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to dwell upon the congratulations, the en- | doll, did Eliza tear the newspaper, or did couragements thou knewest so well and so other accidents happen of which every nurwisely to pour out upon us, and to hurry sery in the world taketh cognizance. Thy down to papa and mama to make known to rhyming apologies were always enough, kind, them our success and our satisfaction; and generous, and able old advocate! to plead then, to feel the happiness of the glad paren- successfully in our behalf, and to acquit us tal kiss, and the no less gladdening kiss from triumphantly. old grandmamma. And “had we said our Some of these have I before me this prayers yet ?" would be the question the de- moment, and it maketh me almost to weep vout old woman would ask us; and if we for looking at them, contrasting, as I am had not, we would kneel at her side, and re- childhood's Heaven with manhood's Earthceive upon our tender hearts the first impres- the innocent past with the alloyed present. sions of religion—the first thoughts of “the Welcome to me, ye papers, blurred and dead people's Heaven"—from her reverend wrinkled and torn though ye be; epitaphs lips; and rising with her warm benediction are ye on other days, and epitaphs even on upon our heads, would we run to meet Lucy thyself, poor Mr. Kearney. How hath palsy with baby in her arms, and poor Tom at her left its treinulous tracery upon them! With skirts, to give them our morning welcome, how great difficulty must thou not have and then would one of us be appointed by been tried to put the steadiness of thy heart mama to call Mr. Kearney to breakfast, not and head into thy hand, if I judge from the without some emulous contention for the manner of thy writing, from left to right! honour of that duty, which the casting vote But let me indulge in a retrogression; let of papa had always to decide. At length, me fly out of this uncheering present into all seated at breakfast, the old man's presence thy bosom; let me be once again the child ; infused such a feeling of reverential homage let me go out with thee, as 'twas our wont, in us, that the natural restlessness and vivacity when our lessons were over, to take the walk of childhood was sobered down into the that ever delighted me, healthful as it was quietude and composure almost of old age to mind and body. Let me sit by the hedge itself. But at meals only this was the case ; side, fringed with shrubbery, where the for in the hour that followed, our little lungs woodbine and the violet and the furze blosran riot in the nursery—a solo from those of som gave out the blandness of perfume, that baby ever and anon overtopping the discord gratified without palling the sense. For -assisted by the obtuse rapping of Tom's 'twas in seat like this of our Academia, that drum, or my hammering with a spoon upon our Plato had developed and formed our the table. During such hours (I mean after earliest love for Nature; in seat like this, breakfast) would the old man devour all the we were wont to catch glimpses, as it were, politics of the paper, and keep them in re of Heaven, in the tranquillities above and serve as a cud to chew with papa over their beneath and around us; in the sweet breathpost-prandial tete-a-tetes.
lessness of the air, in the glassiness of the Methinks even now I hear nurse crying bay, the repose of its islands, of its ships, out “ha! ha!" a kind of vindictive exclama- its yachts, and its boats at anchor, that tion of her's, as she announceth the coming seemed, like the islands themselves, to have up stairs of our tutor :-"Now, I think, ye'll grown there; and in the mildest smilings of be qui'te yourselves—here's Mr. Kearney the sunshine. And how would our young coming to you"-whereupon she would make fancies soar beyond the strainings of vision, her exit with baby, for he is yet too young to wing with the lark his inspired praises, to comprehend the science of syllables, and his music-offerings, his "profuse strains of the hard labour of “Reading inade Easy." unpremeditated art" to the Creator-or (did Although we feared thee—'twas not fear— our walk lead us thither) would rest with the 'twas an indescribable reverence—yet, excel- robin in the graveyard, and deem his notes lent old man, 'twas our's ever to love-we not less sweet, but more solemn, orisons, could not but love thee—thou hadst loved requiems trilled for some departed "good us so much. How many are the evidences children.” Oh! days of innocence !-deof thy affection for us, that have come down parted are ye too—and not a robin singeth to me as an heirloom-precious relics that I his vespers that I do not deem them reshall never part with; thy manuscript quiems over those days; departed art thou, rhymes, which thou wouldst give us as shields venerable old man; departed, grandmamma; to ward off the anger of our parents, did my departed, father; departed, I cannot unlucky shuttle-cock break a pane of glass, go on. did Tom dissolve the features of Eliza's wax
It is utterly impossible for any one but why the neighbours and acquaintances of the an Irishman fully to comprehend the extra- deceased flock at night to hold Wakes——the vagance to which the spirit of Irish humour merriest of all merry meetings—frequently is often carried, and that even in circum- in the very house where he or she lies dead, stances where one would suppose it ought is simply that the sense of the bereavement least to be expected. In other countries may be mitigated by the light-hearted the house of death is in reality the house of amusements which are enacted before their mourning, and so indeed it is also in Ire- eyes. The temperament of the Irish, howland, where domestic grief is felt with a ever, is strongly susceptible of the extremes power that reaches to the ultermost depths of mirth and sorrow, and our national heart is of the heart. But then in Ireland this very capable of being moved by the two impulses fullness of sorrow, unlike that which is ma- almost at the same moment. Many a time nifested elsewhere, is accompanied by so I have seen a widow sitting over the dead many incongruous associations, apparently body of an affectionate husband, amidst her incompatible with, or rather altogether op- desolate orphans, so completely borne away posed to, the idea of affliction, that strangers, by the irresistible fun of some antic wag, when assured of such an anomalous ad- who acted as Master of the Revels, that she mixture of feelings, can scarcely bring has been forced into a fit of laughter that themselves to believe in their existence. I brought the tears to her eyes. Often has have said that in Ireland the house of death the father--the features of the pious and is without doubt the house of mourning; chaste mother of his children composed into but I must not conceal the additional fact, the mournful stillness of death before him that it is also, in consequence of the calamity been, in the same manner, carried into a fit which has occurred, the house of fun; and of of immoderate mirth on contemplating the fun, too, so broad, grotesque, and extravagant, inimitable drolleries exhibited in Boxing that in no other condition of society, even in the Connaughtman,' or the convulsive fun Ireland, is there anything to be found like of the Screw-pin Dance.' The legends it. This no doubt may appear a rather and tales and stories that are told at Irish startling assertion, but it is quite true. wakes all bear the impress of this mad ex
And now many of my sagacious readers travagance; and it is because I am now will at once set about accounting for such a about to relate one of them, that I have singular combination of mad mirth and pro- deemed it expedient to introduce it to my found sorrow. Let them, however, spare readers by this short but necessary presace. their metaphysics, for I will save them a Those who peruse it are not to imagine that long process of reasoning on the subject, by I am gravely writing it in my study; but that, stating, that all this claiter of laughter and on the contrary, they are sitting in the comic uproar proceeds from a principle that chimney-corner, at an Irish wake, and that does honour to Paddy's heart— I mean sym- some droll Senachie, his face lit up into an pathy with those whom the death of some expression of broad farcical humour, is prodear relative has thrown into affliction. In ceeding somewhat as follows :deed no people sympathize more deeply “Moll Roe Rafferty was the son—daughwith each other than the Irish, or enter more ther I mane of ould Jack Rafferty, who fully into the spirit that prevails, whether was remarkable for a habit he had of always it be one of joy or sorrow. The reason, then, wearing his head undher his hat; but inVOL. III. NO, XVII.
deed the same family was a quare one, as his head that she could see round a corner. every body knew that was acquainted wid She found him out in many quare things, them. It was said of them-but whether widout doubt; but whether it was owin' to it was thrue or not I wont undhertake to that or not I wouldn't undhertake to say, for say, for 'fraid I'd tell a lie—that whenever fraid I'd tell a lie. they didn't wear shoes or boots they always “Well, begad, anyhow, it was Moll Roe went barefooted; but I hard astherwards that that was the dilsy; and as they say that this was disputed, so rather than say any- marriages does be sometimes made in heathing to injure their caracther, I'll let that ven, so did it happen that there was a nate pass, as Condy did the dicken.*
Now vagabone in the neighbourhood, just as ould Jack Rafferty had two sons, Paddy and much overburdened wid beauty as herself, Molly-hut! what are you all laughing at ? and he was named Gusty Gillespie. Gusty, - I mane a son and daughter, and it was the Lord guard us, was what they call a generally believed among the neighbours, black-mouth Prosbytarian, and wouldn't that they were brother and sisther, which keep Christmas day, the blagard, except you know might be thrue or it might not; what they call “ould style.” Gusty was rabut that's a thing that, wid the help o' good-ther goodlookin' when seen in the dark, as ness, we have nothing to say to. Throth well as Moll herself; and indeed it was there was many ugly things put out on them purty well known that-accordin' as the that I don't wish to repate, such as that neither talk went—it was in nightly meetings that Jack nor his son Paddy ever walked a perch they had an opportunity of becomin' dewidout puttin' one foot afore the other, like tached to one another. The quensequence a salmon; an' I know it was whispered was, that in due time both families began to about, that whinever Moll Roe slep', she had talk very seriously as to what was to be an out of the way custom of keepin' her eyes done. Moll's brother, Pawdien O'Rafferty, shut. If she did, however, God forgive her gave Gusty the best of two choices. What —the loss was her own; for sure we all they were it's not worth spaikin' about; but know that when one comes to shut their at any rate one of them was a poser, an' as eyes they can't see as far before them as Gusty knew his man, he soon came to his another.
Accordianly everything was de“Moll Roe was a fine bouncin' girl, large ranged for their marriage, and it was apand lavish, wid a purty head o' hair on her pointed that they should be spliced by the like scarlet, that bein' one of the raisons Rev. Samuel M‘Shuttle, the Prosbytarian why she was called Roe or red; her arms parson, on the following Sunday. an' cheeks were much the colour of the hair, “Now this was the first marriage that had an' her saddle nose was the purtiest thing of happened for a long time in the neighbourits kind that ever was on a face. Her hood betune a black-mouth an'a Catholic, fists-for, thank goodness, she was well an' of coorse there was strong objections on sarved wid them too—had a strong simula- both sides aginst it; an', begad, only for one rity to two thumpin' turnips, reddened by thing it would never 'a' tuck place at all. the sun; an' to keep all right and tight, she At any rate, faix, there was one of the bride's hud a temper as fiery as her head-for, in- uncles, ould Hairy Connolly, a fairy-man, deed, it was well known that all the Raffer- who could cure all complaints wid a sacret he ties were warm-hearted. Howandiver, it had, and as he didn't wish to see his niece appears that God gives nothing in vain, and marrid upon sich a fellow, he fought bittherly of course the same fists, big and red as they aginst the match. All Moll's friends, howwere, if all that is said about them is thrue, ever, stood up for the marriage bartin' him, were not so much given to her for ornament an' of coorse the Sunday was appointed, as I
At laist, takin' them in connexion said, that they were to be dove-tailed towid her lively temper, we have it upon good gether. autority, that there was no danger of their “Well, the day arrived, and Moll, as begetting blue-moulded for want of practice. came her, went to mass, and Gusty to meetShe had a twist, too, in one of her eyes that ing, afiher which they were to join one anowas very becomin' in its way, and made her ther in Jack Rafferty's, where the priest, poor husband, when she got him, take it into Father M-Sorley, was to slip up afther mass
to take his dinner wid them, and to keep
Misther M'Shuttle, who was to marry them, * Decade-the tenth bead of the “Rosary" or “ Beads,” upon which the lower classes of the company. Nobody remained at home but Irish count their prayers, by passing them through ould Jack Rafferty an' his wife, who stopped their fingers.
to dress the dinner, for to tell the thruth it
was to be a great let out entirely. May be, than you think, that's all;' and havin' said if all was known, too, that Father M-Sorley this, he put on his hat and left the house. was to give them a cast of his office over an' “Now Harry's answer relieved them very above the Ministher, in regard that Moll's much, and so, afther calling to him to be friends weren't altogether satisfied at the back for the dinner, Jack sat down to take a kind of marriage which M‘Shuttle could shough o' the pipe, and the wife lost no give them. The sorrow may care about that time in tying up the pudden and puttin' it -splice here-splice there—all I can say in the pot to be boiled. is, that when Mrs. Rafferty was goin' to tie " In this way things went on well enough up a big bag puddin', in walks Harry Con- for a while, Jack smokin' away, an' the wife nolly, the fairy-man, in a rage, and shouts cookin' and dhressin' at the rate of a hunt. out, Blood and blunderbushes, what are At last Jack, while sittin', as I said, conyez here for ?'
tentedly at the fire, thought he could per". Arra why, Harry? Why, avick?' save an odd dancin' kind of motion in the
Why, the sun 's in the suds and the pot, that puzzled him a good deal. moon in the high Horicks; there's a clipstick Katty,' said he, 'what the dickens is in comin' an, an' there you're both as uncon- this pot on the fire ?" sarned as if it was about to rain mether. Go «Nerra thing but the big pudden. Why out and cross yourselves three times in the do you ax ?' says she. name o' the four Mandromarvins, for as • " Why, said he, if ever a pot tuck it prophecy says :-Fill the pot, Eddy, super- into its head to dance a jig, and this did. naculum-a blazing star 's a rare spectacu- Thundher and sparables, look at it ! lum. Go out both of you and look at the “ Begad, it was thrue enough; there was sun, I say, an' ye'll see the condition he's in the pot bobbin' up an' down and from side -off!'
to side, jiggin' it away as merry as a grig ; Begad, sure enough, Jack gave a bounce an' it was quite aisy to see that it wasn't the to the door, and his wife leaped like a two- pot itself, but what was inside of it, that year ould, till they were both got on a stile brought about the hornpipe. beside the house to see what was wrong in “. Be the hole o' my coat,' shouted Jack, the sky.
there's something alive in it, or it would ne"• Arra, what is it, Jack,' said she, can ver cut sich capers !' you see anything ?'
« • Be the vestment, there is, Jack; “. No,' says he,' sorra the full o' my eye something sthrange entirely has got into it. of anything I can spy, barrin' the sun him. Wirra, man alive, what's to be done ?' self, that's not visible in regard of the clouds. " Jist as she spoke, the pot seemed to cut God guard us! I doubt there's something the buckle in prime style, and afther a spring to happen.'
that 'ud shame a dancin'-masther, off' few “If there wasn't, Jack, what 'ud put the lid, and out bounced the pudden itsell, Harry, that knows so much, in the state he's hoppin', as nimble as a pea on a drumin ?
head, about the floor. Jack blessed him“I doubt it's this marriage,' said Jack: self, and Katty crossed herself. Jack shouted, betune ourselves, it's not over an' above and Katty screamed. In the name of the religious for Moll to marry a black-mouth, nine Evangels,' said he, ‘keep your distance, an' only for — but it can't be helped now, no one here injured you! though you see, the divil a taste o' the sun “ The pudden, however, made a set at is willin' to show his face
him, and Jack lepped first on a chair and “ As to that,' says the wise, winkin' wid then on the kitchen table to avoid it. It both her eyes, 'if Gusty's satisfied wid Moll, then danced towards Katty, who was now it's enough. I know who'll carry the whip repatin' her pather an'avys at the top of her hand, any how; but in the mane time let us voice, while the cunnin' thief of a pudden ax Harry 'ithin what ails the sun.'
was hoppin' and jiggin' it round her, as if it Well, they accordianly went in an' put was amused at her distress. the question to him; but Harry lent them “If I could get the pitchfork,' said Jack, a deaf ear on that subject.
I'd dale wid it—by goxty I'd thry its "Harry, what's wrong, ahagur ? What mettle.' is it now, for if anybody alive knows, 'tis “No, no,' shouted Katty, thinkin' there yourself ?'
was a fairy in it; ‘let us spake it fair. Who “« There's nothin' wrong,' said Harry, I knows what harm it might do. Asy now,' screwin' his mouth wid a kind of dhry smile, said she to the pudden, ' aisy, dear; don't .but I tell you you'll have a merrier weddin' harm honest people that never meant to of. fend you. It wasn't us—no, in throth, it I've the neighbours to back an' support me,' was ould Harry Connolly that bewitched says
Jack. you; pursue him if you wish, but spare a This was agreed to, and Katty went woman like me; for, whisper, dear, I'm not back to prepare a fresh pudden, while Jack in a condition to be frightened—throth I'm an' half the townland pursued the other wid not.'
spades, graips, pitch forks, scythes, flails, and “ The pudden, bedad, seemed to take her all possible description of instruments. On at her word, and danced away from her to the pudden went, however, at the rate of wards Jack, who, like the wise, believin' about six Irish miles an hour, an' divle sich there was a fairy in it, and that spakin' it a chase ever was seen. Catholics, Prodesfair was the best plan, thought he would tans, an' Prosbytarians were all afther it, give it a soft word as well as her.
armed as I said, an' bad end to the thing “ • Plase your honour,' said Jack, 'she but its own activity could save it. Here it only spaiks the truth. You don't know what made a hop, and there a prod was made at harın you might do here; an', upon my vo- it; but off it went, an' some one as aiger to racity, we both feels much oblaiged to your get a slice, at it on the other side got the honour for your quietness. Faith, it's quite prod instead of the pudden. Big Frank clear that if you weren't a gentlemanly pud- Farrell, the miller of Bally boulteen, got a den all out, you'd act otherwise. Ould prod backwards that brought a hullabaloo Harry, the dam' rogue, is your mark ; he's out of him you might hear at the other end jist gone down the road there, and if you go of the parish. One got a slice of a scythe, fast you'll overtake him. Be me song, your another a whack of a flail, a third a rap of a dancin’-masther did his duty, anyhow. spade that made him look nine ways at Thank your honour! God speed you, an'wanst. may you never meet wid a priest, parson, or “Where is it goin'? asked one. alderman in your thravels !
“It's goin' to mass,' replied a second. “ Jist as Jack spoke, the pudden appeared Then it's a Catholic pudden,' exclaimed a to take the hint, for it quietly hopped out, third-down wid it.'No,' said a fourth, and as the house was directly on the road- it's above superstition; my life for you, it's side, turned down towards the bridge, the on its way to meeting. Three cheers for it, very way that ould Harry went. It was if it turns to Carntaul.' Prod the sowl out very natural of coorse that Jack and Katty of it, if it's a Prodestan',' shouted the others; should go out to see how it intended to thra- ' if it turns to the left, slice it into pancakes. vel; and, as the day was Sunday, it was but We'll have no Prodestan puddens here.' natural, too, that a greater number of peo- Begad, by this time the people were on ple than usual were passin' the road. This the point of beginnin' to have a regular fight was a fact. And when Jack and his wife about it, when, very fortunately, it took a were seen followin' the pudden, the whole short turn down a little by-lane that led toneighbourhood was soon up and afther it. wards the Methodist praichin-house, an' in
“Jack Rafferty, what is it ? Katty, a an instant all parties were in an uproar hagur, will
tell us what it manes ? aginst it as a Methodist pudden. “It's a «Why,' replied Katty, ‘be the vestments, Wesleyan,' shouted several voices, 'an' by it's my big pudden that's bewitched, an' it's this an' by that, into a Methodist chapel it now hot-foot pursuin'—' here she stopped, won't put a foot 10-day, or we'll lose a fall. not wishin' to mention her brother's name, Let the wind out of it. Come, boys, where's ‘some one or other that surely put pistrogues your pitchforks ?'
“The divle purshue the one of them, “ This was enough; Jack, now seein' that however, ever could touch the pudden, an' die had assistance, found his courage comin' jist when they thought they had it up back to him, so says he to Katty, ‘go against the gavel of the Methodist chapel, home,' says he,' an' lose no time in makin' begad it gave them the slip, and hops over another pudien as good, an' here's Paddy to the left
, clane into the river, and sails Scanlan's wife, Bridget, says she'll let you away before all their eyes as light as an eggboil it on her fire, as you'll want our own to shell.' dress the rest o' the dinner ; and Paddy “Now, it so happened, that a little behimself will lend me a pitchfork, for divle low this place, the demesne wall of Colonel resave the morsel of that same pudden will Bragshaw was built up to the very edge of escape till I let the wind out of it, now that the river on each side of its banks; and so
findin' there was a stop put to their pursuit * Put it under fairy influence.
of it, they went home again, every man,