Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


went too.

[ocr errors]

many ?" said I.
A goose and a gander," she replied.

" How

I had heard of the garvally before, which was described as much do you want for them ?" “ Seven-and-sixpence.” a crooked thing like the handle of an umbrella, covered with “Seven-and-sixpence !" I exclaimed in surprise, as the usual green baize." It was formerly in much repute for swearing price then was from one shilling to one-and-sixpence each.on; "and a terrible thing it was, for if you swore falsely and * Why, how many have you?" as I really thought I had made it round your neck, your mouth would turn to the back of a mistake in the number.

A goose

and a gander,” said she. your head, or you'd get such a throttling as you'd never get And do you suppose me to be a goose to give such a price as the better of.' It had latterly, however, lost much of its vir. that ?" said I. ***Oh!” said she," they are good geese, and tue, or rather of its fame, by an unbelieving vagabond yoking only I wish to serve you, I would not offer them at all.” it on and swearing to a manifest falsehood, without suffering “ Indeed! I am much obliged by your good wishes,” said I ; any visible inconvenience. But to return to Orohoo. “ but as I think you want to impose upon me, you must take He made no stipulation ; but requiring a deep plate, some your geese to another market, for I will not have them at any water and salt, with a little of the cow's milk, he commenced price, and the sooner you take yourself off the better.” She by desiring my wife and me to stand forward. He then asked got highly offended, muttered something about my being sorry our names, if I was the owner of the cow, how long I had had for refusing them, and went away in high dudgeon ; and after her, if that woman was my wife, when we had lost our butter, she was gone, I found it was “the Hawk” who had favoured and if we suspected any person for taking it. To these queme with the visit.

ries I answered as was necessary; but to the last I replied, On the same morning, a gang of strollers, consisting of tin- I did not believe in witchcraft. kers, chimney-sweeps, a brace or two of beggars, and a piper, “Don't you believe in fairies ?” he asked. had pitched their tent on the road side, a short distance from my Scarcely,” said I. residence; the members of the party had distributed themselves “ No matter," said he; “maybe before I'm done you will over the surrounding district in pursuit of their various avoca- believe in them.” tions; it also happened to be churning-day, and my wife hav. He then in a very solemn manner poured some water into ing set her vessels in order, was proceeding with her lacteal the plate at three several times, thus-“ In the name of the operations favourably-the milk had cracked, the butter was Father,” a drop; " in the name of the Son,” ditto ; in the expected—when the sound of music was heard ; the piper attached name of the Holy Ghost,” ditto. He added the milk in the to the party had come to give us a specimen of his skill; he same manner, and then sprinkled in the salt, using the same favoured us with a few Connaught planxties, was duly re- formula. He now stirred round the mixture three times with warded, and departed. Shortly after he was gone, two buxom his finger, repeating the words as before, and desired us to baggages, brown and bare-legged, with cans in their hands, do the same. To this I demurred, for I did not wish to evince kerchiefs on their heads, and huge massive rings on their fin- any faith in the proceeding. by taking an active part; but he gers, came and demanded an alms. They were told there was combated my scruples by asking "was it not done in a good nothing then ready, on which one of them asked a drink. "I name?” Certainly for so far I saw nothing very objectionable, have nothing to offer you but water," said my wife, “ until and my wife feeling no scruple on the subject, at their joint the churning's done.” “Well, water itself," said she; on persuasion I did as directed. getting which, she took a sup or two, put the remainder in He next made the sign of the cross over the plate with his her can, and went off; and, strange as it may seem, my butter hands, and, waving them over his head, cut several curious

And from that day in January antil May eve fol. figures in the air, at the same time muttering an unintelligible lowing, not a morsel had we from our beautiful Brownie. jargon I could not understand, but which, as I could catch a As I did not put any faith in witchcraft

, I was willing to at- sound or syllable, bore a close affinity to what is called bog tribute this to some natural cause affecting the cow, though the Latin. Gradually he became much excited; he raved like a milk showed no perceptible change in either quantity or quality; demon, stamped with his feet, and threatened with his fists: neither did she exhibit any symptoms of ailment or disorder, now his tones were those of supplication or entreaty, anon of except that she began to cast her hair. She was well sup- abjuration or command; while his eye seemed fixed upon and plied with good fodder, comfortably lodged, and well attended, to follow the motions of some to us invisible being, with which and every possible care taken of the milk, but all to no pur- he appeared to hold converse. Suddenly he gave an unearthly pose; the butter was not forthcoming; and for my incredulity scream, as if in an agony of terror and perturbation, and, I was laughed at by my neighbours. *Your cow is bewitched," holding up his hands as in the act of warding off a threatened cried they; "and you may as well throw chaff against the danger, he retreated backwards round the room, pursued, as wind, as think you will get your butter back, till you get the it seemed, by an implacable enemy. Gradually he regained charm.” Some said “the Hawk” had it, some that the gipsy the spot he had left, turned himself to the four cardinal points, took it away in her can, and others that it followed the piper. making the sign of the cross at each turn, dipped his fingers Be that as it may, I had to eat my bread butterless, and brood in the mixture, devoutly blessed himself, anointing his foreover my loss, without even the comfort of common condolence. head, shoulders, and breast, regained his self-possession,

Various were the counter-charms recommended for my raised his hands and eyes in an attitude of fervent thankfuladoption. " Send for Fraser the Scotchman from beyond the ness to heaven, wiped the perspiration which profusely streamed Lough," said one; "he fears neither man nor fiend, and he from his brow with the cuff of his coat, gradually recovered will surely get it.” Send for the Hawk,' and clip a bit off his breath, and from a state of the greatest possible exciteher ear,” said another. "Let them keep their mouths full of ment became calm and collected. water, and never speak while they are churning,” said a third. Now, this was all acting, to be sure, but it was inimitably In short, I found there were as many ways of getting it back, done, and I confess, even armed as I was with unbelief, it as there were of losing it--all equally simple, and probably as made a very powerful impression on me. I acknowledge I efficacious.

did not feel at all comfortable. I did not like the idea of being Thus matters continued until the early part of the month in the same room with the evil one, who to all appearance of April, when one morning a man called, who desired to see was chasing my friend the conjuror round and round it. I me. I found him a light, active, 'cute-looking fellow, low in felt an indescribable sensation of dread creeping over me, and, stature and spare in habit, but sinewy, well set and well if I mistake not, there were a few drops of perspiration on my knit, and regularly smoke-dried. He was pretty well clad in brow; and my hair, of which I have not a superabundance, to frieze, cord breeches, and yarn stockings and pumps ; his my apprehension began to get stiff and wiry. My wife, too, caubeen on one side, a cutty in his mouth, and a certain jaunti- clung closely to my side for protection, and the agitation of ness in his air, and crafty audacity in his look, which seemed her mind was evident by the audible action of her heart, to say, “I'd have you to know I'm a clever fellow."

which in that case beat only responsive to my own. “So," said he at once without preamble,

so you've lost Having taken breath, he asked for a ribbon, which he passed

over his forehead and round his head, and, bringing the ends “ Yes," said I, “'tis certainly gone."

in front, knotted it over his nose; then twining it round his “ Well, if you like, I'll get it for you. My name is ORO- fingers in the manner children call a cat's cradle, he knelt HOO (O'Hara); I live at Sliev Bawn—the people call me the down and peered through it attentively into the mixture, Fairy man I can find things that's stolo—and I keep the which I imagined at the moment fermented and sent up a blue garvally."

vapour. After gazing a few seconds in this manner, Indeed !" said I: "why, you must be a clever fellow : but Aha!” said he, "she is not far off that has your butter; Fan you get my butter?"

bring me a lighted candle," which on being brought he placed Not a doubt of it," said he, “if it is in the country."

in the plate.

" Now," said he, "both of you kneel down; do


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

your butter.”

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“ And

as I do, and say as I say, and we'll have her here directly." In a short time she came running out like one demented, clap“ No,” said I decidedly, we will not."

ping her hands and screaming, “ Oh! we've got the butter, I thought we had gone far enough, and was convinced that we've got the butter !" and on going in I found a coulter phizif what we were engaged in was not an unholy act, it was at zing and sparkling at a white heat in the fire, an ass's shoe least a piece of gross deception, and I would not countenance (which had been found a few days previously) under the churn, it by any further participation.

my worthy neighbour aforesaid standing over it, panting and " Why,” exclaimed he, don't you want to get your butter?" blowing from the exertions she had made on my behoof, and

“ Yes,” said I, “I would like to have my butter, but I wiping the dew-drops from her really comely countenance, and don't choose to resort to a charm to obtain it."

in the churn, floating like lumps of gold in a sea of silver, as “No doubt this is a charm,” said he, “but it is done in a fine a churning of butter as ever we were blessed with good name; and I have done it before for as good as ever you Well, I own I was staggered, and being triumphantly asked, were.”

“ Now, is there no witchcraft or virtue in a red-hot coulter ?" “So much the worse," I replied ; " that holy name should I could scarcely muster up courage to utter "No." In vain never be profaned in such a manner, and I am sorry any per i protested the butter came back because “ Brownie” got back son would be so wicked or so foolish as to encourage you in to her pasture, in consequence of the change in her feeding, your tricks. I neither like you nor your proceedings, and the from dry fodder to the mellow and genial produce of spring, sooner you go about your business the better."

as the loss at first was owing to the transition from grass to He started to his feet in a passion, blew out the candle, hay. 'Twas to no purpose to argue thus : all else were seized the plate, and attempted to throw the contents into the positive it was otherwise ; but whether the virtue was in fireplace; but my wife, who did not wish her hearth to be wet, Orohoo's incantations, the efficacy of the red-hot coulter, the took it from him and laid it past. He fumed and stormed, influence of the ass's shoe, or the tremendous pommelling said I let him take a great deal of trouble on my account, and the milk was subjected to on the occasion, no one could exinsisted on proceeding; but I was determined, and, being con- actly say. siderably chafed and annoyed by the transaction, I again A few days after, I conversed on the subject with an intel. ordered him off, and left him.

ligent person, a herd in charge of an extensive stock farm. In a few moments I heard the noise of a violent altercation After hearing my story to an end, he indulged in a hearty and scuffle, and I was loudly called on. I hastened to the laugh at my expense.

Faith,” said he, “Ì took you for a scene of contention, and found my wife holding Orohoo by the sensible man, and did not suppose you would credit such neck, and preventing his departure. “What's all this?” I ex- folly.” “I'd as soon believe my mother was a bishop,” said I, claimed. “This fellow," said she, “when he was going, took a live as put any faith in it some time ago. But how can I get coal out of the grate, and told me to take care of my children." over the chain of circumstantial evidence ?—not a link of it This he stiffly denied, until confronted by the servant, and I wanting. First, the Hawk' coming with her seven-andthreatened to give him up to the police as an impostor, when sixpenny geese, then the gipsies and the piper, and losing he quailed, and acknowledged that he had said so, but that he my butter just then.” “'Tis very easy,” said he,“ to acmeant no harm by it. “ And sure," said he, “there's no harm count for it. In the first place, you took your cow from grass in bidding you mind them ; for if your cow was hurt, so may and fed her on hay.” “ Yes, but she had plenty of winter your childre. You're not treating me well,” he continued'; cabbage, and we gave her boiled potatoes." * Just the thing; “I came at the bidding of a friend to do you a good turn, and cabbage is good for plenty of milk, but not for butter. I'll asked nothing for it, and now you're putting me out ; you'll be engage you gave her the potatoes warm. “ Yes." glad to see me yet, though. But take my advice : never she got a scour?" “ Indeed she did, and her hair fell of.” throw out your Sunday's ashes until Tuesday morning, and “So I thought. And afterwards she got in good condition ?" always sweep your floor in from the door to the hearth.” And “Yes.” Oh! ay, she put her butter on her ribs. Did you away he went.

kill a pig at Christmas ?" "I did.” “Where did you put My heart now beat easy, for I thought we had fairly got rid your bacon in press ?” Why, under the shelf in the dairy." of the fairy man; but I was to be still further mystified and ** Now the murder is out! Never as long as you live put bewildered. On examining the plate over which he had per- meat, either fresh or salt, near your milk-vessels; if you do, formed his incantations, we found the contents to be thick, you will surely spoil your milk and lose your butter." This yellow, and slimy, with a red sediment like globules of blood at may account for my loss, but what have you to say to its the bottom. This seemed extraordinary, as I certainly watched coming back ?" Why, what's to hinder it, when your bacon him closely, and did not see him put any thing into the plate is in the chimney and your cow at grass ?” “ But the red but milk, water, and salt.

blobs in the plate, and Orohoo fighting the devil for me, what The month now drew near a close, and our bread was still do you say to that?" Here he gave way to such a violent fit butterless. This often caused the morsel to stick in the of laughter that I really thought he would burst the waistthroat of my poor dear partner, who felt none of the scruples band of his doe-skins.“ Orohoo! ha! ha!_Orohoo! ha! of conscience with which I was affected, and firmly believed ha! ha!—the greatest villain that ever breathed. He came her cow was bewitched. “ Ilere we are day after day losing to me one time that I had a cow sick, and said she was fairyour substance, and might have it only for your squeamishness smitten, and that he would cure her. He began with his in not letting the fairy man finish his job.” Thus she would tricks with the milk and water, just the same as he did with argue, and hesitated not to call me a fool, nay, a downright you; but I watched bim closer; and when I saw the smoke ass; and indeed my neighbours were much of the same opinion : rising out of the plate, I got him by the neck, shook a little one of them, a respectable farmer's wife, was particularly per bottle of vitriol out of the cuff of his coat, and took a paper tinacious. My Robin," said she one evening, as they were of red earthy powder out of his waistcoat pocket.”. I looked harping on the old string, "my Robin was down in Sligo, and aghast and confounded. Was I, then, the dupe of the fairy he heard that if you got the coulter of a plough, and made man? The thought was humiliating, and I even wished that it red-hot in the fire, while you were churning the butter I had remained in ignorance, but on reflection had reason to would come back ; or if you chose to churn on Sunday morn-congratulate myself that it was only a temporary lapse, and ing before the kark sings, you will surely get it.” “ Tempt me that I was right in my original opinion, that, except the no more with your spells or Sabbath-breaking ; I will have witchery of a pair of blue languishers, or the fairy spell of a none of them," said I, impatiently; “I will never barter my silver-tongued syren, there is now no evil of the kind to be peace of mind for a pound of butter, if I should never eat a apprehended.

A. morsel."

But, in truth, my peace of mind was gone, for the continual urging and yammering I was subjected to made me heartily FASHION IS A POOR VOCATION. Its creed, that idleness is sick, and I inwardly resolved to sell the cow the first oppor- a privilege, and work a disgrace, is among the deadliest errors. tunity, and so end the matter.

Without depth of thought, or earnestness of feeling, or strength On May eve, in the afternoon, I had occasion to leave home of purpose, living an unreal life, sacrificing substance to show, for a short time, and on my return was rather surprised to substituting the fictitious for the natural, mistaking a crowd for find all the windows closed and the door locked against me. I society, finding its chief pleasure in ridicule, and exhausting knocked and called for admittance, but received no answer ; its ingenuity in expedients for killing time, fashion is among and hearing the noise of churning going on within, "fast and the last influences under which a human being who respects furious," the truth flashed across my mind; and lamenting my himself, or who comprehends the great end of life, would desire wife's credulity, I retired to the garden to await the result, I to be placed,

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

cimens of the rocks and soil. His description of the appearTHE MAGNETIC POLES.

ance of the coast corresponds with that already given. The unwearied spirit of scientific research which so pecu- Whether any immediate beneficial results, practically appliliarly marks the times in which we live, has ascertained the cable to the improvement of commerce and colonization, will positions of the northern and southern magnetic poles to a de- accrue from these discoveries, may be doubtful, but the expegree of almost mathematical precision. This discovery will rience of the era in which we live forbids us to reject the be hailed with pleasure by every person at all acquainted with prospect of ultimate benefits to society from any discovery the benefits derived to society by the labours of those gifted tending to enlarge the bounds of science, though the means by individuals who have devoted their thoughts more particularly which they are to be sought for are still out of sight. The to the study of this most abstruse and mysterious branch of discovery of the extensive line of coast ranging nearly along physical knowledge. The position of the northern magnetic the south polar circle, serves in some degree to realize the conpole was determined by Sir John Ross, in his second northern jectures of former geographers, who, observing that by much expedition, fitted out at the sole expense of a British mer- | 'the greater mass of known land was in the northern hemisphere, chant, to be in 70 degrees 5 minutes 17 seconds north latitude, laid down the position that there must be a countervailing and 96 degrees 46 minutes 45 seconds west longitude, near the quantity of land somewhere in the southern hemisphere : so western coast of the newly discovered tract named, after the fully convinced were they of the existence of this fancied con. individual through whose munificence the boundaries of sci- tinent, that in the maps constructed by Herman Moll and other ence have been thus enlarged, Boothia Felix. Its place is scientific artists of his time, the coast is laid down in a line now marked on the globes and maps of the world published nearly corresponding in latitude with that of Terre Adelie, since the navigator's announcement of the solution of this long and continued round the globe, so as to represent the whole sought-for problem. The day of the discovery was the lst of of the south frigid zone as a continent, on which they in. June 1831.

scribe the name of Terra Australia Incognita—the unknown The position of the southern magnetic pole has not yet been southern region. With those who originated the supposition, ascertained to so great a degree of precision. Excited by a this unknown region was a mere creature of the imagination. noble spirit of emulation caused by the success of the expedi- They were in possession of no facts to prove its reality; yet tion fitted out by Mr Booth and led by Sir John Ross, three it is singular that in this, as well as in many other fictions, expeditions have been fitted out to complete the solution of the the ideal creature of the fancy has been discovered to have problem—to fix the position of the southern magnetic pole, as some foundation in the realities of existence. that of the northern had been already fixed. The parties in this noble rivalry are Great Britain, France, and the United States. The British magnetic expedition, under Captain PAYING DOWN UPON THE NAIL.— The origin of this phrase James Ross, sailed on the 5th of May for Van Diemen's Land. is thus stated in the Recollections of O'Keefe the dramatist : The only notices as yet received of its progress are, that sound

During the Limerick assizes I saw a stuffed glove, about ings were obtained at the depth of 3600 fathoms in the South four feet long, hanging out from the top of the Exchange, Atlantic, about 900 miles S.S. W. of St Helena ; and again at nearly across the main street: this was the accustomed token the depth of 2680 fathoms, at 450 miles west of the Cape of that for a week or a fortnight, whilst the courts were sitting, Good Hope. A dispatch from Captain Dumont d'Urville, no debtor could be arrested. Debtor or creditor, this was a commandant of the French expedition, to the Minister of the good thing for the theatres, as during that time the city was Marine, details, all the leading particulars of his voyage, by thronged. An ample piazza under the Exchange was a thowhich it appears that he has nearly though not altogether roughfare : in the centre stood a pillar about four feet high, and succeeded in solving this part of the problem. On the lst of upon it a circular plate of copper about three feet in diameter; January the expedition sailed from Hobart Town in a sou. this was called the nail, and on it was paid the earnest for thern direction for 1350 miles, and in the latitude of 60 de any commercial bargains made, which was the origin of the grees south met with the first island of ice, and shortly after-saying, “Paid down upon the nail.'” Perhaps, however, the wards discovered land ranging nearly along the south polar custom was common to other ancient towns. circle, and, as far as the navigator's observations went, be

GENERAL USE OF TEA IN CHINA.-In China an ardent tween 136 degrees and 142 degrees east longitude. The spirit is made from rice, and called sam-shu, of which punch appearance was that of an ice-bound, barren coast, wholly is made in a coffee-pot, and it is drunk out of China cups ; unfit for tie habitation of man. The snow and ice which but the natives are not much addicted to its use, a simple incovered it gave its surface an almost level appearance. Far- fusion of tea being the general beverage of all classes. At all ther inward nothing was to be perceived but ravines, inlets, hours of the day the artisan, as he sits at work, has his little and projections, without a trace of vegetation. Whales, large tea-pot and miniature cup beside him, out of which he quaffs porpoises, fur-seals, albatrosses, and petrels and penguins of a little at pleasure, or presents a cup to his visitor. "The different species, were seen near the shore. The commander more refined class inake the infusion in cups, in the manner gave this newly discovered coast the name of Terre Adelie. already described. After this process, as nothing is allowed ** This name,” he says in his dispatch, was intended to per- to go to waste in China, the tea-leaves are collected, dried, petuate the remembrance of my profound gratitude for the and rolled up again, and sold to the English and Americans, devoted companion who has three times consented to a long under the denomination of hyson mun-dun-go; that is, tea and painful separation, to enable me to achieve my projects of having neither taste nor smell. None of this tea is sold in foreign exploration." "On the 1st of February, in 65 degrees England under its proper name, being for the most part mixed 20 minutes south latitude, and 131 degrees east longitude, the with other kinds, and thus brought into the market. I never expedition crossed the meridian of' no variation; and the mag- saw green tea used in the houses of the natives, or of the netic observations afforded the means of determining that the Fanqui merchants, where of course the best kinds were to be position of the magnetic pole must be in the neighbouring land had. The fact is, the consumption of green tea is for the of Adelie itself, or on the compact ice which adjoined it. "Hav- most part confined to the lower orders and the opium smoking so far succeeded in attaining the main object of his mis-ers, who require its stimulating effects to settle the disturbed sion, Captain Dumont bade a final adieu to these dreary state of their nervous system; and with us it is found to corregions, and steered for Hobart Town, where he arrived on rect the effects of an over-dose of opium.-—Dr Fulton's Tra. the 17th of February, after an absence of forty-six days, hav- velling Sketches. ing lost sight of the ice altogether in the parallel of 57 degrees

PROGRESSION.—He that is good may hope to become bet. south latitude.

ter—he that is bad may fear that he will become worse ; for The American expedition, under Captain Wilkes, has been vice, virtue, and time, never stand still.--Colton. equally successful in discovering the south polar island or " A great lie," says the poet Crabbe, “is like a great fish continent, for its geographical character has not yet been as

on dry land; it may fret and Aling, and make a frightful bother, certained. The land was first seen in 64 degrees 50 minutes but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still, and it south latitude, and 154 degrees 18 minutes east longitude, by will die of itself.” a singular coincidence precisely on the same day, 19th Janu. ary, that it had been observed by the French navigator ; and

Printed and Published every Saturday by Gunn and CAMERON, at the Office

of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin.Wilkes was enabled to run along the shore, for about 1700

Agents :--R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, London ; miles, as far as 97 degrees 45 minutes east longitude, so near SIMMs and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester ; C. Davies, North the land as often to find soundings with a few fathoms of line,

John Street, Liverpool ; J. DRAKE, Birmingham; M. BINGHAM, Broad

Street, Bristol ; FRASER and CRAWFORD, George Street, Edinburgh; and to be able to carry away several valuable geological spe- and David ROBERTSON, Trongate, Glasgow,


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

TRAVELLERS whose only knowledge of our towns is that de- Our prefixed view of the town of Antrim may be taken as rived in passing through the principal street or streets, will an illustration of the preceding remarks. As seen by the be very apt to form an erroneous estimate of the amount of passing traveller, the town appears situated on a rich, open, picturesque beauty which they often possess, and which is rarely but comparatively uninteresting plain, terminating the wellseen save by those who go out of their way expressly to look cultivated vale of the Six-mile-water towards the Hat shore of for it. This is particularly the case in our smaller towns, in Loch Neagh; and with the exception of its very handsome which the principal thoroughfare has usually a stiff and for- church and castellated entrance into Lord Ferrard's adjoining mal character, the entrance on either side being generally a demesne, has little or no attraction; but viewed in connection range of mud cabins, which, gradually improving in appear with its river, Antrim appears eminently picturesque from seance, merge at length into houses of a better description, with veral points as well as from that selected for our view—the a public building or two towards the centre of the town. In prospect of the town looking from the deer-park of Lord Masthese characteristics the highway of one town is only a repe- sarene. tition of that of another, and in such there is rarely any com- In front, the Six-mile-water river flowing placidly over a bination of picturesque lines or striking features to create a broad gravelly bed, makes a very imposing appearance, not present interest in the mind, or leave a pleasurable impression on much inferior to that of the Liffey at Island-bridge. The the memory. Yet in most instances, if we visit the suburbs of expanse of water at this point, however, forms a contrast to these towns, and more particularly if they happen, as is usu- the general appearance of the stream, which, although it brings ally the case, to be placed upon a river, and we get down to down a considerable body of water, flows in many parts of its the river banks, we shall most probably be surprised and gra- course between banks of not more than twenty feet asunder. tified at the picturesque combinations of forms, and the de- The vale which it waters is one of the most productive dislightful variety of effects, presented to us in the varied outline tricts of the county, and towards Antrim is adorned by nuof their buildings, contrasted by intervening masses of dark merous handsome residences rising among the enlivening foliage, and the whole reflected on the tranquil surface of the scenery of bleach-greens, for which manufacture it affords a water, broken only by the enlivening effect of those silvery copious water-power. Scenes of this description impart a streaks of light produced by the eddies and currents of the peculiar beauty to landscapes in the north of Ireland. The linen stream..

webs of a snowy whiteness, spread on green closely-shaven

[ocr errors]


lawns sloping to the sun, and generally bounded by a spark. against one of his own hibernicised kinsmen ; but the ultimate ling outline of running water, have a delightfully fresh and consequences of their act were felt throughout all Ireland for cheerful effect, seen as they usually are with their concomitants two centuries after. For the Irish, taking advantage of the of well-built factories and handsome mansions; and in scenery consternation attendant on the death of the chief officer of the of this description the neighbourhood of Antrim is peculiarly crown in that province, crossed the Bann in unexampled numrich. The Six-mile-water has also its own attraction for the bers, and after a protracted struggle, in which they were antiquary, being the Ollarbha of our ancient Irish poems and joined by some of the degenerate English, succeeded at romances, and Howing within a short distance of the ancient length in recovering the whole of the territory conquered by fortress of Rathmore of Moylinny, a structure which boasts De Courcy, with the exception only of Carrickfergus in Anan antiquity of upwards of 1700 years.

trim, and a portion of the county of Down, which the Savages In our view the river appears crossed by a bridge, which with difficulty succeeded in holding after being expelled from through the upper limbs of its lofty arches affords a pretty their former possessions at the point of the sword. It was prospect of the river bank beyond. In building a bridge in during this struggle that the battle to which we have alluded the same place, a modern county surveyor would probably was fought at Antrim. The story is told at considerable erect a less picturesque but more economical structure, for the length and with much quaintness by Hollinshed ; but want of arches here are so lofty, that the river, to occupy the whole space obliges us to present it to our readers in the more conspace they afford for its passage, must rise to a height that cise though still very characteristic language of Cox :would carry its waters into an entirely new channel.

“ About this time lived Sir Robert Savage, a very consiBut the principal feature in our prospect is the church, the derable gentleman in Ulster, who began to fortifie his house tower and steeple of which are on so respectable a scale, and with strong walls and bulwarks; but his son derided his faof such excellent proportions, as to render it a very pleasing ther's prudence and caution, affirming that “a castle of bones object as seen from any quarter or approach of the town. It was better than a castle of stones," and thereupon the old genwould be difficult to say in what the true proportions of a spire tleman put a stop to his building. It happened that this brave consist, whether in its obvious and practical utility as a pent- man with his neighbours and followers were to set out against house roofing the tower, or in its emblematic aptitude aspir- a numerous rabble of Irish that had made incursions into their ing to and pointing towards heaven. Still, every cultivated territories, and he gave orders to provide plenty of good cheer eye will remark how much more dignified and imposing is the against his return; but one of the company reproved him for effect of a spire which is only moderately lofty, as compared doing so, alleging that he could not tell but the enemy might with the breadth of its base, than that of one which is ex- eat what he should provide ; to which the valiant old gentletremely slender. We would point out the spire of St Patrick's man replied, that he hoped better from their courage, but that Cathedral, for example, or that before us, on a smaller scale, as if it should happen that his very enemies should come 10 his instances of the former sort. Any one acquainted with the house, he should be ashamed if they should find it void of proportions of those attenuated pinnacles which we so often good cheer.' The event was suitable to the bravery of the find perched on the roofs of churches erected within the last undertaking: old Savage had the killing of three thousand of ten years, cannot be at a loss for examples of the latter. The the Irish near Antrim, and returned home joyfully to supper." church itself at Antrim is, however, rather defective in point Sir Henry Savage's "castles of bones" were found insuffiof size, as compared with its nobly proportioned tower and cient in the end to resist the multitudes of the Irish ; and spire.

the English colonists, as we have mentioned, notwithstanding The suburb of the town, on this side of the bridge, runs up their victory at Antrim, were finally obliged to cede the val. to the demesne wall of Lord Ferrard's residence, Antrim Cas- ley of the Six-mile-water to the victorious arms of the Clantle, an antique castellated mansion, seated boldly over the river Hugh-Buide, whose representative, the present Earl O'Neill, in a small park laid out in the taste of Louis XIV., from the still holds large possessions in the territory thus recovered by terraced walks and stately avenues of which there are many his ancestors. beautiful views of the surrounding scenery:

With respect to the origin of the place, there is little to be In point of historical interest, there are but two events con- said beyond the fact, that, like that of most of our prorinnected with Antrim worthy of any particular note-the defeat cial towns, it was ecclesiastical. The only remnant of the of the insurgents here in the rebellion of 1798, on which occa- ancient foundation is the round tower, which still stands in sion the late Earl O'Neill lost his life; and a great battle be- excellent preservation about half a mile north of the town. tween the English and native Irish, in the reign of Edward The name is properly. “ Aen-druim” signifying “the single III., hitherto little spoken of in history, but forming one in a hill,” or one mount. series of events which exercised a great influence over the destinies of this country. Very soon after the first invasion of Ulster by John de

A CHAPTER ON CURS. Courcy, the English power was established not only through-Without doubt I am a benevolent character : the grudge out the counties of Down and Antrim, but even over a large gratuitous to my nature is unknown: I never take offence portion of the present county of Londonderry, then called where no offence is given. Hence, on most animals I look the county of Coleraine. We find sheriffs regularly appointed with complacency-for most animals never intermeddle with for these counties, and the laws duly administered, down to the time of Edward III. The native Irish, who had been my comfort and on only a few with antipathy, for only a few pushed out by the advance of this early tide of civilization, so behave as to excite it. High up on the list of the lattertook up their abode west of the Bann, and in the billy county | I was going to say at the very top, but that pestering, pertiof Tyrone, from whence they watched the proceedings of their nacious Ay impudently alighting, through pure mischief alone, invaders, and, as opportunities from time to time presented themselves, crossed the intervening river and preyed” the on the tickle-tortured tip of—but he's gone—no, he's back English country. The district around Antrim was from its there now I have him under my hat at last- tut! he's out situation the one chiefly exposed to these incursions, and the again under the rim-up with the window and away with him! duty of defending it mainly devolved on the powerful sept of At the head, then, ay, at the very head-how my grievances the Savages, who at that time had extensive possessions in

come crowding on my brain !-I unhesitatingly place that the midland districts of Antrim, as well as in Down.

The most formidable of these incursions was that which thrice-confounded breed of curs, colleys, mongrels, or whattook place immediately after the murder of William de Burgho,

ever else they may be called, with which the rural regions of Earl of Ulster, who was assassinated by some malcontent this therein much-afflicted country are infested. The milk of English at the fords of Belfast, A. D. 1333. The earl had my humanity-yea, I may say the cream, for such it was with been a strenuous asserter of the English law, and had ren- me-has in respect to them been changed to very gall-an undered himself obnoxious to the turbulent nobles of the country mitigable hostility has possessed me, which-did not the scars by the severity with which he prohibited their adoption of of the wofully-remembered salting, scrubbing, scarifying, and Irish customs, which, strange to say, had always great frying (to say nothing of two months' maintenance of an hoscharms for the feudal lords of the English pale, arising proba- pital establishment of poultices and plasters), to which my bly from the greater facilities which the Brehon law afforded better leg was twice submitted, counsel me to mingle discrefor exacting exorbitant rents and services from their tenants. tion with my ire-would absolutely make me turn Don Quixote The immediate object of the assassins of the earl was to pre- for their extirpation. vent him carrying the full rigour of the law into operation Let flighty philosophers frolic as they list with the flimsy

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »