« ZurückWeiter »
light fell full on her face, and threw her sharp, but handsome features, her deep sallow complexion, and black bright eyes, into strong relief. A red kerchief was tied round her head in the Munster fashion, and the rest of her tall, slight, boney form was hidden in shade, *
The strangers withdrew their eyes from the figure of the landlady, to the apartment into which she had ushered them. Its whitewashed walls were partially covered with those pious prints which are hawked about for sale in the remotest parts of Ireland. The history of many a saint, the sufferings of many a martyr, were here detailed in bright vermilion and yellow ochre; and angels and devils, hymns and homilies, were mingled promiscuously with the amatory history of “ Cooleendas,” “ Croothe
• The old Irish head-kerchief, is almost universally worn by the female peasantry of Munster.
namæ," the “ Connaught daisy,” the “ last dying speech of Captain Dread nought,” bloody and barbarous murders, and a favourite song, called “ Ma chere amie,” as sung by Mrs. Billington.
A deal table in the centre of the room was still covered with some little pewter vessels, and two glasses with wooden bottoms. The hearth was stuffed with withered heath; and the atmosphere of the room, from which all ventilation was excluded, breathed the fumes of whiskey. The younger traveller, holding his perfumed handkerchief to his nose, asked if there was no other apartment they could occupy, while their horses were feeding, and their chaise mended.
« Och! blessed Virgin," said the hostess, wiping down the table with her apron,
“ this is the contrariest day ever rose on me! Weeks we'd be, God help us, and not a chay, or sign of quality come the road; and now, becaise its
the fair of Kiltish, and the worlds in on upon us, here's two po-chaises, and not a sowl to help me, only the baccah, and my own little garlagh' of a boy."
“ We should be glad to go any where where there's a fire,” said the Commodore, “ the kitchin for instance.”
“Och! your honor, that would be a poor place for the likes of you ; but if you would demean yourself to step into it, while I kindle a sod here, and ready the place, and takes down these brusheens-”
As she now began to raise a very unpleasant dust by removing the bushes from the hearth, the gentlemen walked at once to the kitchen.
The little inn of Lis-na-sleugh, or the house of the mountain, was the genuine prototype of all such inns in the remote cross-roads, or mountain ways in Ireland; and the kitchen, as is usual in such places, was equally the receptacle of the guest and the beggar; of
those who could, and those who could not pay for a temporary shelter. The earthen floor of this hospitable apartment was undulating and broken : a low mud wall, with an aperture in it to see through, screened the fire-place from the door; and the capacious hearth, lined with a stone bench, afforded a comfortable retreat to the chilled or wearied traveller. It was now occupied by a haggard, worn-out looking person, who repeatedly drank from a noggin of water beside him. Above the bright clear fire of mountain turf, built upon the floor, hung suspended an immense iron cauldron, filled with potatoes, not boiling, but boiled and drying (5). In an angle of the kitchen, over a three-legged table, and a little pewter vessel filled with whiskey, sat two travellers; one of them, by the pack which lay at his feet, a pedlar; the other, ill-looking and poorly clad : both earnestly conversing in Irish. Beside
the fire-place, on an old settle, were seated two females : one with her long Irish frize cloak, and the hood drawn over her face, exhibited her warmlymittened hands to the fire, towards which she was turned. The other, stately and erect, her round figure covered in an old fashioned travelling cloak, and her head enveloped in that curious cöiffure made and called after the head of a French carriage, and not many years back worn in Ireland under the name of a calesh. From the superiority of their appearance, they were assigned by the strangers to the chaise, which stood at the door on their arrival, and seemed but just to have preceded them.
As the gentlemen stood before the fire conversing in Spanish on the incidents of their journey, calculating upon the probabilities of the future, and making observations on all that surrounded them, the widow having lighted