« AnteriorContinuar »
MISS EDGEWORTII — IRISH IIEART AND FANCY.
says she, here's the gold for you, don't be stirring your dresser. And where's your own gown and cloak, Grace ? says I. But, I beg your pardon, sir; may be I'm tiring you?' – Lord Colambre encouraged her to go on. — Where's your gown and cloak, Grace?' says I. ‘Gone,' says she. • The cloak was too warm and heavy, and I don't doubt, mother, but it was that helped to make me faint this morning. And as to the gown, sure I've a very nice one here, that you spun for me yourself, mother; and that I prize above all the gowns that ever came out of a loom; and that Brian said became me to his fancy above any gown ever he see me wear, and what could I wish for more?'Now, I'd a mind to scold her for going to sell the gown unknown'st to me; but I don't know how it was, I couldn't scold her just then,
so kissed her, and Brian the same; and that was what no man ever did before.—And she had a mind to be angry with him, but could not, nor ought not, says I; for he's as good as your husband now, Grace; and no man can part yees now, says I, putting their hands together.
Well, I never saw her look so pretty ; nor there was not a happier boy that minute on God's earth than my son, nor a happier mother than myself; and I thanked God that had given them to me; and down they both fell on their knees for my blessing, little worth as it was; and my heart's blessing they had, and I laid my hands upon them. It's the priest you must get to do this for you to-morrow, says I.'”– Vol. VI. p. 205–207.
Next morning they go up in high spirits to the castle, where the villanous agent denies his promise; and is laughing at their despair, when Lord Colambre is fortunately identified by Mrs. Raffarty, who turns out to be a sister of the said agent, and, like a god in epic poetry, turns agony into triumph!
We can make room for no more now, but the epistle of Larry Brady, the good-natured postboy, to his brother, giving an account of the return of the family to Clonbrony. If Miss Edgeworth had never written any other thing, this one letter must have placed her at the very top of our scale, as an observer of character, and a mistress in the simple pathetic. We give the greater part of this extraordinary production.
“My dear brother, -Yours of the 16th, enclosing the five-pound note for my father, came safe to hand Monday last ; and, with his thanks and blessing to you, he commends it to you herewith enclosed back again, on account of his being in no immediate necessity, nor likelihood to want in future, as you shall hear forthwith ; but wants you over, with all speed, and the note will answer for travelling charges ; for we can't enjoy the luck it has pleased God to give us, without yees : put the rest in your pocket, and read it when you've time.
RETURN OF THE ABSENTEES.
Now, cock up your ears, Pat! for the great news is coming, and the good. The master's come home-long life to him!-- and family come home yesterday, all entirely! The ould lord and the young lord, (ay, there's the man, Paddy!) and my lady, and Miss Nugent And I driv Miss Nugent's maid, that maid that was, and another; so I had the luck to be in it alone wid 'em, and see all, from first to last. And first, I must tell you, my young Lord Colambre remembered and noticed me the minute he lit at our inn, and condescended to beckon at me out of the yard to him, and axed me-Friend Larry,' says he, did you keep your promise?'—'My oath again the whiskey is it?'
My Lord, I surely did,' said I; which was true, as all the country knows I never tasted a drop since. "And I'm proud to see your honour, my lord, as good as your word too, and back again among us.' So then there was a call for the horses; and no more at that time passed betwix' my young lord and me, but that he pointed me out to the ould one, as I went off. I noticed and thanked him for it in my heart, though I did not know all the good was to come of it. Well no more of myself, for the present.
“ Ogh, it's I driv 'em well ; and we all got to the great gate of the park before sunset, and as fine an evening as ever you see; with the sun shining on the tops of the trees, as the ladies noticed the leaves changed, but not dropped, though so late in the season. I believe the leaves knew what they were about, and kept on, on purpose to welcom them; and the birds were singing; and I stopped whistling, that they might hear them : but sorrow bit could they hear when they got to the park gate, for there was such a crowd, and such a shout, as you never see—and they had the horses off every carriage entirely, and drew 'em home, with blessings, through the park. And, God bless 'em, when they got out, they didn't go shut themselves up in the great drawing-room, but went straight out to the tirrass, to satisfy the eyes and hearts that followed them. My lady laning on my young lord, and Miss Grace Nugent that was, the beautifullest angel that ever you set eyes on, with the finest complexion and sweetest of smiles, laning upon the ould lord's arm, who had his hat off, bowing to all, and noticing the old tenants as he passed by name. O, there was great gladness, and tears in the midst; for joy I could scarcely keep from myself.
“ After a turn or two upon the tirrass, my Lord Colambre quit his mother's arm for a minute, and he come to the edge of the slope, and looked down and through all the crowd for some one. "Is it the widow O'Neill, my lord ?' says I; "she's yonder, with the spectacles on her nose, betwixt her son and daughter, as usual.' Then my lord beckoned, and they did not know which of the tree would stir; and then he gave tree beckons with his own finger, and they all tree came fast enough to the bottom of the slope, forenent my lord ; and he went down and helped the widow up, (O, he's the true jantleman,) and brought 'em all tree up on the tirrass, to my lady and Miss Nugent; and I was up close after, that I might hear, which wasn't manners; but I couldn't help it; So what he said I don't well know, for I could not get near enough after all. But I saw my lady smile very kind, and take the
MISS EDGEWORTH - PARADISE REGAINED.
widow O'Neill by the hand, and then my Lord Colambre 'troduced Grace to Miss Nugent, and there was the word namesake, and something about a check curtains ; but whatever it was, they was all greatly pleased: then my Lord Colambre turned and looked for Brian, who had fell back, and took him with some commendation to my lord his father. And my lord the master said, which I didn't know till after, that they should have their house and farm at the ould rent ; and at the surprise, the widow dropped down dead; and there was a cry as for ten berrings. “Be qu'ite,' says I, “she's only kilt for joy ;' and I went and lift her up, for her son had no more strength that minute than the child new born ; and Grace trembled like a leaf, as white as the sheet, but not long, for the mother came to, and was as well as ever when I brought some water, which Niss Nugent handed to her with her own hand.
". That was always pretty and good,' said the widow, laying her hand upon Miss Nugent, “and kind and good to me and mine. That minute there was music from below. The blind harper, O'Neill, with his harp, that struck up Gracey Nugent!' And that finished, and my Lord Colambre smiling, with the tears standing in his eyes too, and the ould lord quite wiping his, I ran to the tirrass brink to bid O'Neill play it again; but as I run, I thought I heard a voice call Larry.
“ • Who calls Larry?' says I. “My Lord Colambre calls you, Larry,' says all at once ; and four takes me by the shoulders, and spins me round. There's my young lord calling you, Larry-run for your life.' So I run back for my life, and walked respectful, with my hat in my hand, when I got near. “Put on your hat, my father desires it,' says my Lord Colambre. The ould lord made a sign to that purpose, but was too full to speak. “Where's your father?' continues my young lord. 'He's very ould, my lord,' says I. 'I didn't ax you how ould he was,' says he; 'but where is he?' • He's behind the crowd below; on account of his infirmities he couldn't walk so fast as the rest, my lord,' says I ; ' but his heart is with you, if not his body.' 'I must have his body too : so bring him bodily before us ; and this shall be your warrant for so doing,' said my lord, joking. For he knows the natur of us, Paddy, and how we love a joke in our hearts, as well as if he had lived all his life in Ireland ; and by the same token will, for that rason, do what he pleases with us, and more may-be than a man twice as good, that never would smile on us.
“ But I'm telling you of my father. • I've a warrant for you, father,' says I; 'and must have you bodily before the justice, and my lord chief justice.' So he changed colour a bit at first; but he saw me smile. • And I've done no sin,' said he ; 'and, Larry, you may lead me now, as you led me all my life.' And up the slope he went with me, as light as fifteen; and when we got up, my Lord Clonbrony said, 'I am sorry an old tenant, and a good old tenant, as I hear you were, should have been turned out of your farm. •Don't fret, it's no great matter, my lord,' said my father. I shall be soon out of the way ; but if you would be so kind to speak a word for my boy here, and that I could afford, while the life is in me, to bring my other boy back out of banishment
HER IRISH, SO LOVEABLE !
“. Then,' says my Lord Clonbrony, 'I'll give you and your sons three lives, or thirty-one years, from this day, of your former farm. Return to it when you please.' 'And,' added my Lord Colambre, 'the flaggers, I hope, will be soon banished. O, how could I thank him-not a word could I proffer— but I know I clasped my two hands and prayed for him inwardly. And my father was dropping down on his knees, but the master would not let him; and obsarved, that posture should only be for his God! And, sure enough, in that posture, when he was out of sight, we did pray for him that night, and will all our days.
“But before we quit his presence, he call me back, and bid me write to my brother, and bring you back, if you've no objections to your own country. - So come, my dear Pat, and make no delay, for joy's not joy complate till you're in it - my father sends his blessing, and Peggy her love. The family entirely is to settle for good in Ireland ; and there was in the castle yard last night a bonfire made by my lord's orders of the ould yellow damask furniture, to plase my lady, my lord says. And the drawing-rooms, the butler was telling me, is new hung; and the chairs, with velvet, as white as snow, and shaded over with natural flowers, by Miss Nugent. -Oh! how I hope what I guess will come true, and I've rason to believe it will, for I dream't in my bed last night, it did. But keep yourself to yourself - that Miss Nugent, (who is no more Miss Nugent, they say, but Miss Reynolds, and has a new-found grandfather, and is a big heiress, which she did not want in my eyes, nor in my young lord's), I've a notion, will be sometime, and may be sooner than is expected, my Lady Viscountess Colambre---so haste to the wedding! And there's another thing: they say the rich ould grandfather's coming over ;- and another thing, Pat, you would not be out of the fashion. And you see it's growing the fashion, not to be an Absentee!”
If there be any of our readers who is not moved with delight and admiration in the perusal of this letter, we must say, that we have but a poor opinion either of his taste or his moral sensibility, and shall think all the better of ourselves, in future, for appearing tedious in his eyes. For our own parts, we do not know whether we envy the author most, for the rare talent she has shown in this description, or for the experience by which its materials have been supplied. She not only makes us know and love the Irish nation far better than any other writer, but seems to us inore qualified than most others to promote the knowledge and the love of mankind.
Waverley, or 'Tis Sixty Years Since. In three volumes 12mo.
pp. 1112. Third Edition. Edinburgh, 1814.*
It is wonderful what genius and adherence to nature will do, in spite of all disadvantages. Here is a thing obviously very hastily, and, in many places, somewhat
* I have been a good deal at a loss what to do with these famous novels of Sir Walter. On the one hand, I could not bring myself to let this collection go forth, without some notice of works which, for many years together, had occupied and delighted me more than any thing else that ever came under my critical survey: While, on the other, I could not but feel that it would be absurd, and in some sense almost dishonest, to fill these pages with long citations from books which, for the last twenty-five years, have been in the hands of at least fifty times as many readers as are ever likely to look into this publication - and are still as familiar to the generation which has last come into existence, as to those who can yet remember the sensation produced by their first appearance. In point of fact I was informed, but the other day, by Mr. Cadell, that he had actually sold not less than sixty thousand volumes of these extraordinary productions, in the course of the preceding year! and that the demand for them, instead of slackening —had been for some time sensibly on the increase. In these circumstances I think I may safely assume that their contents are still so perfectly known as not to require any citations to introduce such of the remarks originally made on them as I may now wish to repeat. And I have therefore come to the determination of omitting almost all the quotations, and most of the detailed abstracts which appeared in the original reviews; and to retain only the general criticism, and character, or estimate of each performance — together with such incidental observations as may have been suggested by the tenor or success of these wonderful productions. By this course, no doubt, a sad shrinking will be effected in the primitive dimensions of the articles which are here reproduced; and may probably give to what is retained samething of a naked and jejune appearance. If it should be so, I can only say that I do not see how I could have helped it: and after all it may not be altogether without interest to see, from a contemporary record, what were the first impressions produced by the appearance of this new luminary on our horizon; while the secret of