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The Irish village represented in our engraving, is that of Moveen, in the county of Clare, a place of so little note that we give it merely as the type of many others in the sister isle. "Ireland," says a recent writer, "is now dotted with ruined villages, and filled with a starving population, besieging the doors of crowded workhouses, and creeping into the halls and chambers of the deserted mansions of the nobility and gentry. A gentleman's mansion turned into a poorhouse, is a fit emblem of the decay brought on all classes. The system intended to relieve the poor, by making the landlords responsible for their welfare, has at once made it the interest of the landlords to get rid of them." This they do to a very serious extent by "evictions"—not only turning the poor cottagers out of doors, but destroying, or at all events dismantling their cottages, many of which are stone-built, and calculated to stand for generations. In some cases where no rent can be obtained, these proceedings are considered justifiable, but in many they are arbitrary and gratuitous. One poor fellow, who, with his ancestors, had resided on the same spot for more than a century, and whose rent was paid up, according to his own statement " was pitched out on the roadside, and saw ten other houses, with his own,
levelled at one fell swoop on the spot. None of them were mud cabins, but all capital stone-built houses."
"We do not profess to understand the reasons or the remedy for these grievances; but merely give our present engraving as a touching testimony that " such things are."
"IT IS ONLY AN ADVENTURE!"
"Whoever can remember the delightful anticipation of a first journey, will understand the joyous hilarity with which two young ladies one day joined a party of older friends, at the appointed rendezvous, previous to commencing a brief tour, which was to comprehend several varieties of sea and land travelling. It was before the era of railroads, so that the principal coach offices in the metropolis exhibited bustling scenes early on a summer's morning, notwithstanding the heavy hearts which were sometimes the burden of anxious passengers by the long stages.
On this particular occasion, however, every countenance wore a smile; and as greetings and partings were exchanged among the travelling party and the friends who had accompanied them to the starting point, the portly coachman looked as if he expected merriment from his charge, as well as bright skies, and smooth roads for his steeds.
"Well, Marianne!" said her papa to a fine blooming girl, "I suppose you are prepared for every disaster which may occur on our trip!"
"Oh, I expect all sorts of adventures, of course, papa! hut everything will be delightful!"
""What, the coach upsetting, or the steam-boat exploding?"
"I was not exactly thinking of such sort of events; but a few troubles, or a good storm, I think would all be adventures; and a journey without adventures would be rather tame, I fancy. Do not you, Edith?" she continued, turning to her quiet companion.
"I am not quite so romantic as you are, dear," replied Edith, "but a few incidents would certainly be charming." They agreed to watch for these "incidents," and endure with philosophic calmness, every mischance which could be construed into an " adventure."
These young people had been wisely trained; and instead, therefore, of frittering their mental powers in conjecturing what might possibly befal them on their travels, they talked but little, and went on enjoying each passing moment, marking the beautiful scenery through which they rode; and listening to their parents' converse, culled interesting information respecting the varied events which had transpired in olden days in different localities, from time to time visible, whilst the changing aspect of the landscape recalled and elucidated the instructions of their drawing-master, or the sharp outline of the hills, and peculiar wares displayed in the shop windows of successive towns, reminded them of lessons they had learned, and lectures they had heard, during their busy school days.
What ample stores of valuable materials are opened to observant enquirers, in a judiciously managed journey!" The wise man's eyes are in his head;" saith Solomon. Why are they not always used to good purpose?
Nothing remarkable occurred on this day's progress, except they felt woefully tired, and were heartily glad at night to find a resting place at an hotel, which was, however, so much crowded, that the young people were obliged to content themselves with very inferior accommodation, in rooms not generally destined for company. Marianne was, truth to tell, well satisfied with this termination to a day, which had otherwise been too smooth and agreeable to call forth any effort of fortitude, and as she toiled up the narrow staircase, and surveyed the antiquated toilette, and clumsy furniture of their dormitory, she remarked complacently—
"Well, sleeping in this little den is only an adventure, after our happy day's travelling."
The next morning the party separated; some to visit old friends in the town, others to " see the lions;" agreeing to meet at the hour for embarking on the short voyage contemplated for their next stage. But by that time, the wind had sprung up, and gathering clouds foreboded a storm. Nevertheless the captain determined to pursue his course, and the travellers saw no adequate reason for changing their plan of accompanying him.
"'Twill be only an adventure!" reiterated Marianne, as they tossed about in the little boat, that conveyed them to the ship. "If papa thinks it right to go on, I need not be anxious!" So they scrambled up the swaying steps, and amidst torrents of rain, and the rolling of the vessel, stumbled across the deck, till at length, finding their way to snug berths in commodious cabins, all seemed interesting at least, if not the most delightful experience of novel scenes and circumstances.
It was not Edith's first voyage, and she knew enough of the perils of the ocean to apprehend all the possible calamities to which they might be exposed; but mentally committing herself and her friends to the watchful care of Him who never slumbereth nor sleepeth, she addressed herself tranquilly to repose.
The night was so tempestuous that they made but little way, and repeated fits of sea sickness disturbed their slumbers. When morning dawned, the steam boat was at anchor in a lovely bay.
"Sweet fields arrayed in living grcen—" reflected the sun's rays from the drops of rain which yet bespangled every leaf. Man and beast were going forth in peace and gladness to their daily toil, while Marianne's papa calling the young friends to his side, read as they paced the deck, the ninety-third Psalm; whose appropriate beauty had never before appeared so clear and striking as now, when the ear had so lately been disturbed with the sound of "many waters;" in spirit they could hearken to that still small voice which had once quelled the raging billows, with the authoritative tone of a Creator.
A succession of squalls, with intervals of exquisite weather, chequered the day; while vessels dismasted, or detached portions of wreck, drifting by, bore testimony to the fearful devastation of the past night; nor had their own barque escaped unscathed. A loud report had announced the rending of the sails to ribbons, as the seamen phrased it, and the probable delay of their arrival at their desired haven occasioned a report of scarcity of provisions!
At last, with their attire utterly spoiled, and long after the usual period, our voyagers were landed, wet, hungry, and very worn, at a large sea port, on the Sabbath afternoon, just as the various congregations were gathering for worship.