. Call him up."

Reilly, as we have said, saw at once that an angry discussion had taken place, and felt all but certain that he was himself involved in it. The priest, in obedience to the wish expressed by the bishop, went down to where he stood, and whispering to him, said:

"Salvation to me, but I had a hard battle for you. I fought, however, like a trump. The strange, and—ahem—kind of man you are called upon to meet now is one of our bishops—but don't you pretend to know that—he has heard of your love for the Cooleen Bawn, and of her love for you—be easy now—not a thing it will be but the meeting of two thunderbolts between you—and he's afraid you'll be deluded by her charms—turn apostate on our hands—and that the first thing you're likely to do, when you get out of this subterranean palace of ours, will be to betray its existence to the heretics. I have now put you on your guard, so keep a sharp lookout; be mild as mother's milk. But if you 'my lord' him, I'm dished as a traitor beyond redemption."

Now, if the simple-hearted priest had been tempted by the enemy himself to place these two men in a position where a battle-royal between them was most likely to ensue, he could not have taken a more successful course for that object. Reilly, the firm, the high-minded, the honorable, and, though last not least, the most indignant at any imputation against his integrity, now accompanied the priest in a state of indignation that was nearly a match for that of the bishop.

"This is Mr. Reilly, gentlemen; a firm and an honest Catholic, who, like ourselves, is suffering for his religion."

"Mr. Reilly," said the bishop, "it is good to suffer for our religion."

"It is our duty," replied Reilly, "when we are called upon to do so; but for my part, I must confess, I have no relish whatsoever for the honors of martyrdom. I would rather aid it and assist it than suffer for it."

The bishop gave a stem look at his friends, as much as to say: "You hear! incipient heresy and treachery at the first step."

"He's more mad than the bishop," thought Father Maguire; "in God's name what will come next, I wonder? Reilly's blood, somehow, is up; and there they are looking at each other, like a pair o' game cocks, with their necks stretched out in a cockpit—when I was a boy I used to go to see them—ready to dash upon one another."

"Are you not now suffering for your religion?" asked the prelate.

"No," replied Reilly, "it is not for the sake of my religion that I have suffered any thing. Religion is made only a pretext for it; but it is not, in truth, on that account that I have been persecuted."

"Pray, then, sir, may I inquire the cause of your persecution?"

"You may," replied Reilly, "but I shall decline to answer you. It comes not within your jurisdiction, but is a matter altogether personal to myself, and with which you can have no concern."

Here a groan from the priest, which he could not suppress, was shivered off, by a tremendous effort, into a series of broken coughs, got up in order to conceal his alarm at the fatal progress which Reilly, he thought, was unconsciously making to his own ruin.

"Troth," thought he, "the soldiers were nothing at all to what this will be. There his friends would have found the body and given him a decent burial; but here neither friend nor fellow will know where to look for him. I was almost the first man that took the oath to keep the existence of this place secret from all unless those that were suffering for their religion; and now, by denying that, he has me in the trap along with himself."

A second groan, shaken out of its continuity into another comical shower of fragmental coughs, closed this dreary but silent soliloquy.

The bishop proceeded: "You have been inveigled, young man, by the charms of a deceitful and heretical syren, for the purpose of alienating you from the creed of your forefathers."

"It is false," replied Reilly; "false, if it proceeded from the lips of the Pope himself; and if his lips uttered to me what you now have done, I would fling the falsehood in his teeth, as I do now in yours—yes, if my life should pay the forfeit of it. What have you to do with my private concerns?"

Reilly's indignant and impetuous reply to the prelate struck all who heard it with dismay, and also with horror, when they bethought themselves of the consequences.

"You are a heretic at heart," said the other, knitting his brows; "from your own language you stand confessed—a heretic."

"I know not," replied Reilly, "by what right or authority you adopt this ungentlemanly and illiberal conduct towards me; but so long as your language applies only to myself and my religion, I shall answer you in a different spirit. In the first place, then, you are grievously mistaken in supposing me to be a heretic. I am true and faithful to nay creed, and will live and die in it."

Father Maguire felt relieved, and breathed more freely; a groan was coming, but it ended in a "hem."

"Before we proceed any farther, sir," said this strange man, "you must take an oath."

"For what purpose, sir?" inquired Reilly.

"An oath of secrecy as to the existence of this place of our retreat. There are at present here some of the—" he checked himself, as if afraid to proceed farther. "In fact, every man who is admitted amongst us must take the oath."

Reilly looked at him with indignation. "Surely," thought he to himself, "this man must be mad; his looks are wild, and the fire of insanity is in his eyes; if not, he is nothing less than an incarnation of ecclesiastical bigotry and folly. The man must be mad, or worse." At length he addressed him.

"You doubt my integrity and my honor, then," he replied haughtily.

"We doubt every man until he is bound by his oath."

"You must continue to doubt me, then," replied Reilly; "for, most assuredly, I will not take it."

"You must take it, sir," said the other, "or you never leave the cavern which covers you," and his eyes once more blazed as he uttered the words.

"Gentlemen," said Reiliy, "there appear to be fifteen or sixteen of you present: may I be permitted to ask why you suffer this unhappy man to be at large?"

"Will you take the oath, sir?" persisted the insane bishop in a voice of thunder—"heretic and devil, will you take the oath?"

"Unquestionably not. I will never take any oath that would imply want of honor in myself. Cease, then, to trouble me with it. I shall not take it."

This last reply affected the bishop's reason so deeply that he looked about him strangely, and exclaimed, "We are lost and betrayed. But here are angels—I see them, and will join in their blessed society," and as he spoke, he rushed towards the stalactites in a manner somewhat wild and violent, so much so, indeed, that from an apprehension of his receiving injury in some of the dark interstices among them, they found it necessary, for his sake, to grapple with him for a few moments.

But, alas! they had very little indeed to grapple with. The man was but a shadow, and they found him in their hands as feeble as a child. He made no resistance, but suffered himself to be managed precisely as they wished. Two of the persons present took charge of him, one sitting on each side of him. Reilly, who looked on with amazement, now strongly blended with pity—for the malady of the unhappy ecclesiastic could no longer be mistaken—Reilly, we say, was addressed by an intelligent-looking individual, with some portion of the clerical costume about him.

"Alas! sir," said he, "it was not too much learning, but too much persecution, that has made him mad. That and the ascetic habits of his life have clouded or destroyed a great intellect and a good heart. He has eaten only one sparing meal a day during the last month; and though severe and self-denying to himself, he was, until the last week or so, like a father, and an indulgent one, to us all."

At this moment the pale, mild-looking clergyman, to whom we have alluded, went over to where the bishop sat, and throwing himself upon his bosom, burst into tears. The sorrow indeed became infectious, and in a few minutes there were not many dry eyes around him. Father Maguire, who was ignorant of the progressive change that had taken place in him since his last visit to the cave, now wept like a child, and Reilly himself experienced something that amounted to remorse, when he reflected on the irreverent tone of voice in which he had replied to him.

The paroxysm, however, appeared to have passed away; he was quite feeble, but not properly collected, though calm and quiet. After a little time he requested to be put to bed. And this leads us to the description of another portion of the cave to which we have not yet referred. At the upper end of the stalactite apartment, which we have already described, there was a large projection of rock, which nearly divided it from the other, and which discharged the office of a wall, or partition, between the two apartments. Here there was a good fire kept, but only during the hours of night, inasmuch as the smoke which issued from a rent or cleft in the top of this apartment would have discovered them by day. Through this slight chasm, which was strictly concealed, they received provisions, water, and fuel. In fact, it would seem as if the whole cave had been expressly designed for the purpose to which it was then applied, or, at least for some one of a similar nature.

On entering this, Reilly found a good fire, on which was placed a large pot with a mess in it, which emitted a very savory odor. Around the sides, or walls of this rock, were at least a score of heather shake-down beds, the fragrance of which was delicious. Pots, pans, and other simple culinary articles were there, with a tolerable stock of provisions, not omitting a good-sized keg of mountain dew, which their secluded position, the dampness of the place, and their absence from free air, rendered very necessary and gratifying.

"Here!" exclaimed Father Maguire, after the feeble prelate had been assisted to this recess, "here, now, put his lordship to bed; I have tossed it up for him in great style! I assure you, my dear friends, it's a shakedown fit for a prince!—and better than most of the thieves deserve. What bed of down ever had the sweet fragrance this flowery heather sends forth? Here, my lord—easy, now—lay him down gently, just as a mother would her sleeping child—for, indeed, he is a child," he whispered, "and as weak as a child; but a sound sleep will do him good, and he'll be a new man in the morning, please God."

Upon this rough, but wholesome and aromatic couch, the exhausted prelate was placed, where he had not been many minutes until he fell into a profound sleep, a fact which gratified them very much, for they assured Reilly and the priest that he had slept but a few hours each night during the last week, and that such slumber as he did get was feverish and unquiet.

Our good-humored friend, however, was now cordially welcomed by these unfortunate ecclesiastics, for such, in fact, the majority of them were. His presence seemed to them like a ray of light from the sun. His good humor, his excellent spirits, which nothing could repress, and his drollery kept them alive, and nothing was so much regretted by them as his temporary absences from time to time; for, in truth, he was their messenger, their steward, and their newsman—in fact, the only link that connected them with external life, and the ongoings of the world abroad. The bed in which the bishop now slept was in a distant corner of this inner apartment, or dormitory, as it might be termed, because the situation was higher and drier, and consequently more healthy, as a sleeping-place, than any other which the rude apartment afforded. The fire on which the large pot simmered was at least a distance of twenty-five yards from his bed, so that they could indulge in conversation without much risk of disturbing him.

It is unnecessary to say that Reilly and his friend Father Maguire felt, by this time, a tolerably strong relish for something in the shape of sustenance—a relish which was exceedingly sharpened by the savory smell sent forth throughout the apartment by the contents of whatsoever was contained in the immense pot.

"My dear brethren," said the priest, "let us consider this cavern as a rich monastery; such, alas! as existed in the good days of old, when the larder and refectory were a credit to religion and a relief to the destitute, but which, alas!—and alas! again—we can only think of as a—in the meantime, I can stand this no longer. If I possess judgment or penetration in re culinaria, I am of opinion," he added (stirring up the contents of it), "that it is fit to be operated on; so, in God's name, let us have at it."

In a few minutes two or three immense pewter dishes were heaped with a stew made up of mutton, bacon, hung beef, onions, and potatoes, forming indeed a most delicious mess for any man, much less the miserable men who were making it disappear so rapidly.

Reilly, the very picture of health, after maintaining a pace inferior to that of none, although there were decidedly some handy workmen there, now was forced to pull up and halt. In the meantime some slow but steady operations went on with a perseverance that was highly creditable; and it was now that, having a little agreeable leisure to observe and look about him, he began to examine the extraordinary costumes of the incongruous society in which, to his astonishment, he found himself a party. We must, however, first account for the oddness and incongruity of the apparent characters which they were forced to assume.

At this period the Catholics of Ireland were indeed frightfully oppressed. A proclamation had recently been issued by the Government, who dreaded, or pretended to dread, an insurrection—by which document convents and monasteries were suppressed—rewards offered for the detection and apprehension of ecclesiastics, and for the punishment of such humane magistrates as were reluctant to enforce laws so unsparing and oppressive. Increased rewards were also offered to spies and informers, with whom the country unfortunately abounded. A general disarming of all Catholics took place; domiciliary visits were made in quest of bishops, priests, and friars, and all the chapels in the country were shut up. Many of the clergy flew to the metropolis, where they imagined they might be more safe, and a vast number to caverns and mountains, in order to avoid the common danger, and especially from a wholesome, terror of that class of men called priest-hunters. The Catholic peasantry having discovered their clergy in these wild retreats, flocked to them on Sundays and festivals, in order to join in private—not public-worship, and to partake of the rites and sacraments of their Church.

Such was the state of the country at the period when the unfortunate men whom we are about to describe were pent up in this newly discovered cavern.

Now, Reilly himself was perfectly acquainted with all this, and knew very well that these unhappy men, having been frequently compelled to put on the first disguise that came to hand, had not means, nor indeed disposition, to change these disguises, unless at the risk of being recognized, taken into custody, and surrendered to the mercy of the law.

When their savory meal was concluded, Father Maguire, who never forgot any duty connected with his position—be that where it might—now went over to the large pot, exclaiming:

"It would be too bad, my friends, to forget the creatures here that have been so faithful and so steady to us. Poor things, I could see, by the way they fixed their longing eyes upon us while we were doing the handy-work at the stew, that if the matter had been left to themselves, not a spoonful ever went into our mouths but they'd have practised the doctrine of tithe upon. Come, darlings—here, now, is a little race for you—every one of you seize a spoon, keep a hospitable mouth and a supple wrist. These creatures, Mr. Reilly, are so many little brands plucked out of the burning. They are the children of parents who suffered for their faith, and were brought here to avoid being put into these new traps for young Catholics, called Charter Schools, into which the Government wishes to hook in our rising generation, under pretence of supporting and educating them; but, in point of fact, to alienate them from the affection of their parents and relations, and to train them up in the State religion, poor things. At all events, they are very handy to us here, for they slip out by turns and bring us almost every thing we want—and not one of them ever opened his lips as to the existence of this spelunca."

The meal of the poor things was abundant, but they soon gave over, and in a few minutes they tumbled themselves into their heather beds, and were soon sunk in their innocent slumbers.

"Now, gentlemen, that we have eaten a better meal than we could expect in this miserable place, thanks to the kindness of our faithful flocks, what do you think of a sup of what's in the keg? Good eating deserves a drop of mixture after it, to aid in carrying on the process of digestion! Father Hennessy, what are you at?" he exclaimed, addressing an exceedingly ill-looking man, with heavy brows and a sinister aspect. "You forget, sir, that the management of the keg is my duty, whenever I am here. You are the only person here who violates our regulations in that respect. Walk back and wait till you are helped like another. Do you call that being spiritually inclined? If so, there is not a doubt of it but you ought to be a bishop; and if you come to that, I'll stake my credit on it that you'll never let much wind into your stomach so long as you can get plenty of the solids and fluids to keep it out."

"I'm weak in the stomach," replied Hennessy, with a sensual grin, "and require it."

"But I say," replied Father Maguire, "that it would require stronger proof than any your outward man presents to confirm the truth of that. As for bearing a load either of the liquids or solids aforesaid, I'll back your bit of abdomen there against those of any three of us."

Cups and noggins, and an indescribable variety of small vessels that were never designed for drinking, were now called into requisition, and a moderate portion of the keg was distributed among them. Reilly, while enjoying his cup, which as well as the others he did with a good deal of satisfaction, could not help being amused by the comical peculiarity of their disguises.

The sinister-looking clergyman, whom we have named Hennessy, subsequently became a spy and informer, and, we may add, an enemy equally formidable and treacherous to the Catholics of the time, in consequence of having been deprived of his clerical functions by his bishop, who could not overlook his immoral and irregular conduct. He is mentioned by Matthew O'Connor, in his "History of the Irish Catholics," and consigned to infamy as one of the greatest scourges, against both the priesthood and the people, that ever disgraced the country. But it must be admitted that he stands out in dark relief against the great body of the Catholic priests at that period, whose firmness, patience, and fidelity to their trust, places them above all praise and all suspicion. It is, however, very reasonable, that men so hunted and persecuted should be forced, not only in defence of their own lives and liberties, but also for the sake of their flocks, to assume such costumes as might most effectually disguise them, so that they would be able still, even in secret and by stealth, to administer the rites of their religion to the poor and neglected of their own creed. Some were dressed in common frieze, some in servants' cast-off liveries—however they came by them—and not a few in military uniform, that served, as it were, to mark them staunch supporters of the very Government that persecuted them. A reverend archdeacon, somewhat comely and corpulent, had, by some means or other, procured the garb of a recruiting sergeant, which fitted him so admirably that the illusion was complete; and, what bore it out still more forcibly, was the presence of a smart-looking little friar, who kept the sergeant in countenance in the uniform of a drummer. Mass was celebrated every day, hymns were sung, and prayers offered up to the Almighty, that it might please him to check the flood of persecution which had overwhelmed or scattered them. Still, in the intervals of devotion, they indulged in that reasonable cheerfulness and harmless mirth which were necessary to support their spirits, depressed as they must have been by this dreadful and melancholy confinement—a confinement where neither the light of the blessed sun, nor the fresh breezes of heaven, nor the air we breathe, in its usual purity, could reach them. Sir Thomas More and Sir Walter Raleigh, however, were cheerful on the scaffold; and even here, as we have already said, many a rustic tale and legend, peculiar to those times, went pleasantly around; many a theological debate took place, and many a thesis was discussed, in order to enable the unhappy men to pass away the tedious monotony of their imprisonment in this strange lurking-place. The only man who kept aloof and took no part in these amusing recreations was Hennessy, who seemed moody and sullen, but who, nevertheless, was frequently detected in making stolen visits to the barrel.

Notwithstanding all this, however, the sight was a melancholy one; and whatever disposition Reilly felt to smile at what he saw and heard was instantly changed on perceiving their unaffected piety, which was evident by their manner, and a rude altar in a remote end of the cave, which was laid out night and day for the purpose of celebrating the ceremonies and mysteries of their Church. Before he went to his couch of heather, however, he called Father Maguire aside, and thus addressed him:

"I have been a good deal struck to-night, my friend, by all that I have witnessed in this singular retreat. The poor prelate I pity; and I regret I did not understand him sooner. His mind, I fear, is gone."

"Why, I didn't understand him myself," replied the priest; "because this was the first symptom he has shown of any derangement in his intellect, otherwise I would no more have contradicted him than I would have cut my left hand off."

"There is, however, a man—a clergyman here, called Hennessy; who is he, and what has been his life?"

"Why," replied the other, "I have heard nothing to his disadvantage. He is a quiet, and, it is said, a pious man—and I think he is too. He is naturally silent, and seldom takes any part in our conversation. He says, however, that his concealment here bears hard upon him, and is depressing his spirits every day more and more. The only thing I ever could observe in him is what you saw yourself to-night-a slight relish for an acquaintance with the barrel. He sometimes drains a drop—indeed, sometimes too much—out of it, when he gets our backs turned; but then he pleads low spirits three or four times a day—indeed, so often that, upon my word, he'll soon have the barrel pleading the same complaint."

"Well," replied Reilly, after listening attentively to him, "I desire you and your friends to watch that man closely. I know something about him; and I tell you that if ever the laws become more lenient, the moment this man makes his appearance his bishop will deprive him of all spiritual jurisdiction for life. Mark me now, Father Maguire; if he pleads any necessity for leaving this retreat and going abroad again into the world, don't let a single individual of you remain, here one hour after him. Provide for your safety and your shelter elsewhere as well as you can; if not, the worst consequences may—nay, will follow."

The priest promised to communicate this intelligence to his companions, one by one, after which, both he and Reilly, feeling fatigued and exhausted by what they had undergone in the course of the night, threw themselves each upon his couch of heather, and in a few minutes not only they, but all their companions, were sunk in deep sleep.





CHAPTEE XI.—The Squire's Dinner and his Guests.

We now return to Cooleen Bawn, who, after her separation from Reilly, retired to her own room, where she indulged in a paroxysm of deep grief, in consequence of her apprehension that she might never see him again. She also calculated upon the certainty of being obliged to sustain a domestic warfare with her father, as the result of having made him the confidant of her love. In this, however, she was agreeably disappointed; for, on meeting him the next morning, at breakfast, she was a good deal surprised to observe that he made no allusion whatsoever to the circumstance—if, indeed, an occasional muttering of some unintelligible words, sotto voce, might not be supposed to allude to it. The truth was, the old man found the promise he had made to Sir Robert one of such difficulty to his testy and violent disposition, that his language, and the restraint which he felt himself under the necessity of putting on it, rendered his conversation rather ludicrous.

"Well, Helen," he said, on entering the breakfast-parlor, "how did you rest last night, my love? Rested sound—eh? But you look rather pale, darling. (Hang the rascal!)"

"I cannot say that I slept as well as usual, sir. I felt headache."

"Ay, headache—was it? (heartache, rather. The villain.) Well come, let me have a cup of tea and a mouthful of that toast."

"Will you not have some chicken, sir?"

"No, my dear—no; just what I said—a mouthful of toast, and a cup of tea, with plenty of cream in it. Thank you, love. (A good swing for him will be delightful. I'll go to see it.) Helen, my dear, I'm going to give a dinner-party next week. Of course we'll have your future—hem—I mean we'll have Sir Robert, and—let me see—who else? Why, Oxley, the sheriff", Mr. Brown, the parson—I wish he didn't lean so much to the cursed Papists, though—Mr. Hastings, who is tarred with the same stick, it is whispered. Well, who next? Lord Deilmacare, a good-natured jackass—a fellow who would eat a jacketful of carrion, if placed before him, with as much gout as if it were venison. He went home one night, out of this, with the parson's outside coat and shovel hat upon him, and did not return them for two days."

"Does this habit proceed from stupidity, papa?"

"Not at all; but from mere carelessness. The next two days he was out with his laborers, and if a cow or pig chanced—(the villain! we'll hang him to a certainty)—chanced, I say, to stray into the field, he would shy the shovel hat at them, without remorse. Oh! we must have him, by all means. But who next? Sir Jenkins Joram. Give him plenty to drink, and he is satisfied."

"But what are his political principles, papa?"

"They are to be found in the bottle, Helen, which is the only creed, political or religious, to which I ever knew him to be attached; and I tell you, girl, that if every Protestant in Ireland were as deeply devoted to his Church as he is to the bottle, we would soon be a happy people, uncorrupted by treacherous scoundrels, who privately harbor Papists and foster Popery itself. (The infernal scoundrel.)"

"But, papa," replied his daughter, with a melancholy smile, "I think I know some persons, who, although very loud and vehement in their outcry against Popery, have, nevertheless, on more than one or two occasions, harbored Papists in their house, and concealed even priests, when the minions of the law were in search of them."

"Yes, and it is of this cursed crew of hollow Protestants that I now speak—ahem—ay—ha—well, what the devil—hem. To be sure I—I—I—but it doesn't signify; we can't be wise at all times. But after all, Helen (she has me there), after all, I say, there are some good Papists, and some good—ahem—priests, too. There now, I've got it out. However, Helen, those foolish days are gone, and we have nothing for it now but to hunt Popery out of the country. But to proceed as to the dinner."

"I think Popery is suffering enough, sir, and more than enough."

"Ho, ho," he exclaimed with triumph, "here comes the next on my list—a fine fellow, who will touch it up still more vigorously—I mean Captain Smellpriest."

"I have heard of that inhuman man," replied Helen; "I wish you would not ask him, papa. I am told he equals Sir Robert Whitecraft in both cowardice and cruelty. Is not that a nickname he has got in consequence of his activity in pursuit of the unfortunate priests?"

"It's a nickname he has given himself," replied her father; "and he has become so proud of it that he will allow himself to be called by no other. He swears that if a priest gets on the windy side of him, he will scent him as a hound would a fox. Oh! by my honor, Smellpriest must be here. The scoundrel like Whitecraft!—eh-what am I saying? Smellpriest, I say, first began his career as a friend to the Papists; he took large tracts of land in their name, and even purchased a couple of estates with their money; and in due time, according as the tide continued to get strong against them, he thought the best plan to cover his villany—ahem—his policy, I mean—was to come out as a fierce loyalist; and as a mark of his repentance, he claimed the property, as the real purchaser, and arrested those who were fools enough to trust him."

"I think I know another gentleman of my acquaintance who holds property in some similar trust for Papists," observed Helen, "but who certainly is incapable of imitating the villany of that most unprincipled man."

"Come, come, Helen; come, my girl; tut—ahem; come, you are getting into politics now, and that will never do. A girl like you ought to have nothing to do with politics or religion."

"Religion! papa."

"Oh—hem-I don't mean exactly that. Oh, no; I except religion; a girl may be as religious as she pleases, only she must say as little upon the subject as possible. Come, another cup of tea, with a little more sugar, for, I give you my honor, you did not make the last one of the sweetest;" and so saying, he put over his cup with a grimace, which resembled that of a man detected in a bad action, instead of a good one.

At this moment John, the butler, came in with a plate of hot toast; and, as he was a privileged old man, he addressed his master without much hesitation.

"That was a quare business," he observed, using the word quare as an equivocal one, until he should see what views of the circumstance his master might take; "a quare business, sir, that happened to Mr. Reilly."

"What business do you allude to, you old sinner?"

"The burning of his house and place, sir. All he has, or had, is in a heap of ashes."

Helen felt not for the burning, but her eyes were fixed upon the features of the old man, as if the doom of her life depended on his words; whilst the paper on which ee write is not whiter than were her cheeks.

"What—what—how was it?" asked his master; "who did it?—and by whose authority was it done?"

"Sir Robert Whitecraft and his men did it, sir."

"Ay, but I can't conceive he had any authority for such an act."

"Wasn't Mr. Reilly an outlaw, sir? Didn't the Red Rapparee, who is now a good Protestant, swear insurrection against him?"

"The red devil, sirra," replied the old squire, forgetting his animosity to Reilly in the atrocity and oppression of the deed—"the red devil, sirra! would that justify such a cowardly scoundrel as Sir Robert—ugh—ugh—ugh—that went against my breath, Helen. Well, come here, I say, you old sinner; they burned the place, you say?"

"Sir Robert and his men did, sir."

"I'm not doubting that, you old house-leek. I know Sir Robert too well—I know the infernal—ahem; a most excellent loyal gentleman, with two or three fine estates, both here and in England; but he prefers living here, for reasons best known to himself and me, and—and to somebody else. Well, they burned Reilly out—but tell me this; did they catch the rascal himself? eh? here's five pounds for you, if you can say they have him safe."

"That's rather a loose bargain, your honor," replied the man with a smile; "for saying it?—why, what's to prevent me from saying it, if I wished?"

"None of your mumping, you old snapdragon; but tell me the truth, have they secured him hard and fast?"

"No, sir, he escaped them, and as report goes they know nothing about him, except that they haven't got him."

Deep and speechless was the agony in which Helen sat during this short dialogue, her eyes having never once been withdrawn from the butler's countenance; but now that she had heard of her lover's personal safety, a thick, smothered sob, which, if it were to kill her, she could not repress, burst from her bosom. Unwilling that either her father or the servant should witness the ecstasy which she could not conceal, and feeling that another minute would disclose the delight which convulsed her heart and frame, she arose, and, with as much composure as she could assume, went slowly out of the room. On entering her apartment, she signed to her maid to withdraw, after which she closed and bolted the door, and wept bitterly. The poor girl's emotion, in fact, was of a twofold character; she wept with joy at Reilly's escape from the hands of his cruel and relentless enemy, and with bitter grief at the impossibility which she thought there existed that he should ultimately be able to keep out of the meshes which she knew Whitecraft would spread for him. The tears, however, which she shed abundantly, in due time relieved her, and in the course of an hour or two she was able to appear as usual in the family.

The reader may perceive that her father, though of an abrupt and cynical temper, was not a man naturally of a bad or unfeeling heart. Whatever mood of temper chanced to be uppermost influenced him for the time; and indeed it might be said that one half of his feelings were usually in a state of conflict with the other. In matters of business he was the very soul of integrity and honor, but in his views of public affairs he was uncertain and inconsistent; and of course his whole life, as a magistrate and public man, was a perpetual series of contradictions. The consequence of all this was, that he possessed but small influence, as arising from his personal character; but not so from his immense property, as well as from the fact that he was father to the wealthiest and most beautiful heiress in the province, or perhaps, so far as beauty was concerned, in the kingdom itself.

At length the day mentioned for the dinner arrived, and, at the appointed hour, so also did the guests. There were some ladies asked to keep Helen in countenance, but we need scarcely say, that as the list of them was made out by her thoughtless father, he paid, in the selection of some of them, very little attention to her feelings. There was the sheriff, Mr. Oxley, and his lady—the latter a compound in whom it was difficult to determine whether pride, vulgarity, or obesity prevailed. Where the sheriff had made his capture of her was never properly known, as neither of them belonged originally to that neighborhood in which he had, several years ago, purchased large property. It was said he had got her in London; and nothing was more certain than that she issued forth the English language clothed in an inveterate cockney accent. She was a high moralist, and a merciless castigator of all females who manifested, or who were supposed to manifest, even a tendency to walk out of the line of her own peculiar theory on female conduct. Her weight might be about eighteen stone, exclusive of an additional stone of gold chains and bracelets, in which she moved like a walking gibbet, only with the felon in it; and to crown all, she wore on her mountainous bosom a cameo nearly the size of a frying-pan. Sir Jenkins Joram, who took her down to dinner, declared, on feeling the size of the bracelets which encircled her wrists, that he labored for a short time under the impression that he and she were literally handcuffed together; an impression, he added, from which he was soon relieved by the consoling reflection that it was the sheriff himself whom the clergyman had sentenced to stand in that pleasant predicament. Of Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hastings we have only to say that they were modest, sensible, unassuming women, without either parade or pretence, such, in fact, as you will generally meet among our well-bred and educated countrywomen. Lord Deilmacare was a widower, without family, and not a marrying man. Indeed, when pressed upon this subject, he was never known to deviate from the one reply.

"Why don't you marry again, my lord?—will you ever marry?"

"No, madam, I got enough of it," a reply which, somehow, generally checked any further inquiry on the subject. Between Lady Joram and Mrs. Smellpriest there subsisted a singular analogy with respect to their conjugal attachments. It was hinted that her ladyship, in those secret but delicious moments of matrimonial felicity which make up the sugar-candy morsels of domestic life, used to sit with Sir Jenkins for the purpose, by judicious exercise, of easing, by convivial exercise, a rheumatic affection which she complained of in her right arm. There is nothing, however, so delightful as a general and loving sympathy between husband and wife; and here it was said to exist in perfection. Mrs. Smellpriest, on the other hand, was said to have been equally attached to the political principles of the noble captain, and to wonder why any clergyman should be suffered to live in the country but those of her own Church; such delightful men, for instance, as their curate, the Rev. Samson Strong, who was nothing more nor less than a divine bonfire in the eyes of the Christian! world. Such was his zeal against Papists, she said, as well as against Popery at large, that she never looked on him without thinking that there was a priest to be burned. Indeed Captain Smellpriest, she added, was under great obligations to him, for no sooner had his reverence heard of a priest taking earth in the neighborhood, than he lost no time in communicating the fact to her husband; after which he would kindly sit with and comfort her whilst fretting lest any mischief might befall her dear captain.

The dinner passed as all dinners usually do. They hobnobbed, of course, and indulged in that kind of promiscuous conversation which cannot well be reported. From a feeling of respect to Helen, no allusion was made either to the burning of Reilly's property or to Reilly personally. The only person who had any difficulty in avoiding the subject was the old squire himself, who more than once found the topic upon his lips, but with a kind of short cough he gulped it down, and got rid of it for the time. In what manner he might treat the act itself was a matter which excited a good deal of speculation in the minds of those who were present. He was known to be a man who, if the whim seized him to look upon it as a cowardly and vindictive proceeding, would by no means scruple to express his opinions strongly against it; whilst, on the other hand, if he measured it in connection with his daughter's forbidden attachment to Reilly, he would, of course, as vehemently express his approbation of the outrage. Indeed, they were induced to conclude that this latter view of it was that which he was most likely to take, in consequence of the following proposal, which, from any other man, would have been an extraordinary one:

"Come, ladies, before you leave us we must have one toast; and I shall give it in order to ascertain whether we have any fair traitresses among us, or any who are secretly attached to Popery or Papists."

The proposal was a cruel one, but the squire was so utterly destitute of consideration or delicacy of feeling that we do not think he ever once reflected upon the painful position in which it placed his daughter.

"Come," he proceeded, "here is prosperity to Captain Smellpriest and priest-hunting!"*

     * We have been charged by an able and accomplished writer
     with an incapacity of describing, with truth, any state of
     Irish society above that of our peasantry; and the toast
     proposed by the eccentric old squire is, we presume, the
     chief ground upon which this charge is rested. We are,
     however, just as well aware as our critic, that to propose
     toasts before the female portion of the company leave the
     dinner-table, is altogether at variance with the usages of
     polite society. But we really thought we had guarded our
     readers against any such, inference of our own ignorance by
     the character which we had drawn of the squire, as well as
     by the words with which the toast is introduced—where we
     said, "from any other man would have been an extraordinary
     one." I may also refer to Mrs. Brown's reply.

"As a Christian minister," replied Mr. Brown, "and an enemy to persecution in every sense, but especially to that which would punish any man for the great principle which we ourselves claim—the rights of conscience—I decline to drink the toast;" and he turned down his glass.

"And I," said Mr. Hastings, "as a Protestant and a Christian, refuse it on the same principles;" and he also turned down his glass.

"But you forget, gentlemen," proceeded the squire, "that I addressed myself principally to the ladies."

"But you know, sir," replied Mrs. Brown, with a smile, "that it is quite unusual and out of character for ladies to drink toasts at all, especially those which involve religious or political opinions. These, I am sure, you know too well, Mr. Folliard, are matters with which ladies have, and ought to have, nothing to do. I also, therefore, on behalf of our sex, decline to drink the toast; and I trust that every lady who respects herself will turn down her glass as I do."

Mrs. Hastings and Helen immediately followed her example, whilst at the same time poor Helen's cheeks and neck were scarlet.

"You see, sir," said Mr. Brown, good-humoredly, "that the sex—at least one-half of them—are against you."

"That's because they're Papists at heart," replied the squire, laughing.

Helen felt eased at seeing her father's good humor, for she now knew that the proposal of the toast was but a jest, and did not aim at any thing calculated to distress her feelings.

"But, in the meantime," proceeded the squire, "I am not without support. Here is Lady Joram and Mrs. Smellpriest and Mrs. Oxley—and they are a host in themselves—each of them willing and ready to support me."

"I don't see," said Lady Joram, "why a lady, any more than a gentleman, should refuse to drink a proper toast as this is; Sir Jenkins has not turned down his glass, and neither shall I. Come, then, Mr. Folliard, please to fill mine; I shall drink it in a bumper."

"And I," said Mrs. Oxley, "always drinks my 'usband's principles. In Lunnon, where true 'igh life is, ladies don't refuse to drink toasts. I know that feyther, both before and after his removal to Lunnon, used to make us all drink the ''Ard ware of Old Hingland'—by witch," she proceeded, correcting herself by a reproving glance from the sheriff—"by witch he meant what he called the glorious sinews of the country at large, lestwise in the manufacturing districts. But upon a subject like this"—and she looked with something like disdain at those who had turned down their glasses—"every lady as is a lady ought to 'ave no objection to hexplain her principles by drinking the toast; but p'raps it ain't fair to press it upon some of 'em."

"Well, then," proceeded the squire, with a laugh that seemed to have more than mirth in it, "are all the loyal subjects of the crown ready? Lord Deilmacare, your glass is not filled; won't you drink it?"

"To be sure," replied his lordship; "I have no hatred against Papists; I get my rent by their labor; but I never wish to spoil sport—get along—I'll do anything."

With the exceptions already mentioned, the toast was drank immediately, after which the ladies retired to the drawing-room.

"Now, gentlemen," said the squire, "fill your glasses, and let us enjoy ourselves. You have a right to be proud of your wife, Mr. Sheriff, and you too, Sir Jenkins—for,—upon my soul, if it had been his Majesty's health, her ladyship couldn't have honored it with a fuller bumper. And, Smellpriest, your wife did the thing handsomely as well as the rest. Upon my soul, you ought to be happy men, with three women so deeply imbued with the true spirit of our glorious Constitution."

"Ah, Mr. Folliard," said Smellpriest, "you don't know the value of that woman. When I return, for instance, after a hunt, the first question she puts to me is—Well, my love, how many priests did you catch to-day? And out comes Mr. Strong with the same question. Strong, however, between ourselves, is a goose; he will believe any thing, and often sends me upon a cold trail. Now, I pledge you my honor, gentlemen, that this man, who is all zeal, has sent me out dozens of times, with the strictest instructions as to where I'd catch my priest; but, hang me, if ever I caught a single priest upon his instructions yet! still, although unfortunate in this kind of sport, his heart is in the right place. Whitecraft, my worthy brother sportsman, how does it happen that Reilly continues to escape you?"

"Why does he continue to escape yourself, captain?" replied the baronet.

"Why," said the other, "because I am more in the ecclesiastical line, and, besides, he is considered to be, in an especial manner, your game."

"I will have him yet, though," said Whitecraft, "if he should assume as many shapes as Proteus."

"By the way, Whitecraft," observed Folliard, "they tell me you burned the unfor—you burned the scoundrel's house and offices."

"I wish you had been present at the bonfire, sir," replied his intended son-in-law; "it would have done your heart good."

"I daresay," said the squire; "but still, what harm did his house and place do you? I know the fellow is a Jesuit, a rebel, and an outlaw—at least you tell me so; and you must know. But upon what authority did you burn the rascal out?"

"As to that," returned the baronet, "the present laws against Popery and the general condition of the times are a sufficient justification; and I do not think that I am likely to be brought over the coals for it; on the contrary, I look upon myself as a man who, in burning the villain out, have rendered a very important service to Government."

"I regret, Sir Robert," observed Mr. Brown, "that you should have disgraced yourself by such an oppressive act. I know that throughout the country your conduct to this young man is attributed to personal malice rather than to loyalty."

"The country may put what construction on my conduct it pleases," he replied, "but I know I shall never cease till I hang him."

Mr. Hastings was a man of very few words; but he had an eye the expression of which could not be mistaken—keen, manly, and firm. He sat sipping his wine in silence, but turned from time to time a glance upon the baronet, which was not only a searching one, but seemed to have something of triumph in it.

"What do you say, Hastings?" asked Whitecraft; "can you not praise a loyal subject, man?"

"I say nothing, Sir Robert," he replied; "but I think occasionally."

"Well, and what do you think occasionally?"

"Why, that the times may change."

"Whitecraft," said Smellpriest, "I work upon higher principles than they say you do. I hunt priests, no doubt of it; but then I have no personal malice against them; I proceed upon the broad and general principle of hatred to Popery: but, at the same time, observe it is not the man but the priest I pursue."

"And when you hang or transport the priest, what becomes of the man?" asked the baronet, with a diabolical sneer. "As for me, Smellpriest, I make no such distinctions; they are unworthy of you, and I'm sorry to hear you express them. I say, the man."

"And I say, the priest," replied the other.

"What do you say, my lord?" asked Mr. Folliard of the peer.

"I don't much care which," replied his lordship; "man or priest, be it as you can determine; only I say that when you hang the priest, I agree with Whitecraft there, that it is all up with the man, and when you hang the man, it is all up with the priest. By the way, Whitecraft," he proceeded, "how would you like to swing yourself?"

"I am sure, my lord," replied the baronet, "you wouldn't wish to see me hanged."

"Well, I don't know—perhaps I might, and perhaps I might not; but I know you would make a long corpse, and I think you would dangle handsomely enough; you have long limbs, a long body, and half a mile of neck; upon my soul, one would think you were made for it. Yes, I dare say I should like to see you hanged—I am rather inclined to think I would—it's a subject, however, on which I am perfectly indifferent; but if ever you should be hanged, Sir Robert, I shall certainly make it a point to see you thrown off if it were only as a mark of respect for your humane and excellent character."

"He would be a severe loss to the country," observed Sir Jenkins; "the want of his hospitality would be deeply felt by the gentry of the neighborhood; for which reason," he observed sarcastically, "I hope he will be spared to us as long as his hospitality lasts."

"In the meantime, gentlemen," observed the sheriff, "I wish that, with such keen noses for priests and rebels and criminals, you could come upon the trail of the scoundrel who robbed me of three hundred and fifty pounds."

"Would you know him again, Mr. Sheriff?" asked Sir Robert, "and could you describe his appearance?"

"I have been turning the matter over," replied the sheriff, "and I feel satisfied that I would know him if I saw him. He was dressed in a broadcloth brown coat, light-colored breeches, and had silver buckles in his shoes. The fellow was no common robber. Stuart—one of your dragoons, Sir Robert, who came to my relief when it was too late—insists, from my description of the dress, that it was Reilly."

"Are you sure he was not dressed in black?" asked Smellpriest. "Did you observe a beads or crucifix about him?"

"I have described the dress accurately," replied the sheriff; "but I am certain that it was not Reilly. On bringing the matter to my recollection, after I had got rid of the pain and agitation, I was able to remember that the ruffian had a coarse face and red whiskers. Now Reilly's hair and whiskers are black."

"It was a reverend Papist," said Smellpriest; "one of those from whom you had levied the fines that day, and who thought it no harm to transfer them back again to holy Church. You know not how those rascals can disguise themselves."

"And you blame them, Smellpriest," said the squire, "for disguising themselves? Now, suppose the tables were turned upon us, that Popery got the ascendant, and that Papists started upon the same principles against us that we put in practice against them; suppose that Popish soldiers were halloed on against our parsons, and all other Protestants conspicuous for an attachment to their religion, and anxious to put down the persecution under which we suffered; why, hang it, could you blame the parsons, when hunted to the death, for disguising themselves? And if you could not, how can you blame the priests? Would you have the poor devils walk into your hands and say, 'Come, gentlemen, be good enough to hang or transport us?' I am anxious, to secure Reilly, and either to hang or transport him. I would say the latter, though."

"And I the former," observed Sir Robert.

"Well, Bob, that is as may happen; but in the meantime, I say he never robbed the sheriff here; and if he were going to the gallows to-morrow, I would maintain it."

Neither the clergyman nor Mr. Hastings took much part in the conversation; but the eye of the latter was, during the greater portion of the evening, fixed upon the baronet, like that of a basilisk, accompanied by a hidden meaning, which it was impossible to penetrate, but which, nevertheless, had such an effect upon Whitecraft that he could not help observing it.

"It would seem, Mr. Hastings," said he, "as if you had never seen me before. Your eye has scarcely been off me during the whole evening. It is not pleasant, sir, nor scarcely gentlemanly."

"You should feel proud of it, Sir Robert," replied Hastings; "I only admire you."

"Well, then, I wish you would express your admiration in some other manner than by staring at me."

"Gadzooks, Sir Robert," said the squire, "don't you know that a cat may look at a king? Hastings must be a man of devilish good taste, Bob, and you ought to thank him."

Mr. Brown and Mr. Hastings soon afterwards went upstairs, and left the other gentlemen to their liquor, which they now began to enjoy with a more convivial spirit. The old squire's loyalty rose to a very high pitch, as indeed did that of his companions, all of whom entertained the same principles, with the exception of Lord Deilmacare, whose opinions never could be got at, for thee very sufficient reason that he did not know them himself.

"Come, Whitecraft," said the squire, "help yourself, and push the bottle; now that those two half-Papists are gone, we can breathe and speak a little more freely. Here's our glorious Constitution, in Church and State, and curse all priests and Papists—barring a few, that I know to be honest."

"I drink it, but I omit the exception," said Sir Robert, "and I wonder, sir, you would make any exception to such a toast."

"I drink it," said Smellpriest, "including the rascal priest."

"And I drink it," said the sheriff, "as it has been proposed."

"What was it?" said Lord Deilmacare; "come, I drink it—it doesn't matter. I suppose, coming from our excellent host, it must be right and proper."

They caroused deeply, and in proportion as the liquor affected their brains, so did their determination to rid the squire of the rebel Reilly form itself into an express resolution to that effect.

"Hang Reilly—hang the villain—the gallows for him—hurra!" and in this charitable sentiment their voices all joined in a fierce and drunken exclamation, uttered with their hands all clasped in each other with a strong and firm grip. From one mouth alone, however, proceeded, amidst a succession of hiccups, the word "transportation," which, when Lord Deilmacare heard, he changed his principle, and joined the old squire in the same mitigation of feeling.

"I say, Deilmacare," shouted Sir Robert, "we must hang him high and dry."

"Very well," replied his lordship, "with all my heart, Sir Robert; we must hang you high and dry."

"But, Deilmacare," said the squire, "we should only transport him."

"Very good," exclaimed his lordship, emptying a bumper; "we shall only transport you, Sir Robert."

"Hang him, Deilmacare!"

"Very well, hang him!"

"Transport him, I say, Deilmacare," from the squire.

"Good again," said his lordship; "transport him, say I."

And on went the drunken revel, until they scarcely knew what they said.

The clergyman and Mr. Hastings, on reaching the drawing-room, found Helen in a state of inexpressible distress. A dispute upon the prevailing morals of all modern young Lidies had been got up by Lady Joram and Mrs. Oxley, for the express purpose of venting their petty malice against the girl, because they had taken it into their heads that she paid more attention to Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hastings than she did to them. This dispute was tantamount to what, in the prize ring, is called cross, when the fight is only a mock one, and terminates by the voluntary defeat of one of the parties, upon a preconcerted arrangement.

"I don't agree with you, my lady; nor can I think that the morals of young ladies in 'igh life, by witch I mean the daughters and heiresses of wealthy squires—"

"But, my dear Mrs. Oxley," said her ladyship, interrupting her, and placing her hand gently upon her arm, as if to solicit her consent to the observation she was about to make, "you know, my dear Mrs. Oxley, that the daughter of a mere country squire can have no pretensions to come under the definition of high life."

"Wy not?" replied Mrs. Oxley; "the squires are often wealthier than the haris-tocracy; and I don't at all see," she added, "wy the daughter of such a man should not be considered as moving in 'igh life—always, of course, provided that she forms no disgraceful attachments to Papists and rebels and low persons of that 'ere class. No, my lady, I don't at all agree with you in your view of 'igh life."

"You don't appear, madam, to entertain a sufficiently accurate estimate of high life.

"I beg pardon, ma'am, but I think I can understand 'igh life as well as those that don't know it better nor myself. I've seen a great deal of 'igh life. Feyther 'ad a willar at I'gate, and I'gate is known to be the 'igh-est place about the metropolis of Lunnon—it and St. Paul's are upon a bevel."

"Level, perhaps, you mean, ma'am?"

"Level or bevel,'it doesn't much diversify—but I prefer the bevel to the level on all occasions. All I knows is," she proceeded, "that it is a shame for any young lady, as is a young lady, to take a liking to a Papist, because we know the Papists are all rebel; and would cut our throats, only for the protection of our generous and merciful laws."

"I don't know what you mean by merciful laws," observed Mrs. Brown. "They surely cannot be such laws as oppress and persecute a portion of the people, and give an unjust license to one class to persecute another, and to prevent them from exercising the duties which their religion imposes upon them."

"Well," said Lady Joram, "all I wish is, that the Papists were exterminated; we should then have no apprehensions that our daughters would disgrace themselves, by falling in love with them."

This conversation was absolutely cruel, and the amiable Mrs. Brown, from compassion to Helen, withdrew her into a corner of the room, and entered into conversation with her upon a different topic, assuring her previously that she would detail their offensive and ungenerous remarks to her father, who, she trusted, would never see them under his roof again, nor give them an opportunity of indulging in their vulgar malignity a second time. Helen thanked her, and said their hints and observations, though rude and ungenerous, gave her but little pain. The form of language in which they were expressed, she added, and the indefensible violation of all the laws of hospitality, blunted the severity of what they said.

"I am not ashamed," she said, "of my attachment to the brave and generous young man who saved my father's life. He is of no vulgar birth, but a highly educated and a highly accomplished gentleman—a man, in fact, my dear Mrs. Brown, whom no woman, be her rank in life ever so high or exalted, might blush to love. I do not blush to make the avowal that I love him; but, unfortunately, in consequence of the existing laws of the country, my love for him, which I will never conceal, must be a hopeless one."

"I regret the state of those laws, my dear Miss Folliard, as much as you do; but still their existence puts a breach between you and Reilly, and under those circumstances my advice to you is to overcome your affection for him if you can. Marriage is out of the question."

"It is not marriage I think of—for that is out of the question—but Reilly's life and safety. If he were safe, I should feel comparatively happy; happiness, in its full extent, I never can hope to enjoy; but if he were only safe—if he were only safe, my dear Mrs. Brown! I know that he is hunted like a beast of prey, and under such circumstances as disturb and distract the country, how can he escape?"

The kind-hearted lady consoled her as well as she could; but, in fact, her grounds for consolation were so slender that her arguments only amounted to those general observations which, commonplace as they are, we are in the habit of hearing from day to day. Helen was too high-minded to shed tears, but Mrs. Brown could plainly perceive the depth of her emotion, and feel the extent of wrhat she suffered.

We shall not detail at further length the conversation of the other ladies—if ladies they can be called; nor that of the gentlemen, after they entered the drawing-room. Sir Robert Whitecraft attempted to enter into conversation with Helen, but found himself firmly and decidedly repulsed. In point of fact, some of the gentlemen were not in a state to grace a drawing-room, and in a short time they took their leave and retired.





CHAPTEE XII.—Sir Robert Meets a Brother Sportsman

—Draws his Nets, but Catches Nothing.

"'Tis conscience that makes cowards of us all," said Shakespeare, with that wonderful wisdom which enlightens his glorious pages; and, in fact, Sir Robert Whitecraft, in his own person, fully corroborated the truth of the poet's apophthegm. The man, besides, was naturally a coward; and when to this we add the consciousness of his persecutions and cruelties, and his apprehensions from the revenge of Reilly—the destruction of whose property, without any authority from Government for the act, he felt himself guilty of—the reader may understand the nature and extent of his terrors on his way home. The distance between his own house and that of his intended father-in-law was about three miles, and there lay a long space of level road, hedged in, as was then the custom, on both sides, from behind which hedges an excellent aim could be taken. As Sir Robert proceeded along this lonely path, his horse stumbled against some stones that were in his way, or perhaps that had been purposely placed there. Be that as it may, the baronet fell, and a small man, of compact size and vigorous frame, was found aiding him to rise. Having helped him into the saddle, the baronet asked him, with an infirm and alarmed voice, who he was.

"Why, Sir Robert," he replied, "you must know I am not a Papist, or I wouldn't be apt to render you any assistance; I am somewhat of your own kidney—a bit of a priest-hunter, on a small scale. I used to get them for Captain Smellpriest, but he paid me badly, and as there was great risk among the bloody Papists, I made up my mind to withdraw out of his service; but you are a gentleman, Sir Robert, what Captain Smellpriest is not, and if you want an active and useful enemy to Popery, I am your man."

"I want such a person, certainly," replied the baronet, who, in consequence of the badness of the road and the darkness of the night, was obliged to walk his horse with caution. "By the way," said he, "did you not hear a noise behind the hedge?"

"I did," replied the other, "but it was the noise of cattle."

"I am not aware," replied Sir Robert, "what the devil cattle can have to do immediately behind the hedge. I rather think they are some of our own species;" and as he ceased speaking the tremendous braying of a jackass came upon their ears.

"You were right, Sir Robert," replied his companion; "I beg pardon, I mean that was right; you know now it was cattle."

"What is your name?" asked Sir Robert.

"Rowland Drum, Sir Robert; and, if you will permit me, I should like to see you safe home. I need not say that you are hated by the Papists; and as the road is lonesome and dangerous, as a priest-hunter myself I think it an act of duty not to leave you."

"Thank you," said Sir Robert, "you are a civil person, and I will accept your escort."

"Whatever danger you may run, Sir Robert, I will stand by your side and partake of it."

"Thank you, friend," replied Sir Robert; "there is a lonely place before us, where a ghost is said to be seen—the ghost of a priest whom I hunted for a long time; Smellpriest, it is said, shot him at the place I allude to. He was disguised as a drummer, and is said to haunt the locality where he was shot."

"Well, I shall see you safe over the place, Sir Robert, and go home with you afterwards, provided you will promise to give me a bed and my supper; to-morrow we can talk on matters of business."

"I shall certainly do so," replied Sir Robert, "not only in consequence of your attention to me, but of our common purpose."

They then proceeded onwards—passed the haunted spot—without either hearing or seeing the spectral drummer. On arriving at home, Sir Robert, who drank privately, ordered wine for himself, and sent Rowland Drum to the kitchen, where he was rather meagerly entertained, and was afterwards lodged for the night in the garret.

The next morning, after breakfast, Sir Robert sent for Mr. Drum, who, on entering the breakfast parlor, was thus addressed by his new patron:

"What's this you say your name is?"

"Rowland Drum, sir."

"Rowland Drum! Well, now, Rowland Drum, are you well acquainted with the priests of this diocese?"

"No man better," replied the redoubtable Rowland. "I know most of them by person, and have got private descriptions of them all from Captain Smellpriest, which will be invaluable to you, Sir Robert. The fact is—and this I mention in the strictest confidence—that Smellpriest is suspicious of your attachment to our glorious Constitution."

"The confounded rascal," replied the baronet. "Did he ever burn as many Popish houses as I have done? He has no appetite for any thing but the pursuit and capture of priests; but I have a far more general and unsparing practice, for I not only capture the priests, where I can, but every lay Papist that we suspect in the country. Here, for instance. Do you see those papers? They are blank warrants for the apprehension of the guilty and suspected, and also protections, transmitted to me from the Secretary of State, that I may be enabled, by his authority, to protect such Papists as will give useful information to the Government. Here they are, signed by the Secretary, but the blanks are left for myself to fill up."

"I wish we could get Reilly to come over," said Mr. Drum.

"Oh! the infernal villain," said the baronet, "all the protections that ever were or could be issued from the Secretary's office would not nor could not save him. Old Folliard and I will hang him, if there was not another man to be hanged in the three kingdoms."

At this moment a servant came in and said, "Sir Robert, there is a woman her who wishes to have some private conversation with you."

"What kind of a woman is she?" asked the baronet.

"Faith, your honor, a sturdy and strapping wench, somewhat rough, in the face, but of great proportions."

Now it so happened that Mr. Drum had been sitting at the window during this brief conversation, and at once recognized, under the disguise of a woman, the celebrated informer, the Rev. Mr. Hennessy, a wretch whose criminal course of life, as we said before, was so gross and reprobate that his pious bishop deemed it his duty to suspend him from all clerical functions.

"Sir Robert," said Drum, "I must go up to my room and shave. My presence, I apprehend, won't be necessary where there is a lady in question."

"Very well," replied the baronet; "I know not what her business may be; but I shall be glad to speak with you after she shall have gone."

It was very well that Hennessy did not see Drum, whom he would at once have recognized; but, at all events, the interview between the reprobate priest and the baronet lasted for at least an hour.

After the Rev. Miss Hennessy had taken her departure, Mr. Drum was sent for by the baronet, whom he still found in the breakfast parlor.

"Drum," said he, "you have now an opportunity of essentially serving not only me, but the Government of the country. This lady turns out to be a Popish priest in disguise, and I have taken him into my confidence as a guide and auxiliary. Now you have given me proofs of personal attachment, which is certainly more than he has done as yet. I have heard of his character as an immoral priest; and the man who could be false to his own creed is not a man to be relied upon. He has described to me the position of a cavern, in which are now hiding a set of proscribed priests; but I cannot have confidence in his information, and I wish you to go to the ravine or cavern, or whatever the devil it is, and return to me with correct intelligence. It may be a lure to draw me into danger, or perhaps to deprive me of my life; but, on second thought, I think I shall get a military force, and go myself."

"And perhaps never return, unless with your heels foremost, Sir Robert. I tell you that this Hennessy is the most treacherous scoundrel on the face of the earth. You do not know what he's at, but I will tell you, for I have it from his own cousin. His object is to have you assassinated, in order to restore himself to the good graces of the bishop and the Catholic party, who, I must say, however, would not countenance such a murderous act; still, Sir Robert, if you were taken off, the man who took you off would have his name honored and exalted throughout the country."

"Yes, I believe you are right, Drum; they are thirsting for my blood, but not more than I am thirsting for theirs."

"Well, then," said Drum, "don't trust yourself to the counsels of this Hennessy, who, in my opinion, only wants to make a scapegoat of you. Allow me to go to the place he mentions, for I know the ravine well, but I never knew nor do I believe that there is a cavern at all in it, and that is what makes me suspect the scoundrel's motives. He can have hundreds of outlaws secretly armed, who would never suffer you to escape with your life. The thing is an ambuscade; take my word for it, it is nothing less. Of course you can go, yourself and your party, if you wish. You will prevent me from running a great risk; but I am only anxious for your safety."

"Well, then," said Sir Robert, "you shall go upon this mission. It may not be safe for me to do so. Try if you can make out this cavern, if there be a cavern."

"I will try, Sir Robert; and I will venture to say, that if it can be made out, I will make 't out." Rowland Drum accordingly set out upon his mission, and having arrived at the cavern, with which he was so well acquainted, he entered it with the usual risk. His voice, however, was recognized, and he got instant admittance.

"My dear friends," said he, after he had entered the inner part of it, "you must disperse immediately. Hennessy has betrayed you, and if you remain here twenty-four hours longer, Sir Kobert Whitecraft and a party of military, guided, probably, by the treacherous scoundrel himself, will be upon you. The villain had a long interview with him, and gave a full detail of the cavern and its inmates."

"But how did you become acquainted with Sir Kobert Whitecraft?" asked the bishop.

"In order, my lord, to ascertain his intentions and future proceedings," replied Mr. Drum, "that we might guard against his treachery and persecution. On his way home from a dinner at Squire Folliard's I met him in a lonely part of the road, where he was thrown from his horse; I helped him into his saddle, told him I was myself a priest-hunter, and thus got into his confidence so far as to be able to frustrate Hennessy's treachery, and to counteract his own designs."

"Sir," said the bishop sternly, "you have acted a part unworthy of a Christian clergyman. We should not do evil that good may follow; and you have done evil in associating yourself, in any sense and for any purpose, with this bloodthirsty tiger and persecutor of the faithful."

"My lord," replied the priest, "this is not a time to enter into a discussion on such a subject. Hennessy has betrayed us; and if you do not disperse to other places of safety, he will himself, as I said, lead Sir Robert Whitecraft and a military party to this very cavern, and then may God have mercy on you all."

"Brethren," said the bishop, "this is, after all, possible that our brother has, by the mercy and providence of God, through his casual meeting with this remorseless man, been made the instrument of our safety. As for myself, I am willing to embrace the crown of martyrdom, and to lay down my life, if necessary, for the faith that is in me. You all know what I have already suffered, and you know that persecution drives a wise man mad. My children," he added, "it is possible, and I fear too probable, that some of us may never see each other in this life again; but at the same time, let it be our hope and consolation that we shall meet in a better. And for this purpose, and in order to secure futurity of happiness, let us lead spotless and irreproachable lives, such as will enable ur to meet the hour of death, whether it comes by the hand of God or the persecution of man. Be faithful to the principles of our holy religion—be faithful to truth—to moral virtue—be faithful to God, before whose awful tribunal we must all appear, and render an account of our lives. It would be mere wantonness to throw yourselves into the hands of our persecutors. Reserve yourselves; for the continuance and the sustainment of our blessed religion; but if you should happen to fall, by the snares and devices of the enemy, into the power of those who are striving to work our extermination, and if they should press you to renounce your faith, upon the alternative of banishment or death, then, I say, banishment, or death itself, sooner than become apostates to your religion. I shall retire to a neighborhood only a few miles distant from this, where the poor Catholic population are without spiritual aid or consolation. I have been there before, and I know their wants, and were it not that I was hunted and pursued with a view to my death—to my murder, I should rather say—I would have remained with them still. But that I considered it a duty to that portion of the Church over which God called upon me to preside and watch, I would not have avoided those inhuman traffickers in the blood of God's people. Yet I am bound to say that, from the clergymen of the Established Church, and from many Protestant magistrates, we have received kindness, sympathy, and shelter. Their doors, their hearths, and their hearts have been open to us, and that, too, in a truly Christian spirit. Let us, then, render them good for good; let us pray for their conversion, and that they may return to the right path."

"They have acted generously and nobly," added Reilly, "and in a truly Christian spirit. Were it not for the shelter and protection which I myself received from one of them, my mangled body would probably be huddled down into some obscure grave, as a felon, and my property—which is mine only by a necessary fiction and evasion of the law—have passed into the hands of Sir Robert Whitecraft. I am wrong, however, in saying that it could. Mr. Hastings, a generous and liberal Protestant, took it in his own name for my father, but gave me a deed of assignment, placing it as securely in my hands, and in my power, as if I were Sir Robert Whitecraft himself; and I must add—which I do with pleasure—that the deed in question is now in the possession of the Rev. Mr. Brown, the amiable rector of the parish."

"But he is a heretic," said a red-faced little man, dressed in leather breeches, top boots, and a huntsman's cap; vade retro sathanas, It is a damnable crime to have any intercourse with them, or to receive any protection from them: vade retro, sathanas."

"If I don't mistake," said the cook—an archdeacon, by the way—"you yourself received protection from them, and were glad to receive it."

"If I did receive protection from one of their heretic parsons, it was for Christian purposes. My object was not so much to seek protection from him as to work out his salvation by withdrawing him from his heresy. But then the fellow was as obstinate as sathanas himself, and had Greek and Hebrew at his fingers' ends. I made several passes at him—tried Irish, and told him it was Italian. 'Well,' said he, smiling, 'I understand Italian too;' and to my astonishment he addressed me in the best Irish I ever heard spoken. 'Now,' said he, still smiling, 'you perceive that I understand Italian nearly—I will not say so well—as you do.' Now, as I am a sinner, that, I say, was ungenerous treatment. He was perfectly irreclaimable."

This man was, like Mr. Maguire, what has been termed a hedge-priest—a character which, as we have already said, the poverty of the Catholic people, during the existence of the penal laws, and the consequent want of spiritual instruction, rendered necessary. There were no Catholic colleges in the country, and the result was that the number of foreign priests—by which I mean Irish priests educated in foreign colleges—was utterly inadequate to meet the spiritual necessities of the Irish population. Under those circumstances, men of good and virtuous character, who understood something of the Latin tongue, were ordained by their respective bishops, for the purpose which we have already mentioned. But what a difference was there between those half-educated men and the class of educated clergymen who now adorn, not only their Church, but the literature of the country!

"Well, my dear friend," said the bishop, "let us be thankful for the protection which, we have received at the hands of the Protestant clergy and of many of the Protestant laity also. We now separate, and I for one am sensible how much this cruel persecution has strengthened the bonds of Christian love among us, and excited our sympathy for our poor persecuted flocks, so many of whom are now without a shepherd. I leave you with tears—but they are tears of affection, and not of despair. I shall endeavor to be useful wherever I may abide. Let each of you do all the spiritual good you can—all the earthly good—all good in its most enlarged and purest sense. But we must separate—probably, some of us, forever; and now may the blessing of the Almighty God—of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, rest upon you all, and be with you and abide in your hearts, now and forever! Amen!"

Having pronounced these words, he covered his face with his two hands and wept bitterly. There were indeed few dry eyes around him; they knelt before him, kissed his ring, and prepared to take their departure out of the cavern.

"My lord," said Reilly, who still entertained apprehensions of the return of his malady, "if you will permit me I shall share your fate, whatever it may be. The poor people you allude to are not in a condition to attend to your wants. Allow me, then, to attend and accompany you in your retreat."

"My dear friend," said the bishop, clasping his hand, "you are heaping coals of fire upon my head. I trust you will forgive me, for I knew not what I did. I shall be glad of your companionship. I fear I still stand in need of such a friend. Be it so, then," he proceeded—"be it so, my dear friend; only that I should not wish you to involve yourself in unnecessary danger on my account."

"Danger, my lord!" replied Reilly; "there is not an individual here against whom personal malignity has directed the vengeance of the law with such a bloodthirsty and vindictive spirit as against myself. Why else am I here? No, I will accompany your lordship, and share your fate."

It was so determined, and they left the cavern, each to procure some place of safety for himself.

In the meantime, Sir Robert Whitecraft, having had another interview with Hennessy, was prevailed upon to get a military party together, and the cunning reprobate, in order to excite the baronet's vengeance to a still higher pitch, mentioned a circumstance which he had before forgotten, to wit, that Reilly, his arch-enemy, was also in the cave.

"But," said Sir Robert, who, as we have already said, was a poltroon and a coward, "what guarantee can you give me that you are not leading me into an ambuscade? You know that I am unpopular, and the Papists would be delighted to have my blood; what guarantee, then, can you give me that you, are acting by me in good faith?"

"The guarantee of my own life," replied the other. "Let me be placed between two of your men, and if you see any thing like an ambuscade, let them shoot me dead on the spot."

"Why," replied the baronet, "that is fair; but the truth is, I have been put on my guard against you by a person who escorted me home last night. He rendered me some assistance when I fell from my horse, and he slept here."

"What is his name?" asked Hennessy.

"He told me," replied the baronet, "that his name was Drum."

"Could you give me a description, Sir Robert, of his person?"

Sir Robert did so.

"I declare to God, Sir Robert, you have had a narrow escape from that man. He is one of the most bigoted priests in the kingdom. He used to disguise himself as a drummer—for his father was in the army, and he himself was a drummer in his boyhood; and his object in preventing you from bringing a military party to the cavern was merely that he might have an opportunity of giving them notice of your intentions. I now say that if you lose an hour's time they will be gone."

Sir Robert did not lose an hour's time. The local barracks were within a few hundred yards of his house. A party of military were immediately called out, and in a short time they arrived, under the guidance of Hennessy, to the very mouth of the cavern, which he disclosed to them. It is unnecessary to detail the particulars of the search. The soldiers entered it one by one, but found that the birds had flown. The very fires were burning, but not a living soul in the cave; it was completely deserted, and nothing remained but some miserable relics of cold provisions, with which, by the aid of fir splices, that served as torches, they regaled themselves as far as they went.

Sir Robert Whitecraft now felt full confidence in Hennessy; but would have given a trifle to renew his acquaintance with Mr. Rowland Drum, by whose ingenuity he was so completely outwitted. As it was, they scoured the country in search of the inmates of the cave, but above all things in search of Reilly, for whose capture Whitecraft would have forgiven every man in the cavern. The search, however, was unsuccessful; not a man of them was caught that day, and gallant Sir Robert and his myrmidons were obliged to return wearied and disappointed men.





CHAPTER XIII.—Reilly is Taken, but Connived at by the Sheriff

—The Mountain Mass

Reilly and the bishop traversed a wild and remote part of the country, in which there was nothing to be seen but long barren wastes, over which were studded, here and there, a few solitary huts; upon its extremity, however, there were some houses of a more comfortable description, the habitations of middling farmers, who possessed small farms at a moderate rent. As they went along, the prelate addressed Reilly in the following-terms:

"Mr. Reilly," said he, "I would advise you to get out of this unhappy country as soon as you can."

"My lord," replied Reilly, who was all candor and truth, and never could conceal his sentiments, at whatever risk, "I cannot think of leaving the country, let the consequences be what they may. I will not trouble your lordship with my motives, because they are at variance with your character and religious feelings; but they are not at variance with religion or morality. It is enough to say that I wish to prevent a beautiful and innocent girl from being sacrificed. My lord, you know too well that persecution is abroad; and when I tell you that, through the influence which this admirable creature has over her father—who, by the way, has himself the character of a persecutor—many Catholics have been protected by him, I am sure you will not blame me for the interest which I feel in her fate. In addition to this, my lord, she has been a ministering angel to the Catholic poor in general, and has contributed vast sums, privately, to the relief of such of our priesthood as have been brought to distress by the persecution of the times. Nay, she has so far influenced her father that proscribed priests have found refuge and protection in his house."

The bishop, on hearing this, stood, and taking off his hat, raised his right hand, and said: "May the blessing of the Almighty God rest upon her, and guard her from the snares of those who would make her unhappy! But, Reilly, as you say you are determined, if possible, to rescue her from ruin, you know that if you go at large in your usual dress you will unquestionably be taken. I advise you, then, to disguise yourself in such a way as that you will not, if possible, be known."

"Such, my lord, is my intention—but who is this? what—eh—yes, 'tis Fergus O'Reilly, a distant and humble relation of mine who is also in disguise. Well, Fergus, where have you been for some time past?"

"It would be difficult to tell that, God knows; I have been everywhere—but," he added in a whisper, "may I speak freely?"

"As free as the wind that blows, Fergus."

"Well, then, I tell you that Sir Robert Whitecraft has engaged me to be on the lookout for you, and said that I would be handsomely rewarded if I could succeed in enabling the scoundrel to apprehend you."

"But how did that come about, Fergus?"

"Faith, he met me one day—you see I have got a bag at my back—and taking me for a beggarman, stopped me on the road. 'I say, you, poor man,'says he, 'what's your name?' 'Paddy M'Fud,' says I—'I belong to the M'Fuds of Ballymackknockem.' 'You're a beggar,' says he, 'and travel from place to place about the country.' 'It's true enough, your honor,' I replied, 'I travel about a good deal, of coorse, and it's only that way that I get my bit and sup.' 'Do you know the notorious villain called Willy Reilly'?' 'Not by sight, your honor, but I have often heard of him. Wasn't he in love with the beautiful Cooleen Bawn, Squire Folliard's daughter?' 'That's not the question between us,' he said, 'but if you enable me to catch Reilly, I will give you twenty pounds.' 'Well, your honor,' says I, 'lave the thing to myself; if he is to be had it'll go hard but I'll find him.' 'Well, then,' says he, 'if you can tell me where he is I will give you twenty pounds, as I said.' 'Well, sir,' says I, 'I expect to hear from you; I am not sure he's in the country—indeed they say he is not—but if he is, I think I'll find him for you;' and so we parted."

"Fergus," said Reilly, "I feel that a disguise is necessary. Here is money to enable you to purchase one. I do not know where you may be able to find me; but go and buy me a suit of frieze, rather worn, a dingy caubeen hat, coarse Connemara stockings, and a pair of clouted brogues; some course linen, too; because the fineness of my shirts, should I happen to be apprehended, might betray me. Leave them with widow Buckley, and I can find them there."

It was so arranged. Fergus went on his way, as did Reilly and the bishop. The latter conducted him to the house of a middling farmer, whose son the bishop had sent, at his own expense, to a continental college. They were both received with the warmest affection, and, so far as the bishop was concerned, with every expression of the deepest gratitude. The situation was remote, and the tumult of pursuit did not, reach them. Reilly privately forced upon the farmer compensation for their support, under a solemn injunction that he should not communicate that circumstance to the bishop, and neither did he. They were here, then, comparatively safe, but still Reilly dreaded the active vigilance of his deadly enemy, Sir Robert Whitecraft. He felt that a disguise was absolutely necessary, and that, without it, he might fall a sacrifice to the diabolical vengeance of his powerful enemy. In the course of about ten days after he had commissioned Fergus to procure him the disguise, he resolved to visit widow Buckley, in order to make the necessary exchange in his apparel. He accordingly set out—very foolishly we must admit—in open day, to go to the widow's house. The distance was some miles. No appearance of danger, or pursuit, was evident, until he came to the sharp angle of the road, where he was met by four powerful constables, who, on looking at him, immediately surrounded him and made him prisoner. Resistance was impossible; they were well armed, and he was without any weapon with which he could defend himself.

"We have a warrant for your apprehension, sir," said one of them.

"Upon what grounds?" replied Reilly. "I am conscious of no offence against the laws of the land. Do you know who I am? and is my name in your warrant?"

"No, but your appearance answers completely to the description given in the Hue and Cry. Your dress is the same as that of the robber, and you must come with us to the sheriff whom you have robbed. His house is only a quarter of a mile from this."

They accordingly proceeded to the sheriff's house, whom they found at home. On being informed that they had captured the man "who had robbed him, he came downstairs with great alacrity, and in a spirit replete with vengeance against the robber. The sheriff, however, was really a good-natured and conscientious man, and would not lend himself to a dishonorable act, nor had he ever been known to do so. When he appeared, Reilly addressed him:

"I am here, sir," said he, "under a charge of having robbed you. The charge against me is ridiculous. I am a gentleman, and never was under the necessity of having recourse to such unlawful means of raising money."

"Well," replied the sheriff, "your dress is precisely the same as the fellow wore when he robbed me. But I feel confident that you are not the man. Your hair is black, his was red, and he had large red whiskers. In the excitement and agitation of the moment I forgot to mark the villain's features distinctly; but I have since thought over the matter, and I say that I would now know him if I saw him again. This, however," he added, turning—to the constables, "is not the person who robbed and beat me down from my horse."

"But he may be Willy Reilly, sir, for all that; and you know the reward that is offered for his apprehension."

"I know Willy Reilly," replied the sheriff, "and I can assure you that this gentleman is not Willy Reilly. Go, now, continue your pursuit. The robber lurks somewhere in the neighborhood. You know the reward; catch him, and you shall have it." The constables departed; and after they had gone the sheriff said, "Mr. Reilly, I know you well; but I would scorn to avail myself of the circumstance which has thus occurred. I am aware of the motive which urges Sir Robert Whitecraft against you—so is the whole country. That penurious and unprincipled villain is thirsting for your blood. Mr. Hastings, however, has a rod in pickle for him, and he will be made to feel it in the course of time. The present administration is certainly an anti-Catholic one; but I understand it is tottering, and that a more liberal one will come in. This Whitecraft has succeeded in getting some young profligate Catholics to become Protestants, who have, consequently, ousted their fathers out of their estates and property; younger sons, who, by this act of treachery, will get the estates into their own possession. The thing is monstrous and unnatural. But let that pass; Whitecraft is on our trail in all directions; beware of him, I say; and I think, with great respect to you, Mr. Reilly, it is extremely foolish to go abroad in your usual apparel, and without disguise."

"Sir," replied Reilly, "I cannot express, as I would wish, my deep gratitude to you for your kindness and forbearance. That Sir Robert Whitecraft is thirsting for my blood I know. The cause of that vengeance is now notorious."

"You know Mr. Hastings, Mr. Reilly?"

"Intimately, sir."

"He took your property in his own name?"

"He did, sir; he purchased it in his own name. The property was hereditary property, and when my title to it, in point of law, as a Catholic, was questioned, and when one of my family, as a Protestant, put in his claim for it, Mr. Hastings came in as the purchaser, and ousted him. The money was supplied by me. The moment, however, that I found Whitecraft was after me, I immediately surrendered the whole of it back to him; so that Sir Robert, in burning what he considered my property, in fact burned Mr. Hastings."

"And I have reason to know, Mr. Reilly, that it will be the blackest act of his guilty life. This, however, I mention to you in the strictest confidence. Keep the secret, for if it transpired the scoundrel might escape from the consequences of his own cruelty and oppression. In the meantime, do you take care of yourself—keep out of his way, and, as I said, above all things, procure a disguise. Let the consequences be what they may, I don't think the beautiful Cooleen Baum will ever marry him."

"But," replied Reilly, "is there no risk of compulsion by her father?"

"Why, I must confess there is," replied the sheriff; "he is obstinate and headstrong, especially if opposed, and she will find it necessary to oppose him—and she will oppose him. I myself have had a conversation with her on the subject, and she is firm as fate against such a union; and I will tell you more, Reilly—it was she who principally engaged me to protect you as far as I could, and so I shall, you may rest assured of it. I had only to name you a few minutes ago, and your fate was sealed. But, even if she had never spoken to me on the subject, I could not fend myself to the cruel plots of that villain. God knows, in consequence of my official situation, I am put upon tasks that are very painful to me; levying fines from men who are harmless and inoffensive, who are peaceable members of society, who teach the people to be moral, well-conducted, and obedient to the laws, and who do not themselves violate them. Now," he added, "be advised by me, and disguise yourself."

"Sir," said Reilly, "your sentiments do you honor; I am this moment on my way to put on a disguise, which has been procured for me. I agree with you and other friends that it would be impossible for me to remain in the country in my own natural aspect and dress. Allow me, before I go, to express my sense of your kindness, and believe me I shall never forget it."

"The disguise, above all things," said the sheriff, smiling and holding out his hand. Reilly seized it with a warm pressure; they bid each other farewell, and so they parted.

Reilly then wound his way to the cottage of Mrs. Buckle, but not by the public road. He took across the fields, and, in due time, reached her humble habitation. Here he found the disguise, which his friend Fergus had provided-a half-worn frieze coat, a half-worn caubeen, and a half-worn pair of corduroy breeches, clouted brogues, and Connemara stockings, also the worse for the wear, with two or three coarse shirts, in perfect keeping with, the other portion of the disguise.

"Well, Mrs. Buckley," said he, "how have you been since I saw you last?"

"Oh, then, Mr. Reilly," said she, "it's a miracle from God that you did not think of stopping here! I had several visits from the sogers who came out to look for you."

"Well, I suppose so, Mrs. Buckley; but it was one comfort that they did not find me."

"God be praised for that!" replied the poor woman, with tears in her eyes; "it would a' broken my heart if you had been catched in my little place."

"But, Mrs. Buckley," said Reilly, "were there any plain clothes left for me here?"

"Oh, indeed there was, sir," she replied, "and I have them safe for you; but, in the meantime, I'll go outside, and have an eye about the country, for somehow they have taken it into their heads that this would be a very likely place to find you."

While she was out, Reilly changed his dress, and in a few minutes underwent such a metamorphosis that poor Mrs. Buckley, on reentering the house, felt quite alarmed.

"Heavenly Father! my good man, where did you come from? I thought I left Mr. —" here she stopped, afraid to mention Reilly's name.

"Don't be alarmed, Mrs. Buckley," said Reilly; "I am only changed in outward appearance; I am your true friend still; and now accept this for your kindness," placing money in her hand.

"I can't, Mr. Reilly; you are under the persecutions, and will want all the money you have to support yourself. Didn't the thieves of the devil burn you out and rob you, and how can you get through this wicked world without money—keep it yourself, for I don't want it."

"Come, come, Mrs. Buckley, I have money enough; you must take this; I only ask you to conceal these clothes in some place where the hell-hounds of the law can't find them. And now, good-by, Mrs. Buckley; I shall take care that, whatever may happen me, you shall not be disturbed out of your little cabin and your garden."

The tears ran down the poor old woman's cheeks, and Reilly left her sobbing and crying behind him. This indeed was an eventful day to him, Strong in the confidence of his disguise, he took the public road, and had not gone far when he met a party of Sir Robert Whitecraft's. To fly would have been instant ruin; he accordingly commenced an old Irish song at the very top of his lungs. Sir Robert Whitecraft was not himself of the party, but scarcely any individual was met by them whom they did not cross-examine.

"Hallo, my good fellow," said the leader of the party, "what is that you're singin'?"

Reilly stared at him like a man who was sorely puzzled; "Ha neil bearla agum;" that is, "I have no English."

"Here, Connor, you can speak Irish; sift this able-bodied tyke."

A conversation in that language then took place between them which reflected everlasting honor upon Connor, who, by the way, was one of Reilly's tenants, but himself and his progenitors were Protestants for three generations. He was a sharp, keen man, but generous and honorable, and after two or three glances at our hero, at once recognized him. This he could only intimate by a wink, for he knew that there were other persons there who spoke Irish as well as either of them. The dialogue, however, was not long, neither was it kind-hearted Connor's wish that it should be so. He was asked, however, if he knew any thing about Willy Reilly, to which he replied that he did not, only by all accounts he had left the country. This, indeed, was the general opinion.

"This blockhead," said Connor, "knows nothing about him, only what he has heard; he's a pig dealer, and is now on his way to the fair of Sligo; come on."

They passed onwards, and Reilly resumed his journey and his song.

On reaching the farmer's house where he and the bishop lodged, the unhappy prelate felt rather annoyed, at the appearance of a stranger, and was about to reprove their host for his carelessness in admitting such persons.

"What do you want here, my good man?" inquired the farmer.

"Do you wish to say anything to me?" asked the bishop.

"A few words," replied Reilly; but, on consideration, he changed his purpose of playing off a good-humored joke on his lordship and the farmer. For the melancholy prelate he felt the deepest compassion and respect, and apprehended that any tampering with his feelings might be attended with dangerous consequences to his intellect. He consequently changed his purpose, and added, "My lord, don't you know me?"

The bishop looked at him, and it was not without considerable scrutiny that he recognized him.

In the meantime the farmer, who had left the room previous to this explanation, and who looked upon Reilly as an impostor or a spy, returned with a stout oaken cudgel, exclaiming, "Now, you damned desaver, I will give you a jacketful of sore bones for comin' to pry about here. This gintleman is a doctor; three of my family are lying ill of faver, and that you may catch it I pray gorra this day! but if you won't catch that, you'll catch this," and he whirled the cudgel about his head, and most unquestionably it would have descended on Reilly s cranium were it not for the bishop, who interposed and prevented the meditated violence.

"Be quiet, Kelly," said he, "be quiet, sir; this is Mr. Reilly disguised."

"Troth, I must look closely at him first," replied Kelly; "who knows but he's imposin' upon you, Dr. Wilson?"

Kelly then looked closely into his face, still holding a firm grip of the cudgel.

"Why, Kelly," said Reilly, "what the deuce are you at? Don't you know my voice at least?"

"Well," replied Kelly, "bad luck to the like o' that ever I see. Holy Moses, Mr. Reilly, but you had a narrow escape, Devil a man in the barony can handle a cudgel as I can, and it was a miracle, and you may thank his lordship here for it that you hadn't a shirtful of sore bones."

"Well, my dear friend," said Reilly, "put up your cudgel; I really don't covet a shirtful of sore bones; but, after all, perhaps you would have found my fist a match for your cudgel."

"Nonsense!" replied Kelly; "but God be praised that you escaped the welting anyhow; I would never forgive myself, and you the friend of his lordship."

He then left the room, his terrific cudgel under his arm, and Reilly, after his absence, related to the bishop the events of the day, involving, as they did, the two narrow escapes which he had had. The bishop thanked God, and told Reilly to be of good courage, for that he thought the hand of Providence was protecting him.

The life they led here was, at all events, quiet and peaceable. The bishop was a man of singular, indeed of apostolic, piety. He spent most of the day in meditation and prayer; fasting beyond the powers of his enfeebled constitution: and indeed it was fortunate that Reilly had accompanied him, for so ascetic were his habits that were it not for his entreaties, and the influence which he had gained over him, it is not at all unlikely that his unfortunate malady might have returned. The neighborhood in which they resided was, as wo have said, remote, and exclusively Catholic; and upon Sundays the bishop celebrated mass upon a little grassy platform—or rather in a little cave, into which it led. This cave was small, barely large enough to contain a table, which served as a temporary altar, the poor shivering congregation kneeling on the platform outside. At this period of our story all the Catholic chapels and places of worship were, as we have said, closed by proclamation, and the poor people were deprived of the means of meeting to worship God. It had soon, however, become known to them that an opportunity of public worship was to be had every Sunday, at the place we have described.

Messengers had been sent among them with information to that effect; and the consequence was that they not only kept the secret, but flocked in considerable numbers to attend mass. On the Sunday following the adoption of Reilly's disguise, the bishop and he proceeded to the little cave, or rather cleft, where a table had been placed, together with the vestments necessary for the ceremony. They found about two or three hundred persons assembled—most of them of the humblest class. The day was stormy in the extreme. It was a hard frost, and the snow, besides, falling heavily, the wind strong, and raging in hollow gusts about the place. The position of the table-altar, however, saved the bishop and the chalice, and the other matters necessary for the performance of worship, from the direct fury of the blast, but not altogether; for occasionally a whirlwind would come up, and toss over the leaves of the missal in such a way, and with such violence, that the bishop, who was now trembling from the cold, was obliged to lose some time in finding out the proper passages. It was a solemn sight to see two or three hundred persons kneeling, and bent in prostrate and heartfelt adoration, in the pious worship of that God who sends and withholds the storm; bareheaded, too, under the piercing drift of the thick-falling granular snow, and thinking of nothing but their own sins, and that gladsome opportunity of approaching the forbidden altar of God, now doubly dear to them that it ivas forbidden. As the ceremony was proceeding the bishop was getting on to that portion of the sacred rites where the consecration and elevation of the Host are necessary, and it was observed by all that an extraordinary and sudden lull took place, and that the rage of the storm had altogether ceased. He proceeded, and had consecrated the Host—hoc est corpus meum—when cry of terror arose from the affrighted congregation.

"Mylord, fly, and save yourself! Captain Smellpriest and his gang are upon us."

The bishop never once turned round, nor seemed to hear them; but Reilly did, and saw that the whole congregation had fled, and that there only remained the bishop and himself.

"Our day of doom," said he to himself, "is come. Nothing now can save us."

Still the bishop proceeded undisturbed in the worship of the Almighty; when, lo! the military party, headed and led on by the notorious Captain Smellpriest, came thundering up, the captain exclaiming:

"You idolatrous Papist, stop that mummery—or you shall have twelve bullets in your heart before half a minute's time."

The bishop had consecrated the Host, as we have said, but had not yet had time to receive it.

"Men," said Smellpriest, "you are all primed and loaded. Present."

They accordingly did so; every musket was levelled at him. The bishop now turned round, and, with the calmness of a martyr—a calmness and conduct that were sublime—he said:

"Sir, I am engaged in the worship of the Eternal God, and if you wish to shed my blood I should rather it were here and now than in any other place. Give me but a few minutes—I do not ask more."

"Oh," said Smellpriest, "we will give you ten, if you wish it, and the more so because we are sure of you."

When the bishop turned round again, after having received the Host, his pale face had altogether changed its complexion—it burned with an expression which it is difficult to describe. A lofty sense of the sacrifice he was about to make was visible in his kindling and enthusiastic eye; his feeble frame, that had been, dining the ceremony of mass, shivering under the effects of the terrible storm that howled around them, now became firm, and not the slightest mark of fear or terror was visible in his bearing; calmly and undauntedly he turned round, and with a voice full and steady he said:

"I am willing to die for my religion, but I say to you that the slaughter of an inoffensive man at the foot of God's altar will not smooth the pillow of your deathbed, nor of those who shoot down a minister of God while in the act of worshipping his Creator, My congregation, poor timid creatures, have fled, but as for me, I will not! I dare not! Here, now, I spread out my arms—fire!"

"I also," said Reilly, "will partake of whatever fate may befall the venerable clergyman who is before you," and he stood up side by side with the bishop.

The guns were still levelled, the fingers of the men on the triggers, when Smellpriest shouted out, "Ground arms! By —-," says he, "here is a new case; this fellow has spunk and courage, and curse me, although I give the priests a chase wherever I can, still I am a soldier, and a man of courage, and to shoot down a priest in the worship of God would be cowardly. No, I can't do it—nor I won't; I like pluck, and this priest has shown it. Had he taken to his heels, by —-, he would have had half a dozen bullets in his rear; but, as I said, I like pluck, and on that account we shall pass him by this time. To the right about. As to the clerk, by —-, he has shown pluck too, but be hanged to him, what do we care about him?"

We must say a word or two here about Smellpriest. He was, in the true sense of the word, a priest-hunter; but yet, with all his bigotry, he was a brave man, and could appreciate courage wherever he found it. The reader already knows that his range of persecution was by no means either so wide or so comprehensive as that of the coward Whitecraft. He was a dashing, outspoken fellow, with an equal portion of boisterous folly and mischief; whereas Whitecraft was a perfect snake—treacherous, cruel, persevering in his enmity, and unrelenting in his vengeance. Such was the difference in the character of these two worthies.

After Smellpriest had drawn off his men, the bishop concluded the ceremony of the mass; but when he turned round to announce its conclusion in the words, ite, missa est, there was not a soul before him, the terrified congregation, as we have said, having all betaken themselves to flight. Reilly then assisted him to unrobe, and placed the vestments, the chalice, pix, and every thing connected with the ceremony, in a pair of saddle-bags, which belonged to the parish priest, whose altar was then closed, as we said, by proclamation.

Reilly and the bishop then proceeded to the farmer's house, Reilly carrying the saddlebags, and as they went along the following conversation took place between them:

"My lord," said his companion, "if I might presume to advise you, I think it would be more prudent for you to retire to the Continent for a time. This ferocious captain, who, subdued by the sublime tenor of your conduct, spared you on this occasion, may not under other and less impressive circumstances, exercise a similar forbearance."

"But, my dear Reilly," replied the bishop, in a tone of deep melancholy, "I am not in circumstances to go to the Continent; I am poor; most of my available money I have distributed among the unhappy people, until I am now nearly as poor as themselves; but, independently of that, I do not think it would be right to abandon the charge which God has entrusted to my keeping. The shepherd should not desert his flock, especially in the moment of danger, when the wolves ire abroad."

"But, my lord," replied Reilly, "under the present circumstances of the country your residence here can be of no service to them. The chapels are all closed, and public worship forbidden by law. This cannot, and, I hope, will not, last long; but in the meantime, think if it be not wiser in you to go for a time into what I may call a voluntary exile, than be forced into banishment by a cruel edict of the law, as you will be if you should be discovered."

"There is great truth in what you say, my dear Reilly, and on thinking over the circumstances of the country, I am indeed of opinion that your advice is good; but, unfortunately, my present poverty prevents me from acting on it."

"But that shall not be, my lord; I have the means—amply, too—of enabling your lordship to withdraw to the Continent, where you can remain quite safe until better times return, as I hope in God they will soon."

"And yourself, Reilly? why not accompany me? You, it is said, are outlawed; why then remain in a country where your danger is still greater than mine?"

"My lord," replied Reilly, "do not press me on that subject."

"I do not wish to do so, Reilly; but here are the circumstances: you and the beautiful daughter of that old squire are attached—in other words, you love each other passionately. Now, you know, marriage is impossible, unless you should abandon the creed of your fathers."

"I think, my lord," replied Reilly, in a very serious and somewhat offended tone, "that my conduct this day, and within the last half hour, was not that of a man likely to abandon the creed of his fathers."

"Certainly not—most certainly not," replied the bishop. "I would have died this day for my religion, and so would you."

"And so would I certainly, my lord, any day, sooner than renounce it for the love of woman. So far let your lordship's mind be at rest. But in the meantime, let me impress upon your lordship's consideration the absolute necessity of retiring to the Continent for a time. Your lordship's charity has made you poor; but, thank God, I am not poor—but in a position to place 200 in your hands to enable you to bear the expenses of your voyage, and to maintain your ecclesiastical rank and position for a time, when you get there."

"Oh," replied the bishop, "if I were once there, very little money would be necessary; I could almost immediately get a professorship of divinity, especially in the College of Louvain, where I held a professorship for several years."

It was arranged that the bishop should go, at least until the times should change, and in the course of a week, Reilly having furnished him with the necessary funds, he departed and reached the Continent in safety.

Their separation was extremely affecting. The bishop wept bitterly, not only in consequence of his parting with Reilly, but still more because he was forced to separate himself from his flock. Reilly was deeply affected, nor could he restrain his tears. The bishop put his hand on his head and blessed him. "I feel," said he, "as if it were a prophetic impulse, that God will bring you out of the tribulations that encompass you. Forget not his word nor his law; love and adhere to your religion; be guided by its precepts, let them sink deeply into your heart. Take care, also, that the love of woman shall not seduce you from your allegiance to our Church. And now, may the Almighty God bless and protect you, and rescue you from the hands and the snares of your enemies!" And so they parted.

No stronger proof could exist, so far as the Cooleen Bawn was concerned, than her extraordinary power of conciliating love and attachment from all who approached her, or were engaged in attending upon her person. The singular softness of her sweet and mellow voice was in itself an exponent of the remarkable suavity and benignity of her disposition. In fact, she carried a charm about her—an atmosphere of kindness and benevolence that no human being who came within its influence could resist. Her smile was a perfect fascination, which, in addition to her elegance of form—her grace and harmony of motion—her extensive charity—her noble liberality of sentiment—and, above all, her dazzling beauty, constituted a character which encircled her with admiration and something almost bordering on worship.

At this time a scheme came into the fertile brain of Whitecraft, worthy of being concocted only in the infernal pit itself. This was to prevail on the squire to remove her faithful, attached, and confidential maid, Ellen Connor, from about her person, under the plea that as, unfortunately, Miss Folliard had been seduced into an affection for Reilly, it was not only probable that her attendant had originated and encouraged her passion, but that it was also likely that, as Reilly was a Catholic, Connor, the confidant, being herself of that persuasion, might so work upon the feelings and principles of his daughter as to induce her, for the sake of the more easily bringing about their marriage, to abandon her own religion, and embrace that of her lover. The old man became instantly alarmed, and, with his usual fiery impetuosity, lost not a moment in dismissing her altogether from his family.

When this faithful girl found that she was about to be separated from her fair and affectionate young mistress, no language could depict the violence of her grief, nor could that mistress herself refuse the tribute of her tears to her sense of the loss which she knew she must sustain by her absence at a crisis when she stood so much in need of her friendship and attachment.

"Oh! it is not for myself, my dear mistress, that I feel this grief," exclaimed Connor, weeping bitterly as she spoke, "but for you. Here you will be alone," she proceeded, "without one being on whom you can depend, or to whom you can open your heart—for many a time you eased that poor heart by telling me of your love for him, and by dwellin' upon his accomplishments and beauty—and, indeed, it's no wonder you should, for where, oh! where is his aiquil to be found? Like yourself, every one that comes near him must love him; and, like you, again, isn't he charity itself to the poor, no matter what their creed may be—oh, no! it's he that is neither the bigot nor the oppressor, although God he knows what he himself is sufferin' from both. God's curse on that blasted Sir Robert Whitecraft! I declare to mercy, I think, if I was a man, that I'd shoot him, like a mad dog, and free the country of him at wanst."

The Cooleen was herself in tears, occasioned by such a glowing picture of her lover, as well as by the loss of this faithful and devoted girl. Yet she could not repress a smile at the indignation expressed by Ellen against the man whom she looked upon with such detestation and abhorrence,

"My dear Ellen," said she, drying her tears, "we must only have patience. Every thing is in the hands of God, and in him let us trust. Do not weep so. It is true that, without your society, I shall feel as if I were in a desert, or rather, I should say, in a dungeon; for, indeed, I fear that I am about to become a prisoner in my father's house, and entangled more and more every day in the meshes of that detestable villain. In the meantime, we must, as I said, have courage and patience, and trust to a change of circumstances for better times."

"May the Lord in heaven grant them soon and sudden, for both your sakes," ejaculated Ellen. "I pray the Saviour that he may!"

"But, Ellen," said the Cooleen, "didn't you hint to me, once or twice, that you yourself have, or had, a lover named Reilly!"

"I did," she replied, "not that I have, but that I had—and, what is more, an humble and distant relation of him."

"You say you had. What do you mean by that, Ellen? Have you, too, experienced your crosses and calamities?"

"Indeed, ma'am, I have had my share; and I know too well what it is to have the heart within as full of sorrow, and all but broken."

"Why, my poor girl, and have you too experienced disappointment and affliction?"

"God, ma'am, has given me my share; but, in my case, the affliction was greater than the disappointment, although that too came soon enough upon me."

"Why, did not the affliction, in your case, proceed from the disappointment?"

"Not exactly, miss, but indeed partly it did. It's but a short story, my dear mistress, and I'll tell it to you. Fergus is his name—Fergus O'Reilly. His father, for doin' something or other contrary to the laws—harborin' some outlaw, I believe, that was a relation of his own, and who was found by the army in his house—well, his father, a very ould man, was taken prisoner, and put into jail, where he died before they could try him; and well it was he did so, for, by all accounts, they'd have transported or hanged the poor ould man, who was then past seventy. Now, over and above that, they'd have done the same thing with his son Fergus, but that he disappeared and but few knows what became of him."

"Why, did he go without having had an interview with you?" asked the Cooleen.

"Indeed he did, miss, and small blame to him; for the truth is, he had little time for leave-takin'—it was as much as he could do to make his escape, which, thank God, he did. But, indeed, I oughtn't to thank God for it, I doubt, because it would have been better, and ten times more creditable to himself, if he had been transported, or hanged himself—for that, ma'am, is many a good man's case, as every one knows."

"I agree with you, Ellen. There is, indeed, a most essential difference between flagitious crimes, such as theft, robbery, murder, and other dreadful outrages of that character, and those which may be termed offences arising from political opinions, which are often honestly entertained by individuals who, in all the relations of life, are sometimes the most exemplary members of society. But proceed, Ellen—what was the result?"

Poor Ellen's eyes filled with tears, and she could scarcely summon composure enough to reply:

"Worse than transportation or even death, my dear mistress; oh! far worse—guilt and crime. Yes: he that had gained my affections, and gave me his, joined the Red Rapparee and his gang, and became—a robber. I was goin' to say an outlaw, but he was that before he joined them, because he wouldn't submit to the laws—that is, wouldn't submit to be transported, or maybe hanged—or you know, ma'am, how little a thing it is that will either hang or transport any one of our unfortunate creed now."

"Alas! my dear Ellen, you forget that I am a living witness of it, and an afflicted one; but proceed. Have you ever seen your lover since?"

"I did, ma'am, but at that time he mentioned nothing about his havin' joined the Rapparees. He came, he said, to bid me farewell, and to tell me that he wasn't worthy of me. 'The stain that's upon me,' said he, 'draws a gulf between you and me that neither of us can ever pass.' He could scarcely speak, but he dashed away the tears that came to his eyes—and—and—so he took his departure. Now, my dear young mistress, you see how well I can understand your case, and the good reason I have to feel for you, as I do, and ever will, until God in his mercy may set you both free from what you're sufferin'."

"But, are you certain, Ellen, that he actually has joined the Rapparees?"

"Too sure, ma'am—too sure; my father had it in private from his own lips, for, as the poor boy said, he hadn't the courage himsell to tell me."

"But, Ellen," asked Miss Folliard, "where had you an opportunity of seeing and becoming acquainted with this young man? You surely could not have known him, or conceived an attachment for him, previous to your coming to reside with us?"

"Oh, no, ma'am," replied Ellen; "it was at my father's I became acquainted with him, principally whenever I got lave to spend a Sunday at home. And now, my dear mistress," she proceeded, sobbing, "I must go—your poor, faithful Ellen will never let you, nor the thought of your sorrows, out of her heart. All she can do now is to give you her prayers and her tears. Farewell! my darlin' mistress—may the blessing of God guard and prosper you both, and bring you to the happiness you deserve." She wept bitterly as she concluded.

"Ellen," replied her mistress, and she paused—"Ellen," said she again—she would, indeed, have spoken, but, after a silent struggle, she covered her eyes with her handkerchief, and was fairly carried away by her emotions—"Ellen," said she, taking her hand, and recovering herself, "be of courage; let neither of us despair—a brighter light may shine on our path yet. Perhaps I may have it in my power to befriend you, hereafter. Farewell, Ellen; and if I can prevail on my father to bring you back, I will." And so they parted.

Connor's father was a tenant of the squire's, and held rather a comfortable farm of about eighteen or twenty acres. Ellen herself had, when very young, been, by some accident or other, brought within the notice of Mrs. Folliard, who, having been struck by her vivacity, neatness of figure, and good looks, begged permission from her parents to take the little girl under her care, and train her up to wait upon her daughter. She had now been eight years in the squire's family—that is, since her fourteenth—and was only two years older than the Cooleen Baum, who was now, and had been for the last three years, her only mistress. She had consequently grown, is it were, into all her habits, and we may justly say that there was not an individual in existence who had a better opportunity of knowing and appreciating her good qualities and virtues; and, what was much to her honor, she never for a moment obtruded her own private sorrows upon the ear or heart of her mistress, who, she saw, had a sufficient number of her own to bear.

It was late in the evening when she took farewell of her mistress, and twilight had come on ere she had got within half mile of her father's house. On crossing a stile which led, by a pathway, to the little hamlet in which her father lived, she was both surprised and startled by perceiving Fergus Reilly approach her. He was then out of his disguise, and dressed in his own clothes, for he could not prevail upon himself to approach her father's house, or appear before any of the family, in the tattered garb of a mendicant. On this occasion he came to tell them that he had abandoned the gang of the Red Rapparee, and come to the resolution of seeking his pardon from the Government, having been informed that it offered protection to all who would come in and submit to the laws, provided they had not been guilty of shedding human blood. This intelligence, however, was communicated to the family, as a means of preparing them for still more important information upon the subject of his own liberty—a matter with which the reader will soon become acquainted, as he will with the fact of his having left off his disguise only for a brief period. In the meantime, he felt perfectly conscious of the risk he ran of a failure in the accomplishment of his own project, by throwing off his disguise, and was then hastening on his way to the cottage of widow Buckley, where he had left his mendicant apparel for the time being.

When Ellen saw him she felt a tumult in her bosom which almost overcame her. Her heart palpitated almost audibly, and her knees became feeble under her. There was something so terrible associated with the idea of a Rapparee that she took it for granted that some frightful transformation of person and character must have taken place in him, and that she would now meet a man thoroughly imbued with all the frightful and savage vices which were so frequently, and too often so generally, attributed to that fierce and formidable class. Still, the recollection of their former affection, and her knowledge of the oppression which had come upon himself and his family, induced her to hope that the principles of humanity could not have been altogether effaced from his heart. Full of doubt and anxiety, therefore, she paused at the stile, against which she felt it necessary to lean for support, not without a touch of interest and somewhat of curiosity, to control the vague apprehensions which she could not help feeling. We need scarcely inform the reader that the meeting on both sides was accidental and unexpected.

"Heavenly Father!" exclaimed Ellen, in a voice trembling with agitation, "is this Fergus O'Reilly that I see before me? Fergus, ruined and undone!" She then looked cautiously about her, and added, "Fergus, the Rapparee!"

"God bless me!" he exclaimed in return, "and may I ask, is this Ellen Connor on my path?"

"Well, I think I may say so, in one sense. Sure enough, I am Ellen Connor; but, unfortunately, not the Ellen Connor that you wanst knew; neither, unfortunately again, are you the Fergus O'Reilly that I wanst knew. We are both changed, Fergus—I into sorrow, and you into crime."

"Ellen," said he, nearly as much agitated as herself, "I stand before you simply as Fergus O'Seilly, but not Fergus the Rapparee."

"You will not deny your own words to my father," she replied.

"No, Ellen, I will not—they were true then, but, thank God, they are not true now."

"How is that, Fergus?"

"Simply because I was a Rapparee when I spoke to your father; but I have left them, once and for ever."

"How long have you left them?"

"Ever since that night. If it were not for Reilly and those that were out with him duck-shooting, the red villain would have murdered the squire and Andy Cummiskey, as sure as there is life in my body. After all, it is owin' to Mr. Reilly that I left him and his cursed crew. And now, Ellen, that I have met you, let me spake to you about ould times. In the first place, I am heart sorry for the step I took; but you know it was oppression and persecution that drove me to it."

"Fergus," she replied, "that's no excuse. Persecution may come upon us, but that's no reason why we should allow it to drive us into evil and crime. Don't you know that it's such conduct that justifies the persecutors in their own eyes and in the eyes of the world. What will become of you now? If you're caught, you must die a shameful death."

"Devil a fear of it, my darlin' Ellen. I could tell you something, if I thought myself at liberty to do so—something mavourneen, that 'ud give you a light heart."

"Indeed, Fergus, I don't wish to hear any of your secrets. It's my opinion they would not be fit for me to hear. But in the mane time," she added—prompted by the undying principle of female curiosity, and, let us add, a better and more generous feeling—"in the mane time, Fergus, if it's any thing about yourself, and that it would give me a light heart, as you say it would, and that there is nothing wrong and dishonorable in it, I would, for your sake, be glad to hear it."

"Well then, Ellen, I will tell it; but it must, for reasons that there's no use in mentionin' to you, be a secret between us, for some time—not a long time, I hope. I am, thank God, free as the air of heaven, and may walk abroad, openly, in the face of day, if I like, without any one darin' to ask me a question."

"But, Fergus," said Ellen, "I don't undherstand this. You were a robber—a Rapparee—and now you are a free man. But what did you do to deserve this at the hands of the Government?"

"Don't be alarmed, my darlin' Ellen—nothing imbecomin' an honest man."

"I hope," she proceeded—her cheeks mantling with indignation and scorn—"I hope, Fergus, you wouldn't think of stoopin' to treachery against the unfortunate, ay, or even against the guilty. I hope you wouldn't sell yourself to the Government, and got your liberty, affcher all, only as a bribe for villany, instead of a free gift."

"See, now," he returned, "what I have brought on myself by tellin' you any thing at all about it—a regular ould house on my shouldhers. No, darlin'," he proceeded, "you ought to know me better."

"Oh, Fergus," she replied quickly, "I thought I knew you wanst."

"Is that generous, Ellen?" he said, in a tone of deep and melancholy feeling, "afther statin' my sorrow for that step?"

"Well," she replied, moved by what she saw he suffered in consequence of her words, "if I have given you pain, Fergus, forgive me—you know it's not in my nature to give pain to any one, but, above all persons in the world, to you."

"Well, darlin'," said he, "you will know all in time; but there is a good deal to be done yet. All I can say, and all I will say, is, that if God spares me life, I will take away one of the blackest enemies that Willy Reilly and the Cooleen Bawn has in existence. He would do any thing that the villain of perdition he's a slave to would bid him. Now, I'll say no more; and I'm sure, as the friend of your beautiful mistress, the fair Cooleen Bawn, you'll thank me for what I have promised to do against the Red Bapparee."

"I will pry no further into your affairs or intentions, Fergus; but, if you can take danger out of the way of the Cooleen Bawn or Reilly, I will forgive you a great deal—every thing, indeed, but treachery or dishonor. But, Fergus, I have something to mention, that will take a, start out of you. I have been discharged by the squire from his family, and—mavrone, oh!—I can now be of no service to the Cooleen Bawn."

"Discharged!" replied Fergus with astonishment; "why, how did that come? But I suppose I needn't ask—some of the mad old Squire's tantrums, I suppose? And what did the Cooleen Bawn herself say?"

"Why, she cried bitterly when I was lavin' her; indeed if I had been her sister she couldn't feel more; and, as might be expected from her, she promised to befriend me as long as she had it in her power; but, poor thing, if matters go against her, as I'm afeared they will—if she's forced to marry that villain, it is little for any thing that's either good or generous ever she'll have in her power; but marry him she never will I heard her say more than wanst that she'd take her own life first; and indeed I'm sartain she will, too, if she is forced to it. Either that, or she'll lose her senses; for, indeed, Fergus, the darlin' girl was near losin' them wanst or twist as it is—may God pity and relieve her."

"Amen," replied Fergus. "And you're now on your way home, I suppose?"

"I am," said Ellen, "and every thing belongin' to me is to be sent to my father's; but indeed, Fergus, I don't much care now what becomes of me. My happiness in this world is bound up in hers; and if she's to be sunk in grief and sorrow, I can never be otherwise—we'll have the one fate, Fergus, and God grant it may be a happy one, although I see no likelihood of it."

"Come, come, Ellen," replied Fergus, "you think too much of it. The one fate!—No, you won't, unless it is a happy one. I am now free, as I said; and at present I see nothing to stand between your happiness and mine. We loved one another every bit as well as Reilly and she does—ay, and do still, I hope; and, if they can't be happy, that's no raison why you and I shouldn't. Happy! There's nothing to prevent us from bein' so. I am free, as I said; and all we have to do is to lave this unfortunate country and go to some other, where there's neither oppression nor persecution. If you consent to this, Ellen, I can get the means of bringing us away, and of settlin' comfortably in America."

"And I to leave the Cooleen Bawn in the uncertain state she's in? No, never, Fergus—never."

"Why? of what use can you be to her now, and you separated from her—ay, and without the power of doin' any thing to sarve her?"

"Fergus," said she, resolutely, "it's useless at the present time to speak to me on this subject. I'm glad you've got yourself from among these cruel and unconscionable Rapparees—I'm glad you're free; but I tell you that if you had the wealth of Squire Folliard—ay, or of Whitecraft himself, which they say is still greater, I wouldn't become your wife so long as she's in the state she's in."

"That's strong language, Ellen, and I am sorry to hear it from you. My God! can you think of nobody's happiness but the Cooleen Bawn's? As for me, it's my opinion I like Reilly as well every bit as you do her; but, for all that, not even the state he's in, nor the danger that surrounds him, would prevent me from marryin' a wife—from bindin' your heart and mine together for life, my darlin' Ellen."

"Ah! Fergus, you're a man—not a woman—and can't undherstand what true attachment is. You men never can. You're a selfish set—at least the most of you are—with some exceptions, I grant."

"And, upon my soul, Ellen," replied Fergus, with a good-humored smile, "I'm one of the choicest and natest of the exceptions. I prefer everybody's happiness to my own—poor Sir Robert Whitecraft's, for instance. Now, don't you call that generosity?"

She gave a mournful smile, and replied, "Fergus, I can't join in your mirth now as I used to do. Many a pleasant conversation we've had; but then our hearts were light, and free from care. No, Fergus, you must lave all thoughts of me aside, for I will have nothing of either love or courtship till I know her fate. Who can say but I may be brought back? She said she'd try what she could do with her father to effect it. You know how whimsical the old Squire is; and who knows whether she may not stand in need of me again? But, Fergus, there's one thing strikes me as odd, and, indeed, that doesn't rise you much in my good opinion. But first, let me ask you, what friend it is who'd give you the means of going to another country?"

"Why, who else but Reilly?" he replied.

"And could you," she returned, with something like contempt stamped upon her pretty features—"could you be mane and ungrateful enough to leave him now in the trouble and sorrow that he's in, and think only of yourself?"

"No, indeed, my dear Ellen; but I was only layin' the plan whenever we might be able to put it in practice. I'm not exactly a boy of that kidney—to desart my friend in the day of his trouble—devil a bit of it, my darlin'."

"Well, I am glad to hear you speak as you do," she said, with a smile; "and now, to reward your constancy to him, I tell you that whenever they're settled, or, at all events, out of their troubles, if you think me worth your while, I won't have any objection to become your wife; and—there—what are you about, Fergus? See this, now—you've almost broken the tortoise-shell crooked-comb that she made me a present of."

"Why, blood alive, Ellen, sure it was only sealin' the bargain I was."

"But remember it is a bargain, and one I'll stick to. Now leave me; it's gettin' quite dark; or, if you like, you may see me across the fields."

Such, in fact, was the indomitable attachment of this faithful girl to her lovely and affectionate mistress that, with a generosity as unselfish as it was rare, and almost heroic, she never for a moment thought of putting her own happiness or prospects in life in competition with those of the Cooleen Bawn. The latter, it is true, was conscious of this unparalleled attachment, and appreciated it at its true value. How nobly this admirable girl fulfilled her generous purpose of abiding by the fate and fortunes of her unhappy mistress will be seen as the narrative goes along.

Ellen's appearance in her father's house surprised the family not a little. The expression of sorrow which shaded her very handsome features, and a paleness which was unusual to her, alarmed them considerably—not so much from any feeling connected with herself, as from an apprehension that some new-distress or calamity had befallen the Cooleen Bawn, to whom they all felt almost as deeply attached as she did herself. After the first affectionate salutations were over, she said, with a languid smile:

"I suppose you all wonder to see me here at this hour; or, indeed, to see me here at all."

"I hope, Ellen," said-her father, "that nothing unpleasant has happened to her."

"May the Lord forbid," said her mother, "and may the Lord take the darlin' creature out of all her troubles. But has there, Ellen—has anything happened to her?"

"Nothing more than usual," replied their daughter, "barring that I have been sent away from her—I am no longer her own maid now."

"Chierna!" exclaimed her mother; "and what is that for, alanna?"

"Well, indeed, mother, I can't exactly say," replied Ellen, "but I suppose it is because they knew I loved her too much to be a spy upon her. I have raison, however, to suspect that the villain is at the bottom of it, and that the girl who came in my place will act more like a jailer than a maid to her. Of course they're all afraid that she'll run away with Reilly."

"And do you think she will, Ellen?" asked her father.

"Don't ask me any such questions," she replied. "It's no matter what I think—and, besides, it's not my business to mention my thoughts to any one—but one thing I know, it'll go hard if she ever leaves her father, who, I really think, would break his heart if she did."

"Oh!" observed the father, with a smile, "divil a one o' you girls, Ellen, ever thinks much of father or mother when you have made up your minds to run away wid your buchaleens—sorra a taste."

"Arra, Brian, will you have sinse," said his wife; "why wouldn't they think o' them?"

"Did you do it?" he asked, winking at the rest, "when you took a brave start wid myself across Crockaniska, one summer Sunday night, long ago. Be me sowl, you proved youself as supple as a two-year-old—cleared, drain and ditch like a bird—and had me, when we reached my uncle's, that the ayes wor startin' out o' my head."

"Bad scran to him, the ould slingpoker! Do you hear him," she exclaimed, laughing—"never mind him, children!—troth, he went at sich a snail's pace that one 'ud think it was to confession he was goin', and that he did nothing but think of his sins as he went along."

"That was bekaise I knew that I had the penance before me," he replied, laughing also.

"Any how," replied his wife, "our case was not like their's. We were both Catholics, and knew that we'd have the consent of our friends, besides; we only made a runaway because it was the custom of the counthry, glory be to God!"

"Ay, ay," rejoined her husband; "but, faith, it was you that proved yourself the active girl that night, at any rate. However, I hope the Lord will grant her grace to go, wid him, at all events, for, upon my sowl, it would be a great boast for the Catholics—bekaise we know there is one thing sure, and that is, that the divil a long she'd be wid him till he'd have left her fit to face Europe as a Christian and a Catholic, bekaise every wife ought to go wid her husband, barrin' he's a Prodestant."

Poor Ellen paid little attention to this conversation. She felt deeply depressed, and, after many severe struggles to restrain herself, at last burst into tears.

"Come, darlin'," said her father, "don't let this affair cast you down so much; all will yet turn out for the betther, I hope. Cheer up, avillish; maybe that, down-hearted as you are, I have good news for you. Your ould sweetheart was here this evenin', and hopes soon to have his pardon—he's a dacent boy, and has good blood in his veins; and as for his joinin' O'Donnel, it wasn't a a bad heart set him to do it, but the oppression that druv him, as it did many others, to take the steps he took—oppression on the one side, and bitterness of heart on the other."

"I saw him awhile ago," she replied, "and he tould me a good deal about himself. But, indeed, father, it's not of him I'm thinkin', but on the darlin' girl that's on the brink of destruction, and what I know she's sufferin'."

"I wondher where Reilly is," said her mother. "My goodness! sure he ought to make a push, and take her off at wanst. I dunna is he in the country at all? What do you think, Ellen?"

"Indeed, mother," she replied, "very few, I believe, knows any thing about him. All I'm afraid of is, that, wherever he may be, he'll hardly escape discovery."

"Well," said her father, "I'll tell you what we'll do. Let us kneel down and offer up ten pathers, ten aves, and a creed, that the Lord may protect them both from their enemies, and grant them a happy marriage, in spite of laws, parliaments, magistrates, spies, persecutors and priest-hunters, and, as our hands are in, let us offer up a few that God may confound that villain, Whitecraft, and bring him snugly to the gallows."

This was immediately complied with, in a spirit of earnestness surpassing probably what they might have felt had they been praying for their own salvation. The prayers having been concluded, and supper prepared, in due time the family retired to rest for the night.

When Fergus Reilly took his leave of Ellen, he directed his steps to the cottage of Mrs. Buckley, where, for certain purpose connected with his designs on the Red Rapparee, he had been in the habit of meeting: the sagacious fool, Tom Steeple. It was there, besides, that he had left his disguise, which the unaccomplished progress of his projects rendered it necessary that he should once more resume. This, in fact, was the place of their rendezvous, where they generally met at night. These meetings, however, were not always very regular; for poor Tom, notwithstanding his singular and anomalous: cunning, was sometimes led away by his gastric appetite to hunt for a bully dinner, or a bully supper, or a mug of strong beer, as the case might be, and after a gorge he was frequently so completely overtaken by laziness and a consequent tendency to sleep, that he retired to the barn, or some other outhouse, where he stretched his limbs on a shake-down of hay or straw, and lapped himself into a state of luxury which many an epicure of rank and wealth might envy.

On reaching the widow's cottage, Fergus felt somewhat disappointed that Tom was not there, nor had he been seen that day in any part of the neighborhood. Fergus, however, whilst the widow was keeping watch outside, contrived to get on his old disguise once more, after which he proceeded in the direction of his place of refuge for the night. On crossing the fields, however, towards the wild and lonely road, which was at no great distance from the cottage, he met Tom approaching it, at his usual sling-trot pace.

"Is that Tom?" said he—"tall Tom?"

"Hicco, hicco!" replied Tom, quite gratified with the compliment. "You be tall, too—not as tall as Tom dough. Tom got bully dinner to-day, and bully sleep in de barn, and bully supper, but wasn't sleepy den—hicco, hicco."

"Well, Tom, what news about what you know?"

"In toder house," replied Tom; "him sleeps in Peg Finigan's sometimes, and sometimes in toder again—dat is, Mary Mahon's. Him's afeared o' something—hard him say so, sure, to ould Peg."

"Well, Tom, if you will keep your eye on him, so as that you can let us know where to find him, we engage to give you a bully dinner every day, and, a bully supper every night of your life, and a swig of stout ale to wash it down, with plenty of straw to sleep on, and a winnow-cloth and lots of sacks to keep you as warm and cosey as a winter hob. You know where to find me every evenin' after dusk, Tom, and when you come with good news, you'll be a made man; and, listen, Tom, it'll make you a foot taller, and who knows, man alive, but we may show you for a giant, now."

"Hicco, hicco!" said Tom; "dat great—never mind; me catch him for you. A giant!—oh, gorramarcy!—a giant!—hicco!—gorramarcy!" and with these words he darted off in some different direction, whilst Fergus went to his usual place of rest for the night.

It would seem by the Red Rapparee s movements at this time as if he entertained some vague suspicions of awakened justice, notwithstanding the assurances of safety previously communicated to him by Sir Robert Whitecraft. Indeed, it is not impossible that even the other individuals who had distinguished themselves under that zealous baronet might, in their conversations with each other, have enabled the Rapparee to get occasional glimpses of the new state of things which had just taken place, and that, in consequence, he shifted about a good deal, taking care never to sleep two nights in succession under the same roof. Be this as it may, the eye of Tom Steeple was on him, without the least possible suspicion on his part that he was under his surveillance.





CHAPTER XIV.—Reilly takes Service with Squire Folliard.

Reilly led a melancholy life after the departure of the pious bishop. A week, however, had elapsed, and he felt as if it had been half a year. His anxiety, however, either to see or hear from his Cooleen Bawn completely overcame him, and he resolved, at all events, to write to her; in the meantime, how was he to do this? There was no letter-paper in the farmer's house, nor any to be procured within miles, and, under these circumstances, he resolved to pay a visit to Mr. Brown. After some trouble he was admitted to the presence of that gentleman, who could scarcely satisfy himself of his identity; but, at length, he felt assured, and asked him into the study.

"My dear Reilly," said he, "I think you are infatuated. I thought you had been out of the country long before this. Why, in heaven's name, do you remain in Ireland, when you know the difficulty of escape? I have had, since I saw you last, two or three domiciliary visits from Whitecraft and his men, who searched my whole house and premises in a spirit of insolence that was, most indelicate and offensive. Hastings and I have sent a memorial to the Lord Lieutenant, signed by some of the most respectable Protestant gentry in the, country, in which we stated his wanton tyranny as well as his oppression of his Majesty's subjects—harmless and loyal men, and whom he pursues with unsatiable vengeance, merely because they are Roman Catholics. I certainly do not expect that our memorial will be attended to by this Administration. There is a report, however, that the present Ministry will soon go out, and be succeeded by one more liberal."

"Well," replied Reilly, "since I saw you last I have had some narrow escapes; but I think it would be difficult to know me in my present disguise."

"I grant that," said Mr. Brown, "but then is there nothing to be apprehended from treachery?"

"I think not," replied the other. "There is only the farmer and his family, with whom the bishop and I harbored, who are aware of my disguise, and to that number I must now add yourself."

"Well," replied Mr. Brown, smiling, "I do not think you have much to apprehend from me."

"No," said Reilly, "you have given me too many substantial proofs of your confidence for that. But I wish to write a letter; and I have neither pen, ink, nor paper; will you be good enough to lend me the use of your study for a few minutes, and your writing materials?"

The excellent clergyman immediately conducted him to the study, and placed the materials before him with his own hands, after which he left the room. Reilly then sat down, and penned the following letter to his dear Cooleen Bawn:

"I am now thoroughly disguised, indeed so effectually that my nearest and dearest friends could not know me; nay, I question whether even you yourself would, except by the keen intuition of affection, which is said to penetrate all disguises, unless those of falsehood and hypocrisy. These, however, are disguises I have never worn, nor ever shall wear—either to you or any human being. I had intended to go to the Continent until this storm of persecution might blow over; but on reflection I changed my purpose, for I could not leave you to run the risk of being ensnared in the subtle and treacherous policy of that villain. It is my intention to visit your father's house and to see you if I can. You need not, for the sake of my safety, object to this, because no one can know me. The description of my dress, though somewhat undignified, I must give you. In the first place, then, I am, to all outward appearance, as rude-looking a country lout as ever you looked upon. My disguise consists, first, of a pair of brogues embroidered with clouts, or what is vulgarly denominated patches, out of the point of one of which—that of the right foot—nearly half my toe visibly projects. The stockings are coarse Connemaras, with sufficient air-holes, both in feet and legs, to admit the pure atmosphere, and strengthen the muscular system. My small-clothes are corduroys, bought from a hard-working laborer, with a large patch upon each knee. A tailor, however, has promised to get some buttons for them and sew them on. The waistcoat is altogether indescribable; because, as its materials seem to have been rescued, that is, stolen, from all the scarecrows in the country, I am' unable to come at the first fabric. The coat itself is also beautifully variegated, its patches consisting of all the colors of the rainbow, with two or three dozen that never appeared in that beautiful phenomenon. But what shall I say of the pendiment, or caubeen, which is a perfect gem of its kind? The villain who wore it, I have been told by the person who acted as factor for me in its purchase, was one of the most quarrelsome rascals in Ireland, and seldom went without a black eye or a broken pate. This, I suppose, accounts for the droop in the leaf, which covers the left eye so completely, as well as for the ventilator, which so admirably refreshes the head, and allows the rain to come in so abundantly to cool it. I cannot help reflecting, however, on the fate of those who have nothing better to wear, and of the hard condition which dooms them to it. And now, my beloved Cooleen Bawn, whilst I have thus endeavored to make you smile, I assure you I have exaggerated very little. This dress, you know, is precisely that of a wretched Connaught-man looking for employment. The woman, who will, through our confidant, Lanigan, deliver this to you, is a poor faithful creature, a pensioner of mine, who may be trusted. Appoint through her a day and hour when, as a man seeking for labor, I will stand at the hall-door. I am quite satisfied that neither your father, nor the villain, will know me from Adam. The woman who is to bring this will call on the second day after its delivery, and I shall be guided by whatever message you may send me. On one thing, however, I am determined, which is that if it should cost me my life, I will prevent the meditated marriage between you and him. Sooner than such an event should take place, I would put a pistol to his head and blow his guilty soul into that perdition which awaits it. Don't write; let your message be verbal, and destroy this."

On going to widow Buckley's, he learned—after some trouble in identifying himself—that she had several visits from Sir Robert and his men, at all hours, both by night and day. He therefore hastily gave her the necessary instructions how to act, and, above all things, to ask to see Lanigan, and, if possible, to bring some eggs or chickens for sale, which fact, he said, would give a color to her appearance there, and prevent the possibility of any suspicion. Having placed the letter in her keeping, together with some silver to enable her to purchase either the eggs or the chickens, in case she had them not herself, he then returned to the farmer's, where he remained quietly and without disturbance of any kind until the third day, when widow Buckley made her appearance. He brought her out to the garden, because in discussing matters connected with his Cooleen Bawn he did not wish that even the farmer's family should be auditors—although we may say here that not only were the loves of Willy Reilly and Cooleen Bawn known to the farmer and his family, but also to the whole country, and, indeed, through the medium of ballads, to the greater portion of the kingdom.

"Well, Mrs. Buckley," said he, "did you see her?"

"Oh, bad scran to you, Mr. Reilly! you're the very sarra among the girls when you could persuade that lovely creature to fall in love with you—and you a Catholic, an' her a Protestant! May I never, if I think there's her angil out o' heaven! Devil an angel I think in it could hould a candle to her for beauty and figure. She only wants the wings, sir—for they say that all the angels have wings; and upon my conscience if she had them I know the man she'd fly to."

"But what happened, Mrs. Buckley?"

"Why, I sould some chickens and eggs to the cook, who at wanst knew me, because I had often sould him chickens and eggs before. He came up to the hall-door, and—'Well, Mrs. Buckley,' says he, 'what's the news?' 'Be dhe husth,' says I, 'before I sell you the chickens, let me ax is the Cooleen Bawn at home?' 'She is,' says he, lookin' me sharp and straight in the face; 'do you want her?' 'I would like to see her,' says I, 'for a minute or two.' 'Ay,' says he, back agin to me, 'you have a message—and you know besides that she never buys chickens; that's my business.' 'But,' says I, back agin, 'I was tould by him that you were faithful, and could be depinded on.' 'Ay,' says he; 'but I thought he had left the counthry.' 'Troth, then,' says I, 'he's to the fore still, and won't lave the counthry till he sees her wanst more, at all events.' 'Have you a letther?' 'Betherahin,' says I, 'could you let me see her; for he tould me to say to her that she is not, to indite letthers to him, for fraid of discovery.' 'Well,' says he, 'as the master's at home, I'll have some difficulty in spakin' to her. Devil a move she gives but he watches; and we got a new servant the other day, and devil a thing she is but a spy from Sir Robert Whitecraft, and some people say that her master and she forgot the Gospel between them. Indeed I believe that's pretty well known; and isn't he a horrid villain to send such a vagabone to attend and be about the very woman that he expects to be his own wife?'"

"Don't be so particular in your descriptions, Mrs. Buckley," said Reilly. "Did you see the Cooleen Bawn?"

"Look at that," she replied, opening her hand, and showing him a golden guinea—"don't you know by that that I seen her? but you must let me go on my own way. 'Well,' says Lanigan, the cook, 'I must go and see what I can do.' He then went upstairs, and contrived to give her a hint, and that was enough. 'The Lord bless us, Mr. Reilly, what won't love do? This girl—as Lanigan tould me—that the villain Whitecraft had sent as a spy upon her actions, was desired to go to her wardrobe, to pick out from among her beautiful dresses one that she had promised her as a present some days before. The cook had this from the girl herself, who was the sarra for dress; but, anyhow, while the the spy was tumbling about Cooleen Bawn's dresses, the darlin' herself whipped downstairs, and coming to me says, 'The cook tells me you have a message for me.' Jist at this moment, and after she had slipped the letter into her bosom, her father turns a corner round the garden, and seeing his daughter, which was a very unusual thing, in conversation with a person like myself, he took the alarm at once. 'How, Helen? who is this you are speaking to'? No go-between, I hope? Who are you, you blasted old she-whelp?' 'I am no more a she-whelp than you are.' 'Then maybe you are a he one in disguise. What brought you here?' 'Here! I came to sell my eggs and my chickens, as I done for years.' 'Your eggs and your chickens! curse you, you old Jezebel, did you ever lay the eggs or hatch the chickens? And if you did, why not produce the old cock himself, in proof of the truth of what you say? I'll have you searched, though, in spite of your eggs and chickens. Here,' he said to one of the footmen, who was passing through the hall—'here, Jones, send up Lanigan, till we see whether he knows this old faggot, who has the assurance to tell me that she lays eggs and hatches chickens.' When Lanigan came up again, he looked at me as at an old acquaintance, which, in point of fact, we were. 'Why, your honor,' said he, 'this is a poor, honest creature that has been selling us eggs and chickens for many years.' 'She wouldn't be a go-between, Lanigan—eh? What's your name, you old faggot—eh?' 'My name | is Scrahag, your honor,' says I, 'one of the Scrahags of Ballycumpiatee—an honest and dacint family, sir; but if your honor would buy the eggs, at any rate, and hatch them yourself,' says I to him (for she had a large stock of Irish humor), 'you know, sir, you could have the chickens at first cost.' 'Ha, ha, ha,' and the squire laughed till he nearly split his sides; 'by —- I'm hit'—God pardon me for repeatin' his oaths. 'Here, Lanigan, bring her down to the kitchen, and give her a fog meal.' 'I understand you, sir,' said Lanigan, smiling at him. 'Yes, Lanigan, give her a cargo of the best in the pantry. She's a shrewd and comical old blade,' said he; 'give her a kegful of beef or mutton, or both, and a good swill of ale or porter, or whatever she prefers. Curse me, but I give the old whelp credit for the hit she gave me. Pay her, besides, whatever she asks for her eggs and chickens. Here, you bitter old randle-tree, there are three thirteens for you; and if you will go down to the kitchen with the cook, he will give you a regular skinful.' The cook, knowing that the Cooleen Bawn wished to send some message back to you, sir, brought me down, and gave me not only plenty to ait and drink, but stuffed the praskeen that I had carried the eggs and chickens in with as much cold meat and bread as it could contain."

"Well, but did you not see her afterwards? and did she send no message?"

"Only two or three words; the day afther to-morrow, at two o'clock, come to look for labor, and she will contrive to see you."

This was enough, and Reilly did not allow his ambassadress to leave him without substantial marks of his bounty also.

When the old squire went to his study, he desired the gardener to be sent for, and when that individual entered, he found his master in a towering passion.

"What is the reason, Malcomson," said he, "that the garden is in such a shameful state? I declare to God it is scandalous."

"Ou, your honor," replied Malcomson, who was a Scotchman, "e'en because you will not allow me an under gerdener. No one man could manage your gerden, and it canna be managed without some clever chiel, what understands the sceence."

"The what?"

"The sceence, your honor."

"Why, confound you, sir, what science is necessary in gardening?"

"I tell your honor that the management of a gerden requires baith skeel and knowledge, and feelosophy."

"Why, confound you, sir, again, what kind of doctrine is this?"

"It's vera true doctrine, sir. You have large and spacious green-hooses, and I wad want some one to assist me wha understands buttany."

"Buttony—Buttony—why, confound you, sirra, send for a tailor, then, for he understands buttony."

"I see your honor is detarmined to indulge in a jocular spirit the day. The truth is, your honor, I hae no men to assist me but common laborers, who are athegether ignorant of gerdening; now, if I had a man who could direct the operations—"

"Operations! curse your Scotch impudence, do you think yourself a general?"

"Na, na, sir; but a better man; and I tell ye that I winna remain in your service unless I get an assistant; and I say that, if it were-na for the aid of Miss Folliard, I wouldna been able to keep the green-hoose e'en in its present state. She has trailed the passionflower wi' her ain hands until it is nourishing. Then she has a beautiful little plot of forget-me-nots; but, above a', it wad do your honor's heart gude to see the beautiful bed she has of sweet-william and love-lies-bleeding."

"Ay, ay! love-lies-bleeding; no doubt but she'll take care of that. Well, go and get an under-gardener wherever you can, and let my garden be, at all events, such as a stranger can walk through, and such as becomes my name and property. Engage such a person, give him whatever you consider fair wages, and the house-steward will pay him weekly. These are matters I can't trouble myself with now-I have other things to think of."

On the day mentioned in Cooleen Bawn's message, Reilly hazarded a visit to the squire's house, and after giving a single knock, begged to see the cook. The porter having looked at him with the usual contempt which menials of his class bestow upon poor persons, went down to the kitchen with a good deal of reluctance, and told the cook, with a grin, that one of his relations wanted to see him.

"Well," replied Lanigan, who had been made aware of the intended visit, "it's wonderful, in these hard times, the number of respectable but reduced families that's goin' about. What kind of a gentleman is he, John? because I am very busy now. To be sure there is a great deal of cold vittles left, that would be lost and destroyed if we didn't give them to the poor; and you know the masther, who is a charitable man, desired us to do so. I'll go up and see what the poor devil wants."

He accordingly went up to the hall-door, and found Reilly there. It was to no purpose that he had been already apprised of his disguise—it was so complete that he did not know him—his beard was half an inch long; and, besides, Reilly, knowing the risk he ran in this daring adventure, had discolored his complexion with some wash that gave it the tinge of a mulatto. The cook was thunderstruck.

"Well, my good fellow," said he, not in the slightest degree recognizing him, "what do you want with me?"

"Lanigan," replied Reilly, "don't you know me?"

"Know you! how the devil should I know you?—I never saw you before. What do you want with me?"

"Lanigan," whispered the other, "did you never hear of Willy Reilly?"

"Yes, I did; have you any message from him?"

"I am the man myself," said Reilly, "but you don't know me, I am so completely disguised. Don't you know my voice?"

"Merciful Father!" said the cook, "I'm in a doldrum; can I be sure that you don't come from Sir Robert Whitecraft, the notorious blackguard?"

"Lanigan, I am Willy Reilly: my voice ought to tell you so; but I wish to see and speak with my dear Cooleen Bawn."

"Oh, my God, sir!" replied Lanigan, "but this love makes strange transmigrations. She won't know you, sir."

"Make your mind easy on that point," replied Reilly; "only let her know that I am here."

"Come down to the kitchen then, sir, and I shall put you into the servants' hall, which branches off it. It is entered, besides, by a different door from that of the kitchen, and while you stay there—and you can pass into it without going through the kitchen—I will try to let her know where you are. She has at present a maid who was sent by Sir Robert Whitecraft, and she is nothing else than a spy; but it'll go hard, or I'll baffle her."

He accordingly placed Reilly in the servants' hall, and on his way to the drawing-room met Miss Folliard going to her own apartment, which commanded a view of the front of the house. He instantly communicated to her the fact of Reilly's presence in the servants' hall; "but," added Lanigan, "you won't know him—his own mother, if she was livin', wouldn't know a bone in his body."

"Oh!" she replied, whilst her eyes flashed fearfully, in fact, in a manner that startled the cook—"oh! if he is there I shall soon know him. He has a voice, I think—he has a voice! Has he not, Lanigan?"

"Yes, ma'am," replied Lanigan, "he has a voice, and a heart too."

"Oh! yes, yes," she said, "I must go to him; they want to marry me to that monster—to that bigot and persecutor, on this very day month; but, Lanigan, it shall never be—death a thousand times sooner than such a union. If they attempt to bind us, death shall cut the link asunder—that I promise you, Lanigan. But I must go to him—I must go to him."

She ran down the stairs as she spoke, and Lanigan, having looked after her, seemed deeply concerned.

"My God!" he exclaimed, "what will become of that sweet girl if she is forced to marry that wealthy scoundrel? I declare to my God I hardly think she is this moment in her proper senses. There's a fire in her eyes; and something in her manner, that I never observed before. At all events, I have locked the door that opens from the kitchen into the servants' hall, so that they cannot be interrupted from that quarter."

When the Cooleen Bawn entered, she shrank back instinctively. The disguise was so complete that she could not impose even on her imagination or her senses. The complexion was different, in fact, quite sallow; the beard long, and the costume such as we have described it. There was, in fact, something extremely ludicrous in the meeting. Here was an elegant and beautiful young woman of fashion, almost ready, as it were, to throw herself in the arms of a common pauper, with a beard upon him better than half an inch long. As it was, she stopped suddenly and retreated a step or two, saying, as she did so:

"This must be some mistake. Who are you?"

"Helen!"

"Reilly! oh, that voice has set all right. But, my God, who could know you—in this disguise?"

They approached, and Reilly, seizing her hand, said, "I will shake hands with you; but until this disguise is off I would consider it sacrilege to approach nearer to your person."

"No disguise can ever shut you out from my heart, dear Reilly; but what is to be done? I have discovered, by one of my maids, who overheard my father say, in a short soliloquy—'Well, thank God, she'll be Sir Robert's wife within a month, and then my mind will be easy at last.' Oh! I'm glad you did not leave this country. But, as I said, what is to be done? What will become of us?"

"Under our peculiar circumstances," replied Reilly, "the question cannot, for the present at least, be answered. As for leaving the country, I might easily have done it, but I could not think of leaving you to the snares and windings of that villain. I declare solemnly, I would rather die than witness a union between you and him."

"But what, think you, should I feel? You would be only a spectator of the sacrifice, whereas I should be the victim."

"Do not be cast down, my love; whilst I have life, and a strong arm, it snail never be. Before I go I shall make arrangements with Lanigan when and where to see you again."

"It will be a matter of some difficulty," she replied, "for I am now under the strictest surveillance. I am told, and I feel it, that Whitecraft has placed a spy upon all my motions."

"How is that?" inquired Reilly. "Are you not under the protection of your father, who, when occasion is necessary, has both pride and spirit?"

"But my poor credulous father is, notwithstanding, easily imposed on. I know not exactly the particulars," replied the lovely girl, "but I can easily suspect them. My father it was, certainly, who discharged my last maid, Ellen Connor, because, he said, he did not like her, and because, he added, he would put a better and a more trustworthy one in her place. I cannot move that she is not either with me or after me; nay, I cannot write a note that she does not immediately acquaint papa, who is certain to stroll into my apartment and ask to see the contents of it, adding, 'Helen, when a young lady of rank and property forms a clandestine and disgraceful attachment it is time that her father should be on the lookout; so I will just take the liberty of throwing my eye over this little billet-doux.' I told him often that he was at liberty to inspect every line I should write, but that I thought that very few parents would express such want of confidence in their daughters, if, like me, the latter had deserved such confidence at their hands as I did at his."

"What is the name of your present maid?" asked Reilly, musing.

"Oh," replied Miss Folliard, "I have three maids altogether, but she has been installed as own maid. Her name is Eliza Herbert."

"A native of England, is she not? Eliza Herbert!" he exclaimed; "in the lowermost depths of perdition there is not such a villain. This Eliza Herbert is neither more nor less than one of his—but I will not pain your pure and delicate mind by mentioning at further length what she is and was to him. The clergyman of the parish, Mr. Brown, knows the whole circumstances. See him at church, and get him to communicate them to your father. The fact is, this villain, who is at once cunning and parsimonious, had a double motive, each equally base and diabolical, in sending her here. In the first place, he wished, by getting her a good place, to make your father the unconscious means of rewarding her profligacy; and in the second of keeping her as a spy upon you."

A blush, resulting from her natural sense of delicacy, as well as from the deepest indignation at a man who did not scruple to place the woman whom he looked upon as almost immediately to become his wife, in the society of such a wretch—such a blush, we say, overspread her whole neck and face, and for about two minutes she shed bitter tears. But she felt the necessity of terminating their interview, from an apprehension that Miss Herbert, as she was called, on not finding her in the room, might institute a search, and in this she was not mistaken.

She had scarcely concluded when the shrill voice of Miss Herbert was heard, as she rushed rapidly down the stairs, screaming, "Oh, la! oh, dear me! oh, my goodness! Where, where—oh, bless me, did any one see Miss Folliard?"

Lanigan, however, had prepared for any thing like a surprise. He planted himself, as a sentinel, at the foot of the stairs, and the moment he heard the alarm of Miss Herbert on her way down, he met her half way up, after having given a loud significant cough.

"Oh, cook, have you seen Miss Folliard? I can't find her in the house!"

"Is her father in his study, Miss Herbert? because I want to see him; I'm afeared there's a screw loose. I did see Miss Folliard; she went out a few minutes ago—indeed she rather stole out towards the garden, and, I tell you the truth, she had a—condemned look of her own. Try the garden, and if you don't find her there, go to the back gate, which you'll be apt to find open."

"Oh, I will, I will; thank you, cook. I'm certain it's an elopement."

"Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to find," replied Lanigan, "that she is with Reilly this moment; any way you haven't a minute to lose."

She started towards the garden, which she ran over and over; and there we shall leave her, executing the fool's errand upon which Lanigan had sent her. "Now," said he, going in, "the coast's clear; I have sent that impertinent jade out to the garden, and as the back gate is open—the gardener's men are wheeling out the rubbish—and they are now at dinner—I say, as the back gate is open, it's ten to one but she'll scour the country. Now, Miss Folliard, go immediately to your room; as for this poor man, I will take care of him."

"Most sincerely do I thank you, Lanigan; he will arrange with you when and where to see me again. Farewell, Reilly—farewell; rely upon my constancy;" and so they parted, Reilly to the kitchen, and the Cooleen Bawn to her own room.

"Come into the pantry, poor man," said good-natured Lanigan, addressing our hero, "till I give you' something to eat and drink."

"Many thanks to you, sir," replied he; "troth and whaix, I didn't taste a morshel for the last fwhour—hugh—hugh-and twenty hours; and sure, sir, it's this cough that's killin' me by inches."

A thought struck Lanigan, who had been also spoken to by the gardener, about half an hour before, to know if he could tell him where he might have any chance of finding an assistant. At all events they went into the pantry, when Lanigan, after having pulled to the door, to prevent their conversation from being overheard, disclosed a project, which had just entered his head, of procuring Reilly employment in the garden. Here it was arranged between them that the latter, who was both a good botanist and florist, should be recommended to the gardener as an assistant. To be sure, his dress and appearance were both decidedly against him; but still they relied upon the knowledge which Reilly confidently assured the cook that he possessed. After leaving the pantry with Lanigan, whom our hero thanked in a thorough brogue, the former called after him, as he was going away:

"Come here again, my good man."

"What is it, shir? may God bless you anyhow, for your charity to the—hugh—hugh—hugh—to the poor man. Oh, then, but it's no wondher for you all to be fat and rosy upon sich beautiful vittles as you gave to me, shir. What is it, achora? and may the Lord mark you with grace!"

"Would you take employment from the master, his honor Mr. Folliard, if you got it?"

"Arrah now, shir, you gave me my skinful of what was gud; but don't be luakin' fwhun o' me after. Would I take employment, achora?—ay, but where would I get it?"

"Could you work in a garden? Do you know any thing about plants or flowers?"

"Oh thin, that I may never sup sarra (sorrow), but that's just what I'm fwhit fwhor."

"I'm afeared this scoundrel is but an imposthor afther all," whispered Lanigan to the other servants; "but in ordher to make sure, we'll try him. I say—what's this your name is?"

"Solvesther M'Bethershin, shir."

"Well, now, would you have any objection to come with me to the garden and see I the gardener? But hould, here he is. Mr. Malcomson," continued Lanigan, "here is a poor man, who says he understands plants and flowers, and weeds of that kind."

"Speak wi' reverence, Mr. Lanigan, o' the art o' gerdening. Dinna ye ken that the founder o' the hail human race was a gerdener?-Hout awa, moil; speak o' it wi' speck."

"Upon my conscience," replied Lanigan, "whether he was a good gardener or not is more than I know; but one thing I do know, that he didn't hould his situation long, and mismanaged his orchard disgracefully; and, indeed, like many more of his tribe, he got his walkin' papers in double quick—was dismissed without a characther—ay, and his wife, like many another gardener's wife, got a habit of stalin' the apples. However, I wish Mr. Malcomson, that you, who do undherstand gardenin', would thry this fellow, because I want to know whether he's an imposthor or not."

"Weel," replied Malcomson, "I dinna care if I do. We'll soon find that out. Come wi' me and Maisther Lanigan here, and we'll see what you ken about the sceentific profession."

They accordingly went to the garden, and it is unnecessary to say that Reilly not only bore the examination well, but proved himself by far the better botanist of the two. He tempered his answers, however, in such a way as not to allow the gardener's vanity to be hurt, in which case he feared that he might have little chance of being engaged.





CHAPTER XV.—More of Whitecraft's Plots and Pranks

On the Sunday following, Miss Folliard, as was her usual custom, attended divine service at her parish church, accompanied by the virtuous Miss Herbert, who scarcely ever let her for a moment out of her sight, and, in fact, added grievously to the misery of her life. After service had been concluded, she waited until Mr. Brown had descended from the pulpit, when she accosted him, and expressed a wish to have some private conversation with him in the vestry-room. To this room they were about to proceed, when Miss Herbert advanced with an evident intention of accompanying them.

"Mr. Brown," said the Cooleen Bawn, looking at him significantly, "I wish that our interview should be private."

"Certainly, my dear Miss Folliard, and so it shall be. Pray, who is this lady?"

"I am forced, sir, to call her my maid."

Mr. Brown was startled a good deal, not only at the words, but the tone in which they were uttered.

"Madam," said he, "you will please to remain here until your mistress shall return to you, or, if you wish, you can amuse yourself by reading the inscriptions on the tombstones."

"Oh, but I have been ordered," replied Miss Herbert, "by her father and another gentleman, not to let her out of my sight."

Mr. Brown, understanding that something was wrong, now looked at her more closely, after which, with a withering frown, he said,

"I think I know you, madam, and I am very sorry to hear that you are an attendant upon this amiable lady. Remain where you are, and don't attempt to intrude yourself as an ear-witness to any communication Miss Folliard may have to make to me."

The profligate creature and unprincipled spy bridled, looked disdain and bitterness at the amiable clergyman, who, accompanied by our heroine, retired to the vestry. It is unnecessary to detail their conversation, which was sustained by the Cooleen Bawn with bitter tears. It is enough to say that the good and pious minister, though not aware until then that Miss Herbert had, by the scoundrel baronet, been intruded into Squire Folliard's family, was yet acquainted, from peculiar sources, with the nature of the immoral relation in which she stood to that hypocrite. He felt shocked beyond belief, and assured the weeping girl that he would call the next day and disclose the treacherous design to her father, who, he said, could not possibly have been aware of the wretch's character when he admitted her into his family. They then parted, and our heroine was obliged to take this vile creature into the carriage with her home. On their return, Miss Herbert began to display at once the malignity of her disposition, and the volubility of her tongue, in a fierce attack upon, what she termed, the ungentlemanly conduct of Mr. Brown. To all she said, however, Helen uttered not one syllable of reply. She neither looked at her nor noticed her, but sat in profound silence, not, however, without a distracted mind and breaking heart.

On the next day the squire took a fancy to look at the state of his garden, and, having got his hat and cane, he sallied out to observe how matters were going on, now that Mr. Malcomson had got an assistant, whom, by the way, he had not yet seen.

"Now, Malcomson," said he, "as you have found an assistant, I hope you will soon bring my garden into decent trim. What kind of a chap is he, and how did you come by him?"

"Saul, your honor," replied Malcomson, "he's a divilish clever chiel, and vara weel acquent wi' our noble profession."

"Confound yourself and your noble profession! I think every Scotch gardener of you believes himself a gentleman, simply because he can nail a few stripes of old blanket against a wall. How did you come by this fellow, I say?"

"Ou, just through Lanigan, the cook, your honor."

"Did Lanigan know him?"

"Hout, no, your honor—it was an act o' charity like."

"Ay, ay, Lanigan's a kind-hearted old fool, and that's just like him; but, in the meantime, let me see this chap."

"There he is, your honor, trimming, and taking care of that bed of 'love-lies-bleeding.'"

"Ay, ay; I dare say my daughter set him to that task."

"Na, na, sir. The young leddy hasna seen him yet, nor hasna been in the gerden for the last week."

"Why, confound it, Malcomson, that fellow's more like a beggarman than a gardener."

"Saul, but he's a capital hand for a' that. Your honor's no' to tak the beuk by the cover. To be sure he's awfully vulgar, but, ma faith, he has a richt gude knowledgeable apprehension o' buttany and gerdening in generhal."

The squire then approached our under-gardener, and accosted him,

"Well, my good fellow, so you understand gardening?"

"A little, your haner," replied the other, respectfully touching his hat, or caubeen rather.

"Are you a native of this neighborhood?"

"No, your haner. I'm fwaither up—from Westport, your haner."

"Who were you engaged with last?"

"I wasn't engaged, shir—it was only job-work I was able to do—the health wasn't gud wid me."

"Have you no better clothes than these?"

"You see all that I have on me, shir."

"Well, come, I'll give you the price of a suit rather than see such a scarecrow in my garden."

"I couldn't take it, shir."

"The devil you couldn't! Why not, man?"

"Bekaise, shir, I'm under pinance."

"Well, why don't you shave?"

"I can't, shir, for de same raison."

"Pooh, pooh! what the devil did you do that they put such a penance on you."

"Why, I runned away wit' a young woman, shir."

"Upon my soul you're a devilish likely fellow to run away with a young woman, and a capital taste she must have had to go with you; but perhaps you took her away by violence, eh?"

"No, slur; she was willin' enough to come; but her fadher wouldn't consint, and so we made off wit' ourselves."

This was a topic on which the squire, for obvious reasons, did not like to press him. It was in fact a sore subject, and, accordingly, he changed it.

"I suppose you have been about the country a good deal?"

"I have, indeed, your haner."

"Did you ever happen to hear of, or to meet with, a person called Reilly?"

"Often, shir; met many o' dem."

"Oh, but I mean the scoundrel called Willy Reilly."

"Is dat him dat left the country, shir?"

"Why, how do you know that he has left the country?"

"I don't know myself, shir; but dat de people does be sayhi' it. Dey say dat himself and wan of our bishops went to France togither"

The squire seemed to breathe more freely as he said, in a low soliloquy, "I'm devilish glad of it; for, after all, it would go against my heart to hang the fellow."

"Well," he said aloud, "so he's gone to France?"

"So de people does be sayin, shir."

"Well, tell me—do you know a gentleman called Sir Robert Whitecraft?"

"Is dat him, shir, dat keeps de misses privately?"

"How do you know that he keeps misses privately?"

"Fwhy, shir, dey say his last one was a Miss Herbert, and dat she had a young one by him, and dat she was an Englishwoman. It isn't ginerally known, I believe, shir, but dey do be sayin' dat she was brought to bed in de cottage of some bad woman named Mary Mahon, dat does be on de lookout to get sweethearts for him."

"There's five thirteens for you, and I wish to God, my good fellow, that you would allow yourself to be put in better feathers."

"Oh, I expect my pinance will be out before a mont', shir; but, until den, I couldn't take any money."

"Malcomson," said he to the gardener, "I think that fellow's a half fool. I offered him a crown, and also said. I would get him a suit of clothes, and he would not take either; but talked about some silly penance he was undergoing."

"Saul, then, your honor, he may be a fule in ither things, but de'il a ane of him's a fule in the sceence o' buttany. As to that penance, it's just some Papistrical nonsense, he has gotten into his head—de'il hae't mair: but sure they're a' full o't—a' o' the same graft, an' a bad one I fear it is."

"Well, I believe so, Malcomson, I believe so. However, if the unfortunate fool is clever, give him good wages."

"Saul, your honor, I'll do him justice; only I think that, anent that penance he speaks o', the hail Papish population, bad as we think them, are suffering penance eneuch, one way or tither. It disna' beseem a Protestant—that is, a prelatic Government—to persecute ony portion o' Christian people on, account o' their religion. We have felt and kenned that in Scotland, sairly. I'm no freend to persecution, in ony shape. But, as to this chiel, I ken naething aboot him, but that he is a gude buttanist. Hout, your honor, to be sure I'll gi'e him a fair wage for his skeel and labor."

Malcomson, who was what we have often met, a pedant gardener, saw, however, that the squire's mind was disturbed. In the short conversation which they had, he spoke abruptly, and with a flushed countenance; but he was too shrewd to ask him why he seemed so. It was not, he knew, his business to do so; and as the squire left the garden, to pass into the house, he looked after him, and exclaimed to himself, "my certie, there's a bee in that man's bonnet."

On going to the drawing-room, the squire found Mr. Brown there, and Helen in tears.

"How!" he exclaimed, "what is this? Helen crying! Why, what's the matter, my child? Brown, have you been scolding her, or reading her a homily to teach her repentance. Confound me, but I know it would teach her patience, at all events. What is the matter?"

"My dear Miss Folliard," said the clergyman, "if you will have the goodness to withdraw, I will explain this shocking business to your father."

"Shocking business! Why, in God's name, Brown, what has happened? And why is my daughter in tears, I ask again?"

Helen now left the drawing-rooom, and Mr. Brown replied:

"Sir, a circumstance which, for baseness and diabolical iniquity, is unparalleled in civilized society. I could not pollute your daughter's ears by reciting it in her presence, and besides she is already aware of it."

"Ay, but what is it? Confound you, don't keep me on tenter hooks."

"I shall not do so long, my dear friend. Who do you imagine your daughter's maid—I mean that female attendant upon your pure-minded and virtuous child—is?"

"Faith, go ask Sir Robert Whitecraft. It was he who recommended her; for, on hearing that the maid she had, Ellen Connor, was a Papist, he said he felt uneasy lest she might prevail on my daughter to turn Catholic, and marry Reilly."

"But do you not know who the young woman that is about your daughter's person is? You are, however, a father who loves your child, and I need not ask such a question. Then, sir, I will tell you who she is. Sir, she is one of Sir Robert Whitecraft's cast-off mistresses—a profligate wanton, who has had a child by him."

The fiery old squire had been walking to and fro the room, in a state of considerable agitation before—his mind already charged with the same intelligence, as he had heard it from the gardener (Reilly). He now threw himself into a chair, and' putting his hands before his face, muttered out between his fingers—"D—n seize the villain! It is true, then. Well, never mind, I'll demand satisfaction for this insult; I am not too old to pull a trigger, or give a thrust yet; but then the cowardly hypocrite won't fight. When he has a set of military at his back, and a parcel of unarmed peasants before him, or an unfortunate priest or two, why, he's a dare devil—Hector was nothing to him; no, confound me, nor mad Tom Simpson, that wears a sword on each side, and a double case of pistols, to frighten the bailiffs. The scuundrel of hell!—to impose on me, and insult my child!"

"Mr. Folliard," observed the clergyman calmly, "I can indeed scarcely blame your indignation; it is natural; but, at the same time, it is useless and unavailable. Be cool, and restrain your temper. Of course, you could not think of bestowing your daughter, in marriage, upon this man."

"I tell you what, Brown—I tell you what, my dear friend—-let the devil, Satan, Beelzebub, or whatever you call him from the pulpit—I say, let him come here any time he pleases, in his holiday hoofs and horns, tail and all, and he shall have her sooner than Whitecraft."

Mr. Brown could not help smiling, whilst he said:

"Of course, you will instantly dismiss this abandoned creature."

He started up and exclaimed, "Cog's 'ounds, what am I about?" He instantly rang the bell, and a footman attended. "John, desire that wench Herbert to come here."

"Do you mean Miss Herbert, sir?"

"I do—Miss Herbert—egad, you've hit it; be quick, sirra."

John bowed and withdrew, and in a few minutes Miss Herbert entered.

"Miss Herbert," said the squire, "leave this house as fast as the devil can drive you; and he has driven you to some purpose before now; ay, and, I dare say, will again. I say, then, as fast as he can drive you, pack up your luggage, and begone about your business. Ill just give you ten minutes to disappear."

"What's all this about, master?"

"Master!—why, curse your brazen impudence, how dare you call me master? Begone, you jade of perdition."

"No more a jade of perdition, sir, than you are; nor I shan't begone till I gets a quarter's wages—I tell you that."

"You shall get whatever's coming to you; not another penny. The house-steward will pay you—begone, I say!"

"No, sir, I shan't begone till I gets a, quarter's salary in full. You broke your agreement with me, wich is wat no man as is a gentleman would do; and you are puttin' me away, too, without no cause."

"Cause, you vagabond! you'll find the cause squalling, I suppose, in Mary Mahon's cottage, somewhere near Sir Robert Whitecraft's; and when you see him, tell him I have a crow to pluck with him. Off, I say."

"Oh, I suppose you mean the love-child I had by him—ha, ha! is that all? But I never had a hankerin' after a rebel and a Papist, which is far worser; and I now tell you you're no gentleman, you nasty old Hirish squire. You brought me here, and Sir Robert sent me here, to watch your daughter. Now, what kind of a young lady must she be as requires watching? I was never watched; because as how I was well conducted, and nothing could ever be laid to my charge but a love-child."

"By the great Boyne," he exclaimed, running to the window and throwing up the sash—"yes, by the great Boyne, there is Tom Steeple, and if he doesn't bring you and the pump acquainted, I'm rather mistaken. Here, Tom, I have a job for you. Do you wish to earn a bully dinner, my boy?"

Miss Herbert, on hearing Tom's name mentioned, disappeared like lightning, and set about packing her things immediately. The steward, by his master's desire, paid her exactly what was due to her, which she received without making a single observation. In truth, she entertained such a terror of Tom Steeple, who had been pointed out to her as a wild Irishman, not long caught in the mountains, that she stole out by the back way, and came, by making a circuit, out upon the road that led to Sir Robert Whitecraft's house, which she passed without entering, but went directly to Mary Malion's, who had provided a nurse for her illegitimate child in the neighborhood. She had not been there long when she sent her trusty friend, Mary, to acquaint Sir Robert with what had happened. He was from home, engaged in an expedition of which we feel called upon to give some account to the reader.

At this period, when the persecution ran high against the Catholics, but with peculiar bitterness against their priesthood, it is but justice to a great number of the Protestant magistracy and gentry—nay, and many of the nobility besides—to state that their conduct was both liberal and generous to the unfortunate victims of those cruel laws. It is a well known fact that many Protestant justices of the peace were imprisoned for refusing to execute such oppressive edicts as had gone abroad through the country. Many of them resigned their commissions, and many more were deprived of them. Amongst the latter were several liberal noblemen—Protestants—who had sufficient courage to denounce the spirit in which the country was governed and depopulated at the same time. One of the latter—a nobleman of the highest rank and acquirements, and of the most amiable disposition, a warm friend to civil freedom, and a firm antagonist to persecution and oppression of every hue—this nobleman, we say, married a French lady of rank and fortune, who was a Catholic, and with whom he lived in the tenderest love, and the utmost domestic felicity. The lady being a Catholic, as we said, brought over with her, from France, a learned, pious, and venerable ecclesiastic, as her domestic chaplain and confessor. This man had been professor of divinity for several years in the college of Louvain; but having lost his health, he accepted a small living near the chateau of ——, the residence of Marquis De———, in whose establishment he was domesticated as chaplain. In short, he accompanied Lord ——— and his lady to Ireland, where he acted in the same capacity, but so far only as the lady was concerned; for, as we have already said, her husband, though a liberal man, was a firm but not a bigoted Protestant. This harmless old man, as was very natural, kept up a correspondence with several Irish and French clergymen, his friends, who, as he had done, held professorships in the same college. Many of the Irish clergymen, knowing the dearth of religious instruction which, in consequence of the severe state of the laws, then existed in Ireland, were naturally anxious to know the condition of the country, and whether or not any relaxation in their severity had taken place, with a hope that they might be able with safety to return to the mission here, and bestow spiritual aid and consolation to the suffering and necessarily neglected folds of their own persuasion. On this harmless and pious old man the eye of Hennessy rested. In point of fact he set him for Sir Robert Whitecraft, to whom he represented him as a spy from France, and an active agent of the Catholic priesthood, both here and on the Continent; in fact, an incendiary, who, feeling himself sheltered by the protection of the nobleman in question and his countess, was looked upon as a safe man with whom to hold correspondence. The Abbe, as they termed him, was in the! habit, by his lordship's desire, and that of his lady, of attending the Catholic sick of his large estates, administering to them religious instruction, and the ordinance of their Church, at a time when they could obtain them from no other source. He also acted as their almoner, and distributed relief to the sick, the poor, and the distressed, and thus passed his pious, harmless, and inoffensive, but useful life. Now all these circumstances were noted by Hennessy, who had been on the lookout, to make a present of this good old man to his new patron, Sir Robert. At length having discovered—by; what means it is impossible to conjecture—that the Abbe was to go on the day in question to relieve a poor sick family, at about a distance of two miles from Castle ———, the intelligence was communicated by Hennessy to Sir Robert, who immediately set out for the place, attended by a party of his myrmidons, conducted to it by the Red Rapparee, who, as we have said, was now one of Whitecraft's band. There is often a stupid infatuation in villany which amounts to what they call in Scotland fey—that is, when a man goes on doggedly to commit some act of wickedness, or rush upon some impracticable enterprise, the danger and folly of which must be evident to every person but himself, and that it will end in the loss of his life. Sir Robert, however, had run a long and prosperous career of persecution—a career by which he enriched himself by the spoils he had torn, and the property he had wrested from his victims, generally under the sanction of Government, but very frequently under no other sanction than his own. At all events the party, consisting of about thirty men, remained in a deep and narrow lane, surrounded by high whitethorn hedges, which prevented the horsemen—for they were all dragoons—from being noticed by the country people. Alas, for the poor Abbe! they had not remained there more than twenty minutes when he was seen approaching them, reading his breviary as he came along. They did not move, however, nor seem to notice him, until he had got into the midst of them, when they formed a circle round him, and the loud voice of Whitecraft commanded him to stand. The poor old priest closed his breviary, and looked around him; but he felt no alarm, because he was conscious of no offence, and imagined himself safe under the protection of a distinguished Protestant nobleman.

"Gentlemen," said he, calmly and meekly, but without fear, "what is the cause of this conduct towards an inoffensive old man? It is true I am a Catholic priest, but I am under the protection of the Marquis of———. He is a Protestant nobleman, and I am sure the very mention of his name will satisfy you, that I cannot be the object either of your suspicion or your enmity."

"But, my dear sir," replied Sir Robert, "the nobleman you mention is a suspected man himself, and I have reported him as such to the Government. He is married to a Popish wife, and you are a seminary priest and harbored by her and her husband."

"But what is your object in stopping and surrounding me," asked the priest, "as if I were some public delinquent who had violated the laws? Allow me, sir, to pass, and prevent me at your peril; and permit me, before I proceed, to ask your name?" and the old man's eyes flashed with an indignant sense of the treatment he was receiving.

"Did you ever hear of Sir Robert Whitecraft?"

"The priest-hunter, the persecutor, the robber, the murderer? I did, with disgust, with horror, with execration. If you are he, I say to you that I am, as you see, an old man, and a priest, and have but one life; take it, you will anticipate my death only by a short period; but I look by the light of an innocent conscience into the future, and I now tell you that a woful and a terrible retribution is hanging over your head."

"In the meantime," said Sir Robert, very calmly, as he dismounted from his horse, which he desired one of the men to hold. "I have a warrant from Government to arrest you, and send you back again to your own country without delay. You are here as a spy, an incendiary, and must go on your travels forthwith. In this, I am acting as your friend and protector, and so is Government, who do not wish to be severe upon you, as you are not a natural subject. See sir, here is another warrant for your arrest and imprisonment. The fact is, it was left to my own discretion, either to imprison you, or send you out of the country. Now, sir, from a principle of lenity, I am determined on the latter course."

"But," replied the priest, after casting his eye over both documents, "as I am conscious of no offence, either against your laws or your Government, I decline to fly like a criminal, and I will not; put me in prison, if you wish, but I certainly shall not criminate myself, knowing as I do that I am innocent. In the meantime, I request that you will accompany me to the castle of my patron, that I may acquaint him with the charges against me, and the cause of my being forced to leave his family for a time."

"No, sir," replied Whitecraft, "I cannot do so, unless I betray the trust which Government reposes in me. I cannot permit you to hold any intercourse whatever with your patron, as you call him, who is justly suspected of being a Papist at heart. Sir, you have been going abroad through the country, under pretence of administering consolation to the sick, and bestowing alms upon the poor; but the fact is, you have been stirring them up to sedition, if not to open rebellion. You must, therefore, come along with us, this instant. You proceed with us to Sligo, from whence we shall ship you off in a vessel bound for France, which vessel is commanded by a friend of mine, who will treat you kindly, for my sake. What shall we do for a horse for him?" he asked, looking at his men for information on that point.

"That, your honor,we'll provide in a crack," replied the Red Rapparee, looking up the road; "here comes Sterling, the gauger, very well mounted, and, by all the stills he ever seized, he must walk home upon shank's mare, if it was only to give him exercise and improve his appetite."

We need not detail this open robbery on the king's officer, and on the king's highway besides. It is enough to say that the Rapparee, confident of protection and impunity, with the connivance, although not by the express orders of the baronet, deprived the man of his horse, and, in a few minutes, the poor old priest was placed upon the saddle, and the whole cavalcade proceeded on their way to Sligo, the priest in the centre of them. Fortunately for Sir Robert's project, they reached the quay just as the vessel alluded to was about to sail; and as there was, at that period, no novelty in seeing a priest shipped out of the country, the loungers about the place, whatever they might have thought in their hearts, seemed to take no particular notice of the transaction.

"Your honor," said the Red Rapparee, approaching and giving a military salute to his patron, "will you allow me to remain in town for an hour or two? I have a scheme in my head that may come to something. I will tell your honor what it is when I get home."

"Very well, O'Donnel," replied Sir Robert; "but I'd advise you not to ride late, if you can avoid it. You know that every man in your uniform is a mark for the vindictive resentment of these Popish rebels."

"Ah! maybe I don't know that, your honor; but you may take my word for it that I will lose little time."

He then rode down a by-street, very coolly, taking the gauger's horse along with him. The reader may remember the fable of the cat that had been transformed into a lady, and the unfortunate mouse. The Rapparee, whose original propensities were strong as ever, could not, for the soul of him, resist the temptation of selling the horse and pocketing the amount. He did so, and very deliberately proceeded home to his barracks, but took care to avoid any private communication with his patron for some days, lest he might question him as to what he had done with the animal.

In the meantime, this monstrous outrage upon an unoffending priest, who was a natural subject of France, perpetrated, as it was, in the open face of day, and witnessed by so many, could not, as the reader may expect, be long concealed. It soon reached the ears of the Marquis of ———and his lady, who were deeply distressed at the disappearance of their aged and revered friend. The Marquis, on satisfying himself of the truth of the report, did not, as might have been expected, wait upon Sir Robert Whitecraft; but without loss of time set sail for London, to wait upon the French Ambassador, to whom he detailed the whole circumstances of the outrage. And here we shall not further proceed with an account of those circumstances, as they will necessarily intermingle with that portion of the narrative which is to follow.





CHAPTER XVI.—Sir Robert ingeniously extricates Himself out of a great Difficulty.

On the day after the outrage we have described, the indignant old squire's carriage stopped at the hall-door of Sir Robert Whitecraft, whom he found at home. As yet, the latter gentleman had heard nothing of the contumelious dismissal of Miss Herbert; but the old squire was not ignorant of the felonious abduction of the priest. At any other time, that is to say, in some of his peculiar stretches of loyalty, the act might, have been a feather in the cap of the loyal baronet; but, at present, he looked both at him and his exploits through the medium of the insult he had offered to his daughter. Accordingly, when he entered the baronet's library, where he found him literally sunk in papers, anonymous letters, warrants, reports to Government, and a vast variety of other documents, the worthy Sir Robert rose, and in the most cordial manner, and with the most extraordinary suavity of aspect, held out his hand, saying:

"How much obliged am I, Mr. Folliard, at the kindness of this visit, especially from one who keeps at home so much as you do."

The squire instantly repulsed him, and replied:

"No, sir; I am an honest, and, I trust, and honorable man. My hand, therefore, shall never touch that of a villain."

"A villain!—why, Mr. Folliard, these are hard and harsh words, and they surprise me, indeed, as proceeding from your lips. May I beg, my friend, that you will explain yourself?"

"I will, sir. How durst you take the liberty of sending one of your cast-off strumpets to attend personally upon my pure and virtuous daughter? For that insult I come this day to demand that satisfaction which is due to the outraged feelings of my daughter—to my own also, as her father and natural protector, and also as an Irish gentleman, who will brook no insult either to his family or himself. I say, then, name your time and place, and your weapon—sword or pistol, I don't care which, I am ready."

"But, my good sir, there is some mystery here; I certainly engaged a female of that name to attend on Miss Folliard, but most assuredly she was a well-conducted person."

"What! Madam Herbert well conducted! Do you imagine, sir, that I am a fool? Did she not admit that you debauched her?"

"It could not be, Mr. Folliard; I know nothing whatsoever about her, except that she was daughter to one of my tenants, who is besides a sergeant of dragoons."

"Ay, yes, sir," replied the squire sarcastically; "and I tell you it was not for killing and eating the enemy that he was promoted to his seirgeantship. But I see your manoeuvre, Sir Robert; you wish to shift the conversation, and sleep in a whole skin. I say now, I have provided myself with a friend, and I ask, will you fight?"

"And why not have sent your friend, Mr. Folliard, as is usual upon such occasions?"

"Because he is knocked up, after a fit of drink, and I cannot be just so cool, under such an insult, as to command patience to wait. My friend, however, will attend us on the ground; but, I ask again, will you fight?"

"Most assuredly not, sir; I am an enemy to duelling on principle; but in your case I could not think of it, even if I were not. What! raise my hand against the life of Helen's father!—no, sir, I'd sooner die than do so. Besides, Mr. Folliard, I am, so to speak, not my own property, but that of my King, my Government, and my country; and under these circumstances not at liberty to dispose of my life, unless in their quarrel."

"I see," replied the squire bitterly; "it is certainly an admirable description of loyalty that enables a man, who is base enough to insult the very woman who was about to become his wife, and to involve her own father in the insult, to ensconce himself, like a coward, behind his loyalty, and refuse to give the satisfaction of a man, or a gentleman."

"But, Mr. Folliard, will you hear me? there must, as I said, be some mystery here; I certainly did recommend a young female named Herbert to you, but I was utterly ignorant of what you mention."

Here the footman entered, and whispered something to Sir Robert, who apologized to the squire for leaving him two or three minutes. "Here is the last paper," said he, "and I trust that before you go I will be able to remove clearly and fully the prejudices which you entertain against me, and which originate, so far as I am concerned, in a mystery which I am unable to penetrate."

He then followed the servant, who conducted him to Hennessy, whom he found in the back parlor.

"Well, Mr. Hennessy," said he, impatiently, "what is the matter now?"

"Why," replied the other, "I have one as good as bagged, Sir Robert."

"One what?"

"Why, a priest, sir."

"Well, Mr. Hennessy, I am particularly engaged now; but as to Reilly, can you not come upon his trail? I would rather have him than a dozen priests; however, remain here for about twenty minutes, or say half an hour, and I will talk with you at more length. For the present I am most particularly engaged."

"Very well, Sir Robert, I shall await your leisure; but, as to Reilly, I have every reason to think that he has left the country."

Sir Robert, on going into the hall, saw the porter open the door, and Miss Herbert presented herself.

"Oh," said he, "is this you? I am glad you came; follow me into the front parlor."

She accordingly did so; and after he had shut the door he addressed her as follows:

"Now, tell me how the devil you were discovered; or were you accessory yourself to the discovery, by your egregious folly and vanity?"

"Oh, la, Sir Robert, do you think I am a fool?"

"I fear you are little short of it," he replied; "at all events, you have succeeded in knocking up my marriage with Miss Folliard. How did it happen that they found you out?"

She then detailed to him the circumstances exactly as the reader is acquainted with them.

He paused for some time, and then said, "There is some mystery at the bottom of this which I must fathom. Have you any reason to know how the family became acquainted with your history?"

"No, sir; not in the least."

"Do you think Miss Folliard meets any person privately?"

"Not, sir, while I was with her."

"Did she ever attempt to go out by herself?"

"Not, sir, while I was with her."

"Very well, then, I'll tell you what you must do; her father is above with me now, in a perfect hurricane of indignation. Now you must say that the girl Herbert, whom I recommended to the squire, was a friend of yours; that she gave you the letter of recommendation which I gave her to Mr. Folliard; that having married her sweetheart and left the country with him, you were tempted to present yourself in her stead, and to assume her name. I will call you up by and by; but what name will you take?"

"My mother's name, sir, was Wilson."

"Very good; what was her Christian name?"

"Catherine, sir."

"And you must say that I know nothing whatsoever of the imposture you were guilty of. I shall make it worth your while; and if you don't get well through with it, and enable me to bamboozle the old fellow, I have done with you. I shall send for you by and by."

He then rejoined the squire, who was walking impatiently about the room.

"Mr. Folliard," said he, "I have to apologize to you for this seeming neglect; I had most important business to transact, and I merely went downstairs to tell the gentleman that I could not possibly attend to it now, and to request him to come in a couple of hours hence; pray excuse me, for no business could be so important as that in which I am now engaged with you.'"

"Yes, but in the name of an outraged father, I demand again to know whether you will give me satisfaction or not?"

"I have already answered you, my dear sir, and if you will reflect upon the reasons I have given you, I am certain you will admit that I have the laws both of God and man on my side, and I feel it my duty to regulate my conduct by both. As to the charge you bring against me, about the girl Herbert, I am both ignorant and innocent of it."

"Why, sir, how can you say so? how have you the face to say so?—did you not give her a letter of recommendation to me, pledging yourself for her moral character and fidelity?"

"I grant it, but still I pledge you my honor that I looked upon her as an extremely proper person to be about your daughter; you know, sir, that you as well as I have had—and have still—apprehensions as to Reilly's conduct and influence over her; and I did fear, and so did you, that the maid who then attended her, and to whom I was told she was attached with such unusual affection, might have availed herself of her position, and either attempted to seduce her from her faith, or connive at private meetings with Reilly."

"Sir Robert, I know your plausibility—and, upon my soul, I pay it a high compliment when I say it is equal to your cowardice."

"Mr. Folliard, I can bear all this with patience, especially from you—What's this?" he exclaimed, addressing the footman, who rushed into the room in a state of considerable excitement.

"Why, Sir Robert, there is a young woman below, who is crying and lamenting, and saying she must see Mr. Folliard."

"Damnation, sir," exclaimed Sir Robert, "what is this? why am I interrupted in such a manner? I cannot have a gentleman ten minutes in my study, engaged upon private and important business, but in bolts some of you, to interrupt and disturb us. What does the girl want with me?"

"It is not you she wants, sir," replied the footman, "but his honor, Mr. Folliard."

"Well, tell her to wait until he is disengaged."

"No," replied Mr. Folliard, "send her up at once; what the devil can this be? but you shall witness it."

The baronet smiled knowingly. "Well," said he, "Mr. Folliard, upon my honor, I thought you had sown your wild oats many a year ago; and, by the way, according to all accounts—hem—but no matter; this, to be sure, will be rather a late crop."

"No, sir, I sowed my wild oats in the right season, when I was hot, young, and impetuous; but long before your age, sir, that field had been allowed to lie barren."

He had scarcely concluded when Miss Herbert, acting upon a plan of her own, which, were not the baronet a man of the most imperturbable coolness, might have staggered, if not altogether confounded him, entered the room.

"Oh, sir!" she exclaimed, with a flood of tears, kneeling before Mr. Folliard, "can you forgive and pardon me?"

"It is not against you, foolish girl, that my resentment is or shall be directed, but against the man who employed you—and there he sits."

"Oh, sir!" she exclaimed, again turning to that worthy gentleman, who seemed filled with astonishment.

"In God's name!" said he, interrupting his accomplice, "what can this mean? Who are you, my good girl?"

"My name's Catherine Wilson, sir."

"Catherine Wilson!" exclaimed the squire—"why, confound your brazen face, are you not the person who styled yourself Miss Herbert, and who lived, thank God, but for a short time only, in my family?"

"I lived in your family, sir, but I am not the Miss Herbert that Sir Robert Whitecraft recommended to you."

"I certainly know nothing about you, my good girl," replied Sir Robert, "nor do I recollect having ever seen you before; but proceed with what you have to say, and let us hear it at once."

"Yes, sir; but perhaps you are not the gentleman as is known to be Sir Robert Whitecraft—him as hunts the priests. Oh, la, I'll surely be sent to jail. Gentlemen, if you promise not to send me to jail, I'll tell you everything."

"Well, then, proceed," said the squire; "I will not send you to jail, provided you tell the truth."

"Nor I, my good girl," added Sir Robert, "but upon the same conditions."

"Well, then, gentlemen, I was acquainted with Miss Herbert—she is Hirish, but I'm English. This gentleman gave her a letter to you, Mr. Folliard, to get her as maid to Miss Helen—she told me—oh, my goodness, I shall surely be sent to jail."

"Go on, girl," said the baronet somewhat sternly, by which tone of voice he intimated—to her that she was pursuing the right course, and she was quick enough to understand as much.

"Well," she proceeded, "after Miss Herbert had got the letter, she told her sweetheart, who wouldn't by no means allow her to take service, because as why, he wanted to marry her; well, she consented, and they did get married, and both of them left the country because her father wasn't consenting. As the letter was of no use to her then, I asked her for it, and offered myself in her name to you, sir, and that was the way I came into your family for a short time."

The baronet rose up, in well-feigned agitation, and exclaimed, "Unfortunate girl! whoever you may be, you know not the serious mischief and unhappiness that your imposture was nearly entailing upon me."

"But did you not say that you bore an illegitimate child to this gentleman?" asked the squire.

"Oh, la! no, sir; you know I denied that; I never bore an illegitimate child; I bore a love-child, but not to him; and there is no harm in that, sure."

"Well, she certainly has exculpated you, Sir Robert."

"Gentlemen, will you excuse and pardon me? and will you promise not to send me to jail?"

"Go about your business," said Sir Robert, "you unfortunate girl, and be guilty of no such impostures in future. Your conduct has nearly been the means of putting enmity between two families of rank; or rather of alienating one of them from the confidence and good-will of the other. Go."

She then courtesied to each, shedding, at the same time, what seemed to be bitter tears of remorse—and took her departure, each of them looking after her, and then at the other, with surprise and wonder.

"Now, Mr. Folliard," said Sir Robert solemnly, "I have one question to ask you, and it is this: could I possibly, or by any earthly natural means, have been apprised of the honor of your visit to me this day? I ask you in a serious—yes, and in a solemn spirit; because the happiness of my future life depends on your reply."

"Why, no," replied the credulous squire, "hang it, no, man—no, Sir Robert; I'll do you that justice; I never mentioned my intention of coming to call you out, to any individual but one, and that on my way hither; he was unwell, too, after a hard night's drinking; but he said he would shake himself up, and be ready to attend me as soon as the place of meeting should be settled on. In point of fact, I did not intend to see you to-day, but to send him with the message; but, as I said, he was knocked up for a time, and you know my natural impatience. No, certainly not, it was in every sense impossible that you could have expected me: yes, if the devil was in it, I will do you that justice."

"Well, I have another question to ask, my dear friend, equally important with, if not more so than, the other. Do you hold me free from all blame in what has happened through the imposture of that wretched girl?"

"Why, after what has occurred just now, I certainly must, Sir Robert. As you laid no anticipation of my visit, you certainly could not, nor had you time to get up a scene."

"Well, now, Mr. Folliard, you have taken a load off my heart; and I will candidly confess to you that I have had my frailties like other men, sown my wild oats like other men; but, unlike those who are not ashamed to boast of such exploits, I did not think it necessary to trumpet my own feelings. I do not say, my dear friend, that I have always been a saint."

"Why, now, that's manly and candid, Sir Robert, and I like you the better for it. Yes, I do exonerate you from blame in this. There certainly was sincerity in that wench's tears, and be hanged to her; for, as you properly said, she was devilish near putting between our families, and knocking up our intimacy. It is a delightful thing to think that I shall be able to disabuse poor Helen's mind upon the subject; for, I give you my honor, it caused her the greatest distress, and excited her mind to a high pitch of indignation against you; but I shall set all to rights."

"And now that the matter is settled, Mr. Folliard, we must have lunch. I will give you a glass of Burgundy, which, I am sure, you will like."

"With all my heart," replied the placable and hearty old squire; "after the agitation of the day a good glass of Burgundy will serve me certainly."

Lunch was accordingly ordered, and the squire, after taking half a dozen bumpers of excellent wine, got into fine spirits, shook hands as cordially as ever with the baronet, and drove home completely relieved from the suspicions which he had entertained.

The squire, on his return home, immediately called for his daughter, but for some time to no purpose. The old man began to get alarmed, and had not only Helen's room searched, but every room in the house. At length a servant informed him that she was tending and arranging the green-house flowers in the garden.

"Oh, ay!" said he, after he had dismissed the servants, "Thank God—thank God! I will go out to the dear girl; for she is a dear girl, and it is a sin to suspect her. I wish to heaven that that scoundrel Reilly would turn Protestant, and he should have her with all the veins of my heart. Upon my soul, putting religion out of the question, one would think that, in other respects, they were made for each other. But it's all this cursed pride of his that prevents him; as if it signified what any person's religion is, provided he's an honest man, and a loyal subject."

He thus proceeded with his soliloquy until he reached the garden, where he found Reilly and her arranging the plants and flowers in a superb green-house.

"Well, Helen, my love, how is the greenhouse doing? Eh! why, what is this?"

At this exclamation the lovers started, but the old fellow was admiring the improvement, which even he couldn't but notice.

"Why, what is this?" he proceeded; "by the light of day, Helen, you have made this a little paradise of flowers."

"It was not I, papa," she replied; "all that I have been able to contribute to the order; and beauty of the place has been very slight indeed. It is all the result of this poor man's taste and skill. He's an admirable botanist."

"By the great Boyne, my girl, I think he could lick Malcomson himself, as a botanist."

"Shir," observed Reilly, "the young lady is underwaluin' herself; sure, miss, it was yourself directed me what to do, and how to do it."

"Look at that old chap, Helen," said her father, who felt in great good humor; first, because he found that Helen was safe; and again, because Sir Robert, as the unsuspecting old man thought, had cleared up the circumstances of Miss Herbert's imposture; "I say, Helen, look at that old chap: isn't he a nice bit of goods to run away with a pretty girl? and what a taste she must have had to go with him! Upon my soul, it beats cock-fighting—confound me, but it does."

Helen's face became crimson as he spoke; and yet, such was the ludicrous appearance which Reilly made, when put in connection with the false scent on which her father was proceeding at such a rate, and the act of gallantry imputed to him, that a strong feeling of humor overcame her, and she burst into a loud ringing laugh, which she could not, for some time, restrain; in this she was heartily joined by her father, who laughed till the tears came down his cheeks.

"And yet, Helen—ha—ha—ha, he's a stalwart old rogue still, and must have been a devil of a tyke when he was young."

After another fit of laughter from both father and daughter, the squire said:

"Now, Helen, my love, go in. I have good news for you, which I will acquaint you with by and by."

When she left the garden, her father addressed Reilly as follows:

"Now, my good fellow, will you tell me how you came to know about Miss Herbert having been seduced by Sir Robert Whitecraft?"

"Fvhy, shir, from common report, shir."

"Is that all? But don't you think," he replied, "that common report is a common liar, as it mostly has been, and is, in this case. That's all I have to say upon the subject. I have traced the affair, and find it to be a falsehood from beginning to ending. I have. And now, go on as you're doing, and I will make Malcomson raise your wages."

"Thank you, shir," and he touched his nondescript with an air of great thankfulness and humility.

"Helen, my darling," said her father, on entering her own sitting-room, "I said I had good news for you."

Helen looked at him with a doubtful face, and simply said, "I hope it is good, papa."

"Why, my child, I won't enter into particulars; it is enough to say that I discovered from an accidental meeting with that wretched girl we had here that she was not Miss Herbert, as she called herself, at all, but another, named Catherine Wilson, who, having got from Herbert the letter of recommendation which I read to you, had the effrontery to pass herself for her; but the other report was false. The girl Wilson, apprehensive that either I or Sir Robert might send her to jail, having seen my carriage stop at Sir Robert's house, came, with tears in her eyes, to beg that if we would not punish her she would tell us the truth, and she did so."

Helen mused for some time, and seemed to decide instantly upon the course of action she should pursue, or, rather, the course which she had previously proposed to herself. She saw clearly, and had long known that in the tactics and stratagems of life, her blunt but honest father was no match at all for the deep hypocrisy and deceitful plausibility of Sir Robert Whitecraft, the consequence was, that she allowed her father to take his own way, without either remonstrance or contradiction. She knew very well that on this occasion, as on every other where their wits and wishes came in opposition, Sir Robert was always able to outgeneral and overreach him; she therefore resolved to agitate herself as little as possible, and to allow matters to flow on tranquilly, until the crisis—the moment for action came.

"Papa," she replied, "this intelligence must make your mind very easy; I hope, however, you will restore poor faithful Connor to me. I never had such an affectionate and kind creature; and, besides, not one of them could dress me with such skill and taste as she could. Will you allow me to have her back, sir?"

"I will, Helen; but take care she doesn't make a Papist of you."

"Indeed, papa, that is a strange whim: why, the poor girl never opened her lips to me on the subject of religion during her life; nor, if I saw that she attempted it, would I permit her. I am no theologian, papa, and detest polemics, because I have always heard that those who are most addicted to polemical controversy have least religion."

"Well, my love, you shall have back poor Connor; and now I must go and look over some papers in my study. Good-by, my love; and observe, Helen, don't stay out too late in the garden, lest the chill of the air might injure your health."

"But you know I never do, and never did, papa."

"Well, good-by again, my love."

He then left her, and withdrew to his study to sign some papers, and transact some business, which he had allowed to run into arrear. When he had been there better than an hour, he rang the bell, and desired that Malcomson, the gardener, should be sent to him, and that self-sufficient and pedantic person made his appearance accordingly.

"Well, Malcomson," said he, "how do you like the bearded fellow in the garden?"

"Ou, yer honor, weel eneugh; he does ken something o' the sceence o' buttany, an' 'am thinkin' he must hae been a gude spell in Scotland, for I canna guess whare else he could hae become acquent wi' it."

"I see Malcomson, you'll still persist in your confounded pedantry about your science. Now, what the devil has science to do with botany or gardening?"

"Weel, your honor, it wadna just become me to dispute wi' ye upon that or any ither subjeck; but for a' that, it required profoond sceence, and vera extensive learnin' to classify an' arrange a' the plants o' the yearth, an' to gie them names, by whilk they dan be known throughout a' the nations o' the warld."

"Well, well—I suppose I must let you have your way."

"Why, your honor," replied Malcomson, "'am sure it mair becomes me to let you hae yours; but regerding this ould carl, I winna say, but he has been weel indoctrinated in the sceence."

"Ahem! well, well, go on."

"An' it's no easy to guess whare he could hae gotten it. Indeed, 'am of opinion that he's no without a hantle o' book lair; for, to do him justice, de'il a question I spier at him, anent the learned names o' the rare plants, that he hasna at his finger ends, and gies to me off-hand. Naebody but a man that has gotten book lair could do yon."

"Book lair, what is that?"

"Ou, just a correck knowledge o' the learned names of the plants. I dinna say, and I winna say, but he's a velliable assistant to me, an' I shouldna wish to pairt wi' him. If he'd only shave off yon beard, an' let himsel' be decently happed in good claiths, why he might pass in ony gentleman's gerden for a skeelful buttanist."

"Is he as good a kitchen gardener as he is in the green-house, and among the flowers?"

"Weel, your honor, guid troth, 'am sairly puzzled there; hoot, no, sir; de'il a thing almost he kens about the kitchen gerden—a' his strength lies among the flowers and in the green-house."

"Well, well, that's where we principally want him. I sent for you, Malcomson, to desire you'd raise his wages—the laborer is worthy of his hire; and a good laborer of good hire. Let him have four shillings a week additional."

"Troth, your honor, 'am no sayin' but he weel deserves it; but, Lord haud a care o' us, he's a queer one, yon."

"Why, what do you mean?"

"Why, de'il heat he seems to care about siller any mair than if it was sklate stains. On Saturday last, when he was paid his weekly wages by the steward, he met a puir sickly-lookin' auld wife, wi' a string o' sickly-looking weans at the body's heels; she didna ask him for charity, for, in troth, he appeared, binna it wearna for the weans, as great an objeck as hersel'; noo, what wad yer honor think? he gaes ower and gies till her a hale crown o' siller out o' his ain wage. Was ever onything heard like yon?"

"Well, I know the cause of it, Malcomson. He's under a penance, and can neither shave nor change his dress till his silly penance is out; and I suppose it was to wash off a part of it that he gave this foolish charity to the poor woman and her children. Come, although I condemn the folly of it, I don't like him the worse for it."

"Hout awa', your honor, what is it but rank Papistry, and a dependence upon filthy works. The doited auld carl, to throw aff his siller that gate; but that's Papistry a' ower—substituting works for grace and faith—a' Papistry, a' Papistry! Well, your honor, I sal be conform to your wushes—it's my duty, that."





CHAPTER XVII.—Awful Conduct of Squire Folliard

—Fergus Reilly begins to Contravene the Red Rapparee

After Malcomson quitted him, the squire, with his golden-headed cane, went to saunter about his beautiful grounds and his noble demesne, proud, certainly, of his property, nor insensible to the beautiful scenery which it presented from so many points of observation. He had not been long here when a poor-looking peasant, dressed in shabby frieze, approached him at as fast a pace as he could accomplish; and the squire, after looking at him, exclaimed, in an angry tone:

"Well, you rascal, what the devil brings you here?"

The man stood for a little, and seemed so much exhausted and out of breath that he could not speak.

"I say, you unfortunate old vagrant," repeated the squire, "what brought you here?"

"It is a case of either life or death, sir," replied the poor peasant.

"Why," said the squire, "what crime did you commit? Or, perhaps, you broke prison, and are flying from the officers of justice; eh! is that it? And you come to ask a magistrate to protect you!"

"I am flying from the agents of persecution, sir, and know not where to hide my head in order to avoid them."

The hard-pressed but amiable priest—for such he was—adopted this language of truth, because he knew the squire's character, and felt that it would serve him more effectually than if he had attempted to conceal his profession. "I am a Catholic priest, sir, and felt from bitter experience that this disguise was necessary to the preservation of my life. I throw myself upon your honor and generosity, for although hasty, sir, you are reported to have a good and kind heart."

"You are disposed to place confidence in me, then?"

"I am, sir; my being before you now, and putting myself in your power, is a proof of it."

"Who are pursuing you? Sir Robert Whitecraft—eh?"

"No, sir, Captain Smellpriest and his gang."

"Ay, out of the frying pan into the fire; although I don't know that, either. They say Smellpriest can do a generous thing sometimes—but the other, when priest-hunting, never. What's your name?"

"I'll tell you, without hesitation, sir—Macguire; I'm of the Macguires of Fermanagh."

"Ay! ay! why, then, you have good blood in your veins. But what offence were you guilty of that you—but I need not ask; it is enough, in the present state of the laws, that you are a Catholic priest. In the meantime, are you aware that I myself transported a Catholic priest, and that he would have swung only for my daughter, who went to the viceroy, and, with much difficulty, got his sentence commuted to transportation for life? I myself had already tried it, and failed; but she succeeded, God bless her!"

"Yes, God bless her!" replied the priest, "she succeeded, and her fame has gone far and near, in consequence; yes, may God of his mercy bless and guard her from all evil!" and as the poor hunted priest spoke, the tears came to his eyes. This symptom of respect and affection, prompted by the generous and heroic conduct of the far-famed Cooleen Bawn, touched her father, and saved the priest.

"Well," said he, after musing for a while, "so you say Smellpriest is after you?"

"He is, sir; they saw me at a distance, across the country, scrambling over the park wall, and indeed I was near falling into their hands by the difficulty I had in getting over it."

"Well, come," replied the squire, "since you have had the courage to place confidence in me, I won't abuse it; come along, I will both conceal and protect you. I presume there is little time to be lost, for those priest hounds will be apt to ride round to the entrance gate, which I will desire the porter to close and lock, and then leave the lodge."

On their way home he did so, and ordered the porter up to the house. The magnificent avenue was a serpentine one, and our friends had barely time to get out of sight of the lodge, by a turn in it, when they heard the voices of the pursuers, hallooing for the porter, and thundering at the gate.

"Ay, thunder away, only don't injure my gate, Smellpriest, or I'll make you replace it; bawl yourselves hoarse—you are on the wrong side for once!"

When they were approaching the hall-door, which generally lay open—

"Confound me," said the squire, "if I know what to do with you; I trust in God I won't get into odium by this. At all events, let us steal upstairs as quietly as we can, and, if possible, without any one seeing us."

To the necessity of this the priest assented, and they had reached the first landing of the staircase when out popped right in their teeth two housemaids each with brush in hand. Now it instantly occurred to the squire that in this unlucky crisis bribery was the safest resource. He accordingly addressed them:

"Come here, you jades, don't say a word about this man's presence here—don't breathe it; here's five shillings apiece for you, and let one of you go and bring me up, secretly, the key of the green-room in the garret; it has not been opened for some time. Be quick now; or stay, desire Lanigan to fetch it, and refreshment also; there's cold venison and roast beef, and a bottle of wine; tell Lanigan I'm going to lunch, and to lay the table in my study. Lanigan can be depended on," he added, after the chambermaid had gone, "for when I concealed another priest here once, he was entrusted with the secret, and was faithful."

Now it so happened that one of those maids, who was a bitter Protestant, at once recognized Father Maguire, notwithstanding his disguise. She had been a servant for four or five years in the house of a wealthy farmer who lived adjoining him, and with whom he had been in the habit of frequently dining when no danger was to be apprehended from the operation of the laws. Indeed, she and Malcomson, the gardener, were the only two individuals in the squire's establishment who were not Catholics. Malcomson was a manoeuvrer, and, as is pretty usual with individuals of his class and country, he looked upon "Papistry" as an abomination that ought to be removed from the land. Still, he was cautious and shrewd, and seldom or never permitted those opinions to interfere with or obstruct his own interests. Be this is it may, the secret was not long kept. Esther Wilson impeached her master's loyalty, and she herself was indignantly assailed for her treachery by Molly Finigan, who hoped in her soul that her master and young mistress would both die in the true Church yet.

The whole kitchen was in a buzz; in fact, a regular scene ensued. Every one spoke, except Lanigan, who, from former experience, understood the case perfectly; but, as for Malcomson, whose zeal on this occasion certainly got the better of his discretion, he seemed thunderstruck.

"Eh, sirs! did ony one ever hear the like o' this?—to hide a rebel priest frae the offended laws! But it canna be that this puir man is athegether right in his head. Lord ha'e a care o' us! the man surely must be demented, or he wouldna venture to bring such a person into his ain house—into the vara house. I think, Maisther Lanigan, it wad be just a precious bit o' service to religion and our laws to gang and tell the next magistrate. Gude guide us! what an example he is settin' to his loyal neighbors, and his hail connections! That ever we should see the like o' this waefu' backsliding at his years! Lord ha'e a care o' us, I say aince mair."

"Oh, but there's more to come," said one of them, for, in the turmoil produced by this shocking intelligence, they had forgotten to deliver the message to Lanigan.

"Mr. Lanigan," said Esther, and her breath was checked by a hysteric hiccup, "Mr. Lanigan, you are to bring up the key of the green-room, and plenty of venison, roast beef, and a bottle of wine! There!"

"Baal, Maisther Lanigan, I winna stay langer under this roof; it's nae cannie; I'll e'en gang out, and ha'e some nonsense clavers wi' yon queer auld carl i' the gerden. The Lord ha'e a eare o' us!—what will the warld come to next!"

He accordingly repaired to the garden, where the first thing he did was to give a fearful account to Reilly of their master's political profligacy. The latter felt surprised, but not at all at Malcomson's narrative. The fact was, he knew the exact circumstances of the case, because he knew the squire's character, which was sometimes good, and sometimes the reverse—just according to the humor he might be in: and in reply observed to Malcomson, that—

"As his honor done a great dale o' good! to the poor o' the counthry, I think it wouldn't be daicent in us, Misther Malcomson, to go for to publish this generous act to the poor priesht; if he is wrong, let us lave him to Gad, shir."

"Ou ay, weel I dinna but you're richt; the mair that we won't hae to answer for his transgressions; sae e'en let every herring hang by its ain tail."

In the meantime, Lanigan, who understood the affair well enough, addressed the audience in the kitchen to the following effect:

"Now," said he, "what a devil of a hubbub you all make about nothing! Pray, young lady," addressing Esther Wilson, who alone had divulged the circumstance, "did his honor desire you to keep what you seen saicret?"

"He did, cook, he did," replied Esther; "and gave us money not to speak about it, which is a proof of his guilt."

"And the first thing you did was to blaze it to the whole kitchen! I'll tell you what it is now—if he ever hears that you breathed a syllable of it to mortal man, you won't be under his roof two hours."

"Oh, but, surely, cook—"

"Oh, but, surely, madam," replied Lanigan, "you talk of what you don't understand; his honor knows very well what he's about, mid has authority for it."

This sobered her to some purpose; and Lanigan proceeded to execute his master's orders.

It is true Miss Esther and Malcomson were now silent, for their own sakes; but it did not remove their indignation; so far from that, Lanigan himself came in for a share of it, and was secretly looked upon in the light of the squire's confidant in the transaction.

Whilst matters were in this position, the Red Rapparee began gradually to lose the confidence of his unscrupulous employer. He had promised that worthy gentleman to betray his former gang, and deliver them up to justice, in requital for the protection which he received from him. This he would certainly have done, were it not for Fergus, who, happening to meet one of them a day or two after the Rapparee had taken service with Whitecraft upon the aforesaid condition,—informed the robber of that fact, and advised him, if he wished to provide for his own safety and that of his companions, to desire them forthwith to leave the country, and, if possible, the kingdom. They accordingly took the hint; some of them retired to distant and remote places, and others went beyond seas for their security. The promise, therefore, which the Rapparee had made to the baronet as a proof of gratitude for his protection, he now found himself incapable of fulfilling, in consequence of the dispersion and disappearance of his band. When he stated this fact to Sir Robert, he gained little credit from him; and the consequence was that his patron felt disposed to think that he was not a man to be depended on. Still, what he had advanced in his own defence might be true; and although his confidence in him was shaken, he resolved to maintain him yet in his service, and that for two reasons—one of which was, that by having him under his eye, and within his grasp, he could pounce upon him at any moment; the other was, that, as he knew, from the previous shifts and necessities of his own lawless life, all those dens and recesses and caverns to which the Catholic priesthood, and a good number of the people, were obliged to fly and conceal themselves, he must necessarily be a useful guide to him as a priest-hunter. It is true he assured him that he had procured his pardon from Government, principally, he said, in consequence of his own influence, and because, in all his robberies, it had not been known that he ever took away human life. In general, however, this was the policy of the Rapparees, unless when they identified themselves with political contests and outrages, and on those occasions they were savage and cruel as fiends. In simple robbery on the king's highway, or in burglaries in houses, they seldom, almost never, committed murder, unless when resisted, and in defence of their lives. On the contrary, they were quite gallant to females, whom they treated with a kind of rude courtesy, not unfrequently returning the lady of the house her gold watch—but this only on occasions when they had secured a large booty of plate and money. The Threshers of 1805-6 and '7, so far as cruelty goes, were a thousand times worse; for they spared neither man nor woman in their infamous and nocturnal visits; and it is enough to say, besides, that their cowardice was equal to their cruelty. It has been proved, at special commissions held about those periods, that four or five men, with red coats on them, have made between two or three hundred of the miscreants run for their lives, and they tolerably well-armed. Whether Sir Robert's account of the Rapparee's pardon was true or false will appear in due time; for the truth is, that Whitecraft was one of those men who, in consequence of his staunch loyalty and burning zeal in carrying out the inhuman measures of the then Government, was permitted with impunity to run into a licentiousness of action, as a useful public man, which no modern government would, or dare, permit. At the period of which we write, there was no press, so to speak, in Ireland, and consequently no opportunity of at once bringing the acts of the Irish Government, or of public men, to the test of public opinion. Such men, therefore, as Whitecraft, looked upon themselves as invested with irresponsible power; and almost in every instance their conduct was approved of, recognized, and, in general, rewarded by the Government of the day. The Beresford family enjoyed something like this unenviable privilege, during the rebellion of '98, and for some time afterwards. We have alluded to Mrs. Oxley, the sheriffs, fat wife; whether fortunately or unfortunately for the poor sheriff, who had some generous touches of character about him, it so happened, at this period of our narrative she popped off one day, in a fit of apoplexy, and he found himself a widower. Now, our acquaintance, Fergus Reilly, who was as deeply disguised as our hero, had made his mind up, if possible, to bring the Rapparee into trouble. This man had led his patron to several places where it was likely that the persecuted priests might be found; and, for this reason, Fergus knew that he was serious in his object to betray them. This unnatural treachery of the robber envenomed his heart against him, and he resolved to run a risk in watching his motions. He had no earthly doubt that it was he who robbed the sheriff. He knew, from furtive observations, as well as from general report, that a discreditable intimacy existed between him and Mary Mahon. This woman's little house was very convenient to that of Whitecraft, to whom she was very useful in a certain capacity. She had now given up her trade of fortune-telling—a trade which, at that period, in consequence of the ignorance of the people, was very general in Ireland. She was now more beneficially employed. Fergus, therefore, confident in his disguise, resolved upon a bold and hazardous stroke. He began to apprehend that if ever Tom Steeple, fool though he was, kept too much about the haunts and resorts of the Rapparee, that cunning scoundrel, who was an adept in all the various schemes and forms of detection, might take the alarm, and, aided probably by Whitecraft, make his escape out of the country. At best, the fool could only assure him of his whereabouts; but he felt it necessary, in addition to this, to procure, if the matter were possible, such evidence of his guilt as might render his conviction of the robbery of the sheriff complete and certain. One evening a wretched-looking old man, repeating his prayers, with beads in hand, entered her cottage, which consisted of two rooms and a kitchen; and after having presented himself, and put on his hat—for we need scarcely say that no Catholic ever prays covered—he asked lodging in Irish, for the night, and at this time it was dusk.

"Well, good man," she replied, "you can have lodgings here for this night. God forbid I'd put a poor wandherer out, an' it nearly dark."

Fergus stared at her as if he did not understand what she said; she, however, could speak Irish right well, and asked him in that language if he could speak no English—"Wuil Bearlha agud?" (Have you English?)

"Ha neil foccal vaun Bearlha agum." (I haven't one word of English.)

"Well," said she, proceeding with the following short conversation in Irish, "you can sleep here, and I will bring you in a wap o' straw from the garden, when I have it to feed my cow, which his honor, Sir Robert, gives me grass for; he would be a very kind man if he was a little more generous—ha! ha! ha!"

"Ay, but doesn't he hunt an' hang, an' transport our priests?"

"Why, indeed, I believe he doesn't like a bone in a priest's body; but then he's of a different religion—and it isn't for you or me to construe him after our own way."

"Well, well," said Fergus, "it isn't him I'm thinking of; but if I had a mouthful or two of something to ait I'd go to sleep—for dear knows I'm tired and hungry."

"Why, then, of coorse you'll have something to ait, poor man, and while you're eatin' it I'll fetch in a good bunch of straw, and make a comfortable shake-down for you."

"God mark you to grace, avourneen!"

She then furnished him with plenty of oaten bread and mixed milk, and while he was helping himself she brought in a large launch of straw, which she shook out and settled for him.

"I see," said she, "that you have your own blankets."

"I have, acushla. Cheerna, but this is darlin' bread! Arra was this baked upon a griddle or against the muddhia arran?"*.

     * The muddhia arran was a forked branch, cut from a tree,
     and shaped exactly like a letter A—with a small stick
     behind to support it. A piece of hoop iron was nailed to
     it at the bottom, on which the cake rested—not
     horizontally, but opposite the fire. When one side was done
     the other was turned, and thus it was baked.

"A griddle! Why, then, is it the likes o' me would have a griddle? that indeed! No; but, any how, sure a griddle only scalds the bread; but you'll find that this is not too much done; bekaise you know the ould proverb, 'a raw dad makes a fat lad.'"

"Troth," replied Fergus, "it's good bread, and fills the boast** of a man's body; but now that I've made a good supper, I'll throw myself on the straw, for I feel as if my eyelids had a millstone apiece upon them. I never shtrip at night, but just throws my blanket over me, an' sleeps like a top. Glory be to God! Oh, then, there's nothing like the health ma'am: may God spare it to us! Amin, this night!"

     ** Boast—a figurative term, taken from a braggadocio or
     boaster; it applies to any thing that is hollow or
     deceitful: for instance, when some potatoes that grow
     unusually large are cut in two, an empty space is found in
     the centra, and that potato is termed boast, or empty.

He accordingly threw himself on the shakedown, and in a short time, as was evident by his snoring, fell into a profound sleep.

This was an experiment, though a hazardous one, as we have said; but so far it was successful. In the course of half an hour the Red Rapparee came in, dressed in his uniform. On looking about him he exclaimed, with an oath,

"Who the hell is here?"

"Why," replied Mary Mahon, "a poor ould man that axed for charity an' lodgin' for the night."

"And why did you give it to him?"

"Bekaise my charity to him may take away some of my sins."

"Some of your devils!" replied the savage, "and I think you have enough of them about you. Didn't you know I was to come here to-night, as I do almost every night, for an hour or two?"

"You was drinkin'," she replied, "and you're drunk."

"I am drunk, and I will be drunk as often as I can. It's a good man's case. Why did you give a lodgin' to this ould vagabone?"

"I tould you the raison," she replied; "but you needn't care about him, for there's not a word of English in his cheek."

"Faith, but he may have something in his purse, for all that. Is he ould?"

"A poor ould man."

"So much the betther; be the livin' I'll try whether he has any ould coins about him. Many a time—no, I don't say many a time—but twic't I did it, and found it well worth my while, too. Some of these ould scamers lie wid a purse o' goolden guineas under their head, and won't confess it till the last moment. Who knows what this ould lad may have about him? I'll thry anyhow," said the drunken ruffian; "It's not aisy to give up an ould custom, Molly—the sheriff, my darlin', for that. I aised him of his fines, and was near strikin' a double blow—I secured his pocket-book, and made a good attempt to hang Willy Reilly for the robbery into the bargain. Now, hang it, Molly, didn't I look a gentleman in his' clothes, shoes, silver buckles, and all; wasn't it well we secured them before the house was burned? Here," he added, "take a sneeshin of this," pulling at the same time a pint bottle of whiskey out of his pocket; "it'll rise your spirits, an' I'll see what cash this ould codger has about him; an', by the way, how the devil do we know that he doesn't understand every word we say. Suppose, now—(hiccup)—that he heard me say I robbed the sheriff, wouldn't I be in a nice pickle? But, tell me, can you get no trace of Reilly?"

"Devil a trace; they say he has left the country."

"If I had what that scoundrel has promised me for findin' him out or securin' him—here's—here's—here's to you—I say, if I had, you and I would"—Here he pointed with his thumb over his shoulder, as much as to say they would try another climate.

"And now," he proceeded, "for a search on the shake-down. Who knows but the ould fellow has the yellow boys (guineas) about him? "—and he was proceeding to search Fergus, when Mary flew at him like a tigress.

"Stop, you cowardly robber!" she exclaimed; "would you bring down the curse and the vengeance of God upon both of us. We have enough and too much to answer for, let alone to rob the ould an' the poor."

"Be aisy now," said he, "I'll make the search; sure I'm undher the scoundrel Whitecraft's protection."

"Yes, you are, and you're undher my protection too; and I tell you, if you lay a hand upon him it'll be worse for you."

"What—what do you mane?"

"It's no matther what I mane; find it out."

"How do I know but he has heard us?"

We must now observe that Fergus's style of sleeping was admirably adapted for his purpose. It was not accompanied by a loud and unbroken snore; on the contrary, after it had risen to the highest and most disagreeable intonations, it stopped short, with a loud and indescribable backsnort in his nose, and then, after a lull of some length, during which he groaned and muttered to himself, he again resumed his sternutations in a manner so natural as would have imposed upon Satan himself, if he had been present, as there is little doubt he was, though not exactly visible to the eyes of his two precious agents.

"Listen to that," replied the woman; "do you think, now, he's not asleep? and even if he was sitting at the fire beside us, devil a syllable we said he could understand. I spoke to him in English when he came in, but he didn't know a word I said."

"Well, then, let the ould fellow sleep away; I won't touch him."

"Why, now, that's a good boy; go home to your barracks, and take a good sleep yourself."

"Ay, yes, certainly; but have you Reilly's clothes safe—shoes, silver buckles, and all?"

"Ay, as safe as the head on your shoulders; and, upon my soul, a great dale safer, if you rob any more sheriffs."

"Where are they, then?"

"Why, they're in my flat box, behind the bed, where nobody could see them."

"Very well, Molly, that will do; I may want them wanst more," he replied, pointing again with his thumb over his shoulder towards Whitecraft's residence; "so goodnight; be a good girl, and take care of yourself."

"No," she replied, "but do you be a good boy, and take care of yourself." And so they parted for the night.

The next day Fergus, possessed of very important evidence against the Rapparee, was travelling along the public road, not more than half a mile from the residence of Sir Robert Whitecraft, when whom should he meet but the identical sheriff, on horseback, that the Rapparee had robbed. He put his hand to his hat, and asked him for charity.

"Help a poor ould man, for the love and honor of God."

"Why don't you go to work—why don't you go to work?" replied the sheriff.

"I am not able, sir," returned Fergus; "it wouldn't be good for my health, your honor."

"Well, pass on and don't trouble me; I have nothing for you."

"Ah! thin, sir, if you'd give me a trifle, maybe I'd make it worth your while."

"What do you mean?" asked the sheriff, who knew that persons like him had opportunities of hearing and knowing more about local circumstances, in consequence of their vagrant life, than any other class of persons in society.

"What do you mean by what you have just said?"

"Aren't you the sheriff, sir, that was robbed some time ago?"

"I am."

"Ah, sir, I see you are dressed in black; and I heard of the death of the misthress, sir."

"Well, but what has that to do with what you have just now said—that you would make it worth my while if I gave you alms?"

"I said so, sir; and I can, if you will be guided by me."

"Speak out; I don't understand you."

"Would you like to see the man that robbed you, sir, and would you know him if you did see him?"

"Unquestionably I would know him. They say it was Reilly, but I have seen Reilly since; and although the dress was the same which Reilly usually wears, yet the faces were different."

"Is your honor going far?" asked Fergus.

"No, I am going over to that farm-house, Tom Brady's; two or three of his family are ill of fever, and I wish to do something for him; I am about to make him my land bailiff."

"What stay will you make there, your honor?"

"A very short one—not more than ten or fifteen minutes."

"Would it be inconvenient for your honor to remain there, or somewhere about the house, for an hour, or may be a little longer?"

"For what purpose? You are a mysterious old fellow."

"Bekaise, if you'd wish to see the man that robbed you, I'll undhertake to show him to you, face to face, within that time. Will your honor promise this?"

The sheriff paused upon this proposal, coming as it did from such an equivocal authority. What, thought he, if it should be a plot for my life, in consequence of the fines which I have been forced to levy upon the Catholic priests and bishops in my official capacity. God knows I feel it to be a painful duty.

"What is your religion?" he asked, "and why should a gentleman in my condition of life place any confidence upon the word of a common vagrant like you, who must necessarily be imbued with all the prejudices of your creed—for I suppose you are a Catholic?"

"I am, sir; but, for all that, in half an hour's time I'll be a rank Protestant."

The sheriff smiled and asked, "How the devil's that?"

"You are dressed in black, sir, in murnin' for your wife. I have seen you go into Tom Brady's to give the sick creatures the rites of their Church. I give notice to Sir Robert Whitecraft that a priest is there; and my word to you, he and his hounds will soon be upon you. The man that robbed you will be among them—no, but the foremost of them; and if you don't know him, I can't help it—that's all, your honor."

"Well," replied the sheriff, "I shall give you nothing now; because I know not whether what you say can be relied upon or not. In the meantime, I shall remain an hour or better, in Brady's house; and if your words are not made good, I shall send to Sir Robert Whitecraft for a military party to escort me home."

"I know, your honor," replied Fergus, "that Sir Robert and his men are at home to-day; and if I don't fulfil my words, I'll give your honor lave to whip me through the county."

"Well," said the sheriff, "I shall remain an hour or so in Brady's; but I tell you that if you are deceiving me you shall not escape me; so look to it, and think if what you propose to me is honest or not—if it be not, woe betide you."

Fergus immediately repaired to Sir Robert Whitecraft, to whom he represented himself as a poor Protestant of the name of Bingham, and informed him that a Popish priest was then in Tom Brady's house, administering the rites of Popery to those who were sick in the family.

"I seen him, your honor, go into the house; and he's there this minute'. If your honor makes haste you'll catch him."

In less than a quarter of an hour Sir Robert and his crew were in stirrups, and on their way to Tom Brady's; and in the meantime, too, the sheriff, dressed as he was, in black, came outside the door, from time to time, more in apprehension of a plot against his life than of a visit from Whitecraft, which he knew must end in nothing. Now, Whitecraft and his followers, on approaching Brady's house, caught a glimpse of him—a circumstance which not only confirmed the baronet in the correctness of the information he had received, but also satisfied the sheriff that the mendicant had not deceived him. Rapid was the rush they made to Brady's house, and the very first that entered it was the Red Rapparee. He was about to seize the sheriff, whom he pretended not to know; but in a moment Sir Robert and the rest entered, when, on recognizing each other, an explanation took place, with all due apologies to the functionary, who said:

"The mistake, Sir Robert, is very natural. I certainly have a clerical appearance, as I am in mourning for my wife. I trust you will neither hang nor transport me."

"I am very sorry indeed, Mr. Oxley; but I only acted on information received."

"And I don't doubt, Sir Robert," replied the sheriff, "that the person who gave you the information may have been deceived himself by my ecclesiastical looking dress. I am sorry you have had so much trouble for nothing; but, upon my word, I feel extremely delighted that I am not a priest."

In the meantime the sheriff had recognized the Rapparee, by a single glance, as the man that had robbed him. He was now certain; but he took care not to bestow the least sign of recognition upon him; so far from that, he appeared to pay no attention whatsoever to the men; but chatted with Sir Robert for some time, who returned home deeply disappointed, though without imputing blame to his informant, who, he thought, was very naturally misled by the dress of the sheriff. Fergus, however, apprehensive of being involved in the prosecution of the Rapparee, and thus discovered, made a point to avoid the sheriff, whose cross-examination a consciousness of his previous life led him to dread. Still, he had, to a certain extent, though not definitely, resolved to become evidence against him; but only, as we have said, on the condition of previously receiving a full pardon for his own misdeeds, which was granted. For upwards of a month, however, the sheriff was confined to his bed, having caught, whilst in Brady's, the malignant fever which then raged throughout the country.





CHAPTEE XVIII.—Something not very Pleasant for all Parties.

The position of England at this period was any thing but an easy one. The Rebellion of '45 had commenced, and the young Pretender had gained some signal victories. Independently of this, she was alarmed by the rumor of a French invasion on her southern coast. Apprehensive lest the Irish Catholics, galled and goaded as they were by the influence of the penal laws, and the dreadful persecution which they caused them to suffer, should flock to the standard of Prince Charles, himself a Catholic, she deemed it expedient, in due time, to relax a little, and accordingly she "checked her hand, and changed her pride." Milder measures were soon resorted to, during this crisis, in order that by a more liberal administration of justice the resentment of the suffering Catholics might be conciliated, and their loyalty secured. This, however, was a proceeding less of justice than expediency, and resulted more from the actual and impending difficulties of England than from any sincere wish on her part to give civil and religious freedom to her Catholic subjects, or prosperity to the country in which, even then, their numbers largely predominated. Yet, singular to say, when the Rebellion first broke out, all the chapels in Dublin were closed, and the Administration, as if guided by some unintelligible infatuation, issued a proclamation, commanding the Catholic priesthood to depart from the city. Those who refused this senseless and impolitic edict were threatened with the utmost severity of the law. Harsh as that law was, the Catholics obeyed it; yet even this obedience did not satisfy the Protestant party, or rather that portion of them who were active agents in carrying out this imprudent and unjustifiable rigor at such a period. They were seized by a kind of panic, and imagined forsooth that a broken down and disarmed people might engage in a general massacre of the Irish Protestants. Whether this incomprehensible terror was real, is a matter of doubt and uncertainty; or whether it was assumed as a justification for assailing the Catholics in a general massacre, similar to that which they apprehended, or pretended to apprehend, is also a matter of question; yet certain it is, that a proposal to massacre them in cold blood was made in the Privy Council. "But," says O'Connor, "the humanity of the members rejected this barbarous proposal, and crushed in its infancy a conspiracy hatched in Lurgan to extirpate the Catholics of that town and vicinity."

In the meantime, so active was the persecuting spirit of such men as Whitecraft and Smellpriest that a great number of the unfortunate priests fled to the metropolis, where, in a large and populous city, they had a better chance of remaining incogniti than when living in the country, exposed and likely to be more marked by spies and informers. A very dreadful catastrophe took place about this time. A congregation of Catholic people had heard mass upon an old loft, which had for many years been decayed—in fact, actually rotten. Mass was over, and the priest was about to give them the parting benediction, when the floor went down with a terrific crash. The result was dreadful. The priest and a great many of the congregation were killed on the spot, and a vast number of them wounded and maimed for life. The Protestant inhabitants of Dublin sympathized deeply with the sufferers, whom they relieved and succored as far as in them lay, and, by their remonstrances, Government was shamed into a more human administration of the laws.

In order to satisfy our readers that we have not overdrawn our picture of what the Catholics suffered in those unhappy times, we shall give a quotation from the. Messrs. Chambers, of Edinburgh, themselves fair and liberal men, and as impartial as they are able and well informed:

"Since the pacification of Limerick, Ireland had been ruled exclusively by the Protestant party, who, under the influence of feelings arising from local and religious antipathies, had visited the Catholics with many severities. The oath which had excluded the Catholics from office had been followed, in 1698, by an Act of the Irish Parliament, commanding all Romish priests to leave the kingdom, under the penalty of transportation, a return from which was to be punishable by death. Another law decreed forfeiture of property and civil rights to all who should send their children abroad to be educated in the Catholic faith."*

     * "History and Present State of the British Empire."
     Edinburgh, W. and R. Chambers.

Can any reasonable person be in doubt for a moment that those laws were laws of extermination? In the meantime, let us hear the Messrs. Chambers further:

"After the death of William, who was much opposed to severities on account of religion, Acts of still greater rigor were passed for preventing the growth of Popery. Any child of a Roman Catholic who should declare himself a Protestant was entitled to become the heir of his estate, the father merely holding it for his lifetime, and having no command over it. Catholics were made incapable of succeeding to Protestants, and lands, passing over them, were to go to the next Protestant heir. Catholic parents were prevented from being guardians,to their own children; no Protestant possessing property was to be permitted to marry a Catholic; and Catholics were rendered incapable of purchasing landed property or enjoying long leases. These measures naturally rendered the Catholics discontented I subjects, and led to much turbulence. The common people of that persuasion, being denied all access to justice, took it into their own hands, and acquired all those lawless habits for which they have since been remarkable. Treachery, cruelty, and all the lower passions, were called into vigorous exercise. Even the Protestants, for their own sakes, were often obliged to connive at the evasion of laws so extremely severe, and which introduced much difficulty in their dealings with Catholics; but, when any Protestant wished to be revenged upon a Catholic, or to extort money from him, he found in these laws a ready instrument for his purpose. By an additional Act, in 1726, it was ordained that a Roman Catholic priest, marrying a Protestant to a Catholic, should suffer death; and in order that legal redress might be still less accessible to the Catholics, it was enacted, in 1728, that no one should be entitled to practise as an attorney who had not been two years a Protestant."

This is a clear and succinct epitome of the penal laws; true, much more might be added; but it is enough to say that those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind. It is not by placing restrictions upon creeds or ceremonies that religion can ever be checked, much less extinguished. Like the camomile plant, the more it is trampled on the more it will spread and grow; as the rude winds and the inclemency of the elements only harden and make more vigorous the constitutions of those who are exposed to them. In our state of the world, those who have the administration of political laws in their hands, if they ever read history, or can avail themselves of the experiences of ages, ought to know that it is not by severity or persecution that the affections of their fellow-subjects can be conciliated. We ourselves once knew a brutal ruffian, who was a dealer in fruit in the little town of Maynooth, and whose principle of correcting his children was to continue whipping the poor things until they were forced to laugh! A person was one day present when he commenced chastising one of them—a child of about seven—upon this barbarous principle. This individual was then young and strong, and something besides of a pugilist; but on witnessing the affecting efforts of the little fellow to do that which was not within the compass of any natural effort, he deliberately knocked the ruffian down, after having first remonstrated with him to no purpose. He arose, however, and attacked the other, but, thanks to a good arm and a quick eye, he prostrated him again, and again, and again; he then caught him by the throat, for he was already subdued, and squeezing his windpipe to some purpose, the fellow said, in a choking voice, "Are you going to kill me?"

"No," replied the other, "I only want to see the length of your tongue; don't be alarmed, the whole thing will end merrily; come, now, give three of the heartiest laughs you ever gave in your life, or down goes your apple-cart—you know what that means?"

"I—I c—a—n'—t," said he.

"Yes, you can," replied his castigator; "nothing's more easy; come, be merry."

The caitiff, for he was a coward, and wanted bottom, upon getting a little wind, whilst the other held him by the throat, gave three of the most ludicrous, but disastrous, howls that ever were witnessed. On his opponent letting him go, he took to his heels, but got a kick on going out that was rather calculated to accelerate his flight. Legislators, therefore, ought to know that no political whipping will ever make a people laugh at the pleasure of it.

But to resume our narrative. England, now apprehensive, as we have said, of a descent of the French upon her southern coast, and startled by the successes of the young Pretender, who had cut Cope's army to pieces, deemed it expedient to send over the celebrated Earl of Chesterfield as Viceroy, with instructions to relax the rigor of the laws, and conciliate the Catholics, as well as he could, so, at least, as to prevent them from joining the Pretender, whose object it was understood to be to cross the frontier and march upon London. Lord Chesterfield's policy afforded great gratification to the Catholics, who were now restored to their usual privileges; and its political object was so far successful that, as we have said, not a single man of them ever joined the Pretender. Still, the liberal Protestants, or, as they were termed, the patriotic party, were not satisfied with the mere removal of the Catholic restrictions. Ireland, at that time, was studded with men, or rather with monsters, like Smellpriest and Whitecraft, who were stained with the blood of their fellow-subjects and fellow-Christians. Sir Robert Whitecraft, especially, was now in a bad position, although he himself was ignorant of it. The French Ambassador demanded satisfaction, in the name of his Court and the French nation, for the outrage that had been committed upon a French. subject, and by which international law was so grossly violated. We must say here that Whitecraft, in the abundance of his loyalty and zeal, was in the habit, in his searches after priests, and suspected lay Catholics, to pay domiciliary visits to the houses of many Protestant magistrates, clergymen, and even gentlemen of wealth and distinction, who were suspected, from their known enmity to persecution, of harboring Catholic priests and others of that persuasion; so that, in point of fact, he had created more enemies in the country than any man living. The Marquis of———, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Brown, together with a great number of the patriotic party, had already transmitted a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, under the former Administration; but it was not attended to, the only answer they got having been a simple acknowledgment of its receipt. This, on coming to Sir Robert's ears, which it did from one of the underlings of the Castle, only gave a spur to his insolence, and still more fiercely stimulated his persecuting spirit. He felt conscious that Government would protect him, or rather reward him, for any acts of violence which he might commit against the Catholic party, and so far, under his own pet Administration, he was right.

The petition we have alluded to having been treated with studied contempt, the persons and party already mentioned came to the determination of transmitting another, still more full and urgent, to the new Viceroy, whose feeling it was, for the reasons we have stated, to reverse the policy of his predecessor.

His liberal administration encouraged them, therefore, to send him a clear statement of the barbarous outrages committed by such men as Smellpriest and Sir Robert Whitecraft, not only against his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, but against many loyal Protestant magistrates, and other Protestants of distinction and property, merely because they were supposed to entertain a natural sympathy for their persecuted fellow-subjects and fellow-countrymen. They said that the conduct of those men and of the Government that had countenanced and encouraged them had destroyed the prosperity of the country by interrupting and annulling all bonafide commercial transactions between, Protestants and Catholics. That those men had not only transgressed the instructions they received, from his predecessor, but all those laws that go to the security of life and property. That they were guilty of several cruel and atrocious murders, arsons, and false imprisonments, for which they were never brought to account; and that, in fine, they were steeped in crime and blood, because they knew that his predecessor, ignorant, perhaps, of the extent of their guilt, threw his shield over them, and held them irresponsible to the laws for those savage outrages.

They then stated that, in their humble judgment, a mere relaxation in the operation of the severe and penal laws against Catholics would not be an act of sufficient atonement to them for all they had greviously suffered; that to overlook, or connive at, or protect those great criminals would be at variance, not only with all principles of justice, but with the spirit of the British Constitution itself, which never recognizes, much less encourages, a wicked and deliberate violation of its own laws. That the present was a critical moment, which demanded great judgment and equal humanity in the administration of the laws in Ireland. A rebellion was successfully progressing in Scotland, and it appeared to them that not only common justice but sound policy ought to prompt the Government to attract and conciliate the Catholic population of Ireland by allowing them to participate in the benefits of the Constitution, which hitherto existed not for them, thousands of whom, finding their country but a bed of thorns, might, from a mere sense of relief, or, what was more to be dreaded, a spirit of natural vengeance, flock to the standard of the Pretender.

His excellency, already aware of the startling but just demand which had been made by the French Ambassador, for the national insult by Whitecraft to his country, was himself startled and shocked by the atrocities of those blood-stained delinquents.

His reply, however, was brief, but to the purpose.

His secretary acknowledged the receipt of the memorial, and stated that the object of his Excellency was not to administer the laws in cruelty, but in mercy; that he considered all classes of his Majesty's subjects equally entitled to their protection; and that with respect to the persons against whom such serious charges and allegations had been made, he had only to say, that if they were substantiated against them in a court of justice, they must suffer like other criminals—if they can be proved, Government will leave them, as it would any common felons, to the laws of the country. His Excellency is determined to administer those laws with the strictest impartiality, and without leaning to any particular class or creed. So far as the laws will allow him, their protection shall be extended, on just and equal principles to the poor and to the rich, to the Catholic and to the Protestant.

This communication, which was kept strictly secret, reached the Marquis of —— at a critical period of our narrative. Whitecraft, who was ignorant of it, but sufficiently aware of the milder measures which the new Administration had adopted, finding that the trade of priest-hunting and persecution was, for the present, at an end, resolved to accelerate his marriage with Miss Folliard, and for this purpose he waited upon her father, in order to secure his consent. His object was to retire to his English estates, and there pass the remainder of his life with his beautiful but reluctant bride. He paid his visit about two o'clock, and was told that Miss Folliard and her father were in the garden. Hither he accordingly repaired, and found the squire, his daughter, and Reilly, in the green-house. When the squire saw him he cried out, with something of a malicious triumph: "Hallo, Sir Robert! why art thou so pale, young lover? why art thou so pale?—and why does thy lip hang, Sir Robert?—new men, new measures, Sir Robert—and so, 'Othello's occupation's gone,' and the Earl of Chesterfield goes to mass every Sunday, and is now able to repeat his padareem in Irish."

"I am glad to find you so pleasant, Mr. Folliard; but I'm delighted to see the beautiful state of your green-house—oh, Miss Folliard!—excuse me. Your back was to me, and you were engaged in trailing that beautiful shrub; allow me the honor of shaking hands with you."

"Sir Robert, I bid you good-day, but you see that I have my garden gloves on; you will excuse me."

"Oh, Miss Folliard," he replied, "your will is the spirit of the British Constitution to me."

"A spirit which, I fear, you have too frequently violated, Sir Robert; but, as papa says, I believe your cruel occupation is gone—at least I hope so."

"'Gad, you got it there, Sir Robert," replied her father, laughing.

"I must confess it," replied the baronet; "but I think, in order to ingratiate myself with Miss Folliard, I shall take whatever side she recommends me. How, Mr. Folliard," he proceeded, fixing his eyes upon Reilly—"what the deuce is this? Have you got Robinson Crusoe here?"

"We have," replied the squire; "but his man Friday has got married to a Tipperary woman, and he's now in quest of a desert, island for him and her to settle in."

"I think, papa," said Helen, "that if the principles of Sir Robert and his class were carried out, he would not have far to go to look for one."

"Another hit, Bob, you dog—another hit. W'ell said, Helen—well said, I say. Crusoe, you villain, hold up your head, and thank God you're christened."

"Wid de help o' Gad, shir, I was christhened afwhore, sure, by de priesht."

This visit occurred about six weeks after the appointment of the new Viceroy to the Government of Ireland, and about five after the sheriff's illness.

"Come, Whitecraft," said the squire, "come and let us have lunch: I'll hold a crown I give you as good a glass of Burgundy as you gave me the other day, and will say done first."

"Won't Miss Folliard join us at lunch?" asked Whitecraft, looking to her for an assent.

"Why, I suppose so," replied her father; "won't you come, Helen?"

"You know, papa, I never lunch."

"'Gad, and neither you do, Helen. Come, Sir Robert, we will have a mouthful to eat, and something good to wash it down; come along, man. what the devil are you scrutinizing poor old Robinson Crusoe for? Come along. I say, the old chap is making the green-house thrive; he beats Malcomson. Here. Malcomson, you know Sir Robert Whitecraft, don't you?"

"Hout, your honor, wha' disna ken Sir Robert Whitecraft? Isn't his name far and near, as a braw defender o' the faith, and a putter down o' Papistry?"

"By the way, Malcomson," said Sir Robert, "where did you get Robinson Crusoe, by which I mean that wild-looking man in the green-house?"

"Saul, sir, it's a question I never speered at him. He cam' here as a gaberlunzie, and on stating that he was indoctrinated in the sceence o' buttany, his honor garred me employ him. De'il hae't but the truth I'll tell—he's a clever buttanist, and knows a' the sceentific names aff hand."

"So that's all you know about him?" said Sir Robert. "He has a devil of a beard, and is shockingly dressed. Why doesn't he shave?"

"Ou, just some Papistry nonsense," replied the gardener; "but we hae naething to do wi' that, sae lang's we get the worth o' our siller out o' him."

"Here's a shilling, Malcomson," said Sir Robert.

"Na, na, your honor; a shilling's no for a man that understands the sceence o' buttany: a shilling's for a flunky in livery; but as for me, I couldna conscientiously condescend upon less than ten o' them, or may be a pund British, but I'm feart that's contrair to your honor's habits."

"Well, then," said Sir Robert, "I have no more silver, and so I leave you to the agreeable society of Robinson Crusoe."

Reilly had watched Sir Robert's motions, as well as his countenance, in a manner as furtively as possible. Sometimes, indeed, he stared at him broadly, and with a stupid, oafish look, and again placed himself in such a position behind the range of flower-pots which were placed upon the ledges, that he could observe him without being perceived himself. The force of habit, however, is extraordinary. Our hero was a man exceedingly remarkable for personal cleanliness, and consequently made a point to wash his hands morning and evening with peculiar care. Be this as it may, the lynx eye of Sir Robert observed their whiteness, and he instantly said to himself, "This is no common laborer; I know that he is not, from the whiteness of his hands. Besides, he is disguised; it is evident from the length of his beard, and the unnecessary coarseness of his apparel. Then his figure, the symmetry and size of which no disguise can conceal; this, and everything else, assures me that he is disguised, and that he is, besides, no other individual than the man I want, William Reilly, who has been hitherto my evil genius; but it shall go hard with me, or I shall be his now." Such were his meditations as he passed along with the squire to join him at lunch.

When they had left the garden, Reilly addressed his Cooleen Bawn as follows:

"Helen, I am discovered."

"Discovered! O my God, no!"

"Unquestionably, there is no doubt of it; it is certain."

"But how do you know that it is certain?"

"Because I observed that Whitecraft's eyes were never off my hands; he knew that a common laborer could not possibly have such hands. Helen, I am discovered, and must fly."

"But you know that there is a change of Administration, and that the severity of the laws has been relaxed against Catholics."

"Yes, you told me so, and I have no fear for myself; but what I apprehend is that this discovery, of which I feel certain, will precipitate your marriage with that miscreant; they will entrap you into it, and then I am miserable for ever."

"Then, William, we must fly this very night; we will proceed to the Continent, to some Protestant state, where we can get married without any danger to the clergyman who may unite us."

"It is all that is left for us," replied Reilly; "I should sooner lose life than you, my beloved Helen; and now, what is to be done? fly we must; and in anticipation of the necessity of this step I left a suit of clothes with Lanigan: or rather with a poor widow, who was a pensioner of mine—a Mrs. Buckley, from whom Lanigan got them, and has them. I could not think of accompanying you in this vile dress. On your way in, try to see Lanigan, and desire him to come out to me. There is not a moment to be lost; and, my dear Helen, show no marks of agitation; be calm and firm, or we are undone."

"Rely on me, dear Reilly, rely on me; I shall, send Lanigan to you."

She left him, and went to her room, when she rang the bell, and her maid, the faithful Connor, who had been restored to her service, came to her.

"Connor," said she, "I shall not be able to dine with papa to-day, especially as that wretch Whitecraft is likely to dine with him. Go to Lanigan, and tell him to come to me, for I wish to know if he has any thing light and delicate that he could send to my room; Connor, I am very unhappy."

"But, miss, sure they say that the laws are changed, and that Mr. Reilly may go at large if he wishes."

"I know that, Connor; but send Lanigan to me immediately."

"When Lanigan entered he found the Cooleen Bawn in tears.

"My God, Miss Folliard," said he, "what is the matter with you? why are you crying, or what have they done to you?"

"Lanigan," she replied, wiping her eyes, "you and Connor only are in our secret; we must fly this night."

"This night, Miss Folliard!"

"This night, Lanigan; and you must assist us."

"To the last drop of my blood, I will."

"Lanigan, Reilly is discovered."

"Discovered, miss! good God, how was he discovered?"

"By his hands—by the whiteness of his beautiful hands. Now, Lanigan, Sir Robert, aware that he cannot act the tyrant at present, as he used to do, will instigate my father to some act of outrage against him; for you know, Lanigan, how cowardly, how cruel, how vindictive, the detestable villain is; and most assuredly he will make my credulous and generous, but hot-tempered, father the instrument of his vengeance upon Reilly; and, besides, he will certainly urge him to bring about an immediate marriage between himself and me, to which, it is true, I would, and will die, sooner than consent. I will dine here, Lanigan, for I cannot bear to look upon my dear father, whom I am about to—" Here her tears interrupted her, and she could proceed no farther; at length she recovered herself, and resumed: "I know," she added, "that Whitecraft is now detailing his discovery and his plans. Oh!! that, for Reilly's sake, I could become acquainted with them!"

"What would you wish for dinner, Miss Folliard?" asked Lanigan calmly.

"For dinner? oh, any thing, any thing; I care not what; but see Reilly, tell him I have a second key for the back gate in the garden, and also for the front; and, Lanigan—"

"Well, Miss Folliard; but, for God's sake, don't cry so; your eyes will get red, and your father may notice it."

"True, thank you, Lanigan; and Reilly, besides, told me to keep myself calm; but how can I, Lanigan? Oh, my father! my beloved father! how can I abandon—desert him? No, Lanigan, I will not go; say to Reilly—say I have changed my mind; tell him that my affection for my father has overcome my love for him; say I will never marry—that my heart is his, and never will or can be another's. But then again—he, the noble-minded, the brave, the generous, the disinterested—alas! I know not what to do, Lanigan, nor how to act. If I remain here, they will strive to force this odious marriage on me; and then some fearful catastrophe will happen; for, sooner than marry Whitecraft, I would stab either him or myself. Either that, Lanigan, or I should go mad; for do you know, Lanigan, that there is insanity in our family, by my father's side?"

"Unfortunately I know it, Miss Folliard; your uncle died in a mad-house, and it was in that way the estate came to your father. But remember what you say Mr. Reilly told you; be calm; I will send up some light nourishing dinner to you, at the usual hour; and in the meantime I will see him before then, and forge some excuse for bringing it up myself."

"Stay, Lanigan, I am sadly perplexed; I scarcely know what I say; I am in a state of inconceivable distraction. Suppose I should change my mind; it is not unlikely; I am whirled about by a crowd of contending emotions; but—well—let me see—oh, yes—it will be as well, Lanigan, to have two horses ready saddled; that is no crime, I hope, if we should go. I must, of course, put on my riding habit."

"Begging your pardon, Miss Folliard, you'll do no such thing; would you wish to have yourself discovered in the first inn you might put up at? No, dress yourself in one of Connor's dresses so that you may appear as humble as possible, and any thing but a lady of rank; otherwise, it will be difficult for you to escape observation."

"Well, Lanigan, all I can say is, that he and I shall place ourselves under your advice and guidance. But my father—oh, my dear father!" and again she wrung her hands and wept bitterly.

"Miss Helen," said he, "as sure as the Lord's in heaven, you will discover yourself; and, after all, how do you know that Sir Robert has found out Mr. Reilly? Sure it's nothing but bare suspicion on both your parts. At any rate, I'll saddle Paudeen O'Rafferty wid my own hands, and I'll put on Molly Crudden's big pillion, for you know she's too fat to walk to mass, and you will feel yourself quite easy and comfortable in it"

"No, no, Lanigan; I know not why the impression is on me; but I feel as if I were never to experience comfort more. Go to Mr. Reilly; make what arrangements he and you may think proper, and afterwards you can acquaint me with them. You see, Lanigan, in what a state of excitement and uncertainty I am. But tell Reilly that, rather than be forced into a marriage, with Whitecraft—rather than go distracted—rather than die—I shall fly with him."





CHAPTER XIX.—Reilly's Disguise Penetrated

—Fergus Reilly is on the Trail of the Rapparee—He Escapes—Sir Robert begins to feel Confident of Success.

Lanigan, on passing the dining parlor, heard what he conceived to be loud and angry voices inside the room, and as the coast was clear he deliberately put his ear to the key-hole, which ear drank in the following conversation:

"I say, Sir Robert, I'll shoot the villain. Do not hold me. My pistols are unloaded and loaded every day in the year; and ever since I transported that rebel priest I never go without them. But are you sure, Sir Robert? Is it not possible you may be mistaken? I know you are a suspicious fellow; but still, as I said, you are, for that very reason, the more liable to be wrong. But, if it is he, what's to be done, unless I shoot him?"

"Under the last Administration, sir, I could have answered your question; but you know that if you shoot him now you will be hanged. All that's left for us is simply to effect this marriage the day after tomorrow; the documents are all ready, and in the course of to-morrow the license can be procured. In the meantime, you must dispatch him to-night."

"What do you mean, Sir Robert?"

"I say you must send him about his business. In point of fact, I think the fellow knows that he is discovered, and it is not unlikely that he may make an effort to carry off your daughter this very night."

"But, Sir Robert, can we not seize him and surrender him to the authorities? Is he not an outlaw?"

"Unfortunately, Mr. Folliard, he is not an outlaw; I stretched a little too far there. It is true I got his name put into the Hew and-Cry, but upon representations which I cannot prove."

"And why did you do so, Sir Robert?"

"Why, Mr. Folliard, to save your daughter."

The old man paused.

"Ah," he exclaimed, "that is a bad business—I mean for you; Sir Robert; but we will talk it over. You shall stop and dine with me; I want some one to talk with—some one who will support me and keep me in spirits;" and as he spoke he sobbed bitterly. "I wish to God," he exclaimed, "that neither I nor Helen—my dear Helen—had ever seen that fellow's face. You will dine with me, Bob?"

"I will, upon the strict condition that you keep yourself quiet, and won't seem to understand any thing."

"Would you recommend me to lock her up?"

"By no means; that would only make matters worse. I shall dine with you, but you must be calm and quiet, and not seem to entertain any suspicions."

"Very well, I shall; but what has become of our lunch? Touch the bell."

This hint sent Lanigan downstairs, who met the butler coming up with it.

"Why, Pat," said he, "what kept you so long with the lunch?"

"I was just thinking," replied Pat, "how it would be possible to poison that ugly, ill-made, long-legged scoundrel, without poisoning my master. What's to be done, Lanigan? He will marry this darlin' in spite of us. And sure, now we have our privileges once more, since this great Earl came to rule over us; and sure, they say, he's a greater gentleman than the king himself. All I can say is, that if this same Sir Robert forces the Cooleen Baum to such an unnatural marriage, I'll try a dose, hit or miss, for a cowheel anyway."

Lanigan laughed, and the butler passed on with the lunch.

We may state here that the squire, notwithstanding his outspoken manner against Popery, like a terrible reverend baronet not long deceased, who, notwithstanding his discovery of the most awful Popish plots, and notwithstanding the most extravagant denunciations against Popery, like him, we say, the old squire seldom had more than one or two Protestant servants under his roof. Pat hated Longshanks, as he termed him, as did all the household, which, indeed, was very natural, as he was such a notorious persecutor of their religion and their clergy.

Lanigan lost no time in acquainting Reilly with what he had heard, and the heart of the latter palpitated with alarm on hearing that the next day but one was likely to join his Cooleen Bawn, by violent and unnatural proceedings, to the man whom she so much detested. He felt that it was now time to act in order to save her. Arrangements were consequently made between them as to the time and manner of their escape, and those arrangements, together with the dialogue he had overheard, Lanigan communicated to the Cooleen Bawn.

The squire on that day experienced strange alternations of feeling. His spirits seemed to rise and sink, as the quicksilver in the glass is affected by the state of the atmosphere. He looked into the future with terror, and again became, to the astonishment of his guest—we now talk of their conduct after dinner—actuated by some thought or impulse that put him into high spirits. Whitecraft, cool and cautious, resolved to let him have his way; for the squire was drinking deeply, and the Burgundy was good and strong.

"Bob, my boy," said he, "you don't drink, and that is a bad sign. You have either a bad head of late, or a bad heart, which is worse. Hang you, sir, why don't you drink? I have seen you lay lots of my guests under the table when you were quite cool; but now, what are you at? They can't run away to-night. Helen doesn't know that the discovery has been made. And now, Bob, you dog, listen to me, I say—would you have had the manliness and courage to expose yourself for the sake of a pretty girl as he did?—that is—here's a bumper to Helen! Curse you, will nothing make you drink? No, faith, he hadn't seen Helen at the time; it was for a worthless old fellow like me that he exposed himself; but no matter, you may be right; perhaps it was a plot to get acquainted with her. Still, I'm not sure of that; but if it was, I'll make him smart."

After dinner the squire drank deeply—so deeply, indeed, that Whitecraft was obliged to call up some of the male servants to carry him to his chamber and put him to bed. In this task Lanigan assisted, and thanked his stars that he was incapacitated from watching the lovers, or taking any means to prevent their escape. As for Whitecraft, thought he, I will soon send him about his business. Now, this gentleman's suspicions were the more deeply excited, in consequence of Helen's refusal to meet him at either lunch or dinner, a refusal which she gave on the plea of indisposition. He had therefore made up his mind to watch the motions of Cooleen Bawn, and he would have included Reilly in his surveillance were it not that Lanigan informed him of what he termed the mysterious disappearance of the under-gardener.

"What!" exclaimed Whitecraft, "is he gone?"

"He has gone, Sir Robert, and he left his week's wages behind him, for he never came to the steward to ask it. And now, Sir Robert, to tell you the truth, I'm not sorry he's gone; he was a disagreeable old fellow, that nobody could make either head or tail of; but, Sir Robert, listen—wait, sir, till I shut the door—it will soon be getting dusk: you know you're not liked in the country, and now that we—I mean the Catholics—have the countenance of Government, I think that riding late won't be for your health. The night air, you know, isn't wholesome to some people. I am merely givin' you a hint, Sir Robert, bekaise you are a friend of my masther's, and I hope for your own sake you'll take it. The sooner you mount your horse the better; and if you be guided by me, you'll try and reach your own house before the darkness sets in. Who knows what Reilly may be plotting? You know he doesn't like a bone in your honor's skin; and the Reillys are cruel and desperate."

"But, Lanigan, are you aware of any plot or conspiracy that has been got up against my life?"

"Not at all, your honor; but I put it to yourself, sir, whether you don't feel that I'm speaking the truth."

"I certainly know very well," replied the baronet, "that I am exceedingly unpopular with the Popish party; but, in my conduct towards them, I only carried out the laws that had been passed against them."

"I know that, Sir Robert, and, as a Catholic, I am sorry that you and others were supported and egged on by such laws. Why, sir, a hangman could—give the same excuse, because if he put a rope about your neck, and tied his cursed knot nately under your left ear, what was he doin' but fulfillin' the law as you did? And now, Sir Robert, who would shake hands with a hangman, unless some unfortunate highway robber or murderer, that gives him his hand because he knows that he will never see his purty face agin. This discourse is all folly, however—you haven't a minute to lose—shall I order your horse?"

"Yes, you had better, Lanigan," replied the other, with a dogged appearance of cowardice and revenge. He could not forgive Lanigan the illustration that involved the comparison of the hangman; still his conscience and his cowardice both whispered to him that the cook was in the right.

This night was an eventful one. The course of our narrative brings us and our readers to the house of Captain Smellpriest, who had for his next-door neighbor the stalwart curate of the parish, the Rev. Samson Strong, to whom some allusion has been I already made in these pages. Now the difference between Smellpriest and Whitecraft was this—Smellpriest was not a magistrate, as Whitecraft was, and in his priest-hunting expeditions only acted upon warrants issued by some bigoted and persecuting magistrate or other who lived in the district. But as his propensity to hunt those unfortunate persons was known, the execution of the warrants was almost in every instance entrusted to his hands. It was not so with Sir Robert, who, being himself a magistrate, might be said to have been in the position at once of judge and executioner. At all events, the race of blood was pretty equal between them, so far as the clergy was concerned; but in general enmity to the Catholic community at large, Whitecraft was far more cruel and comprehensive in his vengeance. It is indeed an observation founded upon truth and experience, that in all creeds, in proportion to his ignorance and bigotry, so is the violence of the persecutor. Whitecraft, the self-constituted champion of Protestantism, had about as much religion as Satan himself—or indeed less, for we are told that he believes and trembles, while Whitecraft, on the contrary, neither believed nor trembled. But if he did not fear God, he certainly feared man, and on the night in question went home with as craven a heart—thanks to Lanigan—as ever beat in a coward's bosom. Smellpriest, however, differed from Whitecraft in many points; he was brave, though cruel, and addicted to deep potations. Whitecraft, it is true, drank more deeply still than he did; but, by some idiosyncrasy of stomach or constitution, it had no more effect upon him than it had upon the cask from which it had been drawn, unless, indeed, to reduce him to greater sobriety and sharpen his prejudices.

Be this as it may, the Rev. Samson Strong made his appearance in Smellpriest's house with a warrant, or something in the shape of one, which he placed in the gallant captain's hands, who was drunk.

"What's this, oh, Samson the Strong? said Smellpriest, laughing and hiccuping both at the same time.

"It's a hunt, my dear friend. One of those priests of Baal has united in unholy bands a Protestant subject with a subject of the harlot of abominations."

"Samson, my buck," said Smellpriest, "I hope this Popish priest of yours will not turn out to be a wild-goose. You know you have sent me upon many a wild-goose chase before; in—in—in fact, you nev—never sent me upon any other. You're a blockhead, oh, divine Samson; and that—that thick head of yours would flatten a cannon-ball. But what is it?—an intermarriage between the two P's—Popish and Protestant?"

"My dear," said his wife, "you must be aware that the Popishers have only got liberty to clatter their beads in public; but not to marry a Popisher to a Protestanter. This is a glorious opportunity for you to come home with a feather in your cap, my dear. Has he far to go, Mr. Strong? because he never goes out after the black game, as you call them, sir, that I don't feel as if I—but I can't express what I feel at his dear absence."

Now we have said that Smellpriest was drunk, which, in point of fact, was true; but not so drunk but that he observed some intelligent glances pass between his wife and the broad-shouldered curate.

"No, madam, only about two miles. Smellpriest, you know Jack Houlaghan's stripe?"

"Yes—I know Jack Houlaghan's stripe, in Kilrudden."

"Well, when you g'et to the centre of the stripe, look a little to your right, and—as the night is light enough—you will see a house—a cottage rather; to this cottage bring your men, and there you will find your game. I would not, captain, under other circumstances, advise you to recruit your spirits with an additional glass or two of liquor; but, as the night is cold, I really do recommend you to fortify yourself with a little refreshment."

He was easily induced to do so, and he accordingly took a couple of glasses of punch, and when about to mount his horse, it was found that he could not do so without the assistance of his men who were on duty, in all about six, every one of whom, as well as the captain himself, was well armed. It is unnecessary to state to the reader that the pursuit was a vain one. They searched the house to no purpose; neither priest or friar was there, and he, consequently, had the satisfaction of performing another wild-goose chase with his usual success, whenever the Rev. Samson Strong sent him in pursuit. In the meantime the moon went down, and the night became exceedingly dark; but the captain's spirits were high and boisterous, so much so that they began to put themselves forth in song, the song in question being the once celebrated satire upon James the Second and Tyrconnell, called "Lillibullero," now "The Protestant Boys." How this song gained so much popularity it is difficult to guess, for we are bound to say that a more pointless and stupid production never came from the brain of man. Be this as it may, we must leave the gallant captain and his gang singing it in full chorus, and request our readers to accompany us to another locality.

The sheriff had now recovered from a dreadful attack of the prevailing epidemic, and was able to resume his duties. In the meantime he had heard of the change which had taken place in the administration of affairs at headquarters—a change at which he felt no regret, but rather a good deal of satisfaction, as it relieved him from the performance of very disagreeable and invidious duties, and the execution of many severe and inhuman laws. He was now looking over and signing some papers, when he rang the bell, and a servant entered. "Tom," said he, "there is an old man, a poor mendicant, to call here, who was once a servant in our family; when he comes show him into the office. I expect some important family information from him respecting the property which we are disputing about in the Court of Chancery."

"Very well, sir," replied the servant, "I shall do so."

This occurred on the day of Whitecraft's visit to Squire Folliard, and it was on the evening of the same that Smellpriest was sent upon the usual chase, on the information of the Rev. Samson Strong; so that the events to which we have alluded occurred, as if by some secret relation to each other, on the same day.

At length our friend Fergus entered the office, in his usual garb of an aged and confirmed mendicant.

"Well, Reilly," said the sheriff, "I am glad you have come. I could have taken up this ruffian, this Red Rapparee, as he is properly called, upon suspicion; but that would have occasioned delay; and it is my object to lodge him in jail this night, so as to give him no chance of escape unless he breaks prison; but in order to prevent that, I shall give strict injunctions, in consequence of the danger to be apprehended from so powerful and desperate a character, that he be kept in strong irons."

"If it be within the strength of man, sir, to break prison, he will; he done it twice before; and he's under the notion that he never was born to be hanged; some of the ould prophecy men, and Mary Mahon, it seems, tould him so."

"In the meantime, Reilly, we shall test the truth of such prophecies. But listen. What is your wish that I should do for you, in addition to what I have already done. You know what I have promised you, and that for some time past, and that I have the Secretary's letter stating that you are free, and have to dread neither arrest nor punishment; but that is upon the condition that you shall give all the evidence against this man that you are possessed of. In that case the Government will also bountifully reward you besides."

"The Government need not think of any such thing, your honor," replied Reilly; "a penny of Government money will never cross my pocket. It isn't for any reward I come against this man, but because he joined the blood-hounds of Sir Robert Whitecraft against his own priests and his own religion; or at last against the religion he professed, for I don't think he ever had any."

"Well, then, I can make you one of my officers."

"Is it to go among the poor and distressed, sir, and help, maybe, to take the bed from undher the sick father or the sick mother, and to leave them without a stick undher the ould roof or naked walls? No, sir; sooner than do that I'd take to the highway once more, and rob like a man in the face of danger. That I may never see to-morrow," he proceeded, with vehemence, "but I'd rather rob ten rich men than harish one poor family. It was that work that druv me to the coorse I left—that an' the persecution that was upon us. Take my word, sir, that in nineteen cases out of twenty it was the laws themselves, and the poverty they brought upon the country, that made the robbers."

"But could you not give evidence against some others of the gang?"

"No, sir; there is not one of them in this part of the kingdom, and I believe the most of them all are out of it altogether. But, even if they were not, I, sir, am not the man to betray them; the Red Rapparee would, if he could get at them; but, thank God, I've put every man of them beyond his reach."

"You did! and pray, now, why, may I ask, did that happen?"

"Bekaise it came to my ears that it was his intention to inform against them, and to surrender them all to the Government."

"Well, Reilly, after all, I believe you to be an honest fellow, even although you were once a robber; but the question now is, what is to be done? Are you sure of his whereabouts?"

"I think so, sir; or, if I am not, I know one that is. But I have an observation to make. You know, sir, I would a' gone abroad, a freeman before this time, only that it's necessary I should still keep on my disguise, in ordher that I may move about as I wish until I secure this Red Rapparee. After that, sir, please God, I'll taste a mouthful of freedom. In the meantime I know one, as I said, that will enable us to make sure of him."

"Pray, who is that?"

"Tom Steeple, sir."

"Do you mean the poor fool of that name—or rather, I believe, of that nickname?"

"I do, sir; and in many things he's less of a fool than wiser men. He has been dodg-in' him for the last two or three days; and he's a person that no one would ever suspect, unless, indeed, the cautious and practised Rapparees; but in ordher to meet any such suspicion, I have got upon the right trail myself—we're sure of him now, I think."

"Well, Reilly," proceeded the sheriff, "I leave the management of the capture of this man to yourself. You shall have a strong and determined party to support you. Do you only show them the man, and, take my word for it, they will secure the robber. After this affair is over you must throw off those rags. I will furnish you with decent clothes, and you can go out at large without fear or risk, and that under your own name too. I took your hint, and declined swearing the informations against him before the old squire, as I had intended, from an apprehension that he might possibly blab the fact to Whitecraft, who, if your information be correct, would have given him notice to fly, or otherwise concealed him from justice."

"Well, sir," said Reilly, "it's my opinion that the Rapparee will lodge in Sligo jail before to-morrow mornin'; and it's a thousand pities that Whitecraft shouldn't be sent there to keep him company."

"He certainly is the most unpopular man living. In the exuberance of his loyalty he has contrived to offend almost every liberal Protestant in the county, and that with an unjustifiable degree of wanton, and overbearing insolence, arising from his consciousness of impunity. However, thank God, his day is gone by. But, mark me, Reilly—I had almost forgotten—don't neglect to secure the clothes in which the villain robbed me; they will be important."

"I had no intention of forgetting them, sir; and that scheme for throwing the guilt of his own villany on Mr. Reilly is another reason why I appear against him."

It was not, indeed, very easy for the Rapparee to escape. Whitecraft got home safe, a little before dusk, after putting his unfortunate horse to more than his natural speed. On his arrival he ordered wine to be brought, and sat down to meditate upon the most feasible plan for reinstating himself in the good graces of the new Government. After pondering over many speculations to that effect, it occurred to him that to secure the Rapparee, now that he could, as an agent and a guide, be of no further use to him, was the most likely procedure to effect his purpose. He accordingly rang for his usual attendant, and asked him if he knew where O'Donnel was. The man replied that he waa generally in or about Mary Mahon's.

"Then," proceeded his master, "let him be with me to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock."

"If I see him, sir, I shall tell him."

"And say that I have something to his advantage to mention to him."

"Yes, sir; I shan't forget it."

"Now," said he, after the servant had withdrawn, and taking a bumper of wine, "I know not how it is, but I feel very uncomfortable somehow. I certaintly did not expect a change in the Administration, nor a relaxation in the carrying out of the laws against Papists; and, under this impression, I fear I have gone too far, and that I may be brought over the coals for my conduct. I understand that the old French Abbe is returned, and once more a resident in the family of that cursed marquis. I think, by the way, I should go and apologize to both the marquis and the Abbe, and throw the blame of my own violence upon the conduct and instructions of the last Government; that, and the giving up of this ruffianly Rapparee to the present, may do something for me. This country, however, now that matters have taken such an unexpected turn, shall not long be my place of residence. As for Reilly, my marriage on the day after tomorrow with that stubborn beauty, Helen Folliard, will place an impassable barrier between him and her. I am glad he has escaped, for he will not be in our way, and we shall start for my English estates immediately after the ceremony. To-morrow, however, I shall secure the Rapparee, and hand him over to the authorities. I could have wished to hang Reilly, but now it is impossible; still, we shall start for England immediately after the nuptial knot is tied, for I don't think I could consider myself safe, now that he is at large, and at liberty to appear in his proper name and person especially after all the mischief I have done him, in addition to the fact of my bearing away his Cooleen Bawn, as she is called."

In fact, the man's mind was a turbid chaos of reflections upon the past and the future, in which selfishness, disappointed vengeance, terror, hypocritical policy, and every feeling that could fill the imagination of a man possessed of a vacillating, cowardly, and cruel heart, with the exception only of any thing that could border upon penitence or remorse. That Miss Folliard was not indifferent to him is true; but the feeling which he experienced towards her contained only two elements—sensuality and avarice. Of love, in its purest, highest, and holiest sense, he was utterly incapable; and he was not ignorant himself that, in the foul attachment which he bore her, he was only carrying into effect the principles of his previous life—those of a private debauchee, and a miser. That amiable, but unhappy and distracted, lady spent that whole evening in making preparations for her flight with Reilly. Her manner was wild and excited; indeed, so much so that the presence of mind and cool good sense, for which her maid Connor was remarkable, were scarcely sufficient to guide and direct her in this distressing emergency. She seemed to be absorbed by but one thought, and that was of her father. His affection for her enlarged and expanded itself in her loving heart, with a force and tenderness that nearly drove her into delirium. Connor, in the meantime, got all things ready, she herself having entrusted the management of every thing to her. The unhappy girl paced to and fro her room, sobbing and weeping bitterly, wringing her hands, and exclaiming from time to time:

"Oh, my father! my dear and loving father! is this the return I am making you for your tenderness and affection? what am I about to do? what steps am I going to take? to leave you desolate, with no heart for yours to repose upon! Alas! there was but one heart that you cared for, and in the duty and affection of that all your hopes for my happiness lay; and now, when you awake, you will find that that heart, the very heart | on which you rested, has deserted you! When you come down to breakfast in the morning, and find that your own Helen, your only one, has gone—oh! who will sustain, or soothe, or calm you in the frenzied grief of your desolation? But alas! what can I do but escape from that cowardly and vindictive villain—the very incarnation of oppression and persecution; the hypocrite, the secret debauchee, the mean, the dastardly, whose inhuman ambition was based upon and nurtured by blood? Alas! I have but the one remedy—flight with my noble minded lover, whom that dastardly villain would have hunted, even to his murder, or an ignominious death, which would have been worse. This flight is not spontaneously mine; I am forced to it, and of two evils I will choose the least; surely I am not bound to seal my own misery forever."

Connor had by this time attempted, as far as she could, to disguise her in one of her own dresses; but nothing could conceal the elegance and exquisite proportion of her figure, nor the ladylike harmony and grace of her motions. She then went to the oaken cabinet, mentioned by her father in the opening of our narrative, and as she always had the key of that portion of it which contained her own diamonds, and other property, she took a casket of jewels of immense value from it, and returned to her room, where she found Connor before her.

"Mr. Reilly is ready, miss," she said, "and is waiting for you behind the garden; the only one I dread in the house is Andy Cummiskey; he is so much attached to the master that I think if he knew you were about to escape he would tell him."

"Well, Connor, we must only avoid him as well as we can; but where, or how, shall I carry these jewels? in these slight pockets of yours, Connor, they could not be safe."

"Well, then, can't you give them to him to keep, and they'll be safe?"

"True, Connor, so they will; but I give him a heart which he prizes above them all. But, alas! my father! oh! Connor, shall I abandon him?"

"Do not distress yourself, my dear Miss Folliard; your father loves you too much to hold out his anger against you long. Did you not tell me that if Reilly was a Protestant your father said he would rather marry you to him than to Sir Robert, the villain, with all his wealth?"

"I did, Connor, and my father certainly said so; but the serpent, Connor, entwined himself about the poor credulous man, and succeeded in embittering him against Reilly, who would rather go to the scaffold—yes, and—which he would consider a greater sacrifice—rather abandon even me than his religion. And do you think, Connor, that I do not love my noble-minded Reilly the more deeply for this? I tell you, Connor, that if he renounced his religion upon no other principle than his love for me, I should despise him as a dishonorable, man, to whom it would not be safe for me to entrust my happiness."

"Well, well; but now it is time to start, and Reilly, as I said, is waiting for you behind the garden."

"Oh, Connor, and is it come to this? my dear papa! but I cannot go until I see him; no, Connor, I could not; I shall go quietly into his room, and take one look at him; probably it may be the last. Oh, my God! what am I about to do! Connor, keep this casket until I return; I shall not be long."

She then went to his chamber. The blinds and curtains of the windows had not been drawn, and it occurred to her that as her dress was so different from any which her father had ever seen on her, some suspicion might be created should he observe it. She therefore left the candlestick which she had brought with her on the inside sill of a lobby window, having observed at the door that the moonlight streamed in through the windows upon his bed. Judge of her consternation, however, when, on entering the room, her father, turning himself in the bed, asked:

"Is that Helen?"

"It is, papa; I thought you had been asleep, and I came up to steal my good-night kiss without any intention of awakening you."

"I drank too much, Helen, with Whitecraft, whom wine—my Burgundy—instead of warming, seems to turn into an icicle. However, he is a devilish shrewd fellow. Helen, darling, there's a jug of water on the table there; will you hand it to me; I'm all in a flame and a fever."

She did so, and her hand trembled so much that she was near spilling it. He took a long draught, after which he smacked his lips, and seemed to breathe more freely.

"Helen," said he.

"Well, dear papa."

"Helen, I had something to mention to you, but—"

"Don't disturb yourself to-night, papa; you are somewhat feverish," she added, feeling his pulse; if you will excuse me, papa, I think you drank too much; your pulse is very quick; if you could fall into rest again it would be better for you."

"Yes, it would; but my mind is uneasy and sorrowful. Helen, I thought you loved me, my darling."

"Oh, could you doubt it, papa? You see I am come as usual—no, not as usual, either—to kiss you; I will place my cheek against yours, as I used to do, dear papa, and you will allow me to weep—to weep—and to say that never father deserved the love of a daughter as you have deserved mine; and never did daughter love an affectionate and indulgent father more tenderly than your Cooleen Bawn does you."

"I know it, Helen, I know it; your whole life has been a proof of it, and will be a proof of it; I know you have no other object in this world than to make papa happy; I know I feel that you are great-minded enough to sacrifice everything to that."

"Well, but, papa," she continued, "for all my former offences against you will you pity and forgive me?"

"I do both, you foolish darling; but what makes you speak so?"

"Because I feel melancholy to-night, papa; and now, papa, if ever I should do any thing wrong, won't you pity and forgive your own Cooleen Bawn?"

"Get along, you gipsy—don't be crying. What could you do that papa wouldn't forgive you, unless to run away with Reilly? Don't you know that you can wind me round your finger?"

"Farewell, papa," she said, weeping all the time, for, in truth, she found it impossible to control herself; "farewell—good night! and remember that you may have a great deal to forgive your own Cooleen Bawn some of these days."

On leaving the bedroom, where she was hurried by her feelings into this indiscreet dialogue, she found herself nearly incapable of walking without support. The contending affections for her father and her lover had nearly overcome her. By the aid of the staircase she got to her own room, where she was met by Connor, into whose arms she fell almost helpless.

"Ah, Connor," she said, alluding to her father, whom she could not trust herself to name, "to-morrow morning what will become of him when he finds that I am gone? But I know his affectionate heart. He will relent—he will relent for the sake of his own Cooleen Bawn. The laws against Catholics are now relaxed, and I am glad of it. But I have one consolation, my dear girl, that I am trusting myself to a man of honor. We will proceed directly to the Continent;—that is, if no calamitous occurrence should take place to prevent us; and there, after our nuptials shall have been duly celebrated, I will live happy with Reilly—that is, Connor, as happy as absence from my dear father will permit me—and Reilly will live happy, and, at least, free from the persecution of bad laws, and such villains as base and vindictive Whitecraft. You, Connor, must accompany me to the back of the garden, and see me off. Take this purse, Connor, as some compensation for your truth and the loss of your situation."

It was now, when the moment of separation approached, that Connor's tears began to flow, far less at the generosity of her mistress than her affection, and that which she looked upon as probably their final separation.

"Dear Connor," said her mistress, "I would expect that support to my breaking heart which I have hitherto experienced from you. Be firm now, for you see I am not firm, and your tears only render me less adequate to encounter the unknown vicissitudes which lie before me."

"Well, then, I will be firm, my dear mistress; and I tell you that if there is a God in heaven that rewards virtue and goodness like yours, you will be happy yet. Come, now, he is waiting for you, and the less time we lose the better. We shall go out by the back way—it is the safest."

They accordingly did so, and had nearly reached the back wall of the garden when they met Malcomson and Cummiskey, on their way into the kitchen, in order to have a mug of strong ale together. The two men, on seeing the females approach, withdrew to the shelter of a clump of trees, but not until they were known by Connor.

"Come, my dear mistress," she whispered, "there is not one second of time to be lost. Cummiskey, who is a Catholic, might overlook our being here at this hour; because, although he is rather in the light of a friend than a servant to your father, still he is a friend to Reilly as well; but as for that ugly Scotchman, that is nothing but bone and skin, I would place no dependence whatever upon him."

We will not describe the meeting between Reilly and the Cooleen Bawn. They had no time to lose in the tender expressions of their feelings. Each shook hands with, and bid farewell to, poor affectionate Connor, who was now drowned in tears; and thus they set off, with a view of leaving the kingdom, and getting themselves legally married in Holland, where they intended to reside.





CHAPTER XX.—The Rapparee Secured

—Reilly and the Cooleen Bawn Escape, and are Captured.

Cummiskey had a private and comfortable room of his own, to which he and the cannie Scotchman proceeded, after having ordered from the butler a tankard of strong ale. There was a cheerful fire in the grate, and when the tankard and glasses were placed upon the table the Scotchman observed:

"De'il be frae my saul, maisther Cummiskey, but ye're vera comfortable here."

"Why, in troth, I can't complain, Mr. Malcomson; here's your health, sir, and after that we must drink another."

"Mony thanks, Andrew."

"Hang it, I'm not Andrew: that sounds like Scotch; I'm Andy, man alive."

"Wfiel mony thanks, Andy; but for the maitter o' that, what the de'il waur wad it be gin it were Scotch?"

"Bekaise I wouldn't like to be considered a Scotchman, somehow."

"Weel, Andrew—Andy—I do just suppose as muckle; gin ye war considered Scotch, muckle more might be expeck' frae you than, being an Irisher as you are, you could be prepared to answer to; whereas—"

"Why, hang it, man alive, we can give three answers for your one."

"Weel, but how is that now, Andy? Here's to ye in the meantime; and 'am no savin' but this yill is just richt gude drink; it warms the pit o' the stamach, man."

"You mane by that the pit o' the stomach, I suppose."

"Ay, just that."

"Troth, Mr. Malcomson, you Scotchers bring everything to the pit o' the stomach—no, begad, I ax your pardon, for although you take care of the pratie bag, you don't forget the pocket."

"And what for no, Andy? why the de'il war pockets made, gin they wanna to be filled? but how hae ye Irishers three answers for our ane?"

"Why, first with our tongue; and even with that we bate ye—flog you hollow. You Scotchmen take so much time in givin' an answer that an Irishman could say his pattherin aves before you spake. You think first and spake aftherwards, and come out in sich a way that one would suppose you say grace for every word you do spake; but it isn't 'for what we are to receive' you ought to say 'may the Lord make us thankful, but for what we are to lose'—that is, your Scotch nonsense; and, in troth, we ought to be thankful for losin' it."

"Weel, man, here's to ye, Andy—ou, man, but this yill is extraordinar' gude."

"Why," replied Andy, who, by the way, seldom went sober to bed, and who was even now nearly three sheets in the wind, "it is. Mr. Malcomson, the right stuff. But, as I was sayin', you Scotchmen think first and spake afther—one of the most unlucky practices that ever anybody had. Now, don't you see the advantage that the Irishman has over you; he spakes first and thinks aftherwards, and then, you know, it gives him plenty of time to think—here's God bless us all, anyhow—but that's the way an Irishman bates a Scotchman in givin' an answer; for if he fails by word o' mouth, why, whatever he's deficient in he makes up by the fist or cudgel; and there's our three Irish answers for one Scotch."

"Weel, man, a' richt—a' richt—we winna quarrel aboot it; but I thocht ye promised to gie us another toast—de'il be frae my; saul, man, but I'll drink as mony as you like wisiccan liquor as this."

"Ay, troth, I did say so, and devil a thing but your Scotch nonsense put it out o' my head. And now, Mr. Malcomson, let me advise you, as a friend, never to attempt to have the whole conversation to yourself; it I isn't daicent.

"Weel, but the toast, man?"

"Oh, ay; troth, your nonsense would put any thing out of a man's head. Well, you see this comfortable room?"

"Ou, ay; an vara comfortable it is; ma faith, I wuss I had ane like it. The auld squire, however, talks o' buildin' a new gertlen-hoose."

"Well, then, fill your bumper. Here's to her that got me this room, and had it furnished as you see, in order that I might be at my aise in it for the remaindher o' my life—I mane the Cooleen Bawn—the Lily of the Plains of Boyle. Come, now, off with it; and if you take it from your lantern jaws! till it's finished, divil a wet lip ever I'll give you."

The Scotchman was not indisposed to honor the toast; first, because the ale was both strong and mellow, and secondly, because the Cooleen Bawn was a great favorite of his, in consequence of the deference she paid to him as a botanist.

"Eh, sirs," he exclaimed, after finishing | his bumper, "but she's a bonnie lassie that, and as gude as she's bonnie—and de'il a higher compliment she could get, I think. But, Andy, man, don't they talk some clash and havers anent her predilection for that weel-farrant callan, Reilly?"

"All, my poor girl," replied Cummiskey, shaking his head sorrowfully; "I pity her there; but the thing's impossible—they can't be married—the law is against them."

"Weel, Andy, they must e'en thole it; but 'am thinkin' they'll just break bounds at last, an' tak' the law, as you Irish do, into their am hands."

"What do you mane by that?" asked Andy, whose temper began to get warm by the observation.

"Ah, man," replied the Scotchman, "dinna let your birses rise at that gate. Noo, there's the filbert trees, ma friend, of whilk ane is male and the tither female; and the upshot e'en is, Andy, that de'il a pickle o' fruit ever the female produces until there's a braw halesome male tree planted in the same gerden. But, ou, man, Andy, wasna yon she and that bonnie jaud, Connor, that we met the noo? De'il be frae my laul, but I jalouse she's aff wi' him this vara nicht."

"Oh, dear, no!" replied Cummiskey, starting; "that would kill her father; and yet there must be something in it, or what would bring them there at such an hour? He and she may love one another as much as they like, but I must think of my mas-ther."

"In that case, then, our best plan is to gie the alarm."

"Hould," replied Andy; "let us be cautious. They wouldn't go on foot, I think; and before we rise a ruction in the house, let us find out whether she has made off or not. Sit you here, and I'll try to see Connor, her maid."

"Ah, but, Andy, man, it's no just that pleasant to sit hei-e dry-lipped; the tankard's, oot, ye ken."

"Divil tankard the Scotch sowl o'you—who do you suppose could think of a tankard, or any thing else, if what we suspect has happened? It will kill him."

He then proceeded to look for Connor, whom he met in tears, which she was utterly unable to conceal.

"Well, Miss Connor," he asked, "what's the matther? You're cryin', I persave."

"All, Cummiskey, my mistress is unwell."

"Unwell! why she wasn't unwell a while ago, when the gardener and I met her and you on your way to the back o' the garden."

"Oh, yes," replied Connor; "I forced her to come out, to try what a little cool air-might do for her."

"Ay, but, Connor, did you force her to come in again?"

"Force! there was no force necessary, Cummiskey. She's now in her own room, quite ill."

"Oh, then, if she's quite ill, it's right that her father should know it, in ordher that a docther may be sent for."

"Ah, but she's now asleep, Cummiskey—that sleep may set her to rights; she may waken quite recovered; but you know it might be dangerous to disturb her."

"Ah, I believe you," he replied, dissembling; for he saw at once, by Connor's agitated manner, that every word she uttered was a lie; "the sleep will be good for her, the darlin'; but take care of her, Connor, for the masther's sake; for what would become of him if any thing happened her? You know that if she died he wouldn't live a week."

"That's true, indeed," she replied; "and if she get's worse, Cummiskey, I'll let the master know."

"That's a good girl; ma gragal that you! war—good-by, acushla," and he immediately! returned to his own room, after having observed that Connor went down to the kitchen.

"Now, Mr. Malcomson," said he, "there is a good fire before you. I ax your pardon—just sit in the light of it for a minute or so; I want this candle."

"'Am sayin', Andy, gin ye haud awa to the kitchen, it wadna be a crime to send up anither tankard o' that yill."

To this the other made no reply, but walked out of the room, and very deliberately proceeded to that of Helen. The door was open, the bed unslept upon, the window-curtains undrawn; in fact, the room was tenantless, Connor a liar and an accomplice, and the suspicions of himself and Malcomson well founded. He then followed Connor to the kitchen; but she too had disappeared, or at least hid herself from him. He then desired the other female servants to ascertain whether Miss Folliard was within or not, giving it as his opinion that she had eloped with Willy Reilly. The uproar then commenced, the house was searched, but no Cooleen Bawn was found. Cummiskey himself remained comparatively tranquil, but his tranquillity was neither more nor less than an inexpressible sorrow for what he knew the affectionate old man must suffer for the idol of his heart, upon whom he doted with such unexampled tenderness and affection. On ascertaining that she was not in the house, he went upstairs to his master's bedroom, having the candlestick in his hand, and tapped at the door. There was no reply from within, and on his entering he found the old man asleep. The case, however, was one that admitted of no delay; but he felt that to communicate the melancholy tidings was a fearful task, and he scarcely knew in what words to shape the event which had occurred. At length he stirred him gently, and the old man, half asleep, exclaimed:

"Good-night, Helen—good-night, darling! I am not well; I had something to tell you about the discovery of—but I will let you know it to-morrow at breakfast. For your sake I shall let him escape: there now, go to bed, my love."

"Sir," said Cummiskey, "I hope you'll excuse me for disturbing you."

"What? who? who's there? I thought it was my daughter."

"No, sir, I wish it was; I'm come to tell you that Miss Folliard can't be found: we have searched every nook and corner of the house to no purpose: wherever she is, she's not undher this roof. I came to tell you, and to bid you get up, that we may see what's to be done."

"What," he exclaimed, starting up, "my child!—my child—my child gone! God of heaven! God of heaven, support me!—my darling! my treasure! my delight!—Oh, Cummiskey!—but it can't be—to desert me!—to leave me in misery and sorrow, brokenhearted, distracted!—she that was the prop of my age, that loved me as never child loved a, father! Begone, Cummiskey, it is not so, it can't be, I say: search again; she is somewhere in the house; you don't know, sirra, how she loved me: why, it was only this night that, on taking her good-night kiss, she—ha—what? what?—she wept, she wept bitterly, and bade me farewell! and said—Here, Cummiskey, assist me to dress. Oh, I see it, Cummiskey, I see it! she is gone! she is gone! yes, she bade me farewell; but I was unsteady and unsettled after too much drink, and did not comprehend her meaning."

It is impossible to describe the almost frantic distraction of that loving father, who, as he said, had no prop to lean upon but his Cooleen Bawn, for he himself often loved to call her by that appellation.

"Cummiskey," he proceeded, "we will pursue them—we must have my darling back: yes, and I will forgive her, for what is she but a child, Cummiskey, not yet twenty. But in the meantime I will shoot him dead—dead—dead—if he had a thousand lives; and from this night out I shall pursue Popery, in all its shapes and disguises; I will imprison it, transport it, hang it—hang it, Cummiskey, as round as a hoop. Ring the bell, and let Lanigan unload, and then reload my pistols; he always does it; his father was my grandfather's gamekeeper, and he understands fire-arms. Here, though, help me on with my boots first, and then I will be dressed immediately. After giving the pistols to Lanigan, desire the grooms and hostlers to saddle all the horses in the stables. We must set out and pursue them. It is possible we may overtake them yet. I will not level a pistol against my child; but, by the great Boyne! if we meet them, come up with them, overtake them, his guilty spirit will stand before the throne of judgment this night. Go now, give the pistols to Lanigan, and tell him to reload them steadily."

We leave them now, in order that we may follow the sheriff and his party, who went to secure the body of the Red Rapparee. This worthy person, not at all aware of the friendly office which his patron, Sir Robert, intended to discharge towards him, felt himself quite safe, and consequently took very little pains to secure his concealment. Indeed, it could hardly be expected that he should, inasmuch as Whitecraft had led him to understand, as we have said, that Government had pardoned him his social trangressions, as a per contra for those political ones which they still expected from him. Such was his own view of the case, although he was not altogether free from misgiving, and a certain vague apprehension. Be this as it may, he had yet to learn a lesson which his employer was not disposed to teach him by any other means than handing him over to the authorities on the following day. How matters might have terminated between him and the baronet it is out of our power to detail. The man was at all times desperate and dreadful, where either revenge or anger was excited, especially as he labored under the superstitious impression that he was never to be hanged or perish by a violent death, a sentiment then by no means uncommon among persons of his outrageous and desperate life. It has been observed, and with truth, that the Irish Rapparees seldom indulged in the habit of intoxication or intemperance, and this is not at all to be wondered at. The meshes of authority were always spread for them, and the very consciousness of this fact sharpened their wits, and kept them perpetually on their guard against the possibility of arrest. Nor was this all. The very nature of the lawless and outrageous life they led, and their frequent exposure to danger, rendered habits of caution necessary—and those were altogether incompatible with habits of intemperance. Self-preservation rendered this policy necessary, and we believe there are but few instances on record of a Rapparee having been arrested in a state of intoxication. Their laws, in fact, however barbarous they were in other matters, rendered three cases of drunkenness a cause of expulsion from the gang. O'Donnel, however, had now relaxed from the rigid observation of his own rules, principally for the reasons we have already stated—by which we mean, a conviction of his own impunity, as falsely communicated to him by Sir Robert Whitecraft. The sheriff had not at first intended to be personally present at his capture; but upon second consideration he came to the determination of heading the party who were authorized to secure him. This resolution of Oxley's had, as will presently be seen, a serious effect upon the fate and fortunes of the Cooleen Bawn and her lover. The party, who were guided by Tom Steeple, did not go to Mary Mahon's, but to a neighboring cottage, which was inhabited by a distant relative of O'Donnel. A quarrel had taken place between the fortune-teller and him, arising from his jealousy of Sir Robert, which caused such an estrangement as prevented him for some time from visiting her house. Tom Steeple, however, had haunted him as his shadow, without ever coming in contact with him personally, and on this night he had him set as a soho man has a hare in her form. Guided, therefore, by the intelligent idiot and Fergus, the party readied the cottage in which the Rapparee resided. The house was instantly surrounded and the door knocked at, for the party knew that the man was inside.

"Who is there?" asked the old woman who kept the cottage.

"Open the door instantly," said the sheriff, "or we shall smash it in."

"No, I won't," she replied; "no, I won't, you bosthoon, whoever you are. I never did nothin' agin the laws, bad luck to them, and I won't open my door to any strolling vagabone like you."

"Produce the man we want," said the sheriff, "or we shall arrest you for harboring an outlaw and a murderer. Your house is now surrounded by military, acting under the king's orders."

"Give me time," said the crone; "I was at my prayers when you came to disturb me, and I'll finish them before I open the door, if you were to burn the house over my head, and myself in it. Up," said she to the Rapparee, "through the roof—get that ould table undher your feet—the thatch is thin—slip out and lie on the roof till they go, and then let them whistle jigs to the larks if they like."

The habits of escape peculiar to the Rapparees were well known to Fergus, who cautioned those who surrounded the house to watch the roof. It was well they did so, for in less-time than we have taken to describe it the body of the Rapparee was seen projecting itself upwards through the thin thatch, and in an instant several muskets were levelled at him, accompanied by instant orders to surrender on pain of being shot. Under such circumstances there was no alternative, and in a few minutes he was handcuffed and a prisoner. The party then proceeded along the road on which some of the adventures already recorded in this narrative had taken place, when they were met, at a sharp angle of it, by Reilly and his Cooleen Bawn, both of whom were almost instantly recognized by the sheriff and his party. Their arrest was immediate.

"Mr. Reilly," said the sheriff, "I am sorry for this. You must feel aware that I neither am or ever was disposed to be your enemy; but I now find you carrying away a Protestant heiress, the daughter of my friend, contrary to the laws of the land, a fact which in itself gives me the power and authority to take you into custody, which I accordingly do in his Majesty's name. I owe you no ill will, but in the meantime you must return with me to Squire Folliard's house. Miss Folliard, you must, as you know me to be your father's friend, consider that I feel it my duty to restore you to him."

"I am not without means of defence," replied Reilly, "but the exercise of such means would be useless. Two of your lives I might take; but yours, Mr. Sheriff, could not be one of them, and that you must feel."

"I feel, Mr. Reilly, that you are a man of honor; and, in point of fact, there is ample apology for your conduct in the exquisite beauty of the young lady who accompanies you; but I must also feel for her father, whose bereavement, occasioned by her loss, would most assuredly break his heart."

Here a deep panting of the bosom, accompanied by violent sobs, was heard by the party, and Cooleen Bawn whispered to Reilly, in a voice nearly stifled by grief and excitement:

"Dear Reilly, I love you; but it was madness in us to take this step; let me return to my father—only let me see him safe?"

"But Whitecraft?"

"Death sooner. Reilly, I am ill, I am ill; this struggle is too much for me. What shall I do? My head is swimming."

She had scarcely uttered these words when her father, accompanied by his servants, dashed rapidly up, and Cummiskey, the old huntsman, instantly seized Reilly, exclaiming, "Mr. Reilly, we have you now;" and whilst he spoke, his impetuous old master dashed his horse to one side, and discharged a pistol at our hero, and this failing, he discharged another. Thanks to Lanigan, however, they were both harmless, that worthy man having forgotten to put in bullets, or even as much powder as would singe an ordinary whisker.

"Forbear, sir," exclaimed the sheriff, addressing Cummiskey; "unhand Mr. Reilly. He is already in custody, and you, Mr. Folliard, may thank God that you are not a murderer this night. As a father, I grant that an apology may be made for your resentment, but not to the shedding of blood."

"Lanigan! villain! treacherous and deceitful villain!" shouted the squire, "it was your perfidy that deprived me of my revenge. Begone, you sneaking old profligate, and never let me see your face again. You did not load my pistols as you ought."

"No, sir," replied Lanigan, "and I thank God that I did not. It wasn't my intention to see your honor hanged for murder."

"Mr. Folliard," observed the sheriff, you ought to bless God that gave you a prudent servant, who had too much conscience to become the instrument of your vengeance. Restrain your resentment for the present, and leave Mr. Reilly to the laws of his country. We shall now proceed to your house, where, as a magistrate, you can commit him to prison, and I will see the warrant executed this night. We have also another prisoner of some celebrity, the Red Rapparee."

"By sun and moon, I'll go bail for him," replied the infuriated squire. "I like that fellow because Reilly does not. Sir Robert spoke to me in his favor. Yes, I shall go bail for him, to any amount."

"His offence is not a bailable one," said the cool sheriff; "nor, if the thing were possible, would it be creditable in you, as a magistrate, to offer yourself as bail for a common robber, one of the most notorious highwaymen of the day."

"Well, but come along," replied the squire; "I have changed my mind; we shall hang them both; Sir Robert will assist and support me. I could overlook the offence of a man who only took my purse; yes, I could overlook that, but the man who would rob me of my child—of the solace and prop of my heart and life—of—of—of—"

Here the tears came down his cheeks so copiously that his sobs prevented him from proceeding. He recovered himself, however, for indeed he was yet scarcely sober after the evening's indulgence, and the two parties returned to his house, where, after having two or three glasses of Burgundy to make his hand steady, he prepared himself to take the sheriff's informations and sign unfortunate Reilly's committal to Sligo jail. The vindictive tenacity of resentment by which the heart of the ruffian Rapparee was animated against that young man was evinced, on this occasion, by a satanic ingenuity of malice that was completely in keeping with the ruffian's character. It was quite clear, from the circumstances we are about to relate, that the red miscreant had intended to rob Folliard's house on the night of his attack upon it, in addition to the violent abduction of his daughter. We must premise here that Reilly and the Rapparee were each strongly guarded in different rooms, and the first thing the latter did was to get some one to inform Mr. Folliard that he had a matter of importance concerning Reilly to mention to him. This was immediately on their return, and before the informations against Reilly were drawn up. Folliard, who knew not what to think, paused for some time, and at! last, taking the sheriff along with him, went! to hear what O'Donnel had to say.

"Is that ruffian safe?" he asked, before entering the room; "have you so secured him that he can't be mischievous?"

"Quite safe, your honor, and as harmless as a lamb."

He and the sheriff then entered, and found the huge savage champing his teeth and churning with his jaws, until a line of white froth encircled his mouth, rendering him a hideous and fearful object to look at.

"What is this you want with me, you misbegotten villain," said the squire. "Stand between the ruffian and me, fellows, in the meantime—what is it, sirra?"

"Who's the robber now, Mr. Folliard?" he asked, with something, however, of a doubtful triumph in his red glaring eye. "Your daughter had jewels in a black cabinet, and I'd have secured the same jewels and your daughter along with them, on a certain night, only for Reilly; and it was very natural he should out-general me, which he did; but it was only to get both for himself. Let him be searched at wanst, and, although I don't say he has them, yet I'd give a hundred to one he has; she would never carry them while he was with her."

The old squire, who would now, with peculiar pleasure, have acted in the capacity of hangman in Reilly's case, had that unfortunate young man been doomed to undergo the penalty of the law, and that no person in the shape of Jack Ketch was forthcoming—he, we say—the squire—started at once to the room where Reilly was secured, accompanied also by the sheriff, and, after rushing in with a countenance inflamed by passion, shouted out:

"Seize and examine that villain; he has robbed me—examine him instantly: he has stolen the family jewels."

Reilly's countenance fell, for he knew his Fearful position; but that which weighed heaviest upon his heart was a consciousness of the misinterpretations which the world might put upon the motives of his conduct in this elopement, imputing it to selfishness and a mercenary spirit. When about to be searched, he said:

"You need not; I will not submit to the indignity of such an examination. I have and hold the jewels for Miss Folliard, whose individual property I believe they are; nay, I am certain of it, because she told me so, and requested me to keep them For her. Let her be sent for, and I shall hand them back to her at once, but to no other person without violence."

"But she is not in a condition to receive them," replied the sheriff (which was a fact); "I pledge my honor she, is not."

"Well, then, Mr. Sheriff, I place them in your hands; you can do with them as you wish—that is, either return them to Miss Folliard, the legal owner of them, or to her father."

The sheriff received the caske't which contained them, and immediately handed it to Mr. Folliard, who put it in his pocket, exclaiming:

"Now, Reilly, if we can hang you for nothing else, we can hang you for this; and we will, sir."

"You, sir," said Reilly, with melancholy indignation, "are privileged to insult me; so, alas! is every man now; but I can retire into the integrity of my own heart and find a consolation there of which you cannot deprive me. My life is now a consideration of no importance to myself since I shall die with the consciousness that your daughter loved me. You do not hear this for the first time, for that daughter avowed it to yourself! and if I had been mean and unprincipled enough to have abandoned my religion, and that of my persecuted forefathers, I might ere this have been her husband."

"Come," said Folliard, who was not prepared with an answer to this, "come," said he, addressing the sheriff, "come, till we make out his mittimus, and give him the first shove to the gallows." They then left him.





CHAPTER XXI.—Sir Robert Accepts of an Invitation.

The next morning rumor had, as they say, her hands and tongues very full of business. Reilly and the Red Rapparee were lodged in Sligo jail that night, and the next morning the fact was carried by the aforesaid rumor far and wide over the whole country. One of the first whose ears it reached was the gallant and virtuous Sir Robert Whitecraft, who no sooner heard it than he ordered his horse and rode at a rapid rate to see Mr. Folliard, in order, now that Reilly was out of the way, to propose an instant marriage with the Cooleen Bawn. He found the old man in a state very difficult to be described, for he had only just returned to the drawing-room from the strongly sentinelled chamber of his daughter. Indignation against Reilly seemed now nearly lost in the melancholy situation of the wretched Cooleen Bawn. He had just seen her, but, somehow, the interview had saddened and depressed his heart. Her position and the state of her feelings would have been pitiable, even to the eye of a stranger; what, then, must they not have been to a father who loved her as he did? "Helen," said he, as he took a chair in her room, after her guards had been desired to withdraw for a time, "Helen, are you aware that you have eternally disgraced your own name, and that of your father and your family?"

Helen, who was as pale as death, looked at him with vacant and unrecognizing eyes, but made no reply, for it was evident that she either had not heard, or did not understand, a word he said.

"Helen," said he, "did you hear me?"

She looked upon him with a long look of distress and misery, but there was the vacancy still, and no recognition.

This, I suppose, thought the father, is just the case with every love-sick girl in her condition, who will not be allowed to have her own way; but of what use is a father unless he puts all this nonsense down, and substitutes his own judgment for that of a silly girl. I will say something now that will startle her, and I will say nothing but what I will bring about.

"Helen, my darling," he said, "are you both deaf and blind, that you can neither see nor hear your father, and to-morrow your wedding-day? Sir Robert Whitecraft will be here early; the special license is procured, and after marriage you and he start for his English estates to spend the honeymoon there, after which you both must return and live with me, for I need scarcely say, Helen, that I could not live without you. Now I think you ought to be a happy girl to get a husband possessed of such immense property."

She started and looked at him with something like returning consciousness. "But where is Willy Reilly?" she asked.

"The villain that would have robbed me of my property and my daughter is now safe in Sligo jail."

A flash of something like joy—at least the father took it as such—sparkled in a strange kind of triumph from her eyes.

"Ha," said she, "is that villain safe at last? Dear papa, I am tired of all this—this—yes, I am tired of it, and it is time I should; but you talked about something else, did you not? Something about Sir Robert Whitecraft and a marriage. And what is my reply to that? why, it is this, papa: I have but one life, sir. Now begone, and leave me, or, upon my honor, I will push you out of the room. Have I not consented to all your terms. Let Sir Robert come tomorrow and he shall call me his wife before the sun reaches his meridian. Now, leave me; leave me, I say."

In this uncertain state her father found himself compelled to retire to the drawing-room, where Sir Robert and he met.

"Mr. Folliard," said the baronet, "is this true?"

"Is what true, Sir Robert?" said he sharply.

"Why, that Reilly and the Red Rapparee are both in Sligo jail?"

"It is true, Sir Robert; and it must be a cursed thing to be in jail for a capital crime."

"Are you becoming penitent," asked the other, "for bringing the laws of the land to bear upon the villain that would have disgraced, and might have ruined, your only daughter?"

The father's heart was stung by the diabolical pungency of this question.

"Sir Robert," said he, "we will hang him if it was only to get the villain out of the way; and if you will be here to-morrow at ten o'clock, the marriage must take place. I'll suffer no further nonsense about it; but, mark me, after the honeymoon shall have passed, you and she must come and reside here; to think that I could live without her is impossible. Be here, then, at ten o'clock; the special license is ready, and I have asked the Rev. Samson Strong to perform the ceremony. A couple of my neighbor Ashford's daughters will act as bridesmaids, and I myself will give her away: the marriage articles are drawn up, as you know, and there will be little time lost in signing them; and yet, it's a pity to—but no matter—be here at ten."

Whitecraft took his leave in high spirits. The arrest and imprisonment of Reilly had removed the great impediment that had hitherto lain in the way of his marriage; but not so the imprisonment of the Red Rapparee. The baronet regretted that that public and notorious malefactor had been taken out of his own hands, because he wished, as the reader knows, to make the delivering of him up to the Government one of the elements of his reconciliation to it. Still, as matters stood, he felt on the whole gratified at what had happened.

Folliard, after the baronet had gone, knew not exactly how to dispose of himself. The truth is, the man's heart was an anomaly—a series of contradictions, in which one feeling opposed another for a brief space, and then was obliged to make way for a new prejudice equally transitory and evanescent. Whitecraft he never heartily liked; for though the man was blunt, he could look through a knave, and appreciate a man of honor, with a great deal of shrewd accuracy. To be sure, Whitecraft was enormously rich, but then he was penurious and inhospitable, two vices strongly and decidedly opposed to the national feeling.

"Curse the long-legged scoundrel," he exclaimed; "if he should beget me a young breed of Whitecrafts like himself I would rather my daughter were dead than marry him. Then, on the other hand, Reilly; hang the fellow, had he only recanted his nonsensical creed, I could—but then, again, he might, after marriage, bring her over to the Papists, and then, by the Boyne, all my immense property would become Roman Catholic. By Strongbow, he'd teach the very rivers that run through it to sing Popish psalms in Latin: he would. However, the best way is to hang him out of the way, and when Jack Ketch has done with him, so has Helen. Curse Whitecraft, at all events!"

We may as well hint here that he had touched the Burgundy to some purpose; he was now in that state of mental imbecility where reason, baffled and prostrated by severe mental suffering and agitation, was incapable of sustaining him without having recourse to the bottle. In the due progress of the night he was helped to bed, and had scarcely been placed and covered up there when he fell fast asleep.

Whitecraft, in the meantime, suspected, of course, or rather he was perfectly aware of the fact, that unless by some ingenious manoeuvre, of which he could form no conception, a marriage with the Cooleen Bawn would be a matter of surpassing difficulty; but he cared not, provided it could be effected by any means, whether foul or fair. The attachment of this scoundrel to the fair and beautiful Cooleen Bawn was composed of two of the worst principles of the heart—sensuality and avarice; but, in this instance, avarice came in to support sensuality. What the licentious passions of the debauchee might have failed to tempt him to, the consideration of her large fortune accomplished. And such was the sordid and abominable union of the motives which spurred him on to the marriage.

The next morning, being that which was fixed for his wedding-day, he was roused at an early hour by a loud rapping at his hall-door. He started on his elbow in the bed, and ringing the bell for his valet, asked, when that gentleman entered his apartment half dressed, "What was the matter? what cursed knocking was that? Don't they know I can hunt neither priest nor Papist now, since this polite viceroy came here."

"I don't know what the matter is, Sir Robert; they are at it again; shall I open the door, sir?"

"Certainly; open the door immediately."

"I think you had better dress, Sir Robert, and see what they want."

The baronet threw his long fleshless shanks out of the bed, and began to get on his clothes as fast as he could.

"Ha!" said he, when he was nearly dressed, "what if this should be a Government prosecution for what I have undertaken to do on my own responsibility during the last Administration? But no, surely it cannot be; they would have given me some intimation of their proceedings. This was due to my rank and station in the country, and to my exertions, a zealous Protestant, to sustain the existence of Church and State. Curse Church and State if it be! I have got myself, perhaps, into a pretty mess by them."

He had scarcely uttered the last words when Mr. Hastings, accompanied by two or three officers of justice, entered his bedroom.

"Ah, Hastings, my dear friend, what is the matter? Is there any thing wrong, or can I be of any assistance to you? if so, command me. But we are out of power now, you know. Still, show me how I can assist you. How do you do?" and as he spoke he put his hand out to shake hands with. Mr. Hastings.

"No, Sir Robert, I cannot take your hand, nor the hand of any man that is red with the blood of murder. This," said he, turning to the officers, "is Sir Robert Whitecraft; arrest him for murder and arson."

"Why, bless me, Mr. Hastings, are you mad? Surely, I did nothing, unless under the sanction and by the instructions of the last Government?"

"That remains to be seen, Sir Robert; but, at all events, I cannot enter into any discussion with you at present. I am here as a magistrate. Informations have been sworn against you by several parties, and you must now consider yourself our prisoner and come along with us. There is a party of cavalry below to escort you to Sligo jail."

"But how am I to be conveyed there? I hope I will be allowed my own carriage?"

"Unquestionably," replied Mr. Hastings; "I was about to have proposed it myself. You shall be treated with every respect, six."

"May I not breakfast before I go?"

"Certainly, sir; we wish to discharge our duty in the mildest possible manner."

"Thank you, Hastings, thank you; you were always a good-hearted, gentlemanly fellow. You will, of course, breakfast with me; and these men must be attended to."

And he rang the bell.

"I have already breakfasted, Sir Robert; but even if I had not, it would not become me, as your prosecutor, to do so; but perhaps the men—"

"What," exclaimed the baronet, interrupting him, you my prosecutor! For what, pray?"

"That will come in time," replied the other; "and you may rest assured that I would not be here now were I not made aware that you were about to be married to that sweet girl whom you have persecuted with such a mean and unmanly spirit, and designed to start with her for England this day."

Whitecraft, now that he felt the dreadful consequences of the awful position in which he was placed, became the very picture of despair and pusillanimity; his complexion turned haggard, his eyes wild, and his hands trembled so much that he was not able to bring the tea or bread and butter to his lips; in fact, such an impersonation of rank and I unmanly cowardice could not be witnessed. He rose up, exclaiming, in a faint and hollow voice, that echoed no other sensation than that of horror:

"I cannot breakfast; I can eat nothing. What a fate is this! on the very day, too, which I thought would have consummated my happiness! Oh, it is dreadful!"

His servant then, by Mr. Hastings' orders, packed up changes of linen and apparel in his trunk, for he saw that he himself had not the presence of mind to pay attention to any thing. In the course of a few minutes the carriage was ready, and with tottering steps he went down the stairs, and was obliged to be assisted into it by two constables, who took their places beside, him. Mr. Hastings bowed to him coldly, but said nothing; the coachman smacked his whip, and was about to start, when he turned round and said:

"Where am I to drive, Sir Robert?"

"To Sligo jail," replied one of the constables, "as quick as you can too."

The horses got a lash or two, and bounded on, whilst an escort of cavalry, with swords drawn, attended the coach until it reached its gloomy destination, where we will leave it for the present.

The next morning, as matters approached to a crisis, the unsteady old squire began to feel less comfortable in his mind than he could have expected. To say truth, he had often felt it rather an unnatural process to marry so lovely a girl to "such an ugly stork of a man as Whitecraft was, and a knave to boot. I cannot forget how he took me in by the 'Hop-and-go-constant' affair. But then he's a good Protestant—not that I mean he has a single spark of religion in his nondescript carcass; but in those times it's not canting and psalm-singing we want, but good political Protestantism, that will enable us to maintain our ascendancy by other means than praying. Curse the hound that keeps him? Is this a day for him to be late on? and it now half past ten o'clock; however, he must come soon; but, upon my honor, I dread what will happen when he does. A scene there will be no doubt of it; however, we must only struggle through it as well as we can. I'll go and see Helen, and try to reconcile her to this chap, or, at all events, to let her know at once that, be the consequences what they may, she must marry him, if I were myself to hold her at the altar."

When he had concluded this soliloquy, Ellen Connor, without whose society Helen could now scarcely live, and who, on this account, had not been discharged after her elopement, she, we say, entered the room, her eye resolute with determination, and sparkling with a feeling which evinced an indignant sense of his cruelty in enforcing this odious match. The old man looked at her with surprise, for, it was the first time she had ever ventured to obtrude her conversation upon him,or to speak, unless when spoken to.

"Well, madam," said he, "what do you want? Have you any message from your mistress? if not, what brings you here?"

"I have no message from my mistress," she replied in a loud, if not in a vehement, voice; "I don't think my mistress is capable of sending a message; but I came to tell you that the God of heaven will soon send you a message, and a black one too, if you allow this cursed marriage to go on."

"Get out, you jade—leave the room; how is it your affair?"

"Because I have what you want—a heart of pity and affection in my breast. Do you want to drive your daughter mad, or to take her life?"

"Begone, you impudent hussy; why do you dare to come here on such an occasion, only to annoy me?"

"I will not begone," she replied, with a glowing cheek, "unless I am put out by force—until I point out the consequences of your selfish tyranny and weakness. I don't come to annoy you, but I come to warn you, and to tell you, that I know your daughter better than you do yourself. This marriage must not go on; or, if it does, send without delay to a lunatic asylum for a keeper for that only daughter. I know her well, and I tell you that that's what it'll come to."

The squire had never been in the habit of being thus addressed by any of his servants; and the consequence was that the thing was new to him; so much so that he felt not only annoyed, but so much astounded, that he absolutely lost, for a brief period, the use of his speech. He looked at her with astonishment—then about the room—then up at the ceiling, and at length spoke:

"What the deuce does all this mean? What are you driving at? Prevent the marriage, you say?"

"If the man," proceeded Connor, not even waiting to give him an answer—"if the man—had but one good point—one good quality—one virtue in his whole composition to redeem him from contempt and hatred—if he had but one feature in his face only as handsome as the worst you could find in the devil's—yes, if he had but one good thought, or one good feature in either his soul or body, why—vile as it would be—and barbarous as it would be—and shameful and cruel as it would be—still, it would have the one good thought, and the one good feature to justify it. But here, in this deep and wretched villain, there is nothing but one mass of vice and crime and deformity; all that the eye can ses, or the heart discover, in his soul or body, is as black, odious, and repulsive as could be conceived of the worst imp of perdition. And this is the man—the persecutor—the miser—the debauchee—the hypocrite—the murderer, and the coward, that you are going to join your good—virtuous—spotless—and beautiful daughter to! Oh, shame upon you, you heartless old man; don't dare to say, or pretend, that you love her as a father ought, when you would sacrifice her to so base and damnable a villain as that. And again, and what is more, I tell you not to prosecute Reilly; for, as sure as the Lord above is in heaven, your daughter is lost, and you'll not only curse Whitecraft, but the day and hour in which you were born—black and hopeless will be your doom if you do. And now, sir, I have done; I felt it to be my duty to tell you this, and to warn you against what I know will happen unless you go back upon the steps you have taken."

She then courtesied to him respectfully, and left the room in a burst of grief which seized her when she had concluded.

Ellen Connor was a girl by no means deficient in education—thanks to the care and kindness of the Cooleen Bawn, who had herself instructed her. 'Tis true, she had in ordinary and familiar conversation a touch of the brogue; but, when excited, or holding converse with respectable persons, her language was such as would have done no discredit to many persons in a much higher rank of life.

After she had left the room, Folliard looked towards the door by which she had taken her exit, as if he had her still in his vision. He paused—he meditated—he walked about, and seemed taken thoroughly aback.

"By earth and sky," he exclaimed, "but that's the most comical affair I have seen yet. Comical! no, not a touch of comicality in it. Zounds, is it possible that the, jade has coerced and beaten me?—dared to beard the lion in his own den—to strip him, as it were, of his claws, and to pull the very fangs out of his jaws, and, after all, to walk away in triumph? Hang me, but I must have a strong touch of the coward in me or I would not have knuckled as I did to the jade. Yet, hold—can I, or ought I to be angry with her, when I know that this hellish racket all proceeded from her love to Helen. Hang me, but she's a precious bit of goods, and I'll contrive to make her a present, somehow, for her courage. Beat me! by sun and sky she did."

He then proceeded to Helen's chamber, and ordered her attendants out of the room; but, on looking at her, he felt surprised to perceive that her complexion, instead of being pale, was quite flushed, and her eyes flashing with a strange wild light that he had never seen in them before.

"Helen," said he, "what's the matter, love? are you unwell?"

She placed her two snowy hands on her temples, and pressed them tightly, as if striving to compress her brain and bring it within the influence of reason.

"I fear you are unwell, darling," he continued; "you look flushed and feverish. Don't, however, be alarmed; if you're not well, I'd see that knave of a fellow hanged before I'd marry you to him, and you in that state. The thing's out of the question, my darling Helen, and must not be done. No: God forbid that I should be the means of murdering my own child."

So much, we may fairly presume, proceeded from the pithy lecture of Ellen Connor; but the truth was, that the undefinable old squire was the greatest parental coward in the world. In the absence of his daughter he would rant and swear and vapor, strike the ground with his staff, and give other indications of the most extraordinary resolution, combined with fiery passion, that seemed alarming. No sooner, however, did he go into her presence, and contemplate not only her wonderful beauty, but her goodness, her tenderness and affection for himself, than the bluster departed from him, his resolution fell, his courage oozed away, and he felt that he was fairly subdued, under which circumstances he generally entered into a new treaty of friendship and affection with the enemy.

Helen's head was aching dreadfully, and she felt feverish and distracted. Her father's words, however, and the affection which they expressed, went to her heart; she threw her arms about him, kissed him, and was relieved by a copious flood of tears.

"Papa," she said, "you are both kind and good; surely you wouldn't kill your poor Helen?"

"Me kill you, Helen!—oh, no, faith. If Whitecraft were hanged to-morrow it wouldn't give me half so much pain as if your little finger ached."

Just at this progress of the dialogue a smart and impatient knock came to the door.

"Who is that?" said the squire; "come in—or, stay till I see who you are." He than opened the door and exclaimed, "What! Lanigan!—why, you infernal old scoundrel! how dare you have the assurance to look me in the face, or to come under my roof at all, after what I said to you about the pistols?"

"Ay, but you don't know the good news I have for you and Miss Helen."

"Oh, Lanigan, is Reilly safe?—is he set at large? Oh, I am sure he must be. Never was so noble, so pure, and so innocent a heart."

"Curse him, look at the eye of him," said her father, pointing his cane at Lanigan; "it's like the eye of a sharp-shooter. What are you grinning at; you old scoundrel?"

"Didn't you expect Sir Robert Whitecraft here to-day to marry Miss Folliard, sir?"

"I did, sirra, and I do; he'll be here immediately."

"Devil a foot he'll come to-day, I can tell you; and that's the way he treats your daughter!"

"What does this old idiot mean, Helen? Have you been drinking, sirra?"

"Not yet, sir, but plaise the Lord I'll soon be at it."

"Lanigan," said Helen, "will you state at once what you have to say?"

"I will, miss; but first and foremost, I must show you how to dance the 'Little House under the Hill,'" and as he spoke he commenced whistling that celebrated air and dancing to it with considerable alacrity and vigor, making allowances for his age.

The father and daughter looked at each other, and Helen, notwithstanding her broken spirits, could not avoid smiling. Lanigan continued the dance, kept wheeling about to all parts of the room, like an old madcap, cutting, capering, and knocking up his heels against his ham, with a vivacity that was a perfect mystery to his two spectators, as was his whole conduct.

"Now, you drunken old scoundrel," said his master, catching him by the collar and flourishing the cane over his head, "if you don't give a direct answer I will cane you within an inch of your life. What do you mean when you say that Sir Robert Whitecraft won't come here to-day?"

"Becaise, sir, it isn't convanient to him."

"Why isn't it convenient, you scoundrel?"

"Bekaise, sir, he took it into his head to try a change of air for the benefit of his health before he starts upon his journey; and as he got a very friendly invitation to spend some time in Sligo jail he accepted it, and if you go there you will find him before you. It seems he started this morning in great state, with two nice men belonging to the law in the carriage with him, to see that he should want for nothing, and a party of cavalry surroundin' his honor's coach, as if he was one of the judges, or the Lord Lieutenant."

The figurative style of his narrative would unquestionably have caused him to catch the weight of the cane aforesaid had not Helen interfered and saved him for the nonce.

"Let me at him, Helen, let me at him—the drunken old rip; why does he dare to humbug us in this manner?"

"Well, then, sir, if you wish to hear the good news, and especially you, Miss Folliard, it will probably relieve your heart when I tell you that Sir Robert Whitecraft is, before this time, in the jail of Sligo, for a charge of murdher, and for burnin' Mr. Reilly's house and premises, which it now seems aren't Mr. Reilly's at all—nor ever were—but belong to Mr. Hastings."

"Good heavens!" exclaimed the squire, "this is dreadful: but is it true, sirra?"

"Why, sir, if you go to his house you'll find it so."

"Oh, papa," said Helen, "surely they wouldn't hang him?"

"Hang him, Helen; why, Helen, the tide's turned; they want to make him an example for the outrages that he and others have committed against the unfortunate Papists. Hang him!—as I live, he and the Red Rapparee will both swing from the same gallows; but there is one thing I say—if he hangs I shall take care that that obstinate scoundrel, Reilly, shall also swing along with him."

Helen became as pale as ashes, the flush had disappeared from her countenance, and she burst again into tears.

"Oh, papa," she exclaimed, "spare Reilly: he is innocent."

"I'll hang him," he replied, "if it should cost me ten thousand pounds. Go you, sirra, and desire one of the grooms to saddle me Black Tom; he is the fastest horse in my stables; I cannot rest till I ascertain the truth of this."

On passing the drawing-room he looked in, and found Mr. Strong and the two Misses Ashford waiting, the one to perform, and the others to attend, at the ceremony.

"Sir. Strong and ladies," said he, with looks of great distraction, "I fear there will be no marriage here to-day. An accident, I believe, has happened to Sir Robert Whitecraft that will prevent his being a party in the ceremony, for this day at least."

"An accident!" exclaimed the ladies and the clergyman. "Pray, Mr. Folliard, what is it? how did it happen?"

"I am just going to ride over to Sir Robert's to learn everything about it," he replied; "I will be but a short time absent. But now!" he added, "here's his butler, and I will get everything from him. Oh, Thomas, is this you? follow me to my study, Thomas."

As the reader already knows all that Thomas could tell him, it is only necessary to say that he returned to the drawing-room with a sad and melancholy aspect.

"There is no use," said he, addressing them, "in concealing what will soon be known to the world. Sir Robert Whitecraft has been arrested on a charge of murder and arson, and is now a prisoner in the county jail."

This was startling intelligence to them all, especially to the parson, who found that the hangman was likely to cut him out of his fees. The ladies screamed, and said, "it was a shocking thing to have that delightful man hanged;" and then asked if the bride-elect had heard it.

"She has heard it," replied her father, "and I have just left her in tears; but upon my soul, I don't think there is one of them shed for him. Well, Mr. Strong, I believe, after all, there is likely to be no marriage, but that is not your fault; you came here to do your duty, and I think it only just—a word with you in the next apartment," he added, and then led the way to the dining-room. "I was about to say, Mr. Strong, that it would be neither just nor reasonable to deprive you of your fees; here is a ten-pound note, and it would have been twenty had the marriage taken place. I must go to Sligo to see the unfortunate baronet, and say what can be done for him—that is, if anything can, which I greatly doubt."

The parson protested, against the receipt of the ten-pound note very much in the style of a bashful schoolboy, who pretends to refuse an apple from a strange relation when he comes to pay a visit, whilst, at the same time, the young monkey's chops are watering for it. With some faint show of reluctance he at length received it, and need we say that it soon disappeared in one of his sanctified pockets.

"Strong, my dear fellow," proceeded the squire, "you will take a seat with these ladies in their carriage and see them home."

"I would, with pleasure, my dear friend, but that I am called upon to console poor Mrs. Smellpriest for the loss of the captain."

"The captain! why, what has happened him?"

"Alas! sir, an unexpected and unhappy fate. He went out last night a priest-hunting, like a godly sportsman of the Church, as he was, and on his return from an unsuccessful chase fell off his horse while in the act of singing that far-famed melody called 'Lillibullero,' and sustained such severe injuries that he died on that very night, expressing a very ungodly penitence for his loyalty in persecuting so many treasonable Popish priests."

The squire seemed amazed, and, after a pause, said:

"He repented, you say; upon my soul, then, I am glad to hear it, for it is more than I expected from him, and, between you and me, Strong, I fear it must have taken a devilish large extent of repentance to clear him from the crimes he committed against both priests and Popery."

"Ah," replied Strong, with a groan of deep despondency, "but, unfortunately, my dear sir, he did not repent of his sins—that is the worst of it—Satan must have tempted him to transfer his repentance to those very acts of his life upon which, as Christian champion, he should have depended for justification above—I mean, devoting his great energies so zealously to the extermination of idolatry and error. What was it but repenting for his chief virtues, instead of relying, like a brave and dauntless soldier of our Establishment, upon his praiseworthy exertions to rid it of its insidious and relentless enemies?"

The squire looked at him.

"I'll tell you what, Strong—-by the great Boyne, I'd give a trifle to, see you get a smart touch of persecution in your own person; it might teach you a little more charity towards those who differ with you; but, upon my honor, if any change in our national parties should soon take place, and that the Papists should get the upper hand, I tell you to your teeth that if ever your fat libs should be tickled by the whip of persecution, they would render you great injustice who should do it for the sake of religion—a commodity with which I see, from the spirit of your present sentiments, you are not over-burdened. However, in the meantime, I daresay that whatever portion you possess of it, you will charitably expend in consoling his widow, as you say. Good-morning!"

We must return, however, to the close of Smellpriest's very sudden and premature departure from the scene of his cruel and merciless labors. Having reached the strip already described to him by Mr. Strong, and to which he was guided by his men, he himself having been too far advanced in liquor to make out his way with any kind of certainty, he proceeded, still under their direction, to the cottage adjoining, which was immediately surrounded by the troopers. After knocking at the door with violence, and demanding instant admittance, under the threat of smashing it in, and burning the house as a harbor for rebellious priests, the door was immediately opened by a gray-headed old man, feeble and decrepit in appearance, but yet without any manifestation of terror either in his voice or features. He held a candle in his hand, and asked them, in a calm, composed voice, what it was they wanted, and why they thus came to disturb him and his family at such an unseasonable hour.

"Why, you treasonable old scoundrel," shouted Smellpriest, "haven't you got a rebel and recusant Popish priest in the house? I say, you gray-headed old villain, turn him out on the instant, or, if you hesitate but half a minute, well make a bonfire of you, him, the house, and all that's in it. Zounds, I don't see why I shouldn't burn a house as well as Whitecraft. That cursed baronet is getting ahead of me, but I think I am entitled to a bonfire as well as he is. Shall we burn the house?" he added, addressing his men.

"I think you had better not, captain," replied the principal of them; "recollect there are new regulations now. It wouldn't be safe, and might only end in hanging every man of us—yourself among the rest."

"But why doesn't the old rebel produce the priest?" asked their leader. "Come here, sirra—hear me—produce that lurking priest immediately."

"I don't exactly understand you, captain," replied the old man, who appeared to know Smellpriest right well. "I don't think it's to my house you should come to look for a priest."

"Why not, you villain? I have been directed here, and told that I would find my game under your roof."

"In the first place," replied the old man, with a firm and intrepid voice, "I am no villain; and in the next, I say, that if any man directed you to this house in quest of a priest, he must have purposely sent you upon a fool's errand. I am a Protestant, Captain Smellpriest; but, Protestant as I am, I tell you to your face that if I could give shelter to a poor persecuted priest, and save him from the clutches of such men as you and Sir Robert Whitecraft, I would do it. In the meantime, there is neither priest nor friar under this roof; you can come in and search in the house, if you wish."

"Why, gog's 'ouns, father," exclaimed one of the men, "how does it come that we find you here?"

"Very simply, John," replied his father—for such he was—"I took this cottage, and the bit of land that goes with it, from honest Andy Morrow, and we are not many hours in it. The house was empty for the last six months, so that I say again, whoever sent Captain Smellpriest here sent him upon a fool's errand—upon a wild-goose chase."

The gallant captain started upon hearing these latter words.

"What does he say," he asked—"a wild-goose chase! Right—right," he added, in a soliloquy; "Strong is at the bottom of it, the black scoundrel! but still, let us search the house; the old fellow admits that he would shelter a priest. Search the house I say.

     'There was an old prophecy found in a bog,
     Lillibullero, bullen ala, &c., &c.'"

The house was accordingly searched, but it is unnecessary to add that neither priest nor friar was found under the roof, nor any nook or corner in which either one or the other could have been concealed.

The party, who then directed their steps homewards, were proceeding across the fields to the mountain road which ran close by, and parallel with the stripe, when they perceived at once that Smellpriest was in a rage, by the fact of his singing "Lillibullero;" for, whenever either his rage or loyalty happened to run high, he uniformly made a point to indulge himself in singing that celebrated ballad.

"By jabers," said one of them to his companions, "there will be a battle royal between the captain and Mr. Strong if he finds the parson at home before him."

"If there won't be a fight with the parson, there will with the wife," replied the other. "Hang the same parson," he added; "many a dreary chase he has sent us upon, with nothing but the fatigue of a dark and slavish journey for our pains. With what bitterness he's giving us 'Lillibullero,' and he scarcely able to sit on his horse! I think I'll advance, and ride beside him, otherwise, he may get an ugly tumble on this hard road."

He accordingly did so, observing, as he got near him, "I have taken the liberty to ride close beside you, lest, as the night is dark, your horse might stumble."

"What! do you think I'm drunk, you scoundrel?—fall back, sir, immediately.

"'Lillibullero, bullen ala.'

"I say I'm not drunk; but I'm in a terrible passion at that treacherous scoundrel; but no matter, I saw something to-night—never mind, I say.

     "'There was an old prophecy found in a bog,
     Lillibullero, bullen ala;

     That Ireland should be ruled by an Ass and a Dog,
     Lillibullero, bullen ala;

     And now that same prophecy has come to pass—
     Lillibullero, bullen ala;

     For Talbot's the Dog, and James is the Ass,
     Lillibullero, bullen ala.'

"Never mind, I say; hang me, but I'll crop the villain, or crop both, which is better still—steady, Schomberg—curse you."

The same rut or chasm across the more open road on which they had now got out, and that had nearly been so fatal to Mr. Brown, became decidedly so to unfortunate Smellpriest. The horse, as his rider spoke, stopped suddenly, and, shying quickly to the one side, the captain was pitched off, and fell with his whole weight upon the hard pavement. The man was an unwieldy, and consequently a heavy man, and the unexpected fall stunned him into insensibility. After about ten minutes or so he recovered his consciousness, however, and having been once more placed upon his horse, was conducted home, two or three of his men, with much difficulty, enabling him to maintain his seat in the saddle. In this manner they reached his house, where they stripped and put him to bed, having observed, to their consternation, that strong gushes of blood welled, every three or four minutes, from his mouth.

The grief of his faithful wife was outrageous; and Mr. Strong, who was still there kindly awaiting his safe return, endeavored to compose her distraction as well as he could.

"My dear madam," said he, "why will you thus permit your grief to overcome you? You will most assuredly injure your own precious health by this dangerous outburst of sorrow. The zealous and truly loyal captain is not, I trust, seriously injured; he will recover, under God, in a few days. You may rest assured, my dear Mrs. Smellpriest, that his life is too valuable to be taken at this unhappy period. No, he will, I trust and hope, be spared until a strong anti-Popish Government shall come in, when, if he is to lose it, he will lose it in some great and godly exploit against the harlot of abominations."

"Alas! my dear Mr. Strong, that is all very kind of you, to support my breaking heart with such comfort; but, when he is gone, what will become of me?"

"You will not be left desolate, my dear madam—you will be supported—cheered—consoled. Captain my friend, how do you feel now? Are you easier?"

"I am," replied the captain feebly—for he had not lost his speech—"come near me, Strong."

"With pleasure, dear captain, as becomes my duty, not only as a friend, but as an humble and unworthy minister of religion. I trust you are not in danger, but, under any circumstances, it is best, you know, to be prepared for the worst. Do not then be cast down, nor allow your heart to sink into despair. Remember that you have acted the part of a zealous and faithful champion on behalf of our holy Church, and that you have been a blessed scourge of Popery in this Pope-ridden country. Let that reflection, then, be your consolation. Think of the many priests you have hunted—and hunted successfully too; think of how many bitter Papists of every class you have been the blessed means of committing to the justice of our laws; think of the numbers of Popish priests and bishops you have, in the faithful discharge of your pious duty, committed to chains, imprisonment, transportation, and the scaffold—think of all these things, I say, and take comfort to your soul by the retrospect. Would you wish to receive the rites and consolations of religion at my hands?"

"Come near me, Strong," repeated Smell-priest. "The rites of religion from you—the rights of perdition as soon, you hypocritical scoundrel;" and as he spoke he caught a gush of blood as it issued from his mouth and flung it with all the strength he had left right into the clergyman's face. "Take that, you villain," he added; "I die in every sense with my blood upon you. And as for my hunting of priests and Papists, it is the only thing that lies at this moment heavy over my heart. And as for that wife of mine, I'm sorry she's not in my place. I know, of course, I'll be damned; but it can't be helped now. If I go down, as down I will go, won't I have plenty of friends to keep me in countenance. I know—I feel I'm dying; but I must take the consequences. In the meantime, my best word and wish is, that that vile jade shan't be permitted to approach or touch my body after I am dead. My curse upon you both! for you brought me to this untimely death between you."

"Why, my dear Smellpriest—" exclaimed the wife.

"Don't call me Smellpriest," he replied, interrupting her; "my name is Norbury. But it doesn't matter—it's all up with me, and I know it will soon be all down with me; for down, down I'll go. Strong, you hypocritical scoundrel, don't be a persecutor: look at me on the very brink of perdition for it. And now the only comfort I have is, that I let the poor Popish bishop off. I could not shoot him, or at any rate make a prisoner of him, and he engaged in the worship of God."

"Alas!" whispered Strong, "the poor man is verging on rank Popery—he is hopeless."

"But, Tom, dear," said the wife, "why are you displeased with me, your own faithful partner? I that was so loving and affectionate to you? I that urged you on in the path of duty? I that scoured your arms and regimentals with my own hands—that mixed you your punch before you went after the black game, as you used to say, and, again, had it ready for you when you returned to precious Mr. Strong and me after a long hunt. Don't die in anger with your own Grizzey, as you used to call me, my dear Tom, or, if you do, I feel that I won't long survive you."

"Ah! you jade," replied Tom, "didn't I see the wink between you to-night, although you thought I was drunk? Ah, these wild-goose chases!"

"Tom, dear, we are both innocent. Oh, forgive your own Grizaey!"

"So I do, you jade—my curse on you both."

Whether it was the effort necessary to speak, in addition to the excitement occasioned by his suspicions, and whether these suspicions were well founded or not, we do not presume to say; but the fact was, that, after another outgulp of blood had come up, he drew a long, deep sigh, his under-jaw fell, and the wretched, half-penitent Captain Smellpriest breathed his last. After which his wife, whether from sorrow or remorse, became insensible, and remained in that state for a considerable time; but at length she recovered, and, after expressing the most violent sorrow, literally drove the Rev. Mr. Strong out of the house, with many deep and bitter curses. But to return:

In a few minutes the parties dispersed, and Folliard, too much absorbed in the fates of Reilly and Whitecraft, prepared to ride to Sligo, to ascertain if any thing could be done for the baronet. In the meantime, while he and his old friend Cummiskey are on their way to see that gentleman, we will ask the attention of our readers to the state of Helen's mind, as it was affected by the distressing events which had so rapidly and recently occurred. We need not assure them that deep anxiety for the fate of her unfortunate lover lay upon her heart like gloom of death itself. His image and his natural nobility of character, but, above all, the purity and delicacy of his love for herself his manly and faithful attachment to his religion, under temptations which few hearts could resist—temptations of which she herself was, beyond all comparison, the most trying and the most difficult to be withstood; his refusal to leave the country on her account, even when the bloodhounds of the law were pursuing him to his death in every direction; and the reflection that this resolution of abiding by her, and watching over her welfare and happiness, and guarding her, as far as he could, from domestic persecution—all these reflections, in short, crowded upon her mind with such fearful force that her reason began to totter, and she felt apprehensive that she might not be able to bear the trial which Reilly's position now placed before her in the most hideous colors. On the other hand, there was Whitecraft, a man certainly who had committed many crimes and murders and burnings, often, but not always, upon his own responsibility; a man who, she knew, entertained no manly or tender affection for her; he too about to meet a violent death! That she detested him with an abhorrence as deep as ever woman entertained against man was true; yet she was a woman, and this unhappy fate that impended over him was not excluded out of the code of her heart's humanity. She wished him also to be saved, if only that he might withdraw from Ireland and repent of his crimes. Altogether she was in a state bordering on frenzy and despair, and was often incapable of continuing a sustained conversation.

When Whitecraft reached the jail in his carriage, attended by a guard of troopers, the jailor knew not what to make of it; but seeing the carriage, which, after a glance or two, he immediately recognized as that of the well-known grand juror, he came out, with hat in hand, bowing most obsequiously.

"I hope your honor's well; you are coming to inspect the prisoners, I suppose? Always active on behalf of Church and State, Sir Robert."

"Come, Mr. O'Shaughnessy," said one of the constables, "get on with no nonsense. You're a mighty Church and State man now; but I remember when there was as rank a rebel under your coat as ever thumped a craw. Sir Robert, sir, is here as our prisoner, and will soon be yours, for murder and arson, and God knows what besides. Be pleased to walk into the hatch, Sir Robert, and there we surrender you to Mr. O'Shaughnessy, who will treat you well if you pay him well."

They then entered the hatch. The constable produced the mittimus and the baronet's person both together, after which they withdrew, having failed to get the price of a glass from the baronet as a reward for their civility.

Such scenes have been described a hundred times, and we consequently shall not delay our readers upon this. The baronet, indeed, imagined that from his rank and influence the jailer might be induced to give him comfortable apartments. He was in, however, for two capital felonies, and the jailer, who was acquainted with the turn that public affairs had taken, told him that upon his soul and conscience if the matter lay with him he would not put his honor among the felons; but then he had no discretion, because it was as much as his place was worth to break the rules—a thing he couldn't think of doing as an honest man and an upright officer.

"But whatever I can do for you, Sir Robert, I'll do."

"You will let me have pen and ink, won't you?"

"Well, let me see. Yes, I will, Sir Robert; I'll stretch that far for the sake of ould times."





CHAPTER XXII.—The Squire Comforts Whitecraft in his Affliction.

The old squire and Cummiskey lost little time in getting over the ground to the town of Sligo, and, in order to reach it the more quickly, they took a short cut by the old road which we have described at the beginning of this narrative. On arriving at that part of it from which they could view the spot where Reilly rescued them from the murderous violence of the Red Rapparee, Cummiskey pointed to it.

"Does your honor remember that place, where you see the ould buildin'?"

"Yes, I think so. Is not that the place where the cursed Rapparee attacked us?"

"It is, sir; and where poor Reilly saved both our lives; and yet your honor is goin' to hang him."

"You know nothing about it, you old blockhead. It was all a plan got up by Reilly and the Rapparee for the purpose of getting introduced to my daughter, for his own base and selfish purposes. Yes, I'll hang him certainly—no doubt of that."

"Well, sir," replied Cummiskey, "it's one comfort that he won't hang by himself."

"No," said the other, "he and the Rapparee will stretch the same rope."

"The Rapparee! faith, sir, hell have worse company."

"What do you mean, sirra?"

"Why, Sir Robert Whitecraft, sir; he always had gallows written in his face; but, upon my soul, he'll soon have it about his neck, please God."

"Faith, I'm afraid you are not far from the truth, Cummiskey," replied his master; "however, I am going to make arrangements with him, to see what can be done for the unfortunate man."

"If you'll take my advice, sir, you'll have nothing to do with him. Keep your hand out o' the pot; there's no man can skim boiling lead with his hand and not burn his fingers—but a tinker."

"Don't be saucy, you old dog; but ride on, for I must put Black Tom to his speed."

On arriving at the prison, the squire found Sir Robert pent up in a miserable cell, with a table screwed to the floor, a pallet bed, and a deal form. Perhaps his comfort might have been improved through the medium of his purse, were it not that the Prison Board had held a meeting that very day, subsequent to his committal, in which, with some dissentients, they considered it their duty to warn the jailer against granting him any indulgence beyond what he was entitled to as a felon, and this under pain of their earnest displeasure.

When the squire entered he found the melancholy baronet and priest-hunter sitting upon the hard form, his head hanging down upon his breast, or, indeed, we might say much farther; for, in consequence of the almost unnatural length of his neck, it appeared on that occasion to be growing out of the middle of his body, or of that fleshless vertebral column which passed for one.

"Well, baronet," exclaimed Folliard pretty loudly, "here's an exchange! from the altar to the halter; from the matrimonial noose to honest Jack Ketch's—and a devilish good escape it would be to many unfortunate wretches in this same world."

"Oh, Mr. Folliard," said the baronet, "is not this miserable? What will become of me?"

"Now, I tell you what, Whitecraft, I am come to speak to you upon your position; but before I go farther, let me say a word or two to make you repent, if possible, for what you have done to others."

"For what I have done, Mr. Folliard! why should I not repent, when I find I am to be hanged for it?"

"Oh, hanged you will be, there is no doubt of that; but now consider a little; here you are with a brown loaf, and—is that water in the jug?"

"It is."

"Very well; here you are, hard and fast, you who were accustomed to luxuries, to the richest meats, and the richest wines—here you are with a brown loaf, a jug of water, and the gallows before you! However, if you wish to repent truly and sincerely, reflect upon the numbers that you and your bloodhounds have consigned to places like this, and sent from this to the gibbet, while you were rioting in luxury and triumph. Good God, sir, hold up your head, and be a man. What if you are hanged? Many a better man was. Hold up your head, I say."

"I can't, my dear Folliard; it won't stay up for me."

"Egad! and you'll soon get a receipt for holding it up. Why the mischief can't you have spunk?"

"Spunk; how the deuce could you expect spunk from any man in my condition? It is difficult to understand you, Mr. Folliard; you told me a minute ago to repent, and now you tell me to have spunk; pray what do you mean by that?"

"Why, confound it, I mean that you should repent with spunk. However, let us come to more important matters; what can be done for you?"

"I know not; I am incapable of thinking on any thing but that damned gallows without; yet I should wish to make my will."

"Your will! Why, I think you have lost your senses; don't you know that when you're hanged every shilling and acre you are possessed of will be forfeited to the crown?"

"True," replied the other, "I had forgotten that. Could Hastings be induced to decline prosecuting?"

"What! to compromise a felony, and be transported himself. Thank you for nothing baronet; that's rather a blue look up. No, our only plan is to try and influence the grand jury to throw out the bills; but then, again, there are indictments against you to no end. Hastings' case is only a single one, and, even if he failed, it would not better your condition a whit. Under the late Administration we could have saved you by getting a packed jury; but that's out of the question now. All we can do, I think, is to get up a memorial strongly signed, supplicating the Lord Lieutenant to commute your sentence from hanging to transportation for life. I must confess, however, there is little hope even there. They will come down with their cursed reasoning and tell us that the rank and education of the offender only aggravate the offence; and that, if they allow a man so convicted to escape, in consequence of his high position in life, every humble man found guilty and executed for the same crime—is murdered. They will tell us it would be a prostitution of the prerogative of the Crown to connive at crime in the rich and punish it in the poor. And, again, there's the devil of it; your beggarly want of hospitality in the first place, and the cursed swaggering severity with which you carried out your loyalty, by making unexpected domiciliary visits to the houses of loyal but humane Protestant families, with the expectation of finding a priest or a Papist under their protection: both these, I say, have made you the most unpopular man in the county; and, upon my soul, Sir Robert, I don't think there will be a man upon the grand jury whose family you have not insulted by your inveterate loyalty. No one, I tell! you, likes a persecutor. Still, I say, I'll try what I can do with the grand jury. I'll see my friends and yours—if you have any now; make out a list of them in a day or two—and you may rest assured that I will leave nothing undone to extricate you."

"Thank you, Mr. Folliard; but do you know why I am here?"

"To be sure I do."

"No, you don't, sir. William Reilly, the Jesuit and Papist, is the cause of it, and will be the cause of my utter ruin and ignominious death."

"How is that? Make it plain to me; only make that plain to me."

"He is the bosom friend of Hastings, and can sway him and move him and manage him as a father would a child, or, rather, as a child would a doting father. Reilly, sir, is at the bottom of this, his great object always having been to prevent a marriage between me and your beautiful daughter; I, who, after all, have done so much for Protestantism, am the victim of that Jesuit and Papist."

This vindictive suggestion took at once, and the impetuous old squire started as if a new light had been let in upon his mind. We call him impetuous, because, if he had reflected only for a moment upon the diabolical persecution, both in person and property, which Reilly had sustained at the baronet's hands, he ought not to have blamed him had! he shot the scoundrel as if he had been one of the most rabid dogs that ever ran frothing across a country. We say the suggestion, poisoned as it was by the most specious falsehood, failed not to accomplish the villain's object.

Folliard grasped him by the hand. "Never-mind," said he; "keep yourself quiet, and leave Reilly to me; I have him,that's enough."

"No," replied the baronet, "it is not enough, because I know what will happen: Miss Folliard's influence over you is a proverb; now she will cajole and flatter and beguile you until she prevails upon you to let the treacherous Jesuit slip through your fingers, and then he will get off to the Continent, and laugh at you all, after having taken her with him; for there is nothing more certain, if he escapes death through your indulgence, than that you will, in the course of a few years, find yourself grandfather to a brood of young Papists; and when I say Papists, need I add rebels?"

"Come," replied the hot-headed old man, "don't insult me; I am master of my own house, and, well as I love my daughter, I would not for a moment suffer her to interfere in a public matter of this or any other kind. Now good-by; keep your spirits up, and if you are to die, why die like a man."

They then separated; and as Folliard was passing through the hatch, he called the jailer into his own office, and strove to prevail upon him, not ineffectually, to smuggle in some wine and other comforts to the baronet. The man told him that he would with pleasure do so if he dared; but that the caution against it which he had got that very day from the Board rendered the thing impossible. Ere the squire left him, however, his scruples were overcome, and the baronet, before he went to bed that night, had a rost duck for supper, with two bottles of excellent claret to wash it down and lull his conscience into slumber.

"Confound it," the squire soliloquized, on their way home, "I am as stupid as Whitecraft himself, who was never stupid until now; there have I been with him in that cursed dungeon, and neither of us ever thought of taking measures for his defence. Why, he must have the best lawyers at the Bar, and fee them like princes. Gad! I have a great notion to ride back and speak to him on the subject; he's in such a confounded trepidation about his life that he can think of nothing else. No matter, I shall write to him by a special messenger early in the morning. It would be a cursed slap in the face to have one of our leading men hanged—only, after all, for carrying out the wishes of an anti-Papist Government, who connived at his conduct, and encouraged him in it. I know he expected a coronet, and I have no doubt but he'd have got one had his party remained in; but now all the unfortunate devil is likely to get is a rope—and be hanged to them! However, as to my own case about Reilly—I must secure a strong bar against him; and if we can only prevail upon Helen to state the facts as they occurred, there is little doubt that he shall suffer; for hang he must, in consequence of the disgrace he has brought upon my daughter's name and mine. Whatever I might have forgiven, I will never forgive him that."

He then rode on at a rapid pace, and did not slacken his speed until he reached home. Dinner was ready, and he sat down with none but Helen, who could scarcely touch a morsel. Her father saw at once the state of her mind, and felt that it would be injudicious to introduce any subject that might be calculated to excite her. They accordingly talked upon commonplace topics, and each assumed as much cheerfulness, and more than they could command. It was a miserable sight, when properly understood, to see the father and daughter forced, by the painful peculiarity of their circumstances, thus to conceal their natural sentiments from each other. Love, however, is often a disturber of families, as in the case of Reilly and Cooleen Bawn; and so is an avaricious ambition, when united to a selfish and a sensual attachment, as in the case of Whitecraft.

It is unnecessary now, and it would be only tedious, to dwell upon the energetic preparations that were made for the three approaching trials. Public rumor had taken them up and sent them abroad throughout the greater portion of the kingdom. The three culprits were notorious—Sir Robert Whitecraft, the priest-hunter and prosecutor; the notorious Red Rapparee, whose exploits had been commemorated in a thousand ballads; and "Willy Reilly," whose love for the far-famed Cooleen Bawn, together with her unconquerable passion for him, had been known throughout the empire. In fact, the interest which the public felt in the result of the approaching trials was intense, not only in Ireland, but throughout England and Scotland, where the circumstances connected with them were borne on the wings of the press. Love, however, especially the romance of it—and here were not only romance but reality enough—love, we say, overcomes all collateral interests—and the history of the loves of Willy Reilly and his "dear Cooleen Bawn" even then touched the hearts of thousands, and moistened many a young eye for his calamities and early fate, and the sorrows of his Cooleen Bawn.

Helen's father, inspired by the devilish suggestions of Whitecraft, now kept aloof from her as much as he could with decency do. He knew his own weakness, and felt that if he suffered her to gain that portion of his society to which she had been accustomed, his resolution might break down, and the very result prognosticated by Whitecraft might be brought about. Indeed his time was so little his own, between his activity in defence of that villain and his energetic operations for the prosecution of Reilly, that he had not much to spare her, except at meals. It was not, however, through himself that he wished to win her over to prosecute Reilly. No; he felt his difficulty, and knew that he could not attempt to influence her with a good grace, or any force of argument. He resolved, therefore, to set his attorney to work, who, as he understood all the quirks and intricacy of the law, might be able to puzzle her into compliance. This gentleman, however, who possessed at once a rapacious heart and a stupid head, might have fleeced half the country had the one been upon a par with the other. He was, besides, in his own estimation, a lady-killer, and knew not how these interviews with the fair Cooleen Bawn might end. He, at all events, was a sound Protestant, and if it were often said that you might as well ask a Highlander for a knee-buckle as an attorney for religion, he could conscientiously fall back upon the fact that political Protestantism and religion were very different things—for an attorney.

Instructed by Folliard, he accordingly waited upon her professionally, in her father's study, during his absence, and opened his case as follows:

"I have called upon you, Miss Folliard, by the direction of your father, professionally, and indeed I thank my stars that any professional business should give me an opportunity of admiring so far-famed a beauty."

"Are you not Mr. Doldrum," she asked, "the celebrated attorney?"

"Doldrum is certainly my name, my lovely client."

"Well, Mr. Doldrum, I think I have heard of you; but permit me to say that before you make love, as you seem about to do, I think it better you should mention your professional business."

"It is very simple, Miss Folliard; just to know whether you have any objection to appearing as an evidence against—he—hem—against Mr. Reilly."

"Oh, then your business and time with me will be very brief, Mr. Doldrum. It is my intention to see justice done, and for that purpose I shall attend the trial, and if I find that my evidence will be necessary, I assure you I shall give it. But, Mr. Doldrum, one word with you before you go."

"A hundred—a thousand, my dear lady."

"It is this: I beg as a personal favor that you will use your great influence with my father to prevent him from talking to me on this subject until the day of trial comes. By being kind enough to do this you will save me from much anxiety and annoyance."

"I pledge you my honor, madam, that your wishes shall be complied with to the letter, as far, at least, as any influence of mine can accomplish them."

"Thank you, sir; I wish you a good-morning."

"Good-morning, madam; it shall not be my fault if you are harassed upon this most painful subject; and I pledge you my reputation that I never contributed to hang a man in my life with more regret than I experience in this unfortunate case."

It is quite a common thing to find vanity and stupidity united in the same individual, as they were in Mr. Doldrum. He was Mr. Folliard's country attorney, and, in consequence of his strong Protestant politics, was engaged as the law agent of his property; and for the same reason—that is, because he was a violent, he was considered a very able man.

There is a class of men in the world who, when they once engage in a pursuit or an act of any importance, will persist in working it out, rather than be supposed, by relinquishing it, when they discover themselves wrong, to cast an imputation on their own judgments. To such a class belonged Mr. Folliard, who never, in point of fact, acted upon any fixed or distinct principle whatsoever; yet if he once took a matter into his head, under the influence of caprice or impulse, no man could evince more obstinacy or perseverance, apart from all its justice or moral associations, so long, at least, as that caprice or impulse lasted. The reader may have perceived from his dialogue with Helen, on the morning appointed for her marriage with Whitecraft, that the worthy baronet, had he made appearance, stood a strong chance of being sent about his business as rank a bachelor as he had come. And yet, because he was cunning enough to make the hot-brained and credulous old man believe that Reilly was at the bottom of the plan for his destruction, and Hastings only the passive agent in his hands; we say, because he succeeded in making this impression, which he knew to be deliberately false, upon his plastic nature, he, Folliard, worked himself up into a vindictive bitterness peculiar to little minds, as well as a fixed determination that Reilly should die; not by any means so much because he took away his daughter as that his death might be marked in this conflict of parties as a set-off against that of Whitecraft.

In the meantime he and Helen entertained each a different apprehension; he dreaded that she might exercise her influence over him for the purpose of softening him against Reilly, whom, if he had suffered himself to analyze his own heart, he would have found there in the shape of something very like a favorite. Helen, on the contrary, knew that she was expected to attend the trial, in order to give evidence against her lover; and she lived for a few days after his committal under the constant dread that her father would persecute her with endless arguments to induce her attendance at the assizes. Such, besides, was her love of truth and candor, and her hatred of dissimulation in every shape, that, if either her father or the attorney had asked her, in explicit terms, what the tendency of her evidence was to be, she would at once have satisfied them that it should be in favor of her lover. In the meantime she felt that, as they did not press her on this point, it would have been madness to volunteer a disclosure of a matter so important to the vindication of Reilly's conduct. To this we may add her intimate knowledge of her father's whimsical character and unsteadiness of purpose. She was not ignorant that, even if he were absolutely aware that the tenor of her evidence was to go against Reilly, his mind might change so decidedly as to call upon her to give evidence in his defence. Under these circumstances she acted with singular prudence, in never alluding to a topic of such difficulty, and which involved a contingency that might affect her lover in a double sense.

Her father's conduct, however, on this occasion, saved them both a vast deal of trouble and annoyance, and the consequence was that they met as seldom as possible. In addition to this, we may state that Doldrum communicated the successful result of his interview with Miss Folliard—her willingness to attend the trial and see justice done, upon condition that she should not have the subject obtruded on her, either by her father or any one else, until the appointed day should arrive, when she would punctually attend. In this state were the relative positions and feelings of father and daughter about a month before the opening of the assizes.

In the meantime the squire set himself to work for the baronet. The ablest lawyers were obtained, but Whitecraft most positively objected to Folliard's proposal of engaging Doldrum as his attorney; he knew the stupidity and ignorance of the man, and would have nothing to do with him as the conductor of his case. His own attorney, Mr. Sharply, was engaged; and indeed his selection of a keen and able man such as he was did credit both to his sagacity and foresight.

Considering the state of the country at that particular period, the matter began to assume a most important aspect, A portion of the Protestant party, by which we mean those who had sanctioned all Whitecraft's brutal and murderous excesses, called every energy and exertion into work, in order to defeat the Government and protect the leading man of their own clique. On the other hand, there was the Government, firm and decided, by the just operation of the laws, to make an example of the man who had not only availed himself of those laws when they were with him, but who scrupled not to set them aside when they were against him, and to force his bloodthirsty instincts upon his own responsibility. The Government, however, were not without large and active support from those liberal Protestants, who had been disgusted and sickened by the irresponsible outrages of such persecutors as Whitecraft and Smellpriest. Upon those men the new Government relied, and relied with safety. The country was in a tumult, the bigoted party threatened an insurrection; and they did so, not because they felt themselves in a position to effect it, but in order to alarm and intimidate the Government. On the other hand, the Catholics, who had given decided proofs of their loyalty by refusing to join the Pretender, now expressed their determination to support the Government if an outbreak among that section of the Protestant party to which we have just alluded should take place.

But perhaps the real cause of the conduct of the Government might be traced to Whitecraft's outrage upon a French subject in the person of the Abbe ———. The matter, as we have stated, was seriously taken up by the French Ambassador, in the name, and by the most positive instructions, of his Court. The villain Whitecraft, in consequence of that wanton and unjustifiable act, went far to involve the two nations in a bitter and bloody war. England was every day under the apprehension of a French invasion, which, of course, she dreaded; something must be done to satisfy the French Court. Perhaps, had it not been for this, the general outrages committed upon the unfortunate Catholics of Ireland would never have become the subject of a detailed investigation. An investigation, however, took place, by which a system of the most incredible persecution was discovered, and a milder administration of the laws was found judicious, in order to conciliate the Catholic party, and prevent them from embracing the cause of the Pretender. At all events, what between the necessity of satisfying the claims of the French Government, and in apprehension of a Catholic defection, the great and principal criminal was selected for punishment. The Irish Government, however, who were already prepared with their charges, found themselves already anticipated by Mr. Hastings, a fact which enabled them to lie on their oars and await the result.

Such was the state and condition of affairs as the assizes were within ten days of opening.

One evening about this time the old squire, who never remained long in the same mode of feeling, sent for his daughter to the dining-room, where he was engaged at his Burgundy. The poor girl feared that he was about to introduce the painful subject which she dreaded so much—that is to say, the necessity of giving her evidence against Reilly, After some conversation, however, she was relieved, for he did not allude to it; but he did to the fate of Reilly himself, the very subject which was wringing her heart with agony.

"Helen," said he, "I have been thinking of Reilly's affair, and it strikes me that he may be saved, and become your husband still; because, you know, that if Whitecraft was acquitted, now that he has been publicly disgraced, I'd see the devil picking his bones—and very hard picking he'd find them—before I'd give you to him as a wife."

"Thank you, my dear papa; but let me ask why it is that you are so active in stirring up his party to defend such a man?"

"Foolish girl," he replied; "it is not the man, but the cause and principle, we defend."

"What, papa, the cause! bloodshed and persecution! I believe you to be possessed of a humane heart, papa; but, notwithstanding his character and his crimes, I do not wish the unfortunate man to be struck into the grave without repentance."

"Repentance, Helen! How the deuce could a man feel repentance who does not believe the Christian religion?"

"But then, sir, has he not the reputation of being a sound and leading Protestant?"

"Oh, hang his reputation; it is not of him I wish to speak to you, but Reilly."

Helen's heart beat rapidly and thickly, but she spoke not.

"Yes," said he, "I have a project in my head that I think may save Reilly."

"Pray, what is it, may I ask, papa?"

"No, you may not; but to-morrow I will give him an early call, and let you know how I succeed, after my return to dinner; yes, I will tell you after dinner. But listen, Helen, it is the opinion of the baronet's friends that they will be able to save him."

"I hope they may, sir; I should not wish to see any fellow-creature brought to an ignominious death in the midst of his offences, and in the prime of life."

"But, on the contrary, if he swings, we are bound to sacrifice one of the Papist party for him, and Reilly is the man. Now don't look so pale, Helen—don't look as if death was settled in your face; his fate may be avoided; but ask me nothing—the project's my own, and I will communicate it to no one until after I shall have ascertained whether I fail in it or not."

"I trust, sir, it will be nothing that will involve him in anything dishonorable; but why do I ask? He is incapable of that."

"Well, well, leave the matter in my hand; and now, upon the strength of my project, I'll take another bumper of Burgundy, and drink to its success."

Helen pleaded some cause for withdrawing, as she entertained an apprehension that he might introduce the topic which she most dreaded—that of her duty to give evidence against Reilly. When she was gone he began to ponder over several subjects connected with the principal characters of this narrative until he became drowsy, during which period halters, gibbets, gallowses, hangmen, and judges jumbled each other alternately through his fancy, until he fell fast asleep in his easy-chair.





CHAPTER XXIII.—The Squire becomes Theological and a Proselytizer, but signally fails.

The next morning he and Cummiskey started for Sligo, and, as usual, when they reached the jail the turnkey was about to conduct the squire to Sir Robert's room, when the former turned and said:

"I wish to see Mr. Reilly; lead me to his cell."

"Reilly, sir!" exclaimed the man in astonishment. "Are you sure, sir, it's not Sir Robert Whitecraft you want?"

"Are you sure, sir, that it's not a cut of my whip about the ears you want? Conduct me to where Reilly is, you rascal; do you pretend to know the individual I wish to see better than I do myself? Push along, sirra."

The turnkey accordingly conducted him to Reilly's cell, which, considerably to his surprise, was a much more comfortable one than had been assigned to the baronet. When they had reached the corridor in which it was situated, Folliard said, "Knock at the door, and when he appears tell him that I wish to see him."

"I will, your honor."

"Say I won't detain him long."

"I will, your honor."

"Hang your honor, go and do what I desire you."

"I will, your honor."

Reilly's astonishment was beyond belief on learning that his vindictive prosecutor had called upon him; but on more mature reflection, and comparing what had happened before with the only motive which he could assign for such a visit, he felt pretty certain that the squire came to revive, in his own person, a subject which he had before proposed to him through his daughter. There was no other earthly object to which he could attribute his visit; but of course he made up his mind to receive him with every courtesy. At length Folliard entered, and, before Reilly had time to utter a syllable, commenced:

"Reilly," said he, "you are astonished to see me here?"

"I am, sir," replied Reilly, "very much."

"Yes, I thought you would; and very few persons, except myself, would come upon such an errand to the man that has disgraced my daughter, myself, and my family; you have stained our name, sir—a name that was never associated with any thing but honor and purity until you came among us."

"If you have paid me this visit, sir, only for the purpose of uttering language which you know must be very painful to me, I would rather you had declined to call upon me at all. I perceive no object you can have in it, unless to gratify a feeling of enmity on your part, and excite one of sorrow on mine. I say sorrow, because, on considering our relative positions, and knowing the impetuosity of your temper, I am sorry to see you here; it is scarcely generous in you to come, for the purpose of indulging in a poor, and what, after all, may be an equivocal and premature triumph over a man whose love for your daughter, you must know, will seal his lips against the expression of one offensive word towards you."

"But how, let me ask, sir, do you know what brought me here? I didn't come to scold you, nor to triumph over you; and I have already said the worst I shall say. I know very well that you and Whitecraft will be hanged, probably from the same rope too, but, in the meantime, I would save you both if I could. I fear indeed that to save him is out of the question, because it appears that there's a cart-load of indictments against him."

"How could you doubt it, sir, when you know the incredible extent of his villany, both private and public? and yet this is the man to whom you would have married your daughter!"

"No; when I found Helen reduced to such a state the morning on which they were to be married, I told her at once that as she felt so bitterly against him I would never suffer him to become her husband. Neither will I; if he were acquitted tomorrow I would tell him so; but you, Reilly, love my daughter for her own sake."

"For her own sake, sir, as you have said, I love her. If she had millions, it could not increase my affection, and if she had not a penny, it would not diminish it."

"Well, but you can have her if you wish, notwithstanding."

Reilly first looked at him with amazement; but he was so thoroughly acquainted with his character, both from what he had seen and heard of it, that his amazement passed away, and he simply replied:

"Pray how, sir?"

"Why, I'll tell you what, Reilly; except with respect to political principles, I don't think, after all, that there's the difference of a a rush between the Papist and the Protestant Churches, as mere religions. My own opinion is, that there's neither of them any great shakes, as to any effect they have on society, unless to disturb it. I have known as good Papists as ever I did Protestants, and indeed I don't know why a Papist should not be as good a man as a Protestant; nor why a Protestant should not be as good a man as a Papist, on the other hand. Now, do you see what I'm driving at?"

"Well, I can't exactly say that I do," replied Reilly.

"Then the upshot of the argument is this, that there is not a toss-up between them, and any man getting into a scrape, and who could get out of it by changing from one to the other—of course I mean from Popery to Protestantism—would prove himself a man of good sound sense, and above the prejudices of the world."

The truth is, Reilly saw ere this what Folliard was approaching, and, as he determined to allow him full scope, his reply was brief:

"You seem fond of indulging in speculation, sir," replied Reilly, with a smile; "but I should be glad to know why you introduce this subject to me?"

"To you?" replied Folliard; "why, who the devil else should or could I introduce it to with such propriety? Here now are two religions; one's not sixpence better nor worse than the other. Now, you belong to one of them, and because you do you're here snug and fast. I say, then, I have a proposal to make to you: you are yourself in a difficulty—you have placed me in a difficulty—and you have placed poor Helen in a difficulty—which, if any thing happens you, I think will break her heart, poor child. Now you can take her, yourself, and me, out of all our difficulties, if you have only sense enough to shove over from the old P—— to the young P——. As a Protestant, you can marry Helen, Reilly—but as a Papist, never! and you know the rest; for if you are obstinate, and blind to your own interests, I must do my duty."

"Will you allow me to ask, sir, whether Miss Folliard is aware of this mission of yours to me?"

"She aware! She never dreamt of it; but I have promised to tell her the result after dinner to-day."

"Well, sir," replied Reilly, "will you allow me to state to you a few facts?"

"Certainly; go on."

"In the first place, then, such is your daughter's high and exquisite sense of integrity and honor that, if I consented to the terms you propose, she would reject me with indignation and scorn, as she ought to do. There, then, is your project for accomplishing my selfish and dishonest apostacy given to the winds. Your daughter, sir, is too pure in all her moral feelings, and too noble-minded, to take to her arms a renegade husband—a renegade, too, not from conviction, but from selfish and mercenary purposes."

"Confound the thing, this is but splitting hairs, Reilly, and talking big for effect. Speak, however, for yourself; as for Helen, I know very well that, in spite of your heroics and her's, she'd be devilish glad you'd become a Protestant and marry her."

"I am sorry to say, sir, that you don't know your own daughter; but as for me, Mr. Folliard, if one word of your's, or of her's, could place me on the British throne, I would not abandon my religion. Under no circumstances would I abandon it; but least of all, now that it is so barbarously persecuted by its enemies. This, sir, is my final determination."

"But do you know the alternative?"

"No, sir, nor do you."

"Don't I, faith? Why, the alternative is simply this—either marriage or hanging!"

"Be it so; in that case I will die like a man of honor and a true Christian and Catholic, as I hope I am."

"As a true fool, Reilly—as a true fool. I took this step privately, out of respect for your character. See how many of your creed become Protestants for the sake of mere property; think how many of them join our Church for the purpose of ousting their own fathers and relatives from their estates; and what is it all, on their parts, but the consequence of an enlightened judgment that shows them the errors of their old creed, and the truth of ours? I think, Reilly, you are loose about the brains."

"That may be, sir, but you will never find me loose about my principles."

"Are you aware, sir, that Helen is to appear against you as an evidence?"

"No, sir, I am not, neither do I believe it. But now, sir, I beg you to terminate this useless and unpleasant interview. I can look into my own conscience with satisfaction, and am prepared for the worst. If the scaffold is to be my fate, I cannot but remember that many a noble spirit has closed the cares of an unhappy life upon it. I wish you good-day, Mr. Folliard."

"By the Boyne! you are the most obstinate blockhead that ever lived; but I've done; I did all in my power to save you—yet to no purpose. Upon my soul, I'll come to your execution."

"And if you do, you will see me die like a man and a gentleman; may I humbly add, like a Christian!"

The squire, on his way home, kept up a long, low whistle, broken only by occasional soliloquies, in which Reilly's want of common-sense, and neglect not only of his temporal interests, but of his life itself, were the prevailing sentiments. He regretted his want of success, which he imputed altogether to Reilly's obstinacy, instead of his integrity, firmness, and honor.

This train of reflection threw him into one of those capricious fits of resentment so peculiar to his unsteady temper, and as he went along he kept lashing himself up into a red heat of indignation and vengeance against that unfortunate gentleman. After dinner that day he felt somewhat puzzled as to whether he ought to communicate to his daughter the result of his interview with Reilly or not. Upon consideration, however, he deemed it more prudent to avoid the subject altogether, for he felt apprehensive that, however she might approve of her lover's conduct, the knowledge of his fate, which depended on it, would only plunge her into deeper distress. The evening consequently passed without any allusion to the subject, unless a peculiar tendency to melody, on his part, might be taken to mean something; to this we might add short abrupt ejaculations unconsciously uttered—such as—"Whew, whew, whew—o—whew—o—hang the fellow! Whew, whew—o—whew—he's a cursed goose, but an obstinate—whew, whew—o—whew—o. Ay, but no matter—well—whew, whew—o, whew, whew! Helen, a cup of tea. Now, Helen, do you know a discovery I have made—but how could you? No, you don't, of course; but listen and pay attention to me, because it deeply affects myself."

The poor girl, apprehensive that he was about to divulge some painful secret, became pale and a good deal agitated; she gave him a long, inquiring look, but said nothing.

"Yes, Helen, and the discovery is this: I find from experience that tea and Burgundy—or, indeed, tea and any kind of wine—don't agree with my constitution: curse the fel—whew, whew, whew, whew—o—whew; no, the confounded mixture turns my stomach into nothing more nor less than a bag of aquafortis—if he had but common—whew—"

"Well, but, papa, why do you take tea, then?"

"Because I'm an old fool, Helen; and if I am, there are some young ones besides; but it can't be helped now—whew, whew—it was done for the best."

In this manner he went on for a considerable time, ejaculating mysteries and enigmas, until he finished the second bottle, after which he went to bed.

It may be necessary to state here that, notwithstanding the incredible force and tenderness of his affection for his daughter, he had, ever since her elopement with Reilly, kept her under the strictest surveillance, and in the greatest seclusion—that is to say, as the proverb has it, "he locked the stable door when the steed was stolen;" or if he did not realize the aphorism, he came very near it.

Time, however, passes, and the assizes were at hand, a fearful Avatar of judicial power to the guilty. The struggle between the parties who were interested in the fate of Whitecraft, and those who felt the extent of his unparalleled guilt, and the necessity not merely of making him an example but of punishing him for his enormous crimes, was dreadful. The infatuation of political rancor on one side, an infatuation which could perceive nothing but the virtue of high and resolute Protestantism in his conduct, blinded his supporters to the enormity of his conduct, and, as a matter of course, they left no stone unturned to save his life. As we said, however, they were outnumbered; but still they did not despair. Reilly's friends had been early in the legal market, and succeeded in retaining some of the ablest men at the bar, his leading counsel being the celebrated advocate Fox, who was at that time one of the most distinguished men at the Irish bar. Helen, as the assizes approached, broke down so completely in her health that it was felt, if she remained in that state, that she would be unable to attend; and although Reilly's trial was first on the list, his opposing counsel succeeded in getting it postponed for a day or two in order that an important witness, then ill, he said, might be able to appear on their part.

It is not our intention to go through the details of the trial of the Red Rapparee. The evidence of Mary Mahon, Fergus O'Reilly, and the sheriff, was complete; the chain was unbroken; the change of apparel—the dialogue in Mary Mahon's cabin, in which he; avowed the fact of his having robbed the sheriff—the identification of his person by the said sheriff in the farmer's house, as before stated, left nothing for the jury to do I but to bring in a verdict of guilty. Mercy was out of the question. The hardened ruffian—the treacherous ruffian—who had lent himself to the bloodthirsty schemes of Whitecraft—and all this came out upon his trial, not certainly to the advantage of the baronet—this hardened and treacherous ruffian, we say, who had been a scourge to that part of the country for years, now felt, when the verdict of guilty was brought in against him, just as a smith's anvil might feel when struck by a feather. On hearing it, he growled a hideous laugh, and exclaimed:

"To the divil I pitch you all; I wish, though, that I had Tom Bradley, the prophecy man, here, who tould me that I'd never be hanged, and that the rope was never born for me."

"If the rope was not born for you," observed the judge, "I fear I shall be obliged to inform you that you were born for the rope. Your life has been an outrage,upon civilized society."

"Why, you ould dog!" said the Rapparee, "you can't hang me; haven't I a pardon? didn't Sir Robert Whitecraft get me a pardon from the Government for turnin' against the Catholics, and tellin' him where to find the priests? Why, you joulter-headed ould dog, you can't hang me, or, if you do, I'll leave them behind me that will put such a half ounce pill into your guts as will make you turn up the whites of your eyes like a duck in thundher. You'll hang me for robbery, you ould sinner! But what is one half the world doin' but robbin' the other half? and what is the other half doin' but robbin' them? As for Sir Robert Whitecraft, if he desaved me by lies and falsehoods, as I'm afraid he did, all I say is, that if I had him here for one minute I'd show him a trick he'd never tell to mortal. Now go on, bigwig."

Notwithstanding the solemnity of the position in which this obdurate ruffian was placed, the judge found it nearly impossible to silence the laughter of the audience and preserve order in the court. At length he succeeded, and continued his brief address to the Rapparee:

"Hardened and impenitent reprobate, in the course of my judicial duties, onerous and often painful as they are and have been, I must say that, although it has fallen to my lot to pronounce the awful sentence of death upon many an unfeeling felon, I am bound to say that a public malefactor so utterly devoid of all the feelings which belong to man, and so strongly impregnated with those of the savage animal as you are, has never stood in a dock before me, nor probably before any other judge, living or dead. Would it be a waste of language to enforce upon you the necessity of repentance? I fear it would; but it matters not; the guilt of impenitence be on your own head, still I must do my duty; try, then, and think of death, and a far more awful judgment than mine. Think of the necessity you have for; supplicating mercy at the throne of your Redeemer, who himself died for you, and for all of us, between two thieves."

"That has nothing to do with my case; I never was a thief; I robbed like an honest man on the king's highways; but as for thievin', why, you ould sinner, I never stole a farthing's worth in my life. Don't, then, pitch such beggarly comparisons into my teeth. I never did what you and your class often did; I never robbed the poor in the name of the blessed laws of the land; I never oppressed the widow or the orphan; and for all that I took from those that did oppress them, the divil a grain of sorrow or repentance I feel for it, nor ever will feel for it. Oh! mother of Moses! if I had a glass of whiskey!"

The judge was obliged to enforce silence a second time; for, to-tell the truth, there was something so ludicrously impenitent in the conduct of this hardened convict that the audience could not resist it, especially when it is remembered that the sympathies of the lower Irish are always with such culprits.

"Well," continued the judge, when silence was again restored, "your unparalleled obduracy has gained one point; it was my intention to have ordered you for execution tomorrow at the hour of twelve o'clock; but, as a Christian man, I could not think for a moment of hurrying you into eternity in your present state. The sentence of the court then is that you be taken from the dock in which you now stand to the prison from whence you came, and that from thence you be brought to the place of execution on next Saturday, and there be hanged by the neck until you be dead, and may God have mercy on your soul!"

The Rapparee gazed at him with a look of the most hardened effrontery, and exclaimed, "Is it in earnest you are?" after which he was once mor|e committed to his cell, loaded with heavy chains, which he wore, by the I way, during his trial.

Now, in order to account for his outrageous conduct, we must make a disclosure to the reader. There is in and about all jails a certain officer yclept a hangman—an officer who is permitted a freer ingress and egress than almost any other person connected with those gloomy establishments. This hangman, who resided in the prison, had a brother whom Sir Robert Whitecraft had hanged, and, it was thought, innocently. Be this as it may, the man in question was heard to utter strong threats of vengeance against Sir Robert for having his brother, whose innocence he asserted, brought to execution. In some time after this a pistol was fired one night at Sir Robert from behind a hedge, which missed him; but as his myrmidons were with him, and the night was light, a pursuit took place, and the guilty wretch was taken prisoner, with the pistol on his person, still warm after having been discharged. The consequence was that he was condemned to death. But it so happened that at this period, although there were five or six executions to take place, yet there was no hangman to be had, that officer having died suddenly, after a fit of liquor, and the sheriff would have been obliged to discharge the office with his own hands unless a finisher of the law could be found. In brief, he was found, and in the person of the individual alluded to, who, in consequence of his consenting to accept the office, got a pardon from the Crown. Now this man and the Rapparee had been old acquaintances, and renewed their friendship in prison. Through the means of the hangman O'Donnel got in as much whiskey as he pleased, and we need scarcely say that they often got intoxicated together. The secret, therefore, which we had to disclose to the reader, in explanation of the Rapparee's conduct at his trial, was simply this, that the man was three-quarters drunk.

After trial he was placed in a darker dungeon than before; but such was the influence of the worthy executioner with every officer of the jail, that he was permitted to go either in or out without search, and as he often gave a "slug," as he called it, to the turnkeys, they consequently allowed him, in this respect, whatever privileges he wished. Even the Rapparee's dungeon was not impenetrable to him, especially as he put the matter on a religious footing, to wit, that as the unfortunate robber was not allowed the spiritual aid of his own clergy, he himself was the only person left to prepare him for death, which he did with the whiskey-bottle.

The assizes on that occasion were protracted to an unusual length. The country was in a most excited state, and party feeling ran fearfully high. Nothing was talked of but the two trials, par excellence, to wit, that of Whitecraft and Reilly; and scarcely a fair or market, for a considerable time previous, ever came round in which there waa not a battle on the subject of either one or the other of them, and not unfrequently of both. Nobody was surprised at the conviction of the Red Rapparee; but, on the contrary, every one was glad that the country had at last got rid of him.

Poor Helen, however, was not permitted to remain quiet, as she had expected. When Mr. Doldrum had furnished the leading counsel with his brief and a list of the witnesses, the other gentleman was surprised to see the name of Helen Folliard among them.

"How is this?" he inquired; "is not this the celebrated beauty who eloped with him?"

"It is, sir," replied Doldrum.

"But," proceeded the other, "you have not instructed me in the nature of the evidence she is prepared to give."

"She is deeply penitent, sir, and in a very feeble state of health; so much so that we were obliged to leave the tendency of her evidence to be brought out on the trial."

"Have you subpoenaed her?"

"No, sir."

"And why not, Mr. Doldrum? Don't you know that there is no understanding the caprices of women. You ought to have subpoenaed her, because, if she be a leading evidence, she may still change her mind and leave us in the lurch."

"I certainly did not subpoena her," replied Doldrum, "because, when I mentioned it to her father, he told me that if I attempted it he would break my head. It was enough, he said, that she had given her promise—a thing, he added, which she was never known to break."

"Go to her again, Doldrum; for unless we know what she can prove we will be only working in the dark. Try her, at all events, and glean what you can out of her. Her father tells me she is somewhat better, so I don't apprehend you will have much difficulty in seeing her."

Doldrum did see her, and was astonished at the striking change which had, in so short a time, taken place in her appearance. She was pale, and exhibited all the symptoms of an invalid, with the exception of her eyes, which were not merely brilliant, but dazzling, and full of a fire that flashed from them with something like triumph whenever her attention was directed to the purport of her testimony. On this subject they saw that it; would be quite useless, and probably worse than useless, to press her, and they did not, consequently, put her to the necessity of specifying the purport of her evidence.

"I have already stated," said she, "that I shall attend the trial; that ought, and must be, sufficient for you. I beg, then, you will withdraw, sir. My improved health will enable me to attend, and you may rest assured that if I have life I shall be there, as I have already told you; but, I say, that if you wish to press me for the nature of my evidence, you shall have it, and, as she spoke, her eyes flashed fearfully, as they were in the habit of doing whenever she felt deeply excited. Folliard himself became apprehensive of the danger which might result from the discussion of any subject calculated to disturb her, and insisted that she should be allowed to take her own way. In the meantime, after they had left her, at her own request, her father informed the attorney that she was getting both strong and cheerful, in spite of her looks.

"To be sure," said he, "she is pale! but that's only natural, after her recent slight attack, and all the excitement and agitation she has for some time past undergone. She sings and plays now, although I have heard neither a song nor a tune from her for a long time past. In the evening, too, she is exceedingly cheerful when we sit together in the drawing-room; and she often laughs more heartily than I ever knew her to do before in my life. Now, do you think, Doldrum, if she was breaking her heart about Reilly that she would be in such spirits?"

"No, sir; she would be melancholy and silent, and would neither sing, nor laugh, nor play; at least I felt, so when I was in love with Miss Swithers, who kept me in a state of equilibrium for better than two years;—but that wasn't the worst of it, for she knocked the loyalty clean out of me besides—indeed, so decidedly so that I never once sang 'Lillibullero' during the whole period of my attachment, and be hanged to her."

"And what became of her?"

"Why, she married my clerk, who used to serve my love-letters upon her; and when I expected to come in by execution—that is, by marriage—that cursed little sheriff, Cupid, made a return of nulla bona. She and Sam Snivel—a kind of half Puritan—entered a disappearance, and I never saw them since; but I am told they are in America. From what you tell me, sir, I have no doubt but Miss Folliard will make a capital witness. In fact, Reilly ought to feel proud of the honor of being hanged by her evidence; she will be a host in herself."

We have already stated that the leading counsel against Reilly had succeeded in getting his trial postponed until Miss Folliard should arrive at a sufficient state of health to appear against him. In the meantime, the baronet's trial, which was in a political, indeed, we might say, a national point of view, of far more importance than Reilly's, was to come on next day. In the general extent of notoriety or fame, Reilly had got in advance—though not much—of his implacable rival. The two trials were, in fact, so closely united by the relative position of the parties that public opinion was strangely and strongly divided between them. Reilly and his Cooleen Bawn had, by the unhappy peculiarity of their fate, excited the interest of all the youthful and loving part of society—an interest which was necessarily reflected upon Whitecraft, as Reilly's rival, independently of the hold which his forthcoming fate had upon grave and serious politicians. Reilly's leading counsel, Fox, a man of great judgment and ability, gave it as his opinion that in consequence of the exacerbated state of feeling produced against the Catholics by the prosecution of Whitecraft—to appease whom, the opinion went that it was instituted—it seemed unlikely that Reilly had a single chance. Had his trial, he said, taken place previous to that of Whitecraft's, he might have escaped many of the consequences of Whitecraft's conviction; but now, should the latter be convicted, the opposing party would die in the jury-box rather than let Reilly escape.





CHAPTER XXIV.—Jury of the Olden Time

—Preparations—The Scales of Justice.

At last the trial came on, and Sir Robert Whitecraft, the great champion of Protestantism—a creed which he did not believe—was conducted into the court-house and placed in the dock. He was dressed in his best apparel, in order to distinguish himself from common culprits, and to give this poor external evidence of his rank, with a hope that it might tell, to a certain extent at least, upon the feeling of the jury. When placed in the dock, a general buzz and bustle agitated the whole court His friends became alert, and whispered to each other with much earnestness, and a vast number of them bowed to him, and shook hands with him, and advised him to be cool, and keep up his spirits. His appearance, however, was any thing but firm; his face was deadly pale, his eyes dull and cowardly, his knees trembled so much that he was obliged to support himself on the front of the dock.

At length the trial commenced, and the case having been opened by a young lawyer, a tall, intellectual-looking man, about the middle age, of pale but handsome features, and an eye of singular penetration and brilliancy, rose; and after pulling up his gown at the shoulders, and otherwise adjusting it, proceeded to lay a statement of this extraordinary case before the jury.

He dwelt upon "the pain which he felt in contemplating a gentleman of rank and vast wealth occupying the degraded position of a felon, but not, he was sorry to say, of a common felon. The circumstances, my lord, and gentlemen of the jury, which have brought the prisoner before you this day, involve a long catalogue of crimes that as far transcend, in the hideousness of their guilt, the offences of a common felon as his rank and position in life do that of the humblest villain who ever stood before a court of justice.

"The position, gentlemen, of this country has for a long series of years been peculiar, anomalous, and unhappy. Divided as it is, and has been, by the bitter conflict between two opposing creeds and parties, it is not to be wondered at that it should be a melancholy scene of misery, destitution, famine, and crime; and, unhappily, it presents to us the frightful aspect of all these. The nature, however, of the conflicts between those creeds and parties, inasmuch as it bears upon the case of the prisoner, gentlemen, who now stands for trial and a verdict at your hands, is such as forces me, on that account, to dwell briefly upon it. In doing so, I will have much, for the sake of our common humanity, to regret and to deplore. It is a fundamental principle, gentlemen, in our great and glorious Constitution, that the paramount end and object of our laws is to protect the person, the liberty, and the property of the subject. But there is something, gentlemen, still dearer to us than either liberty, person, or property; something which claims a protection from those laws that stamps them with a nobler and a loftier character, when it is afforded, and weaves them into the hearts and feelings of men of all creeds, when this divine mission of the law is fulfilled. I allude, gentlemen, to the inalienable right of every man to worship God freely, and according to his own conscience—without restraint—without terror—without oppression, and, gentlemen of the jury, without persecution. A man, or a whole people, worship God, we will assume, sincerely, according to their notions of what is right, and, I say, gentlemen, that the individual who persecutes that man, or those people, for piously worshipping their Creator, commits blasphemy against the Almighty—and stains, as it were, the mercy-seat with blood.

"Gentlemen of the jury, let me ask you what has been the state and condition of this unhappy and distracted country? I have mentioned two opposing creeds, and consequently two opposing parties, and I have also mentioned persecution; but let me also ask you again on which side has the persecution existed? Look at your Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, and ask yourselves to what terrible outburst of political and religious vengeance have they not been subjected? But it is said they are not faithful and loyal subjects, and that they detest the laws. Well, let us consider this—let us take a cursory view of all that the spirit and operation of the laws have left them to be thankful for—have brought to bear upon them for the purpose, we must suppose, of securing their attachment and their loyalty. Let us, gentlemen, calmly and solemnly, and in a Christian temper, take a brief glance at the adventures which the free and glorious spirit of the British Constitution has held out to them, in order to secure their allegiance. In the first place, their nobles and their gentry have been deprived of their property, and the right of tenure has been denied even to the people. Ah, my lord, and gentlemen of the jury, what ungrateful and disloyal miscreant could avoid loving a Constitution, and hugging to his grateful heart laws which showered down such blessings upon him, and upon all those who belong to a creed so favored? But it would seem to have been felt that these laws had still a stronger claim upon their affections. They would protect their religion as they did their property; and in order to attach them still more strongly, they shut up their places of worship—they proscribed and banished and hung their clergy—they hung or shot the unfortunate people who tied to worship God in the desert—in mountain fastnesses and in caves, and threw their dead bodies to find a tomb in the entrails of the birds of the air, or the dogs which even persecution had made mad with hunger. But again—for this pleasing panorama is not yet closed, the happy Catholics, who must have danced with delight, under the privileges of such a Constitution, were deprived of the right to occupy and possess all civil offices—their enterprise was crushed—their industry made subservient to the rapacity of their enemies, and not to their own prosperity. But this is far from being all. The sources of knowledge—of knowledge which only can enlighten and civilize the mind, prevent crime, and promote the progress of human society—these sources of knowledge, I say, were sealed against them; they were consequently left to ignorance, and its inseparable associate—vice. All those noble principles which result from education, and which lead youth into those moral footsteps in which they should tread, were made criminal in the Catholic to pursue, and impossible to attain; and having thus been reduced by ignorance to the perpetration of those crimes which it uniformly produces—the people were punished for that which oppressive laws had generated, and the ignorance which was forced upon them was turned into a penalty and a persecution. They were first made ignorant by one Act of Parliament, and then punished by another for those crimes which ignorance produces.

"And now, my lord, and gentlemen of the jury, it remains for me to take another view of the state and condition of this wretched country. Perhaps there is not in the world so hideously a penal code of laws as that which appertains to the civil and religious rights of our unfortunate Roman Catholic countrymen. It is not that this code is fierce, inhuman, unchristian, barbarous, and Draconic, and conceived in a spirit of blood—because it might be all this, and yet, through the liberality and benevolence of those into whose hands it ought to be entrusted for administration, much of its dreadful spirit might be mitigated. And I am bound to say that a large and important class of the Protestant community look upon such a code nearly with as much horror as the Catholics themselves. Unfortunately, however, in every state of society and of law analogous to ours, a certain class of men, say rather of monsters, is sure to spring up, as it were, from hell, their throats still parched and heated with that insatiable thirst which the guilty glutton felt before them, and which they now are determined to slake with blood. For some of these men the apology of selfishness, an anxiety to raise themselves out of the struggles of genteel poverty, and a wolfish wish to earn the wages of oppression, might be pleaded; although, heaven knows, it is at best but a desperate and cowardly apology. On the other hand, there are men not merely independent, but wealthy, who, imbued with a fierce and unreasoning bigotry, and stained by a black and unscrupulous ambition, start up into the front ranks of persecution, and carry fire and death and murder as they go along, and all this for the sake of adding to their reprobate names a title—a title earned by the shedding of innocent blood—a title earned by the oppression and persecution of their unresisting fellow-subjects—a title, perhaps that of baronet; if I am mistaken in this, the individual who stands before you in that dock could, for he might, set me right.

"In fact, who are those who have lent themselves with such delight to the execution of bad laws? of laws that, for the sake of religion and Christianity, never ought to have been effected? Are they men of moral and Christian lives? men whose walk has been edifying in the sight of their fellows? are they men to whom society could look up as examples of private virtue and the decorous influence of religion? are they men who, on the Sabbath of God, repair with their wives and families to his holy worship? Alas! no. These heroic persecutors, who hunt and punish a set of disarmed men, are, in point of fact, not only a disgrace to that religion in whose name they are persecutors, and on whose merciful precepts they trample, but to all religion, in whatever light true religion is contemplated. Vicious, ignorant, profligate, licentious, but cunning, cruel, bigoted, and selfish, they make the spirit of oppressive laws, and the miserable state of the country, the harvest of their gain. Look more closely at the picture, gentlemen of the jury, and make, as I am sure you will, the dismal and terrible circumstances which I will lay before you your own. Imagine for a moment that those who are now, or at least have been, the objects of hot and blood-scenting persecution, had, by some political revolution, got the power of the State and of the laws into their own hands; suppose, for it is easily supposed, that they had stripped you of your property, deprived you of your civil rights, disarmed you of the means of self-defence, persecuted yourselves and proscribed your religion, or, vice versa, proscribed yourselves and persecuted your religion, or, to come at once to the truth, proscribed and persecuted both; suppose your churches shut up, your pious clergy banished, and that, when on the bed of sickness or of death, some of your family, hearing your cries for the consolations of religion, ventured out, under the clouds of the night, pale with sorrow, and trembling with apprehension, to steal for you, at the risk of life, that comfort which none but a minister of God can effectually bestow upon the parting spirit; suppose this, and suppose that your house is instantly surrounded by some cruel but plausible Sir Robert Whitecraft, or some drunken and ruffianly Captain Smellpriest, who, surrounded and supported by armed miscreants, not only breaks open that house, but violates the awful sanctify of the deathbed itself, drags out the minister of Christ from his work of mercy, and leaves him a bloody corpse at our threshold. I say, change places, gentlemen of the jury, and suppose in your own imaginations that all those monstrous persecutions, all those murderous and flagitious outrages, had been inflicted upon yourselves, with others of an equally nefarious character; suppose all this, and you may easily do so, for you have seen it all perpetrated in the name of God and the law, or, to say the truth, in the hideous union of mammon and murder; suppose all this, and you will feel what such men as he who stands in that dock deserves from humanity and natural justice; for, alas! I cannot say, from the laws of his country, under the protection of which, and in the name of which, he and those who resemble him have deluged that country with innocent blood, laid waste the cabin of the widow and the orphan, and carried death and desolation wherever they went. But, gentlemen, I shall stop here, as I do not wish to inflict unnecessary pain upon you, even by this mitigated view of atrocities which have taken place before your own eyes; yet I cannot close this portion of my address without, referring to so large a number of our fellow-Protestants with pride, as I am sure their Roman Catholic friends do with gratitude. Who were those who, among the Protestant party, threw the shield of their name and influence over their Catholic neighbors and friends? Who, need I ask? The pious, the humane, the charitable, the liberal, the benevolent, and the enlightened. Those were they who, overlooking the mere theological distinctions of particular doctrines, united in the great and universal creed of charity, held by them as a common principle on which they might meet and understand and love each other. And indeed, gentlemen of the jury, there cannot be a greater proof of the oppressive spirit which animates this penal and inhuman code than the fact that so many of those, for whose benefit it was enacted, resisted its influence, on behalf of their Catholic fellow-subjects, as far as they could, and left nothing undone to support the laws of humanity against those of injustice and oppression. When the persecuted Catholic could not invest his capital in the purchase of property, the generous Protestant came forward, purchased the property in his own name, became the bona fide proprietor, and then transferred its use and advantages to his Catholic friend. And again, under what roof did the hunted Catholic priest first take refuge from those bloodhounds of persecution? In most cases under that of his charitable and Christian brother, the Protestant clergyman. Gentlemen, could there be a bitterer libel upon the penal laws than the notorious facts which I have the honor of stating to you?

"The facts which have placed the prisoner at the bar before you are these, and in detailing them I feel myself placed in circumstances of great difficulty, and also of peculiar delicacy. The discharge, however, of a public duty, which devolves upon me as leading law officer of the Crown, forces me into a course which I cannot avoid, unless I should shrink from promoting and accomplishing the ends of public justice. In my position, and in the discharge of my solemn duties here to-day, I can recognize no man's rank, no man's wealth, nor the prestige of any man's name. So long as he stands at that bar, charged with great and heinous crimes, I feel it my duty to strip him of all the advantages of his birth and rank, and consider him simply a mere subject of the realm.

"In order to show you, gentlemen of the jury, the animux under which the prisoner at the bar acted, in the case before us, I must go back a little—a period of some months. At that time a highly respectable gentleman of an ancient and honored family in this country was one evening on his way home from this town, attended, as usual, by his servant. At a lonely place on a remote and antiquated road, which they took as a shorter way, it so happened that, in consequence of a sudden mist peculiar to those wild moors, they lost their path, and found themselves in circumstances of danger and distress. The servant, however, whistled, and his whistle was answered; a party of men, of freebooters, of robbers, headed by a person called the Red Rapparee, who has been convicted at these assizes, and who has been the scourge of the country for years, came up to them, and as the Rapparee had borne this respectable gentleman a deadly and implacable enmity for some time past, he was about to murder both master and man, and actually had his musket levelled at him, as others of his gang had at his aged servant, when a person, a gentleman named Reilly—[there there was a loud cheer throughout the court, which, however, was soon repressed, and the Attorney-General proceeded]—this person started out from an old ruin, met the robber face to face, and, in short, not only saved the lives of the gentleman and his servant, but conducted them safely home. This act of courage and humanity, by a Roman Catholic to a Protestant, had such an effect upon the old gentleman's daughter, a lady whose name has gone far and wide for her many virtues and wonderful beauty, that an attachment was formed between the young gentleman and her. The prisoner at the bar, gentlemen, was a suitor for her hand; but as the young and amiable lady was acquainted with his character as a priest-hunter and persecutor, she, though herself a Protestant, could look upon him only with abhorrence. At all events, after the rescue of her father's life, and her acquaintance with Mr. Reilly, the prisoner at the bar was rejected with disdain, as he would have been, it seems, if Reilly never had existed. Now, gentlemen I of the jury, observe that Reilly was a Catholic, which was bad enough in the eyes of the prisoner at the bar; but he was more; he was a rival, and were it not for the state of the law, would, it appears, for there is no doubt of it now, have been a successful one. From henceforth the prisoner at the bar marked Mr. Reilly for vengeance, for destruction, for death. At this time he was in the full exercise of irresponsible authority; he could burn, hang, shoot, without being called to account; and as it will appear before you, gentlemen, this consciousness of impunity stimulated him to the perpetration of such outrages as, in civil life, and in a country free from civil war, are unparalleled in the annals of crime and cruelty.

"But, gentlemen, what did this man do? this man, so anxious to preserve the peace of the country; this man, the terror of the surrounding districts; what did he do, I ask? Why, he took the most notorious robber of: his day, the fierce and guilty Rapparee—he took him into his councils, in order that he might enable him to trace the object of his vengeance, Reilly, in the first place, and to lead him to the hiding-places of such unfortunate Catholic priests as had taken refuge in the caves and fastnesses of the mountains. Instead of punishing this notorious malefactor, he took him into his own house, made him, as he was proud to call them, one of his priest-hounds, and induced him to believe that he had procured him a pardon from Government. Reilly's name he had, by his foul misrepresentations, got into the Hue-and-Cry, and subsequently had him gazetted as an outlaw; and all this upon his own irresponsible authority. I mention nothing, gentlemen, in connection with this trial which we are not in a capacity to prove.

"Having forced Reilly into a variety of disguises, and hunted him like a mad dog through the country; having searched every: lurking-place in which he thought he might I find him, he at length resolved on the only course of vengeance he could pursue. He surrounded his habitation, and, after searching for Reilly himself, he openly robbed him of all that was valuable of that gentleman's furniture, then set fire to the house, and in the clouds of the night reduced that and every out-office he had to ashes—a capital felony. It so happens, however, that the house and offices were, in point of fact, not the property of Reilly at all, but of a most respectable Protestant gentleman and magistrate, Mr. Hastings, with whose admirable! character I have no doubt you are all acquainted; and all that remains for me to say is, that he is the prosecutor in this case.

"And now, gentlemen, we expect a calm, deliberate, and unbiassed verdict from you. Look upon the prisoner at the bar as an innocent man until you can, with a clear conscience, find him guilty of the charges which we are in a condition to prove against him; but if there be any doubt upon your minds, I hope you will give him the benefit of it."

Sir Robert Whitecraft, in fact, had no defence, and could procure no witnesses to counteract the irresistible body of evidence that was produced against him. Notwithstanding all this, his friends calculated upon the prejudices of a Protestant jury. His leading counsel made as able a speech in his defence as could be made under the circumstances. It consisted, however, of vague generalities, and dwelt upon the state of the country and the necessity that existed for men of great spirit and Protestant feeling to come out boldly, and, by courage and energy, carry the laws that had passed for the suppression of Popery into active and wholesome operation. "Those laws were passed by the wisest and ablest assembly of legislators in the world, and to what purpose could legislative enactments for the preservation of Protestant interests be passed if men of true faith and loyalty could not be found to carry them into effect. There were the laws; the prisoner at the bar did not make those laws, and if he was invested with authority to carry them into operation, what did he do but discharge a wholesome and important duty? The country was admitted, on all sides, to be in a disturbed state; Popery was attempting for years most insidiously to undermine the Protestant Church, and to sap the foundation of all Protestant interests; and if, by a pardonable excess of zeal, of zeal in the right direction, and unconscious lapse in the discharge of what he would call, those noble but fearful duties had occurred, was it for those who had a sense of true liberty, and a manly detestation of Romish intrigue at heart, to visit that upon the head of a true and loyal man as a crime. Forbid it, the spirit of the British Constitution—forbid it, heaven—forbid it, Protestantism. No, gentlemen of the jury," etc., etc.

We need not go further, because we have condensed in the few sentences given the gist of all he said.

When the case was closed, the jury retired to their room, and as Sir Robert Whitecraft's fate depends upon their verdict, we will be kind enough to avail ourselves of the open sesame of our poor imagination to introduce our readers invisibly into the jury-room.

"Now," said the foreman, "what's to be done? Are we to sacrifice a Protestant champion to Popery?"

"To Popery! To the deuce," replied another. "It's not Popery that is prosecuting him. Put down Popery by argument, by fair argument, but don't murder those that profess it, in cold blood. As the Attorney* General said, let us make it our own case, and if the Papishes treated us as we have treated them, what would we say? By jingo, I'll hang that fellow. He's a Protestant champion, they say; but I say he's a Protestant bloodhound, and a cowardly rascal to boot."

"How is he a cowardly rascal, Bob? Hasn't' he proved himself a brave man against the Papishes? eh?"

"A brave man! deuce thank him for being a brave man against poor devils that are allowed nothing stouter than a horse-rod to defend themselves with—when he has a party of well-armed bloodhounds at his back. He's the worst landlord in Ireland, and, above all things, he's a tyrant to his Protestant tenants, this champion of Protestantism. Ay, and fierce as he is against Popery, there's not a Papish tenant on his estate that he's not like a father to."

"And how the deuce do you know that?"

"Because I was head bailiff to him for ten years."

"But doesn't all the world know that he hates the Papists, and would have them massacred if he could?"

"And so he does—and so he would; but it's all his cowardice, because he's afraid that if he was harsh to his Popish tenants some of them might shoot him from behind a hedge some fine night, and give him a leaden bullet for his supper."

"I know he's a coward," observed another, "because he allowed himself to be horsewhipped by Major Bingham, and didn't call him out for it."

"Oh, as to that," said another, "it was made up by their friends; but what's to be done? All the evidence is against him, and we are on our oaths to find a verdict according to the evidence."

"Evidence be hanged," said another; "I'll sit here till doom's-day before I find him guilty. Are we, that are all loyal Protestants, to bring out a varjuice to please the Papishes? Oh, no, faith; but here's the thing, gentlemen; mark me; here now, I take off my shoes, and I'll ait them before I find him guilty;" and as he spoke he deliberately slipped of his shoes, and placed them on the table, ready for his tough and loyal repast.

"By Gog," said another, "I'll hang him, in spite of your teeth; and, afther aiten your brogues, you may go barefooted if you like. I have brogues to ait as well as you, and one of mine is as big as two of yours."

This was followed by a chorus of laughter, after which they began to consider the case before them, like admirable and well-reasoning jurors, as they were. Two hours passed in wrangling and talking and recriminating, when, at last, one of them, striking the table, exclaimed with an oath:

"All Europe won't save the villain. Didn't he seduce my sister's daughter, and then throw her and her child back, with shame and disgrace, on the family, without support?"

"Look at that," said the owner of the shoe, holding it up triumphantly; "that's my supper to-night, and my argument in his defence. I say our—Protestant champion mustn't hang, at least until I starve first."

The other, who sat opposite to him, put his hand across the table, and snatching the shoe, struck its owner between the two eyes with it and knocked him back on the floor. A scene of uproar took place, which lasted for some minutes, but at length, by the influence of the foreman, matters were brought to a somewhat amicable issue. In this way they spent the time for a few hours more, when one of the usual messengers came to know if they had agreed; but he was instantly dismissed to a very warm settlement, with the assurance that they had not.

"Come," said one of them, pulling out a pack of cards, "let us amuse ourselves at any rate. Who's for a hand at the Spoil Five?"

The cards were looked upon as a godsend, and in a few moments one half the jury were busily engaged at that interesting game. The other portion of them amused themselves, in the meantime, as well as they could.

"Tom," said one of them, "were you ever on a special jury in a revenue case?"

"No," replied Tom, "never. Is there much fun?"

"The devil's own fun; because if we find for the defendant, he's sure to give us a splendid feed. But do you know how we manage when we find that we can't agree?"

"No. How is it?"

"Why, you see, when the case is too clear against him, and that to find for him would be too barefaced, we get every man to mark down on a slip of paper the least amount of damages he is disposed to give against him; when they're all down, we tot them up, and divide by twelve—"*

     *By no means an uncommon proceeding in revenue cases,
     even at the present day.

"Silence," said another, "till we hear John Dickson's song."

The said John Dickson was at the time indulging them with a comic song, which was encored with roars of laughter.

"Hallo!" shouted one of those at the cards, "here's Jack Brereton has prigged the ace of hearts."

"Oh, gentlemen," said Jack, who was a greater knave at the cards than any in the pack, "upon, my honor, gentlemen, you wrong me."

"There—he has dropped it," said another; "look under the table."

The search was made, and up was lugged the redoubtable ace of hearts from under one of Jack's feet, who had hoped, by covering it, to escape detection. Detected, however, he was, and, as they all knew him well, the laughter was loud accordingly, and none of them laughed louder than Jack himself.

"Jack," said another of them, "let us have a touch of the legerdemain."

"Gentlemen, attention," said Jack. "Will any of you lend me a halfpenny?"

This was immediately supplied to him, and the first thing he did was to stick it on his forehead—although there had been brass enough there before—to which it appeared to have been glued; after a space he took it off and placed it in the palm of his right hand, which he closed, and then, extending both his hands, shut, asked those about him in which hand it was. Of course they all said in the right; but, upon Jack's opening the said hand, there was no halfpenny there.

In this way they discussed a case of life or death, until another knock came, which "knock" received the same answer as before.

"Faith," said a powerful-looking farmer from near the town of Boyle—the very picture of health, "if they don't soon let us out I'll get sick. It's I that always does the sickness for the jury when we're kept in too long."

"Why, then, Billy Bradley," asked one of them, "how could you, of all men living, sham sickness on a doctor?"

"Because," said Billy, with a grin, "I'm beginning to feel a divarsion of blood to the head, for want of a beefsteak and a pot o' porther. My father and grandfather both died of a divarsion of blood to the head."

"I rather think," observed another, "that they died by taking their divarsion at the beefsteak and the pot of porter."

"No matther," said Billy, "they died at all events, and so will we all, plaise God."

"Gome," said one of them, "there is Jack Brereton and his cane—let us come to business. What do you say, Jack, as to the prisoner?"

Jack at the time had the aforesaid cane between his legs, over which he was bent like a bow, with the head of it in his mouth.

"Are you all agreed?" asked Jack.

"All for a verdict of guilty, with the exception of this fellow and his shoes."

Jack Brereton was a handsome old fellow, with a red face and a pair of watery eyes; he was a little lame, and crippled as he walked, in consequence of a hip complaint, which he got by a fall from a jaunting-car; but he was now steady enough, except the grog.

"Jack, what do you say?" asked the foreman; "it's time to do something."

"Why," replied Jack, "the scoundrel engaged me to put down a pump for him, and I did it in such a manner as was a credit to his establishment. To be sure, he wanted the water to come whenever it was asked; but I told him that that wasn't my system; that I didn't want to make a good thing too cheap; but that the water would come in genteel time—that is to say, whenever they didn't want it; and faith the water bore me out." And here Jack laughed heartily. "But no matter," proceeded Jack, "he's only a bujeen; sure it was his mother nursed me. Where's that fellow that's going to eat his shoes? Here, Ned Wilson, you flaming Protestant, I have neither been a grand juror nor a petty juror of the county of Sligo for nothing. Where are you? Take my cane, place it between your knees as you saw me do, put your mouth down to the head of it, suck up with all your strength, and you'll find that God will give you sense afterwards."

Wilson, who had taken such a fancy for eating his shoes, in order to show his loyalty, was what is called a hard-goer, and besides a great friend of Jack's. At all events, he followed his advice—put the head of the huge cane into his mouth, and drew up accordingly. The cane, in fact, was hollow all through, and contained about three half-pints of strong whiskey. There was some wrangling with the man for a little time after this; but at length he approached Jack, and handing him the empty cane, said:

"What's your opinion, Jack?"

"Why, we must hang him," replied Jack. "He defrauded me in the pump; and I ask you did you ever put your nose to a better pump than that?"*

     * We have been taken to task about this description of the
     jury-room; but we believe, and have good reason to believe,
     that every circumstance mentioned in it is a fact Do our
     readers remember the history of Orr's trial, where three-
     fourths of the jurors who convicted him were drunk—a fact
     to which they themselves confirmed upon oath afterwards?

"Give me your hand, Jack, we're agreed—he swings!"

At this moment an officer came to ask the same question, when, in reply, the twelve jurymen came out, and, amidst the most profound silence, the foreman handed down the issue paper to the Clerk of the Crown.

"Gentlemen," said that officer, after having cast his eye over it, "have you agreed in your verdict?"

"We have."

"Is the prisoner at the bar guilty, or not guilty?"

"Guilty!"

Let us pause here a moment, and reflect upon the precarious tenure of life, as it is frequently affected by such scenes as the above, in the administration of justice. Here was a criminal of the deepest dye, shivering in the dock with the natural apprehension of his fate, but supported, notwithstanding, by the delay of the jury in coming to a verdict. He argued reasonably enough, that in consequence of that very delay he must necessarily have friends among them who would hold out to the last. The state of suspense, however, in which he was held must have been, and was, dreadful. His lips and throat became parched by excitement, and he was obliged to drink three or four glasses of water. Being unable to stand, he was accommodated with a chair, on which, while he sat, the perspiration flowed from his pallid face. Yet, with the exception of his own clique, there was scarcely an individual present who did not hope that this trial would put an end to his career of blood. After all, there was something of the retributive justice of Providence even in the conduct and feelings of the jury; for, in point of fact, it was more on account of his private crimes and private infamy that they, however wrongly, brought in their verdict. Here was he, encircled by their knowledge of his own iniquities, apart from his public acts; and there, standing in that dock, from which he might have gone out free, so far as regarded his political exploits, he found, although he did not know it, the black weight of his private vices fall upon his head in the shape of the verdict just delivered. It would be impossible to describe his appearance on hearing it; his head fell down upon his breast listless, helpless, and with a character of despair that was painful to contemplate.

When the verdict was handed down, the judge immediately put on the black-cap; but Whitecraft's head was resting on his breast, and he did not for some time see it. At length, stirred into something like life by the accents of the judge, he raised his head with an effort. The latter addressed him as thus: "Sir Robert Whitecraft, you have been convicted this day by as enlightened a jury as ever sat in a jury-box. You must be aware yourself, by the length of time, and consequently the deep and serious investigation which they bestowed—and, it is evident, painfully bestowed—upon your unhappy case, that your conviction is the deliberate result of their conscientious opinion. It is obvious, as I said, from the length of time occupied in the jury-room, that the evidence in your case was sifted closely, and canvassed with the ability and experience of able and honest men. In the verdict they have returned the Court perfectly concurs; and it now only remains for me to pass upon you that awful sentence of the law which is due to your cruel life and flagitious crimes. Were you a man without education, nurtured in ignorance, and the slave of its debasing consequences, some shade of compassion might be felt for you on that account. But you cannot plead this; you cannot plead poverty, or that necessity which urges many a political adventurer to come out as a tyrant and oppressor upon his fellow-subjects, under the shield of the law, and in the corrupt expectation of reward or promotion. You were not only independent in your own circumstances, but you possessed great wealth; and why you should shape yourself such an awful course of crime can only be attributed to a heart naturally fond of persecution and blood. I cannot, any more than the learned Attorney-General, suffer the privileges of rank, wealth, or position to sway me from the firm dictates of justice. You imagined that the law would connive at you—and it did so too long, but, believe me, the sooner or later it will abandon the individual that has been provoking it, and, like a tiger when goaded beyond patience, will turn and tear its victim to pieces. It remains for me now to pronounce the awful sentence of the law upon you; but before I do so, let me entreat you to turn your heart to that Being who will never refuse mercy to a repentant sinner; and I press this upon you the more because you need not entertain the slightest expectation of finding it in this world. In order, therefore, that you may collect and compose your mind for the great event that is before you, I will allow you four days, in order that you may make a Christian use of your time, and prepare your spirit for a greater tribunal than this. The sentence of the Court is that, on the fifth day after this, you be, etc., etc., etc.; and may God have mercy on your soul!"

At first there was a dead silence in the Court, and a portion of the audience was taken completely by surprise on hearing both the verdict' and the sentence. At length a deep, condensed murmur, which arose by degrees into a yell of execration, burst forth from his friends, whilst, on the other hand, a peal of cheers and acclamations rang so loudly through the court that they completely drowned the indignant vociferations of the others. In the meantime silence was restored, and it was found that the convict had been removed during the confusion to one of the condemned cells. What now were his friends to do? Was it possible to take any steps by which he might yet be saved from such a disgraceful death? Pressed as they were for time, they came to the conclusion that the only chance existing in his favor was for a deputation of as many of the leading Protestants of the county, as could be prevailed upon to join in the measure, to proceed to Dublin without delay. Immediately, therefore, after the trial, a meeting of the baronet's friends was held in the head inn of Sligo, where the matter was earnestly discussed. Whitecraft had been a man of private and solitary enjoyments—in social and domestic life, as cold, selfish, inhospitable, and repulsive as he was cruel and unscrupulous in his public career.

The consequence was that he had few personal friends of either rank or influence, and if the matter had rested upon his own personal character and merits alone, he would have been left, without an effort, to the fate which had that day been pronounced upon him. The consideration of the matter, however, was not confined to himself as an individual, but to the Protestant party at large, and his conviction was looked upon as a Popish triumph. On this account many persons of rank and influence, who would not otherwise have taken any interest in his fate, came forward for the purpose, if possible, of defeating the Popish party—who, by the way, had nothing whatsoever to do in promoting his conviction—and of preventing the stigma and deep disgrace which his execution would attach to their own. A very respectable deputation was consequently formed, and in the course of the next day proceeded to Dublin, to urge their claims in his favor with the Lord Lieutenant. This nobleman, though apparently favorable to the Catholic people, was nevertheless personally and secretly a bitter enemy to them. The state policy which he was instructed and called upon to exercise in their favor differed toto coelo from his own impressions. He spoke to them, however, sweetly and softly, praised them for their forbearance, and made large promises in their favor, whilst, at the same time, he entertained no intention of complying with their request. The deputation, on arriving at the castle, ascertained, to their mortification, that the viceroy would not be at home until the following day, having spent the last week with a nobleman in the neighborhood; they were consequently obliged to await his arrival. After his return they were admitted to an audience, in which they stated their object in waiting upon him, and urged with great earnestness the necessity of arresting the fate of such a distinguished Protestant as Sir Robert Whitecraft; after which they entered into a long statement of the necessity that existed for such active and energetic men in the then peculiar and dangerous state of the country.

To all this, however, he replied with great suavity, assuring them that no man felt more anxious to promote Protestant interests than he did, and added that the relaxation of the laws against the Catholics was not so much the result of his own personal policy or feeling as the consequence of the instructions he had received from the English Cabinet. He would be very glad to comply with the wishes of the deputation if he could, but at present it was impossible. This man's conduct was indefensible; for, not content in carrying out the laws against the Catholics with unnecessary rigor, he committed a monstrous outrage against a French subject of distinction, in consequence of which the French Court, through their Ambassador in London, insisted upon his punishment.

"Very well, my lord," replied the spokesman of the deputation, "I beg to assure you, that if a hair of this man's head is injured there will be a massacre of the Popish population before two months; and I beg also to let you know, for the satisfaction of the English Cabinet, that they may embroil themselves with France, or get into whatever political embarrassment they please, but an Irish Protestant will never hoist a musket, or draw a sword, in their defence. Gentlemen, let us bid his Excellency a good-morning."

This was startling language, as the effect proved, for it startled the viceroy into a compliance with their wishes, and they went home post-haste, in order that the pardon might arrive in time.





CHAPTER XXV.—Reilly stands his Trial

Rumor of Cooleen Bawn's Treachery—How it appears—Conclusion.

Life, they say, is a life of trials, and so may it be said of this tale—at least of the conclusion of it; for we feel that it devolves upon us once more to solicit the presence of our readers to the same prison in which the Red Rapparee and Sir Robert Whitecraft received their sentence of doom.

As it is impossible to close the mouth or to silence the tongue of fame, so we may assure our readers, as we have before, that the: history of the loves of those two celebrated individuals, to wit, Willy Reilly and the far-famed Cooleen Bawn, had given an interest to the coming trial such as was never known within the memory of man, at that period, nor perhaps equalled since. The Red Rapparee, Sir Robert Whitecraft, and all the other celebrated "villains of that time, have nearly perished out of tradition itself, whilst those of our hero and heroine are still fresh in the feelings of the Connaught and Northern peasantry, at whose hearths, during the winter evenings, the rude but fine old ballad that commemorated that love is still sung with sympathy, and sometimes, as we can I testify, with tears. This is fame. One circumstance, however, which deepened the interest felt by the people, told powerfully against the consistency of the Cooleen Bawn, which was, that she had resolved to come forward that day to bear evidence against; her lover. Such was the general impression received from her father, and the attorney Doldrum, who conducted the trial against Reilly, although our readers are well aware that on this point they spoke without authority. The governor of the prison, on going that morning to conduct him to the bar, said:

"I am sorry, Mr. Reilly, to be the bearer of bad news; but as the knowledge of it may be serviceable to you or your lawyers, I think I ought to mention it to you."

"Pray, what is it?" asked Reilly.

"Why, sir, it is said to be a fact that the Cooleen Bawn has proved false and treacherous, and is coming this day to bear her testimony against you."

Reilly replied with a smile of confidence, which the darkness of the room prevented the other from seeing, "Well, Mr. O'Shaugh-nessy, even if she does, it cannot be helped; have you heard what the nature of her evidence is likely to be?"

"No; it seems her father and Doldrum the attorney asked her, and she would not tell them; but she said she had made her mind up to attend the trial and see justice done. Don't be cast down, Mr. Reilly, though, upon my soul, I think she ought to have stood it out in your favor to the last."

"Come," said Reilly, "I am ready; time will tell, Mr. O'Shaughnessy, and a short time too; a few hours now, and all will know the result."

"I hope in God it may be in your favor, Mr. Reilly."

"Thank you, O'Shaughnessy; lead on; I am ready to attend you."

The jail was crowded even to suffocation; but this was not all. The street opposite the jail was nearly as much crowded as the jail itself, a moving, a crushing mass of thousands having been collected to abide and hear the issue. It was with great difficulty, and not without the aid of a strong military force, that a way could be cleared for the judge as he approached the prison. The crowd was silent and passive, but in consequence of the report that the Cooleen Bawn was to appear against Reilly, a profound melancholy and an expression of deep sorrow seemed to brood over it. Immediately after the judge's carriage came that of the squire, who was accompanied by his daughter, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hastings, for Helen had insisted that her father should procure their attendance. A private room in the prison had, by previous arrangement, been prepared for them, and to this they were conducted by a back way, so as to avoid the crushing of the crowd. It was by this way also that the judge and lawyers entered the body of the court-house, without passing through the congregated mass.

At length the judge, having robed himself, took his seat on the bench, and, on casting his eye over the court-house, was astonished at the dense multitude that stood before him. On looking at the galleries, he saw that they were crowded with ladies of rank and fashion. Every thing having been now ready, the lawyers, each with his brief before him, and each with a calm, but serious and meditative aspect, the Clerk of the Crown cried out, in a voice which the hum of the crowd rendered necessarily loud:

"Mr. Jailer, put William Reilly to the bar."

At that moment a stir, a murmur, especially among the ladies in the gallery, and a turning of faces in the direction of the bar, took place as Reilly came forward, and stood erect in front of the judge. The very moment he made his appearance all eyes were fastened on him, and whatever the prejudices may have been against the Cooleen Bawn for falling in love with a Papist, that moment of his appearance absolved her from all—from every thing. A more noble or majestic figure never stood at that or any other bar. In the very prime of manhood, scarcely out of youth, with a figure like that of Antinous, tall, muscular, yet elegant, brown hair of the richest shade, a lofty forehead, features of the most manly cast, but exquisitely formed, and eyes which, but for the mellow softness of their expression, an eagle might have envied for their transparent brilliancy. The fame of his love for the Cooleen Bawn had come before him. The judge surveyed him with deep interest; so did every eye that could catch a view of his countenance; but, above all, were those in the gallery riveted upon him with a degree of interest—and, now that they had seen him, of sympathy—which we shall not attempt to describe. Some of them were so deeply affected that they could not suppress their tears, which, by the aid of their handkerchiefs, they endeavored to conceal as well as they could. Government, in this case, as it was not one of political interest, did not prosecute. A powerful bar was retained against Reilly, but an equally powerful one was engaged for him, the leading lawyer being, as we have stated, the celebrated advocate Fox, the Curran of his day.

The charge against him consisted of only two counts—that of robbing Squire Folliard of family jewels of immense value, and that of running away with his daughter, a ward of Chancery, contrary to her consent and inclination, and to the laws in that case made and provided.

The first witness produced was the sheriff—and, indeed, to state the truth, a very reluctant one was that humane gentleman on the occasion. Having been sworn, the leading counsel proceeded:

"You are the sheriff of this county?"

"I am."

"Are you aware that jewellery to a large amount was stolen recently from Mr. Folliard?"

"I am not."

"You are not? Now, is it not a fact, of which you were an eye-witness, that the jewellery in question was found upon the person of the prisoner at the bar, in Mr. Folliard's house?"

"I must confess that I saw him about to be searched, and that a very valuable case of jewellery was found upon his person."

"Yes, found upon his person—a very valuable case of jewellery, the property of Mr. Folliard, found upon his person; mark that, gentlemen of the jury."

"Pardon me," said the sheriff, "I saw jewellery found upon him; but I cannot say on my oath whether it belonged to Mr. Folliard or not; all I can say is, that Mr. Folliard claimed the jewels as his."

"As his—just so. Nobody had a better right to claim them than the person to whom they belonged. What took place on the occasion?"

"Why, Mr. Folliard, as I said, claimed them, and Mr. Reilly refused to give them up to him."

"You hear that, gentlemen—refused to surrender him the property of which he had robbed him, even in his own house."

"And when you searched the prisoner?"

"We didn't search him; he refused to submit to a search."

"Refused to submit to a search! No wonder, I think! But, at the time he refused to submit to a search, had he the jewellery upon his person?"

"He had."

"He had? You hear that gentlemen—at the time he refused to be searched he had the jewellery upon his person."

The sheriff was then cross-examined by Fox, to the following effect:

"Mr. Sheriff, have you been acquainted, or are you acquainted, with the prisoner at the bar?"

"Yes; I have known him for about three years—almost ever since he settled in this county."

"What is your opinion of him?"

"My opinion of him is very high."

"Yes—your opinion of him is very high," with a significant glance at the jury—"I believe it is, and I believe it ought to be. Now, upon your oath, do you believe that the prisoner at the bar is capable of the theft or robbery imputed to him?"

"I do not!"

"You do not? What did he say when the jewels were found upon him?"

"He refused to surrender them to Mr. Folliard as having no legal claim upon them, and refused, at first, to place them in any hands but Miss Folliard's own; but, on understanding that she was not in—a state to receive them from him, he placed them in mine."

"Then he considered that they were Miss Folliard's personal property, and not her father's?"

"So it seemed to me from what he said at the time."

"That will do, sir; you may go down."

"Alexander Folliard" and the father then made his appearance on the table; he looked about him, with a restless eye, and appeared in a state of great agitation, but it was the agitation of an enraged and revengeful man.

He turned his eyes upon Reilly, and exclaimed with bitterness: "There you are, Willy Reilly, who have stained the reputation of my child, and disgraced her family."

"Mr. Folliard," said his lawyer, "you have had in your possession very valuable family jewels."

"I had."

"Whose property were they?"

"Why, mine, I should think."

"Could you identify them?"

"Certainly I could."

"Are these the jewels in question?"

The old man put on his spectacles, and examined them closely.

"They are; I know every one of them."

"They were stolen from you?"

"They were."

"On whose person, after having been stolen, were they found?"

"On the person of the prisoner at the bar."

"You swear that?"

"I do; because I saw him take them out of his pocket in my own house after he had been made prisoner and detected."

"Then they are your property?"

"Certainly—I consider them my property; who else's property could they be."

"Pray, is not your daughter a minor?"

"She is."

"And a ward in the Court of Chancery?"

"Yes."

"That will do, sir."

The squire was then about to leave the table, when Mr. Fox addressed him:

"Not yet, Mr. Folliard, if you please; you swear the jewels are yours?"

"I do; to whom else should they belong?"

"Are you of opinion that the prisoner at the bar robbed you of them?"

"I found them in his possession."

"And you now identify them as the same jewels which you found in his possession?"

"Hang it, haven't I said so before?"

"Pray, Mr. Folliard, keep your temper, if you please, and answer me civilly and as a gentleman. Suffer me to ask you are there any other family jewels in your possession?"

"Yes, the Folliard jewels?"

"The Folliard jewels! And how do they differ in denomination from those found upon the prisoner?"

"Those found upon the prisoner are called the Bingham jewels, from the fact of my wife, who was a Bingham, having brought them into our family."

"And pray, did not your wife always consider those jewels as her own private property?"

"Why, I believe she did."

"And did she not, at her death-bed, bequeath those very jewels to her daughter, the present Miss Folliard, on the condition that she too should consider them as her private property?"

"Why, I believe she did; indeed, I am sure of it, because I was present at the time."

"In what part of the house were those jewels deposited?"

"In a large oak cabinet that stands in a recess in my library."

"Did you keep what you call the Folliard jewels there?"

"Yes, all our jewellery was kept there."

"But there was no portion of the Folliard jewellery touched?"

"No; but the Bingham sets were all taken, and all found upon the prisoner."

"What was your opinion of the prisoner's circumstances?"

"I could form no opinion about them."

"Had he not the reputation of being an independent man?"

"I believe such was the impression."

"In what style of life did he live?"

"Certainly in the style of a gentleman."

"Do you think, then, that necessity was likely to tempt a man of independence like him to steal your daughter's jewels?"

"I'd advise you, Sergeant Fox, not to put me out of temper; I haven't much to spare just now. What the deuce are you at?"

"Will you answer my question?"

"No, I don't think it was."

"If the Bingham jewellery had been stolen by a thief, do you think that thief would have left the Folliard jewellery behind him?"

"I'll take my oath you wouldn't, if you had been in the place of the person that took them. You'd have put the Bingham jewellery in one pocket, and balanced it with the Folliard in the other. But," he added, after a slight pause, "the villain stole from me a jewel more valuable and dearer to her father's heart than all the jewellery of the universal world put together. He stole my child, my only child," and as he spoke the tears ran slowly down his cheeks. The court and spectators were touched by this, and Fox felt that it was a point against them. Even he himself was touched, and saw that, with respect to Reilly's safety, the sooner he got rid of the old man, for the present at least, the better.

"Mr. Folliard," said he, "you may withdraw now. Your daughter loved, as what woman has not? There stands the object of her affections, and I appeal to your own feelings whether any living woman could be blamed for loving such a man. You may go down, sir, for the present."

The prosecuting counsel then said: "My lord, we produce Miss Folliard herself to bear testimony against this man. Crier, let Helen Folliard be called."

Now was the moment of intense and incredible interest. There was the far-famed beauty herself, to appear against her manly lover. The stir in the court, the expectation, the anxiety to see her, the stretching of necks, the pressure of one over another, the fervor of curiosity, was such as the reader may possibly conceive, but such certainly as we cannot attempt to describe. She advanced from a side door, deeply veiled; but the tall and majestic elegance of her figure not only struck all hearts with admiration, but prepared them for the inexpressible beauty with which the whole kingdom rang. She was assisted to the table, and helped into the witness's chair by her father, who seemed to triumph in her appearance there. On taking her seat, the buzz and murmur of the spectators became hushed into a silence like that of death, and, until she spoke, a feather might have been heard falling in the court.

"Miss Folliard," said the judge, in a most respectful voice, "you are deeply veiled—but perhaps you are not aware that, in order to give evidence in a court of justice, your veil should be up; will you have the goodness to raise it?"

Deliberately and slowly she raised it, as the court had desired her—but, oh! what an effulgence of beauty, what wonderful brilliancy, what symmetry, what radiance, what tenderness, what expression!

But we feel that to attempt the description of that face, which almost had divinity stamped upon it, is beyond all our powers. The whole court, every spectator, man and woman, all for a time were mute, whilst their hearts drank in the delicious draught of admiration which such beauty created. After having raised her veil, she looked around the court with a kind of wonder, after which her eyes rested on Reilly, and immediately her lids dropped, for she feared that she had done wrong in looking upon him. This made many of those hearts who were interested in his fate sink, and wonder why such treachery should be associated with features that breathed only of angelic goodness and humanity.

"Miss Folliard," said the leading counsel engaged against Reilly, "I am happy to hear that you regret some past occurrences that took place with respect to you and the prisoner at the bar."

"Yes," she replied, in a voice that was melody itself, "I do regret them."

Fox kept his eye fixed upon her, after which he whispered something to one or two of his brother lawyers; they shook their heads, and immediately set themselves to hear and note her examination.

"Miss Folliard, you are aware of the charges which have placed the prisoner at the bar of justice and his country?"

"Not exactly; I have heard little of it beyond the fact of his incarceration."

"He stands there charged with two very heinous crimes—one of them, the theft or robbery of a valuable packet of jewels, your father's property."

"Oh, no," she replied, "they are my own exclusive property—not my father's. They were the property of my dear mother, who, on her death-bed, bequeathed them to me, in the presence of my father himself; and I always considered them as mine."

"But they were found upon the person of the prisoner?"

"Oh, yes; but that is very easily explained. It is no secret now, that, in order to avoid a marriage which my father was forcing on me with Sir Robert Whitecraft, I chose the less evil, and committed myself to the honor of Mr. Reilly. If I had not done so I should have committed suicide, I think, rather than marry Whitecraft—a man so utterly devoid of principle and delicacy that he sent an abandoned female into my father's house in the capacity of my maid and also as a spy upon my conduct."

This astounding fact created an immense sensation throughout the court, and the lawyer who was examining her began to feel that her object in coming there was to give evidence in favor of Reilly, and not against him. He determined, however, to try her a little farther, and proceeded:

"But, Miss Folliard, how do you account for the fact of the Bingham jewels being found upon the person of the prisoner?"

"It is the simplest thing in the world," she replied. "I brought my own jewels with me, and finding", as we proceeded, that I was likely to lose them, having no pocket sufficiently safe in which to carry them, I asked Reilly to take charge of them, which he did. Our unexpected capture, and the consequent agitation, prevented him from returning them to me, and they were accordingly found upon his person; but, as for stealing them, he is just as guilty as his lordship on the bench."

"Miss Folliard," proceeded the lawyer, "you have taken us by surprise to-day. How does it happen that you volunteered your evidence against the prisoner, and, now that you have come forward, every word you utter is in his favor? Your mind must have recently changed—a fact which takes very much away from the force of that evidence."

"I pray you, sir, to understand me, and not suffer yourself to be misled. I never stated that I was about to come here to give evidence against Mr. Reilly; but I said, when strongly pressed to come, that I would come, and see justice done. Had they asked me my meaning, I would have instantly told them; because, I trust, I am incapable of falsehood; and I will say now, that if my life could obtain that of William Reilly, I would lay it willingly down for him, as I am certain he would lay down his for the preservation of mine."

There was a pause here, and a murmur of approbation ran through the court. The opposing counsel, too, found that they had been led astray, and that to examine her any further would be only a weakening of their own cause. They attached, however, no blame of insincerity to her, but visited with much bitterness the unexpected capsize which they had got, on the stupid head of Doldrum, their attorney. They consequently determined to ask her no more questions, and she was about to withdraw, when Fox rose up, and said:

"Miss Folliard, I am counsel for the prisoner at the bar, and I trust you will answer me a few questions. I perceive, madam, that you are fatigued of this scene; but the questions I shall put to you will be few and brief. An attachment has existed for some time between you and the prisoner at the bar? You need not be ashamed, madam, to reply to it."

"I am not ashamed," she replied proudly, "and it is true."

"Was your father aware of that attachment at any time?"

"He was, from a very early period."

"Pray, how did he discover it?"

"I myself told him of my love for Reilly."

"Did your father give his consent to that attachment?"

"Conditionally he did."

"And pray, Miss Folliard, what were the conditions?"

"That Reilly should abjure his creed, and then no further obstacles should stand in the way of our union, he said."

"Was ever that proposal mentioned to Reilly?"

"Yes, I mentioned it to him myself; but, well as he loved me, he would suffer to go into an early grave, he said, sooner than abandon his religion; and I loved him a thousand times better for his noble adherence to it."

"Did he not save your father's life?"

"He did, and the life of a faithful and attached old servant at the same time."

Now, although this fact was generally known, yet the statement of it here occasioned a strong expression of indignation against the man who could come forward and prosecute the individual, to whose courage and gallantry he stood indebted for his escape from murder. The uncertainty of Folliard's character, however, was so well known, and his whimsical changes of opinion such a matter of proverb among the people, that many persons said to each other:

"The cracked old squire is in one of his tantrums now; he'll be a proud man if he can convict Reilly to-day; and perhaps to-morrow, or in a month hence, he'll be cursing; himself for what he did—for that's his way."

"Well, Miss Folliard," said Fox, "we will not detain you any longer; this to you must be a painful scene; you may retire, madam."

She did not immediately withdraw, but taking a green silk purse out of her bosom, she opened it, and, after inserting her long, white, taper fingers into it, she brought out a valuable emerald ring, and placing it in the hands of the crier, she said:

"Give that ring to the prisoner: I know not, William," she added, "whether I shall ever see you again or not. It may so happen that this is the last time my eyes can ever rest upon you with love and sorrow." Here a few bright tears ran down her lovely cheeks. "If you should be sent to a far-off land, wear this for the sake of her who appreciated your virtues, your noble spirit, and your pure and disinterested love; look upon it when, perhaps, the Atlantic may roll between us, and when you do, think of your Cooleen Bawn, and the love she bore you; but if a still unhappier fate should be yours, let it be placed with you in your grave, and next that heart, that noble heart, that refused to sacrifice your honor and your religion even to your love for me. I will now go."

There is nothing so brave and fearless as innocence. Her youth, the majesty of her beauty, and the pathos of her expressions, absolutely flooded the court with tears. The judge wept, and hardened old barristers, with hearts like the nether millstone, were forced to put their handkerchiefs to their eyes; but as they felt that it might be detrimental to! their professional characters to be caught weeping, they shaded off the pathos under the hypocritical pretence of blowing their noses. The sobs from the ladies in the gallery were loud and vehement, and Reilly himself was so deeply moved that he felt obliged to put his face upon his hands, as he bent over the bar, in order to conceal his emotion. He received the ring with moist eyes, kissed it, and placed it in a small locket which he put in his bosom.

"Now," said the Cooleen Bawn, "I am ready to go."

She was then conducted to the room to which we have alluded, where she met Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hastings, both of whom she found in tears—for they had been in the gallery, and witnessed all that had happened. They both embraced her tenderly, and attempted to console her as well as they could; but a weight like death, she said, pressed upon her heart, and she begged them not to distract her by their sympathy, kind and generous as she felt it to be, but to allow her to sit, and nurture her own thoughts until she could hear the verdict of the jury. Mrs. Hastings returned to the gallery, and arrived there in time to hear the touching and brilliant speech of Fox, which we are not presumptuous enough to imagine, much less to stultify ourselves by attempting to give. He dashed the charge of Reilly's theft of the jewels to pieces—not a difficult task, after the evidence that had been given; and then dwelt upon the loves of this celebrated pair with such force and eloquence and pathos that the court was once more melted into tears. The closing speech by the leading counsel against Reilly was bitter; but the gist of it turned upon the fact of his having eloped with a ward of Chancery, contrary to law; and he informed the jury that no affection—no consent upon the part of any young lady under age was either a justification of, or a protection against, such an abduction as that of which Reilly had been guilty. The state of the law at the present time, he assured them, rendered it a felony to marry a Catholic and a Protestant together; and he then left the case in the hands, he said, of an honest Protestant jury.

The judge's charge was brief. He told the jury that they could not convict the prisoner on the imputed felony of the jewels; but that the proof of his having taken away Miss Folliard from her father's house, with—as the law stood—her felonious abduction, for the purpose of inveigling her into an unlawful marriage with himself, was the subject for their consideration. Even had he been a Protestant, the law could afford him no protection in the eye of the Court of Chancery.

The jury retired; but their absence from their box was very brief. Unfortunately, their foreman was cursed with a dreadful hesitation in his speech, and, as he entered, the Clerk of the Crown said:

"Well, gentlemen, have you agreed in your verdict?"

There was a solemn silence, during which nothing was heard but a convulsive working about the chest and glottis of the foreman, who at length said:

"We—we—we—we have."

"Is the prisoner at the bar guilty or not guilty?"

Here the internal but obstructed machinery of the chest and throat set to work again, and at last the foreman was able to get out—"Guilty—"

Mrs. Hastings had heard enough, and too much; and, as the sentence was pronounced, she instantly withdrew; but how to convey the melancholy tidings to the Cooleen Bawn she knew not. In the meantime the foreman, who had not fully delivered himself of the verdict, added, after two or three desperate hiccups—"on the second count."

This, if the foreman had not labored under such an extraordinary hesitation, might have prevented much suffering, and many years of unconscious calamity to one of the unhappy parties of whom we are writing, inasmuch as the felony of the jewels would have been death, whilst the elopement with a ward of Chancery was only transportation.

When Mrs. Hastings entered the room where the Cooleen Bawn was awaiting the verdict with a dreadful intensity of feeling, the latter rose up, and, throwing her arms about her neck, looked into her face, with an expression of eagerness and wildness, which Mrs. Hastings thought might be best allayed by knowing the worst, as the heart, in such circumstances, generally collects itself, and falls back upon its own resources.

"Well, Mrs. Hastings, well—the verdict?"

"Collect yourself, my child—be firm—be a woman. Collect yourself—for you will require it. The verdict—Guilty!"

The Cooleen Bawn did not faint—nor become weak—but she put her fair white hand to her forehead—then looked around the room, then upon Mrs. Brown, and lastly upon Mrs. Hastings. They also looked upon her. God help both her and them! Yes, they looked upon her countenance—that lovely countenance—and then into her eyes—those eyes! But, alas! where was their beauty now? Where their expression?

"Miss Folliard! my darling Helen!" exclaimed Mrs. Hastings, in tears—"great God, what is this, Mrs. Brown? Come here and look at her."

Mrs. Brown, on looking at her, whispered, in choking accents, "Oh! my God, the child's reason is overturned; what is there now in those once glorious eyes but vacancy? Oh, that I had never lived to see this awful day! Helen, the treasure, the delight of all who ever knew you, what is wrong? Oh, speak to us—recognize us—your own two best friends—Helen—Helen! speak to us."

She looked upon them certainly; but it was with a dead and vacant stare which wrung their hearts.

"Come," said she, "tell me where is William Reilly? Oh, bring me to William Reilly; they have taken me from him, and I. know not where to find him."

The two kind-hearted ladies looked at one another, each stupefied by the mystery of what they witnessed.

"Oh," said Mrs. Hastings, "her father must be instantly sent for Mrs. Brown, go to the lobby—there is an officer there—desire him to go to Mr. Folliard and say that—but we had better not alarm him too much," she added, "say that Miss Folliard wishes to see him immediately."

The judge, we may observe here, had not yet pronounced sentence upon Reilly. The old man, who, under all possible circumstances, was so affectionately devoted and attentive to his daughter, immediately proceeded to the room, in a state of great triumph and exultation exclaiming, "Guilty, guilty; we have noosed him at last." He even snapped his fingers, and danced about for a time, until rebuked by Mrs. Hastings.

"Unhappy and miserable old man," she exclaimed, with tears, "what have you done? Look at the condition of your only child, whom you have murdered. She is now a maniac."

"What," he exclaimed, rushing to her, "what, what is this? What do you mean? Helen, my darling, my child—my delight—what is wrong with you? Recollect yourself, my dearest treasure. Do you not know me, your own father? Oh, Helen, Helen! for the love of God speak to me. Say you know me—call me father—rouse yourself—recollect me—don't you know who I am?"

There, however, was the frightfully vacant glance, but no reply.

"Oh," said she, in a low, calm voice, "where is William Reilly? They have taken me from him, and I cannot find him; bring me to William Reilly."

"Don't you know me, Helen? don't you know your loving father? Oh, speak to me, child of my heart! speak but one word as a proof that you know me."

She looked on him, but that look filled his heart with unutterable anguish; he clasped her to that heart, he kissed her lips, he strove to soothe and console her—but in vain. There was the vacant but unsettled eye, from which the bright expression of reason was gone; but no recognition—no spark of reflection or conscious thought—nothing but the melancholy inquiry from those beautiful lips of—"Where's William Reilly? They have taken me from him—and will not allow me to see him. Oh, bring me to William Reilly!"

"Oh, wretched fate!" exclaimed her distracted father, "I am—I am a murderer, and faithful Connor was right—Mrs. Brown—Mrs. Hastings—hear me, both—I was warned of this, but I would not listen either to reason or remonstrance, and now I am punished, as Connor predicted. Great heaven, what a fate both for her and me—for her the innocent, and for me the guilty!"

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the father's misery and distraction; but, from all our readers have learned of his extraordinary tenderness and affection for that good and lovely daughter, they may judge of what he suffered. He immediately ordered his carriage, and had barely time to hear that Reilly had been sentenced to transportation for seven years. His daughter was quite meek and tractable; she spoke not, nor could any ingenuity on their part extract the slightest reply from her. Neither did she shed a single tear, but the vacant light of her eyes had stamped a fatuitous expression on her features that was melancholy and heartbreaking beyond all power of language to describe.

No other person had seen her since the bereavement of her reason, except the officer who kept guard on the lobby, and who, in the hurry and distraction of the moment, had been dispatched by Mrs. Brown for a glass of cold water. Her father's ravings, however, in the man's presence, added to his own observation, and the distress of her female friends were quite sufficient to satisfy him of the nature of her complaint, and in less than half an hour it was through the whole court-house, and the town besides, that the Cooleen Bawn had gone mad on hearing the sentence that was passed upon her lover. Her two friends accompanied her home, and remained with her for the night.

Such was the melancholy conclusion of the trial of Willy Reilly; but even taking it at its worst, it involved a very different fate from that of his vindictive rival, Whitecraft. It appeared that that worthy gentleman and the Red Rapparee had been sentenced to die on the same day, and at the same hour. It is true, Whitecraft was aware that a deputation had gone post-haste to Dublin Castle to solicit his pardon, or at least some lenient commutation of punishment. Still, it was feared that, owing to the dreadful state of the roads, and the slow mode of travelling at that period, there was a probability that the pardon might not arrive in time to be available; and indeed there was every reason to apprehend as much. The day appointed for the execution of the Red Rapparee and him arrived—nay, the very hour had come; but still there was hope, among his friends. The sheriff, a firm, but fair and reasonable man, waited beyond the time named by the judge for his execution. At length he felt the necessity of discharging his duty; for, although more than an hour beyond the appointed period had now elapsed, yet this delay proceeded from no personal regard he entertained for the felon, but from respect for many of those who had interested themselves in his fate.

After an unusual delay the sheriff felt himself called upon to order both the Rapparee and the baronet for execution. In waiting so long for a pardon, he felt that he had transgressed his duty, and he accordingly ordered them out for the last ceremony. The hardened Rapparee died sullen and silent; the only regret he expressed being that he could not live to see his old friend turned off before him.

"Troth," replied the hangman, "only that the sheriff has ordhered me to hang you first as bein' the betther man, I would give you that same satisfaction; but if you're not in a very great hurry to the warm corner you're goin' to, and if you will just take your time for a few minutes, I'll engage to say you will soon have company. God speed you, any way," he exclaimed as he turned him off; "only take your time, and wait for your neighbors. Now, Sir Robert," said he, "turn about, they say, is fair play—it's your turn now; but you look unbecomin' upon it. Hould up your head, man, and don't be cast down. You'll have company where you're goin'; for the Red Rapparee tould me to tell you that he'd wait for you. Hallo!—what's that?" he exclaimed as he cast his eye to the distance and discovered a horseman riding for life, with a white handkerchief, or flag of some kind, floating in the breeze. The elevated position in which the executioner was placed enabled him to see the signal before it could be perceived by the crowd. "Come, Sir Robert," said he, "stand where I'll place you—there's no use in asking you to hould up your head, for you're not able; but listen. You hanged my brother that you knew to be innocent; and now I hang you that I know to be guilty. Yes, I hang you, with the white flag of the Lord Lieutenant's pardon for you wavin' in the distance; and listen again, remember Willy Reilly;" and with these words he launched him into eternity.

The uproar among his friends was immense, as was the cheering from the general crowd, at the just fate of this bad man. The former rushed to the gallows, in order to cut him down, with a hope that life might still be in him, a process which the sheriff, after perusing his pardon, permitted them to carry into effect. The body was accordingly taken into the prison, and a surgeon procured to examine it; but altogether in vain; his hour had gone by, life was extinct, and all the honor they could now pay Sir Robert Whitecraft was to give him a pompous funeral, and declare him a martyr to Popery both of which they did.

On the day previous to Reilly's departure his humble friend and namesake, Fergus, at the earnest solicitation of Reilly himself, was permitted to pay him a last melancholy visit. After his sentence, as well as before it, every attention had been paid to him by O'Shaughnessy, the jailer, who, although an avowed Protestant, and a brand plucked from the burning, was, nevertheless, a lurking Catholic at heart, and felt a corresponding sympathy with his prisoner. When Fergus entered his cell he found him neither fettered nor manacled, but perfectly in the enjoyment at least of bodily freedom. It is impossible, indeed, to say how far the influence of money may have gone in securing him the comforts which surrounded him, and the attentions which he received. On entering his cell, Fergus was struck by the calm and composed air with which he received him. His face, it is true, was paler than usual, but a feeling of indignant pride, if not of fixed but stern indignation, might be read under the composure into which he forced himself, and which he endeavored to suppress. He approached Fergus, and extending his hand with a peculiar smile, very difficult to be described, said:

"Fergus, I am glad to see you; I hope you are safe—at least I have heard so."

"I am safe, sir, and free," replied Fergus; "thanks to the Red Rapparee and the sheriff for it."

"Well," proceeded Reilly, "you have one comfort—the Red Rapparee will neither tempt you nor trouble you again; but is there no danger of his gang taking up his quarrel and avenging him?"

"His gang, sir? Why, only for me he would a' betrayed every man of them to Whitecraft and the Government, and had them hanged, drawn, and quartered—ay, and their heads grinning at us in every town in the county."

"Well, Fergus, let his name and his crimes perish with him; but, as for you, what do you intend to do?"

"Troth, sir," replied Fergus, "it's more than I rightly know. I had my hopes, like others; but, somehow, luck has left all sorts of lovers of late—from Sir Robert Whitecraft to your humble servant."

"But you may thank God," said Reilly, with a smile, "that you had not Sir Robert Whitecraft's luck."

"Faith, sir," replied Fergus archly, "there's a pair of us may do so. You went nearer his luck—such as it was—than I did."

"True enough," replied the other, with a serious air; "I had certainly a narrow escape; but I wish to know, as I said, what you intend to do? It is your duty now, Fergus, to settle industriously and honestly."

"Ah, sir, honestly. I didn't expect that from you, Mr. Reilly."

"Excuse me, Fergus," said Reilly, taking him by the hand; "when I said honestly I did not mean to intimate any thing whatsoever against your integrity. I know, unfortunately, the harsh circumstances which drove you to associate with that remorseless villain and his gang; but I wish you to resume an industrious life, and, if Ellen Connor is disposed to unite her fate with yours, I have provided the means—ample means for you both to be comfortable and happy. She who was so faithful to her mistress will not fail to make you a good wife."

"Ah," replied Fergus, "it's I that knows that well; but, unfortunately, I have no hope there."

"No hope; how is that? I thought your affection was mutual."

"So it is, sir—or, rather, so it was; but she has affection for nobody now, barring the Cooleen Bawn."

Reilly paused, and appeared deeply moved by this. "What," said he, "will she not leave her? But I am not surprised at it."

"No, sir, she will not leave her, but has taken an oath to stay by her night and day, until—better times come."

We may say here that Reillys friends took care that neither jailer nor turnkey should make him acquainted with the unhappy state of the Cooleen Bawn; he was consequently ignorant of it, and, fortunately, remained so until after his return home.

"Fergus," said Reilly, "can you tell me how the Cooleen Bawn bears the sentence which sends me to a far country?"

"How would she bear it, sir? You needn't ask: Connor, at all events, will not part from her—not, anyway, until you come back."

"Well, Fergus," proceeded Reilly, "I have, as I said, provided for you both; what that provision is I will not mention now. Mr. Hastings will inform you. But if you have a wish to leave this unhappy and distracted country, even without Connor, why, by applying to him, you will be enabled to do so; or, if you wish to stay at home and take a farm, you may do so."

"Divil a foot I'll leave the country," replied the other. "Ellen may stick to the Cooleen Bawn, but, be my sowl, I'll stick to Ellen, if I was to wait these seven years. I'll be as stiff as she is stout; but, at any rate, she's worth waitin' for."

"You may well say so," replied Reilly, "and I can quarrel neither with your attachment nor your patience; but you will not forget to let her know the provision which I have left for her in the hands of Mr. Hastings, and tell her it is a slight reward for her noble attachment to my dear Cooleen Bawn. Fergus," he proceeded, "have you ever had a dream in the middle of which you awoke, then fell asleep and dreamt out the dream?"

"Troth had I, often, sir; and, by the way, talkin' of dreams, I dreamt last night that I was wantin' Ellen to marry me, and she said, 'not yet, Fergus, but in due time.'"

"Well, Fergus," proceeded Reilly, "perhaps there is but half my dream of life gone; who knows when I return—if I ever do—but my dream may be completed? and happily, too; I know the truth and faith of my dear Cooleen Bawn. And, Fergus, it is not merely my dear Cooleen Bawn that I feel for, but for my unfortunate country. I am not, however, without hope that the day will come—although it may be a distant one—when she will enjoy freedom, peace, and prosperity. Now, Fergus, good-by, and farewell! Come, come, be a man," he added, with a melancholy smile, whilst a tear stood even in his own eye—"come, Fergus, I will not have this; I won't say farewell for ever, because I expect to return and be happy yet—if not in my own country, at least in some other, where there is more freedom and less persecution for conscience' sake."

Poor Fergus, however, when the parting moment arrived, was completely overcome. He caught Reilly in his arms—wept over him bitterly—and, after a last and sorrowful embrace, was prevailed upon to take his leave.

The history of the Cooleen Bawn's melancholy fate soon went far and near, and many an eye that had never rested on her beauty gave its tribute of tears to her undeserved sorrows. There existed, however, one individual who was the object of almost as deep a compassion; this was her father, who was consumed by the bitterest and most profound remorse. His whole character became changed by his terrible and unexpected shock, by which his beautiful and angelic daughter had been blasted before his eyes. He was no longer the boisterous and convivial old squire, changeful and unsettled in all his opinions, but silent, quiet, and abstracted almost from life.

He wept incessantly, but his tears did not bring him comfort, for they were tears of anguish and despair. Ten times a day he would proceed to her chamber, or follow her to the garden where she loved to walk, always in the delusive hope that he might catch some spark of returning reason from those calm-looking but meaningless eyes, after which he would weep like a child. With respect to his daughter, every thing was done for her that wealth and human means could accomplish, but to no purpose; the malady was too deeply seated to be affected by any known remedy, whether moral or physical. From the moment she was struck into insanity she was never known to smile, or to speak, unless when she chanced to see a stranger, upon which she immediately approached, and asked, with clasped hands:

"Oh! can you tell me where is William Reilly? They have taken me from him, and, I cannot find him. Oh! can you tell me where is William Reilly?"

There was, however, another individual upon whose heart the calamity of the Cooleen Bawn fell like a blight that seemed to have struck it into such misery and sorrow as threatened to end only with life. This was the faithful and attached Ellen Connor. On the day of Reilly's trial she experienced the alternations of hope, uncertainty, and despair, with such a depth of anxious feeling, and such feverish excitement, that the period of time which elapsed appeared to her as if it would never come to an end. She could neither sit, nor stand, nor work, nor read, nor take her meals, nor scarcely think with any consistency or clearness of thought. We have mentioned hope—but it was the faintest and the feeblest element in that chaos of distress and confusion which filled and distracted her mind. She knew the state and condition of the country too well—she knew the powerful influence of Mr. Folliard in his native county—she knew what the consequences to Reilly must be of taking away a Protestant heiress; the fact was there—plain, distinct, and incontrovertible, and she knew that no chance of impunity or acquittal remained for any one of his creed guilty of such a violation of the laws—we say, she knew all this—but it was not of the fate of Reilly she thought. The girl was an acute observer, and both a close and clear thinker. She had remarked in the Cooleen Bawn, on several occasions, small gushes, as it were, of unsettled thought, and of temporary wildness, almost approaching to insanity. She knew, besides, that insanity was in the family on her father's side; * and, as she had so boldly and firmly stated to that father himself, she dreaded the result which Reilly's conviction might produce upon a mind with such a tendency, worn down and depressed as it had been by all she had suffered, and more especially what she must feel by the tumult and agitation of that dreadful day.

     * The reader must take this as the necessary material for
     our fiction. There never was insanity in Helen's family; and
     we make this note to prevent them from taking unnecessary
     offence.

It was about two hours after dark when she was startled by the noise of the carriage-wheels as they came up the avenue. Her heart beat as if it would burst, the blood rushed to her head, and she became too giddy to stand or walk; then it seemed to rush back to her heart, and she was seized with thick breathing and feebleness; but at length, strengthened by the very intensity of the interest she felt, she made her way to the lower steps of the hall door in time to be present when the carriage arrived at it. She determined, however, wrought up as she was to the highest state of excitement, to await, to watch, to listen. She did so. The carriage stopped at the usual place, the coachman came down and opened the door, and Mr. Folliard came out. After him, assisted by Mrs. Brown, came Helen, who was immediately conducted in between the latter and her father. In the meantime poor Ellen could only look on. She was incapable of asking a single question, but she followed them up to the drawing-room where they conducted her mistress. When she was about to enter, Mrs. Brown said:

"Ellen, you had better not come in; your mistress is unwell."

Mrs. Hastings then approached, and, with a good deal of judgment and consideration, said:

"I think it is better, Mrs. Brown, that Ellen should see her, or, rather, that she should see Ellen. Who can tell how beneficial the effect may be on her? We all know how she was attached to Ellen."

In addition to those fearful intimations, Ellen heard inside the sobs and groans of her distracted father, mingled with caresses and such tender and affectionate language as, she knew by the words, could only be addressed to a person incapable of understanding them. Mrs. Brown held the door partially closed, but the faithful girl would not be repulsed. She pushed in, exclaiming:

"Stand back, Mrs. Brown, I must see my mistress!—if she is my mistress, or anybody's mistress now,"—and accordingly she approached the settee on which the Cooleen Bawn sat. The old squire was wringing his hands, sobbing, and giving vent to the most uncontrollable sorrow.

"Oh, Ellen," said he, "pity and forgive me. Your mistress is gone, gone!—she knows nobody!"

"Stand aside," she replied; "stand aside all of you; let me to her."

She knelt beside the settee, looked distractedly,—but keenly, at her for about half a minute—but there she sat, calm, pale, and unconscious. At length she turned her eyes upon Ellen—for ever since the girl's entrance she had been gazing on vacancy—and immediately said:

"Oh! can you tell me where is William Reilly? They have taken me from him, and I cannot find him. Oh! will you tell me where is William Reilly?"

Ellen gave two or three rapid sobs; but, by a powerful effort, she somewhat composed herself.

"Miss Folliard," she said, in a choking voice, however, "darling Miss Folliard—my beloved mistress—Cooleen Bawn—oh, do you not know me—me, your own faithful Ellen, that loved you—and that loves you so well—ay, beyond father and mother, and all others living in this unhappy world? Oh, speak to me, dear mistress—speak to your own faithful Ellen, and only say that you know me, or only look upon me as if you did."

Not a glance, however, of recognition followed those loving solicitations; but there, before them all, she sat, with the pale face, the sorrowful brow, and the vacant look. Ellen addressed her with equal tenderness again and again, but with the same melancholy effect. The effect was beyond question—reason had departed; the fair temple was there, but the light of the divinity that had been enshrined in it was no longer visible; it seemed to have been abandoned probably for ever. Ellen now finding that every effort to restore her to rational consciousness was ineffectual, rose up, and, looking about for a moment, her eyes rested upon her father.

"Oh, Ellen!" he exclaimed, "spare me, spare me—you know I'm in your power. I neglected your honest and friendly warning, and now it is too late."

"Poor man!" she replied, "it is not she, but you, that is to be pitied. No; after this miserable sight, never shall my lips breathe one syllable of censure against you. Your punishment is too dreadful for that. But when I look upon her—look upon her now—oh, my God! what is this?"—

"Help the girl," said Mrs. Brown quickly, and with alarm. "Oh, she has fallen—raise her up, Mr. Folliard. Oh, my God, Mrs. Hastings, what a scene is this!"

They immediately opened her stays, and conveyed her to another settee, where she lay for nearly a quarter of an hour in a calm and tranquil insensibility. With the aid of the usual remedies, however, she was, but with some difficulty, restored, after which she burst into tears, and wept for some time bitterly. At length she recovered a certain degree of composure, and, after settling her dress and luxuriant brown hair, aided by Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hastings, she arose, and once more approaching her lovely, but unconscious, mistress, knelt down, and, clasping her hands, looked up to heaven, whilst she said:

"Here, I take the Almighty God to witness, that from this moment out I renounce father and mother, brother and sister, friend and relative, man and woman, and will abide by my dear unhappy Cooleen Bawn—that blighted flower before us—both by day and by night—through all seasons—through all places wherever she may go, or be brought, until it may please God to restore her to reason, or until death may close her sufferings, should I live so long, and have health and strength to carry out this solemn oath; so may God hear me, and assist me in my intention."

She then rose, and, putting her arms around the fair girl, kissed her lips, and poured forth a copious flood of tears into her bosom.

"I am yours now," she said, caressing her mournfully: "I am yours now, my ever darling mistress; and from this hour forth nothing but death will ever separate your own Connor from you."

Well and faithfully did she keep that generous and heroic oath. Ever, for many a long and hopeless year, was she to be found, both night and day, by the side of that beautiful but melancholy sufferer. No other hand ever dressed or undressed her; no other individual ever attended to her wants, or complied with those little fitful changes and caprices to which persons of her unhappy class are subject. The consequence of this tender and devoted attachment was singular, but not by any means incompatible, we think, even with her situation. If Connor, for instance, was any short time absent, and another person supplied her place, the Cooleen Bawn, in whose noble and loving heart the strong instincts of affection could never die, uniformly appeared dissatisfied and uneasy, and looked around her, as if for some object that would afford her pleasure. On Ellen's reappearance a faint but placid smile would shed its feeble light over her countenance, and she would appear calm and contented; but, during all this time, word uttered she none, with the exception of those to which we have already alluded.

These were the only words she was known to utter, and no stranger ever came in her way to whom she did not repeat them. In this way her father, her maid, and herself passed through a melancholy existence for better than six years, when a young physician of great promise happened to settle in the town of Sligo, and her father having heard of it had him immediately called in. After looking at her, however, he found himself accosted in the same terms we have already given:

"Oh! can you tell me where is William Reilly?"

"William Reilly will soon be with you," he replied; "he will soon be here."

A start—barely, scarcely perceptible, was noticed by the keen eye of the physician; but it passed away, and left nothing but that fixed and beautiful vacancy behind it.

"Sir," said the physician, "I do not absolutely despair of Miss Folliard's recovery: the influence of some deep excitement, if it could be made accessible, might produce a good effect; it was by a shock it came upon her, and I am of opinion that if she ever does recover it will be by something similar to that which induced her pitiable malady."

"I will give a thousand pounds—five thousand—ten thousand, to any man who will be fortunate enough to restore her to reason," said her father.

"One course," proceeded the physician, "I would recommend you to pursue; bring her about as much as you can; give her variety of scenery and variety of new faces; visit your friends, and bring her with you. This course may have some effect; as for medicine, it is of no use here, for her health is in every other respect good."

He then took his leave, having first received a fee which somewhat astonished him.

His advice, however, was followed; her father and she, and Connor, during the summer and autumn months, visited among their acquaintances and friends, by whom they were treated with the greatest and most considerate kindness; but, so far as poor Helen was concerned, no symptom of any salutary change became visible; the long, dull blank of departed reason was still unbroken.

     *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Better than seven years—and a half had now elapsed, when she and her father came by invitation to pay a visit to a Mr. Hamilton, grandfather to the late Dacre Hamilton of Monaghan, who—the grandfather we mean—was one of the most notorious priest-hunters of the day, We need not say that her faithful Connor was still in attendance. Old Folliard went riding out with his friend, for he was now so much debilitated as to be scarcely able to walk abroad for any distance, when, about the hour of two o'clock, a man in the garb, and with all the bearing of a perfect gentleman, knocked at the door, and inquired of the servant who opened it whether Miss Folliard were not there. The servant replied in the affirmative, upon which the stranger asked if he could see her.

"Why, I suppose you must be aware, sir, of Miss Folliard's unfortunate state of mind, and that she can see nobody; sir, she knows nobody, and I have strict orders to deny her to every one unless some particular friend of the family."

The stranger put a guinea into his hand, and added, "I had the pleasure of knowing her before she lost her reason, and as I have not seen her since, I should be glad to see her now, or even to look on her for a few minutes."

"Come up, sir," replied the man, "and enter the drawing-room immediately after me, or I shall be ordered to deny her."

The gentleman followed him; but why did his cheek become pale, and why did his heart palpitate as if it would burst and bound out of his bosom? We shall see. On entering the drawing-room he bowed, and was about to apologize for his intrusion, when the Cooleen Bawn, recognizing him as a stranger, approached him and said:

"Oh! can you tell me where is William Reilly? They have taken me from him, and I cannot find him. Oh, can you tell me any thing about William Reilly?"

The stranger staggered at this miserable sight, but probably more at the contemplation of that love which not even insanity could subdue. He felt himself obliged to lean for support upon the back of a chair, during which brief space he fixed his eyes upon her with a look of the most inexpressible tenderness and sorrow.

"Oh!" she repeated, "can you tell me where is William Reilly?"

"Alas! Helen," said he, "I am William Reilly."

"You!" she exclaimed. "Oh, no, the wide, wide Atlantic is between him and me."

"It was between us, Helen, but it is not now; I am here in life before you—your own William Reilly, that William Reilly whom you loved so well, but so fatally. I am he: do you not know me?"

"You are not William Reilly," she replied; "if you were, you would have a token."

"Do you forget that?" he replied, placing in her hand the emerald ring she had given him at the trial. She started on looking at it, and a feeble flash was observed to proceed from her eyes.

"This might come to you," she said, "by Reilly's death; yes, this might come to you in that way; but there is another token which is known to none but himself and me."

"Whisper," said he, and as he spoke he applied his mouth to her ear, and breathed the token into it.

She stood back, her eyes flashed, her beautiful bosom heaved; she advanced, looked once more, and exclaimed, with a scream, "It is he! it is he!" and the next moment she was insensible in his arms. Long but precious was that insensibility, and precious were the tears which his eyes rained down upon that pale but lovel countenance. She was soon placed upon a settee, but Reilly knelt beside her, and held one of her hands in his. After a long trance she opened her eyes and again started. Reilly pressed her hand and whispered in her ear, "Helen, I am with you at last."

She smiled on him and said, "Help me to sit up, until I look about me, that I may be certain this is not a dream."

She then looked about her, and as the ladies of the family spoke tenderly to her, and caressed her, she fixed her eyes once more upon her lover, and said, "It is not a dream then; this is a reality; but, alas! Reilly, I tremble to think lest they should take you from me again."

"You need entertain no such apprehension, my dear Helen," said the lady of the mansion. "I have often heard your father say that he would give twenty thousand pounds to have you well, and Reilly's wife. In fact, you have nothing to fear in that, or any other quarter. But there's his knock; he and my husband have returned, and I must break this blessed news to him by degrees, lest it might be too much for him if communicated without due and proper caution."

She accordingly went down to the hall, where they were hanging up their great coats and hats, and brought them into her husband's study.

"Mr. Folliard," said she with a cheerful face, "I think, from some symptoms of improvement noticed to-day in Helen, that we needn't be without hope."

"Alas, alas!" exclaimed the poor father, "I have no hope; after such a length of time I am indeed without a shadow of expectation. If unfortunate Reilly were here, indeed her seeing him, as that Sligo doctor told me, might give her a chance. He saw her about a week before we came down, and those were his words. But a