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from the scene of action; and it must every advantage which the diversity of be presumed that this post was considered ground afforded him. At one time meof importance, as orders were given to re- nacing his pursuers—at another, maneutain it throughout the day. On removal vering to avoid a conflict; but on all ocof the British dragoons, the brigade-major casions sustaining that confidence amongst replaced them by a squadron of yeoman his men, which rendered them insensible cavalry; and in conformity with his duty, to their own weakness. He would halt at and the command of his superior, the re- intervals his wearied companions, to take quisite disposals were made for maintaining breath ; and in the face of the enemy the position. The officer now in com- amuse them with humorous and sarcastic mand had a stake in the country, and it observations on the order and discipline of must consequently be inferred, a more the “ valourous dragoons!" who uniformly than ordinary interest in its internal secu- reined back the moment he presented the rity. But it is to be feared that, like many unerring Shelmalier. of these civil aspirants to military fame, “So far, by his firmness and address, he had not contemplated the casualties of Doyle had kept the enemy at bay. But the field, when vested with the enviable wearied by the persevering annoyance to appointment of captain commandant of a which he was momentarily exposed; and young men's corps.
He was a gentleman, sensible, moreover, from the exhausted however, respectable in his station-though condition of his men—that in a little better suited for social enjoyment than time they would be unable to sustain a martial toils. The position which this serious assault, he at once resolved to put officer had hitherto maintained in peace. an end to the pursuit. In a loud and deful security, was now to be disputed by a termined tone of voice, he commanded a daring foe. It lay in the direct line in halt! Then, extending his line in single which Doyle was advancing, and an en- file, he faced round to the enemy, who counter appeared to be inevitable. But it had drawn up, not a hundred paces in the was not the interest of the latter to pro- rear. This unexpected maneuvre pro. voke a conflict; for his troop, however duced a considerable sensation on both efficient in the morning, could now scarcely sides. Doyle seized the “lucky moment," number forty toil-worn men, while the and stepping forward in the front of his slender stock of ammunition was inade- division, levelled his long Shelmalier musquate for the supply of the enfeebled ket on the shoulder of a gigantic Wexforforce. There was no time, however, now dian, who rested on one knee, to afford for parley or retreat. The parties, as if greater facility to the trusty marksman. by instinctive movement, had more closely Then, taking a cool and deliberate aim at the approached; and the cavalry, not many commander of the cavalry corps, who, under paces in advance of their opponents, pre- the range of the deadly instrument, seemed sented a formidable array-well appointed, as if spell-bound to the spot,_“I have him, fresh, and apparently ardent for action. my boys !" he exclaimed “ steady, my Doyle halted his little band, and arranged his sons ! and with the blessing of heaven, men for the onset. They cheered! such was the scarlets shall smoke in their saddles !" their uniform custom commencing an at- The fearful denunciation was scarcely uttack; it was the cheer of men determined tered, when a quick and retrograde move“ to do or die." The cavalry, unaccustomed ment of the squadron left Doyle an undisto the loud huzza for the charge, broke from puted passage to the long desired rendeztheir ranks, and the Wexford men, with ac- vous for ihe night. celerated movement, pursued their march. “ So long as any section of the Wexford But the honor of the corps was commit- forces held together, their courage and dis
and the orders of the district officer cipline rendered them formidable opponents : had been conveyed in language too intelli- whilst under every disaster, they evinced an gible to be trifled with. Again the squad- energy of mind characteristic of the spirit ron formed, and with a good show of that prompted them to their daring entercourage, followed up in the enemy's line prise. Individual sufferings were great, but of retreat, continuing, as they advanced, sustained with a manly firmness which to discharge their pistols with little re- seemed to render the unfortunate superior serve, and as little effect. Meantime a few to the ills of his condition.
the retreating ranks, served to check the ardour ished has never been accurately ascertained, of the pursuers. Doyle availed himself of we can, nevertheless, contemplate-from the
monuments of mortality, still discernible some friendly hand has endeavoured to rethroughout the district-the fate of many trace them. victims. Of those lonely and widely scat- “The subject of this singular mark of restered graves, we have already passed several, pect was a young man, whose fate exbut they are more frequently to be met with cited, at the time, a more than ordinary by the rustic in his labours of the field, or feeling of sympathy throughout our neighby the pedestrian traveller, as at intervals they bourbood. He was in the division of the cross his path, eliciting his simple but mounted men, but his horse failing, he solemn "requiescat," in pious memento of had the misfortune, in common with others, the spirit that is fled.
to be left behind. Young, active, and “In some places are to be traced little ver- robust, he was successful in evading the dant mounds of earth, which, from their first vigilance of his pursuers, and for a time formation, the plough has never furrowed. lay concealed in the vicinity of a In others, small cairns or tumuli, composed pectable farm-house, the good family of of grey field stones, collected from the surface which took a lively interest in his preservaof the gravelly soil; and over which a light tion. But there was one still more ardent covering of moss has extended, present than the rest, who seemed particularly deing, on a superficial view, an antique ap- voted to his safety. The daughter of his pearance, more resembling the production hospitable host perceived, it is said, in their of by-gone ages, than of modern times.— young and interesting, guest, qnalities and Several of these have from time to time been acquirements beyond his apparent condition. levelled, or removed, either to make way for And though brief the period of his soagricultural improvement, or to obliterate journ, it afforded a moment for the mutual remembrances of the past. But the grassy avowal of feelings which the conscious heart mound, and moss covered mn, are still of either perhaps had needed no avowal to monuments of popular respect, and designa- disclose. ted to this hour, in the native language of “The stranger was captured by a scouring the country. “Wia condogh Wexfordagh," — party of yeomanry dragoons. His lively “ The Wexford man's grave!"
and preposessing appearance seemed to have In directing my attention to some of these produced in their ranks a sentiment less humble sepulchres, my companion, in feeling hostile than might have been anticipated language, adverted to the fate of those un- from the general conduct of those who were fortunate men who, when separated from the now to be arbiters of his fate. They did not armed body of their companions, sought for give way to these barbarous taunts—or those temporary security in the fields of standing rude and brutal bursts of exultation, with com, where many closed a toil-worn exist- which, on similar occasions, the unfortunate ence; and many, by hunger and privation, captive was often greeted ; and notwithrendered reckless of life, quitted the place standing the two-fold crime of Rebel and of their concealment to meet a less lingering Wexfordian, a desire was evinced by sedoom.
veral individuals of the party, if not for “From yonder dilapidated towers,” said the preservation of the prisoner's life, at least he,“ on the east—once a splendid monu- for a temporary suspension of his punishment of national pride the early seat ment. It was therefore determined that he of liberal science, and the practical school of should not be debarred whatever possible moral virtue,* down to the bleak ruins of advantage a trial might afford him: and with Michelstown castle on the west, there is this view the corps generally agreed to conscarcely an intervening mile of ground that vey their prisoner to Chamberstown Hill, does not record a scene of suffering or dis- where a turbulent species of mock military aster. There, amongst the unlettered tombs tribunal was then awarding judgment on the that meet your eye, you perceive one more devoted heads of those who had not already conspicuous than the rest, from the rude been disposed of in a more summary mannet. attempt of some rustic sculptor to delineate “The prisoner, confident that his doom was a horseman, on the surface of a huge un- decreed, seemed little to regard by what wrought stone at the head of the grave. mode or procedure the thread of his life was The lines, however, have been so superficially to be severed. He was too well aware of his marked, that little now remains of the ori- situation to indulge in hopes of mercy from ginal character, though it is evident that any tribunal military or civil, however he
might have expected from a feeling of The ancient Abbey and Collegiate edifice, christian charity in the breasts of others, near the beautiful village of Slane, on the river Boyne,
a momentary respite to reflect on the awful
change between time and eternity! Thesionary to endure. The armed rabble troop was now on its march, and with the that surrounded the scaffold was comprised unfortunate victim placed behind the saddle of an infantry corps of yeomanry of the of a dragoon, had proceeded but a short lowest character and grade — the passive way, when the sergeant in command reined instruments of an officious superior, who back his horse, and without any pre- appeared on this occasion to exercise, in vious intimation of his diabolical design, his own proper person, the several duties addressed the prisoner. “Come, sir," said appertaining to the functions of a "military he, “ we have other duties to attend to, we court." can no longer be encumbered with you," and " It was interesting to witness amongst the presenting his pistol, he added “Open your crowd of prisoners, who now only awaited breast." “And here it is !” exclaimed the the more formal announcement of their dauntless fellow, baring his bosom, “and as fate, the apparent diversity of human feeltrue a breast as ever bled for Ireland !" A ing, in a general uniformity of human sufbullet from the assassin's pistol pierced his fering—the calm composure of some, the heart!
lighter carriage of others, but the fortitude “The person behind whom the prisoner was and firmness of all. And when the mind mounted in the yeomanry ranks is yet living. seemed to be most deeply impressed with I have known him for many years. He those sentiments, which the awful moment then was, and still is, amongst the first class was so well calculated to excite, a lively of extensive and independent land-holders of sally of native humour would often betray his district. And in the Barony of Morgal- that elasticity of soul, so easy of excitelion, or any other Barony in Meath, there ment, and characteristic of our countrymen. does not exist a man of higher integrity and “ It was a bad job for me," exclaimed a moral worth. The circumstance which I county Meath peasant--one of the few who have narrated nearly cost this gentleman were supposed to have fallen in with the his life; and had not the shock produced Wexford line—“It was an unfortunate by the wanton and barbarous act unnerved job for me, to leave my wife and children him at the moment, the assassin in all pro- this morning, and be hanged before sunbability had followed his victim. And yet set.” “Unfortunate !" replied a Wexford the perpetrator of this foul deed, and of convict, scarcely able to stand erect from others scarcely less atrocious, was permitted, the fatigues and privations he had encounstrange as at this day it may appear, to re- tered—«unfortunate! why, man, you should tain his rank and station in the corps, un- be proud to be allowed the honour of dying punished and unreprimanded by his supe- for your country, when you have done so riors.”
little to deserve it.” Our next object of mournful interest was “If the brutal haste displayed in the exeChamberstown Hill. “Here" observed my cution of the prisoners, was yet more dreadfriend, was the seat of that memorable tri- ful to their feelings than the announcement bunal—whether under the sanction of autho- of the sentence under which they were about rity, or self constituted, we shall not now to suffer, those feelings at times were scarcely stop to enquire—before which so many of less outraged by the gratuitous insults our unfortunate fellow mortals were consigned offered to the mild minister of their religion. to death ; and transferred with less ceremo- Whilst the patient divine bore with Chrisny to the executioner, than the vender of tian meekness the taunts and ribaldries cattle tells over the number of his beeves to with which he was assailed, his humble the purchaser.
penitent could not always regard with equal “It was a refinement on cruelty, and a composure the insulting treatment of his wanton aggravation of his sufferings, to unoffending priest ; but by a simple word, debar the prisoner on the awful verge of or more impressive look, would often beeternity, the spiritual consolation which tray the indignant feelings which he was religion imparts.
at little pains to conceal. " Don't mind "The Rev. Mr. Mulligan was at that time him, your reverence,” exclaimed a hardy the pastor of this parish (Rathkenny); Wexfordian, roused by the repeated impreand, prompt at the call of humanity, he cations of the petulant commander, d-n hastened to the scene of suffering. But you, dispatch and be gone;' and while the here the charitable divine had to encounter daring culprit alternately eyed the minister every species of that rude and repulsive of peace with a soothing look of most comtreatment, which it required the humility passionate respect, and the unfeeling disof the Christian and the zeal of the mis- penser of his own fate with a dark scowl
of defiance, he emphatically added, “Don't promised his duty to society, nor his allegimind him, your reverence ; he is only a yeo- ance to the crown. He found it vain, manry!- And now, boys," turning to the however, to parley with men on the scent guard that surrounded the scaffold, help of blood; and the objects of his humane
and this”—presenting a small prayer solicitude became the captives of the sanbook, which he held open in his hand—“this guinary patrol. Many moments had not for any of
you who can read, and has cha- intervened when the design of the party rity to pray for the soul of a Wexford- became too palpable to be mistaken. "The
As he attempted to mount the prisoners, placed in front of the line, cast a unsteady and rudely formed scaffold,“ God silent but expressive look on their humane help me," he said, with a playful smile, benefactor, and with apparent resignation “ I'm not half so active as I used to be. awaited their fate. “ Hold !" exclaimed But no shame for that! We had the O-n,“ do you think that I will suffer rough as well as the smooth before us, these men to be murdered at my door, to and not an idle day since the battle of Ross. whom I have afforded the shelter of my Well I as I was true to the cause, may
roof? No! if it must be, take them God speed my soul!"
to head quarters, and there exhibit your “The “military court" continued to pur- charge against them; that is your duty, sue the work of death ; and whilst the and remember! I hold you to it.” The labours of that tribunal were increased by bold and decisive character of this the introduction of fresh victims, its duties gentleman, together with his influential were occasionally relieved by the prompt- station in the neighbourhood, so far proness of the patroles, in the less ceremoni- duced a salutary restraint as to impede, for ous disposal of the prisoners. From the the moment, the sanguinary deed about search of corn fields and the adjacent thick- to be perpetrated ; and the discomfited ets, the local yeomanry proceeded to the party, with the respited victims, proceeded investment of private dwellings, of which on their route. But, when no longer it could hardly be supposed that any sus- awed by the presence of the man who had picion should be entertained. But the par- marred their morning sport, the nefarious sonage house bad afforded them a victim ; band murdered their prisoners on the way. and another roof might give shelter to the “Enough of these melancholy relationsfugitive rebel, though the master of the Would that with the actors of those sanmansion were untainted as the benevolent guinary scenes, the remembrance had also divine. Away then the party rode, direct passed away.. But though the homicide to the house of Mr. O. -n, a respectable and the victim are no longer before us, Protestant gentleman of the neighbour- some silent memorial almost hourly meets hood; and, whether having received in our view, recalling, unbidden to the mind, formation, or acting on anything more than direful recollections of the past. A few mere suspicion, it matters not; but, with a miles north-east of where we stood, and rising confident air of authority, they demanded over the waters of the Boyne--are the that the fugitive rebels, of whom they were dense plantations of Dowth ; where under in pursuit, should instantly be placed at their green wood shelter, the Wexford their disposal. Mr. O was a man leaders received such of their scattered forces of much personal worth—of humane dis- as had the fortune to reach the appointed position and scrupulous honor; and he rendezvous of the night. Thence, at dawn candidly admitted that he had afforded re- of morning, they marched for the plains of lief to three unfortunate men who had Kildare. thrown themselves on his protection ; but “I have already observed, that the garadded, that however opposed his senti- risons of Drogbeda and Slane were not ments were to the political views which far distant from the post which the Wexford they had maintained, he had neither com- troops occupied during the night. From
these points they encountered no annoy* It may be inferred that the guard was deficient of the British general commanding the
ance ; nor did Navan-the head quarters in one or other of these qualities, for the book was subsequently deposited with a pious inhabitant in midland district,-offer any serious impedithe adjoining parish (Castletown,) I saw it in the ment to their march. They pursued their good man's possession. It was a “double manual;” route in good order, and leaving Meath on the title page was written in a fair and legible with all its disastrous occurrences behind hand, “Peter Hoare," and on the unprinted leaf to the left was recorded the date of his marriage, and them, they entered with encreasing confithe birth of two of his children,
dence the metropolitan county. A few
hours now would have secured their retreat, “The engagement was short, but decisive. and placed them under the protection of The Wexford band was routed, and their Aylmer's lines.
leaders separated in the conflict, after which “ Hitherto they had struggled against the those gallant chieftains were fated never many ills incidental to their daring enter again to meet. Fitzgerald with some of the prise. But this once formidable force, which scattered troops regained Aylmer's lines. only the day before had contended for vic- 's subsequent fortunes afford a melantory with some of the best disciplined choly passage in the page of history, with troops of Britain, was now reduced in num- which, unhappily, his countrymen are too bers, worn with fatigue and nearly defence- familiar. Thus ended the narrative of my less in ammunition. Onward, however, they friend; and with this, the limited space alpursued their course ; till within ten miles lowed me, compels me for the present, to of Dublin they encountered a division of conclude. the royal army
A youth and maiden were betrothed—a young and happy pair ;