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sind ye a long step of two hundred feet to furnish a could supper for the sharks. The sorrow a many would vinture down here, avourneen, barring the red fox of the hill and the honest smuggler; they are both poor persecuted crathurs, but God has given thim gumpshun to find a place of shelter for the fruits of their honest industhry, glory be to his holy name!" Shane Glas was quite correct in his estimate of the height of this fearful cliff. It overhung the deep Atlantic, and the narrow pathway wound its sinuous way round and beneath so many frightful precipices, that had the unpractised feet of Paddy Corbett threaded the mazy declivity in the clear light of day, he would in all probability have performed the saltation, and furnished the banquet of which Shane Glas gave him a passing hint. But ignorance of his fearful situation saved his life. His companion, in addition to his knowledge of this secret route, had a limberness of muscle, and a pliancy of uncouth motion, that enabled him to pursue every winding of the awful slope with all the activity of a weazel. In their descent, the wild sea-fowl, roused by the unusual approach of living things from their couch of repose, swept past on sounding wing into the void and dreary space abroad, uttering discordant cries, which roused the more distant slumberers of the rocks. As they farther descended round the foot of the cliff, where the projecting crags formed the sides of a little cove, a voice, harsh and threatening, demanded "who goes there?" The echo of the questioner's interrogation, reverberating along the receding wall of rocks, would seem to a fanciful ear the challenge of the guardian spirit of the coast pursuing his nightly round. The wild words blended in horrid unison through the mid air with the sigh of waving wings and discordant screams, which the echoes of the cliffs multiplied a thousand fold, as though all the demons of the viewless world had chosen that hour and place of loneliness to give their baneful pinions and shrieks of terror to the wind.
"Who goes there?" again demanded this strange warder of the savage scene; and again the scream of the sea bird and the echo of human tones sounded wildly along the sea. "A friend, avick machree," replied Shane Glas. Paudh, achorra, what beautiful lungs you have! But keep yer voice a thrifle lower, ma bouchal, or the wather-guards might be after staling a march on ye, sharp as ye are.'
Shane Glas, ye slinging thief," rejoined the other, "is that yerself? Honest man," addressing the new comer, "take care of that talla-faced schamer. My hand for ye, Shane will see his own funeral yet, for the devil another crathur, barring a fox, could creep down the cliff till the moon rises, any how. But I know what saved yer bacon; he that's born to be hanged-you can repate the rest o' the thrue ould saying yerself, ye poor atomy!"
"Chorp an Doul," said Shane Glas, rather chafed by the severe raillery of the other, "is it because ye shoulder an ould gun that an honest man can't tell you what a Judy ye make o' yerself, swaggering like a raw Peeler, and frightening every shag on the cliff with yer foolish bull-scuttering! Make way there, or I'll stick that ould barrel in yez-make way there, ye spalpeen!"
Away to yer masther with ye, ye miserable disciple," returned the unsparing jiber. "Arrah, by the hole o' my coat, afther you have danced yer last jig upon nothing, with yer purty himp cravat on, I'll coax yer miserable carcass from the hangman to frighten the crows with."
When the emaciated man and his companion had proceeded a few paces along the narrow ledge that lay between the steep cliff and the sea, they entered a huge excavation in the rock, which seemed to have been formed by volcanic agency, when the infant world heaved in some dire convulsion of its distempered bowels. The footway of the subterranean vault was strewn with the finest sand, which, hardened by frequent pressure, sent the tramp of the intruder's feet reverberating along the gloomy vacancy. On before gleamed a strong light, which, piercing the surrounding darkness, partially revealed the sides of the cavern, while the far space beneath the lofty roof, impervious to the powerful ray, extended dark and undefined. Then came the sound of human voices mixed in uproarious confusion; and anon, within a receding angle, a strange scene burst upon their view.
Before a huge fire which lighted all the deep recess of the high over-arching rock that rose sublime as the lofty roof of a Gothic cathedral, sat five wild-looking men of strange seminautical raiment. Between them extended a large sea-chest, on which stood an earthen flaggon, from which one, who seemed
the president of the revel, poured sparkling brandy into a single glass that circled in quick succession, while the jest and laugh and song swelled in mingled confusion, till the dinsome cavern rang again to the roar of the subterranean bacchanals. God save all here!" said Shane Glas, approaching the festive group. "O, wisha! Misther Cronin, but you and the boys is up to fun. The devil a naither glass o' brandy: no wonder ye should laugh and sing over it. How goes the Colleen Ayrigh, and her Bochal Fadda, that knows how to bark so purty at thim plundering thieves, the wather-guards ?” "Ah! welcome, Shane," replied the person addressed; "the customer you've brought may be depinded on, I hope. Sit down, boys."
"Tis ourselves that will, and welkim," rejoined Shane. "Depinded on! why, 'scure to the dacenther father's son from this to himself than Paddy Corbett, 'tisn't that he's to the fore." Come, taste our brandy, lads, while I help you to some ham," said the smuggler. "Shane, you have the stomach of a shark, the digestion of an ostrich, and the gout of an epicure.
"By gar ye may say that wid yer own purty mouth, Misther Cronin," responded the garrulous Shane. Here, gintlemin, here is free thrade to honest min, an' high hangin' to all informers! O! murdher maura (smacking his lips), how it tastes! O, avirra yealish (laying his bony hand across his shrunken paunch), how it hates the stummuck!"
"You are welcome to our mansion, Paddy Corbett," interrupted the hospitable master of the cavern; "the house is covered in, the rent paid, and the cruiskeen of brandy unadulterated; so eat, drink, and be merry. When the moon rises, we can proceed to business."
Paddy Corbett was about to return thanks when the interminable Shane Glas again broke in.
"I never saw a man, beggin' yer pardon, Misther Cronin, lade a finer or rolickinger life than your own four bonesdrinking an' coorting on land, and spreading the canvass of the Cooleen Ayrigh over the salt say, for the good o' thrade. Manim syr Shyre, if I had Trig Dowl the piper forninst me there, near the cruiskeen, but I'd drink an' dance till morning. But here's God bless us, an' success to our thrip, Paddy, avrahir ;" and he drained his glass. Then when many a successive round went past, and the famished-looking wretch grew intoxicated, he called out at the top of his voice, "Silence for a song," and in a tone somewhat between the squeak of a pig and the drone of a bagpipe, poured forth a lyric, of which we shall present one or two stanzas to the reader. I thravelled France an' Spain, an' likewise in Asia, Fal de ral, &c &c. And spint many a long day at my aise in Arabia, Fal de ral, &c &c Pur-shoeing of their ways, their sates an' their farims, But sich another place as the lakes o' Killarney I never saw elsewhere, the air being most charming, Fal de ral, &c &c.
There the Muses came to make it their quarthers,
An' for their ray-creation they came from Castalia,
With congratulations playing for his lordship,
Early on a clear sunny morning after this, a man with a horse and truckle car was observed to enter the town of Killarney from the west. He trolled forth before the animal, which, checked by some instinctive dread, with much reluctance allowed himself to be dragged along at the full length of his hair halter. On the rude vehicle was laid what seemed a quantity of straw, upon which was extended a human being, whose greatly attenuated frame appeared fully developed beneath an old flannel quilt. His face, that appeared above its tattered hem, looked the embodiment of disease and famine, which seemed to have gnawed, in horrid union, into his inmost vitals. His distorted features pourtrayed rending agony; and as the rude vehicle jolted along the rugged pavement, he groaned hideously. This miserable man was our acquaintance Shane Glas, and he that led the strange procession no other than Paddy Corbett, who thus experimented to smuggle his "taste o' tibacey," which lay concealed in well-packed bales beneath the sick couch of the wretched simulator.
As they proceeded along, Shane Glas uttered a groan, conveying such a feeling of real agony that his startled companion, supposing that he had in verity received the sudden
judgment of his deception, rushed back to ascertain whether he had not been suddenly stricken to death.
"Paddy, a chorra-na-nea," he muttered in an undergrowl, "here's the vagabone thief of a guager down sthreet! Exert yerself, a-lea, to baffle the schamer, an' don't forget 'tis the spotted faver I have."
Sure enough, the guager did come; and noticing, as he passed along, the confusion and averted features of Paddy Corbett, he immediately drew up.
"Where do you live, honest man, an' how far might you be goin'?" said the keen exciseman.
O, wisha! may the heavens be yer honour's bed!-ye must be one o' the good ould stock, to ax afther the consarns of a poor angishore like me: but, a yinusal-a-chree, 'tis'nt where I lives is worse to me, but where that donan in the thruckle will die with me."
"But how far are you taking him?"
O, 'tis myself would offer a pather an' ave on my two binded knees for yer honour's soul, if yer honour would tell me that. I forgot to ax the crathur where he should be berrid when we kim away, an' now he's speechless out an' out." "Come, say where is your residence," said the other, whose suspicion was increased by the countryman's prevarication.
"Thrue enough for yer honour," said Pat; "my next door neighbours at that side are the wild Ingins of Immeriky. A wet and could foot an' a dhry heart I had coming to ye; but welkim be the grace o' God, sure poor people should make out an honest bit an' sup for the weeny crathurs at home; an' I have thirteen o' thim, all thackeens, praise be to the Maker." “And I dare say you have brought a trifle in my line of business in your road?"
Faith, 'tis yerself may book it: I have the natest lafe o' tibaccy that ever left Connor Cro-ab-a-bo. I was going to skin an the honest man-Lord betune us an' harum, I'd be the first informer of my name, any how. But, talking o' the tibacey, the man that giv it said a sweether taste never left the hould of his ship, an' that's a great word. I'll give it dog chape, by raison o' the long road it thravelled to yer honour.' "You don't seem to be long in this business," said Mr Pigtai..
Thrue for ye there agin, a-yinusal; 'tis yourself may say Since the priest christened Paddy an me, an' that's longer than I can remimber, I never wint an the sachrawn afore. God comfort poor Jillian Dawly, the crathur, an' the grawls I left her. Amin, a-hierna!"
Now, Mr Pigtail supposed from the man's seeming simplicity, and his inexperience in running smuggled goods, that he should drive a very profitable adventure with him.
"By jamine, yer honour's larnin' bothers me intirely; but if yer honour manes where the woman that owns me and the chil-ordered him to bring the goods privately to the back way that dre is, 'tis that way, west at Tubber-na-Treenoda yer honour has heard tell o' Tubber-na-Treenoda, by coorse?" "Never, indeed."
"O, wisha! dont let yer honour be a day longer that way. If the sickness, God betune us an' harum, kim an ye, 'twould be betther for yer honour give a testher to the durhogh there, to offer up a rosary for ye, than to shell out three pounds to Doctor Crump."
Perhaps you have some soft goods concealed under the sick man, said the guager, approaching the car. "I frequently catch smuggled wares in such situations.'
The devil a taste good or saft under him, sir dear, but the could sop from the top o' the stack. Ketch! why, the devil a haporth ye'll ketch here but the spotted faver." Fever!" repeated the startled exciseman, retiring a step
"Yes, faver, yer honour; what else? Didn't Father Darby that prepared him say that he had spotted faver enough for a thousand min! Do, yer honour, come look in his face, an' thin throw the poor dying crathur, that kem all the way from Decie's counthry, by raisin of a dhream, to pay a round for his wife's sowl at Tubber-na-Treenoda: yes, throw him out an the belly o' the road, an' let his blood, the blood o' the stranger, be on yer soul an' his faver in yer body." Paddy Corbett's eloquence operating on the exciseman's dread of contagion, saved the tobacco.
Our adventurers considering it rather dangerous to seek a buyer in Killarney, directed their course eastward to Kanturk. The hour of evening was rather advanced as they entered the town; and Shane, who could spell his way without much difficulty through the letters of a sign-board, seeing "entertainment for man and horse" over the door, said they would put up there for the night, and then directed Paddy to the shop of the only tobacconist in town, whither for some private motive he declined to attend him. Mr Pigtail was after dispatching a batch of customers when Paddy entered, who, seeing the coast clear, gave him the "God save all here,' which is the usual phrase of greeting in the kingdom of Kerry. Mr Pigtail was startled at the rude salutation, which, though a beautiful benediction, and characteristic of a highly religious people, is yet too uncouth for modern "ears polite," and has, excepting among the lowest class of peasants, entirely given way to that very sincere and expressive phrase of address, " your servant.'
Now, Mr Pigtail, who meted out the length of his replies in exact proportion to the several ranks and degrees of his querists, upon hearing the vulgar voice that uttered the more vulgar salute, hesitated to deign the slightest notice, but, measuring with a glance the outward man of the saluter, he gave a slight nod of acknowledgement, and the dissyllabic response "servant;" but seeing Paddy Corbett with gaping mouth about to open his embassy, and that, like Burns's Death,
led to his premises; and Paddy, who had the fear of the guager vividly before him, lost no time in obeying the mandate. But when Mr Pigtail examined the several packages, he turns round upon poor Paddy with a look of disapprobation, and exclaims, "This article will not suit, good man-entirely damaged by sea water-never do.”
"See wather, anagh!" returns Paddy Corbett; "bad luck to the dhrop o' wather, salt or fresh, did my taste o' tibaccy ever see. The Colleen Ayrigh that brought it could dip an' skim along the waves like a sea-gull. There are two things she never yet let in, Mr Pigtail, avourneen-wather nor wather-guards: the one ships off her, all as one as a duck; and the Boochal Fadda on her deck keeps 'tother a good mile off, more spunk to him." This piece of nautical information Paddy had ventured from gleanings collected from the rich stores which the conversation of Shane Glas presented along the road, and in the smugglers' cave.
"But, my good man, you cannot instruct me in the way of my business. Take it away-no man in the trade would venture an article like it. But I shall make a sacrifice, rather than let a poor ignorant man fall into the hands of the guager. I shall give you five pounds for the lot."
Paddy Corbett, who had been buoyed up by the hope of making two hundred per cent. of his lading, now seeing all his gainful views vanish into thin air, was loud and impassioned in the expression of his disappointment. "O, Jillian Dawly!” he cried, swinging his body to and fro, “Jillian, a roon manima, what'll ye say to yer man, afther throwing out of his hand the half year's rint that he had to give the agint? O! what'll ye say, aveen, but that I med a purty padder-napeka of myself, listening to Shane Glas, the yellow schamer; or what'll Sheelabeg, the crathur, say, whin Tim Murphy wont take her without the cows that I wont have to give her? O, Misther Pigtail, avourneen, be marciful to an honest father's son; don't take me short, avourneen, an' that God might take you short. Give me the tin pounds it cost me, an' I'll pray for yer sowl, both now an' in the world to come. O! Jillian, Jillian, I'll never face ye, nor Sheelabeg, nor any o' the crathurs agin, without the tin pound, any how. Til take the vestmint, an' all the books in Father Darby's house
'Well, if you don't give the tobacco to me for less than that, you can call on one Mr Prywell, at the other side of the bridge; he deals in such articles too. You see I cannot do more for you, but you may go farther and fare worse,” said the perfidious tobacconist, as he directed the unfortunate man to the residence of Mr Paul Prywell, the officer of excise.
With heavy heart, and anxious eye peering in every direction beneath his broad-leafed hat, Paddy Corbett proceeded till he reached a private residence having a green door and a brass knocker. He hesitated, seeing no shop nor appearance of business there; but on being assured that this was indeed the house of Mr Prywell, he approached, and gave the door three thundering knocks with the butt end of his holly-handled he immediately added, "Honest man, you came from the whip. The owner of the domicile, roused by this very uncerewest, I believe?"
"He seemed to make a kind o' stan', But naething spak,"
monious mode of announcement, came forth to demand the
intruder's business, and to wonder that he would not prefer giving a single rap with the brass knocker, as was the wont of persons in his grade of society, instead of sledging away at the door like a peep-o'-day boy."
"Yer honour will excuse my bouldness," said Paddy, taking off his hat, and scraping the mud before and behind him a full yard; "excuse my bouldness, for I never seed such curifixes on a dure afore, an' I would'nt throuble yer honour's house at all at all, only in regard of a taste of goods that I was tould would shoot yer honour. Ye can have it, a yinusal, for less than nothing, 'case I don't find myself in heart to push on farther; for the baste is slow, the crathur, an' myself that's saying it, making buttons for fear o' the guager.'
"Who, might I ask," said the astonished officer of excise, "directed you here to sell smuggled tobacco""
"A very honest gintleman, but a bad buyer, over the bridge, sir. He'd give but five pound for what cost myself tin foreer dhota, that I had ever had a hand in it! I put the half year's rint in it, yer honour; and my thirteen femul grawls an' their mother, God help 'em, will be soon on the sachrawn. I'll never go home without the tin pound, any how. High hanging to ye, Shane Glas, ye tallow-faced thief, that sint me smuggling. O! Jillian, 'tis sogering I'll soon be, with a gun an my shoulder."
"Shane Glas!" said the exciseman; "do you know Shane Glas; I'd give ten pounds to see the villain."
""Tis myself does, yer honour, an' could put yer finger an him, if I had ye at Tubber-na-Treenoda, saving yer presence; but as I was setting away, he was lying undher an ould quilt, an' I heard him telling that the priest said he had spotted faver enough for a thousand min."
Our story has approached its close: the tobacco was safely stowed inside, in order to be consigned to Mr Pigtail's private receptacle for such contraband articles. Paddy had just pocketed his five pounds, and at that moment in burst Mr Prywell. The execration which ever after pursued the tobacconist for his treacherous conduct, and the heavy fine in which he was amerced, so wrought upon his health and circumstances, that in a short time he died in extreme poverty. His descendants became homeless wanderers, and it is upon record, among the brave and high-minded men of Duhallow, that Jeffrey Pigtail of Kanturk was the only betrayer that ever disgraced the barony. E. W.
SPEED ON RAILWAYS.-In the first of a course of lectures on railways, delivered in the early part of last year at Manchester by Dr Lardner, he gave the following account of the speed attained by locomotive engines at different periods: "Since the great questions which had been agitated respecting the effect which an increased width of rails would have on railway transit, and the effect which very large drawing wheels, of great diameter, would have on certain railways, the question of very vastly increased speed had acquired considerable interest. Very recently two experiments had been made, attended with most surprising results. One was the case of the Monmouth express. A dispatch was carried from Twyford to London on the Great Western Railway, a distance of thirty miles, in thirty-five minutes. This distance was traversed very favourably, and being subject to less of those casual interruptions to which a longer trip would be liable, it was performed at the rate of six miles in seven miThat villain will never die of spotted fever, in my hum-nutes, or six-sevenths of a mile in one minute (very nearly ble opinion," said the exciseman. fifty-one and a half miles an hour). He had experimented "A good judgment in yer mouth, sir, achree. I heard the Bad cess to the thief! that a cup-tosser and he had never personally witnessed that speed. on speed very largely on most of the railways of the country, rogue himself say, tould him he'd die of stoppage of breath.' But wont yer hon- evaporating power of those engines was enormous. Another our allow me to turn in the lafe o' tibaccy ?" performance, which he had ascertained since he arrived in this neighbourhood, showed that great as was the one just mentioned, they must not ascribe it to any peculiar circumstance attending the large engines and wide gauge of the Great Western Railway. An express was dispatched a short time since from Liverpool to Birmingham, and its speed was stated in the papers. One engine, with its tender, went from Liverpool, or rather from the top of the tunnel at Edge Hill, to Birmingham, in two hours and thirty-five minutes. But he had inquired into the circumstances of that trip, and it appeared that the time the engine was actually in motion, after deducting a variety of stoppages, was only one hour and fifty minutes in traversing ninety-seven miles. The feat on the Great Western was performed on a dead level, while on the Grand Junction the engine first encountered the Whiston incline, where the line rises 1 in 96 for a mile and a half; and after passing Crewe, it encountered a plane of three miles to the Madeley summit, rising 20 feet a mile, succeeded by another plane, for three miles more, rising 30 feet a mile; yet with all these impediments it performed the ninety-seven miles in one hour and fifty minutes, or 110 minutes; consequently the distance traversed in each minute was 97 divided by 110, or 52 10-11ths, nearly 53 miles an hour-a speed which, he confessed, if he had not evidence of it, he could scarcely have believed to be within the bounds of mechanical possibility. The engine which performed this feat had driving wheels of 5 feet diameter; their circumference would be 171 feet. minute fraction of 80 feet in a second of time. This was not Taking the speed at 53 miles an hour, it was within a very the greatest speed of the engine, but the average speed spread over 97 miles. and there could be little doubt that it must have exceeded sixty miles an hour during a considerable portion of the distance."
The officer of excise was struck with deep indignation at the villany of him who would ruin a comparatively innocent man when he failed in circumventing him, and was resolved to punish his treachery. "My good fellow" said he, " you are now before the guager you dread so much, and I must do my duty, and seize upon the tobacco. However, it is but common justice to punish the false-hearted traitor that sent you hither. Go back quickly, and say that he can have the lot at his own terms; I shall follow close, and yield him the reward of his treachery. Act discreetly in this good work of biting the biter, and on the word of a gentleman I shall give you ten pounds more."
Paddy was on his knees in a twinkling, his hands uplifted in the attitude of prayer, and his mouth opened, but totally unable between terror and delight to utter a syllable of thanks.
"Up, I say," exclaimed the exciseman, “ up and be doing; go earn your ten pounds, and have your sweet revenge on the thief that betrayed you.'
Paddy rapidly retraced his steps, ejaculating as he went along, "O, the noble gintleman, may the Lord make a bed in Heaven for his sowl in glory! O, that chating imposthor, 'twas sinding the fox to mind the hins sure enough. O, high hanging to him of a windy day!—the informer o' the world, I'll make him sup sorrow.
"Have you seen the gentleman I directed you to?" said Mr Pigtail.
"Arrah, sir dear, whin I came to the bridge an looked about me, I thought that every roguish-looking fellow I met was the thief of a guager, an' thin afther standing a while, quite amplushed, with the botheration and the dread upon me. I forgot yer friend's name, an' so kim back agin to ax it, if ye plase.'
"You had better take the five pounds than venture again; there's a guager in town, and your situation is somewhat dangerous.
"A guager in town!" cried Paddy Corbett, with wellaffected surprise, "Isas Mauri! what'll I do at all at all? now I'm a gone man all out. Take it for any thing ye like, sir dear, an' if any throuble like this should ever come down an ye, it will be a comfort an' a raycreation to yer heart to know that ye had a poor man's blessing, avick deelish machree, an' I give it to ye on the knees of my heart, as ye desarved it, an' that it may go in yer road, an' yer childre's road, late an' early, eating an dhrinking, lying an' rising, buying an' selling."
the Creator, the contrivances to that end are so multitudinous That man should be happy, is so evidently the intention of and so striking, that the perception of the aim may be called Whatever tends to make men happy, becomes a fulfilment of the will of God. Whatever tends to make them miserable, becomes opposition to his will.-Harriet Martineau. | Printed and published every Saturday by GUNN and CAMERON, at the Office
of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin.Agents-R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, London; SIMMS and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester; C. DAVIES, North John Street, Liverpool; SLOCOMBE and SIMMS, Leeds; FRASER and CRAWFORD, George Street, Edinburgh; and DAVID ROBERTSON, Trongate, Glasgow,
We have heard some of our readers express surprise that we should not before this have taken notice, among our topographical collections, of some of the features of the far-famed Lakes of Killarney; but the truth is, that those features, though of the highest beauty, are not, for the greater part, such as wood-cut illustrations could adequately express; and even those which are properly suited to the powers of the graver have been in most instances already so often drawn and described, that it is now almost hopeless to expect to find either any new points of view or historical incidents connected with them, which have not already been made familiar to the reading public. Still, as our little weekly pennyworth is not intended exclusively for the wealthy and well informed, but even to a greater extent for those by whom more expensive publications are unattainable, it is right that we should occasionally notice subjects of popular interest, however familiar they may have been already made to a portion of our readers; and in doing so, we trust that we shall be able to make them in some degree acceptable to all, by the fidelity of our drawings, or the occasional novelty of the facts with which we shall illustrate them.
We have chosen, accordingly, as the first of our Killarney subjects, the old favourite Ross Castle; not indeed as the best or least hacknied, but as properly that which should begin the series, for it is the first with which the Killarney tourist be.
comes familiar, and from which he usually starts to enjoy all the others.
In a historical and antiquarian point of view, however, Ross Castle is indeed one of the most interesting objects to be found in connection with the enchanting scenery of the lakes. It is the time-worn fortress of their ancient chiefs, and its presence connects the history of man in distant times with the objects of eternal natural beauty by which it is surrounded, and imparts to them that delightful feeling or charm of romance which, exquisite as they are, they would necessarily want if it were absent.
Ross Castle, as its present remains show, was similar in its plan and construction to most of those erected by the Irish chiefs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and consisted of a lofty square tower or keep, to which were attached the domestic offices, all which were surrounded by out-works enclosing an ample bawn, and flanked by small circular towers at their angles. In its general character, therefore, Ross Castle has no peculiar features worthy of notice; and its chief interest is derived from its situation, which is of the most striking beauty, commanding the richest scenery of the lower lake, and its wooded isles, shores, and mountains. It is situated on the east shore of the lower lake, upon the narrow neck of the Ross or peninsula from which it derives its name, and which, by an artificial cut through a morass.
across which a small bridge is thrown, has been converted into an island. Neither the date of the erection of this castle nor the name of its founder has been preserved; but its architectural style will not allow us to suppose it much older than the early part of the fifteenth century, and history shows that it was for a considerable period the residence of the illustrious family of O'Donoghoe, hereditary chiefs of the territory called the Eoganacht, or Onaght of Lough Lein, or the present lower lake of Killarney.
The great antiquity and dignity of the family of O'Donoghoe still lives in the popular legends of the people, and is abundantly proved, by the Irish annals and genealogies. In an inaugural ode which was recited by the poet Cathan O'Duinnin at the inauguration of Teige the Generous O'Donoghoe, in 1320, and which is still preserved in the MS. library of Trinity College, the pedigree of the O'Donoghoes, with their filiations, is given, through twenty-seven generations, from Corc, the son of Lughaidh, King of Munster in 380, to that time, and there is no reason to doubt its accuracy or historic truth. Our space will not permit us to enter at any length on the history of this illustrious family, but we may observe, that its ancient rank is sufficiently proved by the fact, as stated in the Annals of Inisfallin, that their ancestor Donnell, the son of Duvdavoran, was the second in command of the Eugenian forces at the memorable battle of Clontarf, and that shortly after that conflict he contested the sovereignty of Desmond or South Munster with its king, and slew him in battle.
In subsequent ages the family of O'Donoghoe split into three great branches; that of O'Donoghoe More, or the great, of which Ross Castle became the residence; O'Donoghoe of the Glens; and O'Donoghoe of Lough Lein. Of these three families the first and last are supposed to be extinct, and are at least reduced to poverty; but that of the Glens is still represented by O'Donoghoe of Killarney, who is consequently the reputed chief of this illustrious family. By a happy chance, very rare in Ireland, O'Donoghoe, who is as yet a minor, possesses a considerable portion of the estates of his ancestors of the Glens; but the property of the O'Donoghoe More, or Ross, as well as that of the O'Donoghoe of Lough Lein, has been long in the possession of the noble house of Kenmare, of which their ancestor Sir Valentine Brown made a purchase from Donald M'Carty More Earl of Clancarthy, as early as the year 1588, it having been forfeited by Rory O'Donoghoe More some time previously. These lands, as Dr Smith acquaints us, were subsequently confirmed to the grandson of the first purchaser, Valentine, son of Nicholas Brown, by letters patent of King James I. which passed the seal May 12, 1612, and included with others the entire country of Onaugh, alias Onaught O'Donoghoe More, in the county of Desmond, in which were contained the manor and lake of the Castle of Ross, with divers islands in Lough Lein, with all other his estate, containing 82 quarters of land, amounting to 6560 acres, besides the fishings belonging to the manor of Ross-I-Donoghoe, all which premises came to the family by immediate bargain and grant from the Earl of Clancarthy, by the indenture before mentioned. "But," as Smith adds, "some question being made of the validity of this grant from the crown, the king, by privy seal, dated at Greenwich, 28th May 1618, directed Sir Oliver St John, lord-deputy, to accept a surrender thereof from him [Valentine], and to re-grant the same to him in fee by a new patent, for clearing all doubt, and the better settlement of his estate.'
not as a white but a black one. As this gentleman's account of O'Donoghoe's visits is the most minute, as well as the earliest, that we have seen, we are tempted to give it in full. "There lived in the largest island (for there are several islands on the lake) many hundred years ago, a petty prince, named O'Donoghoe, who was lord of the whole lake, the surrounding shore, and a large district of neighbouring country. He manifested, during his stay upon earth, great munificence, great humanity, and great wisdom; for, by his profound knowledge in all the secret powers of nature, he wrought wonders as miraculous as any tradition has recorded of saints by the aid of angels, or of sorcerers by the assistance of demons; and among many other most astonishing performances he rendered his person immortal. After having continued a long time upon the surface of the globe without growing old, he one day, at Ross Castle (the place where he most usually resided), took leave of his friends, and rising from the floor, like some aërial existence, passed through the window, shot away horizontally to a considerable distance from the castle, and then descended. The water unfolding at his approach, gave him entrance down to the subaqueous regions, and then, to the inexpressible astonishment of all beholders, closed over his head, as they believed, for ever: but in this they were mistaken.
He returned again some years after, revisiting, not, like Hamlet's ghost, the glimpses of the moon making night hideous,' but the radiance of the sun making day joyful, to those at least who saw him: since which time he has continued to make very frequent expeditions to these upper regions, sometimes three or four in a year; but sometimes three or four years pass without his once appearing, which the bordering inhabitants have always looked on as a mark of very bad times.
It was feared this would be the third year he would suffer to elapse without his once cheering their eyes with his presence: but at the latter end of last August he again appeared, to the inexpressible joy of all, and was seen by numbers in the middle of the day. I had the curiosity, before I left Killarney, to visit one of the witnesses to this very marvellous fact.
The account she gives is, that returning with a kinswoman to her house at the head of the lake, they both beheld a fine gentleman, mounted upon a black horse, ascend through the water with a numerous retinue on foot, who all moved together along the surface towards a small island, near which they again descended under water. This account is confirmed, in time, place, and circumstances, by many more spectators from the side of the lake, who are all ready to swear, and not improbably to suffer death, in support of their testimony.
His approach is sometimes preceded by music inconceivably harmonious; sometimes by thunder inexpressibly loud; but oftenest without any warning whatsoever. He always rises through the surface of the lake, and generally amuses himself upon it, but not constantly: for there is a farmer now alive, who declares, as I am told, that riding one evening near the lower end of the lake, he was overtaken by a gentleman who seemed under thirty years of age, very handsome in his person, very sumptuous in his apparel, and very affable in his conversation. After having travelled for some time together, the nobleman (for such he judged him to be by his appearance) observed, that as night was approaching, the town far off, and lodging not easy to be found, he should be welcome to take a bed that night at his house, which, he said, was not very distant.
The invitation was readily accepted; they approached the lake together, and both their horses moved upon the surface without sinking, to the infinite amazement of the farmer, who thence perceived the stranger to be no less than the great O'Donoghoe. They rode a considerable distance from shore, and then, descending into a delightful country under water, lay that night in a house much larger in size and much more richly furnished than even Lord Kenmare's at Killarney."
But though the lands of O'Donoghoe More have passed away from his race, he still retains possession of the waters: and, though dead himself corporeally, he still lives, and governs spiritually in his ancient principality. If, reader, you doubt the truth of our statement, ask the people of the lakes, and they will at once remove your scepticism. They will tell you that he frequently appears to them on May-day, on a milk-white horse, gliding over the glassy lake to the sound of unearthly music, and attended by troops of spirits scattering spring flowers. They differ, indeed, a good deal in their accounts of the appearance of their ancient lord. Derrick, in his With respect, however, to the colour of O'Donoghoe's horse, amusing Letters on Killarney, written in 1760, tells us that the prevailing belief seems now to be, that it is a white one, he was assured, when O'Donoghoe revisits his friends, which and this notion has been adopted by our national bard, is every May morning before sunrise, he is "attended by Moore, in his beautiful song called "O'Donoghoe's Mistress," an incredible number of followers, wrestling, hurling, and which, as he informs us, is founded on one among other stories playing football upon the surface of the lake, which affords connected with this legend of the lakes, and in which it is them as sure footing as the solid earth." And Derrick's said that there was a young and beautiful girl, whose imagi friend, Mr Ockenden, whose letters descriptive of Killarney nation was so impressed with the idea of this visionary chiefare printed in the same volume, describes O'Donoghoe's horsetain, that she fancied herself in love with him, and at last,