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were marked by rude meerings, and each temporary tenant had secured his own rood of ground with unplanted mounds, whose occasional gaps were ' stopped with brambles and heath bushes. This coarse and rude system of farming added much to the desolate and neglected aspect of a naturally lovely scene, which, in its present state, formed an apt epitome of the abandoned dwellings of the Irish absentees.
The scanty and miserable population which appeared in the neighbourhood of the once princely Court Fitzadelm, was appropriately wretched and neglected. From a few mud-built huts, raised against the park wall, occasionally issued a child or a pig, while the head of its squalid mistress appeared for a moment through the cloud of smoke which streamed from the door, and then suddenly retreated. The long and broken road which wound round the wall, seemed to lengthen as the travel
lers proceeded; and they stopped to enquire the way to the nearest approach of a poor man who was driving a lamb with a straw rope round its leg. The man pointed to a winding in the road, and directed them to the ruined gates of the principal entrance: he then took up the wearied lamb on his shoulders, and proceeded sullenly on.
• The cratur!” said the driver, who was now walking beside his horses, as were also the gentlemen: “ God help him! he is now going all the way to Ballinispig fair with that bit of a lamb; eight good long miles, and may be it won't bring him over three tinpinnies.”
“ There is," said the Commodore, "a mixture of indolence' and laboriousness in these miserable people that is singular; they have neither the activity of savages nor the industry of civilization. They want energy for the one, and motive for the other."
“What I should complain of in Ire
land,” replied De Vere, " is, that there is no rural life; no pastoral manners ; no subjects for the Idyls of Theocritus, nor the Arcadia of Sannazaro."
“ I would rathersee it an appropriate subject for the Georgics of Virgil, the native energy of the people practically applied to the natural resources of the land, was the reply.
They had now reached the entrance of what had been considered one of the most magnificent demesnes in Ireland, once forming part of the principality of the Macarthies, and successively passing by grants and forfeitures from them to the powerful Desmonds, and again to the favoured Fitzadelms. It was now the ill-managed possession of an attorney, who had held it partly on mortgage and partly by lease from the elder Baron Fitzadelm, designated in the country by the soubriquet of the " BLACK BARON.” The eyes of both strangers seemed
equally anxious in their gaze, which was more expressive of obscure and faded recognition than of mere idle curiosity. A long range of iron gate presented itself to their view, much broken, the bars drawn out, and the tracery covered with rust. The massive stone pillars on either side, overgrown with lichens, still exhibited some vestiges of handsome sculpture: the capital of one was surmounted by an headless eagle ; the other shewed the claw and part of the body of a gos-hawk, both natives of the surrounding mountains, and well imitated in black marble, drawn from their once worked quarries. Two . lodges mouldered on either side into absolute ruin; and the intended improvement of a Grecian portico to one, never finished, was still obvious in the scattered fragments of furzes and entabla. tures which lay choaked amidst heaps of nettles, furze-bushes, and long ryegrass. The broad approach was still
visibly marked out, though now mossgrown and green, winding through beautifully undulating but neglected grounds : and there was a kind of mimic forest, richly cloathing the sides of the elevated hights, which rose, like little mountains, from the southern shore of the river, deceiving the eye, and appearing the same luxuriant wood which had once bloomed there. It was now but the sprouting stumps succeeding to the lofty majesty of the full-grown oak, pine, and mountain ash, for which this country was once so celebrated.
Frequently and recently as the hatchet had been applied to the towering woods of Court Fitzadelm, a few clumps and clusters of very ancient and noble trees were still left standing; but the red marks impressed upon their brown barks evinced that they also were destined to immediate destruction.
While the travellers stood looking upon this fine, but melancholy scene,