Abbildungen der Seite

the great luck, for if there's a forge, ye can put the night over at Lis-nasleugh, for there's not a forge in the Galties round, barring the forge of Lisna-sleugh, where there's the best of fine entertainment, as I hear tell, that's if the chay can't be mended, and yezdon't care to get on by moonlight to Buttevant,which yez may after all, plaze God.”

Freedom of agency,” said theyounger traveller, with a short laugh, “that may sound very well in a metaphysical argument, but here!-we are all the slaves of circumstance, the puppets of events over which we have no control. Observe, we had pointed out

Thurles and Tipperary for our stages; we went, we were obliged to go, to Holy-cross, and Cashel. We proposed, we willed, dining in Buttevant, -we are passing the evening, amidst the savage mountains of the GalWes! And now, you may depend upon it, bon gré, malgre, we shall be fated to stop at this Lis something, some fortress of the

Shanavests or Caravats, Whiteboys or Threshers; our boasted freedom of agency, all reduced to inevitable submission to the intrigues of this masquerading driver, who, by the bye, has again, you see, assumed his disguise.”_"Evidently not to deceive us,” replied the Commodore. As they proceeded, the light had frequently appeared and disappeared; but as their descent became less rapid, and they advanced more deeply into the valley, it assumed a more steady beam; and the outline of a small building became visible amidst a mass of darkly defined objects: as they approached they perceived it was a little sash window, which emitted the red light of a blazing turf fire; and a volume of white curling smoke, issuing from an aperture in the roof, stained the deep dark blue of the atmosphere with fleecy forms. The moon just shewed her edge above the horizon,and more strongly defined the position of the building,

which occupied part of a little plain, forming a point of termination to four cross roads, that branched off round the base of the mountains. Those they had crossed appeared to rise almost tothe clouds behind them; and of the many

waterfalls, which dashed from the neigh· bouring rocks, one fell close to the rear

of the cottage, dwindling into a rill, and forming a little horse-pool in its front. A light under a shed at a short distance shewed some horses feeding. A bunch of mountain hether suspended over the door, but above all, a post-chaise drawn up before it, which seemed, by its position, to have recently arrived by one of the low roads, designated this wild and remote edifice as an inn. This idea was confirmed by a smart crack of the whip, with which the driver brought up his weary horses, and by his taking off his hat to the gentlemen, and exclaiming, with a courteous bow,

“Why then, long life to yez! yez are welcome to Lis-na-sleugh!”

“So,” said De Vere, “ I thought so. This, however, is wizzard scenery, and one may compound for a little inconvenience, or even danger, to enjoy it.”

The approach of the carriage had brought out from the shed, which served as a stable, a lame beggar, who officiated. as hostler, and a ragged boy, who appeared as the substitute for a waiter.

“ Here baccah ma vourneen,”* said the driver, who was now once more muffled in his cotamore, his wig, and old caubeen, " take off them cattle for me, while I show the gentlemen into the place. Come, my gassoon, lend me the rush,” and he snatched the light out of the boy's hand. your honors ; take care of the sow, Şir: there's a bit of a strame, Sir. Widow Gaffney, ma'am, where are you agrah? Oh, here's the mistress herself. I'll

“ This away,

* Baccah, a cripple. All lame and deformed heggars, are called baccahs in Ireland,

many smiles

trouble, ma'am, to look after the gentlemen, while I give a squint at th' other bastes."

The hostess took the light from him, and he joined the driver of the other newly arrived chaise, who was adjourning from the house to the stable. The Widow Gaffney, with and courtesies, led the guests from the dark little stone passages which separated the kitchen, clouded with smoke, from another small room distinguished by its plank flooring; exclaiming, as she moved before them, “Och! but your honors is welcome, Sirs. Its a sharp night to cross the mountains, and will have a sod kindled in the chimbley, Sirs, if

yez are going stay past the cattle's taking their lock of hay gintlemin.”

As she spoke, she lighted, or endeavoured to light, a miserable candle, which stood in a dirty brass candlestick on a shelf over the “chimbley." While thus engaged, the yellow flickering

« ZurückWeiter »