Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

The whole party left when the time, however, some indiscreet comregiment was ordered home, and rade let out the story, and Pat's commenced a series of adventures, indignation was, we understand, of such as must have been known to a very appalling kind.

He only many an officer who married about wished that M Corrigan and he the same period. Scarcely ever might meet before he died, and parted, Arthur and Violet visited then-Neptune's quos ego was nomany climes ; they knew the vicis- thing to it. They did meet many situdes of heat and cold, of pestil- years after, when Pat had taken to ence and scarcity, and of danger himself a wife (we believe it was and death, interspersed with bound- the little divil with the purtiest feet ing life and happy hours. Brune, in the world) who, in a dangerous as soon as he got work to do, made illness that followed the birth of his way in the profession, as people their first child, had bound Pat by had prophesied that he would. He a solemn obligation to abstain from is at this moment holding a high private encounters. 'Twas in India staff appointment, and known and that he met his quondam second, respected for his achievements and who was on the march through the character. There is plenty left in station where Pat's regiment lay. him, too, to do still greater things, As soon as they recognised each and win a still higher name, if the other, Major Shane broached the clouds which now darken the hori matter, which had lain heavy on zon should end in war, and oblige his heart for many a day; and the Great Britain to draw the sword. other, who had wellnigh forgotten His wife (she isn't Mrs Brune any it, said be believed something of longer) is, to our mind, who are not the sort did happen - he had a so young as we were, even a more slight recollection of it. fascinating person than was the If ye'd met me two years ago," Violet Arabin of old days; and the said Pat, whose brogue had acquired comparison is not made with a additional richness by time and vague shadow of the past, for there matrimony, “ye'd surely have had sits beside her another Violet, whose to confront me in the field; but at every look or gesture brings up a present there are raisons, don't ye crowd of recollections, and trans see, and I'll lave ye to th' upbraidports one back to youth, raising the ing of your own conscience: we'll shades of Crystal Mount and old not foight, ye know; but as the adventures, and half-forgotten faoes, priests and philosophers tell ye, and merry days. The youngsters that when ye're debarred from one appear to think Miss Brune a more amusement, ye shouldn't sigh over charming person than her mother : it, but take the next best that offers, they will get wiser some day. come and dine wid us at six; we'll Arthur has a son a captain in his talk over ould toimes. Mind six,” father's regiment, and another is said Major Shane, at parting; and preparing for his competitive exa then he added, in a confidential mination with a view to entering the tone, “I'll show ye the foinest little service.

boy seven months ould ye iver seen, Pat Shane was purposely kept out and give ye a glass of clar't that of the way for some time after the hasn't its aiqual out of the same duel, by being left in doubt as to bin !” Melhado's fate. As long as any of Though Pat had forsworn duels, those connected with the affair re he was under no restriction as to mained in the regiment, all who the enemies of his country, as Siks, were cognisant of the catastrophe Ameers, Affghans, Russians, and behaved most honourably, and never Pandies knew to their cost. The let Pat know that Melhado was London Gazette made frequent menunburt; though, of course, it was tion of the services which Major, known that he didn't die. After a and afterwards Colonel, Cornelius

Shane (his name wasn't Pat at all) young lady of colour, who happened had performed. He is at this pre- to be about the barracks, was called sent writing unemployed, and sur- in and charged with the demolition. rounded by Shanes male and female It was to be a cutting in pieces as of all sizes in Ireland, where he complete as that which overtook likes to talk of the many scenes King Agag in Gilgal. The first that he has gone through-Indian squeeze of the scissors showed why and Crimean experiences not a few; the handling of the victim was not but it would seem that the old pleasant work — the original maJamaica life is, upon the whole, the terial had attracted innumerable favourite reminiscence; for when he foreign impurities not worth mengets back that far, he generally ex- tioning. As Pat Shane remarked, claims, "Ah, them was the days, “it may have been felt, but cannot after all."

be described.” Contemplation of Tom Gervaise returned to Eng- the convict was, however, interland, but he never broke himself of rupted by a heartrending spectacle, the bad habits he had contracted in which appeared at the window; the West Indies, and they killed the outraged Tom himself, standing him before long.

on tiptoe to get a full view of the Though he died at an early age, proceedings, his head bare to the he survived by many years his sun, his eyes upturned, his hands cherished hat, which, in the pleni- lifted on high, and an expression tude of its rich absorptions, was of the strongest emotion on his removed by cruel and violent hands, face, while, with imprecations of while yet warm from the head of the foulest character, he demanded its owner. It had been felt in the the surrender of his tile. Even regiment that neither gods nor men this harrowing appeal was insufficould longer tolerate its appearance; cient to shake the firmness of those and one day, while Tom was eating righteous judges. Miss Graves, imor dozing, or otherwise profoundly movable as Atropos, plied her reoccupied, the hat was surreptitiously lentless shears, and the disintegraabstracted and arraigned before a tion of the hat was accomplished. kind of Venetian Council or Holy It is nothing to say that the hatter Vehme, summarily assembled in who made it would not have known one of Knox's lower rooms. We, it; that recognition was long ago the writer, assisted at this solem- impossible. Its destruction was nity. The court being assembled like that of ancient Babylon-it and sworn, the doors were locked, had become heaps. And the court and the lower sashes of the windows summoned Gonsalvo de Cordova to secured to prevent profane intru- gather together the pieces with his sion or attempts at rescue. Then besom, and commanded him that the unhappy hat was brought in on they should be burned with fire, the point of a stick (tongs being and their ashes scattered to the scarce in that land) and deposited four winds of heaven ! with much ceremony, and in impos- It was many months before Tom ing silence, upon the table. Judg- became resigned to his loss; and, ment did not pass by acclamation, as long as he refused to kiss the because such a proceeding would rod, the members of the Vehme have been incompatible with the kept beyond the reach of his stick. gravity of the members and the He was comforted at last; and, as greatness of the occasion ; but a regarded earthly retribution, the unanimous verdict was recorded, conclave escaped vengeance. But and instant execution prescribed. there is one of the judges who is, None of the judges could of course we know, still expiating, and to act as finisher of the law, and there expiate, the stern fulfilment of his were reasons why none of them duty. Oft when we ourself retire wished for that office; therefore a to rest, refreshed with oysters and

a

porter, with a Welsh rabbit, or with he might fulfil two important dewell-spiced kidneys and brandy- signs. One was to "jine relijan," i.e. punch, ere we have composed our to become attached to one of the thoughts, comes the shade of old denominations of Christians; the Tom Gervaise, with his stick in other was to open a mart for the his hand, and, in terrible accents, sale of wine and spirits and malt he demands his hat. In conscious liquors. This emporium was conimpotence and terror, speechless tained in a wooden hut, upon wheels, and immovable, we shrink within about eight feet square, which was our narrowest limits, and desire usually anchored somewhere near that the earth may open and cover Up Park Camp, in order that the us from the dreadful presence. But troops, as well as Mr Chitty's rethere is no escape for us in earth ligious connection (which was or heaven, or in the waters under thirsty one), might reap the benefit the earth. Tom seizes on our quails of the establishment. One corner ing body, and, laughing fearfully, of it, about five feet by three, formsprings with us to the realms of ed his private apartment, where, space. And we are in a tandem surrounded by a numerous family, fashioned from a thunder-cloud, he and his fourteenth wife live in whirled along by dark and dread- great comfort and respectability. ful steeds. Old Tom is on the box, The last Mrs C., aged eighteen, his stick exchanged for a mighty was an interesting catechumen, who whip, his hatless head shining like overlooked Nick's age in contema celestial globe, and studded with plating the rigid principles which pimples of all magnitudes for stars. he enounced, and his high estimaHis weed blazes with the fire of tion in the religious world. He is Ætna, and ever on us he turns a an elder of his communion, and look of undying revenge. Lashing devotes whatever time he can spare his weird coursers with indefatig- from his secular occupation to de able wrath, he causes them to hurry nunciations of " de world, de flesh, us ten thousand and again ten and de debil.” He professes to thousand stages through space — “ lub eberybody, 'pecially de onward and onward, reaching no- saints," spite of the old-hyænaish where—though the whip, between grin which still appears frequently the lashes, is pointed as towards upon his venerable countenance. some awful goal. We are con- He it was who once announced to sumed with thirst, and yet, just his meeting that “on Toosday nex' beyond our fingers' reach, runs a dere will be a callectian for de mincool and limpid stream which we istry of dis church—God willing may not touch. And on we go, and weather permitting; and on and on, through horror and despair, Wednesday whether or no.” Nick's till, struggling, shrieking, we awake, crown is silvered now with the and, behold, it was a dream ! rime of age. He must be approach

Old Clutterbuck, considering the ing ninety years, and will probably liberty we have taken with his live to be a hundred, or even more. name and liquor, certainly deserves Like all eminent people, he has a word at parting. He left the more than once been assailed by service without further accession the venom of detraction. Graceless of rank, and took to civil employ- sinners and envious saints have ment. There is, in one of the mid- hinted ungenerously at some thorns land counties, a natty, thin, erect, in the elder's flesh, and once or gentlemanly, bald-headed chief of twice arose an imputation of serious constabulary, who might be thought backsliding. But these Mr Chitty to resemble him.

regarded with his wonted superiorMr Nicholas Chitty quitted the ity, and we have the pleasure of service of Mr Arabin a year or reporting that he has lived them two after Violet's marriage, that down, and is now in the enjoyment

of all that which should accompany she appeared most devoted. He was old age, including the ability to repeatedly solicited to recount the take a pint of rum at a sitting with wrongs and atrocities of which he perfect steadiness.

had been the victim, and large sums Gonsalvo de Cordova, at his par- were offered for his simple appearticular request, came to England ance at indignation meetings, where when Knox, his master, returned other people undertook to speak for home. It was the poor fellow's for- him, and to recount his unparalleled tune to reach the mother country sufferings, and set forth his divine at a time when the negro question perfections. Poor Gonsalvo, howwas exciting considerable interest; ever, who was both truthful and and as his sad air and whining meek, gave great offence to his invoice were well calculated to arouse tending sympathisers, and omitted compassion, he became at once an the tide in his affairs which proobject of great interest in the neigh- mised to lead on to fortune. Had bourhood of Knox's residence. The his invention been more acute, or enthusiasm of one fair creature, a had he possessed a little more immaid-servant, was so intense as to pudence, he might have been the force her pity into love; and she centre of attraction to thousands, finally, after taking very active and received contributions without measures to that end, bestowed on end. Mrs De C., who perceived the the great Captain her person and opening, used all her influence to worldly goods, amid the plaudits induce him to make use of it; but of a liberal and sympathising com in vain. Whereupon she attempted munity. They retired with great to do a little business on her own eclat to a little shop set up by join- account as the loving wife of a ing the bride's savings to a dona- negro, too heart-broken to speak tion contributed by Knox — and for himself, or even to meet the everything seemed to promise a public gaze. This vicarial appearhappy career. Unfortunately, how- ance, however, by no means satisfied ever, other questions began to oc- the prevailing appetite, which was cupy the public mind; and Mrs De stimulated to a frightful degree. Cordova, finding her spouse no

The lady, therefore, could only longer an object of great attention, bewail the loss of this splendid began to flag in her devotion to chance, and, in the second place, him. She even got, at last, to open abuse and torment poor Gonsalvo expressions of regret for her folly more than ever she had done. in marrying him, and to upbraid. When much irritated, as she not ings on his colour and nation. She unfrequently was, she would buffet would set forth the great matches the poor fellow unmercifully. More she might have made, and how she than once he ran to his neighbours had been fool enough to throw her- for protection, and thus gave them self away on a stinking blackamoor opportunities of exhibiting their who didn't know the value of her. sensibility, which he had denied to This caprice nearly broke the Cap- the public. All took the husband's tain's heart; and, if he was melan- part, and so did not soothe the choly before, he became now a temper of the wife. One day, havmonument of woe. After he had ing read an account of a less scrupusuffered some time in this way, on lous black man, who at a monster a sudden there appeared an Ameri- meeting had realised a heavy sum, can work which raised up for black she went home perfectly furious, people a sympathy which they had and, commencing with abuse, she never excited before. Once more lashed herself from injury to injury did Gonsalvo become an object of till she ended in laying her poor interest to the whole vicinity ; spouse senseless with a poker. So whereupon, we are happy to say, great was the general excitement his wife's affection returned, and at this outrage that the perpetrator

was given into custody by those her death Gonsalvo disposed of the who now took the matter out of little business, and gladly resumed the injured husband's hands. As the service of his old “Massa," with the officers bore her off, she turned, whom he still continues, melancholy with all the naïveté of a Cincinnatus, and pensive, but happier than in to poor Gonsalvo, saying, "I'm his married life. afraid your vile throat must remain Knox kept very fairly to his reuncut for a short time!" Some- solution concerning gambling, and what to her astonishment, she was now allows himself only an occacommitted to prison for the assault, sional quiet rubber. He, too, is on and never came to trial, for her un the shelf; for, imagining that the governable temper brought on a service promised nothing in the violent fever, which destroyed her way of promotion, he left it just Gonsalvo, when he heard of her before things began to mend, and illness, obtained permission to see took to lounging about a club and her, in the hope that he might be perpetrating small literature. He able in some sort to assuage her can rejoice in the fortune and sufferings. He was admitted to honours of his old comrades, partiher cell during a lucid interval, but cularly those of his true and tried so great was her rage at the sight of friend Arthur Brune, of whom and him, that it brought on a paroxysm his delightful wife he is frequently from which she never rallied. Be a guest. His writing, though of fore her death she raved fearfully, an unpretending character, someand was accustomed to shriek out, times enjoys immense honour. He “Wherever I go, they can't be now and then-hem! he now and blacker than that rascal.” After then gets a paper into Blackwood.

CHRONICLES OF CARLINGFORD: SALEM CHAPEL.

PART 1.- CHAPTER 1.

TOWARDS the west end of Grove tached boxes, each two storeys high, Street, in Carlingford, on the each fronted by a little flower-plotshabby side of the street, stood clean, respectable, meagre, little haa red brick building, presenting bitations, which contributed most a pinched gable terminated by a largely to the ranks of the congregacurious little belfry, not intended tion in the Chapel. The big houses for any bell, and looking not un- opposite, which turned their backs like a handle to lift up the edi- and staircase windows to the street, fice by to the public observation. took little notice of the humble DisThis was Salem Chapel, the only senting community. Twice in the Dissenting place of worship in Car- winter, perhaps, the Misses Hemlingford. It stood in a narrow mings, mild evangelical women, on strip of ground, just as the little whom the late rector — the Lowhouses which flanked it on either Church rector, who reigned before side stood in their gardens, except the brief and exceptional incumthat the enclosure of the chapel was bency of the Rev. Mr Proctor—had flowerless and sombre, and showed bestowed much of his confidence, at the farther end a few sparsely- would cross the street, when other scattered tombstones—unmeaning profitable occupations failed them, slabs, such as the English mourner to hear a special sermon on a Sunloves to inscribe his sorrow on. On day evening. But the Misses Hemeither side of this little tabernacle mings were the only representatives were the humble houses little de- of anything which could, by the

« AnteriorContinuar »