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Title: A Little Tour in Ireland

Author: S. Reynolds Hole

Illustrator: John Leech

Release date: January 30, 2014 [eBook #44805]
Most recently updated: February 21, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Widger from page images generously
provided by Google Books



By S. Reynolds Hole

An Oxonian

(Dean Of Rochester)

With Illustrations By JOHN LEECH

“By suffering worn and weary,
But beautiful as some fair angel yet.”







I have been so often and persuasively asked to republish A Little Tour in Ireland, which I wrote as “an Oxonian,” many years ago, at the request of my beloved friend and companion, John Leech, and of which only one edition has been issued, and that long since exhausted; I have been so severely upbraided for “keeping his splendid illustrations locked up in a box, and raising the price of the few copies which come into the market, to thrice the original cost;” I have been so fully certified, not only by hearsay but by my own eyes, that there is little or no perceptible change in the scenes, which he drew and I described; and my apprehension, that the style in which the book is written might be denounced as unbecoming, has been so completely expelled by the amused remonstrance of my friends, who insist that gaiety becomes an undergraduate as much as gaiters a Dean;—that I can make no further resistance, and only ask that the failings of the author may be condoned by the talent of the artist.

S. Reynolds Hole.

The Deanery,

Rochester: 1892.

























THERE are two species of Undergraduates, the Fast and the Slow. I am now of the former persuasion. Originally, having promised my relations that I would take a Double First-Class and most of the principal prizes, I was associated with the latter brotherhood, but was soon compelled to secede, and to sue for a separation, a mensâ et thoro, their tea-table and early rising, on the plea of incompatibility of temper. One young gentleman, who described himself as being very elect indeed, candidly told me that, unless my sentiments with reference to bitter beer and tobacco underwent a material change, he could give me no hope of final happiness; and another impeccable party, with a black satin stock and the handiest legs in Oxford, felt himself solemnly constrained to mention, that he could not regard horse-exercise as at all consistent with a saving faith. I spoke of St. George (though I dared not say that I had met him at Astley's), of St. Denis, and St. Louis, of the Crusaders, and the Red Cross Knight; but he only replied that I was far gone in idolatry, and he lent me the biography of the Reverend T. P. Snorker, which, after describing that gentleman's conversion at a cock-fight, with the sweet experiences of his immaculate life, and instituting a comparison between his preaching and that of St. Paul (a trifle in favour of Snorker), finally declared him to be an angel, and bade all mankind adore, and reverence, and buy his sermons at seven-and-six. When I returned the publication, and told him that, though I had been highly entertained, I liked the Life of George Herbert better, he called me a hagiologist (a term which struck me as being all the more offensive, inasmuch as I had no idea of its meaning), 1 and murmured something about “the mark of the beast,” whereupon, I regret to confess, that I so far lost my temper as to address him with the unclassical epithet of “a young Skunk,” suggesting the expediency of his immediate presence at Jericho, and warning him, that, if he were not civil, “the beast” might leave a “mark” upon him. That very day, I wrote to the butler at home, to send up my pink and tops, and “went over to roam” in happier pastures.

1 “Egan, in addressing a jury, having exhausted every
ordinary epithet of abuse, stopt for a word, and then added,
'this naufrageous ruffian.' When afterwards asked the
meaning of the word, he confessed he did not know, but
said; 'he thought it sounded well.'”—Sketches of the Irish
Bar, vol. i. p. 83.

I find them more healthful also. I find that so far from my perception of right and wrong being destroyed, as the disciples of Snorker prophesied, by a gallop after the Heythrop hounds, and my appreciation of Thucydides being expelled by my morning pipe, I have, mentally and bodily, a better tone; and though my former condiscipuli groan when they meet me coming in from the chase, as though I were the scarlet lady herself, I still venture to appear at chapel, and will back myself to construe the funeral oration of Pericles against the ugliest of the lot.

Oh, that fox-hunting were the worst enemy to me, a student, for I might be a class man still! But I have contracted a habit desperately antagonistic to literature,—I am allways falling in love.

The moment I see a pretty face, I feel that sort of emotion which Sydney Smith used to say the late Bishop of London rejoiced to contemplate in his clergy, “a kind of drop-down-deadness.” I cannot walk out, or drive out, or ride, or row out, but I am sure to have an attack. I have had as many, indeed, as two in one day. With the daughters of Deans and Presidents, with visitors, with ladies come in from the country to shop, I am perpetually and passionately in love. I don't like it, because there is not the most remote probability of my ever exchanging six syllables with these objects of my devoted affection, not to mention that they are equally beloved by some three or four hundred rivals; but I am powerless to oppose; I can't help it. My life is an everlasting “dream of fair women:” I know it is a dream, but I cannot waken.

Others have roused me, though, and most uncomfortably. I heard a Devonshire girl, whom I met at a wedding breakfast, and with whom I thought I was progressing favourably, whispering to her neighbour, “This tipsy child is becoming a nuisance, and I really must ring for nurse,” when I was as sober as Father Mathew, and had whiskers of considerable beauty, if viewed in an advantageous light. Still more sadly and recently, another “daughter of the gods, divinely fair,” dissipated Love's young dream, and sent me forth to a foreign land to forget my sorrows, as, indeed, I immediately did.

The catastrophe, which caused our happy days in Ireland, befel as follows.

“'Twas in the prime of summer time, an evening calm and cool,” that I found myself wandering among the shrubberies of ———— Castle with a most lovely girl. A large picnic party had been enlivened by archery and aquatics, and I fancy that the glare of some new targets, and the sheen of the “shining river,” had not only dazzled my eyes, but likewise had bewildered my brain. In spite of the cooling beverages, the cobblers and the cups, I was actuated by an extraordinary liveliness. I sang songs for the company, not quite reaching the high notes, but with intense feeling, doing all in my power to indicate to the lovely girl that she was my Annie Laurie, and that for her I should consider it a pleasant gymnastic exercise to expire in a recumbent position. I made felicitous alterations in the words, such as, “hazel is her e'e” for “dark-blue;” and in the song of “Constance,” instead of “I lay it as the rose is laid on some immortal shrine,” I contrived, with immense difficulty, and by means of a terrific apoggiatura, to substitute the word stephanotis of which I had that morning given her a bouquet. But “brevis esse laboro;” we were alone, and I resolved to propose. I seized her elbow with both hands, a ridiculous position, but I was very nervous, and was about to ask the momentous question, when she said with such a tone of gentle pity as took away half the pain, “Philip, I am engaged to Lord Evelyn. Shall we go back for coffee?” I seconded the motion, but oh, what an amazing period of time we seemed to occupy in carrying our proposition out! The first idea which presented itself to my mind was suicide, but it met with an unfavourable reception; the second, to enlist immediately, and to secure the earliest coup-de-soleil possible; the third, to insult Lord Evelyn (the beast was at Christ Church, and I knew him), and subsequently to shoot him in Port-Meadow. “What right had he,” I asked myself, “to anticipate me, and win her heart? I hate these accursed aristocrats, who suck the life-blood of the people.”

This is the accursed aristocrat who sucks the life-blood of the people!


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At last, we rejoined the party, and found them talking the silliest rubbish conceivable, and apparently enjoying the nastiest coffee I ever remember to have drunk.

That night, and at the witching hour, when men and women tell each other everything, (in the strictest confidence), they in their dormitories, and we in our smoke-rooms, I revealed my misery to my friend Frank C————, who happened happily to be staying with me. Frank has Irish blood in his veins, and his first impulse was to have “a crack at the Viscount,” but he ultimately took a less truculent view of the case, and suggested brandy and water. From this source, and “from the cool cisterns of the midnight air,” for we were smoking our cigars out of doors, “our spirits drank repose,” and we finally resolved “to banish my regret,” and to replenish our sketch-books, by a fortnight's tour in Ireland.



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FORTHWITH, I put myself into active training, and got into splendid condition for doing “justice to Ireland.” I read Moore's Melodies; I played Nora Creina upon the flute, not perhaps with that rapidity which is usual outside the Peepshows, but with much more expression; I discoursed with reapers; I tried to pronounce Drogheda, till I was nearly black in the face; I drank whiskey-punch (subsequently discovered to be Hollands); I ate Irish stew (a dish never heard of in that country) and I bought the sweetest thing in portmanteaus, with drawers, trays, pockets, compartments, recesses, straps, and buckles, more than enough to drive that traveller mad, who should forget where he had placed his razors. Amid these preparations, I am ashamed to state, that I became disgracefully oblivious of my little disappointment in the shrubberies, and soon realised the Chinese maxim, more truthful than genteel,—“the dog that is idle barks at his fleas, but he that is hunting feels them not.” Indeed, to make my confession complete, and to descend the staircase of inconstancy to the lowest depth of humiliation, I must acknowledge that on the day of our departure I fell violently in love at Crewe Station, whence my heart was borne away, in the direction of Derby, by the loveliest girl, that is to say, one of the loveliest girls, that ever beautified an express train.


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I begin to fear that my unhappy tendencies to this kind of fierce, but fugitive attachment, have not been at all improved by communion with Mr. Thomas Moore, and I tremble to find myself listening complacently to the fickle philosophies of Marmontel,—“Quand on na pas ce que ion aime, il faut aimer ce que l'on a.

“The Rows” of Chester are very picturesque and quaint, but do not make a favourable impression upon a giant with a new hat, and, being on the upper side of six feet, I was glad to leave them for that pleasant, briny, breezy, railway, which takes one, via Conway, to Bangor, and thence,—thundering through the Britannia Tube, and just allowing a glimpse of Telfords triumph, the Bridge of the Menai, grand and graceful,—over drear Anglesea, 1 to Holyhead. And, oh, how glad we were, to find old Neptune in his mildest mood, only now and then just raising his shoulders, as some good-humoured athlete, who should say, “I'm in the jolliest frame of mind, my lads, but I could pitch the biggest of you into the middle of next week, any moment, with the most perfect ease.”

1 In the time of the Druids it was called “the Shady
Island,” and, though no longer umbrageous, the name is not
altogether inappropriate.

Pleasant it was to pace the broad, clear deck, with perfectly obedient legs, and to ask what we could have for dinner, with a real curiosity on the subject. Frank C————, not distinguished for deeds of naval daring, began, in the joy of his heart, to sing songs of an ultra-marine description, alluding to the land with severe disparagement, and stigmatising that element as “the dull, tame shore.” I must say, that when I heard him chanting,—

“Give to me the swelling breeze,
And white waves heaving high,”

I trembled to think what a change would take place in the keynote of that cheery vocalist, and what dismal misereres would ensue, should his rash petition be conceded. Happily it was not attended to, and we had but one invalid, a lady (the captain very properly put a young man in irons, for saying something about no Cyc-lades in these seas); and she, I believe, only wanted sympathy and sherry from her husband, who was evidently a recent capture, and who administered both these cordials in due proportions, first a sip and then a kiss, ever and anon, when he thought that no one was looking, taking liberal gulps for his own private refreshment.

It was very beautiful, as the day declined, to watch the vivid phosphorescence of the sea, myriads of those marine glow-worms, whose proper names I know not, but who cause this brilliant phenomenon, lighting up their tiny lamps. Then the light of “Ireland's eye” (bright and clear, though there must be a sty there), seemed to welcome us, blinking bonnily; and entering the bay of Dublin, with grateful recollections of its haddock, we were safely landed upon Kingstown quay. Forty minutes more on the rail, and we reach the city, some of our fellow-passengers having only left London that morning, and having travelled from one capital to the other in little more than twelve hours.

We had our first experience of Ireland proper when, emerging from the station at Dublin, we called for an “outside car,” and a son of Nimshi, responding in the distance, charged down upon us through a phalanx of vehicles, and reached us, I know not how, amid the acrimonious observations of his brethren. The first feeling, as we sat on the low-backed car, “travelling edgeways,” as Sir Francis Head designates this style of transit, was one of extreme insecurity, and though we laughed, and made believe that we liked it, we were glad enough to hold on by the iron-work until we arrived at Morrisson's. Our account with the charioteer was as follows:—

S. D.

To Driver..........................................16

To small boy, seated at drivers feet,
whipping the horse, and exciting him with cries of

To man, for holding on our luggage, by
embracing it with extended arms....................10


In the next place, we committed the pious fraud of making a hearty supper under pretence of tea, instructing Mark the waiter, very willing and active, but with no time for works of supererogation, to brew us a large vessel of that beverage (which we never touched), as though it gave a dignity to the proceeding, and justified, by its respectable appearance, our large potations of Guinness. So we drew on to midnight, and to (Ay de mi! Won't my friend with the bandy legs denounce “this wine-bibbing book”? ) Irish whiskey. Nevertheless, of Irish whiskey this must be said, that, when tastefully arranged, it's a drink for dukes; and he who skilleth not to brew it, more Hibernico, may thank me, perhaps, for thus instructing him,—Imprimis, to take the chill off his tumbler (just as he would air his best bed for a beloved friend) by holding it for a few seconds over the hot water; secondly, to dissolve three lumps of sugar, medium size, in a small quantity of aqua calidissima; thirdly, to pour in the whiskey (Kinahans “LL.”) from one of those delightful little decanters, which would make such charming adjuncts to a doll's dinner party; fourthly, to fill up and drink. Frank suggests a soupçon of lemon; and this was the sole point upon which, throughout our tour, we were not quite unanimous!


THE next morning found us, with the indomitable pluck of Englishmen, once more upon an outside car, as doggedly determined as two old Whigs never to resign our seats. First, we drove to Merrion Square, where we had a call to make, and where, each side of the square being numbered alike, we spent a good deal of time in pulling at the wrong bells, and in unnecessarily evoking several servants, whose easy mission it was to take care of “number one.” Of this Square and of St. Stephen's Green we thought that, though as to extent and pleasant situation they were quite equal to anything in London, the houses themselves were by no means so handsome or commodious.

The University of Dublin, to us who study among the chapels and the cloisters of mediaeval Oxford, does not resemble a university at all, but is more like a series of Government offices, or any other spacious public buildings.


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Why do the porters wear velvet hunting caps? Frank would keep inquiring, “where the hounds met” (it was a broiling day early in August), “why they didn't have top boots?” &c., &c., &c. The museum is a very interesting one; and our cicerone in the cap pointed out the harp of Brian Boroimhe—that “Bryan the Brave,” who was so devoted to threshing the Danes and music; the enormous antlers of an Irish elk, which placed upon wheels would make a glorious outside car, the passengers sitting among the tines; eagles, and other native birds, galore; and numberless antiquities and curiosities. There were some awful instruments, which we gazed upon with intense interest, as being the most cruel shillelaghs we had ever seen, until the guide happened to mention that they were “weapons of the South-Sea Islanders.”

The Chapel of Trinity College, like some in our English Universities, is more suggestive of sleep than supplication, gloomy without being solemn, and the light dim without being religious. There was a sacrifice of two inverted hassocks upon the altar, but the idol of the place, a gigantic pulpit, indignantly turned his back on them, and I was not slow to follow his example, with a sigh for

“The good old days, when nought of rich or rare.
Of bright or beautiful, was deem'd a gift
Too liberal to Him who giveth all.”

Indeed, I felt much more impressed, and inclined to take off my hat in the Examination and Dining Halls, as I stood in the pictured presence of Irish worthies, and thought of them, and of others not there portrayed, in all their young power and promise. I thought of Archbishop Ussher, who, a boy of eighteen, contended with Jesuit, Fitz-Symonds, and was designated by his opponent as “acatholicorum doctissimus.” I thought of Swift, as well I might, having recently read, for the third time, that most touching essay on his life and genius from the master hand of Thackeray. 1 I could cry over that lecture any time; there is so much noble sympathy in it of one great genius with another—such a tender yearning not to condemn, and, all the while, such a grand, honest resolution to take side with what is right and true. I thought of Swift, “wild and witty,” in the happiest days of his unhappy life, getting his degree, “speciali gratia” (as a most particular favour), and going forth into the world to be a disappointed, miserable man—to fight against weapons which himself had welded, a hopeless, maddening fight. All must pity, as Johnson and Thackeray pity, but who can love? He put on the surplice for mere earthly views, and it was to him as the shirt of Hercules!

1 The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century, three of
whom, Swift, Steele, and Goldsmith, were Irishmen.

And next (could two men differ more?) of Goldsmith. I thought of him shy and silent (for he was a dull boy, we read, and never learned the art of conversation), chaffed by his fellow-students, and saluted by them, doubtless, in the exuberance of their playful wit, as Demosthenes, Cicero, &c., &c., until he might have felt himself, like his own “Traveller

“Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,”

had there not been the “eternal sunshine” of genius, and the manifold soft chimes of poesy, to make his heart glad. “He was chastised by his tutor, for giving a dance in his room.” (was it a prance à la Spurgeon, and for gentlemen only, or was there a brighter presence of “sweet girl-graduates with their golden hair?”) “and took the box on his ear so much to his heart, that he packed up his all, pawned his books and little property, and disappeared from college.” 1 Horace Walpole speaks of him as “an inspired idiot,” and Garrick describes him as one

“for shortness call'd Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, and talk'd like poor Poll:”

but I take leave to think that the “Deserted Village,” a tale told by this idiot, will be read when Walpole is forgotten; and I believe the author to have been as deep as Garrick.

1 Thackeray.

Blessed be the art that can immortalise, as Sir Joshua has immortalised, features so sublime and beautiful, because so bright with noble power and purpose, as those of Edmund Burke. Scholar, statesman, orator, author, linguist, lawyer, earnest worshipper of nature and of art, what a mine of purest gold thy genius! and how the coin stamped with the impress of thine own true self enriches all the world! “The mind of that man,” says Dr. Johnson, “was a perennial stream; no one grudges Burke the first place,” and Sir Archibald Alison speaks of him, as “the greatest political philosopher, and most far-seeing statesman of modern times.”

What a troublous, impressive sight that must have been, when he and Fox, both of them in tears, gave up the friendship of five-and-twenty years, because they loved each other too well to cry “Peace,” where there was no peace.

Out of all the grand music he wrote and spoke, let me select one air and leave him. And are not his words on Marie Antoinette, like music, martial music, “like a glorious roll of drums,” and the sound of a trumpet to knightly hearts? “I thought,” he says, “ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look, which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone.”

But no, I cannot leave him, it would not be honest to leave him, without the confession that there was a flaw in the statue, one note of this grand instrument out of tune, and that this giant had his weakness. It must be sorrowfully owned that he had low and unsound views on the subject of the pursuit of game; he said it was “a trivial object with severe sanctions;” and his most devoted admirers can never emancipate his memory from the stern and sad suspicion, that he could not have been a first-rate shot.

I thought of Grattan, who distinguished himself within these walls,—the brave unswerving patriot, whose fiery eloquence Moore terms “the very music of freedom” (music, by the way, which would very summarily be stopped in our day by Mr. Speaker Denison); of Moore himself, with his head upon his hands, “sapping” at those Latin verses, which he hated with all his heart, ever and anon disgusted to find the second syllable of some favourite dactyl long, or the first of some pet spondee short; finally (as the chroniclers tell), tearing up the performance, and sending to the Dons some English verse in lieu, for which, to their glory be it written, they gave him praise and a prize. Here, too, he commenced his translation of the Odes of Anacreon, (a labour of Love, if ever there was one); and here, doubtless, oft in the stilly night, he sang some of those touching melodies, which were so soon to “witch the world.”

Lastly, I thought (for our jockey in undress was getting rather restive) of genial, jovial Curran, of whom Dan O'Connell said, “there never was so honest an Irishman,” and of whom there is one of the most charming biographies extant in the “Curran and his Contemporaries,” by Mr. Commissioner Philips.

We could not see the very large and valuable Library, as it is closed during Vacations; and so having admired the exterior of the New Museum, and taken a general survey of the college, we made our bow to the Alma Mater of Ireland.

It must be exquisitely gratifying to a large majority of the inhabitants to contemplate King William III. riding, gilt and bronzed, upon College Green, to be kept in constant recollection of the Boyne, and of the immunities and privileges which resulted from it. Everybody knows that he was a fine horseman, but the sculptor has not given him a hunting seat; and I think we could improve him, if we had him at Oxford, by painting him in a cutaway and buckskins.

There is no fault to be found with the statues of Nelson and of Moore, the former being very effective, and the latter (though suggestive in the distance of a gentleman hailing an omnibus) being impressive and pleasing on a nearer view.

The public buildings which we saw, the Bank of Ireland (once the Houses of its Lords and Commons), the Four Courts, College of Surgeons, Post Office, Barracks, &c., are all handsome, chiefly of Grecian architecture, and interesting to those who fancy this style of sight-seeing.

We were rather disappointed with Sackville-Street. It wants length; and it wants (Heaven send it soon!) the animation of business and opulence, gay equipages, and crowded pavements.

The Phoenix Park is delightful, rus in urbe—some 1700 acres of greensward and trees. We met several regiments, returning from a review; (the carman told us there were two reviews weekly, and we, of course, said something brilliant about the Dublin Review being monthly); and were, consequently, in an admirable frame of mind to appreciate the monument, grim and granite, in honour of the Iron Duke. What men this Dublin has given to the world—Swift, Steele, Burke, Grattan, Moore, Wellington. The names of his great battles are graven on the obelisk, Waterloo being, of course, omitted. I say “of course,” because there is something so delightfully Irish in this small oversight, that it seems quite natural and appropriate; and I should as little dream of being surprised or vexed by it, as if in an Irish edition of Milton I could find no “Paradise Lost.”

In the Phoenix Park are the Constabulary Barracks, and the men were at drill as we drove by. There is no exaggeration in stating, that if a regiment could be formed from the Irish constables, it would be the finest regiment in arms See them wherever you may, they are, almost without exception, handsome, erect, heroic. Picked men, and admirably trained, they are as smart, and clean, lithe, and soldier-like, as the severest sergeant could desire. They do credit to him whose name they bear, for they are still called “Peelers” after their godfather Sir Robert, who originated the force, when Secretary for Ireland. Fifty of them had left Dublin for Kilkenny that morning, to expostulate with the bould pisantry on the impropriety of smashing some reaping-machines recently introduced among them. The Irishman is not quick to appreciate agricultural improvements. It required an Act of Parliament to prevent him from attaching the plough to the tails of his horses; he was very slow to acknowledge that the plough itself was better, when made of iron than of wood; he esteemed a bunch of thorns, with a big stone a-top, as the most efficient harrow going; and he denounced the winnowing-machine, as a wicked attempt to oppose the decree of a good Providence, which sent the wind of heaven “to clane the whate and oats.”

A short time afterwards, we were surprised to see in a letter from one of these constables to The Galway Express, that their pay, after twenty years' service, is only two shillings per diem; and low as the remuneration for labour still is in this country, one cannot help but sympathise with the complainant.

These lions, from whose manes and tails we have ventured to extract a few memorial hairs, were inspected before luncheon; immediately after that refection, we set forth per rail, and via Kingston, to Killiney. We had ample time, as we went, to contemplate the surrounding objects, which were not “rendered invisible from extreme velocity,” the nine miles occupying forty-five minutes; but we saw nothing of especial interest until we had reached the station, and began to ascend the hill. Then we exulted, eye and heart. The hill itself is worthy of a visit, the massive blocks of “its cold grey stones” contrasting admirably with the rosy heaths (I never saw ericas in greenhouse or garden with such a fresh, vivid brightness, 1) and with the glowing, golden furze. Ah, how poor and formal are statues, and terraces, and vases, and “ribbon-patterns,” and geometrical designs, and “bedding out,” when compared with nature's handiwork! And though, perhaps, never since the days of “the grand old gardener” has ornate horticulture attained so great a splendour, what true lover of flowers is really satisfied with our gorgeous modern gardens? We treat them, for the most part, as a child, with a new box of paints, his pictures—all the most glaring colours are crowded together; and the eye, dazzled and bewildered, yearns for that repose and harmony which, in nature, whether in the few flowerets of some hidden nook, or in the fiery autumnal grandeur of some mighty forest, diffuse perpetual peace.

1 This applies throughout Ireland. See “Inglis's Tour,” vol.
ii., p. 42.

There is an extraordinary structure at the top of Killiney Hill, which could only have been devised by an Irish architect. It is not a tower, nor a lighthouse, nor a summer-house: nay, the builder himself confesses he knows not what it is, in the following inscription:—“Last year being hard with the poor, the walls about these hills, and This, &c. &c., erected by John Mapas, Esq., June, 1742.”

Hard by, a young Duke of Dorset was thrown and killed, while hunting. It must have been a very Irish fox that led hound and horse into such a perilous position, and the only wonder is that any of the riders came down alive. A monumental pillar perpetuates the sorrowful history, and warns enthusiastic sportsmen from galloping over the broken ground and hidden fissures of misty mountain tops.

Apropos of mountain and of mist, we saw a sight which reminded us of Anne of Geierstein, as she appeared to Arthur Philipson, “perched upon the very summit of a pyramidical rock.” For among the works executed by the benevolent behest of Mapas, there is one, hewn in stone, a four-sided staircase, leading to an apex, intended, doubtless, for a statue. But this was wanting when we first arrived; for the design, like so many others in poor old Ireland, had never been completed, and there were no

“statues gracing,
This noble place in.”

But by the goddess Vanus, just as Frank and I were lamenting this sad omission, the loveliest—at all events one of the loveliest—girls I ever remember to have seen, tripped lightly up the steps, laughing at a dear old clerical papa, who pretended to be alarmed, but wasn't; and something, beating violently under my left brace, told me that my heart had returned from Crewe, as a traveller comes home for a day or so, to prepare himself for another tour. It stayed with me four seconds, and then 'twas hers. “Behold,” I said,

“'Car les beaux yeux Sont les deux sceptres de l'amour,'

the enthronement of the Queen of Beauty.” And the sea-breeze forsook the jealous waves to woo her; the sunlight beamed on her with golden smiles; and the very swallow, turning from his favourite fly, flew past her, twittering admiration. Rough sailors out at sea that day caught sight of this fair vision through the glass, and ceased for half an hour to swear. There she stood, as

“jocund day Stands tip-toe on the misty mountain top;”

like Byron's Mary, on the hill of Annesley, awaiting that mighty hunter, the gallant, handsome Musters, when

“on the summit of that hill she stood
Looking afar, if yet her lover's steed
Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.”

Or she might have been “The Gardener's Daughter,” when,

“Half light, half shade,
She stood, a sight to make an old man young.”

But never mind what she might have been, there she was.

“Talk about Helen,
That was a fiction, but this is reality.”


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And never shall I forget how painfully drear that pedestal seemed, when the statue, descending, took her Papa's arm (Oh, that her beloved Governor were mine also!), and was gone from our gaze, like a beautiful star.

The view from the hill of Killiney is one of the loveliest in this land of loveliness. Seated among the purple and golden flowers, you look over its rocks and trees upon the noble Bay of Dublin with its waters “bickering in the noontide blaze,” and the stately ships gliding to and fro. Below is Kingstown, opposite the old hill of Howth, and in the centre the metropolis of Ireland.

I do not think that one ever has such a happy feeling of entire contentment, as when gazing upon beautiful scenery; and there we sat, in silent admiration, and took no note of time, until the train by which we had proposed to return, awoke us from our dreamy bliss, shrieking at us in derision from below, and steaming off to Dublin. So that, some two hours later, we found our dinners and ourselves a little overdone at Morrisson's; and nothing but some very transcendental claret, and the resilient spirit of roving Englishmen, could have induced us to sally forth once more for the gardens of Porto-Bello.

Becoming acclimatised to the Outside Car, we began to enter into conversation with the drivers, and found them, like all Irishmen, quant and witty, though their humour, perhaps, does not lie so near the surface as it did before the Famine and Father Mathew.1 Our charioteer this evening was eloquently invective against a London cab which preceded us, and which he designated as “a baste of a tub.”

“Sure, gintlemen,” said he, “and I'm for th'ould style intirely—it's illigant. I tell ye what it is, yer onners,” (and he turned to us in impressive confidence, and pointed contemptuously with his whip at the offending vehicle) “I'd lep over the likes o' that with this little mare;” but we earnestly begged he wouldn't.


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We were so fortunate as to reach the Porto-Bello Gardens just in time for “The Siege and Capture of Delhi.” We had both of us formed most erroneous impressions on the subject, and it was a grand opportunity for ascertaining truth. If the representation was correct, and there seems no reason to mistrust it, as “no expense had been spared,” it is high time for the English people to be told that the accounts which have appeared in their newspapers (the graphic, glowing descriptions of Mr. William Russell inclusive) are wickedly and superlatively false!

1 The priest can scarcely have been a descendant of his
namesake, the General, who, to the manifest delight of an
Irish Parliament, thus spake of potheen:—“The Chancellor
on the woolsack drinks it, the Judge on the bench drinks
it, the Peer in his robes drinks it, the Beggar with his
wallet drinks it, I drink it, every man drinks it.”

The city of Delhi is constructed of painted wood, and does not exceed in dimensions a respectable modern residence. Before it, there is a pool of water. The siege commenced with a tune on the key-bugle, and with an appropriate illumination of Bengal lights, which extended over the entire scene of war, and was got up, as we supposed, at the joint expense of the combatants. Then the Anglo-Indian army, which had taken up a perilous position about four yards from the city, led off with a Roman-candle, and the rebels promptly replied with a maroon. The exasperated besiegers now went in, or rather went a long way over, with rockets,—the Sepoys, with undaunted courage, defying them with blue lights and crackers. For a time the battle was waged with extraordinary spirit, steel-filings, &c., &c.; but, finally, the “awful explosion of the Magazine,” admirably rendered by a “Jack-in-a-box,” threw the rebels into sad distress, and they came running (all six of them) from the city, trying the old dodge to give an idea of multitude, by rushing in at one door and rushing out at another. The British soldiers, conversant with this manouvre, which they had so often witnessed at Mr. Batty's Hippodrome, immediately charged into the devoted city, lit a red light, and all was over. The total silence, which immediately ensued within the walls, impressively told the annihilation of the vanquished, and the great fatigue (or, alas! it might be the abject intoxication) of the victors, reminding one forcibly of the schoolboy's description, in Latin, of the termination of a siege,—“Dein victores, urbe capta, si cut pisces bibunt, et, parvula, si ulla, itlis culpa, nullum bestiarum finem ex seipsis faciunt.”

Frank said it was Delhicious! and to this atrocity, as well as to His Excellency's absence from Dublin, I attribute the melancholy fact that the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland never called upon us.


THE next morning at breakfast, a Scotch gentleman, with an amazing accent, would read the newspaper in such loud tones to his friend, that, not being monks, nor accustomed to be read to, more monastico, at our meals, we really could not enjoy our food, and were compelled to toss up which of us should recite to the other the list of Bankrupts from The Times. I lost, but had not progressed far in my distinct enunciation of the unhappy insolvents, when the Caledonian took the hint, and we ate our mackerel in peace.

Leaving Dublin by the “Midland Great Western Railway,” at 10.30, we reached Galway at 3.45. The intermediate country is, for the most part, dreary and uninteresting, at times resembling the bleaker parts of Derbyshire, and at times Chat Moss. “I am no botanist,” as the Undergraduate remarked to the Farmer, who expostulated with him for riding over his wheat; but the agriculture appeared to be feeble, and to show want of management in its twofold signification. The green crops looked well everywhere, but the corn was thin, and the pastures by no means of that emerald hue which we had expected to find. With the exceptions of peasants, cutting and stacking peat for their winter fuel, children at the doors of cottages, the railway passengers and officials, there seemed to us, coming from densely populated England, to be really “nobody about;” and the contrast between our present route and that which we had travelled, two days before, through the “Potteries,” was as marked as contrast well could be. This comparative quietude and silence prevailed wherever we went, as though we were wandering through the grounds of some country place, “the family” being abroad, and most of the servants gone out to tea. Ah, when will the family come back to live at home, to take delight in this beautiful but neglected garden, weed the walks, turn out the pig, and look after these indolent and quarrelsome servants?—indolent and quarrelsome, only because there are none to encourage industry and to maintain peace.

We passed the station of Maynooth, but did not see the “Royal College of St. Patrick,” and are therefore unable to vituperate that establishment, as otherwise it would be our duty to do.


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Missing this fashionable Christian exercise, I amused myself by attiring a portly, closeshaven priest—who sat opposite to me, and who had a face which would have represented anybody with the aid of a clever costumier—in all sorts of imaginary head-dresses, dowagers' turbans, Grenadiers' caps, Gampian bonnets, beadles' hats, &c., and endeavoured to fancy the feelings of his flock, if they were to see him in reality, as I in thought.

Passing through county Meath, we were again reminded of Swift, who held the rectory of Agher, with the vicarages of Laracor and Rathbeggan therein, and of the beautiful Hester, sacrificed to his vanity, and crying aloud, in piteous tone, “It is too late! It is too late!”

Nigh to Athlone (of which more hereafter) is the village of Auburn, formerly called Lissoy, the residence of Parson Goldsmith, and the early home of the poet. The scenes of his childhood and his youth were doubtless remembered by him, when he wrote “The Deserted Village,” and many features of resemblance may still be traced.

At Ballinasloe (everybody has heard of its great horse-fair, and how the hunters jump over the walls of the “Pound,” in height about eight feet, Irish) we entered the county of Galway, and tremblingly anticipated, after all we had heard of its wild, reckless sons, that some delirious driver would spring upon the engine, with a screech louder than its own, put on all steam, run us off the line for fun, and cause us to be challenged by our fellow-passengers, should we escape with our lives, for not appreciating the sport. But we travelled onwards, demurely and at peace; and, indeed, throughout our little tour, so far from being provoked or annoyed, we met with nothing but kindness and courtesy, and a good-humoured willingness to be pleased and to please.

The Railway Hotel at Galway is the largest that we saw in Ireland, and contains, as we had been informed, “a power o' beds.” These want sleepers sadly, and at present the tourist, as he wanders from coffee-room to dormitory, feels very much

“Like one that treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose guests are fled,” &c.,

and cheers his loneliness with the thought, that should Galway become (as all who care for Ireland must hope) the port for America, this solemn stillness shall depress no more. The inn forms one side of the principal Square, and, the neighbour buildings being comparatively small and dingy, resembles some grand lady, in all her crinoline, teaching the third class at a Sunday school. The grass-plat and garden are nicely kept, but their chief ornaments struck us as being rather incongruous, to wit, hydrangeas and cannon! The guns were pointed at our bedroom windows, and it really required some little resolution next morning to shave ourselves with placidity “at the cannons' mouth.” Having secured places for the morrow on the Car to Clifden, specially stipulating for “the Lake side” of the conveyance, we selected a shrewd-looking lad from a crowd of candidates (the Roman candidati wore white togas in the market-place, but these young gentlemen did not), and went to see the sights. We saw a great deal that was very interesting, and a great deal that was very dirty; we saw the traces of Spanish architecture, in quaint gateways and quadrangular courts, but were not “reminded of Seville,” our only association with that city being a passionate love of marmalade; we saw Lynch's castle, and its grotesque carving is very curious; we saw the house in Deadman's Lane, where lived that Fitz-Stephen, Warden of Galway, who, according to the worst authenticated tradition, assisted at the hanging of his own son; we saw warehouses sans ware; granaries, some without grain, and others with “the meal-sacks on the whitened floor;” we saw and greatly admired Queen's College; we saw chapels and nunneries, whence the Angelus bell sounded as we passed; above all, we saw the Claddagh. Going thither, our little showman told us of the big trade in wines between this place and Spain which flourished in the good times of old, and I foolishly thought to perplex him by the inquiry, “whether much business was done in the Spanish juice line?”

“And sure,” said he, “your onner must know, that was the thrade intirely. Divil a taste of anything else did they bring us, but the juist of their Spanish vines.”

The Englishman who desires a new sensation should pay a visit to the Claddagh. When we arrived, the men were at sea; but the women, in their bright red petticoats, descending half-way down the uncovered leg, their cloaks worn like the Spanish mantilla, and of divers colours, their headkerchiefs and hoods, were grouped among the old grey ruins where the fish market is held, and formed a tableau not to be forgotten. Though their garments are torn, and patched, and discoloured, there is a graceful simple dignity about them which might teach a lesson to Parisian milliners; and to my fancy the most becoming dress in all the world is that of a peasant girl of Connamara. Compare it, reader, with our present mode, and judge. Look at the two, sculptor, and say which will you carve? Say, when “Santa Philomena” is graved in marble, shall it be with flounces and hoops?


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No, whatever may be the wrongs of Ireland no lover of the picturesque and beautiful would wish to see her re-dressed (so far as the ladies are concerned—the gentlemen might be improved); no one would desire to see her peasant girls in the tawdry bonnets and brass-eyed boots, which stultify the faces and cripple the feet of the daughters of our English labourers.

As to the origin of these Claddagh people, I am not sufficiently “up” in ethnology, to state with analytical exactness the details of their descent; but I should imagine them to be one-third Irish, one-third Arabian, and the other Zingaro, or Spanish gypsy. 1 I thought that I recognised in one old lady an Ojibbeway chief, who frightened me a good deal in my childhood, but she had lost the expression of ferocity, and I was, perhaps, mistaken.

The men are all fishermen (very clumsy ones, according to Miss Martineau, who talks about harpoons as if they were crochet needles, in her interesting “Letters from Ireland”); but they give up their cargoes to the women on landing, only stipulating that from the proceeds they may be supplied with a good store of drink and tobacco, and so get due compensation on the shore for their unvarying sobriety at sea.

1 Wales is also represented by members of the Jones family.
The original John may have come over with Thomas Joyce, who
was good enough to appropriate “the Joyce Country” to
himself and family, in the reign of Edward the First.

They live (some 1500 souls in all) in a village of miserable cabins, the walls of mud and stone, and for the most part windowless, the floors damp and dirty, and the roofs a mass of rotten straw and weeds. The poultry mania—(and if it is not mania to give ten guineas for a bantam, in what does insanity consist? l)—must be here at its height, for the cocks and hens roost in the parlour. But “the swells” of the Claddagh are its pigs. They really have not only a “landed expression,” as though the place belonged to them, but a supercilious gait and mien; and with an autocratic air, as though repeating to themselves the spirited verses of Mr. A. Selkirk, they go in and out, whenever and wherever they please. I saw one of them, bold as the beast who upset Giotto, 2 knock over a little child with his snout; and I have a sad impression that the juvenine was whipped for interfering with the royal progress. Frank solemnly declared that he saw one, as portrayed with his back against the lintail of his home, and smoking his evening pipe.

1 This form of delirium is by no means of modern origin.
Opvi-ôofiavta, a passionate love of rare birds, was known
among the ladies of Athens.

2 We read in Lanzi's History of Painting, that as Giotto
was walking with his friends, one Sunday, in the Via del
Cocomero at Florence, he was overthrown by a pig running
between his legs. Whereupon the painter, albeit he was in
his best clothes, philosophically recognised a just
retribution, “for,” said he, “although I have earned many
thousand crowns with the bristles of these animals, I never
gave to one of them a spoonful of swill in my life!”


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I receive this statement cum grano salis (always appropriate to bacon), as I do Phil Purcel's, that “there was in Ireland an old breed of swine, which is now nearly extinct, except in some remote parts of the country, where they are still useful in the hunting season, if dogs happen to be scarce;” 1 and (with all deference to the lady).

1 Carleton's “Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry.”

Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall's, “an acquaintance of ours taught one to point, and the animal found game as correctly as a pointer. He gave tongue, too, after his own fashion, by grunting in a sonorous tone, and understood when he was to take the field as well as any dog.” 1 But, however this may be, everything in the Claddagh is done to “please the pigs:”

“Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
You see them, lords of all around, pass by;”

and Og reigneth once more in Basan. He is precious and he has his privileges. “I think” (said Phil from the hob) “that nobody has a better right to the run of the house, whedher up stairs or down stairs, than him that pays the rint” Such is the great destiny of the Irish pig. He is not associated in the prospective contemplations of his owner with low views of pork and sausages; for Paddy says, with Launcelot, “if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money,” and

“As for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fryed in. 1

but he represents the generous friend and benefactor, who is about to render an important service at considerable personal discomfort.

1 In their pleasant volume, “The West and Connamara.”
 Goldsmith's “Letter to Lord Clare.”

It was washing-day at one of the cabins, and a great variety of wearing apparel was hung out to dry. We could not discover a single article which at all resembled anything known to us, or which a schoolboy would have accepted for any part of his Faux.

Nevertheless, one likes the people of the Claddagh; they seem to be honest, industrious, and good-tempered, and they have, at least, one great virtue—like Lady Godiva, they are “clothed on with chastity.” Sir Francis Head, who had the best means of getting information from the police, and used them with his exhaustive energy, could not hear that there had ever been an illegitimate child born in the Claddagh. They never intermarry with strangers, and “their marriages are generally preceded by an elopement” (vide the article on “Galway,” in the Encyclopodia Britannica, which one is surprised to find discoursing on such festive pleasantries), “and followed by a boisterous merry-making.”


AS schoolboys, to whom “next half” begins to-morrow—sailors on the eve of a voyage—invalids, expecting a physician, who, they know, will prescribe an unwelcome diet—yea, even as criminals before execution,—amplify their meals, and, from their dreary expectations, educe a keener relish,—so we, awfully anticipating the cuisine of Connamara, made a mighty dinner at Galway. It was brought to us, moreover, by a dear old waiter, who evidently had a proud delight in feeding us, as though he were some affectionate sparrow, and we his callow young, taking off the covers with a triumphant air, like a conjuror sure of his trick, and pouring out our Drogheda ale, with quite as much respect and care as Ganymede could have shown for the Gods.

“Was the salmon caught this morning, waiter?”

“It was, sir. Faith, it's not two hours since that fish was walking round his estates, wid his hands in his pockets, never draming what a pretty invitashun he'd have to jine you gintlemen at dinner.”

This was followed by a small saddle of “Arran mutton, y'r onner;” and “what can mortals wish for more,” except a soupçon of cheese?

Ah, but we felt almost ashamed of being so full and comfortable, when our conversational attendant began to talk to us about the Great Famine. “That's right, good gintlemen,” he said, “niver forget, when ye've had yer males, to thank the Lord as sends them. May ye niver know what it is to crave for food, and may ye niver see what I have seen, here in the town o' Galway. I mind the time when I lived yonder” (and he pointed to Kilroy's Hotel), “and the poor craturs come crawling in from the country with their faces swollen, and grane, and yaller, along of the arbs they'd been ating. We gave them bits and scraps, good gintlemen, and did what we could (the Lord be praised!), but they was mostly too far gone out o' life to want more than the priest and pity. I've gone out of a morning, gintlemen,” (his lip quivered as he spoke), “and seen them lying dead in the square, with the green grass in their mouths.” And he turned away, (God bless his kind heart!), to hide the tears, which did him so much honour.

Can history or imagination suggest a scene more awfully impressive than that which Ireland presented in the times of the Great Famine? The sorrows of that visitation have been recorded by eloquent, earnest men; but they come home to us with a new and startling influence, when we hear of them upon Irish ground. Most vividly can we realise the wreck, when he, who hardly swam ashore and escaped, points to the scene of peril; and while the storm-clouds still drift in the far horizon, and the broken timbers float upon the seething wave, describes, with an exactness horrible to himself, that last amazement and despair.

In the beautiful land of the merry-hearted, “all joy was darkened,—the mirth of the land was gone.” In the country of song, and dance, and laughter, there was not heard, wherever that Famine came, one note of music, nor one cheerful sound,—only the gasp of dying men, and the mourners' melancholy wail. The green grass of the Emerald Isle grew over a nation's grave. The crowning plague of Egypt was transcended here, for not only in some districts, was there in every house “one dead,” but there were homes in which there was but one living—homes, in which one little child was found, calling upon father, mother, brothers, and sisters, to wake from their last, long sleep,—homes, from which the last survivor fled away, in wild alarm, from those whom living he had loved so well. Fathers were seen vainly endeavouring (such was their weakness) to dig a grave for their children, reeling and staggering with the useless spade in their hands. The poor widow, who had left her home to beg a coffin for her last, lost child, fell beneath her burden upon the road and died. 1 The mendicant had now no power to beg The drivers of the public cars went into cottages, and found all dead, or Rachel weeping for her children, and praying that die she might. By the seaside, men seeking shell-fish, fell down upon the sands, and, impotent to rise, were drowned. First they began to bury corpses, coffinless, then could not bury them at all.

1 See a most interesting article on the “Famine in the South
of Ireland,” in Fraser's Magazine, for April, 1847, p. 499.

Of indignities and mutilations, which then befell, I will not, for I cannot, speak.

Indeed, it may be asked, wherefore should we repeat at all these sad, heart-rending details? Because, the oftener they are had in painful remembrance, the less likely they are to recur in terrible reality; because—

“Never did any public misery
Rise of itself; God's plagues still grounded are
On common stains of our humanity;
And to the flame which ruineth mankind
Man gives the matter, or at least the wind; 1

1 Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke.

and because, when we know the cause and the symptoms, we can the more readily prevent and prescribe.

Everyone knows, of course, the origin of the Irish Famine.

“The blight which fell upon the potato produced a deadly famine, because the people had cultivated it so exclusively, that when it failed, millions became as utterly destitute, as if the island were incapable of producing any other species of sustenance.” 2

2 Report of Census Commissioners for Ireland.

They, “who are habitually and entirely fed on potatoes, live upon the extreme verge of human subsistence, and when they are deprived of their accustomed food, there is nothing cheaper to which they can resort. They have already reached the lowest point in the descending scale, and here is nothing beyond but starvation or beggary.” 1

The remedy is just as clear,—to induce the peasantry of Ireland no longer to depend upon an article of food, which is difficult to procure, cumbrous to convey, possesses so little nourishment that it must be consumed in large quantities, 2 creates a strange, unhealthy distaste for other food, 3 is subject to so many diseases from humidity and frost, and which has wrought such grievous desolation through the length and breadth of the land. 4

1 Edinburgh Review, No. 175, p. 233.

2 The evidence taken before the Poor Law Commissioners,
previously to the establishment of the New Poor Law in
Ireland, proves that “ten pounds, twelve pounds, and even
fourteen pounds of potatoes are usually consumed by an Irish
peasant each day.”—Letters on the Condition of the People
of Ireland, by J. Campbell Forster, Esq., the Times'

3 “When this famine was at the worst in Connamara, the sea
off the coast there teemed with turbot, to such an extent
that the laziest of fishermen could not help catching them
in thousands; but the common people would not touch them.”—
Quarterly Review, vol. lxxxi., p. 435.

4 Cobbett called the potato, that “root of poverty.”

How that remedy is to be applied, let legislators and landlords tell; meanwhile, my friend, and I, having sorrowfully sipped our pint of sherry, shall essay to cheer ourselves with a mild cigar, and a farewell walk to the Claddagh.

The shades of eve were falling fast, as we set forth, and we were just in time to see the last haul of the nets, and the silver salmon lying on the bank. Then we revived our spirits by a little conversation with young Claddagh, (merry and mischievous urchins), and by a distribution of copper, every halfpenny of which raised such a tumulus of rags as would have kept a paper mill at work for weeks. Then—

“the sun set,
And all the land was dark.”



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WE left Galway for Clifden at 9.30 next morning. The public conveyance is a large-paper edition of the outside car, with an elevated seat for the driver. There is one place to be avoided on some of these vehicles, that nearest to the horses on the off-side, on account of the iron bar of the drag, which operates from time to time very disagreeably on the back and shoulders of the contiguous traveller. The scenery gradually increases in interest. First we have trees, farms, houses, and the quiet aspect of country life; then, we have delightful views at intervals, of Lough Corrib and its islands, and the landscape becomes diversified, less under culture, and more wild in consequence; and, lastly, the sublime and solemn beauty of the mountains and lakes of Connamara.

Some of the residences amused us greatly. You see a large lodge by the wayside, and look out, in the distance, for some princely castle, or baronial hall, at any rate; but there is no need for any such optical exertion, the mansion being close to you, eighty yards perhaps from the entrance, and only a size larger, (a small size larger, as they say at the glove-shops), than the lodge itself.


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Some of the gateways, too, would have been very imposing, if most of their principal ornaments had not been mutilated or missing. Our favourite among the more perfect specimens, was adorned with a stone pine-apple on one pillar, and a Swede turnip or pumpkin on the other; and had a rich effect. Most of the field-gates have massive pillars of stone, and would render the inclosures most secure, if there were not, now and then, easy apertures through the turf-dykes, which form the fence hard by, suggesting the idea of a front door barred and locked against thieves, with one of the hall-windows wide open!


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As to the people, there is little difference, so far as appearance is concerned, between Paddy in England and Paddy at home; the same flaccidity of hat; the same amplitude of shirt-collar, which would cut his ears off if it were severely starched; the same dress coat of frieze; drab breeches (aisy at the knees), grey-stockings, and brogues. The same in aspect, but in action how different! In England, he will rise with the sun, reap under its burning heat until it sets, and dance in the barn at midnight. In Ireland, he seems to be always either going to his work, or looking at his work, or resting from his work, or coming away from his work, in brief, to be doing nothing, cordially assisted by his friends and neighbours. The potatoes will prevent his famishing from hunger, if the season be propitious; the peat-stack will keep him from perishing by cold; and His Royal Highness, the Pig, will pay the landlord his rent.

The women are, for the most part, good-looking, erect, and graceful movers (for there are no corns in Connaught); and, from the bright colours of their costume, their red petticoats and blue cloaks, are ever a pleasant refreshment to the eye, and picturesque addition to the scene. They are uniformly and painfully shy. Francis, and I, are both of us what may be termed remarkably handsome men, but they wouldn't look at us; and I shall never forget the agony of a young housemaid, who, assisting the waiter one morning with a tub of water to my room, caught sight of my dressing-gown through the open door, and instantly, though the garment is of a pleasing pattern, and descends quite to the ground, rushed off, like Dorothea from Cardenio and his companions, and, I verily believe, is running now.

As regards children,—there are crosses in Ireland, which are saluted by wives, who would be mothers also; and these crosses, or something equally efficacious, appear to be universally embraced. Every cottage sent forth a running accompaniment (allegro) to the car, healthful, cheery children, and would be beautiful, in spite of their wretched homes, and meagre diet, and rags, if their mothers could be induced to recognise the utility of soap and a comb. Their raiment is very scant and curious. Ould Larry's coat, with the tails cut off, makes young Larry “an entire juvenile suit,” and the inexpressibles of Phelim père form a noble panoply for Phelim fils, with his little arms thrust through the pocket-holes. These tatterdemalions beg as they run by the car, but seem indifferent as to the result, enjoying their “constitutional,” and parting from us with a pleasant smile whether we gave to them or not. Some of a literary turn of mind asked rather urgently for “penny buy book,” but the imposition was a little too patent, so very far from a bookseller's shop, and we recommended them to quench their thirst for knowledge in the only volumes to be perused (and that gratuitously) in the neighbourhood, the “books in the running brooks.”

A few professional beggars come round, when there is a change of horses (excellent horses they are), but are neither so frequent nor so importunate, as we had been led to expect. One old lady had evidently got the last new thing in begging, a letter to her “poor darlint boy as was gone to Merrikey, and would ye bestow a thrifle, good gintlemen, to pay the bit o' postage, God bless yer bewtifle young faces.” Of course, we would, every mother's son of us. What an affectionate, exemplary parent! When we returned, a few days afterwards, she was again in correspondence with her beloved son, far away from her yearning tenderness, beyond the broad Atlantic; and, indeed, I have reason to believe from information which I gathered from the driver and our fellow-passengers, that this disconsolate mother writes to her exile child every day, except Sundays.


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The miserable huts of the peasantry, seen by the feeble light which comes through the doorway and smoke-hole (to talk about chimneys would be an insult to architecture) give one the idea, not so much that the pigs have got into the parlour, but that the family have migrated to the sty. An unpaved clay floor below, a roof of straw and weeds, dank, soaked, and rotting, overhead, a miserable bed in the corner, an iron pot over a peat fire, are the principal items of the property. Before the door is a sink, black and filthy, for the refuse. And yet the inmates look hale and happy beyond what one would hope to see, and the thought at once suggests itself, how much might be accomplished by such a people, awaking to assert its dignity, and to discharge its duty. Here and there are roofless cottages, gravestones, on which is written, as on Albert Dürer's, “Emigravit” he has gone to seek over the wide seas the comforts which here he could not, or would not, win; or he has gone “to the land, which is very far off,” to hunger and thirst no more,—

“There fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
A shadow on those features fair and thin;
And softly, from that hushed and darkened room,
Two angels issued, where but one went in.”

It is sad indeed to see these monuments, “where memory” (as an Irish poet 1 sings) “sits by the altar she has raised to woe,” monuments of suffering and dearth, amid scenes of surpassing beauty, and fields which might stand thick with corn, but where, from the shameful indolence of His creatures,

In vain ,with lavish kindness, the gifts of God are strewn.”

1 Curran.

There is no town between Galway and Clifden, unless we compliment with that title the large village of Oughterarde, pleasantly situated hard by Lough Corrib, with its picturesque bridge, marvellously transparent stream, handsome constables, and (comparatively speaking) magnificent church. The Roman Catholic churches are, for the most part, so very plain and poor, having little but the Cross, and a melancholy imitation of Gothic mullions in wood, to denote their consecration, that the building of Oughterarde has quite an imposing effect, and we went up the hill to see it. The leisure and liberty allowed to passengers by car are amusingly refreshing in these days of steam; and I thought, as we sauntered towards Sainte Terre, how astonished the guard of an express train would be, to behold his fellow-travellers quietly strolling off to inspect the cathedral, at Peterborough, York, or Lincoln.

We found little to admire, as to architecture without, or ornament within; but a priest, who went with us from the car, said it was “beautiful,” and looked as if to him it was so indeed, as he knelt with others reverently praying there. I thought of our grand old churches at home, locked and barred, most of them, except for a few hours on Sunday (as though the soul should be treated, like a boa-constrictor, with six days sleep, and then a rabbit); and I envied that poor pilgrim through a prayerless world his privilege and opportunity.


OUGHTERARDE is termed the entrance to Connamara, but the boundaries seem somewhat undefined, like the sensations induced by the wildly beautiful scenery,

“The vague emotion of delight
While climbing up some Alpine height.”

Measured and mapped Connamara may be, but painted or described it never can. Those sublime landscapes of mountain, moor, and mere, are photographed on the memory for ever, but cannot be reproduced on canvas; and a great master of art, a Michael Angelo (Tilmarsh) throws down his brush, with the wise confession, “all that we can do is to cry, Beautiful!” Who shall take it up, and paint? Not mine, a prentice hand, to daub a caricature (about as like the original, as a pastile to Vesuvius, or a “cinder-tip” to the Himalayas) of those glorious Irish Alps, of the Maum-Turk mountains, or of Bina Beola, rising, in solemn majesty, amid a sea of golden and roseate flowers. It requires a confidence which I do not feel, to attempt the Hallelujah Chorus on my penny trumpet, or, where Phidias distrusts his chisel, to commence a Colossus with my knife and fork. But I shall never forget our silent happiness, a happiness like childhood's, so complete and pure, as, mile after mile, we watched the sunlight and the shadows, sweeping over hill, and lake, and plain, (so swiftly that every minute the whole view seemed to change), and saw the snow-white goats among the purple heath, and the kine, jet-black and glowing red, knee-deep in the silver waters.

But there are minds no scenery can delight or awe. I remember, how, travelling by rail, one glorious morning in December, the trees all hoar with frost, and glittering against a sky blue as the turquoise, I met a Cockney gent, who condescendingly surveyed the scene, and said that “it reminded him of Storr and Mortimers! The water was very like those plate-glass things, which were used to set off the silver, and the trees a good deal resembled the candelabra clustered above.” And he smiled as one who was pleased to approve the article which Nature humbly submitted to his inspection, and seemed, out of his overflowing goodness, to pat Creation's head. And now, seated upon the box, a “party” from Sheffield insulted that pure delicious atmosphere with very villainous “shag,” and talked as flippantly and without restraint, as though he were in the Chair at “The Cutler's Arms,” presiding over a Free-and-Easy. No sooner did he ascertain from the driver that the grand Highlands before us were known as “The Twelve Pins” than he desired the company to inform him, “what degree of relationship existed between them and the Needles off the Isle of Wight?” a genealogical problem, which would have been received with a due and dignified silence, but for his own unrestrained applause and laughter. Then he favoured us with an enigma, “Why have them pins no pints? Because they're principally composed of quartz!” His geology he had got from a guidebook, out of which he treated us to various extracts, appending commentaries of his own. “Miss Martineau says the hair 'ere” (of course he transplanted every h) “is very like breathing cream. Wonder whether the old gal meant cream of the valley, or milk-punch—ha! ha! ha!”

From this subject he passed very naturally to mountain dew, and the illegal manufacture of whiskey, shouting at the top of his voice, “I cannot help loving thee, Still;” and then singing, “Still, I love thee, Still, I love thee,”—“Fare thee well, and if for ever, Still, for ever fare thee well” (the music by Mr. Joseph Miller), until, happily for us, his pipe went out, and playfully wondering “how he should obtain a light, when all around was matchless,” he collapsed into a state of quiet suction, like a gold fish in a vase.

Incidents, in a country unreclaimed and almost uninhabited, must necessarily be small and infrequent, like the currants on an Irish cake. We had a change of horses at the Half-way House (half-way between Oughterarde and Ballinahinch), and this rapid flight of horsemanship was performed something under the half-hour. I took advantage of the interval to recline on the green sward hard by, and commenced, in dreamy enjoyment, a silent oration to the scenes around. “O Connamara,” I began, “non amarat sed amcena! let me hear and heed thy sermons in stones, though thine own sons be deaf to them.”

Alas! for the sad contrast, where every prospect pleases, and only man is vile! 1 Why should not fields of golden corn, and orchards heavy with fruit, bring plenty from thy fertile plains? Why should rank weeds, rag-wort, and loose strife, (evil signs and sounds!) usurp thy untilled soil, a 'soyle most fertile,' as old Spenser saith, 'fit to yielde all kinde of fruit that shall be committed thereunto?'” And the answer which I heard, “awaking with a start” from my reverie, was a surly grunt close to my ear, and a loud laugh from Frank, who thus perpetuated the tableau vivant:

1 Lord Chesterfield spoke of Ireland as “that country for
which God has done so much, and man so little.”


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We lunched at “The Recess,” a pleasant little inn (with a cheerful landlady and civil waitress), but somewhat damp withal; for Ireland is “the Niobe of nations,” 1 and, as the beautiful bride of the Atlantic, ofttimes weeps in her western home, when her husband is at low water, or subject to lunar influence. But there is no time for metaphor or meteorology, the cutler having already scooped the interior from the heads of both the lobsters, and it being quite necessary to propose some saving clause to this sweeping Act of shellfishness. “I am no gastronomer,” as the old lady observed, when they asked her to go out and see the comet, but I do acknowledge, in unison with the majority of my fellowmen, the powerful fascinations of lobster; and I shall not shrink from the confession, that our feelings, as we witnessed this gross monopoly, were hot and acid as the pepper and the vinegar, which was almost all he left us.

1 “If,” writes Mr. Young, in his Tour in Ireland, “as much
rain fell upon the clays of England as upon the rocks of the
sister country, they could not be cultivated.” I should
doubt this, taking into account our modern improvements as to
drainage; but, at all events, it is evident that “the
humidity of the climate renders Ireland decidedly better
fitted for a grazing than for an agricultural country.”—
See M'Culloch's Statistical Account of the British Empire,
ed. 2, vol. ii., p. 367.

At the same time, it may be said, in mitigation of his ill-taste and our ill-temper, that the love of the lobster has ere now troubled the equanimity of greater and better men; and I have seen a noble Duke scowl malignantly at an unconscious Earl, whose plate preceded his own. But all ended well, for our greedy knife-grinder having finished his lobster, two bottles of Guinness, one ditto Bass, and a go of whiskey “for luck,” had scarcely ascended the box, and favoured us with that assurance of plethory, which the Chinese expect as a compliment from all well-bred (and well-fed) guests, than his head began slowly to fall and rise, like a large float, lazily influenced by some undecided fish; and he only intruded himself upon our silent admiration of that magnificent scenery with occasional imitations of swine asleep.

There was a time when the Martins ruled in Connamara, and Ballinahinch, which we now pass, was the palace of Richardus Rex; when Lord Lieutenants were told plainly, that the excellent claret they were drinking had done its duty, without discharging it; and gaugers, bailiffs, writ-servers, and the like, were as rare upon the mountains as the Irish elk. The estate extended to Oughterarde, some six and twenty miles away, and “Martins Gate-house” is shown there still; but extravagance and neglect brought all to the hammer at last, and the very name of Martin will soon only survive, in its association with the humane Act for the prevention of cruelty to animals, which was originated by the Lord of Ballinahinch. The Law Life Insurance Company are now the owners of this property, and are making, we were informed, very great improvements. There can scarcely be an estate more capable thereof. The immense extent of bog-land presents an excellent “fall” for the drainer; and a large quantity of it, lying upon limestone, would grow any amount of pasture or of cereal produce. (The monosyllable corn would be equally expressive, but it looks “mean and poky,” as Martha Penny said of the Protestant religion, when compared with “cereal produce”) Then there is abundance of manure close by, in the sea-weed and coral-sand; and under the soil lie rich veins of marble, rose-colour, and yellow, and, white, and green; and of which you may purchase specimens from the little merchants who come round the car. But where, it may well be asked, are the hands to ply the mattock and pick? For famine, and ejection, and the Exodus, have swept away the working men; and though it is evident, from the number of children, that great efforts are being made to repopulate the country, there seems to be no staff on the spot for any large undertakings. 1 But men are to be found when they are wanted by master-minds; and the Irish and English labourers, instead of deserting for America and Australia a land so full of promise, 2 would readily be induced, by leaders of energy and capital, to appropriate advantages nearer home. The sale of encumbered estates (one of the cleverest, cleanest cuts, that surgeon ever made, to save his patient from mortification) amply justifies the healthful hope that English and Scotch farmers 3 will soon be numerous upon Irish soil, not to become, like the Norman visitors of yore, “ipsis Hibernis Hiberniores,” but to inoculate Paddy with their own activity and earnestness, and to persuade him, just for once and by way of a change, to work in his own land, as he can and will in any other.

1 According to the Report of the Registrar-General, the
population has decreased to the number of half a million
since the Census of 1851.

2 See Letters from The Times' Commissioner, ed. 2, p. 271,
and The Saxon in Ireland, chapter x.

3 “Why are there so many more Scotch than English? It
appears that there are 756 'Britishers' agriculturally
settled in Ireland, and of these 660 are natives of
Scotland.”—Agricultural and Social State of Ireland in
1858, by Thomas Miller.

The Saxon says that the Celt (how one despises those malicious nicknames, stereotyping hate, and perpetuating a lie, as if there were a true Celt or Saxon extant!) that the Celt will shoot him; and, perhaps, he may if nothing is done to conciliate, but everything to offend his prejudices. Those prejudices are the growth of ages, and will not vanish before slang and compulsion, but only before goodness, teaching by example a better and a happier way. If I wish to propitiate a high-spirited unbroken steed, not warranted free from vice, and can do so by checking him sharply with the curb, and by sticking in both spurs, without ruining the horse, and finding myself in a position to take an uninterrupted view of the firmament, Mr. Rarey and reason plead in vain. John Bull is a magnificent fellow, but his mere repetition of “curse the Pope” will do no more to evangelise mankind than Grip the Raven's “I'm a Protestant kettle;” nor can we specify any signal blessings as likely to accrue to the human race, when “Sawney, with his Calvinistic creed in the one hand, and allaying irritation with the other,” denounces smiling on Sunday as a deadly sin, or goes

“Bellowing, and breathing fire and smoke,
At crippled Papistry to butt and poke,
Exactly as a skittish Scottish bull
Hunts an old woman in a scarlet cloak.”

Were I desirous to impress upon the people of Connaught the advantages of protecting their feet with leather, I should scarcely proceed to demonstrate my proposition by kicking them with hobnailed boots; and although bread as an article of food is vastly superior to potatoes, few men would essay to enforce this argument by pelting the peasantry with quartern loaves.

The Saxon says that the Celt will shoot him; and nothing can be more vile and despicable than those cowardly murders which disgrace Ireland. But we must not forget, in our righteous horror, that our own capital convictions are thrice as numerous, according to population, as those in the sister-country; and, though this does not denote the exact proportion of crime, because conviction in Ireland is far more difficult than with us, it may still suggest a wholesome restraint, when we are minded to sit in judgment upon others.


WE arrived at Carrs Hotel, in Clifden, between 5 and 6 p.m., and strolled down the main street before dinner. The whitewashed houses are much less miserable than the cottages we had seen in the country, but we can give no more than negative praise, the general aspect of the town being dreary enough. There are happy associations, nevertheless, connected with it, for the whole place arose from a benevolent attempt of Mr. D'Arcy, once the owner of Clifden Castle, to improve the condition and evoke the energies of his neighbours; and though the estate has passed into other hands, a D'Arcy still maintains, as pastor of the people, an honoured name for charity and zeal. After dinner we had a most delightful ramble on the cliffs, which overlook the bay; for Clifden is built at the centre of one of those numerous indentations in the land,

“Where weary waves retire to gleam at rest,”

and which give the name Connamara, i.e., “the bays of the sea.” It was one of those evenings, sunlit and serene, which whisper gratitude and peace. There seemed to be a glad smile on land and sea, as the golden light fell in soft splendour on the purple hills, and the pleasant breeze awoke upon the waters [Greek passage] 1

1 Thus prettily transferred by the Irish poet, Moore:—

“Like any fair lake that the breeze is upon,
While it breaks into dimples, and laughs in the sun.”

(Yes, good critic, I know it is only a school-boy's quotation, but it is too beautiful to be ever quite used-up, and is at all events, excusable in an undergraduate, “taking up,” among other books for his Degree, the sublime tragedy of Prometheus Bound.) There was no sound except the curlew's note, when suddenly we heard, far down from the sea below us, the loud splash of water, and voices singing, amid merry laughter, strange songs in an unknown tongue.


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Gracious Heavens, what were we to see! We were on Irish ground; the stillness and the solitude, so wildly broken, encouraged all our superstitious fancies; and everything we had read or heard of Bogies, Banshees, Kelpies, and Co., came back to our astonised souls. Were we, really, to witness something supernatural at last, something, which, when we got home, should make the teeth of our neighbours chatter, and cause the hair to stand up on our relations' heads?

Perhaps, we were to contemplate the merman bold, playing—

“With the mermaids, in and out of the rocks,
Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower,
And holding them back by their flowing locks.”

With beating hearts and bated breath, we crawled to the edge of the precipice, and there saw, to our intense delight, four of the jolliest constables in the world, swimming, diving, floating, spluttering, shouting, and singing, until one longed to run back a few yards, plunge in, like Cassius, without undressing, and join in their jolly gymnastics. Really, they are glorious fellows! Were I to undertake any distant or dangerous expedition (and indeed, Frank and I have been so much gratified by our sailor-like deportment, between Holyhead and Kingstown, that we think seriously of going round the world in a yacht), I should vastly like to take half a dozen of them with me; and I should not be the first who had so thought and acted.

Walking on, we came in sight of Clifden Castle, a good-looking modern residence, lying low in the valley, and well screened by timber from the rough sea-wind. Here the view is beautiful exceedingly, and we sat among the heather, and gazed upon it,

“till the sun
Grew broader toward his death, and fell; and all
The rosy heights came out above the lawns.”

Then we returned to the hotel, and there found our friend the cutler considerably advanced in liquor, making a most disconnected oration to a select audience, in which, among many other statements unhappily forgotten, he informed us:—“That he was hopen to show pigeons, either Turbits, Pouters, or Short-faced Mottles, against any man in Hengland, bar two; that Ireland was nothing but a big bog, and he should rather expect as ow no party, as wasn't a snipe, would ever come there twice; that he would play hany gent, as was agreeable so to do, either at quoits or skittles, for the valley of a new 'at;” (being rather a dab with the discus, I was about to accept his challenge, when the darkness of the night and absence of the implements struck me as being “staggerers” not to be surmounted, and therefore I held my peace); “that, has no party seem'd hup to nothing, he should beg to propose 'ealth and prosperity to the firm of Messrs. Strop and Blades (I'm Blades); and should conclude by hexpressing his ope, that the cock-eyed gent in the corner would henliven the meeting with a comic song.” The proprietor of the insurbordinate eye having very briefly expressed himself to the effect, that he would see the company consigned to perdition, rather than indulge it with mirthful music, Mr. Blades commenced a concert on his own account; and we ventured to go to bed, in spite of the singer's solemn warning that any person retiring, in a state of sobriety, to his couch, would “fall as the leaves do, fall as the leaves do, fall as the leaves do, that die in October.”

Nemesis was the daughter of Nox; and poor Blades looked miserably ill, when he came down next morning to breakfast—no, not to break fast, but only to wish he could. At daybreak, we had heard sounds of soda-water, but Schweppe had striven in vain. The fact is, that whiskey, like love, can “brook no rival near its throne,” and Kinahan, and Bass, and Guinness were at war all over Blades. We scarcely knew him again, as he sat in rueful contemplation of an egg, which he had accepted, hoping against hope, but had now no strength to crack:—

“For his heart was hot and restless,
And his life was full of care;
And the burden laid upon him
Seemed greater than he could bear.”

Had he been Tyndarus, and the egg before him one of Leda's, he could not have looked at it with a more fixed and mystified expression; or he might have been reflecting sorrowfully upon that fatal goose egg, which, long before the Norman Conquest, had wrought such woes on Ireland. I will venture, at all events, to repeat the legend. Domhnall, the king, having invited Congal, his foster-son, together with the principal swells of his court, to a grand banquet (though he had been warned by Maelcobba, a celebrated monk and fortune-teller, to do nothing of the kind), sent out his purveyors to procure a supply of delicacies in general, and of goose eggs in particular. Now there lived, in the county of Meath, a Bishop Ere of Slaine, who spent his days in the river Boyne, immersed up to his arm-pits, and reading his psalter, which lay upon the bank. Whether he entertained hopes of being translated to the see of Bath and Wells, and was under a course of preparatory training, or whether he had a prescient belief in the water-cure, or whatever his motives may have been, thus he passed his mornings (to the immense edification of his diocese, and with nothing on but his mitre), and then went home to dine. One evening he had hurried to his hermitage, a little ruffled in temper, having been very disrespectfully accosted during the day by some boatmen, who had hit him in the eye with a decayed pear, but consoling himself with the prospect of his favourite dinner, namely, “a goose egg and a half, and three sprigs of watercresses,” when he was dismayed to find his establishment (which consisted of an elderly charwoman) in tears, and to hear that the king's purveyors had been, and poached his eggs for him. Then (the chroniclers proceed to tell) the Bishop he “cussed, and eke swore hee, verrye bewtifulle.” He excommunicated the auxiliary gander and put the goose under a perpetual pip, “bekase,” said he, “if they'd niver layed them, and she (the charwoman) had only popped them under the bedclothes, he'd bet six to four they'd niver been found.” But he was grandest of all, when he cursed the eggs, shell, white, and yolk, solemnly imploring complete and speedy suffocation upon any party who should stick a spoon in them. And his anathemas, we read, were so far fruitful, that on the night of the King's banquet, Congal's goose egg changed, as he was gloating over it, into a common hen egg, whereupon he was so greatly exasperated, that he felt himself under the necessity of slashing at his neighbours indiscriminately with a drawn sword; a general battle ensued; and “Ireland was not for one night thenceforward in the enjoyment of peace or tranquillity.” 1

1 From The Banquet of Dun na-gedh, and the Battle of Magh
Rath. Translated from the original Irish by John O'Donovan.
Printed for the Irish Archaeological Society.

Blades, I say, might have been meditating mournfully on this accursed egg, but, whether or no, there he sat; and Melancholy marked him for her own. Quantum mutatus! The remains of a fire balloon, soaked and rusting in some long damp grass, not less resemble the gaudy globe, which went up yesternight; and never can I obliviate the agony of his expression, as the waiter presented a large dish of bacon in close proximity to his nose.

“A moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts was traced,
And then,” with a groan, which won all our sympathy, “abiit,
excessif, evasit, erupi, Anglicé, poor Blades, he bolted!

We also, having contributed to Mr. Carr's Album autographs, which will, no doubt, be ultimately sold at sixty guineas a-piece, (say pounds, if you take the pair) proceeded by the car to Kylemore.


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THE scenery on leaving Clifden is for a time bleak and monotonous, but soon becomes varied and beautiful. You pass, by Streamstown and Ballinakill, through the pleasant village with its pretty cottages, fuchsia-hedges, and general look of neatness and comfort, which it owes to Mr. Ellis, an English resident, and who, (so it was told to me, as our friend Herodotus hath it) is much respected, although a Quaker, by the Roman Catholics around. Between this place and Kylemore, you enter upon one of the grandest scenes, to my taste, to be found in all Connamara, a kind of mountain pass, with the rocks rising to a great height, in huge blocks and broken masses, piled one above another, and sometimes jutting over the road in fearful contiguity, densely timbered from base to summit, the gray stone contrasting beautifully with the bright green foliage of the trees. Here the eagles build, and had become so numerous, (so our driver said), that the owner had had recourse to poison. It sounded awfully in our ears, like trapping a fox or shooting an albatross; and, surely, if the king of birds must be slain (and I cannot deny that his majesty's conduct, in perpetually flying off with lambs, is open to some criticism) he might fall more nobly to the rifle of the sportsman.

We reached the solitary inn by Kylemore Lake for luncheon; and I purposely make these memoranda about meals, and take my time from the kitchen clock, because the delightful air of Connamara very speedily induces that vacuum, which nature and the tourist yearn to fill. So Frank and I danced in triumph around our undisputed lobster, Blades languishing at Clifden, and a fellow passenger, who had stopped at Kylemore, and whom, being almost hairless, we distinguished as “Balder the Beautiful,” having previously lunched, as we came along, upon the largest biscuit I ever met with, and which, when he first produced it, we both of us mistook for a Fox-and-Goose board. Contemplating the shell and other débris, in a state of placid plethora, and reflecting, in a spirit of tooth-pick philosophy, what a glorious economy it would be for us undergraduates, and what a grim despair for the tailors, if we, like the lobster, could annually cast our clothing, and reappear, as he does, in customary suit of solemn black, without any pecuniary investment,—I was startled by the wild conduct of Francis, who, suddenly springing from his chair, and favouring me with a slap upon the back, which immediately induced a determination of bitter beer to the head, exclaimed, at the very apex of his voice, “And now, old cock, for a salmon!” Forthwith he entered into solemn consultation with our worthy host, Mr. Duncan, and produced for his inspection a small library of Fly-books. Alas, the inspector looked grave and shook his head, as an examiner surveying infirm Latin. “One or two might raise a fish;” but this was said in a tone, which quite convinced me, that, unless Frank should come across a salmon, which happened to be helplessly drunk, his entomological specimens would be treated with most profound contempt. What was to be done? Mr. D.'s own flies had been stolen, during a recent illness, by his visitors; and, indeed, as they were kept, with true Irish liberality, in the hall of the inn, one can scarcely wonder at the felonious fact. But he was determined, the weather being most propitious, and the lake full of “fish,” (not to mention the white trout, of which there is abundance) that Frank should not be disappointed, and forthwith commenced the operation, most interesting to me who had never seen it, of “tying a fly.” He began with a bare hook, a piece of fishing gut, and a few bits of silk and feathers; and lo, in about three minutes, there issued from his consummate manipulation a gorgeous fly, so beautiful, and, withal, so plump and appetising, that for a salmon to see it was to look and die. Then armed with a gaff, which would have landed a sturgeon, or made a glorious pastoral staff for His Grace the Archbishop of Brobdingnag, and which was borne before him, as the crozier of Saint Grellen was carried before the tribes of Hy-Many, when, ages ago, they conquered here in Connaught, away went Frank to his boat; and I, rodless, to wander, wondering, among the great mountains and to cull a bouquet of ferns and flowers. This I had just arranged satisfactorily, and was thinking how admirably that little wayside rush (epiphorum), with its snow-white silky flag, would serve for some Lilliputian clerk of the course to drop before a ruck of fairy jocks, and start them for a Queen Mab's Plate, when a ringing shout in the distance, which might have been emitted by a triumphant fox-hunter, or by an Indian scalping his foe, drew my attention to the lake, and I could see dear old Frank standing in the boat, and holding up a glorious salmon, with its silver scales glittering in the sun.


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Hurrying back, I was just in time to meet the conquering hero as he came ashore; and I am quite sure that neither Julius Cæsar, nor any other human being, ever landed with greater dignity. Had he been coming to weigh after winning “the Liverpool,” or into the Pavilion at Lords' after an innings of five hundred, he could not have looked more happy and glorious, and I felt it a privilege to strew the path he trod upon with three bits of heather and my pocket-handkerchief.

There was an amusing little dialogue, as he left his bark:—

“Boatman!” quoth the illustrious fisherman, “how much is the boat?”

“Sure, your onour, the boat'll be in the bill. Your onour'll give the boatman what you please.”

“But what is generally given!”

“Well, your 'onour, some'll give two shillings, and some eighteen pince. A tailor'd be for giving eighteen pince.”

How much Frank gave, I know not; but from the expression of satisfaction, which brightened the faces of his aquatic friends, I infer that he exceeded in munificence a whole street of tailors. And, indeed, he was bound so to do, since, in our eyes, “was never salmon yet that shone so fair,” as we bore it in triumph to our inn; and I sang, in the joy of my heart, to the

They may rail at this land, they may slander and slang it,
But we've found it a land to admire and enjoy;
And until they convince us au contraire, why, hang it,
We will speak as we find, won't we, Frank, my dear boy?

Air “They may rail at this Life.”

So long as Kylemore has such lakes and such fishing,
As from Duncan's Hotel at this moment we see,
And of salmon for dinner we bring such a dish in,—
Connamara's the planet for you, Frank, and me!

So we carried it to the kitchen, where it cost my friend no little effort to transfer his captive to the cook; and I am quite convinced, that could he have escaped ridicule, he would have preferred to take that fish to bed with him. I am glad he did not; for a firmer, flakier, curdier salmon never gladdened a table d'hôte, and there were “lashings and lavings” for our party of eight, when we met at dinner that evening.

After the banquet, Frank caused us to be rowed in triumph over the scene of his victory, sitting in the stern with an enormous regalia, and surveying the waters with a grand complacency, which made me feel myself quite contemptible. Very different would my sensations have been, had I been then acquainted with the fact, which my friend subsequently revealed to me, that he had hooked and lost two much finer fish than that on which we dined.

The boatmen—one of whom, from his sapient and solemn manner, had the sobriquet of Lord Bacon; and the other, a fine, cheery young fellow, wearing his rightful appellation of Johnny Joyce—joined us in our tobacco and talk, “turning to mirth all things of earth, as only” Irishmen can. When two of the visitors came out of the inn, lingered a few seconds in conversation at the gate, and then started for their evening walk, in opposite directions, as Englishmen are wont,—“Bedad,” said my Lord Bacon, “the gentlemen have quarrelled, more's the pity. Sure, one of 'em has been ating the biggest dinner, and made the other jealous. That's the jealous one,” he continued, pointing to our friend Balder the Beautiful, “there's something in the set of his back, which says that he is disappointed.” And there really was a misanthropic expression, to be observed upon the shoulders in question, which we might not otherwise have noticed, but which was immediately patent to an Irishman, who detects more quickly, and ridicules more cleverly, though he cannot despise more heartily than we do, any exposition of a sulky temperament. I remember going to a horse-fair with Paddy O'Hara, of Merton, and that we overtook on the road an agriculturist of a staid and sullen deportment. He was riding by a rustic groom who led a handsome, but somewhat heavy-looking horse, too good for harness, but scarcely good enough for hunting, though the farmer evidently regarded him as quite the animal for High Leicestershire. Well, we pulled up the tandem, that we might examine the tit (thinking ourselves amazingly knowing in horse-flesh, as undergraduates do), and O'Hara led off with a “Good morning!”

“Good morning,” replied Agricola, but very sternly.

“It's lonely your horse is looking this morning, sir,” continued Pat, as serious as a mute.

“Don't know what you mean,” said the farmer.

“Oh, sure,” replied O'Hara, with an expression of intense grief, as though his heart bled for the poor quadruped, “it's desolate, and melancholy, and beraved he's looking, and very, very lonely—without the plough!

And he blew such a blast upon our long horn, as made the welkin ring; and the big horse, he pranced and reared, and the farmer and his man they blasphemed in unison, as we sped merrily onwards.

As we had some thoughts of spending a day at a place in this neighbourhood called Coolna Carton, we asked Johnny Joyce if there was much to see there. And the answer which we got was “Divil a taste!

“But surely,” we remonstrated, “there is wild mountain and lake scenery?”

“Oh, faith,” said Johnny, “there's mountains and sthrames, if it's the likes o' them that ye're wanting;” and he looked at us, as though he would have added, “but you, surely, cannot be such fools!”

Ah, Johnny Joyce! there's a homily for us all in that “divil a taste!” The beautiful, so close to us, over head, under foot, we prize not; the great hills are voiceless to the mountaineer; and the lowlander sees no loveliness in valleys thick with corn. Ashore, we sigh for the wild magnificence of ocean; and, at sea, our unquiet spirit yearns for the landscape's rest and peace. Let us ask for eyes to read, and loving hearts to understand, the declarations of wisdom and of goodness God-written everywhere!

We spent a pleasant evening in the common-room of our inn. There was, among others, a landscape-painter, who, manfully confessing that he “could do nothing with Connamara,” showed us, nevertheless, some very interesting sketches; and there was a clever, merry, young graduate, of our sister university at Dublin, as full of good sense as good humour. He told us, as we sipped our punch, how that whiskey derived its name from the Irish uiske, the water; “the only water,” quoth he, “that's good for a gentleman to drink;” how that usquebaugh meant “water of life,” as aqua vitae in Latin, and eau de vie in French; and how this reminded him that the Phoenix Park in Dublin, derived its name from Finniske, or Fionuisge, fair-water, and was so called from a spring in the neighbourhood, once much resorted to as a chalybeate spa.

As we became confidential, I asked him what he thought of Ireland's prospects?

“Well,” he said, after a long, reflective pull at his little, black, dudeen, “I am not so sanguine as some with regard to the prosperity of Ireland. That which Pope said of man in general, seems to me to be especially true with regard to an Irishman in particular, he 'never is, but always to be, blessed.' Every history, or book of travels, written no matter when or by whom, always has the same moral,—Ireland is emerging from a state of misery and degradation—followed by some fine, old-crusted quotations with regard to our capabilities, and the wonderful results which might be achieved, 'if only the hand of man did join with the hand of nature.'” 1

1 Lord Bacon, the original, not the boatman.

“Pity,” I thought, “that the hand of man should be unhappily preoccupied—with a blunderbuss!”

“No,” he continued, “physicians, Danish, Saxon, and Norman, have prescribed for us (generally a course of bleeding and depletion) with so little success; the grand panacea, Protestantism, has been administered to us,—as gently as a ball to some restive horse, with a twitch upon our national nose, and a thrust down our national throat,—with so few favourable results, that I begin to fear our malady is chronic, and that affliction must be regarded as our normal.

“I have heard before,” I remarked, “that Ireland has not been considered by her medical advisers to be a very good subject.”

“I see,” he answered, “but we are more loyal, perhaps, than you are inclined to suppose, and quite as much so as you have a right to expect. Some people seem surprised that we Irish do not set up statues of Turgesius, the Norwegian gentleman, who favoured us with a tax called Nosestate. Money, by which he merely meant, that, if we declined to pay, he should remove the facial adjunct alluded to; that we do not paint memorial pictures of Prince John and his Normans ridiculing our Irish Chiefs, when they came to welcome them at Waterford, and chaffing them about their long hair and their short yellow shirts, which, I grant, must have been rather funny; that we exhibit no restlessness for the canonisation of Cromwell, and make no pious pilgrimages to the tomb of Dutch William. Now, I by no means say, with Junius, that 'Ireland has been uniformly plundered and oppressed,' but I do say that the bride which Pope Adrian, himself an Englishman, gave, with a gay marriage-ring of emeralds, to your second Henry, has not been very lovingly dealt with.”

“The wedding,” I said, “has not been, as yet, productive of much happiness; but you must remember, that if the husband has been harsh at times, and disagreeable, the conduct of the lady has been very aggravating and suspicious. Hath she not flirted with Monsieur and Jonathan? Hath she not decked herself with ribbons of obnoxious hue, and gone after strange priests, whom John Bull honoureth not? Could he have foreseen the troublous consequences of the union, he might have wished to imitate the example of Jupiter, who, having considered the subject in all its bearings, devoured Metis, his wife, lest she should produce an offspring wiser than himself.”

Pergite Pierides! Go it, Lemprière!” here broke in that boisterous Frank, who, I regret to say, has an ubiquitous ear, and a consequent power of joining the conversation from any distance, and when you least expect him. “What are you two mythological bloaters driving at?”

“Francis,” I replied, reprovingly, “your mind, a feeble one at best, is unhinged by success and whiskey. Calm yourself, and go to bed.”

But he only crowed like a cock.

“The fact is,” resumed my Irish friend, “we are too near a great country ever to be great ourselves, and are too proud, unhappily, to perform on violin No. 2.”

“You won't be angry with me,” I said, “if I doubt your ability, under the most favourable circumstances, ever to play a first fiddle in the Monster Concert of Nations. You may let me say so, for I love the Irish. I should be disloyal to friendships, which I value dearly, forgetful of a thousand merry-makings enhanced by Irish humour, and of many a sorrow relieved by Irish sympathy, if I did not speak well of Irishmen, to say nothing of the interesting fact, that, on several delightful occasions, I have been in love with your sweet Irish girls. But if I have read your history aright, you have never, nationally, shown any ambition or aptitude to hold a prominent place.”

“Confound your impudence,” he answered, “did you never read in that self-same history, that Ireland was once 'the school of Europe,' 'Insula Sanctorum,' and I don't know what, before those Danish ruffians destroyed the monasteries,—from the purest and most pious motives, doubtless, like your own dear Henry VIII.!”

“I have read,” I rejoined, “that a Scotch gentleman (for 'Saint Patrick was a gentleman,' if ever there was one) preached Druidism out of this country, and gave you, in its place, the blessings of a heaven-sent faith; and I know, furthermore, that Irishmen, such as Sedulius, your poet, and your Saints, Columbkill, and Aidan, and Finian, and Cuthbert, names known and beloved through Christendom, have been ever esteemed and honoured among the champions of our holy religion; but I am speaking of Ireland politically, and maintain, that, even in the brighter epoch, of which you treat, say from the fifth to the ninth century, Ireland, socially and generally, was in a state of trouble and disquietude. Indeed it would seem from your history that until a recent period, which (I say it with all reverent earnestness) may God prolong, you have either been repelling invaders, or fighting among yourselves, or both, ever since Partholan, the sixth in descent from Magog, Noah's second son, took Ireland, with his thousand men. Why, even in what you would consider a period of profound peace, you have been about as orderly as a lot of schoolboys, when the master is absent, or a pack of young hounds, who have got away from their huntsman; and suggest in every phase of your existence, the stern remark of your greatest Irishman,1 'Ireland is to be governed only by an army.' L'Empire, c'est l'Epée!” 2

1 Wellington.

2 Punch's version of Louis Napoleon's words, “L'Empire,
c'est la Paix

“You seem to think,” he said, “with another illustrious countryman of mine, Mr. John Cade, that 'then are we in order, when most out of order,' and that Ireland, like the lady in the farce, 1 only 'glories in her topsy-turvy-tude;' but when you speak of the schoolmaster being abroad, do you not in great measure account for eccentricities, repeating that grand enigma, 'What makes treason reason, and Ireland wretched?' and answering, 'absent T.' Collisions and explosions may be looked for on the Rail, when they, who should be its Directors, never come near the line; and in my opinion the best thing that could happen to Ireland would be the revival of the Act against non-residence which was made in 1379.” 2

1 The King's Gardener.

2 Moore's History of Ireland, vol. iii., p. 113.

“Would it not,” I asked, “be a wiser and more agreeable inducement, if you could assure the returning landlord that his plans of improvement would not be disturbed by an injection of lead into his brain? At all events, I think, we shall see shortly what resident men can do. The estates, which absenteeism, as much as anything, has encumbered and finally estranged, will be occupied, to a great extent, by their new owners:—will these ever make Paddy industrious?

“Sure,” he answered, “we'll be the grandest nation upon earth, the moment we get a taste of encouragement. Meanwhile I'll concede, that we're a trifle awkward to manage, and, when we're not famished by dearth of food, nor depressed by a drought of whiskey, that we're mighty fond of a scrimmage. And you'll allow, I take it, that no men fight in a gentaler form than we do: your Irish regiments have done you good service on the battle-field, to say nothing of our having supplied you with the grandest warrior of your history. And long may we fight, side by side, and keep out of all hot water, but this,” and he touched my glass with his own, and sang with a voice so pliable and mellow, that even the knight of the surly shoulders,—whom we also named Thersites, described by Homer as “the ugliest chap of all who came to Troy,”—smiled and nodded in accompaniment,—

“O quam bonum est!
O quam jucundum est!
Poculis fraternis gaudere!”

And so we became, as Dennis O'Shaughnessy 1 bids, the “sextons to animosity and care;” and having buried them decently, were going to bed, when dulcet notes from a musical instrument, which the performer thereupon alluded to as his “feelute,” and which was joyously warbling an Irish jig, attracted us to the kitchen. And what mortal man “that hadn't wooden legs,” could see blushing Biddy Joyce footing it merrily, and not feel himself as irresistibly disposed to dance, as a nigger when he hears a fiddle? In thirty seconds Frank and I were involved in a series of such swift, untiring saltations, as the world hath not seen, since Mevelava, the Dervish, danced for four days to the flute of Hamsa!

When we awoke the next morning (Sunday), “the richest cloudland in Europe,” as Kohl terms Ireland, was investing such abundance of its surplus capital in the lakes and mountains of Connamara, that it was impossible to leave our inn; and as difference of creed unhappily prevented a common service, every man became his own priest, and every bed-room an oratory. My friend, the Irish graduate, played some most solemn and impressive music, including the “Cujus Animam,” from the Stabat Mater, upon a Concertina, which now breathed forth notes sweet and clear, like a flute, and anon was grand and organ-like. At a later period, a perfume, which, at first, I supposed to be incense, issued from his dormitory; but it ultimately resolved itself into Latakia.

At last, the clouds began to break, and the grand old mountains to emerge from the mist, like the scenery in a dissolving view; the sunlight seemed to reach one's heart; and we sallied forth for a walk, the Irishman, Frank, and I, as happy as bees on the first warm day of spring, or as the gallant Kane, when, after a long Arctic winter, he saw the sun shine once more, and felt “as though he were bathing in perfumed waters.” The conversation, as we strolled towards Letter-Frack, was theological and brisk. Paddy said that “our Church resembled a branch broken from the Vine, withering and moribund from inanition;” and we affirmed that “his Church was like a tree unpruned, all leaves, and no fruit.” Then he pretended to have heard that Mr. Spurgeon had refused the See of Canterbury, and that Lord Shaftesbury was bringing in a Bill to abolish the Apostles' Creed. “You miscellaneous Christians,” he said, “will shortly have nothing to believe in common, unless it be—Dr. Cumming!

“And you, magnificent Christians,” I rejoined, “who, by the way, have had your rival Popes, and still have divisions among you, you have already got more to believe than Scripture, tradition, or common sense acknowledge. As to our being 'miscellaneous,' we churchmen have no communion with the sects, though you delight to identify us with them, and though some disloyal teachers among us may 'apply the call of dissent to their own lost sheep, and tinkle back their old women by sounding the brass of the Methodists,' 1 our Church, unswerving, still maintains the old, catholic faith, and earnestly entreats deliverance from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism.”

1 Horace Walpole.

And so we went on, strophe, and antistrophe, with an occasional epode from Frank (who kindly applauded both parties, encouraging us, more liberally than respectfully, with “Bravo Babylon!” “Now heretic!” and the like), and only arrived at unanimity, when it was proposed that we should return and dine.

Our host, Mr. Duncan, told us this evening, with other very interesting details, concerning the Famine of 1847, how that, at a public meeting in the neighbourhood, he had said, somewhat incautiously, that rather than the people should starve, they might take his sheep from the hills; and how that, when want and hunger increased, they kept in remembrance his generous words, and, taking advantage, like Macbeth, of “the unguarded Duncan,” turned ninety of his sheep into mutton.


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WE left Kyle-more next morning about 8.30,—the Irishman calling to us from his window, “to give his love to the Bishop of London, and to ask him what he fancied for the Chester Cup,”—travelling on an outside car,—the most pleasant mode of conveyance for two persons, as you are thus perfectly independent, can stop when and where you please, have plenty of room, and can converse agreeably. Frank looked wistfully back at the lake, like the pointer sent home at luncheon, or the hunter you have ridden as your hack to the “meet,” or (a resemblance much more to his taste), a belle, reluctantly leaving the ball-room, on the arm of her drowsy but determined Pa.

Now we pass through the severe and solemn scenery of the Killeries, compared by Inglis, Barrow, and Miss Martineau, to a Norwegian Fiord, with its lakes so still, and cold, and black, and its mountains so bleak and stern, that even the sea-fowl seemed to have deserted it with the exception of a single cormorant, who looked as though he had committed himself in some disreputable way, and had been banished here for solitary confinement.


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But the dreariness of the scene was soon delightfully relieved by numbers of the peasantry, on their way to the Fair, or Pattern as it is called, being held on the festival of some Patron Saint, at Leenane; and the striking colours of their picturesque costume, red, white, and blue, came out most effectively against the sombre darkness of the back-ground. Boats, too, were crossing the water; and a soldier in uniform, coming over in one of them, glowed on the gloomy lake, like a bed of scarlet geraniums in the middle of a fallow field. Some were on foot; but more on horseback, almost every steed carrying double—husbands and wives, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters, and for aught I know, “one lovely arm was stretched for,”—nothing in particular, “and one was round her lover.” The bare feet hung gracefully down, and the eyelids, as we passed, hung gracefully down also, and hid those bright Irish eyes. Well, “there is a shame, which is glory and grace,” the most beautiful ornament that woman wears, and nowhere worn with a more becoming, but unaffected, dignity, than here by the maidens of Connamara.

Saddles did not seem to be known, and the bridles, chiefly, were of rope or twisted hay. As to the Fair itself, I imagine that the meeting partook more of a social than of a commercial character, a few sheep being the principal live-stock which we saw exposed for sale. Several stalls exhibited, for the refreshment of visitors, large cakes or bannocks, with currants at an incredible distance from each other (the white bread, per se, being, doubtless, a sufficient novelty and treat to many), and any amount of apples. Indeed Paddy seems almost as fond of pommes d'arbre as he is of pommes de terre; and in Stations, Steamers, and Streets, they have all but a monopoly of the market.

The landlord of the neat-looking inn at Leenane, a fine, tall, manly fellow, reminding us that we had now entered into the country of “big Joyce,” came forth and welcomed us cheerily, as we stopped to change our horse, and almost induced us to stay and see the fun of the fair, together with “the hundred and fifty couple, which would stand up in the afternoon for a jig.” But we had no time to lose, having to meet the Clifden Car, at the Cross Roads, en route to Galway; and as we saw, shortly afterwards, two waggons loaded with constables, who were going to preserve order, we did not regret our departure, nor fail to congratulate each other on the unbroken soundness of our Saxon skulls.

We took with us a new driver from Leenane, who seemed somewhat depressed at leaving the Fair, and was the least sociable Irishman I ever met. But one does not desire conversation amid this impressive scenery; and as the only information which he volunteered was this, that “Hens Castle,” near the Mauwt Hotel, was built in one night by a cock and hen grouse,—a statement which he appeared to believe implicitly,—I don't suppose that we lost much from his taciturnity. The misfortune was, that, though his tongue was tied, his hat was not,—an eccentric, light-hearted “wide-awake,” which would keep skimming past us, and hurrying back to Leenane, always starting off with a fresh impetus, as the owner stooped to secure it. As time was precious, Frank offered to fasten the article to his head, with a large, gold breast-pin, by way of nail, and a heavy stone, which he picked up by the wayside (during a little walk of some two miles up hill), as hammer; but he was repulsed with considerable asperity. At last, to our great delectation, the offensive head-gear was drawn out of a boggy pool, in such a limp and unpleasant condition, that the proprietor, after a brief survey, indignantly sat upon it during the remainder of our journey, vesting his cranium in a pocket-handkerchief, which was, indeed, a sight to see. With a large bunch of heather, which, I regret to confess, we could not refrain from inserting in the collar of his coat, and

“dulce est tomfoolere in loco?

he presented an appearance “well worthy of hob-servation,” (as they say at the wax-work), and which would have raised an immediate mob in any street of London.

We arrived at the cross roads, in spite of the Fabian policy pursued by the volatile hat, in good time for the Galway car, and soon found ourselves leaning over the pretty bridge at Oughterarde, and bidding farewell to Connamara. It has been, indeed, a privilege and refreshment to wander amid these glorious scenes, where

“Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise,”

and where nature, with a calm, majestic dignity, which must impress, and ought to improve, claims at once our reverence and love, awes us with her grandeur, but charms us more with her smile.

The tourist readily foregoes and forgets the temporary loss of little comforts to which he has been accustomed. There is but one really great deprivation to which he is subject,—the want of ladies' society. English ladies can go, do go, and will go everywhere; but, generally speaking, they are unwilling, wisely unwilling, to encounter a wet day on an Irish car, or the carpetless, comfortless rooms of the Connaviara inns.

Indeed, the fine gentleman, who chiefly loves the tips of his moustaches, the sleeve-links of his shirt, and the toes of his gleaming boots,—the dandy, [Greek word], who can't live without his still champagne, by Jove, his soups and sauces, and golden plovers, his Nesselrode pudding, and petit verre en suite,—will find sad discomfiture in Connamara. Neither Apicius Coelius nor Lady Clutterbuck have prepared the way for his daintyship, and when the bacon, which accompanies the breastless fowls, shall display its prismatic hues, his forlorn spirit shall sigh in vain for the pleasant hams of Piccadilly, while, in vain, he imprecates on the unskilful cook the fate of Mr. Richard Rouse. 1

1 A cook, who, in the year 1530, attempted to poison Fisher,
Bishop of Rochester, and was boiled to death—out of
compliment to his profession. See Froude's History of
England, vol. i., p. 288. A writer in the Athenaum (Jan. 13,
1844,) remarks, in a very amusing article on the Irish
Census, “There is no cookery in Ireland, because there is
nothing to cook. We occasionally, to be sure, throw them a
bone of contention, and they make a broil of it. Their
cookery goes no further.”

At morn, moreover, lazily turning in his bed to ring for valet or waiter, how shall his superb dignity be perturbed to find, that there exists no belle alliance between the upper and lower house, and that his highness must go to the stair top, and hallo, for whatever his emergencies require. No marble bath awaits him now, with its tepidly congenial joys; but there stands at his door a little tub, which he contemplates as ruefully as the stork of the fable the shallow dish of the fox, and which just contains a sufficiency of water to perplex a rat of irresolute mind, whether he should walk or swim. The accommodation is, in fact, so limited, that Frank, in attempting some daring flight of ablution, broke his tiny bath to pieces, and away streamed the water to announce the fact down stairs.


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Up came the astonished waiter, and surveying the wreck with a sorrowful countenance, exclaimed, “By the powers, your onner, its Meary's looking-glass you've been and ruinated intirely!—and how will she kape herself nate and daysint?” subsequently explaining to us, that this vessel, filled with clear spring water, had served, prior to its dissolution, as the mirror of the pretty housemaid. I had my doubts as to the tale of a tub; but Frank, at all events, thought it his duty to have an interview with the bereaved Meary, and returned therefrom with one of his ears considerably enriched in colouring.

I strongly recommend the tourist to make himself a C.B., by procuring a portable bath of waterproof material, such as is now made for travellers. He will then have no difficulty to contend with beyond a slight indisposition on the part of the waiters to supply him liberally with the element required. “Bedad,” said one of them to me, “if the rain's to be presarved, and carried up stairs, and trated in this fashion, I'm thinking it'ill get so mighty fond of our attintions, that it'll never lave us at all, at all!”

Again, the fine gentleman may be disconcerted to find that windows very generally decline to be opened, or, being open, prefer to keep so, except in case of his looking out of them, when they are down upon his neck, like a guillotine. His looking-glass, too, just as it is brought to a convenient focus, may perhaps, dash madly round, as though urged by an anxiety, which it could not repress, to assure him, in white chalk, that it really cost three and sixpence!

But what are these trivial inconveniences, which amuse, more than they annoy, to “a man as calls himself a man,” and when he has such active, cheerful, untiring servants, ever ready to do all in their power to please him? The cuisine is certainly a little queer, but he who, with a Connamara appetite, cannot enjoy Connamara fare, salmon, fresh from its lakes, eggs newly laid, excellent bread and butter, the maliest of potatoes (“laughing at you, and with their coats unbuttoned from the heat,” but perhaps a trifle underboiled for our taste, until we learn to like them “with a bone in them”), together with the best of whiskey, and our Burton beer; he who cannot sleep in a clean Connamara bed, after a day among its mountains and lakes, nor say with Bellarius,

“Come; our stomach
Will make what's homely savoury; weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Finds the down pillow hard,—

why he's not the man for Galway, and had better keep away from it.


WE witnessed at the railway station, on our arrival at Galway, a most painful and touching scene,—the departure of some emigrants, and their last separation, here on earth, from dear relations and friends. The train was about to start, and the platform was crowded with men, women, and children, pressing round to take a last fond look. Ever and anon, a mother or a sister would force a way into the carriages, flinging her arms around her beloved, only to be separated by a superior strength, and parting from them with such looks of misery as disturbed the soul with pity. And then, for the first time, we heard the wild Irish “cry,” beginning with a low, plaintive wail, and gradually rising in its tone of intense sorrow, until

“Lamentis, gemituque et fæmineo ululatu Tecta fremunt.”

Nor was this great grief simulated, as by hired keeners at a wake, the mulieres proficae of the Irish Feralia, but came gushing with its waters of bitterness from the full fountain of those loving hearts. There were faces there no actor could assume—faces which would have immortalised the painter who could have traced them truly, but were beyond the compass of art. Two, especially, I shall never forget. A youth of eighteen or nineteen, who had a cheerful word and pleasant smile for all, though you could see the while, in his white cheek and quivering lip, how grief was gnawing his brave Spartan heart (Ah,

“What a noble thing it is To suffer and be strong!”)

and the other, an elderly man, who stood somewhat aloof from the rest, with his arms folded, and his head bent, motionless, speechless, with a face on which despair had written, I shall smile no more until I welcome death!

I thought of those beautiful lines which begin,

“Thank God, bless God, all ye who suffer not
More grief than ye can weep for. That is well;” 1

1 Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

and I thought, also, what great hearts beat under coats of frieze, and how bounden we are, with all our might, to avert from them these overwhelming sorrows, or, at the least, and if fall they must, to prove our sympathy as best we can.

Many of the emigrants had bunches of wild flowers and heather, and one of them a shamrock in a broken flowerpot, as memorials of dear ould Ireland. Nor does this fond love of home and kindred decline in a distant land; no less a sum than 7,520,000 L. having been sent from America to Ireland, in the years 1848 to 1854, inclusive, according to the statement of the Emigration Commissioners.

It was a strange recollection during this scene of sorrow, (and how strangely our thoughts will sometimes set themselves at variance with what is passing before us!) that, all the while, the Great Jig was going on at Leenane, and the fiddlers fiddling, and the hundred and fifty couple footing it, right merrily! Well,

“Let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must laugh,
And some must weep—
So runs the world away!”

And I, accordingly, having sorrowed, and that heartily, with the poor emigrants and their friends, shall venture to refresh myself, and, I hope, my readers, with a small historical incident, suggested to my memory by the wild Irish cry. When Richard de Clare, surnamed Strongbow, invaded Ireland in 1171, one of his sons was so exceedingly astonished at the awful howlings, which the enemy raised, by way of overture to the fight, that he became prematurely “tired of war's alarms,” and set forth without loss of time in search of more peaceful scenes;—colloquially speaking, he cut and run. But hearing, soon afterwards, that the Governor had silenced these disagreeable vocalists, and that the conquerors were having no end of fun, Master Strongbow returned to the bosom of his family—where he must have been inexpressibly surprised and disgusted at the abrupt and ungentlemanly behaviour of Papa, who no sooner caught sight of him, than he rushed at him, and—cut him in two. 1

1 Moore's History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 290.

We left Galway at four p.m., and reached Athlone in a couple of hours. If the Widow Malone, och hone, still lives in the town of Athlone, och hone, I do not admire her choice of residence, for its aspect is cold and cheerless. So at least it appeared, as we saw it, on a day that was dark, and dull, and dreary, with rain. We read in “Wanleys Wonders”(one of the most carefully-collated and painstaking books of lies extant) that the inhabitants of Catona were wont to make their king swear, at his coronation, that it should not rain immoderately, in any part of his dominions, so long as he remained on the throne; and one sighs for a similar dynasty in Ireland, (if the promise was really fulfilled), where that ancient monarch, “King O'Neill, of the Showers,” seems still perpetually to reign.

So the streets were looking their narrowest and dingiest, and the Castle and Barracks their greyest and grimmest, as we saw them from under our umbrellas; and we were glad to return to Mr. Rourke's comfortable hotel, where papered walls and carpeted floors, and practicable windows, and duplicate towels, again welcomed us to the lap of luxury. But I felt little disposition to sit down in it, mourning for Connamara, gazing sadly through the windows of our coffee-room, and esteeming the Post-office opposite but a poor substitute for the great hills of Bina Beola, and the lakes to be very feebly represented by Mr. Pym's establishment for the diffusion of Dublin ales. Nor did sweet solace come, until we beheld once more—a real beef-steak. Frank's eyes, in their normal state of a mild, benevolent blue, glowed with a fiery greed; and I do not suppose that six Van Amburghs could have taken away our food with hot irons.

After dinner we communicated to each other the little we knew with regard to the old town of Athlone:—how that—the Shannon, which flows through it, being here fordable,—it had always been a place of great military importance; how that William III. had, in the first instance, failed to take it,—or rather to receive it, 1 as he would have said, with the exquisite humour, for which he was remarkable,—and lost for a time that amiability of temper, which, according to the historian, 2 was so conspicuous in time of war; how that Ginkel, his General, (why does not history salute him by his more euphonious designation as first Earl of Athlone?) had much better luck next time, to wit, on the 1st of July, 1691, when, differing in opinion with the supercilious Frenchman, St. Ruth, who declared the thing to be impossible, even after it was done, he boldly crossed the river, attacked, and took the place.

1 His motto was, “Recepi non rapui,” which Swift happily
translated, “the receiver is as bad as the thief.”

2 Smollett, who says, “His conversation was dry, and his
manners disgusting, except in battle!”—Hume Continued,
vol. i., p. 442.

Here, feebly murmuring something about “the new bridge, which spans the noble stream, being a handsome structure,” we came to a decided check, Frank making a cast by ringing the bell, and requesting the waiter to “bring in a large dish of startling incidents, connected with the history of Athlone,”—an order, which seemed to amuse three good-looking priests, (en route for a Consecration at Ballinasloe, to be presided over by Cardinal Wiseman), and who were discussing, (and why not?—I'm not the man, at all events, to write and tell the Pope,) a small decanter of whiskey.

The Shannon is a glorious river, broad and deep, and brimming over, extending, from source to sea, a distance of two hundred miles, and “making its waves a blessing as they flow” to ten Irish counties. I should think that hay for the universe might be grown upon its teeming banks, and we saw a goodly quantity studding the fields with those (to us) quaint-looking tumuli, which, like the “hobbledehoy, neither man nor boy,” are too large for haycocks, and too small for stacks. Six miles from Athlone, we pass the Seven Churches of Clonmacnoise, (once, as its name signifies, the Eton of Ireland, “the school of the sons of the nobles,”) by whom despoiled and desecrated we English need not pause to inquire; and close to these a brace of those famous Round Towers, which have so perplexed the archaeological world, and which, according to Frank, were, “most probably Lighthouses, which had come ashore at night for a spree, and had forgotten the way back again.” The scenery, which at first is flat and uninteresting, except to an agricultural eye, increases in attraction, as you progress towards Limerick, and is exceedingly beautiful about Lough Derg. There are delightful residences on either side, of which we admired particularly Portumna, my Lord Clanricarde's 1 and a place called Derry. The view from the upper windows of this latter home must be “a sight to make an old man young.” The mountains, inclosed and cultivated, have a tame unnatural look, as though they had been brought here from Connamara, and been broken to carry corn; and they wear a strange uncomfortable aspect, like some Cherokee Chief in the silk stockings and elegant attire of our Court.

1 Would that his motto were the watchword of every
Irishmen:—“Un g foy, ung roy, ung loy!


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Here and there, in mid-stream, are beacons of an original pattern. The cormorants flew heavily away before us, but the heron moved not from the sighing sedge,—still and grey as the stone on which he stood,—nor seemed to note the seething waters, which swelled around him as the steamer passed.

Ay, and how touchingly that silent bird, with his keen gaze, steadfastly fixed, and his every thought concentrated, upon one object reminded me (if, for a moment, I may assimilate the Queen of my soul to a gudgeon) of myself; for alas, I was again in love! As soon as ever I set foot on the steamer, I knew it was all over, though she was a long way off.

“It would have been well,” writes Mr. Froude, “for Henry VIII. if he could have lived in a world, in which women could have been dispensed with;” and it would be better no doubt for the susceptible tourist, if there were fewer pretty girls in Ireland. In vain, I groaned

“O intermissa, Venus, diu,
Rursus bella moves!
Parce, precor, precor!”

for she wouldn't parce at any price; and by the time we arrived at Clonmacnoise, I was in a state of most abject infatuation. Frank proposed to bleed me with a large fishing-knife, and would keep feeling my pulse, with his watch in his hand, in an exceedingly frivolous manner. But I suffered severely, in spite of frequent beer, until a late period of the evening, when my wounded spirit, in the smoke-room at Limerick, at last found relief in song.


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1 The title and metre are suggested by Mahony's most musical
verses in praise of The Bells of Shandon.

With swate sensashuns,
And palpitashuns,
And suspirashuns,
Which thrill me through!
Here in Limerick, city Of maidens pretty,
A tender ditty I'll chant to you.

With maid and man on,
A stamer ran on,
Where silver Shannon In glory glames!
Shure, all big rivers He bates to shivers,
Rowling majestic,
This King o' Strames!

There, blandly baming,
As we went staming,
Och, was I draming?
I first did note,
Such a swate fairy,
As super mare,
No, nor yet in aere,
Did iver float!

Her very bonnet
Desarves a sonnet,
And I'd write one on it,
If I'd the time.
But something fairer,
And dear, and rarer,
In coorse, the wearer,
Shall have my rhyme.

With eyes like mayteors,
And parfect phaytures,
Which aisy bate yours,
Great Vanus, fair!
I'll ne'er forget her,
As first I met her,
On (what place betther?)
The cabin stair!

Her darlint face is
Beyond all praises,
And thin for graces,
There's not her like.
All other lasses
She just surpasses,
As wine molasses,
Or salmon pike!

Her hair's the brightest,
Her hand the whitest,
Her step the lightest,—
Ah me, those fate!
You need not tell a—bout
For hers excel a-
ny boots you'll mate!

With look the purest,
That ever tourist,
From eyes azurest,
Saw anywhere,
I met her blushing,
As I went rushing,
For bitter beer, down
The cabin stair.

Then she sat and smiled, where,
On luggage piled there, 1
She me beguiled,—ne'er
A smile like that!
And I began to Compose a canto
On Frank's portmanteau,
Whereon she sat.

I've read in story,
What dades of glory,
Knights grand and gory,
For love have wrought.
But ne'er was duel,
Nor torture cruel,
I'd shun, my jewel,
If you besought!

For her voice is swatest,
Her shape the natest,
And she complatest
Of womankind.
And while that river,
In sunlight quiver,
Oh, sure, he'll niver
Her aqual find

Troth, since we've parted,
I've felt down-hearted,
And disconsarted,—
A cup too low!
And so I think, boys,
We'd better drink, boys,
Her health in whiskey,
Before we go.
1 This luggage included a long narrow box, and, from an
aperture at the top there emerged from time to time a
peacock's head, exhibiting (despite the presence of Juno) an
expression of sublime misery. I doubt whether that bird will
ever take heart to spread his tail again!

“He'll forget her to-morrow morning,” said Frank to his neighbour, in a pretended whisper, which all could hear, “and it's better so, poor fellow, for the girl's ridiculously fond of me, and I've got no end of her hair in my pocket.”

Of course, there were plenty of fools to giggle; but I never could see any wit in lies. I am quite positive, that, when we parted, she returned my regretful gaze, and

“Phyllida amo ante alias; nam me discedere flevit.”


UNDOUBTEDLY, there is solace for the forlorn in the pleasant city of Limerick. Justly celebrated for its Hooks, it is far more to be admired for its Eyes, for, although the former are the best in all the world, the latter are much more killing! No sooner did we emerge from Mr. Cruise's very excellent and extensive hotel, than we were attacked and surrounded by the lace-girls, in their blue cloaks, drooping gracefully, with heads uncovered, or rather most becomingly covered with thick and glossy hair. At first, we recklessly resolved to cut a way through with our umbrellas, or perish in the attempt, but the utter hopelessness of such a fearful step induced us finally to capitulate, the Siege of Limerick was raised, and commercial relations peacefully established between the besiegers and besieged. I did just venture to inquire what use I could possibly make of four superficial inches of fine linen, surrounded by very delicate openwork, not less than a foot in width, and was immediately answered, “And shure, yer honner'll be for buying the handkercher, to dry up the tares of the swate young lady, as is waping for ye over the says.”

We would have it, of course, and the “splendid pair o' slaves,” and a miscellaneous assortment, which created an immense sensation on our return home, and were declared to be both pretty and cheap; for, “when maidens sue, men give like gods,” or geese, as the case may be; and such winning looks of tender entreaty came from under those long dark eye-lashes, that I really believe their owners could have persuaded us to purchase a complete collection of poisonous reptiles, or a copy of “The Converted Bargee.” They were not so successful with a morose old gentleman, who could see no beauty in their “darlint collars;” and they quite failed in an attempt, evidently persisted in for their own amusement, to dispose of some beautiful little babies'-caps, to a waspish old girl of sixty-five!


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Limerick is divided into three parts, the Irish town, the English town, and Newtown Perry (so called after Mr. Sexton Perry, who commenced it); and these are connected by bridges, of which the old Thomond, hard by King Johns Castle, and the new Wellesley, said to have cost 85,000 L., are interesting. The eccentricities of the workmen must have added materially to the costliness of the latter structure, inasmuch as they seem to have been Odd Fellows as well as very Free Masons, who, instead of cementing stones and friendships, only turned the former into stumbling blocks for the latter, by throwing them at each other's heads. Every day an animated faction-fight, between the boys of Clare and the boys of Limerick, was got up (instead of the bridge), until at length it was found necessary to bring out an armed force, to keep order on this Pons Asinorum.

The main street of Newtown Perry, in which is Cruise's Hotel, is a long and handsome one; and what's more, you may buy some good cigars in it, a rare refreshment in Ireland.

We went to see the Cathedral (partly out of compliment to the memory of good Bishop Jebb); but its iron gates were scrupulously locked. Perhaps, had they been open, we should not have ventured within, for the building had a grim, uninviting look, and seemed as though it despised us thoroughly for daring to come when it wasn't service-time. I should not have been at all surprised, if “a variety of humbugs in cocked-hats” had sallied forth to disperse us.

One of the lace-girls, for they had followed us, with reduced prices and a fresh supply of their pretty work, told us, as we turned from the gate, that “during the grate sage o' Limerick there was a mighty big gun on the top of that church, that kept firing away, day and night.” Whereupon Frank said, that the interesting fact was highly creditable to the Dean and Chapter, who generally deputed any hard work to one of the minor canons.

In which of the sieges did the great gun thunder? Was it that of 1651, when Ireton (whose character one never can identify with that beautiful portrait engraved by Houbraken, for how could such a noble presence belong to a man “melancholick and reserved,” 1 and so wanting in personal courage, as to allow Mr. Holies to pull him by the nose? 2) died before the walls from the plague? Or did it some forty years later send forth its sulphurous and tormenting flames, against “bould Giniral Ginkil,” and help to expedite that Famous Treaty of Limerick, honourable alike to all?

1 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii., p. 362.

2 Birch's Lives of Illustrious Persons, p. 96.

We did not see nor hear anything of the great Pig-Factory, whereat one million porkers are said to be annually slain. A stern Hebrew, of a truculent taste, might possibly venture to settle in the vicinity; but the music must be too high by several octaves for Christians of the ordinary stamp.

I wonder whether the lady still lives in Limerick, who had the passage of arms, or rather of legs, with General Sir Charles Napier. Being, in the complimentary diction of her friends, “a remarkably fine woman,” or, in the vulgar verbiage of irreverent youth “a regular slogger,” she was wont to despise those of her fellow-creatures, who did not weigh sixteen stone; and when the little soldier broke his leg, she remarked contemptuously, “that she supposed some fly had kicked his poor spindle-shanks!” It so happened that, just as he recovered, the large lady met with a similar accident, breaking her leg. Napier was at no loss to improve the occasion. “Going to her house,” he says, “I told the servant, how sorry I was to hear that a bullock had kicked his mistress, and injured its leg very much; and that I had called, in consequence, to inquire whether her leg was at all hurt!

We left Limerick for Killarney by the mail train, at 11.30 a.m., entering the main line of the Great Southern and Western Railway after an hour's travelling, progressing thereon as far as Mallow (the town upon the banks of the Blackwater, with its church, and trees, and picturesque bridge, is a sweet little “study,” and looked as though the sun shone there always); and thence by a branch line to Killarney, which we reached at 4 p.m. We passed through a country (including part of the Golden Vale of Limerick 1) varied, fertile, and well-cultivated, although two young officers (who looked at us, when we entered their carriage at Mallow, as though I were at the crisis of small-pox, and my friend a ticket-of-leave man) declared, as they woke up just opposite an embankment, that the scenery was “beastly plain.”

1 “It extends from Charleville to Tipperary by Kilfinnan
nearly thirty miles, and again across from Ardpatrick to
within a short distance of Limerick city, sixteen miles.”—
Saxon in Ireland, p. 101.



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THERE are words which, although unnoticed in the delightful treatises of the Dean of Westminster 1 (may his fame increase!) have a strange power upon the heart,—words which can ring for us, listening by the brookside, and in arbours and meadow-haunts once more, the joy-bells of a former mirth, or toll above past sorrows and buried hopes their muffled and mournful peal. Breathes there, for instance, a man with soul so dead, who can hear of a primrose bank, or a cowslip-ball, or a roly-poly pudding, or a sillabub, or a soap bubble, or a pantomime, or of Robinson Crusoe, and not feel himself, though it be but for a moment, a happy child again? And do we not realise, on the other hand, in all their brief intensity, our earliest sorrows, when memory suggests to us those solemn sounds of woe, measles, big-brother, ghosts, dentists, castor-oil?

1 Dr. Trench, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin.

And who (to pass on to boyhood) can ever hear of foot-ball, especially if Tom Brown speak, without longing for a kick to goal? Who can be reminded of the river, and not remember those summer days, when, nude and jubilant, we took first a preliminary canter among the haycocks, and then “a header” into the deep, cold stream? or, again, those merry days of winter, when, from our slippery skates we took—well, anything but “a header” upon its glibly frozen surface? On the other hand, who does not felicitate himself that he has arrived at man's estate, when he recalls those awful impositions which he still believes have softened his brain, or when his memory (not to particularise) is tingling at the idea of birch, and contemplating a “Visitation of Arms and Seats” long anterior to Mr. Bernard Burke's?

Chiefly, perhaps, when we come to shave, or, more wisely, to cherish instead of destroying (with many a grimace and groan), those healthful adjuncts to manly beauty, “quas Natura sud sponte suggerit” is felt this great influence of words. I have seen the cheek of a pallid friend suddenly to assume the hues of a peony, the rich crimson tint of dining-room curtains, at mention of the name of “Rose;” and I remember how a Brasenose man, whose fresh ruddy countenance was much more suggestive of Burton-upon-Trent than it was of Burton upon Melancholy, and whom we called Chief Mourner, because he was always first after the bier, would become colourless, and “pale his ineffectual fire,” at the very sound of Blanche. Nor do I see any discredit in confessing my own inability to hear certain sweet Christian-Names (sixteen in all, but nine in particular), without emotions of a troublous, but delightful, character.

And as at this era, just as in the two preceding it, there are special words which bring joy and animation to man (let me briefly instance gone-away, mark-woodcock, sillery, deux-temps), so there are terms of terror (e.g. jilt, tailor, Little-Go, lurit-server, poacher, vulpicide), of potent and cruel import.

I might amplify for my readers this etymological treat. I might expatiate on the different effects produced by. the same word upon different minds, videlicet, by the word Tally-ho, as heard at the covert-side by sportsman or by muff, by the man who rides with hounds, or the skirting path-finder who rides without them; but I have already travelled by a too circuitous route to my conclusion,—that it is sweet to hear the mere names of those things, which are pleasant and lovable in themselves, and that to those who have seen the Irish lakes, the word Killarney is “a joy for ever.”

Coming so immediately from the wild grandeur of Connamara to these scenes of tranquil beauty, I think that our first view of the Lakes, as we left the Victoria Hotel, was rather a disappointment. The landscape (or waterscape?) was so calm and still, that it had somewhat of a dioramic effect, and one almost expected to see it move slowly onwards to an accompaniment of organ music. But as the olive lends a zest to generous wine, even so this tiny discontentment served but to enhance our subsequent and full fruition. For, once upon the waters, you become forthwith convinced, not only how impossible it is to exaggerate the beauties of Killarney (as well might a painter essay to flatter or improve a sunset), but for pen or pencil to do them justice.

There is such infinite variety, from the white and golden lilies, (which, close to land, look like miniature canoes, from which fairy watermen have just sprung lightly ashore), to the towering heights and aeries; such diversity of tint and outline in the mountains, tree-clothed from crown to base; in those “islets so freshly fair;” and in those dancing waters, which raise their smiling waves to kiss the flowers and ferns; such contrasts, and yet such a perfect whole, of wood and water, “harmoniously confused;” such transformations, wrought by cloud and breeze, yet always such complete repose; that the eye can never weary.

We hired a boat, and set forth for Innisfallen, just at that delightful time between sunset and moonrise,

“When in the crimson cloud of even
The lingering light decays,
And Hesper, on the front of Heaven,
His glittering gem displays.”

Presently, the moon came up above those lofty hills, 1 and as bugle music from the returning boats was wafted over the shining waters, and lost itself among the mountains, we turned to each other, Frank and I, at the same moment, with those thrilling lines,

“O hark! O hear! how thin and clear;
And thinner, clearer, farther going.
O, sweet and far, from cliff and scar,
The horns of Elf-land faintly blowing.
Blow! let us hear the purple glens replying.
Blow, bugle; answer echoes, dying, dying, dying!”

1 In a Trip to Ireland, by a Cambridge M. A. (1858), there
is written, gravely written, at page 18, the following most
original simile: “Just over yon steep acclivity hangs a
crescent moon, like a silver knocker on the star-studded
gate of heaven, and one can almost fancy some angel-warder
will, ere long, break the silence with the gracious
invitation, 'Come up hither.'”

Indeed, you would suppose that Tennyson must have written this heart-stirring song at Killarney, did not the engraving prefixed to it, represent so different and dismally inferior a scene. To look and listen, as we rowed slowly onwards, seemed to be more happiness than we, undeserving, could at once enjoy; and it required a contemplation of meaner things, to convince us that the whole scene was not, in the words of Ireland's poet, writing at Killarney, and of it,—

“One of those dreams, that by music are brought,
Like a light summer-haze, o'er the poet's warm thought.”

So we lit our pipes, and then the boatmen, whose colloquial powers we generally evoked, as we tendered the calumet, or rather the tobacco-pouch, of friendship, began to tell us, how, once upon a time, it was all dry land about here; how some indiscreet, but anonymous individual had removed the lid from an enchanted well; and how the enchanted well had set to work, in consequence, and had flooded the valley in which stood the palace of King O'Donoghue, so suddenly, that a facetious sentinel had only just time to shout “All's Well!” at the top of his voice, when the waters, rising above his chin, and entering his vocal orifice, put a stop to further elocution.

It does not appear, as ordinary minds might have expected, that the prospects or spirits of the Donoghue were at all damped by this proceeding; and though his property seemed to be hopelessly “dipped,” and his capital to be sunk beyond all recovery, he contrived not only to get his head above water, but even to ride the high horse afterwards. For the boatmen say, that the royal edifice still remains, with all its inmates, unaltered and unalterable, at the bottom of the lake, and there the king entertains his court, with fish-dinners and aquatic fêtes on an unprecedented scale of magnificence, save when requiring air and exercise, he rides over the waters on a snowy steed, and turns the whole locality into an Irish “Vale of White Horse.”

“And there's plinty as has seen him, your 'onnour,” (so said the bow-oar historian), “and will take their swear of it—glowry to God!” Very little glowry, thought I, from the perjury of these delectable witnesses, who must have seen this quaint display of horsemanship through a “summer haze” of whiskey, and been very deliriously drunk. But our boat touches Innisfallen.

Everyone falls in love with this sweet little island. It has such grand, old, giant trees, such charming glades and undulations, “green and of mild declivity,” that here, childhood might play, manhood make love, and old age meditate, unwearied, from morn to night. Mr. Grieve would, in spite of his name, be joyful, to wander through its vistas and alleys green, and find fresh scenes for his canvas. What dear little glens, what “banks and braes” for the fairies. Can this be Titania coming towards us over the moonlit sward, and leaning upon the arm of Oberon? No; it is a couple of nuptial neophytes, looking so happy, that, as they pass, I could take off my hat and cheer. Ah, if fair lnnisfallen is so beautiful to us poor bachelors by ordinary moonlight, what must it be to Benedict, to the man in the moon of honey? What must be the happiness of my Lord Castlerosse, the eldest son of the Lord of the Isles of Killarney, who has just brought home his bride? 1

1 August, 1858.

Were I ever constrained to be a monk and celibate, I should wish my monastery to be at lnnisfallen, and I admire the taste of St. Finian (an ancestor, I presume, of Mr. Finn, our estimable host at the Victoria Hotel), who, some thirteen hundred years ago, selected this island for his retreat. The picturesque ruins of an ancient abbey still attest, that long after his time, men sought, in this sylvan solitude, that peace which they found not in the world.

Sweet Innisfallen! “thy praise is hymned by loftier harps than mine,” so lofty indeed, that my obtuse understanding is unable to read some of their music, as, for instance, where Moore sings,

“The steadiest light the sun e'er threw
Is lifeless to one gleam of thine.”

And, therefore, in plain prose, but with a full heart, Good night!


A car and guide, as per order, were waiting for us, when we had breakfasted next morning, and we set forth for the Gap of Dunloe. Entering upon the main road, we seemed to be in a drying-ground of immense proportions, with its perpetual posts and endless clothes-lines, extending along the wayside for miles. But it proved to be a continuation of that faithless messenger, the Atlantic telegraph, on its way between Valencia and the rail. Passing the ruins of Aghadoe, church, castle, and tower, and shortly afterwards those of Killaloe, we cross the river Latme, over a charming old bridge, and get views of the great Tomies Mountain, and also of Macgillicuddy's Reeks. Miles, our guide, a most intelligent and civil one, here told us the story, or rather one of the stories, concerning the latter mountains.

It seems that Mr. Macgillicuddy, a gentleman of extensive estates in this neighbourhood, went to visit some friends in England, and took with him an Irish servant, more prone to patriotism than truth. Whatever he saw among the Saxons was just nothing at all, at all, to what might be seen in Ireland. In short, he would have been a most appropriate attendant upon that Hibernian, who, being asked why he wept at sight of Greenwich Hospital, replied with sorrowful emotion, “Ah, sure, the buildings there remind me of mee dear father's stables!”

Now it befel that the English gentleman, possessing a large extent of rich meadow land, took especial delight in his hay-stacks, and his valet, sympathising with his master's vanity (as all good valets should), soon led the Irishman to look at the stack-yard, expecting to see him mightily astonished; but Paddy, having gazed around with the most sublime indifference, coolly said, “It's a nice bit o' grass you've brought home here for present use; now let us have a peep at the ricks.”

“Ricks!” exclaimed the Englishman, “why these be they.”

“Well, then,” says Paddy, “I'll just tell ye: there's about enough hay in this stack-yard to make the bands for thatching my master's ricks. Happen” (this he added as though he wished to be liberal, and to pay his companion a compliment), “there might be a couple of yards or so to spare.”

You may imagine that when, in the following year, the English valet came with his master to return the visit at Killarney, he was not long before he requested his Irish friend to favour him with a view of the haystacks. To be sure he would, with all the pleasure in life, and sorry he was to be prevented by circumstances (over which, he might have added, he had every control) from making the inspection before evening. Accordingly, in the dusk and gloom of twilight, he took the Englishman forth, and showed him, dim in the distance, this lofty mountain range. “There are our ricks,” said he.

In that belief the astonished stranger slept; and ever since that time men call these hills Macgillicuddy s Reeks!

Mr. Miles, in the next place, made our fingers to itch, eyes to strain, and mouths to water, as he told of red deer among the mountains, and of woodcocks in their season, twenty couple to be bagged per diem. Thus conversing, we drew near to the Gap, and to the cottage of Mrs. Moriarty, née Kearney, and grand-daughter of the beautiful Kate. But it is by no means a case of

“O matre pulchrâ Filia pulchrior!”

and we did not hesitate to decline the proffered draught of goat's milk and whiskey, although we implicitly believed Mrs. M.'s assertion, that, if we drank it, we should want nothing more throughout the remainder of the day.

Here, too, we overtook a car from Tralee, laden with pretty girls and a few young men (how we hated the latter for being in such high spirits, thought them vulgar snobs when they laughed, and coarsely familiar whenever they spoke!)—not from any rapidity of pace on our part, but because the Tralee horses judiciously jibbed at anything like a rise in the road; and then off jumped the pretty girls, like doves from eave to earth, but being, in their peculiar grace and pleasant coo, immeasurably superior to pigeons.


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At the entrance to the Gap, the scene was a most lively and attractive one. Here the cars are sent back, as the journey through the Pass must be made on ponies or afoot, and there was quite a merry little congress of visitors, guides, cars, and steeds. At length, the procession started, and a very picturesque one,—voici!

The Gap of Dunloe is a wild ravine, a defile through the mountains (on the right are the Reeks, and on the left the Tomies, Glena, and the Purple Mountain), which, rising on either side, dark, stern, and sterile, with no great interval between, impart a solemn grandeur to the Pass. The river Loe flows beneath the huge blocks of stone which have fallen from the rocks above—heard, but not seen, except in the small lakes which occur at intervals, and which, still and gloomy, add much to this impressive scene. One of these is called the Serpent's Lake, because St. Patrick, having caught the last snake in Ireland, put it into a big box (for reasons best known to himself), and flung it into this pool.

The most striking thing we saw as we went through the Gap were some snow-white goats on the lofty summit of the Purple Mountain; for the latter really is of a distinct purple tint (not from heather, but from the colour of the stone); and the contrast in the sunlight was very beautiful.

Frank insisted upon seeing an eagle, and continually pointed to the precipices above, believing that he descried the king of birds. Miles did condescend to say that one of the objects to which Frank drew our attention was not so very unlike at a distance, but that the resemblance was lost as you approached the reality—a piece of rock not less than twenty feet high. At last we actually beheld a very large bird soaring towards us with considerable dignity. Frank was delighted; and when Miles uttered the dissyllable “raven,” I certainly thought he would have hit him. There are eagles in this neighbourhood beyond a doubt (though Frank surveyed it with an incredulous and sarcastic air); but they are not very likely to be much at home when bugles are playing and cannons roaring from morn to dewy eve.

Emerging from the Gap, we were “to save a mile, and see the best of the scenery,” and to effect this, we were taken over a country, which is, I dare say, a pleasant one for Mrs. Moriarty's goats, but to bipeds in boots (and one must be neat, you know, with so many pretty girls about), is by no means of an agreeable character. To derive consolation from the calamities of others is humiliating, but natural; “il y a toujours quelque chose,” says the French cynic, “qui nous ne déplait point dans les malheurs d'autrui;” and I found, I am ashamed to say, considerable refreshment in surveying the distress of a portly old gentleman, who, impinging a good deal on the craggiest parts, “larded the lean earth as he walked along,”

“and panted hard,
As one who feels a nightmare in his bed,
When all the house is mute.”

I saw from the knolls and undulations, which diversified the surface of his enormous shoes, that his Pilgrims Progress had a good deal to do with Bunyan's, although his adjurations were not of that pious kind, which would have issued from the lips of the “preaching tinker,” and the deities, to whom he referred in his affliction, were, principally, Zounds and Jingo.

But we soon found a truer solace in the view of Coom Dhuv, the Black Valley, and in listening to the roar of its mountain streams, which, rising and falling upon the breeze, sounded as though some monster train bore giants over the hills, at express speed, with Gog and Magog for Guard and Stoker!

Lo! the dark valley darkens, and its foaming waterfalls seem to whiten beneath the low black clouds; and we stay not to visit the Logan Stone, which a child may move, but nothing under an earthquake could dislodge; but hasten, by Lord Brandons Cottage, to the Upper Lake, where, a boat awaiting us, we embark for Roknaines Island.


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Here, before a glowing fire, a fresh-caught salmon, cut into steaks, was broiling on arbutus skivers; and the founder of the feast, an Irish gentleman, whom we brought from the shore in our boat, hospitably invited us to postpone our luncheon until his guests arrived. Hungry, and anxious to proceed, we declined his courteous offer; but we should not have done so, had we been aware that he was awaiting the delightful party from Tralee. Alas, just as we had commenced our repast, and the boat so preciously freighted was descried in the distance, our pluvial fears were realised,

“And, in the scowl of heaven, each face
Grew dark as we were speaking.”

It was piteous to see those girls come ashore, with the gentlemen's overcoats enveloping their fairy forms, and protecting their best bonnets; and I never experienced so strong a desire in my life to be transformed into a gig-umbrella.

Suddenly the weather brightened, but not so the prospects of the pretty pic-nic. There was a brief colloquy between master and men, sounds of surprise and disappointment, not loud but deep, and then a general laughter, but dismally artificial; for the knives, and the plates, and the wine, and the bread, everything, in fact, except the salmon, just ready in its hot perfection, had been sent to the wrong Island!


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Thither, to our grim despair, went forth the Belles from Tralee; and, by the bones of St. Lumbago of Sciatica, I could have plunged into the flood, and followed in their lee, had I not been cognisant of a certain “alacrity in sinking,” which prevents the simultaneous removal of both my legs from the bottom. What would I not have given, to have changed places with the coxswain! I should have felt proud and happy as he who steered the immortal Seven at Henley, or as Edgar the Peaceable, when, keeping his court at Chester, and having a mind to go by water to the monastery of St. John Baptist, he was rowed down the Dee in a barge by eight Kings, himself sitting at the helm. 1

We mourned awhile, but the spirit of youth endures not to sorrow long. It bends low, but it will not break. It rises again in all its freshness after a glass of bitter beer, or just a mouthful of whiskey; and we soon looked our affliction in the face like men, and played the nightingale upon our empty bottles. I have studied somewhat sedulously to imitate, with a moistened cork upon glass, “de nightingirl, de lark, de trush” (as the ever-to-be-retained Von Joel hath it), and the performance was so successful, that two finches perched, attentively, within a yard of our heads, while the boatmen listened as admiringly as the Australian Diggers to the English lark; 2 and a newly-mar-ried couple, deliciously embowered above us, conversed as they sat on the green, and said, that “they had never quite believed the assertion that Ireland had no nightingales.” But Frank, unhappily, dispelled all these allusions, by trying his unpractised hand, and by educing such irregular and feeble chirpings, as would have disgraced a superannuated sparrow, or a tom-tit, hopelessly wrestling with an aggravated form of diphtheria.

1 Rapin, vol. i. p. 106.

2 See the exquisite description in It is Never too Lute to
Mend, p. 359.

The trees, beneath whose melancholy boughs we had our meal and music, had been disgracefully hacked! and more foul copies of “the Initials” were to be found here (with woodcuts, calf, lettered) than in all Mr. Mudie's Library. If I had my will, I would teach those trenchant snobs, who, wherever they go, dishonour England, to sing their “Through the Wood, Laddie,” to a much more doleful tune, made fast for a few hours in the stocks; or I would endeavour so far to revive in their breasts (if they have any breasts), that Druidical veneration for Baal, which once prevailed in Ireland, and which would induce them to cut themselves with their knives, and to worship the trees instead of whittling them. Or, in illustration of another Druidical tenet, metempsychosis, it would be gratifying to see their transmigration into woodpeckers, condemned for ever, like the bird in the fable, to seek their food between bark and bole.

We would fain have lingered among these pleasant isles, green with their abundant foliage, and contrasting admirably with the stern hills, towering over them, and so encircling this Upper Lake, that you see no place of egress, until you are close upon it. As for comparing it with the other lakes, or with Derwent-Water, as the fashion is,1 it ever appears to me the most ungrateful folly, to depreciate or to extol one scene of beauty by commending or condemning another; and when a man begins with, “Ah, but you should see so-and-so,” or “I assure you, my dear fellow, this is dreadfully inferior to what-d'ye-call-it,” I always most heartily wish him at the locality which he affects to admire. What nasty, niggardly, uncomfortable minds there are in this bilious world! How many men, who, forgetting that excellent round-hand copy, “Comparisons are odious,” are never happy but in detecting infelicities, and only strong when carping at weaknesses. Show them a pretty girl,—“she wants animation,” or “she wants repose,”—“she is overdressed,” or “her clothes, poor thing, must have been made in the village, and put on with a fork.”

1 Any one who takes delight in such comparisons may consult
Forbes's Ireland, vol. i., p. 229, or Mr. Curwen, whose
conclusion is, “Killarney for a landscape, Windermere for a

“You should see the youngest Miss Thingembob.” Tell them of a good day's covert-shooting you have had in my Lord's preserves,—out comes a note from their friend the Duke, who has beaten you by sixteen woodcocks. Trot out your new hunter, and “Oh, yes, he's a nice little horse, but will never carry you with those forelegs. You must come over and look at an animal I've just got down from Tattersall's, by Snarler out of a Humbug mare, and well up to twenty stone, sir.”

It would perplex even these censorious gentlemen to find any fault with the Long Range (which has nothing to do with Sir William Armstrong's Guns,—except that the Cannon Rock at the entrance and the Gun Rock by Brickeen Island have some resemblance to artillery)—that beautiful river, which leads from the Upper to the Middle and Lower Lakes. To float between its banks of dark grey stone, from which the green trees droop their glossy foliage, though, like the Alpine tannen,

“Rooted in barrenness, where nought below
Of soil supports them;”

and the purple heath and the Royal Osmund, “half fountain and half tree,” lean over the brimming waters, to greet the lily and the pale lobelia, was a dream of happiness such as the Laureate dreamed, when—

“Anight his shallop, rustling thro'
The low and bloomed foliage, drove
The fragrant glistening deeps, and clove
The citron-shadows in the blue.”

You enter the Long Range at Colmans Eye, and shortly afterwards come to Colmans Leap. This Colman, once upon a time, was the lord of the Upper Lake, and, instead of following the example of his namesake, who, as a saint and peacemaker, assisted St. Patrick in converting Ireland to Christianity, spent most of his time in quarrelling with the O'Donoghue, and in provoking him to single combat. Being in a minority at one of these divisions, it appeared to him a prudential course to “hook it,” and, closely pursued by his adversary, he took this celebrated jump over the river, which goes by the name of Colmans Leap. The guides show you his footprints on the rock, and they narrate, moreover, that the O'Donoghue, being a little out of condition (dropsical, perhaps, from his long residence under water), came up to the stream a good deal blown, and would not have it at any price.

Now we pass by the mountain of the Eagles Nest, a glorious throne for the royal bird, and listen, at the Station of Audience, to the marvellous, manifold echoes of the bugler's music, as he wakes the soul and the scene with his “tender strokes of Art,”—now wild and spirit-stirring, as though kings hunted in some distant forest, and now dying, so sweetly, so softly, that we know not when they cease, but listen

As one that from a casement leans his head,
When midnight bells cease ringing suddenly,
And the old year is dead.”

Then our boat, swiftly as an arrow, shoots the rapids of the Old Weir Bridge, and, having lingered awhile, in the pool beyond, to admire and sketch, we leave the Middle Lake (reserved for our morrow's excursion) on the right, and pass by the Islands of Dinish and Brie keen to the entrance of the Lower Lake.

I have said nothing, and can say nothing worthily, of the trees, which grow by the waters of Killarney,—oak, yew, birch, hazel holly, the wild apple, and the mountain-ash, with its berries of vivid red, growing confusedly one into the other, but en masse of faultless unity. And among them, brightest and greenest of them all, the arbutus! Wherever you see it, it gleams amid the duller tints, refreshing as a child's laugh on a rainy day, or (as Frank suggested) a view-halloo in the coverts of a vulpicide, or the ace of trumps in a bad hand at whist. Like Xerxes, we fell in love with the arbutus (Herodotus and Ælian say that it was “a plane tree of remarkable beauty,” but this assertion is self-contradictory, and, if it were not so, I am not, I hope, so bereft of the spirit of the nineteenth century, as to care for historical facts); and though we could not pour wine in honour of our idol, as the Romans were wont to do, we drank our pale ale admiringly beneath its branches, and made a libation (principally of froth) to its roots.

And now by the lovely bay of Glena, we enter the Lower Lake. In front of Lord Kenmare's Cottage, to which visitors have access, 1 numerous boats are moored; and the bright green sward about this pretty rustic retreat, contrasts remarkably with the under-robes of brilliant scarlet, which are sweeping slowly over it, while, from the walks above, gay little bonnets flash among the trees, and the cock-pheasants and other ornithological specimens, now worn in the hats of Englishwomen, seem to rejoice, reanimate, in their leafy homes.

1 The public are greatly indebted to Lord Kenmare and Mr.
Herbert for their indulgent liberality.

Here again, opposite the sublime mountains of Glena, so fairly dight from crown to foot in their summer garb of green, we awake and listen to the echoes, until “the big rain comes dancing to the” lake, and we row hastily homeward, changing places half way with the boatmen, and astonishing them considerably with an Oxford “spirt.”

It was pleasant, when we reached the Victoria, and had “cleaned ourselves” (as housemaids term a restoration of the toilette), to find letters from England, to hear that the good wheat was shorn and stacked, and the mowers “in among the bearded barley.” There was still a short interval, when these letters were answered, to elapse before dinner, and this I occupied in perusing the account of “the Prince of Wales's visit to Killarney” in April, 1858.

Now Heaven preserve our dear young Prince from that excessive loyalty, which loves to “chronicle small beer.” The historian told how “alighting from his vehicle, the Prince, who seems passionately fond of walking, proceeded on foot for a mile or two, with gun in hand, firing from time to time at bird, leaf, or fissure in the rock, in the exuberance of those animal spirits, which belong to his time of life,” but which must be somewhat perilous to those of his Royal Mother's liege subjects, who may be wandering in the immediate vicinity. Then we are informed, how that, “His Royal Highness and party drove on to the Victoria Hotel, with rather keen appetites;” how he visited “the tomb of O' Sullivan, and inspected it with much gravity of demeanour,” as though to ordinary minds there was something in sepulchres irresistibly comic; how “having drunk in all the glories of this wondrous scene,” (the view from Mangerton) “the Prince amused himself for some time in rolling large stones into the Devil's Punch Bowl” for the satisfaction, doubtless, of hearing them “go flop;” how when he went to Church on Sunday, “the Venerable Archdeacon read prayers, and seemed, as it were, reinvigorated by his presence,” which suggests the idea of a subsequent jig with the clerk in the vestry, or of an Irish chassez down the centre aisle; and how, to make a final extract, Mr. Carroll, the tailor, presented His Royal Highness with “a whole suit of Irish tweed, admirably calculated for mountain excursions, and with the texture of which, as well as the fit,—which Mr. Carrolls eye hit off to a nicety”—does this mean that Mr. C. “took a shot” at the royal dimensions?—“the Prince was much pleased.”

I remember nothing of the table d'hôte that evening, except that a Cambridge man, who sat next to me, remarked of some miserable carving hard by, that “the gentleman seemed well up in Comic Sections;” and that a boy of seventeen, with a violent shooting-coat, and a few red bristles in the vicinity of his mouth, officiating as “Vice,” and looking it, mumbled three hurried words as grace after meat, in the presence of four English clergymen, and two Roman Catholic priests.



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HAPPY and expectant, as two young cricketers, who, having made no “end of a score” in their first innings, go forth a-gain to the wicket, we started next morning in the currus militarius, or Car of Miles, for another joyous day at Killarney. Stopping at the entrance of the town, we went into the Cathedral (R.C.), a very handsome edifice of beautiful proportions, in the severe, Early-English style. The carving in stone over the high altar, in the Chapel of the Sacrament, and especially in the exquisite symmetry of the figures in the arches of the doorways, is exceedingly chaste and clear, and some Connamara marble about one of the lesser altars has a very pleasing effect. Not so the numerous confessionals, which, with their new wood and bright drapery, are somewhat suggestive of wardrobes, and detract, as novelties always do, from the ecclesiastical aspect of the interior.

Hard by, upon the hill, stands the spacious Asylum for the Insane, sadly reminding us of poor Pugin, who designed the Cathedral; and, less painfully, of Swift's last act of penitent charity, the bequest of £12,000, nearly all he had to bequeath, for the erection of a similar institution.

Egans Bog-oak and Arbutus warehouse well deserves a visit. Here you learn from a ledger, opening, as ledgers will, at a brilliant galaxy of noble names, which makes a commoner's eyes wink, how the Right Honourable the Earl of Cash bought an elaborate table for my Lady's boudoir, and how Rear-Admiral Sir Bowline Bluff made purchase of a Backgammon board, marvellously inlaid, over which I venture to surmise, he has ere this discoursed in stormy language, when the gout and the dice have been against him. Let us tread, softly and at a distance, in these illustrious footprints, and buy our meek memorials of Killarney.

Hence onward to the Tore Cascade, descending its silver staircase amid green trees and graceful ferns,—the latter including, as we were told, the rare Trichomanes speciosum. Here there is a lovely landscape of the Middle and Lower Lakes, and there were seats wherefrom to enjoy it, until those despicable snobs, who had mutilated the trees in Rohnaines Island, threw them (sweet gentlemen!) down the waterfall. And it's O for a tête-à-tête with the principal performer, in the unbroken seclusion of a twenty-four foot ring!

But we must think more wisely, as we approach the solemn ruins of Mucross, than of punching our fellow-creatures' heads, though even here upon the very tombs, the miscreants have been at work,—disporting themselves, like filthy ghouls and vampires—and scrabbling upon the stones, as madmen will.

So much remains, both of Church and Abbye, that imagination readily supplies what is gone. Here in the Choir, where that ill-tempered looking tourist is reprimanding his wife for giving a beggar twopence, the brothers of St. Francis of Assisi were wont to sing holy psalms; and there in the Cloisters, where those two gaily-dressed French girls are admiring the gigantic yew-tree, and wondering what has become of “ce cher Jules,” (whom I apprehend to be a lover, but who comes round the corner, a poodle, dreadful to contemplate!) there

“Ever-musing melancholy dwelt,”

and there paced the pale Franciscan, in the sombre habit of his order, and girded with his hempencord.

Laugh on, sweet Stephanie, joyous Josephine (I heard their names from Mamma in search); but be not cruel with your charms, for Love, unloved, can still change men to monks,—forlorn and wretched, though in crowded streets, as he, of whom Percy sang:

“Within these holy cloysters long
He languisht, and he dyed
Lamenting of a lady's love,
And 'playning of her pride.”

There are some beautiful ferns among and about these ruins, but being a very poor Polypodian, or Scolopendrian (or whatever may be the scientific title of a Fernist), I only recognised the Hart's-tongue,—with its fructification arranged like a miniature plan of ships in order of battle,—and of this I gathered some very fine fronds, and put them in my hat, as will appear hereafter.

Passing through Mr. Herberts beautiful demesne, by his pleasant home (note the St. John's-wort by the wayside), his offices, and yards, wherein the newest agricultural implements cause one to sigh more than ever for landlords, resident and liberal as he,—by the copper-mine, rich and productive until the envious waters interfered, we reach the Middle Lake, and our boat, waiting for us, thereupon.

Tourists, who have written about the Irish Lakes have made but little mention of this Middle, Mucross, or Tore Lake. Like the youngest of three fair sisters, she is kept in the background by their proximity and prior claims, being, moreover, an unobtrusive, gentle beauty, of a subdued and retiring air, not demanding the admiration she deserves. But were there such a scene of tranquil loveliness six miles from any of our great manufacturing towns, it would be a refreshment, and a blessing evermore, to thousands of our weary artisans, just as “the Pool,” by Sutton Coldfield, (one of the prettiest spots in England) is the holiday resort and resting-place of the working men of Birmingham.

Leaving this sweet seclusion, and rowing under the picturesque bridge which connects the islands of Dinisk and Brickeen, we come once more into the bay of Glena, and the “cottage near a wood.” Here, climbing the hill, and choosing a position which commanded a most delightful view, we enjoyed the sandwich and scene. Descending, we were horrified to hear that “whetstone of the teeth,” the bagpipes, droning away close to our boat, and abominable to both of us as a dialogue between connubial cats, or a class of schoolboys pointing slate pencils. But “Ars longa,” art is long-headed; and so we tossed up which of us, preceding the other, should go down, pay the piper, and keep him in conversation until his friend had reached the boat. This service of conspicuous gallantry fell to me, and if ever man deserved the Victoria Cross, I won it there and then.

They say, but I don't believe it, that the red-deer, who inhabit these mountains, admire this infernal machine; and, in proof thereof, the Rev. Mr. Wright, in his Guide to Killarney, quotes the following anecdote from Playford's History of Music:—

“As I travelled some years ago near Royston, I met a herd of stags, about twenty, on the road, following a bagpipe and violin, which when the music played they went forward, when it ceased they all stood still, and in this manner they were brought out of Yorkshire to Hampton Court.” Next we rowed to O'Sullivans Cascade, foaming down its triple falls; and here finding some shamrock, and feeling very Irish, we liberally adorned our coats and hats with it. To our surprise and disappointment, upon our return, the boatmen appeared to be perfectly indifferent to this enthusiastic display of their national emblem; and it subsequently transpired, to our very severe discomfort, that we had ornamented our persons with some vulgar trefoil, which did not resemble the shamrock at all, at all. 1 It vexed one's vanity to have performed unconsciously both a Guy and a Jack-in-the-Green; and the effect produced reminded me of the answer of a Nottinghamshire labourer, in reply to my inquiries concerning his friend, “To tell you the truth, Sir, Bill's been and married his mestur, and it's gloppened him a good-ish bit!

1 “We believe it to be an ascertained fact, that the
shamrock of the old Irish was not a trefoil at all, but the
wood-sorrel, Oxalis acetosella”—Gardener? Chronicle, 7th
August, 1858.

Leaving to our right the numerous islets of the Lower Lake (there are thirty-three of them in all), and the ruins of Ross Castle, once the home of the O'Donoghues, we pass by fair Innisfallen, and, reaching our landing-place, separate awhile; Frank starting afresh to fish, and I returning to the inn.

In a cozy corner of the coffee-room, I began now to transcribe a little poem of a sentimental kind, which had suggested itself to my thoughts during our excursion. Looking up from time to time, as Poets (like poultry) will, when drinking at the Pierian stream, I was much offended to see several persons in different parts of the room, evidently amusing themselves at my expense. A joke loses its festive character, when it falls upon one's own head, especially when that head is profusely crowned, as I soon discovered mine to be, with fronds of the Hart's-tongue Fern,—collected at Mucross, but entirely forgotten, until, bending lower than usual, I saw—

“frondes volitare caducas.”

I am afraid that I did not wear my chaplet so gracefully as Dante his, in that beautiful picture by Scheffer: on the contrary, I felt quite as ill at ease and uncomfortable as an Oxford friend, who, having won a steeple-chase last winter in France, was sent for by the Préfêt of the place, and crowned with a laurel wreath! What a pleasing harmony there must have been between his Bays and his dirty Boots!

Completing my manuscript, and leaving it in our joint-stock writing-case, I took a walk to the Post-Office at Killarney; and I do not think that it was at all gentlemanly in Francis to tamper with my poetry, on his return from fishing; erasing the alternate lines, and substituting rubbish of his own, as follows:—


When the pale moon streaks
My Macgillicuddy's 1 cheeks,
And the day-god shoots
Through the shutters, oped by Boots;

1 He persisted in addressing me by this extraordinary
appellative throughout our sojourn at Killarney.

And from sweet lnnisfallen,—
Jolly place to walk with gal in!
Which so lovely, and so lone, is,—
Why, it ain't, its full of conies, 1

Hark! a voice comes o'er the wave,
Now, old Buffer, up and shave!
As I watch the Heron's wing,—
More fool you, you'll cut your chin!

Sailing stately, slowly flapping,—
Better work away with Mappin!
Ah, sweet morning's face is fair,—
Not so yours, soap'd like that ere!

And she dons her summer garment,—
Get on yours, you lazy varmint!
Jubilant in all her graces,
As if going to Hampton races,

Smiling, proud in all her riches,—
Where's that fellow put my-?
This good news to man narrating—
“Plaze, your 'onour, breakfast's waiting,
&c. &c. &c.

1 Or if it isn't, “Rabbit Island,” which is close to, ought
to be. See remarks by the Aurora Borealis in the Christmas
number of the Edinburgh Review; Mrs. Hemans, Racing
Calendar, vol. 408; and Bendigo, passim.—Frank C.

But Frank is one of those men with whom it is impossible to be angry; and if he were standing in his thickest shooting-boots, on your most susceptible corn, he would smile in your face with such exceeding suavity, that you would almost consider the proceeding funny. So we sat down to discuss, in affectionate unison, the delicious trout which he had caught (how could I eat his fish and be sulky?), amplifying our ordinary allowance of sherry, in honour of the Naiads and Dryads in general, and of the Naiads, who look after the trout, in particular.

These libations, assisted by potheen and pipe, make us very cheery in the smoke-room. Frank declared that I talked for two hours about Absenteeism to a Lincolnshire farmer, who was fast asleep; and I certainly heard him discoursing, with a mimetic brogue, upon the state of Ireland, as though he had lived in the country all his life. So, desirous to keep ourselves “within the limits of becoming mirth,” and not to induce that metaphysical state, “quand celui qui parle n'entend rien, et celui qu'écouté n'entend plus,” we judiciously retired to roost.

“That very night, ere gentle sleep,” with “slumber's chain had bound me,” and “as I lay a-thinking,” I composed a little drama, for the benefit of Frank; and, rising early next morning, brought out upon the stage, or rather upon the passage,—



Frank and the Boots.


The scene, like the hero, is laid in bed. The room is strewed with wearing apparel in great disorder. The appearance of the candle suggests the probability of its having been extinguished by a blow from a clothes-brush. Soft music from the Somnambula which changes to “Who's dat Knocking at the Door?”

Frank, (awaking) Who's there?

Boots. Sure, your 'onour, it's Boots.

Frank. Well, what do you want?

Boots. Plaze, yer 'onour, man's brought yer a hagle.

Frank. Who sent him? How much does he want for it? Boots. Miles, yer 'onour, Miles the guide. The man'll take tin shillings, yer 'onour; and he's an illigant hagle, with a power o' bake.

Frank. Tell him I'll have it, and let him wait till I come down.

Boots. I will, yer 'onour.


(Pulled aside by Frank, to facilitate conversation)


Interval of half an hour, during which I go to bed in high spirits, and Frank dreams that the Zoological Society have offered him a hundred for his new purchase.


Scene, as before.

Frank, (aroused by renewed knocking) Now then! what the deuce is up?

Boots. There's another man, yer 'onour, wants to sell you a hagle.

Frank. Oh, hang it! Tell him I've got one, and ask the gentleman in Number Twenty whether he would like to buy it.

Boots. I will, yer 'onour.

Boots. (Returning after a putative intervieiv with No. 20.) Plaze, yer 'onour, the gintleman's bin and bought him, and I was to give his best love to yer 'onour, and his hagle's waiting in the passage, to fight yer 'onour's hagle for a new hat.

During this latter sentence, my voice, I regret to say, went back to its ordinary tone; Frank was out of bed in an instant; and I had only just time to regain No. 20, when a heavy boot went by with great velocity, falling, as Frank afterwards told me, at the feet of an astonished elderly clergyman, who, coming out of his room at that instant, and seeing my friend in his cuttysark, evidently inferred an escape from the asylum, and bolted immediately, self and door.

But sure enough, when we came down to breakfast, there was a veritable eagle at the door of the hotel, wild with anger, in an iron cage, and the property of a small tourist, who was starting for Connamara with this delectable companion, a large Arbutus table, ditto case of Killarney ferns, and a hillock of general luggage. With these impedi-menta, his estates appeared to be sufficiently in-cumbered, and I was not surprised that he declined to purchase a shillelagh, 1 with a head about the size of his own, although solemnly assured that “it had been cut in the dark moon”—an inestimable advantage doubtless, though to me the meaning of the sentence is as obscure as the luminary in question.


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Alas, alas! our own luggage is now brought down, and we are awaiting our bill somewhat curiously, after the recent revival in the Times 2 of complaints, commenced by Arthur Young in 1776, and repeated by Mr. Wright in 1822, on the subject of Killarney charges. But we both spoke in favour of the bill, and it was carried through the house (viâ the lobby, to the bar) without any division, except that of the sum total between Frank and myself. You cannot have guides, and horses, and boats, and buglers (especially where the demand is temporary and irregular), without paying highly for them; but these expenses are fairly stated before they are incurred, and decrease materially if you prolong your stay (as we would fain have done), and begin to find your own amusement, afoot, or in a boat.

1 Shillelagh is, or was, a famous wood in Wicklow, from
which the timber was brought for the roof of Westminster

2 In the autumn of 1858.

Farewell, Killarney!—How often, far away from thy scenes of beauty, have I, leaning back with closed eyes, beheld thee, pictured by memory, and engraved by fond imagination! How often have I essayed to realize thee in the subtle semblances of Art!—How often, in the clouds of sunset (and here most happily), have I rejoiced to trace thy tranquil waters and thy tree-clad hills!—and still, as some lover, clasping with a sigh the likeness of his darling, yearns for her living self, so long I for that happy hour when I shall return to thee, gladly, as thine eagles soaring homeward, and see thee face to face.


THE omnibus took us to the town of Killarney, and there we mounted the Glengarriff Car. People do not look particularly wise when seated, in a public street, upon a vehicle to which no horses are attached; but we were anxious to secure our places on “the Lake side,” and being surrounded by the pretty dealers in arbutus-ware (there were two, who, I am convinced, could have persuaded St. Senanus to buy a set of blue-bottle studs in bog-oak), we did not feel at all uncomfortable. But even Irish cars must fulfil their mission; and we started at last, bristling with paper knives.

Halting awhile, to take up passengers at the Mucross Hotel, we were again besieged by another bevy of these fancy timber merchants; and here a little scene occurred, which, however trivial it may appear from my feeble account of it, was very touching in reality. A woman, who had been, you could see, as pretty in her prime as the prettiest of her younger companions, but whose beauty was fast fading away, came and offered her basket to a coarse specimen of the genus “Gent,” who was seated on our side of the car, and who very abruptly, and thoughtlessly I dare say,—

“But evil is wrought for want of thought,
As well as want of heart,”—

repulsed her, saying, “that he should buy from the young uns if he bought at all.” I saw a look of intense pain pass over her face, as though she were hurt at heart; and, although the others made way for her, with sweet sisterly kindness, when Frank called her to him, and though he bought her most elaborate bracelets, and I a box of cunning workmanship, designed, I believe, for gloves, but subsequently used by a small niece of mine as a bed for her youngest doll, the sliding lid, drawn up to the sleeper's chin, forming a counterpane of unrivalled splendour; although, I say, we did all in our power to comfort, the storm-clouds, when we left, hung heavily over her, and the first rain-drops glistened in her pale-blue eyes.

Take heed, ye maidens beautiful (I feel a little saturnine this morning, and shall put no more lemon in my punch, whatever Francis may say), be ye Belles of the Park or the Pattern, to this extremity ye must come at last! You, Lady Constance Plantagenet, who promised to waltz with me at the County Ball, and pretended to have forgotten (though it was written upon those gem-studded tablets), when Lord Hanwell (he has at least three slates off his roof, and always went, when in the Artillery, by the sobriquet of “Lincoln and Bennett,” being notoriously as mad as two hatters), was pleased to invite you to the dance! And you, Susan Holmes, beauty of our village, looking coldly now at Will Strong, the keeper, the hardest hitter in “our Eleven,” and the handsomest fellow in the parish, because the young squire's friend, with the big moustache (Will wanted to know whether he came from Skye), made a fool of you at the Servants' Ball! You, Lady Constance, ignoring your engagements, and you, Susan Holmes, oblivious of the fact that your papa is only a blacksmith; be assured, both of you, that the light will fade from those flashing eyes, and the roses will be blanched on those glowing cheeks, and that—

“Violets pluckt, the sweetest showers
Will ne'er make grow again.”

What moral deduction can I draw but this:—Marry, marry, ye damsels beautiful, the men whom ye love at heart; and so perpetuate your loveliness, and live again in your daughters!

The cold salmon, on which we lunched at Kenmare, was so especially delicious, that when I turned to Frank, an hour afterwards, on the car, and asked him what o'clock it was, not perceiving that he was asleep, he murmured something about “a slice of the thin;” and the tourist in Ireland finds this fish so good and abundant, that he almost begins to apprehend “a favourable eruption” of scales, and feels disposed to snap at the larger flies which come within the prehensiveness of his dental powers.


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The little town of Kenmare is very pleasantly and healthfully placed. Mr. Frazer says that the bay, by which it stands, is the most beautiful in all Ireland, but we did not see enough of it to corroborate this grand eulogium. With the exception of the handsome Suspension Bridge, neat Church, and National Schools, the buildings are mean and miserable. To judge from the size of the Post-Office and “Bridewell,” there is very little correspondence or crime. At the broken windows of “the Female Industrial School,” we saw two young girls, of such industrious habits, that they had not had time to wash themselves. “The Dispensary,” I presume, had cured everybody, for we saw no signs of surgeon, surgery, or patients,—only a dingy old hen in the passage, who, probably, had overlayed herself, or had contracted that prevailing malady, “the Gapes,” the name whereof makes one yawn in writing it. Undoubtedly, the edifice which pleased us the most, was a narrow, tumble-down hut of two small stories, and one of these securely shuttered, which announced itself to the world as “Michael Brenan's Tea and Coffee Rooms, with Lodging and Stabling.

Leaving Kenmare (and is not that a sweet little cottage, on the right as you rise the hill, with the hydrangea glowing amid the dark evergreens, like hope in seasons of sorrow?), we met some scores of the peasantry, grave and decorous, on their way, the driver told us, to a funeral. Whence did they come? Between Kenmare and Glen-garriff we saw very few habitations, yet troops of children came running after the car as heretofore, amply demonstrating that the Irish Paterfamilias knows more of Addition and Multiplication than of the Frenchman's Rule-of-Three (“two boys and a girl are a family for a king”), and ever finds himself in a satisfactory position to converse with his enemies in the gate. The stern Lycurgus, who, according to Plutarch, was so very severe upon the unmarried Spartans, that he made them walk in procession, more scantily' draped than their statues, though the promenade took place in winter, and compelled them to sing songs derisive of celibacy, chaffing themselves to music, as they walked along,—would be gratified indeed, if he could revisit the earth, and see what Ireland is doing with a grand fecundity, for the Census of 1861.


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The vestments of these juveniles again attracted our notice, reminding us—

“Of love, that never found its earthly close?”

for some of them must have been about as cool as Cupid, and suggesting that impatience, with regard to apparel, which characterised of old even the Kings of Ireland.

Henry Castide, selected on account of his knowledge of the language to teach and Anglicise four Irish Kings, who had sworn allegiance to Richard, relates in a conversation with Froissart, that these royal personages “had another custom, which I knew to be common in this country, which was the not wearing breeches. I had, in consequence, plenty of breeches made of linen and cloth, which I gave to the Kings and their attendants, and accustomed them to wear them. I took away many rude articles as well in their dress as other things, and had great difficulty at the first to induce them to wear robes of silken-cloth, trimmed with squirrel-skin, or minever, for the Kings only wrapped themselves up in an Irish cloak.” 1

This cloak, no doubt, very much resembled the garment worn by that Irish chieftain, of whom Sir Walter Scott, when in Ireland, related an anecdote, very highly-seasoned, to the Squireen, and who, during one of the rebellions against Queen Elizabeth, was honoured by a visit from a French Envoy. “This comforter of the rebels was a Bishop, and his union of civil and religious dignity secured for him all possible respect and attention. The Chief, receiving him in state, was clad in a yellow mantle ('to wit, a dirty blanket,' interposes the Squireen), but this he dropt in the interior, and sat upon it, mother-naked, in the midst of his family and guests by the fire.” 2 After this aristocratic pattern was fashioned, I suppose, the mantle of Thady Quirk, of which he tells us (in “Castle Rackrent”), “it holds on by a single button round my throat, cloak fashion,” so that Thady could as promptly prepare himself for repose, as that heroine of whom the poet sings,—

“One single pin at night let loose
The robes which veiled her beauty.”

There is magnificent mountain scenery, naked as the chieftain, but much more interesting, between Kenmare and Glengarriff, so wild and stern, and desolate exceedingly, a solitude so complete and drear, that, were Prometheus bound upon these craggy rocks, he would be relieved to see the cruel vulture hungrily stooping for his foie-gras. Honour and thanks to the genius which designed, and to the patient energy which perfected, a way over these rugged Alps. Ireland must acknowledge her obligation to the stranger, for a Scotchman, Nimmo, made her most difficult roads, and an Italian, Bianconi, carries us over them.

1 Froissart's Chronicles, book iv., chap. 64.

2  Lockhart's Life of Scott, vol. iii., chap. xv.


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Reaching the summit, we pass through a tunnel, hewn in the solid rock (why do we use this adjective always, as though rocks were ordinarily in a state of fusion?), and leave county Kerry for Cork.


GRADUATES and undergraduates (O my brothers, how gladly shall I meet you once again, when the long vacation is past!), did you ever dine, as I have dined, with an elderly Don, severe in deportment and of boundless lore, who happened to be at once the author of a great treatise on “the Verbs in [Greek],” and (strange antithesis!) of a pretty daughter? If so, you will remember that hour of solemn converse, before the coffee was announced, when the grave Professor, broad of brow, took you, as it were, by the hand up the solemn heights of Olympus, and showed to you, awfully admiring, the grand sublimities of Longinus, the sombre valleys of Parnassus, and Philosophy's everlasting hills. And memory will suggest to you, more happily, more vividly, how, summoned by the butler, you at length came down from those amazing steeps, entered the drawing-room, found the pretty daughter; and, while papa chuckled in the distance, over a play of Aristophanes, easy to his apprehension as Buckstone to ours, discoursed to her of the Commemoration Ball, and forgot Minerva in the sunnier presence of Aphrodiet.

And you, my general readers, you, who, with that refinement of taste for which you are remarkable above all other readers, go to Concerts at the Hanover Square Rooms in the season, and, out of it, to dingy County Halls, whenever the Italians sing,—you, too, must help me with an analogy, and say,—can you not recall how, amid all that severe and stately music, some plaintive ballad, quaint madrigal, or hearty glee, refreshed your weary spirit, and won the sole encore? It was so, at all events, when last I went to an Operatic Meeting in the Halls of Crystal; and Alboni sang; and Giuglini sang; and of Inis and Icos good store; and we beat time, and “wasn't it delicious?”; but no song went home to our English hearts, roused us from our lethargic and drear gentility, and made us clap our English hands, save the song of “The Hardy Norsemen.”

Some such pleasant refreshment, and cheerful change, it is, coming away from those barren rocks of Kerry, those dark, cold lakes (numerous, it is said, as days in the year), to gaze upon the sunlit Bay of Bantry, and the freshness and the beauty of green Glengarriff! Glengarriff is, indeed,

“A miniature of loveliness, all grace
Summed up, and closed in little.”

A miniature bay, miniature mountains, miniature waterfall, a glen, to which, as Moore writes of it, the

“ocean comes,
To 'scape the wild wind's rancour.”

Yes, to the eye all was peace, but not so to the ear, for, when we went in to dinner, the noise made by a couple of waiters was something to exceed belief. One of them, it was evident, had been suddenly evoked from the stables, and had been garnished with an enormous white neckerchief, under the idea apparently that this threw a kind of glory over his costume of corduroy, and effectually hid the ostler in the accomplished domestic footman. His hair was arranged (with a curry-comb, I fancy) to imitate a cockatoo, and we were, naturally, jocose about Peveril of the Peak, and Ricquet with the Tuft, &c. To hear him and his superior coming down the boarded passage with the dinner, was like “the march of the Cameron men;” and they ran against each other, from time to time, with such a clattering of plates, and dish-covers, and knives, and jugs, and crockery in general, as would have done honour to the Druids on a Walpurgis Night.


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But the Irish waiter is, notwithstanding, a capital fellow, good-tempered, prompt, colloquial, large-hearted. I say “large-hearted” because he will undertake to serve any conceivable number of persons, and “colloquial,” remembering that, when a neighbour, at a table d'hôte, mildly expressed his conviction, that one waiter was insufficient to satisfy the emergencies of seventeen persons, the individual referred to immediately exclaimed from the other end of the apartment, but with all good humour and civility, “Shure, thin, and every gintleman will be having his fair turn.”

Well, I prefer this scant attendance, with all its good humour and elasticity, to the solemn dreariness of our English waiter, who has nothing to say but “Yezzur,” and knows not how to smile. If the Irishman cannot come to you, he will at all events recognise your summons, and favour you with a grin on account, whereas the Englishman hath an unpleasant habit of affecting not to hear you, and of rushing off in a contrary direction.

We remained a Sunday at Glengarriff (there is an air of rest and peace about the place, as of a perpetual Sabbath), and went up to the little edifice upon the hill, half cottage and half church. Indeed, the inhabited part has the more ecclesiastical aspect, and I was surprised on entering it, uncovered, and with obeisance, to confront an old woman washing potatoes!

The clergyman, having duties elsewhere, was somewhat late for matins, and it sounded strangely to be speaking of “the beginning of this day,” an hour and a half after the meridian. But that sacred service is ever seasonable, and we were glad, after an earnest sermon, to drop our thankful alms into the Offertory basin, though it was but a cheese plate of the willow pattern.

In the afternoon, we climbed the high hills which overlook Glengarriff and, after losing our way, and meeting with an apparition, which alarmed us fearfully, we reached the highest point, and surveyed, with wonder and gladness, the glorious view beneath us.


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MOUNTED on the Cork car next morning, we passed the estuaries of Bantry Bay, where, the tide being out, the heron stood, lone and aristocratic, and the curlew ran nimbly among the dank seaweed. By the roadside, the goats, tied in pairs, and cruelly hoppled, tumbled over the embankments as we passed. We went by the picturesque old ruins of Carriginass, and by various sights and scenes, until we reached the Pass of Keimaneigh, a defile through the mountains, the appropriate refuge of the Rockites, in 1822, and an elegant situation for a still. Burns, that poetical gauger, might have been happy here, so long as, dreamily wandering among the heath-clad steeps, he had confined his attentions to the beauties of nature, and ignored the paraphernalia of art; but a more practical man, intent on business, would have had but an uncomfortable home of it, until a bullet put an end to his dreary quest, and

“The de'il flew away with the exciseman.”

The driver pulled up his horses by a way-side cottage, and inquired whether we wished to see Gougane-barra. It was only a mile or so out of our route, Patrick there would take us in his car, and he would wait for us with all the pleasure in life. So, making this little deflection, we reached, as speedily as a good pony could take us over bad roads, the gloomy lake and mountains. Here we were received by a troop of juvenile guides, led on by an old man, who with a long white beard, and staff, intended, I believe, to give us the idea of a venerable and pious pilgrim, to remind us probably of St. Fion Bar, the “Saint of the Silver Locks,” who founded a monastery here; but roguery so twinkled in his eye, and imposition so quavered in his voice, that I have no hesitation in speaking with regard to him, as the Edinburgh Review spake of Edgar Poe:—“He was a blackguard of undeniable mark.”

The Irish poet Callanan sings,

“There is a green island in lone Gougane-barra,
Where Allua of songs rushes forth as an arrow.”

We visited the “green island,” reaching it by an overland route (a method of access which I do not remember to have noticed out of Ireland); and the “Allua of Songs” was represented by a discordant din in Anglo-Irish, from the illustrious humbug in the beard, and his satellites, which would have interested us in a greater degree, had we understood only a twentieth part of it.

Ultimately, we caught a small boy, intelligent and intelligible, and he told us how the great Saint had here made himself deliciously miserable, feasting upon the idea of his fasts; contemplating his macerations in the lake, as complacently as a cornet his new uniform, or his sister her first ball-dress, in the glass; whipping himself as industriously as a schoolboy his top; hugging himself in his hair shirt, and nestling cosily as a child in its crib, in a bed composed of ashes and broken glass.

These and other austerities by which the Reverend Mr. Bar so signally extinguished himself, have made Gougane-barra, even to this day, a great resort for pilgrims; you see “the Stations,” and you see graven upon a stone, which was formerly an altar-stone, the list of prayers to be said there; and you hear of many wonderful cures, which have been performed (I always like that story of the priest, who was overheard, while telling his friend, that he must be so good as to excuse his absence, as he was engaged “to rehearse a miracle at two 0 clock!”) at the Holy Well hard by,—the very well, it may be, to which Larry O'Toole took Sheelah, his wife, and Phelim (as they thought) was “the consekins of that manoover.”

These pilgrims, some fifty years ago, used to drink diligently as soon as they had finished their prayers, laying aside the staff for the shillelagh, and kicking off their sandals for a jig on the green. Having paid off the old score, they began a new account like gentlemen, just as an undergraduate, having advanced ten pounds to his tailor, immediately orders clothes to the amount of twenty.

Regaining the car and main road, we pass by small silvery lakes from which the trout are leaping, “bekase,” says our driver, “the wather's so full o' fish that whinever they want to turn round they must jist jump out and do it in the air,” through a country prettily diversified with

“Woods and corn-fields, and the abode of men,
Scatter'd at intervals, and wreathing smoke,
Arising from such rustic roofs”

as are only to be seen in Ireland, and so come to Inchigeela.

À propos of cornfields, I must not forget a striking example of scientific ingenuity, which we saw in this neighbourhood. A small cornstack had been raised, so grievously out of the perpendicular, that the tower of Pisa would have looked severely straight by it. But the builder saw his error, before it was too late, and had gloriously saved his cereal structure, by erecting another, opposite to and abutting towards it, until they supported each other, like the commencement of those card houses, which we built in early youth, a chevron in heraldry, or two drunken sots “seeing each other home.”

At Inchigeela's clean and comfortable inn, we had a capital luncheon for ninepence, and then “lionised” the village. The first object of interest was a pig, asleep under a tree by the brookside.


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“Pinguem, nitidumque Bene curatâ cute.”

(I may add bene curandâ, as the bacon that is to be cannot possibly hear), and so serenely dignified in its complete repose, so “mildly majestical,” that one almost expected to see a point-lace nightcap, and fair girls fanning away the flies! He looked as happy as Gryllus, that companion of Ulysses, who, being transformed into a pig by Circe, and, being subsequently offered redintegration, preferred the swinish estate; huge and handsome as the famous boar, who ate the Reverend Mr. Haydn, after the victory of the rebels at Enniscorihy; 1 obese and sleepy, as Silenus, when found by the shepherds, Chromis and Mnasylus; 2 refreshed and comfortable, like that great O'Neill, who (Camden says so) was wont to plunge himself into the mire, as a cooler and restorative, after great excess.

1 Sir Jonah Barrington's Personal Sketches, vol. iii., p. 422.

2 Virgil. Edogue vi. 13.


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Progressing, we come to the Constabulary Barracks, where a couple of constables, with such moustaches as would make a young Cornet groan, are polishing up their carbines. Our London police are well-favoured in appearance, but if the Irish constables were to take their place, there would not be a single female-servant, to be “warranted heart-whole,” in the great Metropolis, and the very name of Meat-safe would become a by-word and a laughing-stock.

In the river hard by, a girl, standing ankle-deep, from time to time, like the young lady in “the Soldiers Tear” held aloft a snowy—never mind what; and, having plunged it into the stream, and placed it upon a stone, belaboured it (as though it were a drunken husband) with an implement of wood, which much resembled a villager's clumsy cricket-bat.

Two Schools, and one actually at work! real pupils, making the pace too severe to last (when they saw us looking at them), with real slate-pencils over real slates! I wonder whether they were doing the “Irish Arithmetic,” of which O'Hara declares the following to be a faithful specimen:—

“Twice 5 is 6;
The 9s in 4 you can't;
So dot 3, and carry 1;
And let the rest walk!”

Returning, after a prolonged and pleasant stroll, we found the horses in the car, and the driver seated on his box. Now, an English coachman would have yelled at us, and English passengers would have scowled on us, for detaining them; but the Irishman gave us a pleasant smile of recognition, as though it was very kind of us to come back at all, and did not start for full five minutes, to assure us that we had caused no inconvenience. Certainly, it was one of those warm, still, delicious summer days on which nobody wants to start, satisfied with the calm enjoyment of the present, and so absorbed and occupied in doing nothing, that it seems to be quite a triumphal effort to rouse one's-self and light a cigar! At length, our charioteer speaks to his horses, whose drooping heads acknowledge the soporific influence of the day; and, awaking from their favourite night-mares, they bear us on our road to Cork.

Now we pass the tower, antique and ivy-clad, of Carrigadrohid, (nice name for a naughty pointer, requiring frequent reprimands on a broiling day in September!); a handsome residence on the hill beyond, with the pleasant waters of the river Lee, which accompanies us from its source at Gougatie-Barra to Cork, winding below it; and change horses at Dripsey. Between this latter place and Cork, the signs of civilisation became so painfully prominent, and the scenery so excruciatingly English, that, having secured ourselves by our rug-straps, to the iron bar behind us, our “custom always of an afternoon,” when we felt inclined for a siesta, we closed our eyes in sadness, and tried to dream of Connamara and Killarney. But sights, too dreadful for description, scared sleep away. Carts, whereupon was gaudily emblazoned “Albert Bakery,” and “Collard and Collard” fascinated our unwilling gaze; and we shortly found ourselves among the suburbs disgustingly neat, and the houses offensively comfortable, of “that beautiful city called Cork.”

On the right and left, as you approach, are two very imposing and extensive structures, Queen's College, and (“great wit to madness nearly is allied”) the Lunatic Asylum,—the latter so large, that it might have been erected to accommodate those numerous patients who have lost their reason in vain attempts to understand Mr. Bradshaw's Railway Guide.

Cork is, indeed, a “beautiful city,” delightfully situated, handsomely built, and having more the appearance of energy, prosperity, and comfort, than any other city we saw in Ireland. To my fancy the old prophecy is fulfilled,—

“Limerick was, Dublin is, and Cork shall be
The finest city of the three.”

The river Lee, dividing here, flows round the island on which principally the city stands; and upon the wooded hills above, the richer part of the community have their pleasant, healthful homes.

Now, although I have deplored our transition from the wild scenery of Connamara and Kerry to the formalities of cultivation and refinement, I am not so bigoted as to deny that civilisation has its advantages; and, among them, I would specially include “the Imperial Hotel” in Pembroke Street. An excellent dinner, in pleasant society (the exception being a vulgar, garrulous old female, who ate with her knife, and told us how, in one of the foreign churches, she had “tried very 'ard to convert an aconite, quite a genteel young man,”) followed by some irreproachable claret,

“with beaded bubbles, winking at the brim,”

disposed us to criticise very leniently the defects and inferiorities of art; and we left our inn to see the fireworks in the Mardyke Gardens, not only consoled, but cheery. All Cork appeared to be going in procession up that long avenue of fine old trees; and as the subsequent exhibition appeared to be quite satisfactory, I can pay “all Cork” the compliment of saying, that it is very easily pleased. To us, as we stood in the long, damp grass, and the varnish was retiring from our favourite boots, intervals of twenty minutes between the pyrotechnic performances soon began to be rather tedious; and we longed to repeat an experiment, originally introduced at the Henley Regatta, when a dozen of us combining, applied our cigars to all the “fixed pieces” at once, and the grand design, which was to crown the whole, anticipated its glories by a couple of hours, and wished the bewildered spectators “Good Night” (in glittering letters two feet long) almost as soon as they had paid for their admission!


I was dreaming that I met Lord Evelyn, at sunrise, in the Gap of Dunloe; that he put into my hand, with a graceful bow and striking amenity, the largest horse-pistol I ever saw, constructed, as he said, upon novel principles, by which it loaded itself, and would continue to go off until three o'clock, with appropriate airs from a musical box in the handle; that, leaving me with a kind of Pas de Basque, which I thought very inappropriate at such a crisis, and taking up a position twelve paces from me, he produced a weapon, similar to mine, and requested me to “blaze away;” that I was making frantic, but futile efforts to get my deadly instrument on full cock, and that my Lord, disdaining to take any advantage, was pinking the eagles, as they flew overhead; when the loud ringing of a contiguous bell recalled me to the realities of life. There is ever in these large hotels some unhappy inmate, who is unable to put himself into communication with Boots, who rings his bell with an ever-increasing energy, until he performs, at last, in his wild fury, such a continuous peal, as must bring up somebody, or bring down the rope. It is interesting to listen to these bells. First they suggest, then they entreat, then they remonstrate, then they insist, and then they curse and swear! Like the music of the Overture to Guillaume Tell, they begin pleasantly and peacefully, then they grow grand and warlike, crescendo-ing, from andante pianissimo, until they arrive at allegro fortissimo; and reminding me of a village dame, whom I heard calling from her cottage door to a child, playing in the distance, and hearing but not heeding its mother:

Lizzie, luv!




epithet too suggestive of the kennel for readers of polite literature.

Of course we went to see the old Cove of Cork, who, in a spirit of loyalty, but to the great disappointment of facetious visitors, has changed his name to Queenstown. We travelled by rail to Passage, and thence by steamer. What shall I say of this glorious haven, “Statio bene fida carinis,” twelve miles from city to sea? What a refreshment and gladness must it be to the weary sailor, to come from his lone voyage on “the sad sea waves,” to this safe home and refuge, to listen to the summer breeze, softly sighing in those upland groves, instead of to the tempest, as it bends the creaking mast, and to look down upon those calm and glittering waters, with the gay craft of Peace and Pleasure gliding gracefully to and fro.

Should it ever be my happy lot to revisit the city and haven of Cork, I shall most certainly decline to land at Queenstown. The gentleman who took a Census of the smells at Cologne, and said,

“At Colne, a town of monks and bones,
And pavements, fanged with murderous stones,
And rags and jags, and hideous wenches,
I counted four-and-seventy stenches,
All well-defined and separate stinks!”

might, perhaps, be interested in this locality, and would find an ample field for his nasal arithmetic. The heat was intense, the tide low; and, though I have no doubt that, further from the sea, the place is sweet and healthy enough, I never remember to have inhaled so offensive an atmosphere as that which prevailed, upon St. Bartholomew's Day, in the year 1858, and in the front street of the Queenstown. As an Irishman, Chief Baron Woulfe, once wrote of Paris, “the air is so loaded with stenches of every kind, as to be quite irrespirable;” and turning to my friend, I said, “O Francis, it is written, in this 'Handbook to the Harbour and City of Cora,' that 'Queenstown is celebrated, and justly so, for the equality, mildness, and salubrity of its temperature,' and that 'many medical men prefer it to the climate of Madeira;' but take thy kerchief from thy nose brief while, and answer me, my Francis, terse and true, doth not this statement seem to thee, in boyhood's phrase, 'a Corker!'”

He replied, that “as the stinks were not quite sufficiently defined to sketch, he should hire a boat and bathe;” and, having purchased a couple of oyster-cloths, the nearest approximation he could find to towels, so indeed he did, leaving me (incapable of natation), to contemplate the Garrison, an extensive pile with a very military and practical look, Spike Island, once the residence of Mr. Mitchell, and now occupied by some 2000 malefactors of less illustrious name, and Rocky and Hawlbowline Islands, which are used as ammunition stores.

The heat and the incense (how I envied the white gulls, flying lazily over the waters, and ever and anon dipping, as one thought, to cool themselves!) were so oppressive and irritating, that when a small boy, buying apples, would keep dropping them on the ground, in a vain attempt to thrust more into his pocket than the cavity could possibly accommodate, I almost thirsted for his blood, and like the stern old Governor in Don Juan, I could have seen him

Into the deep without a tear or groan.”

Yea, should have esteemed it to be Hari-kari, which is Japanese, you know, for “happy dispatch.” 1

1 “The Hari-kari, or 'Happy Dispatch,' is still practised
by the Japanese. This consists in ripping open their own
bowels with two cuts, in the form of a cross.... Princes,
and the high classes, receive permission to rip themselves
up, as a special favour, when under sentence of death.”—
Japan, and her People, by A Steinmitz.

In expiation of these sanguinary thoughts, I subsequently presented a fourpenny piece, as conscience money, to a miserable-looking beggar, who “had not tasted food,” &c. &c. &c. &c., and who only asked for “a halfpenny, to buy a piece of bread.” But he had scarcely left me (having previously requested all the saints to pay me particular attention), when I heard one of two men, who were leaning against the wall, on which I sat smell-bound, say to his neighbour that “the jintleman must have more brass than brains, to go and give his money to a drunken shoemaker, who'd been out three days on the spree.” Yes, my groat was gone to buy alcohol for this impostor, this Cork Leg; and I felt as though I very closely resembled that bird which the French call “Le Bruant Fou,” and we “The Foolish Bunting,” because it is so easily ensnared.

It was, indeed, a joyous departure from humbug, dead fish, and sewers, to the waves, that were dancing in a pleasant breeze (which prudently declined to venture ashore); and we were as glad to make an escape as our great sailor, Sir Francis, when, outnumbered by the Spaniards, he came, crowding all sail, into Cork Harbour, and hid himself securely in “Drakes Pool.”

Lovely as the scene around her, there sat upon the deck, as we returned to Passage, a winsome Irish bride, fondly gazed upon by her happy husband, and less ostensibly by ourselves, and about a dozen officers, who were bound for Cork, from the Garrison and Club house at Queenstown. Was it that mysterious talent of beauty, which without words can say, “I recognise your homage, and it does not displease me;” or was it only our own enormous vanity which caused each of us to imagine, as I feel convinced we did, that, could she only have foreknown our peculiar fascinations, she would have laughed to scorn the inferior animal, who was now grinning by her side?

We returned to the Imperial for luncheon (and I am unacquainted with any midday refreshment more interesting than prawns, fresh and full-grown, with bread and butter à discrétion, and the golden ales of Burton), and then took car for Blarney. Our horse was evidently as fond of his home as that enthusiastic citizen who, with a charming indifference to anachronisms, declared that Athens was called “the Cork of Greece,” and would keep perpetually turning round to gaze upon the beautiful city. In vain the driver inquired satirically whether he had dropped his umbrella, or forgotten to order dinner, or whether there was anything on his mind; in vain he addressed him vituperatively, called him an old clothes-horse, and threatened to take him to the asylum; in vain, trying the persuasive, he assured him that we had come all the way from England to see him, having heard so much of his speed and beauty, and that, if he would keep up his character, and be a gentleman, he should have such a feed of old beans that day, as would cause him to neigh for joy. All in vain! from time to time round went this uncomfortable horse, until at last, as some fond lover takes one more look at his beloved, and then rushes wildly away, where duty calls or glory waits him, our eccentric quadruped suddenly started off at full trot, and during the remainder of our journey comported himself with great propriety.


THE old Castle of Blarney, like the castle of Macbeth, by Inverness,

“hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentler senses;”

and it commands a fine view “over the water and over the Lee” over lake and meadow, and over “the Groves of Blarney,” renowned in song. The landscape rewards your exertions, when you have ascended the narrow staircase of the sole remaining tower, and this somewhat resembles (“magna componere”) an excellent “Stilton,” which has gone the way of all good cheeses, and is now a hollow ruin—a ruin on which some sentimental mouse might sit, like Marins at Carthage, and bitterly recall the past.

Looking down this cavity, made gloomier by the dark ivy and wild myrtle, which grow from floor to battlement, one feels that fainty thrill and chilliness which is equally unpleasant and indescribable, and gladly divert our attention, first to the stone displaced by a cannon shot, in the days of the incomparable Lady Jeffreys, when

“Oliver Cromwell, he did her pummell,
And broke a breach all in her battlement,”

and then to another stone lower down in the tower, and bearing the inscription, “Cormac Macarthy Fort is Me Fieri Fecit, a.d. 1446,” which may be translated liberally,

“Cormac Macarthy, bould as bricks,
Made me in Fourteen Forty-six.”

This is said to be the original Blarney Stone, but as no man could possibly kiss it, unless (as Sir Boyle Roche observed) he happened to be a bird, or an acrobat, twelve feet long, and suspending himself by his feet from the summit of the Tower, we were content to believe in the conventional granite, which now bears the name, and which, being situated at the top of one of the turrets, is very accessible for osculation.

Of this lapideous phenomenon, the author of “The Groves of Blarney” sings,

“There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,
Oh, he never misses to grow eloquent;
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber.
Or become a member of parliament.

“A clever spouter he'll sure turn out, or
An out-an-outer, to be let alone:
Don't hope to hinder him, or to bewilder him,
Sure he's a pilgrim from the Blarney Stone!”

Now it is my conviction, primarily suggested by my own sensations, and subsequently confirmed by what I noticed in others, as I lingered on that ancient tower, that the majority of those who kiss the Blarney Stone, do wish and try to believe in it. We English have so scanty a stock of superstitions, and some of these so wanting in refinement and dignity, as, for instance, the “crossing out” of an isolated magpie, the ejection of spilt salt over the left shoulder, deviations into the gutter to avoid a ladder, the mastication of pancakes upon Shrove Tuesday, and the like, that we are glad of any pretext for gratifying that innate love of the marvellous, which exists, more or less, in us all,—ay, and will exist, until John Bright is Premier of England, and our Fairy Tales and Arabian Nights, and all our books of pleasant fiction are solemnly burnt at Oxford, before a Synod of costive Quakers.

And then it is so gratifying for Mammas to fancy, as they bend to kiss the magic stone, that assuredly they “stoop to conquer,” henceforth, by a new and dulcet eloquence, those little idiosyncrasies of “dear Papa,” which have thwarted their happiest schemes, such as his insuperable apathy on the subject of that new Conservatory, although “you know, darling, both Mr. Nesfield and Mr. Thomas declared it to be indispensable.”

Pleasant, too, for their charming daughter of nineteen, to think that she hereafter shall not ask in vain for that tour in Switzerland, that ball at home, those boxes, varying in shape and size; small, from the stores of Howell and of James; medium, from Messieurs Hill and Piver; and large, very large, from “the infallible Mrs. Murray,” and Jane Clark, in the Street of the Regent.

Enlivening, moreover, for that Eton boy to believe, as he salutes the Blarney Stone, that now he has only to give the Governor a hint, and “that clipping little horse of young Farmer Smith's” will be purchased forthwith, and presented to him, to carry him next season with the Belvoir hunt.

Miserable Father, how shall he meet this irresistible incursion upon his purse and peace. Well may he look coldly on the Blarney Stone! Well may he express, from heart and hope, his belief that it's “all humbug.” And yet, methinks, remembering that last Election, that distressingly effete experiment to nominate Sir John Golumpus, that fearful silence, when he came to grief, that vulgar gibe “go 'ome, and tak' a pill,” he too must sigh for this gift of Blarney, and long to kiss the Stone.


Original Size

See, they are leaving the battlements,—first the Etonian, then his sister, and then Mamma. O, wily Paterfamilias! Suddenly remembering that he “has left his stick” (he has, and purposely), he steps briskly back, and, stooping for his cane,—salutes the rock! He, at all events, won't “kiss, and tell!”

But everybody kisses it. The noisy old girl, whom we met yesterday at the table d'hôte, and who preferred steel to silver, as a medium for the transmission of food, reached the summit of the tower very short of wind, but resumed, as soon as ever she could speak, a severe sermon upon the errors of “Room,” and its superstitions in particular. And yet, ultimately (affecting to do it in ridicule,—let us be charitable, and hope that, in her heart of hearts, she had in view the conversion of her “genteel Aconite”), she kissed the Stone; and we were glad to have already done so.

We saw the kitchen, where beeves were cooked in the merry old times, and the banquet-hall wherein they were carved. The latter was appropriated to a miscellaneous collection of rickety old farming implements,—rust, and dust, and decay, where brave knights laughed over the winecup,—

“And tapers shone, and music breath'd,
And beauty led the ball.”

Shall we re-ascend the tower, and preach, from that old stone pulpit, on “pulvis et umbra sumus?” Perhaps, as there is no congregation, and a Lunatic Asylum mighty convanient, we may as well postpone our sermon, and turn our steps to the gardens and groves of Blarney.

If the poet had not told us that “they are so charming,” I should scarcely have discovered the fact for myself, as they are but feebly ornamented with flowers, and—

“The gravel walks there, for speculation,
And conversation, in sweet solitude,”

are damply suggestive of a cold in the head. At the same time, from their pleasant position and varied surface, these grounds have a charm about them; and I should much like to wander in them, by moonlight, with—(I must decline, like the Standard Bearer, to communicate the young lady's name), just to see whether I had derived any benefit from my salutation of the Blarney Stone; whether I could say mavourneen with a sweeter tenderness, and discourse more fluently those “sugared glosses,” which are called by the sentimental “heart music,” and by the unsentimental “bosh.”

In these grounds the portly old gardener showed us one of those Cromlechs, which were used by the Druids for sacrificial or sepulchral purposes, and in which, I am ashamed to say, we professed an all-absorbing interest, though, on my asking Frank, as we left the gardens, “what a Cromlech was?” he replied that, prior to inspection, his idea had always been that it was a species of antediluvian buffalo!

Then we saw the lake

“That is stored with perches,
And comely eels in the verdant mud;
Besides the leeches, and groves of beeches,
All standing in order for to guard the flood.”

They say that, from this lake enchanted cows, snow-white and of wondrous beauty, come forth in the summer mornings, and wander among the dewy meads, to the intense astonishment and admiration, doubtless, of the celebrated Irish Bulls. 1

1 The only lapsus linguar, resembling a bull, which I heard
during our tour, was from a fellow-passenger, in Connamara,
who was repeating a conversation, of which he declared
himself to have been an eye-witness.

And they say, moreover, that beneath these waters (which we ventured to designate Cowesharbour, in allusion to the mysterious kine), lies the plate-chest of the Macarthys, about the size of a gasometer, and never to be raised until once again a Macarthy shall be lord of Blarney. It will be a busy day for the butler, and a happy one for those who deal in plate-powder, whenever this restoration shall occur.

Our driver gave us, as we returned, a taste of his autobiography. I wish that I could repeat it verbatim, for Irish humour loses its bloom if it is not faithfully rendered; but my memory only retains the incidents, and, here and there, a phrase of his story.

He was in England several years ago, at the time of harvest, travelling, sickle in hand, with a dozen of “the boys,” and looking out for employment in the neighbourhood of, or, as he termed it, “contagious to th'ould castle of Newark-upon-Trent.” A hot wind blew the dust along the road, for “the good people were a-going their journeys;” 1 and they were resting awhile, and looking at a fine crop of wheat, by the wayside, when two young men on horseback stopped, and asked them “whether they wanted work?”

1 “The Irish have a superstition, that when the dust is
caught up and blown about by the wind, it is a sign that the
fairies are travelling.”—Tales and Novels by Maria
Edgeworth, vol. iv. p. 72.

Now, it seems, that there lived in these parts, at the period of our history, one of those unhappy malcontents whose counsel, like Moloch's, is for open war with everything and everybody about them; who can believe no good of their neighbours, because they find none in themselves; who murmur at the rich, and are mean and merciless to the poor; who go to meeting house to spite the parson, and to church to vex the preacher; who attend parish-meetings to stir up quarrels, and to set one class against another; who poison foxes, and put their great ugly boots into partridge-nests; and sedulously devote themselves in every way to promote the misery of mankind.

A bear of this calibre, calling himself a farmer, was tenant of the field on which the Irishman gazed; and a plan occurred to the merry young gentlemen by which they might amuse themselves, occupy the reapers, and annoy “that mangy old hunks.” Accordingly, they at once retained our friend the car-driver, and his company, to cut the crop before them, giving them particular directions to get it down as quickly as they could, and agreeing to pay them liberally by the acre, as “their father was anxious to get it stacked, and would not mind their doing the work a bit slovenly, if only they lost no time.” And then, having warned them “not to take any notice of a poor half-witted fellow, who lived near, and who, fancying that all the land about was his own, might possibly try to interrupt their proceedings,” the horsemen wished them “good-day.”

They had been at work for nearly an hour, and had left behind them, in their anxious haste, such an untidy example of sheaf and stubble as would have broken Mr. Mechi's heart, when a loud bellowing in the distance announced the arrival of the unhappy lunatic! He came on, roaring and raving, shaking his fist, and foaming at the mouth. He actually danced with rage among the sickles, until the reapers, fearing the excision of his legs, forcibly removed him, and with twisted strawbands, secured him to his own gate! There, trussed and pinioned, he sent forth such howlings through “the alarmed air,” as scared every crow from the parish, and very speedily attracted the surprised attention of the British public travelling upon the Great North Road.

The reapers, eventually, found it expedient to retire with considerable agility, much disgusted and discomfited, at being “sich a distance on the wrong side of the wage, bedad,” until they were met by their delighted employers, who not only presented them with a couple of sovereigns, but introduced them, with the anecdote, to a jolly old gentleman, hard by, from whom they had employment until the end of harvest.

In allusion to the subject of Irishmen in England, I asked the car man, when he had concluded his story, whether he was aware that there were as many of his countrymen living in London as in the city of Dublin itself? 1 And his reply, to the effect, that I had “brought away a dale o' vartue from th' ouldstone a top o Blarney,” reminded me of an observation made, when I was at school, by our French master, to a boy named Drake. “Monsieur Canard, I shall not call you a liar but I do not believe von vord of vot you say!

1 See an interesting account of the Irish in London, in The
Million-peopled City, by the Rev. J. Garwood, p. 246.

We had a fine view, as we returned, of the beautiful city and its environs, and re-entering by another route, we passed the ornate chapel, commenced by Father Mathew, at the date and with the design, so charmingly recorded by the poet,

“The first beginning of this new chapel
Was in eighteen hundred and thirty-three;
It will soon be finish'd by the subscribers,
And then all tyrants away must flee.”

Next morning, having purchased, as we were commissioned and as we recommend other tourists to do, a good stock of highly finished but low-priced gloves from Mollard, in the street of St. Patrick, we started by rail for Dublin.


THERE are objects, I doubt not, in the well-cultivated country which lies between Cork and Dublin, well worthy of special notice, but we did not pause to observe them, passing once more the pretty town of Mallow, and the Limerick Junction, reminded at Thurles of the famous Synod, and longing, as we passed the Curragh (Ireland's Newmarket), for a gallop over its green, elastic sward.

The latest intelligence, which we obtained from Mark, on our arrival at Morrisson's was that Cardinal Wiseman had arrived in Dublin, and the Fair in Donnybrook. To the latter we went, as soon as we had dined, but did not meet with His Eminence, wiser in his maturity than Wolsey in his youth, for Wolsey not only went to the fair, but got there so particularly drunk, that he was put into the stocks by Sir Amyas Paulett,—if you doubt it, ask “Notes and Queries.

The glories of Donnybrook have declined dismally since those more happy days, when Paddy

“'Slipp'd into a tent, just to spend half-a-crown,
Slipp'd out, met a friend, and for joy knock'd him down,
With his sprig of shillelagh, and shamrock so green!”

The showmen shouted, and the drums rumbled, and the cymbals clanged, and the fiddlers fiddled, but the dancing was limp and feeble, and the general effect was dreary. We visited Mr. Batty's Menagerie, and were offered a mount upon a young elephant, at the low charge of one penny. And I am glad that we declined; because the quadruped in question, having gone round the show, until it was tired of doing so, suddenly dropped upon its stern, and discharged its jockeys into the sawdust, as though they were a load of coals!

Then we visited the Theatre of Ferguson, and there a Prima Donna appeared to us, from the arrangement of her mouth, to be singing with remarkable energy; but we had no further means of verifying the supposition, as the whole House, incited by her example, was chanting at the top of its voice. And I must say that, although I stood, most uncomfortably and insecurely, on a narrow plank at the top of “the Boxes,” I never enjoyed a concert more; and I very much doubt whether the Pope himself could have resisted joining in the Chorus.

We saw nothing at all suggestive of a shindy until (to our great joy) we met a couple of our college friends, Hoare, the stroke of our boat, tall among the tallest, as Arba among the Anakims, arm in arm with little Dibdin, the coxswain (they have been sworn friends, ever since Hoare took him by the collar, and dropped him into the Isis, for some mistake in steering); and these gentlemen were armed with shillelaghs, and anxious, as the old lady in the captured city, to know when the fun would begin. “For now I see,” said Hoare,—

“The true old times are gone,
When every morning brought a noble chance,
And every chance brought out a noble knight.”
 “And every knight,” I said, as a supplement,
“brought home a broken head.”

Let us haste to Kelvin Grove—I mean, let us return to Morrisson's!”

We steamed away next morning from Kingston Quay. Looking back upon that lovely bay, I thought of the poor Irishman's most touching words, as he gazed for the last time on his native land, “Ah, Dublin, sweet Jasus be with you!” and from my heart I breathed an earnest prayer for the good weal of beautiful Ireland!

And now our “Little Tour” is over; and its story must go forth, like some small boy to a public school, to find its true place and level. It may, perhaps, receive more pedal indignities than donations of a pecuniary kind; vulgarly speaking, more kicks than halfpence; but as no severities can deprive the boy of his pleasant memories of the past, nor chase the smile from his tear-stained and inky cheek, as he sleeps to dream of home; so no criticism, however caustic, can ever mar my glad remembrance of our happy days in Ireland.

And in mine adversity, should such befall, I shall have yet another solace. Hooted, like some bad actor, from the stage, I can hide myself behind scenery, which has a charm for all, and which, like Phyllis the fair, “never fails to please.”

Cheered or condemned, whether “the Duke shall say, Let him roar again,” or the poor player shall hear

“On all sides, from innumerable tongues,
An universal hiss,”
 the drama is over, and the curtain falls.