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timating that the Fitzgeralds, to whom the name of Geraldine is appropriate, were of the ancient houses of O'Neal or O'Toole.
And now, in the midst of all this happiness, the clouds of disappointment and sorrow appear. The widow Toole dies, and is carried two hundred miles to be buried in the tomb of king O'Toole, her ancestor. She is no sooner laid by the side of her progenitor, in the Re-feast or royal sepuchre of the Seven Churches, than her ghost appears to her daughter Berrett, who thereupon, without ailment or notice, dies, as the Americans express it, ' slick right away.'
Misfortunes never come alone—Maurice and the Priest had a common friend, an officer (he seemed to mortal eyes) in the Irish brigade, in the French service, but the gods, Father O'Brian, and Mr. Parnell, know him to be Hi Sullivan Bere, king of Kerry. Maurice had saved this young prince from drowning by the upsetting of his boat in Bautry bay, and of course became his devoted friend. The prince (or his father, the late king Sullivan) had lost a law-suit against one Squire Dale, which so exasperated the royal youth, that, about the time of Berrett's death, he came from France with Una, (both of course in love and plighted to each other,) with the noble design of raising a rebellion in Ireland, in the hopes of recovering by war the land which he had lost by law. Maurice and the Priest do not quite approve such proceedings, but as their friend is resolved upon having a little disturbance, they consider it a point of honour to accompany him. On Hi Sullivan's arrival amongst his clan, he assembles them for his patriotic enterprize; but while he is endeavouring, by Maurice's mediation, to extort from Mr. Dale 5000/. on condition of suspending hostilities, the mob, not understanding such shilly-shally practices, set fire to the house (more hibernico) and burn Mr. and Mrs. Dale and all their family alive. Although this was a little mistake in which Hi Sullivan had no direct share, he having intended to commit high treason only, and not arson and murder, yet on the general evidence of the facts and the particular evidence of some false witnesses, who swore that he had actually ordered them to burn Mr. Dale's house, king Hi Sullivan was convicted and hanged, to the great sorrow and indignation of Maurice, Father O'Brian, and Mr. Parnell, who consider his punishment as a most brutal and infamous instance of the oppression of the Irish government.
This little accident renders a residence in Ireland not over agreeable to queen Una, who thereupon goes to Spain, where she is immediately introduced to their catholic majesties, who take her into great favour, and acknowledge at once, and without reference even to the Herald's College, her rank of princess.
'" When we reached the circle where the queen sat, I made a slender der curtsey, preserving myself from that mean assiduousness, which characterises courtiers both male and female.—She said, in Spanish, "we are obliged to the princess Hi Sullivan for the honour she does our court," and seemed as if she would have said more, but was restrained by the forms of this most formal court; but these few words were accompanied by a smile of great sweetness.
'" A few days after, theConde O'Donnell told me, that I had formed the conversation of the whole court, and that my beauty, and the ease and dignity of my manner, were the admiration of all: this interested me very little, but not so when he proceeded to say, that the queen was charmed with me, said openly that there was no lady in the Spanish or French court to be compared with me, and had desired the Coude to request, that I would pay her a morning visit."'—p. 295, 296.
To this and similar letters her highness now subscribes herself—
Princess Hi Sullivan Bere,
—born Hi Nial.'"—p. 311.
This recognition of the Hi Nials by the court of Spain gives, of course, prince Maurice great satisfaction, which is much increased by John Headcroft, the farmer's son, whom he had formerly met in England, dying and leaving him a legacy of one hundred thousand pounds! Riches and honour however cannot make man immortal.—Poor Maurice dies, and his three children, with the vellum pedigree in gold letters and John Headcroft's hundred thousand pounds, are sent to Spain to the guardianship of the 'Princess hi Sullivan Bere—born Hi Nial.'
'The boys,, in right of their father, had the title of Prince acknowledged, and the rank of Grandees of Spain superadded. And they and Geraldine received much courtesy from the Spanish court.'—p. 317.
The queen of Spain took as great a fancy to Geraldine as she had done to her Highness of Hi Sullivan; and having resolved to see her well married, her majesty, with a delicacy of sentiment and an easy familiarity peculiar to the court of Spain, had a list of all the unmarried grandees made out, and the grandees hereupon were drawn up in a line in the drawing-room, in order that Geraldine might pick out a husband for herself.
'" When Geraldine appeared, the queen with little ceremony announced her intentions; and telling Geraldine with many compliments, that there was not a single young lord of the court but what aspired to obtain her hand, bade her choose whomever she would prefer for a husband; " Here is a list of their names," said her majesty smiling, " but as I believe you have scarcely deigned to know them by name, I have assembled them all here, in case you know their faces better."
'" Geraldine replied without raising her eyes from the ground; "your majesty's commands are sufficient to excuse in me what otherwise would be deemed unusual presumption. In obedience to these I
name name the duke D'Uuzeda, if his grace will condescend to accept tbt poor offer of my duty."
'" Here Geraldine's limbs nearly failed her; but the queen herself supported her, and cried to the duke, who rushed forward, "stop, D'Uuzeda, perhaps here is some mistake, and I do not mean that the princess Hi Nial should be a victim to her obedience."
• " • Do you know,' continued she to Geraldine, that the duke ii absolutely without fortune, and therefore never pretended to your hand?'
'"' No, Madam, I did not know that circumstance.'
'"' Have you ever seen the duke's face?'
'- ' No, Madam.'
4 " ' How came you then to know any thing about him?'
4 "' I saw,' said Geraldine, after some hesitation, and sinking in lie queen's arms, ' 1 saw his name in a book.""—p. 327—329.
And so the princess Geraldine Hi Nial became duchess of D'Uuzeda, (we follow Mr. Parnell's orthography,) and after a visit paid by the duke, duchess, princesses and grandees, to Father O'Brian in Rahery, this sensible and instructive little tale ibrought to a conclusion.
We have been so full in our account of the story, that we have little room for the Irish observations of which Mr. Parnell has made it the vehicle.—Some of them, however, must be noticed.
The work is dedicated, in a strain of what we should have thought very fulsome flattery, to the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland; but we doubt whether any flattery will reconcile them to Father O'Brian's confession, (p. 2o.) that he was for the greater part of his life ' but a sorry apostle,very little fitted to benefit his flock,' till he happened to become accidentally possessed of ' a number of religious books,' which, though written by Protestants, made a deep and salutary impression on him, and opened his mind to a true sense of that religion which he had so long unworthily professed. This avowal, put into the mouth of a popish priest, is as natural and rational as all the rest of the work. Nor is the following unimportant, considering that Mr. Parnell professes to be a partial and favourable observer of the character and conduct of the Irish Catholic clergy.
'Indeed,' says Father O'Brian, (speaking of a miserable female quack who pretended to effect cures,) ' if I had chosen to act the religious impostor, I might have spoilt all Rose M'Cormick's trade; people with agues, and fits, scrofula, and white swellings, came from all parts to have the Bible read over them, or to have me stroke the seat of the complaint; but it always seemed impious to me to allow these poor creatures to believe, that sinners like themselves could work miracles, even though a cure might sometimes be wrought by the strong agency of their own fancies; and it's being so Generally practised by priests may give colour to our enemies, to say we do not care by what means we keep up the influence of our clergy over their ignorant flock.'—p. 24.
Thus, if we are to credit our author, imposition and impiety (these are hard words, Mr. Parnell) have been generally practised by that very body to whom he dedicates his work in terms of lavish panegyric! so lavish indeed, that his adulation runs away with his judgment and memory, and almost, it would seem, with his creed. Mr. Parnell, a member of the legislature, must have sworn over and over again that he believes' the sacrifice of the mass' and other forms of the Roman Catholic church to be superstitious and idolatrous, and yet he assures these priests, whose first duty is the performance of these superstitious and idolatrous rites, that the domestic nomination of their bishops, 'a principle already happily begun, must raise their church to an eminence for piety and Vd\vnt far above the protestant or any other church.'—p. ix. If Mr. Parnell believes, as he says, that the Irish papist church (for he seems to distinguish it from the Church of Rome) is, in ' simplicity,''purity,' and 'piety,' far above the Church of England, why does he not reconcile himself to that transcendant church? why, at least, does he not tell us how he contrives with these sentiments to subscribe to the words superstitious and idolatrous at the table of the House of Commons? We meddle not with the spirit or the expressions of these oaths and declarations; we may perhaps have questioned their policy; but we were not wholly convinced of their inadequacy to fulfill even their own object, till we read the profession of faith of this conscientious senator, and found that they do not exclude from a seat in parliament, one who prefers the Roman catholic church to the church of England.
If, on the other hand, Mr. Parnell be really a protestant, and these warm praises of the popish church be the mere flattery of a dedicator, we cannot applaud either his good taste or his sincerity; and (what he will perhaps consider a greater misfortune) we believe that such of the popish priests and freeholders of Wicklowshire as may chance to read his book, will give him very little thanks for his pains. What strain of general encomium, however profuse, can reconcile the Roman Catholic priesthood to such degrading confessions as Mr. Parnell has put into the mouth of their representative Father O'Brien; or palliate, in the eyes of the Irish laity, such charges as Mr. Parnell has produced against their morals, their manners, their intellects, and their disposition!
'What bunglers!' he exclaims,' what idle, careless bunglers,' are our farmers compared with the English!—There is a part of an English farming man's life which an Irishman does not live; that is between four and six o'clock in the morning. Every body there rises before four in
VOL. xxI. No. Xlii. it H the
the winter: in Ireland no one gets up till half past five in summer, nor till half past seven in winter; partly from the laziness that sticks to their bones, partly that they think candlelight too expensive, not knowing that light and labour make the two halves of a farmer's fortune.'—p. 5 J, 52. 'The English have even a variety of tools that we have no notion of. We have no such thing as a yoke to carry milk pails; though we burn so much land, we have no breast-plough for a man to cut sods; we have not even such things as fencing gloves, but with us, when a man wants to cut a hedge, he puts his left hand into his hat, as the best means of handling the thorns.'—p. 54, 55.
This picture of Irish laziness and bungling is bad enough, but what follows is still worse.
'I was surprised at the difference between an English and an Irish fair: at the latter, every species of the grossest fraud is practised; and a man can scarcely do business to any extent, from the perpetual wrangles he is engaged in to avoid imposition; but in an English fair, words are binding oaths, and business passes on quietly and speedily. Another great and pure feature they (the English) possess, which it grieves my heart to know how sadly we (the Irish) want,—Their women never drink. Almost every vice of our character I could confess here, but I should have died with shame to have allowed this.'—p. 58.
But worst of all are the following observations, which we copy because Mr. Parnell lays great stress upon his practical knowledge of his countrymen; we confess however that we copy with reluctance, (not to say disgust,) observations which appears to us grossly injurious to the Irish character, and which, had they been penned by an Englishman, we have little doubt would have been reprobated, even by Mr. Parnell himself, as libels on his unhappy country.
'I staid to mind the sheep, and thought on the different ways in which quarrels were managed here and in Ireland: and in this instance I cannot but allow, that the English show themselves as generous as we are base, cowardly and savage. For in England a man always depends upon his own courage, he never tries to raise a party or faction to join him in fighting; whereas it is only backed by a mob of friends that an Irishman will fight.—In England too it would be reckoned a monstrous shame and scandal for two men to fall upon one, or to strike a man when on the ground; but in Ireland, twenty men will basely fall upon one, and it is when they have him down on the ground, that all their savage revenge gluts itself, by trying to beat him to death.—In England too a man disdains to use any other weapon but those that nature has given him—his clenched fists: but an Irish combatant never thinks himself fit for action without a stick, generally loaded with lead; or will seize a knife, to have his revenge.'—p. 63, 6'4.
For these perverse, and (as our author represents them) indigenous, and national dispositions, it is absurd to pretend, in the