The Kellys and the O'Kellys
Part 10 out of 10
Grey Abbey, April, 1844.
My dear lord,
Circumstances, to which I rejoice that I need not now more
particularly allude, made your last visit at my house a disagreeable
one to both of us. The necessity under which I then laboured, of
communicating to your lordship a decision which was likely to be
inimical to your happiness, but to form which my duty imperatively
directed me, was a source of most serious inquietude to my mind. I
now rejoice that that decision was so painful to you--has been so
lastingly painful; as I trust I may measure your gratification at a
renewal of your connection with my family, by the acuteness of the
sufferings which an interruption of that connexion has occasioned
I have, I can assure you, my lord, received much pleasure from the
visit of your very estimable friend, the Reverend Mr Armstrong; and
it is no slight addition to my gratification on this occasion, to
find your most intimate friendship so well bestowed. I have had much
unreserved conversation to-day with Mr Armstrong, and I am led by
him to believe that I may be able to induce you to give Lady Cashel
and myself the pleasure of your company at Grey Abbey. We shall be
truly delighted to see your lordship, and we sincerely hope that the
attractions of Grey Abbey may be such as to induce you to prolong
your visit for some time.
Perhaps it might be unnecessary for me now more explicitly to allude
to my ward; but still, I cannot but think that a short but candid
explanation of the line of conduct I have thought it my duty to
adopt, may prevent any disagreeable feeling between us, should you,
as I sincerely trust you will, do us the pleasure of joining our
family circle. I must own, my dear lord, that, a few months since, I
feared you were wedded to the expensive pleasures of the turf.--Your
acceptance of the office of Steward at the Curragh meetings
confirmed the reports which reached me from various quarters. My
ward's fortune was then not very considerable; and, actuated by an
uncle's affection for his niece as well as a guardian's caution for
his ward, I conceived it my duty to ascertain whether a withdrawal
from the engagement in contemplation between Miss Wyndham and
yourself would be detrimental to her happiness. I found that my
ward's views agreed with my own. She thought her own fortune
insufficient, seeing that your habits were then expensive: and,
perhaps, not truly knowing the intensity of her own affection, she
coincided in my views. You are acquainted with the result. These
causes have operated in inducing me to hope that I may still welcome
you by the hand as my dear niece's husband. Her fortune is very
greatly increased; your character is--I will not say altered--is now
fixed and established. And, lastly and chiefly, I find--I blush, my
lord, to tell a lady's secret--that my ward's happiness still
depends on you.
I am sure, my dear lord, I need not say more. We shall be delighted
to see you at your earliest convenience. We wish that you could have
come to us before your friend left, but I regret to learn from him
that his parochial duties preclude the possibility of his staying
with us beyond Thursday.
I shall anxiously wait for your reply. In the meantime I beg to
assure you, with the joint kind remembrances of all our party, that
Most faithfully yours,
Mr Armstrong descended to the drawing-room, before dinner, looking most
respectable, with a stiff white tie and the new suit expressly prepared
for the occasion. He was introduced to Lady Cashel and Lady Selina as
a valued friend of Lord Ballindine, and was received, by the former at
least, in a most flattering manner. Lady Selina had hardly reconciled
herself to the return of Lord Ballindine. It was from no envy at her
cousin's happiness; she was really too high-minded, and too falsely
proud, also, to envy anyone. But it was the harsh conviction of her
mind, that no duties should be disregarded, and that all duties were
disagreeable: she was always opposed to the doing of anything which
appeared to be the especial wish of the person consulting her; because
it would be agreeable, she judged that it would be wrong. She was most
sincerely anxious for her poor dependents, but she tormented them most
cruelly. When Biddy Finn wished to marry, Lady Selina told her it
was her duty to put a restraint on her inclinations; and ultimately
prevented her, though there was no objection on earth to Tony Mara;
and when the widow Cullen wanted to open a little shop for soap and
candles, having eight pounds ten shillings left to stock it, after the
wake and funeral were over, Lady Selina told the widow it was her duty
to restrain her inclination, and she did so; and the eight pounds ten
shillings drifted away in quarters of tea, and most probably, half
noggins of whiskey.
In the same way, she could not bring herself to think that Fanny was
doing right, in following the bent of her dearest wishes--in marrying
this man she loved so truly. She was weak; she was giving way to
temptation; she was going back from her word; she was, she said, giving
up her claim to that high standard of feminine character, which it
should be the proudest boast of a woman to maintain.
It was in vain that her mother argued the point with her in her own
way. "But why shouldn't she marry him, my dear," said the countess,
"when they love each other--and now there's plenty of money and all
that; and your papa thinks it's all right? I declare I can't see the
harm of it."
"I don't say there's harm, mother," said Lady Selina; "not absolute
harm; but there's weakness. She had ceased to esteem Lord Ballindine."
"Ah, but, my dear, she very soon began to esteem him again. Poor dear!
she didn't know how well she loved him."
"She ought to have known, mamma--to have known well, before she
rejected him; but, having rejected him, no power on earth should have
induced her to name him, or even to think of him again. She should have
been dead to him; and he should have been the same as dead to her."
"Well, I don't know," said the countess; "but I'm sure I shall be
delighted to see anybody happy in the house again, and I always liked
Lord Ballindine myself. There was never any trouble about his dinners
And Lady Cashel was delighted. The grief she had felt at the abrupt
termination of all her hopes with regard to her son had been too
much for her; she had been unable even to mind her worsted-work, and
Griffiths had failed to comfort her; but from the moment that her
husband had told her, with many hems and haws, that Mr Armstrong had
arrived to repeat Lord Ballindine's proposal, and that he had come to
consult her about again asking his lordship to Grey Abbey, she became
happy and light-hearted; and, before Griffiths had left her for the
night, she had commenced her consultations as to the preparations for
XXXVIII. WAIT TILL I TELL YOU
There was no one at dinner that first evening, but Mr Armstrong, and
the family circle; and the parson certainly felt it dull enough. Fanny,
naturally, was rather silent; Lady Selina did not talk a great deal;
the countess reiterated, twenty times, the pleasure she had in seeing
him at Grey Abbey, and asked one or two questions as to the quantity
of flannel it took to make petticoats for the old women in his
parish; but, to make up the rest, Lord Cashel talked incessantly. He
wished to show every attention to his guest, and he crammed him with
ecclesiastical conversation, till Mr Armstrong felt that, poor as he
was, and much as his family wanted the sun of lordly favour, he would
not give up his little living down in Connaught, where, at any rate, he
could do as he pleased, to be domestic chaplain to Lord Cashel, with a
salary of a thousand a-year.
The next morning was worse, and the whole of the long day was
insufferable. He endeavoured to escape from his noble friend into the
demesne, where he might have explored the fox coverts, and ascertained
something of the sporting capabilities of the country; but Lord Cashel
would not leave him alone for an instant; and he had not only to endure
the earl's tediousness, but also had to assume a demeanour which was
not at all congenial to his feelings. Lord Cashel would talk Church and
ultra-Protestantism to him, and descanted on the abominations of the
National system, and the glories of Sunday-schools. Now, Mr Armstrong
had no leaning to popery, and had nothing to say against Sunday
schools; but he had not one in his own parish, in which, by the
bye, he was the father of all the Protestant children to be found
there--without the slightest slur upon his reputation be it said. Lord
Cashel totally mistook his character, and Mr Armstrong did not know how
to set him right; and at five o'clock he went to dress, more tired than
he ever had been after hunting all day, and then riding home twelve
miles on a wet, dark night, with a lame horse.
To do honour to her guest Lady Cashel asked Mr O'Joscelyn, the rector,
together with his wife and daughters, to dine there on the second day;
and Mr Armstrong, though somewhat afraid of brother clergymen, was
delighted to hear that they were coming. Anything was better than
another _tete-a-tete_ with the ponderous earl. There were no other
neighbours near enough to Grey Abbey to be asked on so short a notice;
but the rector, his wife, and their daughters, entered the dining-room
punctually at half-past six.
The character and feelings of Mr O'Joscelyn were exactly those which
the earl had attributed to Mr Armstrong. He had been an Orangeman ,
and was a most ultra and even furious Protestant. He was, by principle,
a charitable man to his neighbours; but he hated popery, and he carried
the feeling to such a length, that he almost hated Papists. He had not,
generally speaking, a bad opinion of human nature; but he would not
have considered his life or property safe in the hands of any Roman
Catholic. He pitied the ignorance of the heathen, the credulity of the
Mahommedan, the desolateness of the Jew, even the infidelity of the
atheist; but he execrated, abhorred, and abominated the Church of Rome.
"Anathema Maranatha ; get thee from me, thou child of Satan--go
out into utter darkness, thou worker of iniquity--into everlasting
lakes of fiery brimstone, thou doer of the devil's work--thou false
prophet--thou ravenous wolf!" Such was the language of his soul, at the
sight of a priest; such would have been the language of his tongue, had
not, as he thought, evil legislators given a licence to falsehood in
his unhappy country, and rendered it impossible for a true Churchman
openly to declare the whole truth.
[FOOTNOTE 52: Orangeman--a member of the Orange Order, a militant
Irish protestant organization founded in 1746 and
named after William of Orange, who in 1688 deposed
his father-in-law, Catholic King James II, became
King William III, and helped establish protestant
faith as a prerequisite for succession to the
English throne. The Orange Order is still exists
and remains rabidly anti-Catholic.]
[FOOTNOTE 53: Anathema Maranatha--an extreme form of
excommunication from the Catholic church formulated
by the Fathers of the Fourth Council of Toledo.
The person so excommunicated is also condemned to
damnation at the second coming.]
But though Mr O'Joscelyn did not absolutely give utterance to such
imprecations as these against the wolves who, as he thought, destroyed
the lambs of his flock,--or rather, turned his sheep into foxes,--yet
he by no means concealed his opinion, or hid his light under a bushel.
He spent his life--an eager, anxious, hard-working life, in denouncing
the scarlet woman of Babylon and all her abominations; and he did so
in season and out of season: in town and in country; in public and in
private; from his own pulpit, and at other people's tables; in highways
and byways; both to friends--who only partly agreed with him, and to
strangers, who did not agree with him at all. He totally disregarded
the feelings of his auditors; he would make use of the same language
to persons who might in all probability be Romanists, as he did to
those whom he knew to be Protestants. He was a most zealous and
conscientious, but a most indiscreet servant of his Master. He made
many enemies, but few converts. He rarely convinced his opponents, but
often disgusted his own party. He had been a constant speaker at public
meetings; an orator at the Rotunda, and, on one occasion, at Exeter
Hall. But even his own friends, the ultra Protestants, found that he
did the cause more harm than good, and his public exhibitions had been
as much as possible discouraged. Apart from his fanatical enthusiasm,
he was a good man, of pure life, and simple habits; and rejoiced
exceedingly, that, in the midst of the laxity in religious opinions
which so generally disfigured the age, his wife and his children were
equally eager and equally zealous with himself in the service of their
A beneficed clergyman from the most benighted, that is, most Papistical
portion of Connaught, would be sure, thought Mr O'Joscelyn, to have a
fellow-feeling with him; to sympathise with his wailings, and to have
similar woes to communicate.
"How many Protestants have you?" said he to Mr Armstrong, in the
drawing-room, a few minutes after they had been introduced to each
other. "I had two hundred and seventy in the parish on New Year's day;
and since that we've had two births, and a very proper Church of
England police-serjeant has been sent here, in place of a horrid
Papist. We've a great gain in Serjeant Woody, my lord."
"In one way we certainly have, Mr O'Joscelyn," said the earl. "I wish
all the police force were Protestants; I think they would be much more
effective. But Serjeant Carroll was a very good man; you know he was
removed from hence on his promotion."
"I know he was, my lord--just to please the priests just because he was
a Papist. Do you think there was a single thing done, or a word said at
Petty Sessions, but what Father Flannery knew all about it?--Yes, every
word. When did the police ever take any of Father Flannery's own
"Didn't Serjeant Carroll take that horrible man Leary, that robbed the
old widow that lived under the bridge?" said the countess.
"True, my lady, he did," said Mr O'Joscelyn; "but you'll find, if
you inquire, that Leary hadn't paid the priest his dues, nor yet
his brother. How a Protestant government can reconcile it to their
conscience--how they can sleep at night, after pandering to the priests
as they daily do, I cannot conceive. How many Protestants did you say
you have, Mr Armstrong?"
"We're not very strong down in the West, Mr O'Joscelyn," said the other
parson. "There are usually two or three in the Kelly's Court pew. The
vicarage pew musters pretty well, for Mrs Armstrong and five of the
children are always there. Then there are usually two policemen, and
the clerk; though, by the bye, he doesn't belong to the parish. I
borrowed him from Claremorris."
Mr O'Joscelyn gave a look of horror and astonishment.
"I can, however, make a boast, which perhaps you cannot, Mr Joscelyn:
all my parishioners are usually to be seen in church, and if one is
absent I'm able to miss him."
"It must paralyse your efforts, preaching to such a congregation," said
"Do not disparage my congregation," said Mr Armstrong, laughing; "they
are friendly and neighbourly, if not important in point of numbers;
and, if I wanted to fill my church, the Roman Catholics think so well
of me, that they'd flock in crowds there if I asked them; and the
priest would show them the way--for any special occasion, I mean; if
the bishop came to see me, or anything of that kind."
Mr O'Joscelyn was struck dumb; and, indeed, he would have had no time
to answer if the power of speech had been left to him, for the servant
The conversation was a little more general during dinner-time, but
after dinner the parish clergyman returned to another branch of his
favourite subject. Perhaps, he thought that Mr Armstrong was himself
not very orthodox; or, perhaps, that it was useless to enlarge on the
abominations of Babylon to a Protestant peer and a Protestant parson;
but, on this occasion, he occupied himself with the temporal iniquities
of the Roman Catholics. The trial of O'Connell and his fellow-prisoners
had come to an end, and he and they, with one exception, had just.
commenced their period of imprisonment. The one exception was a
clergyman, who had been acquitted. He had in some way been connected
with Mr O'Joscelyn's parish; and, as the parish priest and most of his
flock were hot Repealers, there was a good deal of excitement on the
occasion,--rejoicings at the priest's acquittal, and howlings,
yellings, and murmurings at the condemnation of the others.
"We've fallen on frightful days, Mr Armstrong," said Mr O'Joscelyn:
"frightful, lawless, dangerous days."
"We must take them as we find them, Mr O'Joscelyn."
"Doubtless, Mr Armstrong, doubtless; and I acknowledge His infinite
wisdom, who, for His own purposes, now allows sedition to rear her head
unchecked, and falsehood to sit in the high places. They are indeed
dangerous days, when the sympathy of government is always with the evil
doers, and the religion of the state is deserted by the crown."
"Why, God bless me! Mr O'Joscelyn!--the queen hasn't turned Papist, and
the Repealers are all in prison, or soon will be there."
"I don't mean the queen. I believe she is very good. I believe she is a
sincere Protestant, God bless her;" and Mr O'Joscelyn, in his loyalty,
drank a glass of port wine; "but I mean her advisers. They do not dare
protect the Protestant faith: they do not dare secure the tranquillity
of the country."
"Are not O'Connell and the whole set under conviction at this moment?
I'm no politician myself, but the only question seems to be, whether
they haven't gone a step too far?"
"Why did they let that priest escape them?" said Mr O'Joscelyn.
"I suppose he was not guilty;" said Mr Armstrong; "at any rate, you had
a staunch Protestant jury."
"I tell you the priests are at the head of it all. O'Connell would be
nothing without them; he is only their creature. The truth is, the
government did not dare to frame an indictment that would really lead
to the punishment of a priest. The government is truckling to the false
hierarchy of Rome. Look at Oxford,--a Jesuitical seminary, devoted to
the secret propagation of Romish falsehood.--Go into the churches of
England, and watch their bowings, their genuflexions, their crosses and
their candles; see the demeanour of their apostate clergy; look into
their private oratories; see their red-lettered prayer-books, their
crucifixes, and images; and then, can you doubt that the most dreadful
of all prophecies is about to be accomplished?"
"But I have not been into their closets, Mr O'Joscelyn, nor yet into
their churches lately, and therefore I have not seen these things; nor
have I seen anybody who has. Have you seen crucifixes in the rooms of
Church of England clergymen? or candles on the altar-steps of English
"God forbid that I should willingly go where such things are to be
seen; but of the fearful fact there is, unfortunately, no doubt. And
then, as to the state of the country, we have nothing round us but
anarchy and misrule: my life, Mr Armstrong, has not been safe any day
this week past."
"Good Heaven, Mr O'Joscelyn--your life not safe! I thought you were as
quiet here, in Kildare, as we are in Mayo."
"Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong: you know this priest, whom they
have let loose to utter more sedition?--He was coadjutor to the priest
in this parish."
"Was he? The people are not attacking you, I suppose, because he's let
"Wait till I tell you. No; the people are mad because O'Connell and his
myrmidons are to be locked up; and, mingled with their fury on this
head are their insane rejoicings at the escape of this priest. They
are, therefore,--or were, till Saturday last, howling for joy and for
grief at the same time. Oh! such horrid howls, Mr Armstrong. I declare,
Mr Armstrong, I have trembled for my children this week past."
The earl, who well knew Mr O'Joscelyn, and the nature of his
grievances, had heard all these atrocities before; and, not being very
excited by their interest, had continued sipping his claret in silence
till he began to doze; and, by the time the worthy parson had got to
the climax of his misery, the nobleman was fast asleep.
"You don't mean that the people made any attack on the parsonage?" said
"Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong," replied the other. "On Thursday
morning last they all heard that O'Connell was a convicted felon."
"Conspirator, I believe? Mr O'Joscelyn."
"Conspiracy is felony, Mr Armstrong--and that their priest had been let
loose. It was soon evident that no work was to be done that day. They
assembled about the roads in groups; at the chapel-door; at Priest
Flannery's house; at the teetotal reading-room as they call it, where
the people drink cordial made of whiskey, and disturb the neighbourhood
with cracked horns; and we heard that a public demonstration was to be
"Was it a demonstration of joy or of grief?"
"Both, Mr Armstrong! it was mixed. They were to shout and dance for joy
about Father Tyrrel; and howl and curse for grief about O'Connell; and
they did shout and howl with a vengeance. All Thursday, you would have
thought that a legion of devils had been let loose into Kilcullen."
"But did they commit any personal outrages, Mr O'Joscelyn?"
"Wait till I tell you. I soon saw how the case was going to be, and I
determined to be prepared. I armed myself, Mr Armstrong; and so did Mrs
O'Joscelyn. Mrs O'Joscelyn is a most determined woman--a woman of great
spirit; we were resolved to protect our daughters and our infants from
ill-usage, as long as God should leave us the power to do so. We both
armed ourselves with pistols, and I can assure you that, as far as
ammunition goes, we were prepared to give them a hot reception."
"Dear me! This must have been very unpleasant to Mrs O'Joscelyn."
"Oh, she's a woman of great nerve, Mr Armstrong. Mary is a woman of
very great nerve. I can assure you we shall never forget that Thursday
night. About seven in the evening it got darkish, but the horrid yells
of the wild creatures had never ceased for one half-hour; and, a little
after seven, twenty different bonfires illuminated the parish. There
were bonfires on every side of us: huge masses of blazing turf were to
be seen scattered through the whole country."
"Did they burn any thing except the turf, Mr O'Joscelyn?"
"Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong. I shall never forget that night;
we neither of us once lay down; no, not for a moment. About eight, the
children were put to bed; but with their clothes and shoes on, for
there was no knowing at what moment and in how sudden a way the poor
innocents might be called up. My daughters behaved admirably; they
remained quite quiet in the drawing-room till about eleven, when we
had evening worship, and then they retired to rest. Their mother,
however, insisted that they should not take off their petticoats or
stockings. At about one, we went to the hall-door: it was then bright
moonlight--but the flames of the surrounding turf overpowered the moon.
The whole horizon was one glare of light."
"But were not the police about, Mr O'Joscelyn?"
"Oh, they were about, to be sure, poor men; but what could they do? The
government now licenses every outrage."
"But what _did_ the people do?" said Mr Armstrong.
"Wait till I tell you. They remained up all night; and so did we, you
may be sure. Mary did not rise from her chair once that night without
a pistol in her hand. We heard the sounds of their voices continually,
close to the parsonage gate; we could see them in the road, from the
windows--crowds of them--men, women and children; and still they
continued shouting. The next morning they were a little more quiet, but
still the parish was disturbed: nobody was at work, and men and women
stood collected together in the roads. But as soon as it was dusk,
the shoutings and the bonfires began again; and again did I and Mrs
O'Joscelyn prepare for a night of anxious watching. We sat up all
Friday night, Mr Armstrong."
"With the pistols again?"
"Indeed we did; and lucky for us that we did so. Had they not known
that we were prepared, I am convinced the house would have been
attacked. Our daughters sat with us this night, and we were so far used
to the state of disturbance, that we were able to have a little
"You must have wanted that, I think."
"Indeed we did. About four in the morning, I dropped asleep on the
sofa; but Mary never closed her eyes."
"Did they come into the garden at all, or near the house?"
"No, they did not. And I am very thankful they refrained from doing so,
for I determined to act promptly, Mr Armstrong, and so was Mary--that
is, Mrs O'Joscelyn. We were both determined to fire, if we found our
premises invaded. Thank God the miscreants did not come within the
"You did not suffer much, then, except the anxiety, Mr O'Joscelyn?"
"God was very merciful, and protected us; but who can feel safe, living
in such times, and among such a people? And it all springs from Rome;
the scarlet woman is now in her full power, and in her full deformity.
She was smitten down for a while, but has now risen again. For a while
the right foot of truth was on her neck; for a while she lay prostrated
before the strength of those, who by God's grace, had prevailed against
her. But the latter prophecies which had been revealed to us, are now
about to be accomplished. It is well for those who comprehend the signs
of the coming time."
"Suppose we join the ladies," said the earl, awakened by the sudden
lull in Mr O'Joscelyn's voice. "But won't you take a glass of Madeira
first, Mr Armstrong?"
Mr Armstrong took his glass of Madeira, and then went to the ladies;
and the next morning, left Grey Abbey, for his own parish. Well;
thought he to himself, as he was driven through the park, in the earl's
gig, I'm very glad I came here, for Frank's sake. I've smoothed his
way to matrimony and a fortune. But I don't know anything which would
induce me to stay a week at Grey Abbey. The earl is bad--nearly
unbearable; but the parson!--I'd sooner by half be a Roman myself,
than think so badly of my neighbours as he does. Many a time since
has he told in Connaught, how Mr O'Joscelyn. and Mary, his wife, sat
up two nights running, armed to the teeth, to protect themselves from
the noisy Repealers of Kilcullen.
Mr Armstrong arrived safely at his parsonage, and the next morning he
rode over to Kelly's Court. But Lord Ballindine was not there. He had
started for Grey Abbey almost immediately on receiving the two letters
which we have given, and he and his friend had passed each other on the
XXXIX. IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS
When Frank had read his two letters from Grey Abbey, he was in such a
state of excitement as to be unable properly to decide what he would
immediately do. His first idea was to gallop to Tuam, as fast as his
best horse would carry him; to take four horses there, and not to
stop one moment till he found himself at Grey Abbey: but a little
consideration showed him that this would not do. He would not find
horses ready for him on the road; he must take some clothes with him;
and it would be only becoming in him to give the earl some notice of
his approach. So he at last made up his mind to postpone his departure
for a few hours.
He was, however, too much overcome with joy to be able to do anything
rationally. His anger against the earl totally evaporated; indeed, he
only thought of him now as a man who had a house in which he could meet
his love. He rushed into the drawing-room, where his mother and sisters
were sitting, and, with the two letters open in his hand, proclaimed
his intention of leaving home that day.
"Goodness gracious, Frank! and where are you going?" said Mrs O'Kelly.
"To Grey Abbey."
"No!" said Augusta, jumping up from her chair.
"I am so glad!" shouted Sophy, throwing down her portion of the
"You have made up your difference, then, with Miss Wyndham?" said the
anxious mother. "I am so glad! My own dear, good, sensible Frank!"
"I never had any difference with Fanny," said he. "I was not able
to explain all about it, nor can I now: it was a crotchet of the
earl's--only some nonsense; however, I'm off now--I can't wait a day,
for I mean to write to say I shall be at Grey Abbey the day after
to-morrow, and I must go by Dublin. I shall be off in a couple of
hours; so, for Heaven's sake, Sophy, look sharp and put up my things."
The girls both bustled out of the room, and Frank was following them,
but his mother called him back. "When is it to be, Frank? Come tell
me something about it. I never asked any questions when I thought the
subject was a painful one."
"God bless you, mother, you never did. But I can tell you nothing--only
the stupid old earl has begged me to go there at once. Fanny must
settle the time herself: there'll be settlements, and lawyer's work."
"That's true, my love. A hundred thousand pounds in ready cash does
want looking after. But look here, my dear; Fanny is of age, isn't
"She is, mother."
"Well now, Frank, take my advice; they'll want to tie up her money in
all manner of ways, so as to make it of the least possible use to you,
or to her either. They always do; they're never contented unless they
lock up a girl's money, so that neither she nor her husband can spend
the principal or the interest. Don't let them do it, Frank. Of course
she will be led by you, let them settle whatever is fair on her; but
don't let them bother the money so that you can't pay off the debts.
It'll be a grand thing, Frank, to redeem the property."
Frank hemmed and hawed, and said he'd consult his lawyer in Dublin
before the settlements were signed; but declared that he was not going
to marry Fanny Wyndham for her money.
"That's all very well, Frank," said the mother; "but you know you could
not marry her without the money, and mind, it's now or never. Think
what a thing it would be to have the property unencumbered!"
The son hurried away to throw himself at the feet of his mistress, and
the mother remained in her drawing-room, thinking with delight on the
renovated grandeur of the family, and of the decided lead which the
O'Kellys would again be able to take in Connaught.
Fanny's joy was quite equal to that of her lover, but it was not shown
quite so openly. Her aunt congratulated her most warmly; kissed her
twenty times; called her her own dear, darling niece, and promised her
to love her husband, and to make him a purse if she could get Griffiths
to teach her that new stitch; it looked so easy she was sure she could
learn it, and it wouldn't tease her eyes. Lady Selina also wished her
joy; but she did it very coldly, though very sensibly.
"Believe me, my dear Fanny, I am glad you should have the wish of your
heart. There were obstacles to your union with Lord Ballindine, which
appeared to be insurmountable, and I therefore attempted to wean you
from your love. I hope he will prove worthy of that love, and that you
may never have cause to repent of your devotion to him. You are going
greatly to increase your cares and troubles; may God give you strength
to bear them, and wisdom to turn them to advantage!"
The earl made a very long speech to her, in which there were but few
pauses, and not one full stop. Fanny was not now inclined to quarrel
with him; and he quite satisfied himself that his conduct, throughout,
towards his ward, had been dignified, prudent, consistent, and
These speeches and congratulations all occurred during the period of Mr
Armstrong's visit, and Fanny heard nothing more about her lover, till
the third morning after that gentleman's departure; the earl announced
then, on entering the breakfast-room, that he had that morning received
a communication from Lord Ballindine, and that his lordship intended
reaching Grey Abbey that day in time for dinner.
Fanny felt herself blush, but she said nothing; Lady Selina regretted
that he had had a very wet day yesterday, and hoped he would have a
fine day to-day; and Lady Cashel was overcome at the reflection that
she had no one to meet him at dinner, and that she had not yet suited
herself with a cook.
"Dear me," exclaimed her ladyship; "I wish we'd got this letter
yesterday; no one knows now, beforehand, when people are coming. I'm
sure it usen't to be so. I shall be so glad to see Lord Ballindine; you
know, Fanny, he was always a great favourite of mine. Do you think,
Selina, the O'Joscelyns would mind coming again without any notice? I'm
sure I don't know--I would not for the world treat Lord Ballindine
shabbily; but what can I do, my dear?"
"I think, my lady, we may dispense with any ceremony now, with Lord
Ballindine," said the earl. "He will, I am sure, be delighted to be
received merely as one of the family. You need not mind asking the
"Do you think not? Well, that's a great comfort: besides, Lord
Ballindine never was particular. But still, Fanny, had I known he was
coming so soon, I would have had Murray down from Dublin again at once,
for Mrs Richards is not a good cook."
During the remainder of the morning, Fanny was certainly very happy;
but she was very uneasy. She hardly knew how to meet Lord Ballindine.
She felt that she had treated him badly, though she had never ceased
to love him dearly; and she also thought she owed him much for his
constancy. It was so good of him to send his friend to her--and one to
whom her uncle could not refuse admission; and then she thought she had
treated Mr Armstrong haughtily and unkindly. She had never thanked him
for all the trouble he had taken; she had never told him how very happy
he had made her; but she would do so at some future time, when he
should be an honoured and a valued guest in her own and her husband's
But how should she receive her lover? Would they allow her to be alone
with him, if only for a moment, at their first meeting? Oh! How she
longed for a confidante! but she could not make a confidante of her
cousin. Twice she went down to the drawing-room, with the intention
of talking of her love; but Lady Selina looked so rigid, and spoke so
rigidly, that she could not do it. She said such common-place things,
and spoke of Lord Ballindine exactly as she would of any other visitor
who might have been coming to the house. She did not confine herself to
his eating and drinking, as her mother did; but she said, he'd find the
house very dull, she was afraid--especially as the shooting was all
over, and the hunting very nearly so; that he would, however, probably
be a good deal at the Curragh races.
Fanny knew that her cousin did not mean to be unkind; but there was
no sympathy in her: she could not talk to her of the only subject
which occupied her thoughts; so she retreated to her own room, and
endeavoured to compose herself. As the afternoon drew on, she began to
wish that he was not coming till to-morrow. She became very anxious;
she must see him, somewhere, before she dressed for dinner; and she
would not, could not, bring herself to go down into the drawing-room,
and shake hands with him, when he came, before her uncle, her aunt, and
She was still pondering on the subject, when, about four o'clock in the
afternoon, she got a message from her aunt, desiring her to go to her
in her boudoir.
"That'll do, Griffiths," said the countess, as Fanny entered her room;
"you can come up when I ring. Sit down, Fanny; sit down, my dear. I was
thinking Lord Ballindine will soon be here."
"I suppose he will, aunt. In his letter to Lord Cashel, he said he'd be
here before dinner."
"I'm sure he'll be here soon. Dear me; I'm so glad it's all made up
between you. I'm sure, Fanny, I hope, and think, and believe, you'll be
very, very happy."
"Dear aunt"--and Fanny kissed Lady Cashel. A word of kindness to her
then seemed invaluable.
"It was so very proper in Lord Ballindine to give up his horses, and
all that sort of thing," said the countess; "I'm sure I always said
he'd turn out just what he should be; and he is so good-tempered. I
suppose, dear, you'll go abroad the first thing?"
"I haven't thought of that yet, aunt," said Fanny, trying to smile.
"Oh, of course you will; you'll go to the Rhine, and Switzerland, and
Como, and Rome, and those sort of places. It'll be very nice: we went
there--your uncle and I--and it was delightful; only I used to be very
tired. It wasn't then we went to Rome though. I remember now it was
after Adolphus was born. Poor Adolphus!" and her ladyship sighed, as
her thoughts went back to the miseries of her eldest born. "But I'll
tell you why I sent for you, my dear: you know, I must go downstairs
to receive Lord Ballindine, and tell him how glad I am that he's come
back; and I'm sure I am very glad that he's coming; and your uncle will
be there. But I was thinking you'd perhaps sooner see him first alone.
You'll be a little flurried, my dear,--that's natural; so, if you like,
you can remain up here, my dear, in my room, quiet and comfortable, by
yourself; and Griffiths shall show Lord Ballindine upstairs, as soon as
he leaves the drawing-room."
"How very, very kind of you, dear aunt!" said Fanny, relieved from her
most dreadful difficulty. And so it was arranged. Lady Cashel went down
into the drawing-room to await her guest, and Fanny brought her book
into her aunt's boudoir, and pretended she would read till Lord
Ballindine disturbed her.
I need hardly say that she did not read much. She sat there over her
aunt's fire, waiting to catch the sound of the wheels on the gravel
at the front door. At one moment she would think that he was never
coming--the time appeared to be so long; and then again, when she heard
any sound which might be that of his approach, she would again wish to
have a few minutes more to herself.
At length, however, she certainly did hear him. There was the quick
rattle of the chaise over the gravel, becoming quicker and quicker,
till the vehicle stopped with that kind of plunge which is made by no
other animal than a post-horse, and by him only at his arrival at the
end of a stage. Then the steps were let down with a crash--she would
not go to the window, or she might have seen him; she longed to do so,
but it appeared so undignified. She sat quite still in her chair; but
she heard his quick step at the hail door; she was sure--she could have
sworn to his step--and then she heard the untying of cords, and pulling
down of luggage. Lord Ballindine was again in the house, and the
dearest wish of her heart was accomplished.
She felt that she was trembling. She had not yet made up her mind how
she would receive him--what she would first say to him--and certainly
she had no time to do so now. She got up, and looked in her
aunt's pier-glass. It was more a movement of instinct than one of
premeditation; but she thought she had never seen herself look so
wretchedly. She had, however, but little time, either for regret or
improvement on that score, for there were footsteps in the corridor. He
couldn't have stayed a moment to speak to anyone downstairs--however,
there he certainly was; she heard Griffiths' voice in the passage,
"This way, my lord--in my lady's boudoir;" and then the door opened,
and in a moment she was in her lover's arms.
"My own Fanny!--once more my own!"
"Oh, Frank! dear Frank!"
Lord Ballindine was only ten minutes late in coming down to dinner,
and Miss Wyndham not about half an hour, which should be considered as
showing great moderation on her part. For, of course, Frank kept her
talking a great deal longer than he should have done; and then she not
only had to dress, but to go through many processes with her eyes,
to obliterate the trace of tears. She was, however, successful, for
she looked very beautiful when she came down, and so dignified, so
composed, so quiet in her happiness, and yet so very happy in her
quietness. Fanny was anything but a hypocrite; she had hardly a taint
of hypocrisy in her composition, but her looks seldom betrayed her
feelings. There was a majesty of beauty about her, a look of serenity
in her demeanour, which in public made her appear superior to all
Frank seemed to be much less at his ease. He attempted to chat easily
with the countess, and to listen pleasantly to the would-be witticisms
of the earl; but he was not comfortable, he did not amalgamate well
with the family; had there been a larger party, he could have talked
all dinner-time to his love; but, as it was, he hardly spoke a word to
her during the ceremony, and indeed, but few during the evening. He did
sit next to her on the sofa, to be sure, and watched the lace she was
working; but he could not talk unreservedly to her, when old Lady
Cashel was sitting close to him on the other side, and Lady Selina on a
chair immediately opposite. And then, it is impossible to talk to one's
mistress, in an ordinary voice, on ordinary subjects, when one has not
seen her for some months. A lover is never so badly off as in a family
party: a _tete-a-tete_, or a large assembly, are what suit him best:
he is equally at his ease in either; but he is completely out of his
element in a family party. After all, Lady Cashel was right; it would
have been much better to have asked the O'Joscelyns.
The next morning, Frank underwent a desperate interview in the
book-room. His head was dizzy before Lord Cashel had finished half of
what he had to say. He commenced by pointing out with what perfect
uprightness and wisdom he had himself acted with regard to his ward;
and Lord Ballindine did not care to be at the trouble of contradicting
him. He then went to the subject of settlements, and money matters:
professed that he had most unbounded confidence in his young friend's
liberality, integrity, and good feeling; that he would be glad to
listen, and, he had no doubt, to accede to any proposals made by him:
that he was quite sure Lord Ballindine would make no proposal which was
not liberal, fair, and most proper; and he said a great deal more of
the kind, and then himself proposed to arrange his ward's fortune in
such a way as to put it quite beyond her future husband's control. On
this subject, however, Frank rather nonplussed the earl by proposing
nothing, and agreeing to nothing; but simply saying that he would leave
the whole matter in the hands of the lawyers.
"Quite right, my lord, quite right," said Lord Cashel, "my men of
business, Green and Grogram, will manage all that. They know all about
Fanny's property; they can draw out the settlements, and Grogram can
bring them here, and we can execute them: that'll be the simplest way."
"I'll write to Mr Cummings, then, and tell him to wait on Messrs. Green
and Grogram. Cummings is a very proper man: he was recommended to me by
"Oh, ah--yes; your attorney, you mean?" said the earl. "Why, yes, that
will be quite proper, too. Of course Mr Cummings will see the necessity
of absolutely securing Miss Wyndham's fortune."
Nothing further, however, was said between them on the subject; and the
settlements, whatever was their purport, were drawn out without any
visible interference on the part of Lord Ballindine. But Mr Grogram,
the attorney, on his first visit to Grey Abbey on the subject, had no
difficulty in learning that Miss Wyndham was determined to have a will
of her own in the disposition of her own money.
Fanny told her lover the whole episode of Lord Kilcullen's offer to
her; but she told it in such a way as to redound rather to her cousin's
credit than otherwise. She had learned to love him as a cousin and
a friend, and his ill-timed proposal to her had not destroyed the
feeling. A woman can rarely be really offended at the expression of
love, unless it be from some one unfitted to match with her, either in
rank or age. Besides, Fanny thought that Lord Kilcullen had behaved
generously to her when she so violently repudiated his love: she
believed that it had been sincere; she had not even to herself accused
him of meanness or treachery; and she spoke of him as one to be pitied,
liked, and regarded; not as one to be execrated and avoided.
And then she confessed to Frank all her fears respecting himself; how
her heart would have broken, had he taken her own rash word as final,
and so deserted her. She told him that she had never ceased to love
him, for a day; not even on that day when, in her foolish spleen, she
had told her uncle she was willing to break off the match; she owned to
him all her troubles, all her doubts; how she had made up her mind to
write to him, but had not dared to do so, lest his answer should be
such as would kill her at once. And then she prayed to be forgiven for
her falseness; for having consented, even for a moment, to forget the
solemn vows she had so often repeated to him.
Frank stopped her again and again in her sweet confessions, and swore
the blame was only his. He anathematised himself, his horses, and
his friends, for having caused a moment's uneasiness to her; but she
insisted on receiving his forgiveness, and he was obliged to say that
he forgave her. With all his follies, and all his weakness, Lord
Ballindine was not of an unforgiving temperament: he was too happy to
be angry with any one, now. He forgave even Lord Cashel; and, had he
seen Lord Kilcullen, he would have been willing to give him his hand
as to a brother.
Frank spent two or three delightful weeks, basking in the sunshine
of Fanny's love, and Lord Cashel's favour. Nothing could be more
obsequiously civil than the earl's demeanour, now that the matter was
decided. Every thing was to be done just as Lord Ballindine liked;
his taste was to be consulted in every thing; the earl even proposed
different visits to the Curragh; asked after the whereabouts of Fin
M'Coul and Brien Boru; and condescended pleasantly to inquire whether
Dot Blake was prospering as usual with his favourite amusement.
At length, the day was fixed for the marriage. It was to be in the
pleasant, sweet-smelling, grateful month of May,--the end of May; and
Lord and Lady Ballindine were then to start for a summer tour, as the
countess had proposed, to see the Rhine, and Switzerland, and Rome, and
those sort of places. And now, invitations were sent, far and wide,
to relatives and friends. Lord Cashel had determined that the wedding
should be a great concern. The ruin of his son was to be forgotten in
the marriage of his niece. The bishop of Maryborough was to come and
marry them; the Ellisons were to come again, and the Fitzgeralds: a
Duchess was secured, though duchesses are scarce in Ireland; and great
exertions were made to get at a royal Prince, who was commanding the
forces in the west. But the royal Prince did not see why he should
put himself to so much trouble, and he therefore sent to say that he
was very sorry, but the peculiar features of the time made it quite
impossible for him to leave his command, even on so great a temptation;
and a paragraph consequently found its way into the papers, very
laudatory of his Royal Highness's military energy and attention. Mrs
O'Kelly and her daughters received a very warm invitation, which they
were delighted to accept. Sophy and Augusta were in the seventh heaven
of happiness, for they were to form a portion of the fair bevy of
bridesmaids appointed to attend Fanny Wyndham to the altar. Frank
rather pished and poohed at all these preparations of grandeur; he felt
that when the ceremony took place he would look like the ornamental
calf in the middle of it; but, on the whole, he bore his martyrdom
patiently. Four spanking bays, and a new chariot ordered from Hutton's,
on the occasion, would soon carry him away from the worst part of it.
Lord Cashel was in the midst of his glory: he had got an occupation
and he delighted in it. Lady Selina performed her portion of the work
with exemplary patience and attention. She wrote all the orders to
the tradesmen, and all the invitations; she even condescended to
give advice to Fanny about her dress; and to Griffiths, about the
arrangement of the rooms and tables. But poor Lady Cashel worked the
hardest of all,--her troubles had no end. Had she known what she was
about to encounter, when she undertook the task of superintending the
arrangements for her niece's wedding, she would never have attempted
it: she would never have entered into negotiations with that
treacherous Murray--that man cook in Dublin--but have allowed Mrs
Richards to have done her best,--or her worst,--in her own simple way,
in spite of the Duchess and the Bishop, and the hopes of a royal Prince
indulged in by Lord Cashel. She did not dare to say as much to her
husband, but she confessed to Griffiths that she was delighted when she
heard His Royal Highness would not come. She was sure his coming would
not make dear Fanny a bit happier, and she really would not have known
what to do with him after the married people were gone.
Frank received two letters from Dot Blake during his stay at Grey
Abbey. In the former he warmly congratulated him on his approaching
nuptials, and strongly commended him on his success in having arranged
matters. "You never could have forgiven yourself," he said, "had you
allowed Miss Wyndham's splendid fortune to slip through your hands. I
knew you were not the man to make a vain boast of a girl's love, and I
was therefore sure that you might rely on her affection. I only feared
you might let the matter go too far. You know I strongly advised you
not to marry twenty thousand pounds. I am as strongly of opinion that
you would be a fool to neglect to marry six times as much. You see I
still confine myself to the money part of the business, as though the
lady herself were of no value. I don't think so, however; only I know
you never would have lived happily without an easy fortune." And then
he spoke of Brien Boru, and informed Lord Ballindine that that now
celebrated nag was at the head of the list of the Derby horses; that
it was all but impossible to get any odds against him at all;--that
the whole betting world were talking of nothing else; that three
conspiracies had been detected, the object of which was to make him
safe--that is, to make him very unsafe to his friends; that Scott's
foreman had been offered two thousand to dose him; and that Scott
himself slept in the stable with him every night, to prevent anything
like false play.
The second letter was written by Dot, at Epsom, on the 4th of May,
thirty minutes after the great race had been run. It was very short;
and shall therefore be given entire.
Epsom, Derby Day,
Race just over.
God bless you, my dear boy--Brien has done the trick, and done it
well! Butler rode him beautifully, but he did not want any riding;
he's the kindest beast ever had a saddle on. The stakes are close
on four thousand pounds: your share will do well to pay the
posters, &c., for yourself and my lady, on your wedding trip. I win
well--very well; but I doubt the settling. We shall have awful faces
at the corner next week. You'll probably have heard all about it by
express before you get this.
In greatest haste, yours,
The next week, the following paragraph appeared in "Bell's Life in
It never rains but it pours. It appears pretty certain, now, that
Brien Boru is not the property of the gentleman in whose name he has
run; but that he is owned by a certain noble lord, well known on
the Irish turf, who has lately, however, been devoting his time to
pursuits more pleasant and more profitable than the cares of the
stable--pleasant and profitable as it doubtless must be to win
the best race of the year. The pick-up on the Derby is about four
thousand pounds, and Brien Boru is certainly the best horse of his
year. But Lord Ballindine's matrimonial pick-up is, we are told, a
clear quarter of a million; and those who are good judges declare
that no more beautiful woman than the future Lady Ballindine will
have graced the English Court for many a long year. His lordship,
on the whole, is not doing badly.
Lord Cashel, also, congratulated Frank on his success on the turf, in
spite of the very decided opinion he had expressed on the subject, when
he was endeavouring to throw him on one side.
"My dear Ballindine," he said, "I wish you joy with all my heart: a
most magnificent animal, I'm told, is Brien, and still partly your own
property, you say. Well; it's a great triumph to beat those English
lads on their own ground, isn't it? And thorough Irish blood,
too!--thorough Irish blood! He has the 'Paddy Whack' strain in him,
through the dam--the very best blood in Ireland. You know, my mare
'Dignity', that won the Oaks in '29, was by 'Chanticleer', out of
'Floribel', by 'Paddy Whack.' You say you mean to give up the turf,
and you know I've done so, too. But, if you ever do change your
mind--should you ever run horses again--take my advice, and stick to
the 'Paddy Whack' strain. There's no beating the real 'Paddy Whack'
On the 21st of May, 1844, Lord Ballindine and Fanny Wyndham were
married. The bishop "turned 'em off iligant," as a wag said in the
servants' hall. There was a long account of the affair in the "Morning
Post" of the day; there were eight bridesmaids, all of whom, it was
afterwards remarked, were themselves married within two years of the
time; an omen which was presumed to promise much continued happiness to
Lord and Lady Ballindine, and all belonging to them.
Murray, the man cook, did come down from Dublin, just in time; but he
behaved very badly. He got quite drunk on the morning of the wedding.
He, however, gave Richards an opportunity of immortalising herself. She
behaved, on the trying occasion, so well, that she is now confirmed
in her situation; and Lady Cashel has solemnly declared that she will
never again, on any account, be persuaded to allow a man cook to enter
Lady Selina--she would not officiate as one of the bridesmaids--is
still unmarried; but her temper is not thereby soured, nor her life
embittered. She is active, energetic, and good as ever: and, as ever,
cold, hard, harsh, and dignified. Lord Kilcullen has hardly been heard
of since his departure from Grey Abbey. It is known that he is living
at Baden, but no one knows on what. His father never mentions his name;
his mother sometimes talks of "poor Adolphus;" but if he were dead and
buried he could not give less trouble to the people of Grey Abbey.
No change has occurred, or is likely to take place, in the earl
himself--nor is any desirable. How could he change for the better? How
could he bear his honours with more dignity, or grace his high position
with more decorum? Every year since the marriage of his niece, he has
sent Lord and Lady Ballindine an invitation to Grey Abbey; but there
has always been some insuperable impediment to the visit. A child had
just been born, or was just going to be born; or Mrs O'Kelly was ill;
or one of the Miss O'Kellys was going to be married. It was very
unfortunate, but Lord and Lady Ballindine were never able to get as far
as Grey Abbey.
Great improvements have been effected at Kelly's Court. Old buildings
have been pulled down, and additions built up; a great many thousand
young trees have been planted, and some miles of new roads and walks
constructed. The place has quite an altered appearance; and, though
Connaught is still Connaught, and County Mayo is the poorest part of
it, Lady Ballindine does not find Kelly's Court unbearable. She has
three children already, and doubtless will have many more. Her nursery,
therefore, prevents her from being tormented by the weariness of the
Lord Ballindine himself is very happy. He still has the hounds, and
maintains, in the three counties round him, the sporting pre-eminence,
which has for so many years belonged to his family. But he has no
race-horses. His friend, Dot, purchased the lot of them out and out,
soon after the famous Derby; and a very good bargain, for himself,
he is said to have made. He is still intimate with Lord Ballindine,
and always spends a fortnight with him at Kelly's Court during the
Sophy O'Kelly married a Blake, and Augusta married a Dillon; and, as
they both live within ten miles of Kelly's Court. and their husbands
are related to all the Blakes and all the Dillons; and as Ballindine
himself is the head of all the Kellys, there is a rather strong clan of
them. About five-and-twenty cousins muster together in red coats and
top-boots, every Tuesday and Friday during the hunting-season. It would
hardly be wise, in that country, to quarrel with a Kelly, a Dillon, or
We must now return to Dunmore, and say a few parting words of the
Kellys and Anty Lynch; and then our task will be finished.
It will be remembered that that demon of Dunmore, Barry Lynch, has been
made to vanish: like Lord Kilcullen, he has gone abroad; he has settled
himself at an hotel at Boulogne, and is determined to enjoy himself.
Arrangements have been made about the property, certainly not very
satisfactory to Barry, because they are such as make it necessary for
him to pay his own debts; but they still leave him sufficient to allow
of his indulging in every vice congenial to his taste; and, if he
doesn't get fleeced by cleverer rogues than himself--which, however,
will probably be the case--he will have quite enough to last him till
he has drunk himself to death.
After his departure, there was nothing to delay Anty's marriage, but
her own rather slow recovery. She has no other relatives to ask, no
other friends to consult. Now that Barry was gone she was entirely
her own mistress, and was quite willing to give up her dominion over
herself to Martin Kelly. She had, however, been greatly shaken; not by
illness only, but by fear also--her fears of Barry and for Barry. She
still dreamed while asleep, and thought while awake, of that horrid
night when he crept up to her room and swore that he would murder her.
This, and what she had suffered since, had greatly weakened her, and it
was some time before Doctor Colligan would pronounce her convalescent.
At last, however, the difficulties were overcome; all arrangements were
completed. Anty was well; the property was settled; Martin was
impatient; and the day was fixed.
There was no bishop, no duchess, no man-cook, at the wedding-party
given on the occasion by Mrs Kelly; nevertheless, it was, in its way,
quite as grand an affair as that given by the countess. The widow
opened her heart, and opened her house. Her great enemy, Barry Lynch,
was gone--clean beaten out of the field--thoroughly vanquished; as far
as Ireland was concerned, annihilated; and therefore, any one else in
the three counties was welcome to share her hospitality. Oh, the excess
of delight the widow experienced in speaking of Barry to one of her
gossips, as the "poor misfortunate crature!" Daly, the attorney, was
especially invited, and he came. Moylan also was asked, but he stayed
away. Doctor Colligan was there, in great feather; had it not been for
him, there would probably have been no wedding at all. It would have
been a great thing if Lord Ballindine could have been got to grace
the party, though only for ten minutes; but he was at that time in
Switzerland with his own bride, so he could not possibly do so.
"Well, ma'am," said Mrs Costelloe, the grocer's wife, from Tuam, an
old friend of the widow, who had got into a corner with her to have a
little chat, and drink half-a-pint of porter before the ceremony,--"and
I'm shure I wish you joy of the marriage. Faux, I'm tould it's nigh to
five hundred a-year, Miss Anty has, may God bless and incrase it! Well,
Martin has his own luck; but he desarves it, he desarves it."
"I don't know so much about luck thin, Mrs Costelloe," said the widow,
who still professed to think that her son gave quite as much as he got,
in marrying Anty Lynch; "I don't know so much about luck: Martin was
very well as he was; his poor father didn't lave him that way that he
need be looking to a wife for mains, the Lord be praised."
"And that's thrue, too, Mrs Kelly," said the other; "but Miss Anty's
fortune ain't a bad step to a young man, neither. Why, there won't
be a young gintleman within tin--no, not within forty miles, more
respectable than Martin Kelly; that is, regarding mains."
"And you needn't stop there, Ma'am, neither; you may say the very same
regarding characther, too--and family, too, glory be to the Virgin. I'd
like to know where some of their ancesthers wor, when the Kellys of
ould wor ruling the whole counthry?"
"Thrue for you, my dear; I'd like to know, indeed: there's nothing,
afther all, like blood, and a good characther. But is it thrue, Mrs
Kelly, that Martin will live up in the big house yonder?"
"Where should a man live thin, Mrs Costelloe, when he gets married, but
jist in his own house? Why for should he not live there?"
"That's thrue agin, to be shure: but yet, only to think Martin--living
in ould Sim Lynch's big house! I wondther what ould Sim would say,
hisself, av he could only come back and see it!"
"I'll tell you what he'd say thin, av he tould the thruth; he'd say
there was an honest man living there, which wor niver the case as long
as any of his own breed was in it--barring Anty, I main; she's honest
and thrue, the Lord be good to her, the poor thing. But the porter's
not to your liking, Mrs Costelloe--you're not tasting it at all this
No one could have been more humble and meek than was Anty herself, in
the midst of her happiness. She had no idea of taking on herself the
airs of a fine lady, or the importance of an heiress; she had no wish
to be thought a lady; she had no wish for other friends than those of
her husband, and his family. She had never heard of her brother's last
horrible proposal to Doctor Colligan, and of the manner in which his
consent to her marriage had been obtained; nor did Martin intend that
she should hear it. She had merely been told that her brother had found
that it was for his advantage to leave the neighbourhood altogether;
that he had given up all claim to the house; and that his income was to
be sent to him by a person appointed in the neighbourhood to receive
it. Anty, however, before signing her own settlement, was particularly
careful that nothing should be done, injurious to her brother's
interest, and that no unfair advantage should be taken of his absence.
Martin, too, was quiet enough on the occasion. It was arranged that
he and his wife, and at any rate one of his sisters, should live at
Dunmore House; and that he should keep in his own hands the farm near
Dunmore, which old Sim had held, as well as his own farm at Toneroe.
But, to tell the truth, Martin felt rather ashamed of his grandeur. He
would much have preferred building a nice snug little house of his own,
on the land he held under Lord Ballindine; but he was told that he
would be a fool to build a house on another man's ground, when he had a
very good one ready built on his own. He gave way to such good advice,
but he did not feel at all happy at the idea; and, when going up to the
house, always felt an inclination to shirk in at the back-way.
But, though neither the widow nor Martin triumphed aloud at their
worldly prosperity, the two girls made up for their quiescence. They
were full of nothing else; their brother's fine house--Anty's great
fortune; their wealth, prosperity, and future station and happiness,
gave them subjects of delightful conversation among their friends. Meg.
moreover, boasted that it was all her own doing; that it was she who
had made up the match; that Martin would never have thought of it but
for her,--nor Anty either, for the matter of that.
"And will your mother be staying down at the shop always, the same as
iver?" said Matilda Nolan, the daughter of the innkeeper at Tuam.
"'Deed she says so, then," said Jane, in a tone of disappointment; for
her mother's pertinacity in adhering to the counter was, at present,
the one misery of her life.
"And which of you will be staying here along with her, dears?" said
Matilda. "She'll be wanting one of you to be with her, any ways."
"Oh, turn about, I suppose," said Jane.
"She'll not get much of my company, any way," said Meg. "I've had
enough of the nasty place, and now Martin has a dacent house to put
over our heads, and mainly through my mains I may say, I don't see why
I'm to be mewing myself up in such a hole as this. There's room for her
up in Dunmore House, and wilcome, too; let her come up there. Av she
mains to demain herself by sticking down here, she may stay by herself
"But you'll take your turn, Meg?" said Jane.
"It'll be a very little turn, then," said Meg; "I'm sick of the nasty
ould place; fancy coming down here, Matilda, to the tobacco and
sugar, after living up there a month or so, with everything nice and
comfortable! And it's only mother's whims, for she don't want the shop.
Anty begged and prayed of her for to come and live at Dunmore House for
good and all; but no; she says she'll never live in any one's house
that isn't her own."
"I'm not so, any way," said Jane; "I'd be glad enough to live in
another person's house av I liked it."
"I'll go bail you would, my dear," said Matilda; "willing
enough--especially John Dolan's."
"Oh! av I iver live in that it'll be partly my own, you know; and
may-be a girl might do worse."
"That's thrue, dear," said Matilda; "but John Dolan's not so soft as to
take any girl just as she stands. What does your mother say about the
money part of the business?"
And so the two friends put their heads together, to arrange another
wedding, if possible.
Martin and Anty did not go to visit Switzerland, or Rome, as soon as
they were married; but they took a bathing-lodge at Renvill, near
Galway, and with much difficulty, persuaded Mrs Kelly to allow both her
daughters to accompany them. And very merry they all were. Anty soon
became a different creature from what she ever had been: she learned
to be happy and gay; to laugh and enjoy the sunshine of the world. She
had always been kind to others, and now she had round her those who
were kind and affectionate to her. Her manner of life was completely
changed: indeed, life itself was an altered thing to her. It was so new
to her to have friends; to be loved; to be one of a family who regarded
and looked up to her. She hardly knew herself in her new happiness.
They returned to Dunmore in the early autumn, and took up their
residence at Sim Lynch's big house, as had been arranged. Martin was
very shy about it: it was long before he talked about it as his house,
or his ground, or his farm; and it was long before he could find
himself quite at home in his own parlour.
Many attempts were made to induce the widow to give up the inn, and
shift her quarters to the big house, but in vain. She declared that,
ould as she was, she wouldn't think of making herself throublesome to
young folks; who, may-be, afther a bit, would a dail sooner have her
room than her company: that she had always been misthress, and mostly
masther too, in her own house, glory be to God; and that she meant to
be so still; and that, poor as the place was, she meant to call it her
own. She didn't think herself at all fit company for people who lived
in grand houses, and had their own demesnes, and gardens, and the rest
of it; she had always lived where money was to be made, and she didn't
see the sense of going, in her old age, to a place where the only work
would be how to spend it. Some folks would find it was a dail asier to
scatther it than it wor to put it together. All this she said and a
great deal more, which had her character not been known, would have led
people to believe that her son was a spendthrift, and that he and Anty
were commencing life in an expensive way, and without means. But then,
the widow Kelly _was_ known, and her speeches were only taken at their
She so far relaxed, however, that she spent every Sunday at the house;
on which occasions she invariably dressed herself with all the grandeur
she was able to display, and passed the whole afternoon sitting on
a sofa, with her hands before her, trying to look as became a lady
enjoying herself in a fine drawing-room. Her Sundays were certainly not
the comfort to her, which they had been when spent at the inn; but they
made her enjoy, with a keener relish, the feeling of perfect
sovereignty when she returned to her own domains.
I have nothing further to tell of Mr and Mrs Kelly. I believe Doctor
Colligan has been once called in on an interesting occasion, if not
twice; so it is likely that Dunmore House will not be left without an
I have also learned, on inquiry, that Margaret and Jane Kelly have both
arranged their own affairs to their own satisfaction.
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