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dren, the establishment of a domestic menagerie, for the care
what to think between them." Well," said he, “ I shall tell of this would be extremely troublesome, and occupy time you the story, and it will help you to form your judgment. which should be spent to far better purpose ; nor do I From the high road between Cork and Cloyne, and about mend the keeping of useless pets of any kind, my object be three miles from the latter, a small by-road, or borheen,' ing merely to point out, by actual exemplification, what the branches off. It is of very ancient date, belonging to times benevolent principle, systematically exercised, can produce even when men were guided by the position of the sun during the under the most adverse circumstances. On what are called day, and the stars at night, and when, consequently, their pets, such as lapdogs and parrots, much warm, kind feeling track lay over mountain and hollow, through wood and bog, is often unprofitably bestowed. When Ponto dies of plethora, as the avoidance of impediments (except to a very short or Poll from cold or infirmity, sensibilities are sometimes distance) would have thrown them quite out of their reckoncalled forth, which would not flow from the contemplation of ing, and toil was much less regarded then than in these dehuman sufferings. The servant who is daily employed to wash generate days. The road by Laght-e-Ouria is decidedly a and comb the dog, is perhaps never sent upon an errand of shorter way to Cloyne than the high road from which it dimercy to any of the distressed families around the mistress, verges; but a saying has arisen since it was made, the and a wayworn group of children may unavailingly solicit the longest way round is the shortest way home,' that has been luxurious food which is placed before the pampered pet, with- so often used as a conclusion to a debate upon which of the out shame or scruple.
roads should be taken,' that the wisdom of our ancestors is I do not intend to maintain the pet system in general; it is voted folly, and their ways are no longer trodden. the principle of humanity which I seek, not that mawkish Other reasons than the unevenness of its surface are howsensibility which causes so many to weep at the dramatic ex- ever not wanting, and many a headstrong drunken farmer, hibition of fictitious woe, who would not drop one tear of sym- upon whom all other argument had been tried in vain, has pathy for real misery, divested, as in the scenes of every-day been induced to turn his horse's head to the new road, by the life, of the embellishments and romantic adjuncts which false soft voice of the · Vanitha' whispering in his ear that it sentiment delights in. We all, it is true, require some especial would be midnight ere they passed Laght-e-Ouria.' objects of endearment, something on which the feelings of the Laght, in Irish, signifies a heap of stones, and it is cusheart may find expansion, else we become cold, selfish, and tomary in Ireland, wherever a murder has been committed, very disagreeable to every one. In childhood, therefore, the for every passer-by to throw a stone upon the spot. A heap, disposition to love even the domestic animals born for our use, or “laght,' is thus soon formed, and it receives the cognoshould be sedulously fostered, but not to such excess as to men of the unfortunate individual whose untimely end it comweaken the affection for parents, brothers, sisters, or friends. memorates. The principle should only be checked, however, in its exuber- In the beginning of the month of October 1775, when reance, never crushed. In mature years the affections should siding in Cork, received a note from the Earl of Inchihave the highest objects, and in those instances in which the quin, desiring me to meet him at Cloyne between five and six Creator has denied the gift of offspring to us, I would respect- o'clock on the following morning, on most pressing and imfully suggest to those who desire pets, the adoption of an or- portant business. I immediately ordered my horse, deterphan or two, whom they may train both for earth and heaven, mining to dine with a particular friend who resided about in preference to any other perishable idols.
half way, to jog quietly on in the evening, and have, what I always relished, a night's repose on the spot where my morn
ing's business awaited me. LAGHT-E-OURIA.
Mr Ahern was one of a class well known in the south as “ The longest way round is often the shortest way home."-Old Proverb. I gentlemen farmers,' being mostly reduced gentlemen who
farmed a portion of the grounds that once belonged to their I was not more than eight or nine years old when the fol- ancestors, in many instances to themselves. lowing anecdote was related to me by the actor or sufferer, Hospitality, the virtue they most prided themselves upon, whichever he might be called, himself. He was a fine stately they carried to a fault; and my friend Ahern, in common with old gentleman. His family had once been powerful; but in the rest, made it a rule, without an exception, that a bottle the troubles with which the page of Ireland's history is filled either of wine or whisky once opened, should be finished on and darkened, they had been reduced, and he, fleeced by a the spot. Upon this occasion, however, I felt it necessary to treacherous guardian of the last remnant of the property, demur. The last bottle of whisky having been opened withhad been compelled to accept the influence of friends in pro- out my consent, and feeling that, although I was still capable curing him a commission in the civil service (for in war he of proceeding on my journey, the half of what remained would would not serve them) of a government which he loathed. put it completely out of the question, I positively refused to
He was of a stern and rather gloomy disposition, and take another drop except the Dhuch-an-dhurrish,' or partrarely condescended to social or pleasant conversation, much ing glass, and resisting all his importunities to stay the night, less to notice children ; but sometimes the genial fire within not relishing a ride of a dark morning, I took my departure would thaw the icy surface, and diffuse life and light around. about an hour before midnight. The bow could not be kept ever bent: the garrison was I never was a believer in ghosts or fairies, or any class too feeble to keep constant watch and ward, and a view of idle, mischievous, disembodied creatures; but upon this ocwould be sometimes gained, through an open door, of a heart casion, whether from melancholy or loneliness, or the darkfitted by nature to give and receive all sublunary happi- ness, which was so intense as to force me to proceed very slowly, ness. I heard his history long after his career had closed. or from my friend's stirrup-cup having slightly obnubilated But it has nothing to do with the present story-another time my reasoning faculties without producing the usual valour, for it.
I know not. Certain it is, I did not feel comfortable, and I had been playing marbles with my cousin and playfellows; wished most fervently for just as much light as would enable we quarrelled, and were proceeding to blows, when Mr M- me to urge my horse forward at a quicker pace, but the more who was sitting, unobserved by us, on a stone bench, and had I wished for light the darker it became, until my eyes ached witnessed our dispute, called to us both to approach him. in endeavouring to penetrate the gloom. He took one on each knee, and looking alternately at us, A row of tall trees ran along at each side of the road, and said, in a tone so mild and different from his usual harsh nearly met at top, and the fitful breeze just agitating the commanding voice, that we could scarcely think it was the leaves, or occasionally moving the branches so as to cause a same man who spoke, “ Boys, beware of sudden ungovernable low, moaning, creaking noise, jarred my nerves, and made me passion ; under its influence you might commit, in one moment, feel' still more and more unpleasant. At length, when I had an act which would embitter, with remorse and vain regret, arrived at an intolerable pitch of nervous excitement, the all your subsequent life.
darkness became less intense, and I could just distinguish a When a young man, I once suffered so keenly the conse- breach in the row of trees upon the right, which marked the quence of my ungovernable temper, that were I to live a thou- locality of the 'laght.' Taking advantage of the opportunity, sand years, I could not forget it. I see that your curiosity is ex- I pressed my horse. He seemed to have become as nervous cited, and you would like to hear the circumstance; but it is connected with a ghost story, and I must tell you all.” “Oh! with a loud snort and a violent spring, which I considered so
as myself, for he answered to the slight touch of the spur do, Mr M—" said I, “for papa says there are no such things totally uncalled for, as to give me a very fair excuse for being as ghosts or fairies, and nurse says there are ; and nurse in a passion, and venting my irritability, which I proceeded Deyer tells lies, and certainly papa would not, and I do not know to do with my whip, as giving my muscles more action than
the spur ; but instead of plunging along at a mad gallop, as from the room. I knew that the only female inmate of the I expected, my horse reared, and turning sharply round, at- house was the daughter of an old follower of the family, now tempted a flight back. Again and again I turned his head called the servant man;' for Pat or Paddy fulfilled the mato the road, but onward he would not go; this was very nifold duties of butler, footman, gardener, and valet, besides strange, for he never shied or started. At length I tried taking a hand at every thing about the farm in turn. the soothing system ; for I must confess that the general Whilst considering whether or not I should knock again, belief that horses see what is hidden from the eyes of man, I had the satisfaction to see, by the still increasing light, occurred to me, and I coaxed and patted him, and spoke gently that the shutter of an upper window was cautiously opened ; and encouragingly to him, but he kept sidling, and tramping, then the window was gently raised; and I waited for the attempting to turn, and answering every word or pat with appearance of a head to announce myself, when a bright flash a long snore, whilst I could perceive by his forward pricked issued forth, accompanied by a tremendous report. Away ears and the direction of his head, that his eyes were rivetted went my hat; and at the same instant the dogs opened, not upon the heap of stones. Whilst thus engaged, and having barking, but with yells upon yells, as if Pandemonium was somewhat quieted his terror, I heard a sound like the rattling let loose. • Ahern! Ahern !' I roared out, what are you at ? of chains. Round and away with Rainbow. I brought him 'Tis l_don't you know me?-M- My horse has run away; up again nearer than before. Again the chains clanked, and I he's in your field, and I want help to catch him.' I bellowed could distinctly hear that they were chains, ere my horse this at the top of my voice, in the vain endeavour to drown bolted and ran again. The third time,' said I, "contains a the “bow-wow-00-00-00-00-00' of the dogs. The answer I charm, they say; and, man or devil, ghost or fairy, I'll over- received was, “ You to hiccup) blazes (hiccup); here's at you haul you. Who's there?' No answer. . Who's there?' Clank, again, you villains.' I threw myself down as my quondam clank, went the chains. I could see nothing. The perspiration kind host discharged a second blunderbuss at me; but was was running down my face, but I was furious. By the hand instantly on my legs again, as the roaring of the dogs anof my grandfather, if you do not answer me, I'll go to you, nounced their rapid approach. They had in some manner and whilst sinew and whalebone last, you shall feel the butt got out of the yard. "I glanced hurriedly round for some of a loaded whip. Who are you?' Again the chains clanked, place of shelter. A large arbutus tree was the nearest object, and my horse would not consent to keep such company any and into it I scrambled, just as the dogs appeared in full longer. I dismounted, and, taking him a few paces back, tied career upon the field. him to a tree, and returned on foot to the spot.
They made repeated springs at me, for I was not above Behind the trees was a deep trench partly filled with eight feet from the ground, but I contrived, by well-aimed water ; a hawthorn hedge grew at the farther side, and threw kicks in the jaws, to keep them at bay for a while. I was its branches nearly across. As I approached the • laght,' the thus pleasantly engaged for about five minutes, when Ahern rattling of the chains again rose, accompanied by a plashing, and four or five men made their appearance. He carried a scrambling noise, as of something breaking through the hedge blunderbuss in his hand, another tucked under his arm, and a and trench. I sprang forward, striking with the heavy han- brace of holster pistols stuck in his waistband. His old serdle of my whip, having twisted the thong firmly round my vant had the master's fowling-piece, and the rest, who were hand and wrist. I had only beaten air, but the violence of farm servants, had pitchforks. the blow and weight of the whip carried me forward ; and, As soon as I espied them, I roared out, “Call off the dogs, missing my footing in the darkness, I fell against, or rather I'm M- you stupid drunken rascal. • Ho! ho! he's upon, the monster of the chains ; and having made a furious hic-up in the arbutus.' • Blur-an-agers, tare-an-taffy, sir, grasp to save myself, judge what was my horror at catching you'll shoot the dogs !' said old Paddy, knocking up the a handful of hair, such as might be expected to be felt upon levelled blunderbuss. It's Mr M ; don't ye know his an arctic bear! The creature slipped from me, and with a voice? Down, Fin-down, Oscar-down with ye,' and with tremendous plunge and frightful rattling of its chains, gained persuasive words, and still more persuasive blows of the fowl. the road, overwhelming me completely in the muddy ditch. ing-piece, Pat drew off the dogs, and took them away. I
Just at that instant the whole truth flashed across my came down in a state of indescribable rage. Nothing vexes mind ; and with a vengeful rage that I am ashamed to confess, a man so much as the consciousness of being an object of I sprang up, and pursuing my unfortunate victim, a jackass, mirth or ridicule. who could make but little exertion to escape, being spancelled Having paused awhile for words, I poured forth a torrent with a piece of an iron chain, I kept my oath, by belabouring of abuse on Ahern. He hiccupped once or twice, looked with poor Neddy until I could strike no more from exhaustion. I the most stupid astonishment at me, and, when I paused for then turned to remount my horse ; but he was gone, having breath, damned me but it would have been due to me to be left the principal portion of his bridle hanging on the bough shot ; firstly, for leaving a Christian habitation at the dead for a keepsake. Nothing saved Neddy from a second edition, hour of the night ; secondly, for going at that hour by a with considerable additions, but the recollection of the hour, haunted road ; and, thirdly, for attempting to get in at the necessity of catching my horse, and the confounded dis- a back window of his house, when I well knew that I had tance I should have to travel afterwards, for he was, of course, only to raise the latch, and walk in at the front door.' gone the wrong way.
How the d- could I get past your infernal dogs ?' said I, I ran as fast as I could, but was soon obliged to pull up. • Good dogs always know friends from foes,' he replied ; I found that I was carrying weight, and no light weight, for but—hic—it was just one of your tricks—you wanted to my clothes were saturated with water, and covered thickly frighten me, and—ha! ha! ha!-- you got frightened yourself, with mud. Having scraped off as much as I could of the and the devil's cure to you !-hic. I was beginning again, latter, I got along, and about two o'clock reached my friend's when he stopped me by saying, “that if I thought he had house again, entertaining a faint hope that Rainbow had re- taken any advantage of me, matters could be made even ;' and turned to the last stall he had occupied ; and so he had. he produced the holster pistols, saying that they were both
Not finding the gate open, he had jumped the road fence, double loaded; he had charged them himself, and I might and was quietly grazing with two or three other horses. have my choice. In a minute the ground was measured ; There was now light enough to distinguish objects at a hun- the men were ordered not to interfere, but stand aside; and dred yards ; and I could see his saddle, but how to catch him Ahern himself asked me if I was ready, and immediately said was now the question, for he had at all times a propensity to • fire!' keep his liberty when he had got it; and to think of catching Well might he say the pistols were double charged;' him without help was idle. I approached the house, but just they were trebly charged-loaded to the muzzles. In fact, it then recollected that my friend had a couple of dangerous was safer to stand before than behind them. I was stunned mastiff dogs, of extraordinary size and ferocity; and as the by the report, and remained standing, until roused by one of entrance to the front of the house lay through the farm-yard, the men asking me' was I shot ?' adding, that ‘ I had killed in which they were kept, it would be as much as my life was the masther.' In an instant the whole impropriety of my worth to approach it. My only chance was to get at the conduct flashed before me, and I ran to my poor unfortunate rere ; and having made the circuit of a few fields, I reached friend, who lay motionless. I knelt down by his side, and it, and, selecting a window likely to belong to some sleeping never shall I forget the piercing anguish that at that moment apartment on the ground floor, I tapped at it with the butt penetrated my soul. All his virtues—his amiable qualitiesof my whip. Receiving no answer, I repeated the knock, and his kind-heartedness_every good action of his life with placing my head close, heard a female voice exclaim, .Marcy which I was acquainted, and they were numerous, appeared save us, it's the boys ;' and the speaker hurried barefooted in order before my mental vision ; and then conscience,
shaking the ægis, on which appeared, not the Gorgon's, but who had established every person in his country in his rightful my poor friend's blackened countenance, before me, and hereditary possessions, to the end that no one of them might asking, Why did you do this ?' froze up my faculties, and bear enmity to another; a man who had not suffered the power converted my outward seeming into stone ; but within, there of the English to come into his country, for he had formed a was a foretaste of the eternal torments.
league of peace and amity with the King of England so soon Involuntarily I called upon his name; the sound of my own as he saw that the Irish would not yield the superiority to any voice started me, arousing me to a sense of keener anguish ; one chief or lord among themselves, but that friends and blood and I was about to break forth into some violent extravagance, relations fiercely contended against one another; and a man when my unfortunate friend opened his eyes, and, looking at who had carefully protected from harm or violation the Terme with kindness, said, M-- -, you did not do it; my pistol mon-lands (or sanctuaries) belonging to the friars, churchburst and has hurt me-take me into the house_I'm sober
men, poets, and ollaves. enough now.'
This O'Donnell (Hugh, son of Hugh Roe) died on the 5th Upon examination it was discovered that a piece of the pistol of July, in the year of salvation 1537, being Wednesday, in the barrel had hit him above the forehead, cutting a path through monastery of Donegall, having first taken upon him the habit his scalp; one of his fingers was broken, and his hand and of St Francis, having bewailed his crimes and iniquities, and arm were severely contused, but he seemed to think nothing of done penance for his sins and transgressions. He was buried it, but desired one of the men to go for old Biddy Hoolaghan, a in the same monastery, with all the honour and solemnity celebrated doctress, and the rest of them to catch Rainbow. which were his due; and Magnus O'Donnell was nominated I refused to leave him in his then present condition, of which to succeed him in his place by the successors of St ColumbI was the unlucky cause, but he would not hear of my stop- kille (viz. the Abbots of Kilmacrenan, Raphoe, and Derry), ping. “ No, no,' said he, ‘ your business cannot be neglected; with the permission and by the advice of the nobles of Týr. and as to fault, we may divide the matter between us, and connell, both lay and ecclesiastical. bear each his own share. If I did not make the ridiculous rule, that a bottle of whisky once opened should be finished at once, I would not have drunk after you left me, but have
THE HARP. gone to bed at once ; in which case i'd have known your The harp was the favourite musical instrument, not only of voice, and all would have been right. And if you were not so lazy as to object to a morning ride (which you must take the middle ages, as is evident from their laws, and from every
the Irish, but of the Britons and other northern nations, during after all), you'd have staid where you were, and saved all the passage in their history in which there is the least allusion mischief.' 'But, at all events, remember for the rest of your to music. days that the longest way round is often the shortest way
By the laws of Wales, the possession of a harp home.'
was one of the three things that were necessary to constitute Rainbow was caught at length. Ahern lent me a bridle, and
a gentleman, that is, a freeman ; and no person could pretend at four o'clock I faced the road again, and arrived at Cloyne, and could play upon it.
to that title, unless he had one of those favourite instruments, without further adventure, at five, thoroughly soaked with the rain, which commenced heavily soon after my second de
In the same laws, to prevent slaves from pretending to be parture, and for which I was thankful, as it partially cleansed gentlemen, it was expressly forbidden to teach or to permit me from the ditch mud, and accounted for my dripping and them to play upon the harp; and none but the king, the king's soiled state when I made my appearance before the earl, possession. A gentleman's harp was not liable to be seized for
musicians, and gentlemen, were allowed to have harps in their which I was obliged to do, without changing my dress, at
NAISI. half past five."
debt, because the want of it would have degraded him from his rank, and reduced him to a slave.
The harp was in no less estimation and universal use among CHARACTER OF O'DONNELL, PRINCE OF TYR- the Saxons and Danes ; those who played upon this instruCONNELL IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
ment were declared gentlemen by law; their persons were
esteemed inviolable, and secured from injuries by very severe (From the MS. Annals of the Four Masters, translated by penalties ; they were readily admitted into the highest comMr O'DONOVAN.)
pany, and treated with distinguished marks of respect wherA.D. 1537. In this year died O'Donnell (Hugh, son of ever they appeared. Hugh Roe, who was son of Niall Garve, who was son of Torlogh of the Wine), Lord of Tyrconnell, Inishowen, KinelMoen,* Fermanagh, and Lower Connaught; a man to whom
ANECDOTE OF JEROME DUIGENAN, A HARPER.--Some curents and tributes had been paid by the people of other terri- rious tales are told of Jerome Duigenan, a Leitrim harper, tories over which he had acquired dominion and jurisdiction, born in the year 1710. One is of so extraordinary a characsuch as Moylorg, Machaire-Chonnacht, Clann-Conway, Cos- ter, that, were it not for the particularity of the details, which tello, Gallen, Tirawly, and Conmaicne-Cuile, to the west, and
savour strongly of an origin in fact, the editor would hesitate Oireacht-ui-Chathain (the patrimony of O'Kane), the Route, to give it publicity. He is, however, persuaded that he has it and Clannaboy, to the east ; for of all these there was not one
as it was communicated to O'Neill, between whose time and territory that had not given him pledges for the payment of that of Duigenan there was scarcely room for the invention of his tribute of protection. It was this man who had compelled a story not substantially true. It is as follows:-“ There was the four lords who ruled Tyrone in his lifetime, to give him
a harper,” says O'Neill, “ before my time, named Jerome new charters of Inishowen, Kinel-Moen, and Fermanagh, by Duigenan, not blind, an excellent Greek and Latin scholar, way of confirmations of the ancient charters which his ances
and a charming performer. I have heard numerous anecdotes tors had held in proof of their right to govern these coun
of him. The one that pleased me most was this. He lived tries ; and this he had done, in order that he might peaceably with a Colonel Jones, of Drumshambo, who was one of the enjoy jurisdiction over them, and have authority to suminon representatives in parliament for the county of Leitrim. The their forces into the field when he wanted them. Neither in all colonel, being in Dublin, at the meeting of parliament, met this is there anything to be wondered at, for never had victory with an English nobleman who had brought over a Welsh been seen with his enemies-never had he retreated one foot harper. When the Welshman had played some tunes before from any army, whether small or numerous; he had been distin the colonel, which he did very well, the nobleman asked him, guished as an abolisher of evil customs, and a restrainer of evil had he ever heard so sweet a finger?
Yes,' replied Jones, deeds, a destroyer and banisher of rebels and plunderers, and a
and that by a man who never wears either linen or woollen.' rigid enforcer of the Irish laws and ordinances after the strictest
I bet you a hundred guineas,' says the nobleman, “you can't and most upright manner; he was a man in whose reign the sea- produce any one to excel my Welshman. The bet was accordsons had been favourable, so that both sea and land had been ingly made, and Duigenan was written to, to come immeprofusely productive while he continued on the throne ;ť a man diately to Dublin, and bring his harp and dress of Cauthack
with him; that is, a dress made of beaten rushes, with some
thing like a caddy or plaid of the same stuff. On Duigenan's Now the barony of Raphoe.
arrival in Dublin, the colonel acquainted the members + Cormac, in his instructions to his son Carbry, tells him that " when a worthy prince reigns, the great God sends favourable seasons." It is worthy with the nature of his bet, and they requested that it might of remark that, among the oriental nations, the same notion prevails to the be decided in the House of Commons, before business compresent day; and the poets of the East frequently express their anticipations menced. of favourable weather and abundant harveits upon the accession of a peace. I accordingly, and it was unanimously decided in favour of
The two harpers performed before all the members able monarch to the throne,
THE IRISH PENNY JOURNAL
Duigenan, who wore his full Cauthack dress, and a cap of the same stuff, shaped like a sugar loaf, with many tassels; he was a tall, handsome man, and looked very well in it.”Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland.
THE MOUNTAIN WALK.
BY J. U. U.
There let cloud and sunbeam flee
APOLOGUES AND FABLES,
From the haunts of busy life,
Oft let shadowy hollows fall,
Then from towery crag on high,
Last, from o'er the seaward steep,
No. I.—THE DISCONTENTED STONES. A MASON was one day at work, building a stout wall to protect a garden ; nigh him lay a piled-up heap of stones, which he took into his hands in succession, one by one, according as he wanted them. The stones on their part submitted with exemplary quietness to be handled and introduced into their appropriate places ; for they were fully aware that the mason's object was to erect a wall, and they knew equally well that that object could not be attained, if they took it into their thick heads to rebel against the principle upon which he was proceeding. At last, however, somewhat to the mason's amusement, it did so happen, after he had accomplished a considerable portion of his task, that one contumacious fellow, upon being laid hold of, began to talk very big upon the rights of stones, and the tyranny of coercing stonekind in general, declaring, that for himself, whether in a wall or out of a wall, he was determined to enjoy that liberty which was the birthright of every stone upon the earth, and that he would sooner be trodden into powder than surrender it.
"I tell you plumply and plainly, Master Mason," said he, “ that I will not be subjected to restraint. I must have scope for my energies. I must have room to look about me, and be able to roll to the left side or to the right, as I think proper, like a free agent !"
The mason, on hearing this, could not refrain from laugh-
Did you ever hear of the adage,' a rolling stone gathers
“ Yes, and despise it," answered the Stone; "a moss is a token of antiquity ; and antiquity and absurdity are synonymous terms in my vocabulary. May heaven defend me from ever gathering moss !"
“ Whew !” whistled the mason, in a manner to indicate mingled surprise and contempt. “ Pray, what do you tako yourself to be ?"
“ What do I take myself to be! Just a stone-a wall stone-neither more nor less."
“ And are you content that I should allot you a position in the wall ?”
“ Certainly I am."
“ And yet," said the mason, "you declare you will not be satisfied to remain under constraint ? You must have room forsooth for your energies ! Really your inconsistency is most ridiculous. Come; I have no time to lose ; tell me at once what you would be at. Will you go into the wall
, or shall I deposit you again on the ground ?'
“ I have made up my mind to oblige you by going into the wall,” replied the Stone, with a patronizing air ; "but I will
" I warn
not be swindled out of my natural rights! Liberty is the first workman: "all stones, you assert, are equal, and have the of these—and I must have liberty, even in a wall."
same rights: yet you would have me rudely displace and de“So you shall,” said the man; “your liberty will be that grade one of them for your pleasure, though, according to of obtaining your just position in the wall, and of maintaining your own acknowledgment, you are not a bit better than he is ! it undisturbedly.
Upon my word, but you have enlightened conceptions of what “Bah! what stupid, sneaking notions you have of liberty, constitutes equality. But I cannot stand here arguing the surely! I tell you again that must have space to expand question with you all day; my time is precious ; I beg you will and expatiate in. Do you think that I can stoop to fill the decide whether you are satisfied to form part of the wall or office of a mere wedge?"
not." “ You tire out my patience, friend,” said the mason: “there Assuredly I am,” said the other, “but only as a corner is no use in arguing the matter further. I see I cannot get stone. How can you be so blind as not to see that we are all you to take up your lodging in the wall : I see I must throw stones alike, and all therefore equal ?" you on the earth again.'
“ You are all stones alike," replied the mason, “and so “Very well; be it so," returned the Stone: “ liberty before far equal, in a certain sense; but your equality consists merely all things ! Pitch me to a respectable distance from the other in your being all liable to serve as wall-stones, not in your stones, that I may feel myself unshackled and independent. I being all qualified for the place of corner-stones." have the same right to be a free-stone that you have to be a “ A truce with your slavish doctrines !” cried the malcon. free-mason."
tent; “ either make of me a corner-stone, or build your wall There, then,” said the mason, and with the words he cast without me." the Stone from him into the middle of the highway.
“ Is that your final decision ?" asked the mason. The Stone was now in the full enjoyment of its darling li- you not to trifle with me, for I cannot let my work wait for berty. Exceedingly did it congratulate itself. For a time also you any longer;”. everything went well with it. The summer was a mild one; “ I have said it,” said the Stone. “ I would see your wall the skies were bright, and the foot of the passenger was con- trampled into dust, and the whole universe along with it, betinually transferring it to a new locality, and showing it daily fore I would surrender my great principle.
Do what you more and more of the ways of the world. But, alas ! the sum- please.” mer could not last for ever : autumn came, and brought with “Go, then, refractory wronghead," exclaimed the mason, it clouds of dust and showers of yellow leaves; and when the go and enjoy your equality where none will be likely to diswind-gusts had subsided, there fell on the earth heavy torrents pute it !” And so saying, he cast the Stone from him with a of rain; and the highway was covered with mire, and the vigorous jerk; and the Stone, after it had completed its jourmeasure of the isolated stone was forthwith taken for a surtout ney through the air, fell down, and from the force of its own of mud ; and there it lay, fallen from its high estate, and com-gravitation sank several feet low into the bottom of a deep pletely confounded by the passing eye with the vilest of the and slimy pool. rubbish in its vicinity.
This was, for all historical purposes, the termination of its But this was not the worst: in the course of a few weeks, existence. What became of it in the pool ultimately, it is imthe rains continuing still to fall, and the mire to accumulate, possible to conjecture, for half a century has elapsed since; the earth gave way under it, and it became, as it were, im- but as a total extinguisher was put upon its aspirations after bedded in a hole produced by the force of its own pressure on notoriety by the accident, it is highly probable that if not worn the soft soil, till at last no part of it remained above ground ex- quite away by the friction of the surrounding mud and water, cept the upper surface. Unfortunately, too, there was no longer it was at least gnawed to the core, in a moral sense, by its a possibility of retracing its steps, for the wall was now erected regrets for the folly of its past misconduct-regrets which we and the mason was far away. Nothing remained for it but to may suppose to have been shared in a pretty equal degree sink deeplier and deeplier into the earth, until not a vestige of by its twin-brother of the preceding year, which had stickled it remained visible to the eye. Alas ! for our poor Stone ! Oh, so stoutly in its colloquy with the mason for its favourite theory Liberty! Oh, Independence! ye are indeed desirable ob- of liberty and independence. jects of attainment; but surely they who seek ye at the expense of the great combining principle of social order, commit a senseless and irremediable blunder.
THE AIR WE BREATHE. In the spring following, the mason was employed in building | The objects which come every day before our eyes, the offices another wall
. He hoped that his work would be suffered to which involuntarily and almost unconsciously we at each proceed without interruption on this occasion at least, but he moment must perform in order that we may live, are prewas speedily undeceived; for one of the stones, just as in the cisely the subjects concerning which the mass of mankind previous year, began to grumble, and protest against the are least curious, and of the true nature and utility of which treatment to which it was about to be subjected. The mason, they are the most completely ignorant. It is thus with the recollecting the former scene, was on the point of flinging it air we breathe. There is no person but is aware of the neaway at once; but second thoughts suggested to him the eli- cessity of breathing, and of the motion of the air caused by gibility of first trying the effect of a little reasoning and re- winds; but how few have asked themselves, What is air ? monstrance, “ for, after all,” said he, aloud, “no two stones How much is there of it ? Could the same air be always are alike, and though I have met with one that was proof used for breathing? How do fishes manage living in water in against argument, another may be less intractable in my place of air? Yet the information thus obtainable might be hands."
the means of saving the lives of hundreds, as certainly the “ There it is !” cried the Stone impatiently; “no two stones ignorance on these points has been the source of death, by alike !—that's your foolish mistake, your ignorance. I tell | painful and lingering torture, in many cases. you that there is no difference between one stone and another : therefore, now to give some information about air, to show I am just as good as any stone in the wall, and I insist on my the importance of it to mankind, and to indicate how much prerogatives.
we owe to the Omniscient Providence that has given to air “Hoity-toity !" exclaimed the mason, “but you are a sturdy the properties that we find it to possess. beggar! Will you be condescending enough to define your Although “ trifles light as air” has become a proverb, yet prerogatives? I will thank you to tell me briefly how you air is positively heavy. A hogshead of air weighs about ten would have me dispose of you.'
ounces; this is heavier than the gas which is burned in the “ I want to be a corner-stone, then,” said the rebel,“ and a streets and shops, of which a hogshead would weigh only seven corner-stone I will be. I stand on my rights : all stones are ounces ; and very much heavier than hydrogen gas, with which equal; so, quick !_let me occupy a position in the corner." balloons were formerly filled, a hogshead of hydrogen gas
*" That you cannot do, my friend,” returned the mason : weighing only two-thirds of an ounce. A balloon filled with ** don't you see that the corner-stones are already in their hydrogen, or even with coal gas, rises into the air, as oil or a
cork rises up through water. The air being thus heavy, “ I see that well enough,” said the Stone; “ but you can presses upon the earth ; and by measuring the degree of prestake one of them out, and install me in its place. I have as sure we can tell how much air there is. This is done by an clear a right to be there as any of them : equality is the badge instrument termed a barometer-a glass tube closed at one of us all : every one of us is from a common quarry: we are end, and which, having been filled with quicksilver, is turned all stones alike. Take one of them out, and put me in.” upside down in a cup containing quicksilver also. The
“ Now, see how grossly inconsistent you are!” urged the tube being shut at the top, the air does not press on the