The Kellys and the O'Kellys
Part 1 out of 10
errors. Most notably, much of Trollope's original punctuation
is missing. We are in the process of correcting and updating
THE KELLYS AND THE O'KELLYS
I THE TRIAL
During the first two months of the year 1844, the greatest possible
excitement existed in Dublin respecting the State Trials, in which Mr
O'Connell, his son, the Editors of three different repeal newspapers, Tom
Steele, the Rev. Mr Tierney a priest who had taken a somewhat prominent
part in the Repeal Movement and Mr Ray, the Secretary to the Repeal
Association, were indicted for conspiracy. Those who only read of the
proceedings in papers, which gave them as a mere portion of the news of the
day, or learned what was going on in Dublin by chance conversation, can
have no idea of the absorbing interest which the whole affair created in
Ireland, but more especially in the metropolis. Every one felt strongly, on
one side or on the other. Every one had brought the matter home to his own
bosom, and looked to the result of the trial with individual interest and
Even at this short interval Irishmen can now see how completely they put
judgment aside, and allowed feeling and passion to predominate in the
matter. Many of the hottest protestants, of the staunchest foes to
O'Connell, now believe that his absolute imprisonment was not to be
desired, and that whether he were acquitted or convicted, the Government
would have sufficiently shown, by instituting his trial, its determination
to put down proceedings of which they did not approve. On the other hand,
that class of men who then styled themselves Repealers are now aware that
the continued imprisonment of their leader the persecution, as they
believed it to be, of "the Liberator" would have been the one thing most
certain to have sustained his influence, and to have given fresh force to
their agitation. Nothing ever so strengthened the love of the Irish for,
and the obedience of the Irish to O'Connell, as his imprisonment; nothing
ever so weakened his power over them as his unexpected enfranchisement. The
country shouted for joy when he was set free, and expended all its
enthusiasm in the effort.
At the time, however, to which I am now referring, each party felt the most
intense interest in the struggle, and the most eager desire for success.
Every Repealer, and every Anti-Repealer in Dublin felt that it was a
contest, in which he himself was, to a certain extent, individually
engaged. All the tactics of the opposed armies, down to the minutest legal
details, were eagerly and passionately canvassed in every circle. Ladies,
who had before probably never heard of "panels" in forensic phraseology,
now spoke enthusiastically on the subject; and those on one side expressed
themselves indignant at the fraudulent omission of certain names from the
lists of jurors; while those on the other were capable of proving the
legality of choosing the jury from the names which were given, and stated
most positively that the omissions were accidental.
"The traversers" were in everybody's mouth a term heretofore confined to
law courts, and lawyers' rooms. The Attorney-General, the Commander-in-
Chief of the Government forces, was most virulently assailed; every legal
step which he took was scrutinised and abused; every measure which he used
was base enough of itself to hand down his name to everlasting infamy. Such
were the tenets of the Repealers. And O'Connell and his counsel, their base
artifices, falsehoods, delays, and unprofessional proceedings, were
declared by the Saxon party to be equally abominable.
The whole Irish bar seemed, for the time, to have laid aside the habitual
sang froid and indifference of lawyers, and to have employed their hearts
as well as their heads on behalf of the different parties by whom they were
engaged. The very jurors themselves for a time became famous or infamous,
according to the opinions of those by whom their position was discussed.
Their names and additions were published and republished; they were
declared to be men who would stand by their country and do their duty
without fear or favour so said the Protestants. By the Roman Catholics,
they were looked on as perjurors determined to stick to the Government with
blind indifference to their oaths. Their names are now, for the most part,
forgotten, though so little time has elapsed since they appeared so
frequently before the public.
Every day's proceedings gave rise to new hopes and fears. The evidence
rested chiefly on the reports of certain short-hand writers, who had been
employed to attend Repeal meetings, and their examinations and cross-
examinations were read, re-read, and scanned with the minutest care. Then,
the various and long speeches of the different counsel, who, day after day,
continued to address the jury; the heat of one, the weary legal
technicalities of another, the perspicuity of a third, and the splendid
forensic eloquence of a fourth, were criticised, depreciated and admired.
It seemed as though the chief lawyers of the day were standing an
examination, and were candidates for some high honour, which each was
striving to secure.
The Dublin papers were full of the trial; no other subject, could, at the
time, either interest or amuse. I doubt whether any affair of the kind was
ever, to use the phrase of the trade, so well and perfectly reported. The
speeches appeared word for word the same in the columns of newspapers of
different politics. For four-fifths of the contents of the paper it would
have been the same to you whether you were reading the Evening Mail, or the
Freeman. Every word that was uttered in the Court was of importance to
every one in Dublin; and half-an-hour's delay in ascertaining, to the
minutest shade, what had taken place in Court during any period, was
accounted a sad misfortune.
The press round the Four Courts, every morning before the doors were open,
was very great: and except by the favoured few who were able to obtain
seats, it was only with extreme difficulty and perseverance, that an
entrance into the body of the Court could be obtained.
It was on the eleventh morning of the proceedings, on the day on which the
defence of the traversers was to be commenced, that two young men, who had
been standing for a couple of hours in front of the doors of the Court,
were still waiting there, with what patience was left to them, after having
been pressed and jostled for so long a time. Richard Lalor Sheil, however,
was to address the jury on behalf of Mr John O'Connell and every one in
Dublin knew that that was a treat not to be lost. The two young men, too,
were violent Repealers. The elder of them was a three-year-old denizen of
Dublin, who knew the names of the contributors to the "Nation", who had
constantly listened to the indignation and enthusiasm of O'Connell, Smith
O'Brien, and O'Neill Daunt, in their addresses from the rostrum of the
Conciliation Hall; who had drank much porter at Jude's, who had eaten many
oysters at Burton Bindon's, who had seen and contributed to many rows in
the Abbey Street Theatre; who, during his life in Dublin, had done many
things which he ought not to have done, and had probably made as many
omissions of things which it had behoved him to do. He had that knowledge
of the persons of his fellow-citizens, which appears to be so much more
general in Dublin than in any other large town; he could tell you the name
and trade of every one he met in the streets, and was a judge of the
character and talents of all whose employments partook, in any degree, of a
public nature. His name was Kelly; and, as his calling was that of an
attorney's clerk, his knowledge of character would be peculiarly valuable
in the scene at which he and his companion were so anxious to be present.
The younger of the two brothers, for such they were, was a somewhat
different character. Though perhaps a more enthusiastic Repealer than his
brother, he was not so well versed in the details of Repeal tactics, or in
the strength and weakness of the Repeal ranks. He was a young farmer, of
the better class, from the County Mayo, where he held three or four hundred
wretchedly bad acres under Lord Ballindine, and one or two other small
farms, under different landlords. He was a good-looking young fellow, about
twenty-five years of age, with that mixture of cunning and frankness in his
bright eye, which is so common among those of his class in Ireland, but
more especially so in Connaught.
The mother of these two young men kept an inn in the small town of Dunmore,
and though from the appearance of the place, one would be led to suppose
that there could not be in Dunmore much of that kind of traffic which
innkeepers love, Mrs Kelly was accounted a warm, comfortable woman. Her
husband had left her for a better world some ten years since, with six
children; and the widow, instead of making continual use, as her chief
support, of that common wail of being a poor, lone woman, had put her
shoulders to the wheel, and had earned comfortably, by sheer industry, that
which so many of her class, when similarly situated, are willing to owe to
She held on the farm, which her husband rented from Lord Ballindine, till
her eldest son was able to take it. He, however, was now a gauger in the
north of Ireland. Her second son was the attorney's clerk; and the farm had
descended to Martin, the younger, whom we have left jostling and jostled at
one of the great doors of the Four Courts, and whom we must still leave
there for a short time, while a few more of the circumstances of his family
Mrs Kelly had, after her husband's death, added a small grocer's
establishment to her inn. People wondered where she had found the means of
supplying her shop: some said that old Mick Kelly must have had money when
he died, though it was odd how a man who drank so much could ever have kept
a shilling by him. Others remarked how easy it was to get credit in these
days, and expressed a hope that the wholesale dealer in Pill Lane might be
none the worse. However this might be, the widow Kelly kept her station
firmly and constantly behind her counter, wore her weeds and her warm,
black, stuff dress decently and becomingly, and never asked anything of
At the time of which we are writing, her two elder sons had left her, and
gone forth to make their own way, and take the burden of the world on their
own shoulders. Martin still lived with his mother, though his farm lay four
miles distant, on the road to Ballindine, and in another county for Dunmore
is in County Galway, and the lands of Toneroe, as Martin's farm was called,
were in the County Mayo. One of her three daughters had lately been married
to a shop-keeper in Tuam, and rumour said that he had got £500 with her;
and Pat Daly was not the man to have taken a wife for nothing. The other
two girls, Meg and Jane, still remained under their mother's wing, and
though it was to be presumed that they would soon fly abroad, with the same
comfortable plumage which had enabled their sister to find so warm a nest,
they were obliged, while sharing their mother's home, to share also her
labours, and were not allowed to be too proud to cut off pennyworths of
tobacco, and mix dandies of punch for such of their customers as still
preferred the indulgence of their throats to the blessing of Father Mathew.
Mrs. Kelly kept two ordinary in-door servants to assist in the work of the
house; one, an antiquated female named Sally, who was more devoted to her
tea-pot than ever was any bacchanalian to his glass. Were there four
different teas in the inn in one evening, she would have drained the pot
after each, though she burst in the effort. Sally was, in all, an honest
woman, and certainly a religious one;--she never neglected her devotional
duties, confessed with most scrupulous accuracy the various peccadillos of
which she might consider herself guilty; and it was thought, with reason,
by those who knew her best, that all the extra prayers she said,--and they
were very many,--were in atonement for commissions of continual petty
larceny with regard to sugar. On this subject did her old mistress quarrel
with her, her young mistress ridicule her; of this sin did her
fellow-servant accuse her; and, doubtless, for this sin did her Priest
continually reprove her; but in vain. Though she would not own it, there
was always sugar in her pocket, and though she declared that she usually
drank her tea unsweetened, those who had come upon her unawares had seen
her extracting the pinches of moist brown saccharine from the huge slit in
her petticoat, and could not believe her.
Kate, the other servant, was a red-legged lass, who washed the potatoes,
fed the pigs, and ate her food nobody knew when or where. Kates,
particularly Irish Kates, are pretty by prescription; but Mrs. Kelly's Kate
had been excepted, and was certainly a most positive exception. Poor Kate
was very ugly. Her hair had that appearance of having been dressed by the
turkey-cock, which is sometimes presented by the heads of young women in
her situation; her mouth extended nearly from ear to ear; her neck and
throat, which were always nearly bare, presented no feminine charms to
view; and her short coarse petticoat showed her red legs nearly to the
knee; for, except on Sundays, she knew not the use of shoes and stockings.
But though Kate was ungainly and ugly, she was useful, and grateful very
fond of the whole family, and particularly attached to the two young
ladies, in whose behalf she doubtless performed many a service, acceptable
enough to them, but of which, had she known of them, the widow would have
been but little likely to approve.
Such was Mrs. Kelly's household at the time that her son Martin left
Connaught to pay a short visit to the metropolis, during the period of
O'Connell's trial. But, although Martin was a staunch Repealer, and had
gone as far as Galway, and Athlone, to be present at the Monster Repeal
Meetings which had been held there, it was not political anxiety alone
which led him to Dublin. His landlord; the young Lord Ballindine, was
there; and, though Martin could not exactly be said to act as his
lordship's agent for Lord Ballindine had, unfortunately, a legal agent,
with whose services his pecuniary embarrassments did not allow him to
dispense he was a kind of confidential tenant, and his attendance had been
requested. Martin, moreover, had a somewhat important piece of business of
his own in hand, which he expected would tend greatly to his own advantage;
and, although he had fully made up his mind to carry it out if possible, he
wanted, in conducting it, a little of his brother's legal advice, and,
above all, his landlord's sanction.
This business was nothing less than an intended elopement with an heiress
belonging to a rank somewhat higher than that in which Martin Kelly might
be supposed to look, with propriety, for his bride; but Martin was a
handsome fellow, not much burdened with natural modesty, and he had, as he
supposed, managed to engage the affections of Anastasia Lynch, a lady
resident near Dunmore.
All particulars respecting Martin's intended the amount of her fortune her
birth and parentage her age and attractions shall, in due time, be made
known; or rather, perhaps, be suffered to make themselves known. In the
mean time we will return to the two brothers, who are still anxiously
waiting to effect an entrance into the august presence of the Law.
Martin had already told his brother of his matrimonial speculations, and
had received certain hints from that learned youth as to the proper means
of getting correct information as to the amount of the lady's wealth her
power to dispose of it by her own deed and certain other particulars always
interesting to gentlemen who seek money and love at the same time. John did
not quite approve of the plan; there might have been a shade of envy at his
brother's good fortune; there might be some doubt as to his brother's power
of carrying the affair through successfully; but, though he had not
encouraged him, he gave him the information he wanted, and was as willing
to talk over the matter as Martin could desire.
As they were standing in the crowd, their conversation ran partly on Repeal
and O'Connell, and partly on matrimony and Anty Lynch, as the lady was
usually called by those who knew her best.
'Tear and 'ouns Misther Lord Chief Justice!' exclaimed Martin, 'and are ye
niver going to opin them big doors?'
'And what'd be the good of his opening them yet,' answered John, 'when a
bigger man than himself an't there? Dan and the other boys isn't in it yet,
and sure all the twelve judges couldn't get on a peg without them.'
'Well, Dan, my darling!' said the other, 'you're thought more of here this
day than the lot of 'em, though the place in a manner belongs to them, and
you're only a prisoner.'
'Faix and that's what he's not, Martin; no more than yourself, nor so
likely, may-be. He's the traverser, as I told you before, and that's not
being a prisoner. If he were a prisoner, how did he manage to tell us all
what he did at the Hall yesterday?'
'Av' he's not a prisoner, he's the next-door to it; it's not of his own
free will and pleasure he'd come here to listen to all the lies them
thundhering Saxon ruffians choose to say about him.'
'And why not? Why wouldn't he come here and vindicate himself? When you
hear Sheil by and by, you'll see then whether they think themselves likely
to be prisoners! No no; they never will be, av' there's a ghost of a
conscience left in one of them Protesthant raps, that they've picked so
carefully out of all Dublin to make jurors of. They can't convict 'em! I
heard Ford, the night before last, offer four to one that they didn't find
the lot guilty; and he knows what he's about, and isn't the man to thrust a
Protestant half as far as he'd see him.'
'Isn't Tom Steele a Protesthant himself, John?'
'Well, I believe he is. So's Gray, and more of 'em too; but there's a
difference between them and the downright murdhering Tory set. Poor Tom
doesn't throuble the Church much; but you'll be all for Protesthants now,
Martin, when you've your new brother-in-law. Barry used to be one of your
'It's little, I'm thinking, I and Barry'll be having to do together, unless
it be about the brads; and the law about them now, thank God, makes no
differ for Roman and Protesthant. Anty's as good a Catholic as ever
breathed, and so was her mother before her; and when she's Mrs Kelly, as I
mane to make her, Master Barry may shell out the cash and go to heaven his
own way for me.'
'It ain't the family then, you're fond of, Martin! And I wondher at that,
considering how old Sim loved us all.'
'Niver mind Sim, John! he's dead and gone; and av' he niver did a good deed
before, he did one when he didn't lave all his cash to that precious son of
his, Barry Lynch.'
'You're prepared for squalls with Barry, I suppose?'
'He'll have all the squalling on his own side, I'm thinking, John. I don't
mane to squall, for one. I don't see why I need, with £400 a-year in my
pocket, and a good wife to the fore.'
'The £400 a-year's good enough, av' you touch it, certainly,' said the man
of law, thinking of his own insufficient guinea a-week, 'and you must look
to have some throuble yet afore you do that. But as to the wife why, the
less said the better eh, Martin?
'Av' it's not asking too much, might I throuble you, sir, to set anywhere
else but on my shouldher?' This was addressed to a very fat citizen, who
was wheezing behind Martin, and who, to escape suffocation in the crowd,
was endeavouring to raise himself on his neighbour's shoulders. 'And why
the less said the better? I wish yourself may never have a worse.'
'I wish I mayn't, Martin, as far as the cash goes; and a man like me might
look a long time in Dublin before he got a quarter of the money. But you
must own Anty's no great beauty, and she's not over young, either.'
'Av' she's no beauty, she's not downright ugly, like many a girl that gets
a good husband; and av' she's not over young, she's not over old. She's not
so much older than myself, after all. It's only because her own people have
always made nothing of her; that's what has made everybody else do the
'Why, Martin, I know she's ten years older than Barry, and Barry's older
'One year; and Anty's not full ten years older than him. Besides, what's
ten years between man and wife?'
'Not much, when it's on time right side. But it's the wrong side with you,
'Well, John, now, by virtue of your oath, as you chaps say, wouldn't you
many a woman twice her age, av' she'd half the money? Begad you would, and
leap at it!'
'Perhaps I would. I'd a deal sooner have a woman eighty than forty. There'd
be some chance then of having the money after the throuble was over! Anty's
neither ould enough nor young enough'
'She's not forty, any way; and won't be yet for five years and more; and,
as I hope for glory, John though I know you won't believe me I wouldn't
marry her av' she'd all Sim Lynch's ill-gotten property, instead of only
half, av' I wasn't really fond of her, and av' I didn't think I'd make her
a good husband.'
'You didn't tell mother what you're afther, did you?'
'Sorrow a word! But she's so 'cute she partly guesses; and I think Meg let
slip something. The girls and Anty are thick as thiefs since old Sim died;
though they couldn't be at the house much since Barry came home, and Anty
daren't for her life come down to the shop.'
'Did mother say anything about the schame?'
'Faix, not much; but what she did say, didn't show she'd much mind for it.
Since Sim Lynch tried to get Toneroe from her, when father died, she'd
never a good word for any of them. Not but what she's always a civil look
for Anty, when she sees her.'
'There's not much fear she'll look black on the wife, when you bring the
money home with her. But where'll you live, Martin? The little shop at
Dunmore'll be no place for Mrs Kelly, when there's a lady of the name with
£400 a-year of her own.'
''Deed then, John, and that's what I don't know. Maybe I'll build up the
ould house at Toneroe; some of the O'Kellys themselves lived there, years
'I believe they did; but it was years ago, and very many years ago, too,
since they lived there. Why you'd have to pull it all down, before you
began to build it up!'
'Maybe I'd build a new house, out and out. Av' I got three new lifes in the
laise, I'd do that; and the lord wouldn't be refusing me, av' I asked him.'
'Bother the lord, Martin; why you'd be asking anything of any lord, and you
with £400 a-year of your own? Give up Toneroe, and go and live at Dunmore
House at once.'
'What! along with Barry when I and Anty's married? The biggest house in
county Galway wouldn't hould the three of us.'
'You don't think Barry Lynch'll stay at Dunmore afther you've married his
'And why not?'
'Why not! Don't you know Barry thinks himself one of the raal gentry now?
Any ways, he wishes others to think so. Why, he'd even himself to Lord
Ballindine av' he could! Didn't old Sim send him to the same English school
with the lord on purpose? tho' little he got by it, by all accounts! And
d'you think he'll remain in Dunmore, to be brother-in-law to the son of the
woman that keeps the little grocer's shop in the village? Not he! He'll
soon be out of Dunmore when he hears what his sister's afther doing, and
you'll have Dunmore House to yourselves then, av' you like it.'
'I'd sooner live at Toneroe, and that's the truth; and I'd not give up the
farm av' she'd double the money! But, John, faith, here's the judges at
last. Hark, to the boys screeching!'
'They'd not screech that way for the judges, my boy. It's the
traversers that's Dan and the rest of 'em. They're coming into court. Thank
God, they'll soon be at work now!'
'And will they come through this way? Faith, av' they do, they'll have as
hard work to get in, as they'll have to get out by and by.'
'They'll not come this way there's another way in for them: tho' they are
traversers now, they didn't dare but let them go in at the same door as the
'Hurrah, Dan! More power to you! Three cheers for the traversers, and
Repale for ever! Success to every mother's son of you, my darlings! You'll
be free yet, in spite of John Jason Rigby and the rest of 'em! The prison
isn't yet built that'd hould ye, nor won't be! Long life to you, Sheil sure
you're a Right Honourable Repaler now, in spite of Greenwich Hospital and
the Board of Trade! More power, Gavan Duffy; you're the boy that'll settle
'em at last! Three cheers more for the Lord Mayor, God bless him! Well, yer
reverence, Mr Tierney never mind, they could come to no good when they'd be
parsecuting the likes of you! Bravo, Tom Hurrah for Tom Steele!'
Such, and such like, were the exclamations which greeted the traversers,
and their cortège, as they drew up to the front or the Four Courts. Dan
O'Connell was in the Lord Mayor's state carriage, accompanied by that high
official; and came up to stand his trial for conspiracy and sedition, in
just such a manner as he might be presumed to proceed to take the chair at
some popular municipal assembly; and this was just the thing qualified to
please those who were on his own side, and mortify the feelings of the
party so bitterly opposed to him. There was a bravado in it, and an
apparent contempt, not of the law so much as of the existing authorities of
the law, which was well qualified to have this double effect.
And now the outer doors of the Court were opened, and the crowd at least as
many as were able to effect an entrance rushed in. Martin and John Kelly
were among those nearest to the door, and, in reward of their long
patience, got sufficiently into the body of the Court to be in a position
to see, when standing on tiptoe, the noses of three of the four judges, and
the wigs of four of the numerous counsel employed. The Court was so filled
by those who had a place there by right, or influence enough to assume that
they had so, that it was impossible to obtain a more favourable situation.
But this of itself was a great deal quite sufficient to justify Martin in
detailing to his Connaught friends every particular of the whole trial.
They would probably be able to hear everything; they could positively see
three of the judges, and if those two big policemen, with high hats, could
by any possibility be got to remove themselves, it was very probable that
they would be able to see Sheil's back, when he stood up.
John soon began to show off his forensic knowledge. He gave a near guess at
the names of the four counsel whose heads were visible, merely from the
different shades and shapes of their wigs. Then he particularised the
inferior angels of that busy Elysium.
'That's Ford that's Gartlan that's Peirce Mahony,' he exclaimed, as the
different attorneys for the traversers, furiously busy with their huge
bags, fidgetted about rapidly, or stood up in their seats, telegraphing
others in different parts of the Court.
'There's old Kemmis,' as they caught a glimpse of the Crown agent; 'he's
the boy that doctored the jury list. Fancy, a jury chosen out of all
Dublin, and not one Catholic! As if that could be fair!' And then he named
the different judges. 'Look at that big-headed, pig-faced fellow on the
right that's Pennefather! He's the blackest sheep of the lot and the head
of them! He's a thoroughbred Tory, and as fit to be a judge as I am to be a
general. That queer little fellow, with the long chin, he's Burton he's a
hundred if he's a day he was fifty when he was called, seventy when they
benched him, and I'm sure he's a judge thirty years! But he's the sharpest
chap of the whole twelve, and no end of a boy afther the girls. If you only
saw him walking in his robes I'm sure he's not three feet high! That next,
with the skinny neck, he's Crampton he's one of Father Mathews lads, an out
and out teetotaller, and he looks it; he's a desperate cross fellow,
sometimes! The other one, you can't see, he's Perrin. There, he's leaning
over you can just catch the side of his face he's Perrin. It's he'll acquit
the traversers av' anything does he's a fair fellow, is Perrin, and not a
red-hot thorough-going Tory like the rest of 'em.'
Here John was obliged to give over the instruction of his brother, being
enjoined so to do by one of the heavy-hatted policemen in his front, who
enforced his commands for silence, with a backward shove of his wooden
truncheon, which came with rather unnecessary violence against the pit of
The fear of being turned out made him for the nonce refrain from that
vengeance of abuse which his education as a Dublin Jackeen well qualified
him to inflict. But he put down the man's face in his retentive memory, and
made up his mind to pay him of.
And now the business of the day commenced. After some official delays and
arrangements Sheil arose, and began his speech in defence of John
O'Connell. It would be out of place here to give either his words or his
arguments; besides, they have probably before this been read by all who
would care to read them. When he commenced, his voice appeared, to those
who were not accustomed to hear him, weak, piping, and most unfit for a
popular orator; but this effect was soon lost in the elegance of his
language and the energy of his manner; and, before he had been ten minutes
on his legs, the disagreeable tone was forgotten, though it was sounding in
the eager ears of every one in the Court.
His speech was certainly brilliant, effective, and eloquent; but it
satisfied none that heard him, though it pleased all. It was neither a
defence of the general conduct and politics of the party, such as O'Connell
himself attempted in his own case, nor did it contain a chain of legal
arguments to prove that John O'Connell, individually, had not been guilty
of conspiracy, such as others of the counsel employed subsequently in
favour of their own clients.
Sheil's speech was one of those numerous anomalies with which this singular
trial was crowded; and which, together, showed the great difficulty of
coming to a legal decision on a political question, in a criminal court. Of
this, the present day gave two specimens, which will not be forgotten; when
a Privy Councillor, a member of a former government, whilst defending his
client as a barrister, proposed in Court a new form of legislation for
Ireland, equally distant from that adopted by Government, and that sought
to be established by him whom he was defending; and when the traverser on
his trial rejected the defence of his counsel, and declared aloud in Court,
that he would not, by his silence, appear to agree in the suggestions then
This spirit of turning the Court into a political debating arena extended
to all present. In spite of the vast efforts made by them all, only one of
the barristers employed has added much to his legal reputation by the
occasion. Imputations were made, such as I presume were never before
uttered by one lawyer against another in a court of law. An Attorney-
General sent a challenge from his very seat of office; and though that
challenge was read in Court, it was passed over by four judges with hardly
a reprimand. If any seditious speech was ever made by O'Connell, that which
he made in his defence was especially so, and he was, without check,
allowed to use his position as a traverser at the bar, as a rostrum from
which to fulminate more thoroughly and publicly than ever, those doctrines
for uttering which he was then being tried; and, to crown it all, even the
silent dignity of the bench was forgotten, and the lawyers pleading against
the Crown were unhappily alluded to by the Chief Justice as the 'gentlemen
on the other side.'
Martin and John patiently and enduringly remained standing the whole day,
till four o'clock; and then the latter had to effect his escape, in order
to keep an appointment which he had made to meet Lord Ballindine.
As they walked along the quays they both discussed the proceedings of the
day, and both expressed themselves positively certain of the result of the
trial, and of the complete triumph of O'Connell and his party. To these
pleasant certainties Martin added his conviction, that Repeal must soon
follow so decided a victory, and that the hopes of Ireland would be
realised before the close of 1844. John was neither so sanguine nor so
enthusiastic; it was the battle, rather than the thing battled for, that
was dear to him; the strife, rather than the result. He felt that it would
be dull times in Dublin, when they should have no usurping Government to
abuse, no Saxon Parliament to upbraid, no English laws to ridicule, and no
Established Church to curse.
The only thing which could reconcile him to immediate Repeal, would be the
probability of having then to contend for the election of an Irish
Sovereign, and the possible dear delight which might follow, of Ireland
going to war with England, in a national and becoming manner.
Discussing these important measures, they reached the Dublin brother's
lodgings, and Martin turned in to wash his face and hands, and put on clean
boots, before he presented himself to his landlord and patron, the young
II THE TWO HEIRESSES
Francis John Mountmorris O'Kelly, Lord Viscount Ballindine, was twenty-four
years of age when he came into possession of the Ballindine property, and
succeeded to an Irish peerage as the third viscount; and he is now twenty-
six, at this time of O'Connell's trial. The head of the family had for many
years back been styled 'The O'Kelly', and had enjoyed much more local
influence under that denomination than their descendants had possessed,
since they had obtained a more substantial though not a more respected
title. The O'Kellys had possessed large tracts of not very good land,
chiefly in County Roscommon, but partly in Mayo and Galway. Their property
had extended from Dunmore nearly to Roscommon, and again on the other side
to Castlerea and Ballyhaunis. But this had been in their palmy days, long,
long ago. When the government, in consideration of past services, in the
year 1800, converted 'the O'Kelly' into Viscount Ballindine, the family
property consisted of the greater portion of the land lying between the
villages of Dunmore and Ballindine. Their old residence, which the peer
still kept up, was called Kelly's Court, and is situated in that corner of
County Roscommnon which runs up between Mayo and Galway.
The first lord lived long enough to regret his change of title, and to
lament the increased expenditure with which he had thought it necessary to
accompany his more elevated rank. His son succeeded, and showed in his
character much more of the new-fangled viscount than of the ancient
O'Kelly. His whole long life was passed in hovering about the English
Court. From the time of his father's death, he never once put his foot in
Ireland. He had been appointed, at different times from his youth upwards,
Page, Gentleman in Waiting, Usher of the Black Rod, Deputy Groom of the
Stole, Chief Equerry to the Princess Royal, (which appointment only lasted
till the princess was five years old), Lord Gold Stick, Keeper of the Royal
Robes; till, at last, he had culminated for ten halcyon years in a Lord of
the Bedchamber. In the latter portion of his life he had grown too old for
this, and it was reported at Ballindine, Dunmore, and Kelly's Court with
how much truth I don't know that, since her Majesty's accession, he had
been joined with the spinster sister of a Scotch Marquis, and an antiquated
English Countess, in the custody of the laces belonging to the Queen
This nobleman, publicly useful as his life had no doubt been, had done
little for his own tenants, or his own property. On his father's death, he
had succeeded to about three thousand a-year, and he left about one; and he
would have spent or mortgaged this, had he not, on his marriage, put it
beyond his own power to do so. It was not only by thriftless extravagance
that he thus destroyed a property which, with care, and without extortion,
would have doubled its value in the thirty-five years during which it was
in his hands; but he had been afraid to come to Ireland, and had been duped
by his agent. When he came to the title, Simeon Lynch had been recommended
to him as a fit person to manage his property, and look after his
interests; and Simeon had managed it well in that manner most conducive to
the prosperity of the person he loved best in the world; and that was
himself. When large tracts of land fell out of lease, Sim had represented
that tenants could not be found that the land was not worth
cultivating that the country was in a state which prevented the possibility
of letting; and, ultimately put himself into possession, with a lease for
ever, at a rent varying from half a crown to five shillings an acre.
The courtier lord had one son, of whom he made a soldier, but who never
rose to a higher rank than that of Captain. About a dozen years before the
date of my story, the Honourable Captain O'Kelly, after numerous quarrels
with the Right Honourable Lord of the Bedchamber, had, at last, come to
some family settlement with him; and, having obtained the power of managing
the property himself, came over to live at his paternal residence of
A very sorry kind of Court he found it neglected, dirty, and out of repair.
One of the first retainers whom he met was Jack Kelly, the family fool.
Jack was not such a fool as those who, of yore, were valued appendages to
noble English establishments. He resembled them in nothing but his
occasional wit. He was a dirty, barefooted, unshorn, ragged ruffian, who
ate potatoes in the kitchen of the Court, and had never done a day's work
in his life. Such as he was, however, he was presented to Captain O'Kelly,
as 'his honour the masther's fool.'
'So, you're my fool, Jack, are ye?' said the Captain.
'Faix, I war the lord's fool ance; but I'll no be anybody's fool but Sim
Lynch's, now. I and the lord are both Sim's fools now. Not but I'm the
first of the two, for I'd never be fool enough to give away all my land,
av' my father'd been wise enough to lave me any.'
Captain O'Kelly soon found out the manner in which the agent had managed
his father's affairs. Simeon Lynch was dismissed, and proceedings at common
law were taken against him, to break such of the leases as were thought, by
clever attorneys, to have the ghost of a flaw in them. Money was borrowed
from a Dublin house, for the purpose of carrying on the suit, paying off
debts, and making Kelly's Court habitable; and the estate was put into
their hands. Simeon Lynch built himself a large staring house at Dunmore,
defended his leases, set up for a country gentleman on his own account, and
sent his only son, Barry, to Eton merely because young O'Kelly was also
there, and he was determined to show, that he was as rich and ambitious as
the lord's family, whom he had done so much to ruin.
Kelly's Court was restored to such respectability as could ever belong to
so ugly a place. It was a large red stone mansion, standing in a demesne of
very poor ground, ungifted by nature with any beauty, and but little
assisted by cultivation or improvement. A belt of bald-looking firs ran
round the demesne inside the dilapidated wall; but this was hardly
sufficient to relieve the barren aspect of the locality. Fine trees there
were none, and the race of O'Kellys had never been great gardeners.
Captain O'Kelly was a man of more practical sense, or of better education,
than most of his family, and he did do a good deal to humanise the place.
He planted, tilled, manured, and improved; he imported rose-trees and
strawberry-plants, and civilised Kelly's Court a little. But his reign was
not long. He died about five years after he had begun his career as a
country gentleman, leaving a widow and two daughters in Ireland; a son at
school at Eton; and an expensive lawsuit, with numerous ramifications, all
Francis, the son, went to Eton and Oxford, was presented at Court by his
grandfather, and came hack to Ireland at twenty-two, to idle away his time
till the old lord should die. Till this occurred, he could neither call
himself the master of the place, nor touch the rents. In the meantime, the
lawsuits were dropped, both parties having seriously injured their
resources, without either of them obtaining any benefit. Barry Lynch was
recalled from his English education, where he had not shown off to any
great credit; and both he and his father were obliged to sit down prepared
to make the best show they could on eight hundred pounds a-year, and to
wage an underhand internecine war with the O'Kellys.
Simeon and his son, however, did not live altogether alone. Anastasia Lynch
was Barry's sister, and older than him by about ten years. Their mother had
been a Roman Catholic, whereas Sim was a Protestant; and, in consequence,
the daughter had been brought up in the mother's, and the son in the
father's religion. When this mother died, Simeon, no doubt out of respect
to the memory of the departed, tried hard to induce his daughter to prove
hem religious zeal, and enter a nunnery; but this, Anty, though in most
things a docile creature, absolutely refused to do. Her father advised,
implored, and threatened; but in vain; and the poor girl became a great
thorn in the side of both father and son. She had neither beauty, talent,
nor attraction, to get her a husband; and her father was determined not to
encumber his already diminished property with such a fortune as would make
her on that ground acceptable to any respectable suitor.
Poor Anty led a miserable life, associating neither with superiors nor
inferiors, and her own position was not sufficiently declared to enable her
to have any equals. She was slighted by her father and the servants, and
bullied by her brother; and was only just enabled, by humble, unpresuming
disposition, to carry on her tedious life from year to year without
In the meantime, the ci-devant Black Rod, Gold Stick, Royal Equerry, and
Lord of the Bedchamber, was called away from his robes and his finery, to
give an account of the manner in which he had renounced the pomps and
vanities of this wicked world; and Frank became Lord Ballindine, with, as I
have before said, an honourable mother, two sisters, a large red house, and
a thousand a-year. He was not at all a man after the pattern of his
grandfather, but he appeared as little likely to redeem the old family
acres. He seemed to be a reviving chip of the old block of the O'Kellys.
During the two years he had been living at Kelly's Court as Frank O'Kelly,
he had won the hearts of all the tenants of all those who would have been
tenants if the property had not been sold, and who still looked up to him
as their 'raal young masther' and of the whole country round. The 'thrue
dhrop of the ould blood', was in his veins; and, whatever faults he might
have, he wasn't likely to waste his time and his cash with furs, laces, and
This was a great comfort to the neighbourhood, which had learned heartily
to despise the name of Lord Ballindine; and Frank was encouraged in
shooting, hunting, racing in preparing to be a thorough Irish gentleman,
and in determining to make good the prophecies of his friends, that he
would be, at last, one more 'raal O'Kelly to brighten the country.'
And if he could have continued to be Frank O'Kelly, or even 'the O'Kelly',
he would probably have done well enough, for he was fond of his mother and
sisters, and he might have continued to hunt, shoot, and farm on his
remaining property without further encroaching on it. But the title was
sure to be his ruin. When he felt himself to be a lord, he could not be
content with the simple life of a country gentleman; or, at any rate,
without taking the lead in the country. So, as soon as the old man was
buried, he bought a pack of harriers, and despatched a couple of race-
horses to the skilful hands of old Jack Igoe, the Curragh trainer.
Frank was a very handsome fellow, full six feet high, with black hair, and
jet-black silky whiskers, meeting under his chin the men said he dyed them,
and the women declared he did not. I am inclined, myself, to think he must
have done so, they were so very black. He had an eye like a hawk, round,
bright, and bold; a mouth and chin almost too well formed for a man; and
that kind of broad forehead which conveys rather the idea of a generous,
kind, openhearted disposition, than of a deep mind or a commanding
Frank was a very handsome fellow, and he knew it; and when he commenced so
many ill-authorised expenses immediately on his grandfather's death, he
consoled himself with the idea, that with his person and rank, he would
soon be able, by some happy matrimonial speculation, to make up for what he
wanted in wealth. And he had not been long his own master, before he met
with the lady to whom he destined the honour of doing so.
He had, however, not properly considered his own disposition, when he
determined upon looking out for great wealth; and on disregarding other
qualifications in his bride, so that he obtained that in sufficient
quantity. He absolutely fell in love with Fanny Wyndham, though her twenty
thousand pounds was felt by him to be hardly enough to excuse him in doing
so certainly not enough to make his doing so an accomplishment of his
prudential resolutions. What would twenty thousand pounds do towards
clearing the O'Kelly property, and establishing himself In a manner and
style fitting for a Lord Ballindine! However, he did propose to her, was
accepted, and the match, after many difficulties, was acceded to by the
lady's guardian, the Earl of Cashel. It was stipulated, however, that the
marriage should not take place till the lady was of age; and at the time of
the bargain, she wanted twelve months of that period of universal
discretion. Lord Cashel had added, in his prosy, sensible, aristocratic
lecture on the subject to Lord Ballindine, that he trusted that, during the
interval, considering their united limited income, his lordship would see
the wisdom of giving up his hounds, or at any rate of withdrawing from the
Frank pooh-poohed at the hounds, said that horses cost nothing in
Connaught, and dogs less, and that he could not well do there without them;
but promised to turn in his mind what Lord Cashel had said about the turf;
and, at last, went so far as to say that when a good opportunity offered of
backing out, he would part with Finn M'Coul and Granuell as the two nags at
Igoe's were patriotically denominated.
They continued, however, appearing in the Curragh lists in Lord
Ballindine's name, as a part of Igoe's string; and running for Queen's
whips, Wellingtons and Madrids, sometimes with good and sometimes with
indifferent success. While their noble owner, when staying at Grey Abbey,
Lord Cashel's magnificent seat near Kilcullen, spent too much of his time
(at least so thought the earl and Fanny Wyndham) in seeing them get their
gallops, and in lecturing the grooms, and being lectured by Mr Igoe.
Nothing more, however, could be done; and it was trusted that when the day
of the wedding should come, he would be found minus the animals. What,
however, was Lord Cashel's surprise, when, after an absence of two months
from Grey Abbey, Lord Ballindine declared, in the earl's presence, with an
air of ill-assumed carelessness, that he had been elected one of the
stewards of the Curragh, in the room of Walter Blake, Esq., who had retired
in rotation from that honourable office! The next morning the earl's
chagrin was woefully increased by his hearing that that very valuable and
promising Derby colt, Brien Boru, now two years old, by Sir Hercules out of
Eloisa, had been added to his lordship's lot.
Lord Cashel felt that he could not interfere, further than by remarking
that it appeared his young friend was determined to leave the turf with
éclat; and Fanny Wyndham could only be silent and reserved for one evening.
This occurred about four months before the commencement of my tale, and
about five before the period fixed for the marriage; but, at the time at
which Lord Ballindine will be introduced in person to the reader, he had
certainly made no improvement in his manner of going on. He had, during
this period, received from Lord Cashel a letter intimating to him that his
lordship thought some further postponement advisable; that it was as well
not to fix any day; and that, though his lordship would always be welcome
at Grey Abbey, when his personal attendance was not required at the
Curragh, it was better that no correspondence by letter should at present
be carried on between him and Miss Wyndham; and that Miss Wyndham herself
perfectly agreed in the propriety of these suggestions.
Now Grey Abbey was only about eight miles distant from the Curragh, and
Lord Ballindine had at one time been in the habit of staying at his
friend's mansion, during the period of his attendance at the race-course;
but since Lord Cashel had shown an entire absence of interest in the doings
of Finn M'Coul, and Fanny had ceased to ask after Granuell's cough, he had
discontinued doing so, and had spent much of his time at his friend Walter
Blake's residence at the Curragh. Now, Handicap Lodge offered much more
dangerous quarters for him than did Grey Abbey.
In the meantime, his friends in Connaught were delighted at the prospect of
his bringing home a bride. Fanny's twenty thousand were magnified to fifty,
and the capabilities even of fifty were greatly exaggerated; besides, the
connection was so good a one, so exactly the thing for the O'Kellys! Lord
Cashel was one of the first resident noblemen in Ireland, a representative
peer, a wealthy man, and possessed of great influence; not unlikely to be a
cabinet minister if the Whigs came in, and able to shower down into
Connaught a degree of patronage, such as had never yet warmed that poor
unfriended region. And Fanny Wyndham was not only his lordship's ward, but
his favourite niece also! The match was, in every way, a good one, and
greatly pleasing to all the Kellys, whether with an O or without, for
'shure they were all the one family.'
Old Simeon Lynch and his son Barry did not participate in the general joy.
They had calculated that their neighbour was on the high road to ruin, and
that he would soon have nothing but his coronet left. They could not,
therefore, bear the idea of his making so eligible a match. They had,
moreover, had domestic dissensions to disturb the peace of Dunmore House.
Simeon had insisted on Barry's taking a farm into his own hands, and
looking after it. Barry had declared his inability to do so, and had nearly
petrified the old man by expressing a wish to go to Paris. Then, Barry's
debts had showered in, and Simeon had pledged himself not to pay them.
Simeon had threatened to disinherit Barry; and Barry had called his father
a d d obstinate old fool.
These quarrels had got to the ears of the neighbours, and it was being
calculated that, in the end, Barry would get the best of the battle when,
one morning, the war was brought to an end by a fit of apoplexy, and the
old man was found dead in his chair. And then a terrible blow fell upon the
son; for a recent will was found in the old man's desk, dividing his
property equally, and without any other specification between Barry and
This was a dreadful blow to Barry. He consulted with his friend Molloy, the
attorney of Tuam, as to the validity of the document and the power of
breaking it; but in vain. It was properly attested, though drawn up in the
old man's own hand-writing; and his sister, whom he looked upon but as
little better than a head main-servant, had not only an equal right to all
the property, but was equally mistress of the house, the money at the bank,
the wine in the cellar, and the very horses in the stable.
This was a hard blow; but Barry was obliged to bear it. At first, he showed
his ill-humour plainly, enough in his treatment of his sister; but he soon
saw that this was folly, and that, though her quiet disposition prevented
her from resenting it, such conduct would drive her to marry some needy
man. Then he began, with an ill grace, to try what coaxing would do. He
kept, however, a sharp watch on all her actions; and on once hearing that,
in his absence, the two Kelly girls from the hotel had been seen walking
with her, he gave her a long lecture on what was due to her own dignity,
and the memory of her departed parents.
He made many overtures to her as to the divisions of the property; but,
easy and humble as Anty was, she was careful enough to put her name to
nothing that could injure her rights. They had divided the money at the
banker's, and she had once rather startled Barry by asking him for his
moiety towards paying the butcher's bill; and his dismay was completed
shortly afterwards by being informed, by a steady old gentleman in Dunmore,
whom he did not like a bit too well, that he had been appointed by Miss
Lynch to manage her business and receive her rents.
As soon as it could be decently done, after his father's burial, Barry took
himself off to Dublin, to consult his friends there as to what he should
do; but he soon returned, determined to put a bold face on it, and come to
some understanding with his sister.
He first proposed to her to go and live in Dublin, but she said she
preferred Dunmore. He then talked of selling the house, and to this she
agreed. He next tried to borrow money for the payment of his debts; on
which she referred him to the steady old man. Though apparently docile and
obedient, she would not put herself in his hands, nor would her agent allow
him to take any unfair advantage of her.
Whilst this was going on, our friend Martin Kelly had set his eye upon the
prize, and, by means of his sister's intimacy with Anty, and his own good
hooks, had succeeded in obtaining from her half a promise to become his
wife. Anty had but little innate respect for gentry; and, though she feared
her brother's displeasure, she felt no degradation at the idea of uniting
herself to a man in Martin Kelly's rank. She could not, however, be brought
to tell her brother openly, and declare her determination; and Martin had,
at length, come to the conclusion that he must carry her off, before delay
and unforeseen changes might either alter her mind, or enable her brother
to entice her out of the country.
Thus matters stood at Dunmore when Martin Kelly started for Dublin, and at
the time when he was about to wait on his patron at Morrison's hotel.
Both Martin and Lord Ballindine (and they were related in some distant
degree, at least so always said the Kellys, and I never knew that the
O'Kellys denied it) both the young men were, at the time, anxious to get
married, and both with the same somewhat mercenary views; and I have
fatigued the reader with the long history of past affairs, in order to
imbue him, if possible, with some interest in the ways and means which they
both adopted to accomplish their objects.
III MORRISON'S HOTEL
At about five o'clock on the evening of the day of Sheil's speech, Lord
Ballindine and his friend, Walter Blake, were lounging on different sofas
in a room at Morrison's Hotel, before they went up to dress for dinner.
Walter Blake was an effeminate-looking, slight-made man, about thirty or
thirty-three years of age; good looking, and gentlemanlike, but presenting
quite a contrast in his appearance to his friend Lord Ballindine. He had a
cold quiet grey eye, and a thin lip; and, though he was in reality a much
cleverer, he was a much less engaging man. Yet Blake could be very amusing;
but he rather laughed at people than with them, and when there were more
than two in company, he would usually be found making a butt of one.
Nevertheless, his society was greatly sought after. On matters connected
with racing, his word was infallible. He rode boldly, and always rode good
horses; and, though he was anything but rich, he managed to keep up a
comfortable snuggery at the Curragh, and to drink the very best claret that
Dublin could procure.
Walter Blake was a finished gambler, and thus it was, that with about six
hundred a year, he managed to live on equal terms with the richest around
him. His father, Laurence Blake of Castleblakeney, in County Galway, was a
very embarrassed man, of good property, strictly entailed, and, when Walter
came of age, he and his father, who could never be happy in the same house,
though possessing in most things similar tastes, had made such a
disposition of the estate, as gave the father a clear though narrowed
income, and enabled the son at once to start into the world, without
waiting for his father's death; though, by so doing, he greatly lessened
the property which he must otherwise have inherited.
Blake was a thorough gambler, and knew well how to make the most of the
numerous chances which the turf afforded him. He had a large stud of
horses, to the training and working of which he attended almost as closely
as the person whom he paid for doing so. But it was in the betting-ring
that he was most formidable. It was said, in Kildare Street, that no one at
Tattersall's could beat him at a book. He had latterly been trying a wider
field than the Curragh supplied him and had, on one or two occasions, run
a horse in England with such success, as had placed him, at any rate, quite
at the top of the Irish sporting tree.
He was commonly called 'Dot Blake', in consequence of his having told one
of his friends that the cause of his, the friend's, losing so much money on
the turf, was, that he did not mind 'the dot and carry on' part of the
business; meaning thereby, that he did not attend to the necessary
calculations. For a short time after giving this piece of friendly caution,
he had been nick-named, 'Dot and carry on'; but that was too long to last,
and he had now for some years been known to every sporting man in Ireland
as 'Dot' Blake.
This man was at present Lord Ballindine's most intimate friend, and he
could hardly have selected a more dangerous one. They were now going down
together to Handicap Lodge, though there was nothing to be done in the way
of racing for months to come. Yet Blake knew his business too well to
suppose that his presence was necessary only when the horses were running;
and he easily persuaded his friend that it was equally important that he
should go and see that it was all right with the Derby colt.
They were talking almost in the dark, on these all-absorbing topics, when
the waiter knocked at the door and informed them that a young man named
Kelly wished to see Lord Ballindine.
'Show him up,' said Frank. 'A tenant of mine, Dot; one of the respectable
few of that cattle, indeed, almost the only one that I've got; a sort of
subagent, and a fifteenth cousin, to boot, I believe. I am going to put him
to the best use I know for such respectable fellows, and that is, to get
him to borrow money for me.'
'And he'll charge you twice as much for it, and make three times as much
bother about it, as the fellows in the next street who have your title-
deeds. When I want lawyer's business done, I go to a lawyer; and when I
want to borrow money, I go to my own man of business; he makes it his
business to find money, and he daren't rob me more than is decent, fitting,
and customary, because he has a character to lose.'
'Those fellows at Guinness's make such a fuss about everything; and I don't
put my nose into that little back room, but what every word I say, by some
means or other, finds its way down to Grey Abbey.'
'Well, Frank, you know your own affairs best; but I don't think you'll make
money by being afraid of your agent; or your wife's guardian, if she is to
be your wife.'
'Afraid, man? I'm as much afraid of Lord Cashel as you are. I don't think
I've shown myself much afraid; but I don't choose to make him my guardian,
just when he 's ceasing to be hers; nor do I wish, just now, to break with
Grey Abbey altogether.'
'Do you mean to go over there from the Curragh next week?'
'I don't think I shall. They don't like me a bit too well, when I've the
smell of the stables on me.'
'There it is, again, Frank! What is it to you what Lord Cashel likes? If
you wish to see Miss Wyndham, and if the heavy-pated old Don doesn't mean
to close his doors against you, what business has he to inquire where you
came from? I suppose he doesn't like me a bit too well; but you're not weak
enough to be afraid to say that you've been at Handicap Lodge?'
'The truth is, Dot, I don't think I'll go to Grey Abbey at all, till Fanny
's of age. She only wants a month of it now; and then I can meet Lord
Cashel in a business way, as one man should meet another.'
'I can't for the life of me,' said Blake, 'make out what it is that has set
that old fellow so strong against horses. He won the Oaks twice himself,
and that not so very long ago; and his own son, Kilcullen, is deeper a good
deal on the turf than I am, and, by a long chalk less likely to pull
through, as I take it. But here's the Connaught man on the stairs I could
swear to Galway by the tread of his foot!' and Martin knocked at the door,
and walked in.
'Well, Kelly,' said Lord Ballindine, 'how does Dublin agree with you?' And,
'I hope I see your lordship well, my lord?' said Martin.
'How are they all at Dunmore and Kelly's Court?'
'Why thin, they're all well, my lord, except Sim Lynch and he 's dead. But
your lordship'll have heard that.'
'What, old Simeon Lynch dead!' said Blake, 'well then, there 's promotion.
Peter Mahon, that was the agent at Castleblakeney, is now the biggest rogue
alive in Connaught.'
'Don't swear to that,' said Lord Ballindine. 'There 's some of Sim's breed
still left at Dunmore. It wouldn't be easy to beat Barry, would it, Kelly?'
'Why then, I don't know; I wouldn't like to be saying against the
gentleman's friend that he spoke of; and doubtless his honour knows him
well, or he wouldn't say so much of him.'
'Indeed I do,' said Blake. 'I never give a man a good character till I know
he deserves it. Well, Frank, I'll go and dress, and leave you and Mr. Kelly
to your business,' and he left the room.
'I'm sorry to hear you speak so hard agin Mr. Barry, my lord,' began
Martin. 'May-be he mayn't be so bad. Not but that he 's a cross-grained
piece of timber to dale with.'
'And why should you be sorry I'd speak against him? There's not more
friendship, I suppose, between you and Barry Lynch now, than there used to
'Why, not exactly frindship, my lord; but I've my rasons why I'd wish you
not to belittle the Lynches. Your lordship might forgive them all, now the
old man 's dead.'
'Forgive them! indeed I can, and easily. I don't know I ever did any of
them an injury, except when I thrashed Barry at Eton, for calling himself
the son of a gentleman. But what makes you stick up for them? You're not
going to marry the daughter, are you?'
Martin blushed up to his forehead as his landlord thus hit the nail on the
head; but, as it was dark, his blushes couldn't be seen. So, after dangling
his hat about for a minute, and standing first on one foot, and then on the
other, he took courage, and answered.
'Well, Mr. Frank, that is, your lordship, I mane--I b'lieve I might do
'Body and soul, man!' exclaimed the other, jumping from his recumbent
position on the sofa, 'You don't mean to tell me you're going to marry Anty
'In course not,' answered Martin; 'av' your lordship objects.'
'Object, man! How the devil can I object? Why, she 's six hundred a year,
'About four, my lord, I think 's nearest the mark.'
'Four hundred a year! And I don't suppose you owe a penny in the world!'
'Not much unless the last gale to your lordship and we never pay that till
'And so you're going to marry Anty Lynch!' again repeated Frank, as though
he couldn't bring himself to realise the idea; 'and now, Martin, tell me
all about it how the devil you managed it when it's to come off and how you
and Barry mean to hit it off together when you're brothers. I suppose I'll
lose a good tenant any way?'
'Not av' I'm a good one, you won't, with my consent, my lord.'
'Ah! but it'll be Anty's consent, now, you know. She mayn't like Toneroe.
But tell me all about it. What put it into your head?'
'Why, my lord, you run away so fast; one can't tell you anything. I didn't
say I was going to marry her at laist, not for certain I only said I might
'Well then; are you going to marry her, or rather, is she going to marry
you, or is she not?'
'Why, I don't know. I'll tell your lordship just how it is. You know when
old Sim died, my lord?'
'Of course I do. Why, I was at Kelly's Court at the time.'
'So you were, my lord; I was forgetting. But you went away again
immediately, and didn't hear how Barry tried to come round his sisther,
when he heard how the will went; and how he tried to break the will and to
chouse her out of the money.'
'Why, this is the very man you wouldn't let me call a rogue, a minute or
'Ah, my lord! that was just before sthrangers; besides, it 's no use
calling one's own people bad names. Not that he belongs to me yet, and
maybe never will. But, between you and I, he is a rogue, and his father's
son every inch of him.'
'Well, Martin, I'll remember. I'll not abuse him when he 's your brother-
in-law. But how did you get round the sister? That 's the question.'
'Well, my lord, I'll tell you. You know there was always a kind of
frindship between Anty and the girls at home, and they set her up to going
to old Moylan he that receives the rents on young Barron's property, away
at Strype. Moylan's uncle to Flaherty, that married mother's sister. Well,
she went to him he 's a kind of office at Dunmore, my lord.'
'Oh, I know him and his office! He knows the value of a name at the back of
a bit of paper, as well as any one.'
'Maybe he does, my lord; but he 's an honest old fellow, is Moylan, and
manages a little for mother.'
'Oh, of course he 's honest, Martin, because he belongs to you. You know
Barry's to be an honest chap, then.'
'And that's what he niver will be the longest day he lives! But, however,
Moylan got her to sign all the papers; and, when Barry was out, he went and
took an inventhory to the house, and made out everything square and right,
and you may be sure Barry'd have to get up very 'arly before he'd come
round him. Well, after a little, the ould chap came to me one morning, and
asked me all manner of questions whether I knew Anty Lynch? whether we
didn't used to be great friends? and a lot more. I never minded him much;
for though I and Anty used to speak, and she'd dhrank tay on the sly with
us two or three times before her father's death, I'd never thought much
'Nor wouldn't now, Martin, eh? if it wasn't for the old man's will.'
'In course I wouldn't, my lord. I won't be denying it. But, on the other
hand, I wouldn't marry her now for all her money, av' I didn't mane to
trate her well. Well, my lord, after beating about the bush for a long
time, the ould thief popped it out, and told me that he thought Anty'd be
all the betther for a husband; and that, av' I was wanting a wife, he
b'lieved I might suit myself now. Well, I thought of it a little, and tould
him I'd take the hint. The next day he comes to me again, all the way down
to Toneroe, where I was walking the big grass-field by myself, and began
saying that, as he was Anty's agent, of course he wouldn't see her wronged.
"Quite right, Mr. Moylan," says I; "and, as I maneto be her husband, I
won't see her wronged neither." "Ah! but," says he, "I mane that I must see
her property properly settled." "Why not?" says I, "and isn't the best way
for her to marry? and then, you know, no one can schame her out of it.
There 's lots of them schamers about now," says I. "That 's thrue for you,"
says he, "and they're not far to look for," and that was thrue, too, my
lord, for he and I were both schaming about poor Anty's money at that
moment. "Well," says he, afther walking on a little, quite quiet, "av' you
war to marry her."--"Oh, I've made up my mind about that, Mr. Moylan,"
says I. "Well, av' it should come to pass that you do marry her--of course
you'd expect to have the money settled on herself?" "In course I would,
when I die," says I. "No, but," says he, "at once: wouldn't it be enough
for you to have a warm roof over your head, and a leg of mutton on the
table every day, and no work to do for it?" and so, my lord, it came out
that the money was to be settled on herself, and that he was to be her
'Well, Martin, after that, I think you needn't go to Sim Lynch, or Barry,
for the biggest rogues in Connaught to be settling the poor girl's money
between you that way!'
'Well, but listen, my lord. I gave in to the ould man; that is, I made no
objection to his schame. But I was determined, av' I ever did marry Anty
Lynch, that I would be agent and owner too, myself, as long as I lived;
though in course it was but right that they should settle it so that av' I
died first, the poor crature shouldn't be out of her money. But I didn't
let on to him about all that; for, av' he was angered, the ould fool might
perhaps spoil the game; and I knew av' Anty married me at all, it'd be for
liking; and av' iver I got on the soft side of her, I'd soon be able to
manage matthers as I plazed, and ould Moylan'd soon find his best game'd be
to go asy.'
'Upon my soul, Martin, I think you seem to have been the sharpest rogue of
the two! Is there an honest man in Connaught at all, I wonder?'
'I can't say rightly, just at present, my lord; but there'll be two, plaze
God, when I and your lordship are there.'
'Thank ye, Kelly, for the compliment, and especially for the good company.
But let me hear how on earth you ever got face enough to go up and ask Anty
Lynch to marry you.'
'Oh! a little soft sawther did it! I wasn't long in putting my com'ether on
her when I once began. Well, my lord, from that day out from afther
Moylan's visit, you know I began really to think of it. I'm sure the ould
robber meant to have asked for a wapping sum of money down, for his good
will in the bargain; but when he saw me he got afeard.'
'He was another honest man, just now!'
'Only among sthrangers, my lord. I b'lieve he 's a far-off cousin of your
own, and I wouldn't like to spake ill of the blood.'
'God forbid! But go on, Kelly.'
'Well, so, from that out, I began to think of it in arnest the Lord forgive
me! but my first thoughts was how I'd like to pull down Barry Lynch; and my
second that I'd not demane myself by marrying the sisther of such an out-
and-out ruffian, and that it wouldn't become me to live on the money that'd
been got by chating your lordship's grandfather.'
'My lordship's grandfather ought to have looked after that himself. If
those are all your scruples they needn't stick in your throat much.'
'I said as much as that to myself, too. So I soon went to work. I was
rather shy about it at first; but the girls helped me. They put it into her
head, I think, before I mentioned it at all. However, by degrees, I asked
her plump, whether she'd any mind to be Mrs. Kelly? and, though she didn't
say "yes," she didn't say "no."'
'But how the devil, man, did you manage to get at her? I'm told Barry
watches her like a dragon, ever since he read his father's will.'
'He couldn't watch her so close, but what she could make her way down to
mother's shop now and again. Or, for the matter of that, but what I could
make my way up to the house.'
'That 's true, for what need she mind Barry, now? She may marry whom she
pleases, and needn't tell him, unless she likes, until the priest has his
'Ah, my lord! but there 's the rub. She is afraid of Barry; and though she
didn't say so, she won't agree to tell him, or to let me tell him, or just
to let the priest walk into the house without telling him. She 's fond of
Barry, though, for the life of me, I can't see what there is in him for
anybody to be fond of. He and his father led her the divil's own life mewed
up there, because she wouldn't be a nun. But still is both fond and afraid
of him; and, though I don't think she'll marry anybody else at laist not
yet awhile, I don't think she'll ever get courage to marry me at any rate,
not in the ordinary way.'
'Why then, Martin, you must do something extraordinary, I suppose.'
'That's just it, my lord; and what I wanted was, to ask your lordship's
advice and sanction, like.'
'Sanction! Why I shouldn't think you'd want anybody's sanction for marrying
a wife with four hundred a-year. But, if that's anything to you, I can
assure you I approve of it.'
'Thank you, my lord. That's kind.'
'To tell the truth,' continued Lord Ballindine, 'I've a little of your own
first feeling. I'd be glad of it, if it were only for the rise it would
take out of my schoolfellow, Barry. Not but that I think you're a deal too
good to be his brother-in-law. And you know, Kelly, or ought to know, that
I'd be heartily glad of anything for your own welfare. So, I'd advise you
to hammer away while the iron's hot, as the saying is.'
'That's just what I'm coming to. What'd your lordship advise me to do?'
'Advise you? Why, you must know best yourself how the matter stands. Talk
her over, and make her tell Barry.'
'Divil a tell, my lord, in her. She wouldn't do it in a month of Sundays.'
'Then do you tell him, at once. I suppose you're not afraid of him?'
'She'd niver come to the scratch, av' I did. He'd bully the life out of
her, or get her out of the counthry some way.'
'Then wait till his back's turned for a month or so. When he's out, let the
priest walk in, and do the matter quietly that way.'
'Well, I thought of that myself, my lord; but he's as wary as a weazel, and
I'm afeard he smells something in the wind. There's that blackguard Moylan,
too, he'd be telling Barry and would, when he came to find things weren't
to be settled as he intended.'
'Then you must carry her off, and marry her up here, or in Galway or down
in Connemara, or over at Liverpool, or any where you please.'
'Now you've hit it, my lord. That's just what I'm thinking myself. Unless I
take her off Gretna Green fashion, I'll never get her.'
'Then why do you want my advice, if you've made up your mind to that? I
think you're quite right; and what's more, I think you ought to lose no
time in doing it. Will she go, do you think?'
'Why, with a little talking, I think she will.'
'Then what are you losing your time for, man? Hurry down, and off with her!
I think Dublin 's probably your best ground.'
'Then you think, my lord, I'd betther do it at once?'
'Of course, I do! What is there to delay you?'
'Why, you see, my lord, the poor girl's as good as got no friends, and I
wouldn't like it to be thought in the counthry, I'd taken her at a
disadvantage. It's thrue enough in one way, I'm marrying her for the money;
that is, in course, I wouldn't marry her without it. And I tould her, out
open, before her face, and before the girls, that, av' she'd ten times as
much, I wouldn't marry her unless I was to be masther, as long as I lived,
of everything in my own house, like another man; and I think she liked me
the betther for it. But, for all that, I wouldn't like to catch her up
without having something fair done by the property.'
'The lawyers, Martin, can manage that, afterwards. When she's once Mrs
Kelly, you can do what you like about the fortune.'
'That's thrue, my lord. But I wouldn't like the bad name I'd get through
the counthry av' I whisked her off without letting her settle anything.
They'd he saying I robbed her, whether I did or no: and when a thing's once
said, it's difficult to unsay it. The like of me, my lord, can't do things
like you noblemen and gentry. Besides, mother'd never forgive me. They
think, down there, that poor Anty's simple like; tho' she's cute enough,
av' they knew her. I wouldn't, for all the money, wish it should be said
that Martin Kelly ran off with a fool, and robbed her. Barry'd be making
her out a dale more simple than she is; and, altogether, my lord, I
wouldn't like it.'
'Well, Martin, perhaps you're right. At any rate you're on the right side.
What is it then you think of doing?'
'Why, I was thinking, my lord, av' I could get some lawyer here to draw up
a deed, just settling all Anty's property on herself when I die, and on her
children, av' she has any so that I couldn't spend it you know; she could
sign it, and so could I, before we started; and then I'd feel she'd been
traited as well as tho' she'd all the friends in Connaught to her back.'
'And a great deal better, probably. Well, Martin, I'm no lawyer, but I
should think there'd not be much difficulty about that. Any attorney could
'But I'd look so quare, my lord, walking into a sthranger's room and
explaining what I wanted all about the running away and everything. To be
sure there's my brother John's people; they're attorneys; but it's about
robberies, and hanging, and such things they're most engaged; and I was
thinking, av' your lordship wouldn't think it too much throuble to give me
a line to your own people; or, maybe, you'd say a word to them explaining
what I want. It'd be the greatest favour in life.'
'I'll tell you what I'll do, Kelly. I'll go with you, tomorrow, to Mr
Blake's lawyers that's my friend that was sitting here and I've no doubt
we'll get the matter settled. The Guinnesses, you know, do all my business,
and they're not lawyers.'
'Long life to your lordship, and that's just like yourself! I knew you'd
stick by me. And shall I call on you tomorrow, my lord? and at what time?'
'Wait! here's Mr Blake. I'll ask him, and you might as well meet me there.
Grey and Forrest is the name; it's in Clare Street, I think.' Here Mr Blake
again entered the room.
'What!' said he; 'isn't your business over yet, Ballindine? I suppose I'm
de trop then. Only mind, dinner's ordered for half past six, and it's that
now, and you're not dressed yet!'
'You're not de trop, and I was just wanting you. We're all friends here,
Kelly, you know; and you needn't mind my telling Mr Blake. Here's this
fellow going to elope with an heiress from Connaught, and he wants a
decently honest lawyer first.'
'I should have thought,' said Blake, 'that an indecently dishonest
clergyman would have suited him better under those circumstances.'
'Maybe he'll want that, too, and I've no doubt you can recommend one. But
at present he wants a lawyer; and, as I have none of my own, I think
Forrest would serve his turn.'
'I've always found Mr Forrest ready to do anything in the way of his
profession for money.'
'No, but he'd draw up a deed, wouldn't he, Blake? It's a sort of a marriage
'Oh, he's quite at home at that work! He drew up five, for my five sisters,
and thereby ruined my father's property, and my prospects.'
'Well, he'd see me tomorrow, wouldn't he?' said Lord Ballindine.
'Of course he would. But mind, we're to be off early. We ought to be at the
Curragh, by three.'
'I suppose I could see him at ten?' said his lordship. It was then settled
that Blake should write a line to the lawyer, informing him that Lord
Ballindine wished to see him, at his office, at ten o'clock the next
morning; it was also agreed that Martin should meet him there at that hour;
and Kelly took his leave, much relieved on the subject nearest his heart.
'Well, Frank,' said Blake, as soon as the door was closed, 'and have you
got the money you wanted?'
'Indeed I've not, then.'
'And why not? If your protégé is going to elope with an heiress, he ought
to have money at command.'
'And so he will, and it'll be a great temptation to me to know where I can
get it so easily. But he was telling me all about this woman before I
thought of my own concerns and I didn't like to be talking to him of what I
wanted myself, when he'd been asking a favour of me. It would be too much
like looking for payment.'
'There, you're wrong; fair barter is the truest and honestest system, all
the world over. Ca me, ca thee,' as the Scotch call it, is the best system
to go by. I never do, or ask, a favour; that is, for whatever I do, I
expect a return; and for whatever I get, I intend to make one.'
'I'll get the money from Guinness. After all, that'll be the best, and as
you say, the cheapest.'
'There you're right. His business is to lend money, and he'll lend it you
as long as you've means to repay it; and I'm sure no Connaught man will do
more that is, if I know them.'
'I suppose he will, but heaven only knows how long that'll be!' and the
young lord threw himself back on the sofa, as if he thought a little
meditation would do him good. However, very little seemed to do for him,
for he soon roused himself, and said, 'I wonder how the devil, Dot, you do
without borrowing? My income's larger than yours, bad as it is; I've only
three horses in training, and you've, I suppose, above a dozen; and, take
the year through, I don't entertain half the fellows at Kelly's Court that
you do at Handicap Lodge; and yet, I never hear of your borrowing money.'
'There's many reasons for that. In the first place, I haven't an estate; in
the second, I haven't a mother; in the third, I haven't a pack of hounds;
in the fourth, I haven't a title; and, in the fifth, no one would lend me
money, if I asked it.'
'As for the estate, it's devilish little I spend on it; as for my mother,
she has her own jointure; as for the hounds, they eat my own potatoes; and
as for the title, I don't support it. But I haven't your luck, Dot. You'd
never want for money, though the mint broke.'
'Very likely I mayn't when it does; but I'm likely to be poor enough till
that happy accident occurs. But, as far as luck goes, you've had more than
me; you won nearly as much, in stakes, as I did, last autumn, and your
stable expenses weren't much above a quarter what mine were. But, the truth
is, I manage better; I know where my money goes to, and you don't; I work
hard, and you don't; I spend my money on what's necessary to my style of
living, you spend yours on what's not necessary. What the deuce have the
fellows in Mayo and Roscommon done for you, that you should mount two or
three rascals, twice a-week, to show them sport, when you're not there
yourself two months in the season? I suppose you don't keep the horses and
men for nothing, if you do the dogs; and I much doubt whether they're not
the dearest part of the bargain.'
'Of course they cost something; but it's the only thing I can do for the
country; and there were always hounds at Kelly's Court till my grandfather
got the property, and they looked upon him as no better than an old woman,
because he gave them up. Besides, I suppose I shall be living at Kelly's
Court soon, altogether, and I could never get on then without hounds. It's
bad enough, as it is.'
'I haven't a doubt in the world it 's bad enough. I know what
Castleblakeney is. But I doubt your living there. I've no doubt you'll try;
that is, if you do marry Miss Wyndham; but she'll be sick of it in three
months, and you in six, and you'll go and live at Paris, Florence, or
Naples, and there'll be another end of the O'Kellys, for thirty or forty
years, as far as Ireland's concerned. You'll never do for a poor country
lord; you're not sufficiently proud, or stingy. You'd do very well as a
country gentleman, and you'd make a decent nobleman with such a fortune as
Lord Cashel's. But your game, if you lived on your own property, would be a
very difficult one, and one for which you've neither tact nor temper.'
'Well, I hope I'll never live out of Ireland. Though I mayn't have tact to
make one thousand go as far as five, I've sense enough to see that a poor
absentee landlord is a great curse to his country; and that's what I hope I
never shall be.'
'My dear Lord Ballindine; all poor men are curses, to themselves or some
'A poor absentee's the worst of all. He leaves nothing behind, and can
leave nothing. He wants all he has for himself; and, if he doesn't give his
neighbours the profit which must arise somewhere, from his own consumption,
he can give nothing. A rich man can afford to leave three or four thousand
a year behind him; in the way of wages for labour.'
'My gracious, Frank! You should put all that in a pamphlet, and not inflict
it on a poor devil waiting for his dinner. At present, give your profit to
Morrison, and come and consume some mock-turtle; and I'll tell you what
Sheil's going to do for us all.'
Lord Ballindine did as he was bid, and left the room to prepare for dinner.
By the time that he had eaten his soup, and drank a glass of wine, he had
got rid of the fit of blue devils which the thoughts of his poverty had
brought on, and he spent the rest of the evening comfortably enough,
listening to his friend's comical version of Shell's speech; receiving
instruction from that great master of the art as to the manner in which he
should treat his Derby colt, and being flattered into the belief that he
would be a prominent favourite for that great race.
When they had finished their wine, they sauntered into the Kildare Street
Blake was soon busy with his little betting-book, and Lord Ballindine
followed his example. Brien Boru was, before long, in great demand. Blake
took fifty to one, and then talked the horse up till he ended by giving
twenty-five. He was soon ranked the first of the Irish lot; and the success
of the Hibernians had made them very sanguine of late. Lord Ballindine
found himself the centre of a little sporting circle, as being the man with
the crack nag of the day. He was talked of, courted, and appealed to; and,
I regret to say, that before he left the club he was again nearly
forgetting Kelly's Court and Miss Wyndham, had altogether got rid of his
patriotic notions as to the propriety of living on his own estate, had
determined forthwith to send Brien Boru over to Scott's English stables;
and then, went to bed, and dreamed that he was a winner of the Derby, and
was preparing for the glories of Newmarket with five or six thousand pounds
in his pocket.
Martin Kelly dined with his brother at Jude's, and spent his evening
equally unreasonably; at least, it may be supposed so from the fact that at
one o'clock in the morning he was to be seen standing on one of the tables
at Burton Bindon's oyster-house, with a pewter pot, full of porter, in his
hand, and insisting that every one in the room should drink the health of
Anty Lynch, whom, on that occasion, he swore to be the prettiest and the
youngest girl in Connaught.
It was lucky he was so intoxicated, that no one could understand him; and
that his hearers were so drunk that they could understand nothing; as,
otherwise, the publicity of his admiration might have had the effect of
preventing the accomplishment of his design.
He managed, however, to meet his patron the next morning at the lawyer's,
though his eyes were very red, and his cheeks pale; and, after being there
for some half hour, left the office, with the assurance that, whenever he
and the lady might please to call there, they should find a deed prepared
for their signature, which would adjust the property in the manner
That afternoon Lord Ballindine left Dublin, with his friend, to make
instant arrangements for the exportation of Brien Boru; and, at two o'clock
the next day, Martin left, by the boat, for Ballinaslie, having evinced his
patriotism by paying a year's subscription in advance to the 'Nation'
newspaper, and with his mind fully made up to bring Anty away to Dublin
with as little delay as possible.
IV THE DUNMORE INN
Anty Lynch was not the prettiest, or the youngest girl in Connaught; nor
would Martin have affirmed her to be so, unless he had been very much
inebriated indeed. However young she might have been once, she was never
pretty; but, in all Ireland, there was not a more single-hearted,
simpleminded young woman. I do not use the word simple as foolish; for,
though uneducated, she was not foolish. But she was unaffected, honest,
humble, and true, entertaining a very lowly idea of her own value, and
undated by her newly acquired wealth.
She had been so little thought of all her life by others, that she had
never learned to think much of herself; she had had but few acquaintances,
and no friends, and had spent her life, hitherto, so quietly and silently,
that her apparent apathy was attributable rather to want of subjects of
excitement, than to any sluggishness of disposition. Her mother had died
early; and, since then, the only case in which Anty had been called on to
exercise her own judgment, was in refusing to comply with her father's wish
that she should become a nun. On this subject, though often pressed, she
had remained positive, always pleading that she felt no call to the sacred
duties which would be required, and innocently assuring her father, that,
if allowed to remain at home, she would cause him no trouble, and but
So she had remained at home, and had inured herself to bear without
grumbling, or thinking that she had cause for grumbling, the petulance of
her father, and the more cruel harshness and ill-humour of her brother. In
all the family schemes of aggrandisement she had been set aside, and Barry
had been intended by the father as the scion on whom all the family honours
were to fall. His education had been expensive, his allowance liberal, and
his whims permitted; while Anty was never better dressed than a decent
English servant, and had been taught nothing save the lessons she had
learnt from her mother, who died when she was but thirteen.
Mrs Lynch had died before the commencement of Sim's palmy days. They had
seen no company in her time for they were then only rising people; and,
since that, the great friends to whom Sim, in his wealth, had attached
himself, and with whom alone he intended that Barry should associate, were
all of the masculine gender. He gave bachelor dinner-parties to hard-
drinking young men, for whom Anty was well contented to cook; and when
they as they often, from the effect of their potations, were perforce
obliged to do stayed the night at Dunmore House, Anty never showed herself
in the breakfast parlour, but boiled the eggs, made the tea, and took her
own breakfast in the kitchen.
It was not wonderful, therefore, that no one proposed for Anty; and, though
all who knew the Lynches, knew that Sim had a daughter, it was very
generally given out that she was not so wise as her neighbours; and the
father and brother took no pains to deny the rumour. The inhabitants of the
village knew better; the Lynches were very generally disliked, and the
shameful way 'Miss Anty was trated,' was often discussed in the little
shops; and many of the townspeople were ready to aver that, 'simple or no,
Anty Lynch was the best of the breed, out-and-out.'
Matters stood thus at Dunmore, when the quarrel before alluded to,
occurred, and when Sim made his will, dividing his property and died before
destroying it, as he doubtless would have done, when his passion was over.
Great was the surprise of every one concerned, and of many who were not at
all concerned, when it was ascertained that Anty Lynch was an heiress, and
that she was now possessed of four hundred pounds a-year in her own right;
but the passion of her brother, it would be impossible to describe. He
soon, however, found that it was too literally true, and that no direct
means were at hand, by which he could deprive his sister of her patrimony.
The lawyer, when he informed Anty of her fortune and present station, made
her understand that she had an equal right with her brother in everything
in the house; and though, at first, she tacitly acquiesced in his
management, she was not at all simple enough to be ignorant of the rights o
possession, or weak enough to relinquish them.
Barry soon made up his mind that, as she had and must have the property,
all he could now do was to take care that it should revert to him as her
heir; and the measure of most importance in effecting this, would be to
take care that she did not marry. In his first passion, after his father's
death, he had been rough and cruel to her; but he soon changed his conduct,
and endeavoured to flatter her into docility at one moment, and to frighten
her into obedience in the next.
He soon received another blow which was also a severe one. Moylan, the old
man who proposed the match to Martin, called on him, and showed him that
Anty had appointed him her agent, and had executed the necessary legal
documents for the purpose. Upon this subject he argued for a long time with
his sister pointing out to her that the old man would surely rob
her offering to act as her agent himself recommending others as more honest
and fitting and, lastly, telling her that she was an obstinate fool, who
would soon be robbed of every penny she had, and that she would die in a
workhouse at last.
But Anty, though she dreaded her brother, was firm. Wonderful as it may
appear, she even loved him. She begged him not to quarrel with her promised
to do everything to oblige him, and answered his wrath with gentleness; but
it was of no avail. Barry knew that her agent was a plotter that he would
plot against his influence though he little guessed then what would be the
first step Moylan would take, or how likely it would be, if really acted
on, to lead to his sister's comfort and happiness. After this, Barry passed
two months of great misery and vexation. He could not make up his mind what
to do, or what final steps to take, either about the property, his sister,
or himself. At first, he thought of frightening Moylan and his sister, by
pretending that he would prove Anty to be of weak mind, and not fit to
manage her own affairs, and that he would indict the old man for
conspiracy; but he felt that Moylan was not a man to be frightened by such
bugbears. Then, he made up his mind to turn all he had into money, to leave
his sister to the dogs, or any one who might choose to rob her, and go and
live abroad. Then he thought, if his sister should die, what a pity it
would be, he should lose it all, and how he should blame himself, if she
were to die soon after having married some low adventurer; and he
reflected; how probable such a thing would be how likely that such a man
would soon get rid of her; and then his mind began to dwell on her death,
and to wish for it. He found himself constantly thinking of it, and
ruminating on it, and determining that it was the only event which could
set him right. His own debts would swallow up half his present property;
and how could he bring himself to live on the pitiful remainder, when that
stupid idiot, as he called her to himself, had three times more than she
could possibly want? Morning after morning, he walked about the small
grounds round the house, with his hat over his eyes, and his hands tossing
about the money in his pockets, thinking of this cursing his father, and
longing almost praying for his sister's death. Then he would have his
horse, and flog the poor beast along the roads without going anywhere, or
having any object in view, but always turning the same thing over and over
in his mind. And, after dinner, he would sit, by the hour, over the fire,
drinking, longing for his sister's money, and calculating the probabilities
of his ever possessing it. He began to imagine all the circumstances which
might lead to her death; he thought of all the ways in which persons
situated as she was, might, and often did, die. He reflected, without
knowing that he was doing so, on the probability of robbers breaking into
the house, if she were left alone in it, and of their murdering her; he
thought of silly women setting their own clothes on fire of their falling
out of window drowning themselves of their perishing in a hundred possible
but improbable ways. It was after he had been drinking a while, that these
ideas became most vivid before his eyes, and seemed like golden dreams, the
accomplishment of which he could hardly wish for. And, at last, as the,
fumes of the spirit gave him courage, other and more horrible images would
rise to his imagination, and the drops of sweat would stand on his brow as
he would invent schemes by which, were he so inclined, he could accelerate,
without detection, the event for which he so ardently longed. With such
thoughts would he turn into bed; and though in the morning he would try to
dispel the ideas in which he had indulged overnight, they still left their
impression on his mind they added bitterness to his hatred and made him
look on himself as a man injured by his father and sister, and think that
he owed it to himself to redress his injuries by some extraordinary means.
It was whilst Barry Lynch was giving way to such thoughts as these, and
vainly endeavouring to make up his mind as to what he would do, that Martin
made his offer to Anty. To tell the truth, it was Martin's sister Meg who
had made the first overture; and, as Anty had not rejected it with any
great disdain, but had rather shown a disposition to talk about it as a
thing just possible, Martin had repeated it in person, and had reiterated
it, till Anty had at last taught herself to look upon it as a likely and
desirable circumstance. Martin had behaved openly and honourably with
regard to the money part of the business; telling his contemplated bride
that it was, of course, her fortune which had first induced him to think of
her; but adding, that he would also value her and love her for herself, if
she would allow him. He described to her the sort of settlement he should
propose, and ended by recommending an early day for the wedding.
Anty had sense enough to be pleased at his straightforward and honest
manner; and, though she did not say much to himself, she said a great deal
in his praise to Meg, which all found its way to Martin's ears. But still,
he could not get over the difficulty which he had described to Lord
Ballindine. Anty wanted to wait till her brother should go out of the
country, and Martin was afraid that he would not go; and things were in
this state when he started for Dublin.
The village of Dunmore has nothing about it which can especially recommend
it to the reader. It has none of those beauties of nature which have taught
Irishmen to consider their country as the 'first flower of the earth, and
first gem of the sea'. It is a dirty, ragged little town, standing in a
very poor part of the country, with nothing about it to induce the
traveller to go out of his beaten track. It is on no high road, and is
blessed with no adventitious circumstances to add to its prosperity.
It was once the property of the O'Kellys; but, in those times the landed
proprietors thought but little of the towns; and now it is parcelled out
among different owners, some of whom would think it folly to throw away a
penny on the place, and others of whom have not a penny to throw away. It
consists of a big street, two little streets, and a few very little lanes.
There is a Court-house, where the barrister sits twice a year; a Barrack,
once inhabited by soldiers, but now given up to the police; a large slated
chapel, not quite finished; a few shops for soft goods; half a dozen
shebeen-houses, ruined by Father Mathew; a score of dirty cabins offering
'lodging and enthertainment', as announced on the window-shutters; Mrs.
Kelly's inn and grocery-shop; and, last though not least, Simeon Lynch's
new, staring house, built just at the edge of the town, on the road to
Roscommon, which is dignified with the name of Dunmore House. The people of
most influence in the village were Mrs. Kelly of the inn, and her two sworn
friends, the parish priest and his curate. The former, Father Geoghegan,
lived about three miles out of Dunmore, near Toneroe; and his curate,
Father Pat Connel, inhabited one of the small houses in the place, very
little better in appearance than those which offered accommodation to
travellers and trampers.
Such was, and is, the town of Dunmore in the county of Galway; and I must
beg the reader to presume himself to be present there with me on the
morning on which the two young Kellys went to hear Sheil's speech. At about
ten o'clock, the widow Kelly and her daughters were busy in the shop, which
occupied the most important part of the ground-floor of the inn. It was a
long, scrambling, ugly-looking house. Next to the shop, and opening out of
it, was a large drinking-room, furnished with narrow benches and rickety
tables; and here the more humble of Mrs. Kelly's guests regaled themselves.
On the other side of this, was the hall, or passage of the house; and, next
to that again, a large, clingy, dark kitchen, over which Sally reigned with
her teapot dynasty, and in which were always congregated a parcel of ragged
old men, boys, and noisy women, pretending to be busy, but usually doing
but little good, and attracted by the warmth of the big fire, and the hopes
of some scraps of food and drink.
'For the widow Kelly God bless her! was a thrue Christhian, and didn't
begrudge the poor more power to her like some upstarts who might live to be
in want yet, glory be to the Almighty!'
The difference of the English and Irish character is nowhere more plainly
discerned than in their respective kitchens. With the former, this
apartment is probably the cleanest, and certainly the most orderly, in the
house. It is rarely intruded into by those unconnected, in some way, with
its business. Everything it contains is under the vigilant eye of its chief
occupant, who would imagine it quite impossible to carry on her business,
whether of an humble or important nature, if her apparatus was subjected to
the hands of the unauthorised. An Irish kitchen is devoted to hospitality
in every sense of the word. Its doors are open to almost all loungers and
idlers; and the chances are that Billy Bawn, the cripple, or Judy Molloy,
the deaf old hag, are more likely to know where to find the required
utensil than the cook herself. It is usually a temple dedicated to the
goddess of disorder; and, too often joined with her, is the potent deity of
dirt. It is not that things are out of their place, for they have no place.
It isn't that the floor is not scoured, for you cannot scour dry mud into
anything but wet mud. It isn't that the chairs and tables look filthy, for
there are none. It isn't that the pots, and plates, and pans don't shine,
for you see none to shine. All you see is a grimy, black ceiling, an uneven
clay floor, a small darkened window, one or two unearthly-looking recesses,
a heap of potatoes in the corner, a pile of turf against the wall, two pigs
and a dog under the single dresser, three or four chickens on the window-
sill, an old cock moaning on the top of a rickety press, and a crowd of
ragged garments, squatting, standing, kneeling, and crouching, round the
fire, from which issues a babel of strange tongues, not one word of which
is at first intelligible to ears unaccustomed to such eloquence.
And yet, out of these unfathomable, unintelligible dens, proceed in due
time dinners, of which the appearance of them gives no promise. Such a
kitchen was Mrs. Kelly's; and yet, it was well known and attested by those
who had often tried tile experiment, that a man need think it no misfortune
to have to get his dinner, his punch, and his bed, at the widow's.
Above stairs were two sitting-rooms and a colony of bed-rooms, occupied
indiscriminately by the family, or by such customers as might require them.
If you came back to dine at the inn, after a day's shooting on the bogs,
you would probably find Miss Jane's work-box on the table, or Miss Meg's
album on the sofa; and, when a little accustomed to sojourn at such places,
you would feel no surprise at discovering their dresses turned inside out,
and hanging on the pegs in your bed-room; or at seeing their side-combs and
black pins in the drawer of your dressing-table.
On the morning in question, the widow and her daughters were engaged in
the shop, putting up pen'norths of sugar, cutting bits of tobacco, tying
bundles of dip candles, attending to chance customers, and preparing for
the more busy hours of the day. It was evident that something had occurred
at the inn, which had ruffled the even tenor of its way. The widow was
peculiarly gloomy. Though fond of her children, she was an autocrat in her
house, and accustomed, as autocrats usually are, to scold a good deal; and
now she was using her tongue pretty freely. It wasn't the girls, however,
she was rating, for they could answer for themselves; and did, when they
thought it necessary. But now, they were demure, conscious, and quiet. Mrs.
Kelly was denouncing one of the reputed sins of the province to which she
belonged, and describing the horrors of 'schaming.'
'Them underhand ways,' she declared, 'niver come to no good. Av' it's thrue
what Father Connel's afther telling me, there'll harum come of it before it
's done and over. Schaming, schaming, and schaming for iver! The back of my
hand to such doings! I wish the tongue had been out of Moylan's mouth, the
ould rogue, before he put the thing in his head. Av' he wanted the young
woman, and she was willing, why not take her in a dacent way, and have done
with it. I'm sure she's ould enough. But what does he want with a wife like
her? making innimies for himself. I suppose he'll be sitting up for a
gentleman now bad cess to them for gentry; not but that he's as good a
right as some, and a dale more than others, who are ashamed to put their
hand to a turn of work. I hate such huggery muggery work up in a corner.
It's half your own doing; and a nice piece of work it'll be, when he's got
an ould wife and a dozen lawsuits! when he finds his farm gone, and his
pockets empty; for it'll be a dale asier for him to be getting the wife
than the money when he's got every body's abuse, and nothing else, by his
It was very apparent that Martin's secret had not been well kept, and that
the fact of his intended marriage with Anty Lynch was soon likely to be
known to all Dunmore. The truth was, that Moylan had begun to think himself
overreached in the matter to be afraid that, by the very measure he had
himself proposed, he would lose all share in the great prize he had put in
Martin's way, and that he should himself be the means of excluding his own
finger from the pie. It appeared to him that if he allowed this, his own
folly would only be equalled by the young man's ingratitude; and he
determined therefore, if possible, to prevent the match. Whereupon he told
the matter as a secret, to those who he knew would set it moving. In a very
short space of time it reached the ears of Father Connel; and he lost none
in stepping down to learn the truth of so important a piece of luck to one
of his parishioners, and to congratulate the widow. Here, however, he was
out in his reckoning, for she declared she did not believe it that it
wasn't, and couldn't be true; and it was only after his departure that she
succeeded in extracting the truth from her daughters.
The news, however, quickly reached the kitchen and its lazy crowd; and the
inn door and its constant loungers; and was readily and gladly credited in
Crone after crone, and cripple after cripple, hurried into the shop, to
congratulate the angry widow on 'masther Martin's luck; and warn't he
worthy of it, the handsome jewel and wouldn't he look the gintleman, every
inch of him?' and Sally expatiated greatly on it in the kitchen, and drank
both their healths in an extra pot of tea, and Kate grinned her delight,
and Jack the ostler, who took care of Martin's horse, boasted loudly of it
in the street, declaring that 'it was a good thing enough for Anty Lynch,
with all her money, to get a husband at all out of the Kellys, for the
divil a know any one knowed in the counthry where the Lynchs come from; but
every one knowed who the Kellys wor and Martin wasn't that far from the
There was great commotion, during the whole day, at the inn. Some said
Martin had gone to town to buy furniture; others, that he had done so to
prove the will. One suggested that he'd surely have to fight Barry, and
another prayed that 'if he did, he might kill the blackguard, and have all
the fortin to himself, out and out, God bless him!
V A LOVING BROTHER
The great news was not long before it reached the ears of one not disposed
to receive the information with much satisfaction, and this was Barry
Lynch, the proposed bride's amiable brother. The medium through which he
first heard it was not one likely to add to his good humour. Jacky, the
fool, had for many years been attached to the Kelly's Court family; that is
to say, he had attached himself to it, by getting his food in the kitchen,
and calling himself the lord's fool. But, latterly, he had quarrelled with
Kelly's Court, and had insisted on being Sim Lynch's fool, much to the
chagrin of that old man; and, since his death, he had nearly maddened Barry
by following him through the street, and being continually found at the
house-door when he went out. Jack's attendance was certainly dictated by
affection rather than any mercenary views, for he never got a scrap out of
the Dunmore House kitchen, or a halfpenny from his new patron. But still,
he was Barry's fool; and, like other fools, a desperate annoyance to his
On the day in question, as young Mr. Lynch was riding out of the gate,
about three in the afternoon, there, as usual, was Jack.
'Now yer honour, Mr. Barry, darling, shure you won't forget Jacky today.
You'll not forget your own fool, Mr. Barry?'
Barry did not condescend to answer this customary appeal, but only looked
at the poor ragged fellow as though he'd like to flog the life out of him.
'Shure your honour, Mr. Barry, isn't this the time then to open yer
honour's hand, when Miss Anty, God bless her, is afther making sich a great
match for the family? Glory be to God!'
'What d'ye mean, you ruffian?'
'Isn't the Kellys great people intirely, Mr. Barry? and won't it be a great
thing for Miss Anty, to be sib to a lord? Shure yer honour'd not be
refusing me this blessed day.'
'What the d are you saying about Miss Lynch?' said Barry, his attention
somewhat arrested by the mention of his sister's name.
'Isn't she going to be married then, to the dacentest fellow in Dunmore?
Martin Kelly, God bless him! Ah! there'll be fine times at Dunmore, then.
He's not the boy to rattle a poor divil out of the kitchen into the cold
winther night! The Kellys was always the right sort for the poor.'
Barry was frightened in earnest, now. It struck him at once that Jack
couldn't have made the story out of his own head; and the idea that there
was any truth in it, nearly knocked him off his horse. He rode on, however,
trying to appear to be regardless of what had been said to him; and, as he
trotted off, he heard the fool's parting salutation.
'And will yer honour be forgething me afther the news I've brought yer?
Well, hard as ye are, Misther Barry, I've hot yer now, any way.'
And, in truth, Jack had hit him hard. Of all things that could happen to
him, this would be about the worst. He had often thought, with dread, of
his sister's marrying, and of his thus being forced to divide
everything all his spoil, with some confounded stranger. But for her to
marry a shopkeeper's son, in the very village in which he lived, was more
than he could bear. He could never hold up his head in the county again.
And then, he thought of his debts, and tried to calculate whether he might
get over to France without paying them, and be able to carry his share of
the property with him; and so he went on, pursuing his wretched, uneasy,
solitary ride, sometimes sauntering along at a snail's pace, and then again
spurring the poor brute, and endeavouring to bring his mind to some settled
plan. But, whenever he did so, the idea of his sister's death was the only
one which seemed to present either comfort or happiness.
He made up his mind, at last, to put a bold face on the matter; to find out
from Anty herself whether there was any truth in the story; and, if there
should be for he felt confident she would not be able to deceive him to
frighten her and the whole party of the Kellys out of what he considered a
damnable conspiracy to rob him of his father's property,
He got off his horse, and stalked into the house. On inquiry, he found that
Anty was in her own room. He was sorry she was not out; for, to tell the
truth, he was rather anxious to put off the meeting, as he did not feel
himself quite up to the mark, and was ashamed of seeming afraid of her. He
went into the stable, and abused the groom; into the kitchen, and swore at
the maid; and then into the garden. It was a nasty, cold, February day, and
he walked up and down the damp muddy walks till he was too tired and cold
to walk longer, and then turned into the parlour, and remained with his
back to the fire, till the man came in to lay the cloth, thinking on the
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