Imágenes de páginas




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the ground that the man had received a pardon, and could be, ation that animal gratification seems to be the predominant therefore, considered a living witness again.

object with a large proportion of persons on the eve of exeIt was twenty-four years after the murder of Murty, cution, when hope becomes as nearly extinct as it can become namely, in the spring of 1830, that a woman was making her while life remains. In general, in such cases among the lower way across a stream running through a gentleman's grounds class, there is a petition for a meat dinner, or a tea breakfast, in the county of Sligo, when she was prevented by a caretaker, or both-a petition which, we need scarcely say, is in Ireland who obliged her to turn back.

generally granted. “ Skirria snivurth,exclaimed the woman with bitter ear- We recollect an instance where two persons under sentence nestness, " but don't think, durneen sollagh (dirty Cuffe) but were breakfasting together, just previous to their execution, I know you well; an,' thank God, any way ye can't murther having, among other materials, three eggs between them, us, as ye did Murty Lavan long ago.'

when one of them, having swallowed his first egg rapidly, Her words were heard by a policeman who chanced to be seized upon the other with the utmost greediness, while his angling along the stream, and who promptly brought her into companion eyed him with a sickly smile that seemed to say the presence of a magistrate, where, after the policeman had you have outdone me to the last." stated what he heard, she attempted at first to draw in her On another occasion we remember to have seen two convicts horns and retract her words.

on a cart with the ropes about their necks, who were to be “ Well, my good woman,” said the magistrate, “what ex- executed about fourteen miles from the prison, one of them pressions were those you used just now?"

bearing with him in his fettered hands the remains of a loaf “ Ou, only some ramask (nonsense), yer honour."

he had been unable to finish at his breakfast, but still begged • Did you not accuse a man of murder ?"

permission to take with him, as he purposed to eat it, and did “ In onough, I dunno what I sed when the spalpeen gev us so, on his way to the gallows.

A. the round, and the vexation was upon us.

“ You must speak to the point, woman.'

“ Wethen sure yer honour wouldn't be after mindin' what an EVIL INFLUENCE OF FASHION.-Never yet was a woman oul hag sed when she was in the passion."

really improved in attraction by mingling with the motley throng “ Policeman, repeat the expressions exactly."

of the fashionable world.


may learn to dress better, The policeman repeated his former statement.

to step more gracefully; her head may assume a more elegant “Now swear the hag, and I warn her if she doesn't tell turn, her conversation become more polished, her air more the whole truth, I will myself see her transported.".

distinguished; but in point of attraction she acquires nothing. The woman, now thoroughly frightened, admitted that she | Her simplicity of mind departs ; her generous confiding imknew the person who prevented her from crossing the stream pulses of character are lost ; she is no longer inclined to interto be Cuffe or Durneen, who was charged with having been pret favourably of men and things ; she listens without bethe principal in the murder of Murty the Shaker. Cuffe was lieving, sees without admiring ; has suffered persecution accordingly apprehended, and having been fully identified by without learning mercy; and been taught to mistrust the canMurty's wife, who was still in existence, having continued a dour of others by the forfeiture of her own. The freshness pensioner of the Mayo grand jury since her husband's murder, of her disposition has vanished with the freshness of her com. was committed to the Mayo jail, to the astonishment and re- plexion ; hard lines are perceptible in her very soul, and crowsgret of his employer.

feet contract her very fancy. No longer pure and fair as the The extraordinary part of Cuffe's case seems to us not by statue of alabaster, her beauty, like that of some painted any means that he should have been detected after the lapse waxen effigy, is tawdry and meretricious. It is not alone the of twenty-four years, but it does seem a singular fact indeed, rouge upon the cheek and the false tresses adorning the fore. that, notwithstanding a description of him in the Hue and Cry head which repel the ardour of admiration; it is the artifias the person who had struck the mortal blow with the ciality of mind with which such efforts are connected that hatchet, and the large rewards offered for his apprehension, breaks the spell of beauty.-Mrs Gore. he should have remained undiscovered for such a protracted IMPOSSIBILITY OF FORGETTING.–In these opium ecstacies, period, so immediately adjacent to the scene of his crime. the minutest incidents of childhood, or forgotten scenes of later Most of our readers are aware that Sligo adjoins Mayo—nay, years, were often revived. I could not be said to recollect the barony of Tirawley, in which the murder was perpetrated, them; for if I had been told of them when waking, I should is only separated by the river Moy from the county of Sligo, not have been able to acknowledge them as parts of my past so that one portion of the town of Ballina is in Mayo, and the experience. But, placed as they were before me, in dreams other in Sligo ; and yet, in all probability, were it not that like intuitions, and clothed in all their evanescent circumProvidence directed the steps of the woman to that stream stances and accompanying feelings, I recognised them instanfor the first and last time in her life, he might have remained taneously. I was once told by a near relative of mine, that there undiscovered to the end of his natural life, which could having in her childhood fallen into a river, and being on the not then be far distant, his head being completely silvered at very verge of death but for the critical assistance which the time of his apprehension.

reached her, she saw in a moment her whole life, in its minuWhile in prison, both before and after conviction, Cuffe's test incidents, arrayed before her simultaneously, as in a mirconduct, as it had been all along prior to his detection, was ror, and she had a faculty developed as suddenly, for comprepeaceful, obliging, and amenable, comporting much better hending the whole and every part. This, from some opium with a pleasant and rather benevolent countenance, in which experiences of mine, I can believe. I have indeed seen the there did not seem to be a single line indicative of an evil

same thing asserted twice in modern books, and accompanied disposition, than with the terrible crime he had been the by a remark which I am convinced is true, viz, that the dread principal in committing.

book of account which the Scriptures speak of, is in fact On the morning after M‘Gennis had committed the ex

the mind of each individual. Of this at least I feel assured, traordinary suicide detailed in a former number, in the same that there is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind; cell with him, Cuffe's gaze continued to be fastened, as if by a thousand accidents may and will interpose a veil between fascination, on the body while it remained in the cell, and his

our present consciousness and the secret inscriptions on the countenance wore an expression resembling a smile of gratified mind; accidents of the same sort will also rend away this veil; wonder, as he frequently exclaimed in an under tone,“ didn't but alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains he do it clever ?” He strongly denied, however, as was before for ever; just as the stars seem to withdraw before the com. stated, having witnessed the suicide, or known anything of mon light of day, whereas, in fact, we all know that it is the its being intended.

light which is drawn over them as a veil, and that they are His own death was calm and easy: in fact he seemed to have waiting to be revealed when the obscuring daylight shall have died without a struggle; and so little did his punishment withdrawn.-- Confessions of an Opium Eater. after such a lapse of years seem to be considered as a necessary atonement to justice, that we heard, during his execution, that hides not some sorrow in its secret depths ?

There are few roses without thorns, and where is the heart Murty's own brother, who was among the spectators, use the expression, that it was a pity so many lives should be lost for Printed and published very Saturday by Gunn and Cameron, at the Office such a rascal.

of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin.We should have remarked that on the morning of his exe- Agents :-R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, London; cution he requested of the benevolent and intelligent inspector

Simals and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester ; C. DAVIES, North

John Street, Liverpool ; JOHN Menzies, Prince's Street, Edinburgh; to allow him a tea breakfast. Indeed, it is a curious consider- and David ROBRTSON, Trongate, Glasgow,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]


In the selection of subjects for illustration in our Journal, | lieve the monotonous effect of so extensive a line of buildings there are none which we deem more worthy of attention, or of equal or nearly equal height. which give us greater pleasure to notice, than the mansions The original residence of the family was situated in the of our resident nobility and gentry; and it is from this feel- | town of Belfast, which may be said to have grown around it, ing chiefly that we have made choice of Ormeau, the fine and was a very magnificent castellated house, erected in the seat of the Marquess of Donegal, as eminently deserving an reign of James I. Its site was that now occupied by the fruit early place among our topographical notices. Many finer and vegetable markets, and it was surrounded by extensive places may indeed be seen in Ireland, belonging to noblemen, gardens which covered the whole of the ground on which of equal or even inferior rank; but there are, unfortunately, Donegal-place and the Linen Hall now stand. Of this noble few of these in which the presence of their lordly owners is mansion, however, there are no vestiges now remaining. It so permanently to be found cementing the various classes of was burnt in the year 1708, by an accidental fire, caused by society together by the legitimate bond of a common interest, the carelessness of a female servant, on which occasion three and attracting the respectful attachment of the occupiers and daughters of Arthur, the third Earl of Donegal, perished in workers of the soil by the cheering parental encouragement the fames; and though a portion of the building which es. which it is the duty of a proprietor to bestow.

caped destruction was afterwards occupied for some years. Ormeau is situated on the east side of the river Lagan, the family finally removing to their present residence, its above a mile south of Belfast.

preservation was no longer necessary. The mansion, which, as our view of it will show, is an ex- The demesne surrounding Ormeau is not of great extent, tensive pile of buildings in the Tudor style of architecture, but the grounds are naturally of great pastoral beauty, comwas originally built as a cottage residence in the last century, manding the most charming views of Belfast Lough and adand has since gradually approximated to its present extent jacent mountains, and have received all the improvements that and importance, befitting the rank of its noble proprietor, by could be effected by art, guided by the refined taste of its acsubsequent additions and improvements. It has now seves complished proprietress. ral very noble apartments, and an extensive suite of offices We have only to add, that ready access to this beautiful and bed-rooms; but as an architectural composition, it is de- demesne is freely given to all respectable strangers-a privifective as a whole, from the want of some grand and elevated lege of which visitors to the Athens of the North should not feature to give variety of form to its general outline, and re. fail to avail themselves,





Irish, allowed the Shanahus to produce any permanent imTHE IRISH SHANAHUS,

pression upon the people ; and the consequence was, that as the changes of society hurried on, he and his audience were

carried along with them ; his traditionary lore was lost in the The state of Irish society has changed so rapidly within the ignorance which ever arises when a ban has been placed upon last thirty or forty years, that scarcely any one could believe education ; and from the recital of the high deeds and heroic it possible for the present generation to be looked upon in feats of by-gone days, he sank down into the humble chro. many things as the descendants of that which has immediately nicler of hoary legends and dim traditions, for such only has gone before them. The old armorial bearings of society he been within the memory of the oldest man living, and as which were empanelled upon the ancient manners of our such only do we intend to present him to our readers. country, now hang like tattered scutcheons over the tombs of

The most accomplished Shanahus of this kind that ever customs and usages which sleep beneath them; and unless came within our observation, was a man called Tom Grassiey, rescued from the obliterating hand of time, scarcely a vestige or Tom the Shoemaker. He was a very stout well-built man, of them will be left even to tradition itself. That many gross about fifty years of age, with a round head somewhat bald, absurdities have been superseded by a social condition more and an expansive forehead that argued a considerable enlightened and healthy, is a fact which must gratify every one reach of natural intellect. His knowing organs were large, who wishes to see the general masses actuated by those prin- and projected over a pair of deep-set lively eyes, that scinciples which follow in the train of knowledge and civilization. tillated with strong twinklings of humour. His voice was But at the same time it is undeniable that the simplicity which loud, his enunciation rapid, but distinct; and such was the accompanied those old vestiges of harmless ignorance has de force and buoyancy of his spirits, added to the vehemence of parted along with them; and in spite of education and science, his manner, that altogether it was impossible to resist him. we miss the old familiar individuals who stood forth as the His laughter was infectious, and so loud that it might be representatives of manners, whose very memory touches the heard of a calm summer evening at an incredible distance. heart and affections more strongly than the hard creations of Indeed, Tom possessed many qualities that rendered him a sterner but more salutary truths. For our own part, we have most agreeable companion : he could sing a good song for inalways loved the rich and ruddy twilight of the rustic hearth, stance, dance a hornpipe as well as any dancing-master, and we where the capricious tongues of blazing light shoot out from need not say that he could tell a good story. He could also between the kindling turl, and dance in vivid reflection in the imitate a Jew's harp or trump upon his lips with his mere well-scoured pewter and delft as they stand neatly arranged on fingers in such a manner that the deception was complete ; and the kitchen-dresser--loved, did we say? ay, and ever preferred it was well known that flocks of the country people used to it to philosophy, with all her lights and fashion, with all her crowd about him for the purpose of hearing his performance heartlessness and hypocrisy. For this reason it is, that whilst upon the ivy leaf, which he played upon by putting it in his retracing as it were the steps of our early life, and bringing mouth, and uttering a most melodious whistle. Altogether, he back to our memory the acquaintances of our youthful days, was a man of great natural powers, and possessed such a mewe feel our hearts touched with melancholy and sorrow, be- mory as the writer of this never knew any human being to be cause we know that it is like taking our last farewell of old gifted with. He not only remembered everything he saw or friends whom we shall never see again, from whom we never was concerned in, but everything he heard also. His language, experienced any thing but kindness, and whose time-touched when he spoke Irish, was fluent, clear, and sometimes elofaces were never turned upon us but with pleasure, and amuse- quent; but when he had recourse to the English, although ment, and affection.

his fluency remained, yet it was the fluency of a man who In this paper it is not with the Shanahus whose name and made an indiscriminate use of a vocabulary which he did avocations are associated with high and historical dignity, that not understand. His pedantry on this account was highly we have any thing to do. Our sketches do not go very far ludicrous and amusing, and his wit and humour surpribeyond the manners of our own times; by which we mean that singly original and pointed. He had never received any we paint or record nothing that is not remembered and known education, and was consequently completely illiterate, yet by those who are now living. The Shanahus we speak of is he could repeat every word of Gallagher's Irish Serthe dim and diminished reflection of him who filled a distinct mons, Donlevy's Catechism, Think Well On't, the Seven calling in a period that has long gone by: The regular Sha- Champions of Christendom, and the substance of Pastorini's nahus—the herald and historian of individual families, the and Kolumb Kill's Prophecies, all by heart. Many a time I faithful genealogist of his long-descended patron--has not have seen him read, as he used to call it, one of Dr Gallagher's been in existence for at least a century and a half, perhaps Sermons out of the skirt of his big-coat; a feat which was two. He with whom we have to do is the humble old man looked upon with twice the wonder it would have produced who, feeling himself gifted with a strong memory for genea- had he merely said that he repeated it. But to read it out of logical history, old family anecdotes, and legendary lore in the skirt of his coat! Heavens, how we used to look on with general, passes a happy life in going from family to family, awe and veneration, as Tom, in a loud rapid voice, " rhymed comfortably dressed and much respected-dropping in of a it out of him,” for such was the term we gave to his recital Saturday night without any previous notice, bringing eager of it! His learning, however, was not confined to mere Eng. curiosity and delight to the youngsters of the house he visits, lish and Irish, for Tom was also classical in his way, and for and filling the sedate ears of the old with tales and legends, want of a better substitute it was said could serve mass, in which, perhaps, individuals of their own name and blood which must always be done in Latin. Certain it was that he have in former ages been known to take a remarkable and con- could repeat the Deprofundis, and the Seven Penitential spicuous part.

Psalms, and the Dies Ira, in that language. We need scarcely Indeed, there is no country in the world where, from the add, that in these learned exhibitions he dealt largely in false peculiar features of its social and political changes, the chro- quantities, and took a course for himself altogether indepennicles of the Shanahus would be more likely to produce such dent of syntax and prosody; this, however, was no argument a powerful effect as in Ireland. When we consider that it against his natural talents, or the surprising force of his was once a country of princes and chiefs, each of whom was memory. followed and looked up to with such a spirit of feudal enthu- Tom was also an easy and happy Improviser both in prose siasm and devoted attachment as might naturally be expected and poetry; his invention was indeed remarkably fertile, but from a people remarkable for the force of their affection his genius knew no medium between encomium and satire. and the power of imagination, it is not surprising that the He either lashed his friends, for the deuce an enemy he had, man who, in a state of society which presented to the minds with rude and fearful attacks of the latter, or gave them, as of so many nothing but the records of fallen greatness or the Pope did to Berkley,•every virtue under heaven, and indeed a decay of powerful names, and the downfall of rude barbaric good many more than ever were heard of beyond his own sysgrandeur, together with the ruin of fanes and the prostration tem of philosophy and morals. of religious institutions, each invested with some local or na- Tom was a great person for attending wakes and funerals, tional interest—it is not surprising, we say, that such a man where he was always a busy man, comforting the afflicted reshould be welcomed, and listened to, and honoured, with a feel- latives with many learned quotations, repeating ranns, or spiing far surpassing that whieh was awakened by the idle jingle ritual songs, together with the Deprofundis or Dies Iræ, over of a Provençal Troubadour, or the gorgeous dreams begotten the corpse, directing even the domestic concerns, paying at. by Arabian fiction. Neither the transition state of society, tention to strangers, looking after the pipes and tobacco, and however, nor the scanty diffusion of knowledge among the l in fact making himself not only generally useful, but essen.



[ocr errors]

tially necessary to them, by his happiness of manner, the cor- to slink over to his side and whisper, " Tom, don't sing that ; diality of his sympathy, and his unextinguishable humour. it makes me sorrowful ;" and Tom, who had great goodness

At one time you might see him engaged in leading a Rosary of heart, had consideration for the feelings of the boy, and for the repose of the soul of the departed, or singing the Hermit sang some other. But now all these innocent fireside enjoyof Killarney, a religious song, to edify the company; and this ments are gone, and we will never more have our hearts made duty being over, he would commence a series of comic tales glad by the sprightly mirth and rich good humour of the Shaand humorous anecdotes, which he narrated with an ease and nahus, nor ever again pay the artless tribute of our tears to spirit that the best of us all might envy. The Irish heart his old pathetic songs of sorrow, nor feel our hearts softened passes rapidly from the depths of pathos to the extremes of at the ideal miseries of tale or legend as they proceeded in humour; and as a proof of this, we can assure our readers that mournful recitative from his lips. Alas ! alas ! knowledge we have seen the nearest and most afflicted relatives of the may be power, but it is not happiness. deceased carried away by uncontrollable laughter at the broad, Such is, we fear, an imperfect outline of Tom's life. It grotesque, and ludicrous force of his narratives. It was here was one of ease and comfort, without a care to disturb him, or also that he shone in a character of which he was very proud, a passion that was not calmed by the simple but virtuous inand for the possession of which he was looked up to with great tegrity of his life. His wishes were few, and innocently and respect by the people ; we mean that of a polemic, or, as it is easily gratified. The great delight of his soul was not that termed," an arguer of Scripture,” for when a man in the country he should experience kindness at the hands of others, but that parts of Ireland wins local fame as a controversialist, he is he should communicate to them, in the simple vanity of his seldom mentioned in any other way than as a great arguer of heart, that degree of amusement and instruction and knowScripture. To argue scripture well, therefore, means the ledge which made them look upon him as a wonderful man, power of subduing one's antagonist in a religious contest. Many gifted with rare endowments; for in what light was not that ohallenges of this kind passed between Tom and his polemical man to be looked upon who could trace the old names up opponents, in most or all of which he was successful. His to times when they were great, who could climb a genealomemory was infallible, his wit prompt and dexterous, and his gical tree to the top branch, who could repeat the Seven humour either broad or sarcastic, as he found it convenient to Penitential Psalms in Latin, tell all the old Irish tales and applyit. In these dialectic displays he spared neither logic nor legends of the country, and beat Paddy Crudden the metholearning : where an English quotation failed, he threw in one dist horse-jockey, who had the whole Bible by heart, at arguing of Irish; and where that was understood, he posed them with Scripture? Harmless ambition! humble as it was, and limia Latin one, closing the quotation by desiring them to give ted in compass, to thee it was all in all; and yet thou wert a translation of it ; if this too were accomplished, he rattled happy in feeling that it was gratified. This little boon was out the five or six first verses of John in Greek, which some all thou didst ask of life, and it was kindly granted thee. The one had taught him; and as this was generally beyond their last night we ever had the pleasure of being amused by Tom reading, it usually closed the discussion in his favour. With- was at a wake in the neighbourhood; for it somehow hapout doubt he possessed a mind of great natural versatility pened that there was seldom either a wake or a dance within and power ; and as these polemical exercitations were princi- two or three miles of us that we did not attend; and God forpally conducted in wake-houses, it is almost needless to say give us, when old Poll Doolin was on her death-bed, the only that the wake at which they expected him was uniformly a care that troubled us was an apprehension that she might recrowded one.

cover, and thus defraud us of a right merry wake! Upon the Tom was very punctual in attending fairs and markets, occasion we allude to, it being known that Tom Grassiey which he did for the purpose of bringing to the neighbouring would be present, of course the house was crowded. And farmers a correct account of the state of cattle and produce; when he did come, and his loud good-humoured voice was for such was the honour in which his knowledge and talents heard at the door, heavens ! how every young heart bounded were held, that it was expected he should know thoroughly with glee and delight ! every topic that might happen to be discussed. During the The first thing he did on entering was to go where the peninsular war he was a perfect gracle, but always maintained corpse was laid out, and in a loud rapid voice repeat the Dethat Bonaparte never would prosper, in consequence of his profundis for the repose of her soul, after which he sat down having imprisoned the Pope. He said emphatically, that he and smoked a pipe. Oh, well do I remember how the whole could not be shot unless by a consecrated bullet, and that the house was hushed, for all was expectation and interest as to said bullet would be consecrated by an Irish friar. It was what he would do or say. At length he spoke" Is Frank not Bonaparte, he insisted, who was destined to liberate Ire- Magaveen there ?" land: that could never be effected until the Mill of Louth " All's that left o' me's here, Tom." should be turned three times with human blood, and that An' if the sweep-chimly-general had his due, Frank, that could not happen until a miller with two thumbs on each hand wouldn't be much ; and so the longer you can keep him out of came to be owner of the mill. So it was prophesied by Beal that same, the betther for yourself.” Dearg, or the man with the red mouth, that Ireland would never “ Folly on Tom! you know there's none of us all able to be free until we first had the Black Militia in our own country, spake up to you, say what you will.” and that no rebellion ever was or could be of any use that did “It's not so when you're beside a purty girl, Frank. But not commence in the Valley of the Black Pig, and move up- sure that's not surprisin’; you were born wid butther in your wards from the tail to the head. These were axioms which mouth, an' that's what makes your orations to the fair sect be he laid down with great and grave authority; but on none of so soft an' meltin', ha, ha, ha! Well, Frank, never mind his authentic speculations into futurity did he rely with more there's worse where you'll go to: keep your own counsel fast: implicit confidence than the prophecy he generously ascribed to let's salt your gums, an' you'll do yet. Whisht, boys ; I'm St Bridget, that George the Fourth would never fill the goin' to sing a rann, an' afther that Frank an' I will pick a throne of England.

couple o' dozen out o' yez' to box the Connaughtman.'” BoxTom had a good flexible voice, and used to sing the old Irish ing the Connaughtman is a play or diversion peculiar to wakes; songs of our country with singular pathos and effect. He it is grotesquely athletic in its character, but full, besides, of sang Peggy Slevin, the Red-haired Man's Wife, and Shula Na comic sentiment and farcical humour. Guira, with a feeling that early impressed itself upon my heart. He then commenced an Irish rann or song, the substance Indeed we think that his sweet but artless voice still rings in our of which was as follows, according to his own translation :ears; and whilst we remember the tears which the enthusiasm “St Patrick, it seems, was one Sunday morning crossing a of sorrow brought down his cheeks, and the quivering pause mountain on his way to a chapel to say mass, and as he was in the fine old melody which marked what he felt, we cannot an humble man (coaches wern't then invented, at any rate) help acknowledging that the memory of these things is mourn- an' a great pedestrium (pedestrian), he took the shortest cut ful, and that the hearts of many, in spite of new systems of across the mountain. In one of the lonely glens he met a education and incarcerating poor-houses, will yearn after the herd-caudy, who spent his time in eulogizin' his masther's homely but touching traits which marked the harmless Sha- cattle, according to the precepts of them times, which nahus, and the times in which he lived. Many a tear has he was not by any means so Iarned an' primogenitive as now. beguiled us of in our youth when we knew not why we shed | The countenance of the dog was clear an extremely sabthem. One of these sacred old airs, especially, we could never bathical ; every thing was at rest barring the little river resist," the Trougha," or " the Green Woods of Trough;" and before him, an' indeed one would think that it flowed on with to this day we remember with a true and melancholy recollec- more decency an' betther behaviour than upon other symtion that whenever Tom happened to be asked for it, we used pathising occasions. The birds, to be sure, were singin', but


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


it was aisy to see that they chirped out their best notes in ho- | Brogue,” two other sports practised only at wakes.

And nour of the day. Good morrow on you,' said St Patrick ; here we may observe generally, that the amusements resorted • what's the raison you're not goin' to prayers, my fine little to on such occasions are never to be found elsewhere, but are fellow ?'

exclusively peculiar to the house of mourning, where they are What's prayers ?' axed the boy. St Patrick looked at benevolently introduced for the purpose of alleviating sorhim with a very pitiful and calamitous expression in his face. row. Having gone through a few more such sports, Tom Can you bless yourself ?' says he. “No,' said the boy, 'I took a seat and addressed a neighbouring farmer, named Gor. don't know what it means ?' • Worse and worse,' thought don, as follows:—“Jack Gordon, do you know the history of St Patrick.

your own name and its original fluency ?” • Poor bouchal, 'it isn't your fault. An how do you pass “ Indeed no, Tom, I cannot say I do." your time here?'

Well, boys, if you derogate your noise a little, I'll tell Why, my mate (food) 's brought to me, an' I do be makin' you the origin of the name of Gordon ; it's a story about ould kings' crowns out of my rushes, whin I'm not watching the Oliver Crummle, whose tongue is on the look-out for a drop cows an' sheep

of wather ever since he went to the lower story. "This legend, St Patrick sleeked down his head wid great dereliction, an' | however, is too long and interesting to be related here: we said, Well, acushla, you do be operatin' kings' crowns, but are therefore forced to defer it until another opportunity. I tell you you're born to wear a greater one than a king's, an' that is a crown of glory. Come along wid me.'

SEALS OF IRISH CHIEFS. • I can't lave my cattle,' said the other, ‘for fraid they might

By George Petrie, R.H.A., M.R.I.A. go astray.'

(Concluded from No. 45.) Right enough,' replied St Patrick, but I'll let you see The next seal which I have to exhibit, belongs to a chief of that they won't. Now, any how St Patrick undherstood cat- another and nobler family of Thomond, the O'Briens, kings tle irresistibly himself, havin' been a herd-caudy (boy) in his of the country, and descendants of the celebrated monarch youth ; so he clapped his thumb to his thrapple, an' gave the Brian Boru. This seal is also from the collection of the Dean Soy-a-loa to the sheep, an' behould you they came about him of St Patrick's, and was purchased a few years since in Roscrea. wid great relaxation an' respect. Keep yourselves sober an' Its type is unlike the preceding, as, instead of the armed warfictitious,' says he, addressin' them, “till this boy comes back, rior, it presents in the field the figure of a griffin. an' don't go beyant your owner's property; or if you do, it'll be

The inscription reads, Sigillum : Brian : 1 Brian. worse for yez. If you regard your health durin' the approximatin' season, mind an' attend to my words.'

Now, you see, every sheep, while he was spakin', lifted the right fore leg, an' raised the head a little, an' behould when be finished, they kissed their foot, an' made him a low bow as a mark of their estimation an’ superfluity. He thin clapped his finger an' thumb in his mouth, gave a loud whistle, an' in a periodical time he had all the other cattle on the hill about him, to which he addressed the same ondeniable oration, an' they bowed to him wid the same polite gentility. He then brought the lad along wid him, an' as they made progress in the journey, the little fellow says,

You seem frustrated by the walk, an’ if you'll let me carry | In the genealogies of this illustrious family, which are remarkayour bundle, I'll feel obliged to you.'

ble for their minuteness and historical truth, two or three Do so,' said the saint ; “an' as it's rather long, throw the chiefs bearing the Christi an name of Brian occur. But from the bag that the things are in over your shoulder ; you'll find it character of the letters on this seal, I have little hesitation in the aisiest way to carry it.' Well, the boy adopted this insinivation, an' they went of the Four Masters, succeeded to the lordship of Thomond

assigning it to Brian O'Brian, who, according to the Annals ambiguously along till they reached the chapel


in 1343, and was killed in 1350. • Do you see that house?' said St Patrick.

The next seal which I have to exhibit is also from the • I do,' said the other ; "it has no chimley on it.

Dean's collection, and, though of later date, is on many ac• No,' said the saint ; ' it has not ; but in that house, Christ, counts of still higher interest than perhaps either of the prehe that saved you, will be present to-day.' An' the boy thin ceding. It is the seal of a chief of the O'Neills, whose shed tears, when he thought of the goodness of Christ in family were for seven hundred years the hereditary monarchs saving one that was a stranger to him. So they entered the of Ireland. chapel, an' the first thing the lad was struck with was the beams of the sun that came in through the windy shinin' beside the altar. Now, he had never seen the like of it in a house before, an' thinkin' it was put there for some use or other in the intarior, he threw the wallet, which was like a saddlebag, across the sunbeams, an' lo an' behould you the sunbeams supported them, an' at the same time a loud sweet voice was heard, sayin', · This is my servant St Kieran, an' he's welcome to the house o' God!' St Patrick then tuck him an' instructed him in the various edifications of the larned languages until he became one of the greatest saints that ever Ireland saw, with the exception an' liquidation of St Patrick himself.”

Such is a faint outline of the style and manner peculiar to the narratives of Tom Grassiey. Indeed, it has frequently surprised not only us, but all who knew him, to think how and This seal was found about ten years since in the vicinity of where and when he got together such an incredible number of Magherafelt, in the county of Derry, and was purchased by hard and difficult words. Be this as it may, one thing was per- the Dean from a shopkeeper in that town some years after. fectly clear, that they cost him little trouble and no study in The arms of O'Neill, the bloody hand, appear on a shield, their application. His pride was to speak as learnedly as possi- and the legend reads, Sigillum Maurisius (Maurisii] ui Neill

. ble, and of course he imagined that the most successful method The name Mauritius, which occurs in this inscription, does of doing this was to use as many sesquipidalian expressions not occur in the genealogies of the O'Neill family, and is obas he could crowd into his language, without any regard what- viously but a latinised form of the name Murtogh or Muirsoever as to their propriety.

cheartach, which was that of two or three chiefs of the family; Immediately after the relation of this legend, he passed at and of these I am inclined to ascribe this seal to Murtogh once into a different spirit. He and Frank Magaveen mar- Roe, or the Red O'Neill, lord of Clanaboy, who, according to shalled their forces, and in a few minutes two or three dozen the Annals of the Four Masters, died in 1471. young fellows were hotly engaged in the humorous game of These are all the seals of Irish princes which have fallen

Boxing the Connaughtman.' Boxing the Connaughtman under my observation. But there remain two of equal anwas followed by “the Standing Brogue” and “the Sitting Itiquity, but which belonged to persons of inferior rank, which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »