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THE SOUND AND ISLAND OF DALKEY, COUNTY OF DUBLIN. The little rocky island of Dalkey forms the south-eastern , this harbour that the Earl of Sussex, in 1558, embarked a extremity of the Bay of Dublin, as the bold and nearly insu- large body of forces to oppose the Scottish invaders at the isle lated promontory of Howth forms its north-eastern termina of Řathlin; and lastly, again, it was here that the unfortunate tion. It is separated from the mainland of the parish from Sir John Perrot landed as viceroy in 1584. The conversion which it takes, or to which, perhaps, it gives its name, by a of this sound into an asylum harbour was at one time contem. channel called Dalkey Sound, which is about nine hundred plated by government, and a plan for the purpose was proposed yards long, three hundred and eight yards wide at its south by the Committee of Inland Navigation; but from certain entrance, and two hundred and nine yards wide at its north objections which were made to it, the project was abandoned. entrance; the soundings in mid-channel varying from ten to the situation would certainly have been a more imposing and five fathoms. This channel was anciently considered a tolera- magnificent one than that ultimately chosen. bly safe and convenient harbour, and was the principal anchor- The island of Dalkey is of a nearly oval form, having a age for ships frequenting the little castellated seaport town very irregular surface, in part rocky, and in part consisting of Dalkey, from which merchandise was transferred to Dublin, of a fertile salt marsh, very valuable for the cure of sick catas well by boats as by cars. Hence also the harbour of Dal- tle, who by feeding on it quickly recover and fatten. It is key was frequently used in former times on state occasions for five hundred and twenty-eight yards long from north to the embarkation or landing of the Irish viceroys and other south, and three hundred and eight yards wide from east to state officers. The Lord Deputy Philip de Courtney landed west, and comprises about twenty-nine acres of pasture. Its here in 1386, and Sir John Stanley, the deputy of the Marquis shore is rocky, and in some parts precipitous, and it commands of Dublin, in the following year. In 1414, Sir John Talbot, the most beautiful views of the bays of Dublin and Killiney. then Lord Furnival, and afterwards the renowned Earl of Among several springs of fresh water on it, one on its southShrewsbury, landed here as Viceroy of Ireland ; and in 1488, west side has long been considered to possess sanative pro. Sir Richard Edgecombe embarked at this harbour for Eng- perties, and was formerly much resorted to for the cure of land, after having taken the homage and oaths of fidelity of scurvy and other diseases. On the same side there are the the nobility who had espoused the cause of Lambert Simnel. roofless walls of an ancient church dedicated to St Benet or Here also landed Sir Edward Bellingham, Lord-Lieutenant in Benedict, the patron of the parish; and at its south-eastern 1548, and Sir Anthony St Leger in 1553 ; and it was from extremity there is a battery, and a Martello tower which dif
fers from all the other structures of this class erected on the ders, the Armits, and the present popular and deservedly hoIrish coast, in having its entrance not at the side but on its noured veteran the Commander of the Forces in Ireland top. It is traditionally stated that during the remarkable then lieutenant-colonel of the 18th or Royal Irish Fusileers, plague which visited Dublin in 1575, many of the citizens fled which were at the time quartered in Dublin. On the morning to this island for safety.
of as beautiful a day in June as ever came, the inhabitants of Dalkey island has several smaller ones contiguous to it, one the leading thoroughfares of the city, and those along the road of which, denominated Lamb Island, is covered with grass, side from Dublin to Dunleary, were surprised by the unusual while the others present a surface of bare granite. Of the crowds of open carriages of all kinds conveying the youth and latter islets one is called Clare Rock, and another the Maiden beauty of the aristocracy of the metropolis to the chosen Rock, an appellation derived from a tradition said to be of scene; and when the fine band of the Fusileers, in their magtwelve hundred years' antiquity," that twelve young maidens nificent full-dress uniforms of blue and gold, were seen to pass from Bullock and Dalkey having gone over to this rock to along on the same route, innumerable parties of the inferior gather duilisk, they were overtaken by a sudden storm so ranks of the inhabitants of the city and south-eastern suburbs violent as to prohibit'assistance from the larger island, and all were hastily formed to follow in their wake. At noon, or a miserably perished. To the north of these islands is situ- little after, not only the majority of the original party were ated the group of rocks called the Muglins, extending one assembled in a beautiful and extensive green amphitheatre, hundred and thirty-two yards in length, and seventy-one in surrounded by rocky cliffs, but those cliffs were themselves width. On those rocks, in 1765, the pirates Mac Kinley and covered by a crowd of smaller parties-tributary stars around Gidley were hanged in chains for the murder of Captain Glass. the more splendid galaxy that occupied the centre of the bril.. Most of the features we have thus noticed, together with a
liant scene. portion of the adjacent shore of the bay, are exhibited in our Two splendid marquees were erected at an early hour in prefixed illustration; and to the older citizens of our metropo- the morning-one for the accommodation of the ladies, the Iis, as well as to many others of our countrymen, they must, other for the dinner party; and two beautiful pleasure-yachts we think, awaken many stirring recollections of the striking which conveyed a portion of the invited to the scene, rested changes in the appearance of the scenery in many districts at anchor in the Sound, and with their white sails and coloured adjacent to the city, as well as in the character of the citizens streamers contributed their share of life and beauty to the themselves, which have taken place within the present cen- landscape. Let the reader then imagine what a spectacle was tury. It does not, indeed, require a very great age for any presented when the groups of quadrille-dancers—the beauty of us Dublinians to remember when the country along the and gallantry of the metropolis and its vicinity-commenced southern shore of our beautiful bay, from Dunleary to the dancing on the greensward to the music of one of the finest of land's-end on Dalkey common, presented a nearly uniform military bands--what a delight to the happy multitude of speccharacter of wildness and solitude-heathy grounds, bro-tators who looked on at the graceful and tempered gaiety of ken only by masses of granite rocks, and tufts of blossomy high life! The mind of the accomplished painter Watteau, in furze, without culture, and, except in the little walled villages his finest pictures of the fetes champetres of the French, never of Bullock and Dalkey, almost uninhabited. The district conceived any thing so exquisitely beautiful and romantic. known as the Commons of Dalkey, which extended from the This party did not disperse till after sunset. After an early village to the eastern extremity of the bay, " the Sound," or dinner, dancing was again resumed; and it is worthy of remark channel lying on its north-east, and the rocky hill of Dalkey that throughout the day there was not a single instance of on its south-this in particular was a locality of singularly rudeness or indecorum on the part of the uninvited spectators romantic beauty, a creation of nature in her most sportive -no attempt even to approach beyond the natural rocky mood, and wholly untouched, as it would appear, by the hand boundary which they had chosen for themselves—and that the of man.
Giant masses of granite rocks, sometimes form- festivities were concluded with mutual pleasure to all the paring detached groups, and at others arranged into semicir, ties who had participated in them. Alas! of the gay party cular and even circular ledges, gave the greatest variety and then assembled—the gentle maidens in all the bloom of youthinequalities of surface, and formed numerous dells of the ful beauty, the frank young soldiers, the men of fortune, the greenest sward, so singularly wild and secluded that the elves delighted parents—of all these how many now lie low! More, themselves might justly claim them as their own. To these reader, than you could possibly imagine ! Nor can we avoid natural features should be added those of the roeky iron-exclaiming again, alas that such scenes of rational pleasure, bound coast, with its little coves, commanding from its cliffs in which the higher and the humbler classes came together in the most delightful views of Killiney Bay, the Sound, the healthful and innocent enjoyment, are not now to be seen in Island of Dalkey, and the Bay of Dublin. These latter fea- onr country as they were heretofore ! tures still remain, and can never change; but of all the others But while our memory with changeful feelings of pleasure which we have noticed, what is there left ? Scarcely a vestige and of pain fondly lingers on the brilliant scene we have that would remind the spectator of what the locality had attempted to sketch, we must not forget that our subject been. The rocks have been nearly all removed, or converted requires of us a notice of festivities of a very different character into building materials for an assemblage of houses of all kinds of which Dalkey was in former times the scene—when Dublin of fantastic construction, surrounded for the most part by and its suburbs poured forth their crowds to enjoy the fun and high and unsightly stone walls ; and, except in the views ob- drolleries of the crowning of Dalkey's insular king !-when tained from some spots in it, the picturesque beauty of Dalkey Dalkey, its Common, its Sound, and its Island, on a June common is gone for ever.
day annually for several years, presented a spectacle of life, The common of Dalkey is now a place of life-a suburb, as gaiety, good-humour, and enjoyment, such perhaps as was we might say, of the city ; but at the period to which we have rarely ever exhibited elsewhere. What a glorious day was alluded, it was ordinarily a scene of the most desert soli- this for the Dunleary, Bullock, and Dalkey boatmen! Genetude. A few cottages stretching from the village along its rous fellows! they would take over his majesty's lieges to southern boundary, and a solitary cabin originally built by his empire for almost nothing—frequently for nothing ; bat, miners, and which still remains, were the only habitations to being determined enemies to absenteeism, they would not allow be seen. But though thus uninhabited, it was not at all times them to depart on the same terms, but would mulct those with a scene of loneliness. On Sundays and other holidays its rocks taxes ad libitum who desired to abandon their country. And and dells were peopled with numerous pic-nic or sod parties again, what a glorious day was this for the jingle-drivers of of the middle class of the citizens. The song went round, the Blackrock, the noddy-drivers, and the drivers of all other and the echoes were startled by the merry notes of the fiddle sorts of hired carriages in Dublin! Has it never occurred to or the flute, to which the several groups of happy dancers the Railroad people to revive these forgotten frolics ? What footed the Irish jig and country dance. Nor were such pic- a harvest they might reap! But what do we say? The nics confined exclusively to the citizens of the middle class thing is impossible. The mirthful temperament, the thought--the sporters of jaunting cars and jingles. Parties of the less gaiety, the wit and humour that characterised the citizens higher ranks occasionally assembled here on week days, and in those days, are gone for ever. The Dublinians have become had their rural fetes on a larger and more magnificent scale. a grave, thoughtful, and serious people—we had almost said, It was our own good fortune to be an invited guest to one of a dull one. Their faces no longer wear a cheerful and happy these, of which we may be permitted to give some account, as look; the very youths of our metropolis seem to be ignorant an example of a state of manners and usages of society in Ire- of what merriment is, or at best to suppose that it consists in land now no longer to be found in persons of the class to puffing tobacco smoke! which we refer. It was a pic-nic party given by the Alexan. Ah 1 very different were the notions of their predecessors,
the nobility and gentry of his Majesty the King of Dalkey! who did not make a rush to get within earshot of him. Peace Smoking would not at all have suited their mercurial tem- be with thee, Stephen! thou wert a king "of infinite jest, of perament: it would have been the last thing that they would most excellent fancy;
;" and though thy reign was short and have thought of to have had their tongues tied and their thy dominions small, thou madest more of thy subjects truly mouths contorted into ugliness in the ridiculously serious ef- happy than many monarchs whose reigns were as much longer fort to hold a cigar between the lips, and look absurdly im- as their possessions were more extensive! portant! These fellows thought that mouths were given for Imperfect as these recollections of the Dalkey festivities are, a very different purpose_to sing the manly song, to throw they will perhaps convey to many who have not hitherto heard forth, not clouds of tobacco smoke, but flashes of wit and hu- of them some slight idea of their character; and they will, we mour; and we are inclined to think they were right.
trust, excite some surviving actor in them to preserve their We are not about to describe the annual ceremony of the memory in a fuller and more graphic record. They were, it coronation of the Dalkey king, though we should gladly do so will be seen, a sort of extemporaneous acted drama of the if we had the power, for the memory of it, as an interesting Tom Thumb kind, admirably preserving the unities of time illustration of the character of Irish society in days not very and place—the time being one day, and the place --his majesty's remote, should not be allowed to die. We have indeed been empire! As to the theatre on which it was acted, it was most an eye-witness of some of these brilliant follies, but we were admirably adapted for the spectacle, and had the most abunyoung at the time, and our memory only retains a general dant accommodation for the audience. The scenery too was impression of them. We can recollect that the green island real scenery—not painted canvass, that required distance to figured in our woodcut, as well as the common, presented give it the effect of reality: the greensward, the blue sky and one mass of living beings, gaily dressed and arranged into bluer sea, the rocky islands, the distant hills and mountains, groups of happy parties, each with its own musicians. We can were painted by the hand of the greatest of all Artists; and recollect also that the dress of the ladies was almost invaria- the theatre, instead of miserable foot-lights, had its illuminably white, with green silk bonnets—a costume that gave a sin- tion from the glorious sun, the greatest of all His visible gularly brilliant effect to the scene. A large marquee was works! erected about the centre of the island for the use of his Ma- It may be supposed that these annual festivities must have jesty and attendant nobles, and a cordon was drawn around been productive of scenes of drunkenness and quarrelling, and it, within which none others were permitted to enter. There we cannot state of our own knowledge whether they were so was a military band in attendance upon the royal party; and or not: but we have been informed that they did not lead to while the noblemen and ladies of the court danced upon the such results; and the statement would seem true, from the sod within the bounds, to the music of the state minstrels, the fact that no accident ever occurred to any of those engaged in subjects of the monarch danced outside.
them—a singular circumstance, if we consider the dangers to But these were only the evening festivities. The day was which so many persons were exposed in consequence of having devoted to graver purposes—the landing of his Majesty and to cross the sound in crowded boats at a late hour in the nobles from the royal barge under a salute of twenty-one evening.
P. guns, the band playing “God save the King," and the assembled multitude rending the air with their acclamations ! Then It was not till after the preceding article had been in type the ceremony of his coronation, and afterwards his journey that we were informed that a notice of the Dalkey festivities through his dominions, attended by his nobles! At an early had recently appeared in the preface to the first volume of hour the monarch with his court proceeded in ludicrously so- the beautiful edition of the poems of our own national poet, lemn procession from the palace to the church—the roofless Moore, just published ; and as it adds some interesting facts ruin figured in our cut-in which the ceremony was performed to those furnished by our own recollections, we gladly present with a mock gravity which was, however thoughtlessly pro- them to our readers, in the perfect confidence that they will fane, still irresistibly humorous. The nobles, with painted be read with that intense pleasure which his writings have faces and a profuse display of stars and ribbons, had their ti- rarely failed to afford. tles and appropriate badges of office. There was the grand “It was in the year 1794, or about the beginning of the next, chamberlain, with his bunch of old rusty keys—the archbishop that I remember having for the first time tried my hand at with his paper mitre and his natural beard of a month's political satire. In their very worst times of slavery and growth! The
very titles of these great personages were con- suffering the happy disposition of my countrymen had kept ferred in a spirit of drollery, and made characteristic of the their cheerfulness still unbroken and buoyant; and at the pepeculiarities of the individuals who bore them. Thus there riod of which I am speaking the hope of a brighter day dawnwas a Lord of Ireland's-eye—a grave-looking gentleman who ing upon Ireland haà given to the society of the middle class had lost one of his visual organs; a Lord Posey-—a gentleman in Dublin a more than usual flow of hilarity and life. Among who was remarkable for his babit of carrying a bunch of flow- other gay results of this festive spirit, a club or society was ers at his breast; and so on. All the nobility were wits, ora- instituted by some of our most convivial citizens, one of whose tors, and generally first-rate vocalists, and the royal visitors objects was to burlesque, good-humouredly, the forms and were similarly gifted. Charles Incledon, the prince of ballad pomps of royalty. With this view they established a sort of singers of his time, here sang his " Black-eyed Susan” and mock kingdom, of which Dalkey, a small island near Dublin, other charming ditties, and John Philpot Curran, the greatest was made the seat; and an eminent pawnbroker named Stewit of the world, set the table in a roar with his meteor flashes. phen Armitage, much renowned for his agreeable singing, But the prime spirits of the court were his Majesty himself, was the chosen and popular monarch. Stephen Armitage, his Lord High Admiral Luke Cassidy, Before public affairs had become too serious for such pasand his archbishop Gillespy. The long coronation ser- times, it was usual to celebrate yearly at Dalkey the day of mon of the latter was one of the richest treats of the day, this sovereign's accession; and among the gay scenes that and produced effects such as sermon never produced before. still live in my memory, there are few it recalls with more
During this august and imposing ceremony, the church was freshness than this celebration on a fine Sunday in summer of not only crowded to excess, and its ruined walls covered with one of these anniversaries of King Stephen's coronation. The human beings, but it was also surrounded with a dense mass picturesque sea views of that spot, the gay crowds along the of anxious listeners. As to his Majesty himself, he was at shores, the innumerable boats full of life floating about, and times the gravest and at times the merriest of monarchs, much above all
, the true spirit of mirth which the Irish temperament of his humour consisting in the whimsical uncertainty of his never fails to lend to such meetings, rendered the whole a scene movements, for there never was a crowned head more capri- not easily forgotten. The state ceremonies of the day were cious or changeable in disposition than the King of Dalkey. performed with all due gravity within the ruins of an ancient He would set out attended by his court on a journey to some church that stands on the island, where his mock majesty bedistant region of his dominions, change his mind in a minute stowed the order of knighthood upon certain favoured perand alter his route elsewhere, and again change it within a sonages, and among others I recollect upon Incledon the few minutes; and all these mutations of purpose were most celebrated singer, who rose from under the touch of the royal loyally approved of and sympathised in by his majesty's nobles sword with the appropriate title of Sir Charles Melody. There and subjects. Another trait in King Stephen's character was was also selected for the favours of the crown on that day a his love for song; and when the word ran through his empire lady of no ordinary poetic talent, Mrs Battier, who had gained that at the royal banquet his majesty had commenced or was much fame by some spirited satires in the manner of Churchill, about to commence his favourite." Love is my passion and and whose kind encouragement of my early attempts in versiglory,” there was scarcely one of his subjects, male or female, 'fication were to me a source of much pride. This lady, as was officially announced in the course of the day, had been ap- return from the mountains unless as a corpse. The imprecation, pointed his Majesty's. Poetess Laureate, under the style and which was certainly as harsh as it was impious and senseless, title of Henrietta Countess of Laurel.
might have startled many a mind from a purpose which was, There could hardly be devised a more apt vehicle for lively to say the least of it, at variance with religion and the respect political satire than this gay travestie of monarchical power due to a father. It had no effect, however, upon the son, who is and its showy appurtenances so temptingly supplied. The said to have replied, that whether he ever returned or not, he very day indeed after this commemoration there appeared in was determined on going ; and go accordingly he did. He was the usual record of Dalkey state intelligence, an amusing not, however, alone, for it appears that three or four of the proclamation from the king, offering a large reward in crone- neighbouring young men accompanied him. Whether their banes (Irish halfpence) to the finder or finders of his Majesty's sport was good or otherwise, is not to the purpose, neither am crown, which, owing to his ‘having measured both sides of I able to say; but the story goes that towards the latter part the road in his pedestrian progress from Dalkey on the pre- of the day they started a larger and darker hare than any they ceding night, had unluckily fallen from the royal brow." had ever seen, and that she kept dodging on before them bit
by bit, leading them to suppose that every succeeding cast of
the cock-stick would bring her down. It was observed after. IRISH SUPERSTITIONS_GHOSTS AND FAIRIES. wards that she also led them into the recesses of the moun
tains, and that although they tried to turn her course homeBY WILLIAM CARLETON.
wards, they could not succeed in doing so. As evening (First Article.)
advanced, the companions of M-Kenna began to feel the folly We have met and conversed with every possible representa- of pursuing her farther, and to perceive the danger of losing tive of the various classes that compose general society, from their way in the mountains should night or a snow-storm come the sweep to the peer, and we feel ourselves bound to say that upon them. They therefore proposed to give over the chase in no instance have we ever met any individual, no matter and return home; but M-Kenna would not hear of it. “If what his class or rank in life, who was really indifferent to the you wish to go home, you may,” said he ; " as for me, I'll never subject of dreams, fairies, and apparitions. They are topics leave the hills till I have her with me.” They begged and enthat interest the imagination in all; and the hoary head of age treated him to desist and return, but all to no purpose: he is inclined with as much interest to a ghost-story, as the appeared to be what the Scotch call fey—that is, to act as if he young and eager ear of youth, wrought up by all the nimble were moved by some impulse that leads to death, and from the and apprehensive powers of early fancy. It is true the belief influence of which a man cannot withdraw himself. At length, in ghosts is fast disappearing, and that of fairies is already on finding him invincibly obstinate, they left him pursuing the almost gone ; but with what new wonders they shall be re- hare directly into the heart of the mountains, and returned to placed, it is difficult to say. The physical and natural we sup- their respective homes. pose will give us enough of the marvellous, without having In the mean time, one of the most terrible snow-storms ever recourse to the spiritual and supernatural. Steam and gas, remembered in that part of the country came on, and the conif Science advance for another half century at the same rate sequence was, that the self-willed young man, who had equally as she has done in the last, will give sufficient exercise to all trampled on the sanctions of religion and parental authority, our faculties for wondering. We know a man who travelled was given over for lost. As soon as the tempest became still
, eighty miles to see whether or not it was a fact that light could the neighbours assembled in a body and proceeded to look for be conveyed for miles in a pipe under ground; and this man him. The snow, however, had fallen so heavily that not a sinto our own knowledge possessed the organ of marvellousness gle mark of a footstep could be seen. Nothing but one wide to a surprising degree. It is singular, too, that his fear of waste of white undulating hills met the eye wherever it turned, ghosts was in proportion to this capacious propensity to won and of M'Kenna no trace whatever was visible or could be found. der, as was his disposition when snug in a chimney corner to His father now remembering the unnatural character of his talk incessantly of such topics as were calculated to excite it. imprecation, was nearly distracted; for although the body had
In our opinion, ghosts and fairies will be seen wherever not yet been found, still by every one who witnessed the sudden they are much talked of, and a belief in their existence culti- rage of the storm and who knew the mountains, escape or sur. vated and nourished. So long as the powers of the imagina- vival was felt to be impossible. Every day for about a week tion are kept warm and active by exercise, they will create large parties were out among the hill-ranges seeking him, but for themselves such images as they are in the habit of con- to no purpose. At length there came a thaw, and his body ceiving or dwelling upon; and these, when the individual hap- was found on a snow-wreath, lying in a supine posture within pens to be in the appropriate position, will even by the mere a circle which he had drawn around him with his cock-stick. force of association engender the particular Eidolon which is His prayer-book lay opened upon his mouth, and his hat was predominant in the mind. As an illustration of this I shall pulled down so as to cover it and his face. It is unnecessary mention two cases of apparition which occurred in my native to say that the rumour of his death, and of the circumstances parish, one of which was that of a ghost, and the other of the under which he left home, created a most extraordinary senfairies. To those who have read my “ Traits and Stories of sation in the country—a sensation that was the greater in the Irish Peasantry,” the first which I shall narrate may pos-proportion to the uncertainty occasioned by his not having sess some interest, as being that upon which I founded the been found either alive or dead. Some affirmed that he had tale of the “ Midnight Mass.” The circumstances are sim- crossed the mountains, and was seen in Monaghan ; others, ply these :
that he had been seen in Clones, in Emyvale, in Fivemiletown; There lived a man named M'Kenna at the hip of one of the but despite of all these agreeable reports, the melancholy truth mountainous hills which divide the county of Tyrone from was at length made clear by the appearance of the body as that of Monaghan. This M‘Kenna had two sons, one of whom just stated. was in the habit of tracing hares of a Sunday, whenever there Now, it so happened that the house nearest the spot where happened to be a fall of snow. His father it seems had fre- he lay was inhabited by a man named Daly, I think-but of quently remonstrated with him upon what he considered to be the name I am not certain—who was a herd or care-taker to a violation of the Lord's day, as well as for his general neglect Dr Porter, then Bishop of Clogher. The situation of this of mass.
The young man, however, though otherwise harm- house was the most lonely and desolate-looking that could less and inoffensive, was in this matter quite insensible to pa- be imagined. It was at least two miles distant from any human ternal reproof, and continued to trace whenever the avocations habitation, being surrounded by one wide and dreary waste of of labour would allow him. It so happened that upon a Christ- dark moor. By this house lay the route of those who had mas morning, I think in the year 1814, there was a deep fall found the corpse, and I believe the door was borrowed for the of snow, and young M-Kenna, instead of going to mass, got purpose of conveying it home. Be this as it may, the family down his cock-stick-which is a staff much heavier at one end witnessed the melancholy procession as it passed slowly than at the other—and prepared to set out on his favourite through the mountains, and when the place and circumstances amusement. His father seeing this, reproved him seriously, and are all considered, we may admit that to ignorant and superinsisted that he should attend prayers. His enthusiasm for the stitious people, whose minds even under ordinary occasions sport, however, was stronger than his love of religion, and he were strongly affected by such matters, it was a sight calcurefused to be guided by his father's advice. The old man during lated to leave behind it a deep, if not a terrible impression. the altercation got warm; and on finding that the son obsti- Time soon proved that it did so. nately scorned his authority, he knelt down and prayed that An incident said to have occurred at the funeral which I if the boy persisted in following his own will, he might never I have alluded to in the “Midnight Mass," and which is cer
tainly in fine keeping with the wild spirit of the whole melan- thing, however, was corroborated, and the child herself, with choly event. When the procession had advanced to a place out any symptoms of anxiety or terror, artlessly related her called Mullaghtinny, a large dark-coloured hare, which was conversations with the spirit. Hitherto their interviews had instantly recognised, by those who had been out with him on been all nocturnal, but now that the ghost found his footing the hills, as the identical one that led him to his fate, is said to made good, he put a hardy face on, and ventured to appear have crossed the road about twenty yards or so before the by daylight. The girl also fell into states of syncope, and coffin. The story goes, that a man struck it on the side with while the fits lasted, long conversations with him upon the a stone, and that the blow, which would have killed any ordi- subject of God, the blessed Virgin, and Heaven, took place nary hare, not only did it no injury, but occasioned a sound to between them. He was certainly an excellent moralist, and proceed from the body resembling the hollow one emitted by gave the best advice. Swearing, drunkenness, theft, and an empty barrel when struck.
every evil propensity of our nature, were declaimed against In the meantime the interment took place, and the sensa- with a degree of spectral eloquence quite surprising. Comtion began like every other to die away in the natural pro- mon fame had now a topic dear to her heart, and never was a gress of time, when, behold, a report ran about like wildfire ghost made more of by his best friends, than she made of him. that, to use the language of the people, “Frank MKenna | The whole country was in a tumult, and I well remember the was appearing!” Seldom indeed was the rumour of an appa- crowds which flocked to the lonely little cabin in the mounrition composed of materials so strongly calculated to win po- tains, now the scene of matters so interesting and important. pular assent or to baffle rational investigation. As every Not a single day passed in which I should think from ten to man is not a Hibbert or a Nicolai, so will many, until such twenty, thirty, or fifty persons, were not present at these circumstances are made properly intelligible, continue to yield singular interviews. Nothing else was talked of, thought of, credence to testimony which would convince the judgment on and, as I can well testify, dreamt of. I would myself have gone any other subject. The case in question furnished as fine a to Daly's were it not for a confounded misgiving I had, that specimen of a true ghost-story, freed from any suspicion of perhaps the ghost might take such a fancy of appearing to imposture or design, as could be submitted to a philosopher ; me, as he had taken to cultivate an intimacy with the girl; and yet, notwithstanding the array of apparent facts con- and it so happens, that when I see the face of an individual nected with it, nothing in the world is simpler or of easier so- nailed down in the coffin-chilling and gloomy operation ! lution.
I experience no particular wish ever to look upon it again. One night, about a fortnight after his funeral, the daughter Many persons might imagine that the herd's daughter was of Daly, the herd, a girl about fourteen, while lying in bed acting the part of an impostor, by first originating and then saw what appeared to be the likeness of M*Kenna, who had sustaining such a delusion. If any one, however, was an been lost. She screamed out, and covering her head with the impostor, it was the ghost, and not the girl, as her ill health bed-clothes, told her father and mother that Frank M‘Kenna and wasted cheek might well testify. The appearance of was in the house. This alarming intelligence naturally pro- M'Kenna continued to haunt her for months. The reader is ' duced great terror; still, Daly, who notwithstanding his be- aware that he was lost on Christmas day, or rather on the lief in such matters possessed a good deal of moral courage, night of it, and I remember seeing her in the early part of the was cool enough to rise and examine the house, which con- following summer, during which time she was still the victim sisted of only one apartment. This gave the daughter some of a diseased imagination. Every thing in fact that could be courage, who, on finding that her father could not see him, done for her was done. They brought her to a priest named ventured to look out, and she then could see nothing of him Donnelly, who lived down at Ballynasaggart, for the purpose herself. She very soon fell asleep, and her father attributed of getting her cured, as he had the reputation of performing what she saw to fear, or some accidental combination of sha- cures of that kind. They brought her also to the doctors, dows proceeding from the furniture, for it was a clear moon- who also did what they could for her ; but all to no purpose. light night. The light of the following day dispelled a great Her fits were longer and of more frequent occurrence; her deal of their apprehensions, and comparatively little was appetite left her; and ere four months had elapsed, she herself thought of it until evening again advanced, when the fears of looked as like a spectre as the ghost himself could do for the the daughter began to return. They appeared to be prophetic, life of him. for she said when night came that she knew he would appear Now, this was a pure case of spectral illusion, and precisely again; and accordingly at the same hour he did so.
similar to that detailed so philosophically by Nicolai the repeated for several successive nights, until the girl, from the German bookseller, and to others mentioned by Hibbert. The very hardihood of terror, began to become so far familiarised image of M-Kenna not only appeared to her in daylight at to the spectre as to venture to address it.
her own house, but subsequently followed her wherever she “ In the name of God," she asked, "what is troubling you, went ; and what proved this to have been the result of disor why do you appear to me instead of to some of your own eased organization, produced at first by a heated and excited family or relations?".
imagination, was, that, as the story went, she could see him The ghost's answer alone might settle the question involved with her eyes shut. Whilst this state of mental and physical in the authenticity of its appearance, being, as it was, an ac- feeling lasted, she was the subject of the most intense curiosity. count of one of the most ludicrous missions that ever a spirit No matter where she went, whether to chapel, to fair, or to was dispatched upon.
market, she was followed by crowds, every one feeling, eager " I'm not allowed," said he, “ to spake to any of my friends, to get a glimpse of the girl who had actually seen, and what for I parted wid them in anger ; but I'm come to tell you that was more, spoken to a ghost—a live ghost. they are quarrellin' about my breeches--a new pair that I got Now, here was a young girl of an excitable temperament made for Christmas day; an' as I was comin' up to thrace in and large imagination, leading an almost solitary life amidst the mountains, I thought the ould ones 'ud do betther, an' of scenery of a lonely and desolate character, who, happening to coorse I didn't put the new pair an me. My raison for ap- be strongly impressed with an image of horror--for surely pearin',” he added, " is, that you may tell my friends that none such was the body of a dead man seen in association with of them is to wear them.-they must be given in charity.". such peculiarly frightful circumstances as filial disobedience
This serious and solemn intimation from the ghost was duly and a father's curse were calculated to give it cannot shake communicated to the family, and it was found that the cir- it off, but on the contrary becomes a victim to the disease cumstances were exactly as it had represented them. This of which it generates. There is not an image which we see in a course was considered as sufficient proof of the truth of its fever, or a face whether of angel or devil, or an uncouth mission. Their conversations now became not only frequent, shape of any kind, that is not occasioned by cerebral excitebut quite friendly and familiar. The girl became a favourite ment, or derangement of the nervous system, analogous to with the spectre, and the spectre on the other hand soon lost that under which Daly's daughter laboured. I saw her seall his terrors in her eyes. He told her that whilst his friends veral times, and remember clearly that her pale face, dark were bearing home his body, the handspikes or poles on which eye, and very intellectual forehead, gave indications of such they carried him had cut his back, and occasioned him great a temperament as under her circumstances would be apt to pain! The cutting of the back also was found to be true, receive strong and fearful impressions from images calculated and strengthened of course the truth and authenticity of to excite terror, especially of the supernatural, It only now their dialogues. The whole neighbourhood was now in a remains for me to mention the simple method of her cure, commotion with this story of the apparition, and persons in which was effected without either priest or doctor. It decited by curiosity began to visit the girl in order to satisfy pended upon a word or two of ailvice given to her father by themselves of the truth of what they had heard. Every la very sensible man, who was in the habit of thinking on these