Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

say, the madness got into the Fitzadelm family. For till the Baron Gerald married that hoity-toity English woman, (though, as I'm tould, they were foolish enough, and wicked enough before) none of them was ever lunatic, until the two young lords, her sons, went mad lately."

“What, both mad?" asked the Commodore; while his companion turned round, and fixed his eyes with a very singular expression on the narrator.

Aye, Sir, both as mad as' March hares: the eldest being mad by nature, and t'other chap, from pride, why! But shure the sins of the fathers must be visited on the childer, as Miss Crawley says; affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble come out of the ground, why! There is the young Marquis in a madhouse, and there is Lord Adelm Fitzadelm, his brother, wandering the world wide, they say, looking for something, he does’nt know

what, like a prince in a story book; while his mother, the ould policizing Marchioness, is setting him up for the borough of Glannacrime, here. But,

mark my words, she needn't trouble i herself; it isn't himself will get it, with

the Fitzadelm name, and the Dunore interest to boot."

“No?” said the younger traveller, for the first time addressing this formidable person.

“No, Sir, its meat for his betters,

why.”

“Indeed!” returned De Vere, with an ironical laugh; “and who may they be pray ?"

“Counsellor Con is, dear," said Mrs. Magillicuddy, coming up close to him, with an air of confidential familiarity, while he retreated before her advances : “ that's Counsellor Conway Townsend Crawley, nephew to Miss Crawley, and son to the Portrieve of Dunore. Och! that's the young man will prosper, why!

Mark my words, and you'll see them come to pass yet.

This was said with an oracular nod of the head, and peculiar emphasis of voice: but the countenance of Mrs. Magillicuddy gave no superadded force to her prophetic words. It was indeed pretty well concealed by her broad brimmed hat, her green spectacles, the worsted stocking bound round her rheumatic jaw, and the wet brown paper, that covered her broken nose. While this short dialogue was carrying on, the eyes of the Commodore were glancing rapidly from the features of the late baron, to the face and figure of his young companion; but when De Vere turned round to him, he abruptly averted them, and took up a parchment label, which hung from one of the massive brass handles of the antiquated japan chest: the inscription on it was curious, and ran as follows: “ This travelling chest was presented by his most

sacred Majesty Charles the Second, to Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, who bequeathed it at her death in 1691 to her kinswoman, the Lady Geraldine Fitzadelm: she married in 1701 Thomas, Marquis of Dunore, her uterine cousin; and died, leaving issue an only daughter, 1730."

“I wonder this most valuable relic is suffered to remain here," observed the Commodore.

“Och," said Mrs. Magillicuddy, who seemed all care and eye to every thing that was said and looked, “och, when every thing went to sixes and sevens, why! and all was ruination, the Black Baron dying in a garret in Dublin, and his brother that came to the title, abroad, it was little regard was paid to the likes of that. But it is now to go by favour of Mr. Crawley, who owns all, to Dunore, as a present to the Marchioness, whenever she comes over: there's the matting to pack it. They say it was

in it, that was found the family tree, which proved the ruined Fitzadelms to be the heirs in the female line, in de fault of male issue, to the title and estate of Dunore; and to this day there is some curious papers in it. Perhaps, gentlemen, yez would like to see them?"

"Oh very much!” was the instantane qus reply of both. Mrs. Magillicuddy now foraged to the very bottom of her capacious pockets for the keys, crying,

“Weary on them, for keys, they are always missing when wanting;" then suddenly recollecting she had hung them in a closet, she scuded off to fetch them.

The strangers again turned their observation to the portraits of the Lords Fitzadelm: but Mrs. Magillicuddy had been scarcely more than two or three minutes gone, when a female voice, with all the flute-like sweetness of the tones of youth, breathed a few clear melodious notes on their ear, as if some skilful musician was running a prelusive

« ZurückWeiter »