The Kellys and the O'Kellys
Part 10 out of 10
'And that's thrue, too, Mrs Kelly,' said the other; 'but Miss Anty's
fortune ain't a bad step to a young man, neither. Why, there won't be a
young gintleman within tin no, not within forty miles, more respectable
than Martin Kelly; that is, regarding mains.'
'And you needn't stop there, Ma'am, neither; you may say the very same
regarding characther, too and family, too, glory be to the Virgin. I'd
like to know where some of their ancesthers wor, when the Kellys of ould
wor ruling the whole counthry?'
'Thrue for you, my dear; I'd like to know, indeed: there's nothing, afther
all, like blood, and a good characther. But is it thrue, Mrs Kelly, that
Martin will live up in the big house yonder?'
'Where should a man live thin, Mrs Costelloe, when he gets married, but
jist in his own house? Why for should he not live there?'
'That's thrue agin, to be shure: but yet, only to think Martin living in
ould Sim Lynch's big house! I wondther what ould Sim would say, hisself, av
he could only come back and see it!'
'I'll tell you what he'd say thin, av he tould the thruth; he'd say there
was an honest man living there, which wor niver the case as long as any of
his own breed was in it barring Anty, I main; she's honest and thrue, the
Lord be good to her, the poor thing. But the porter's not to your liking,
Mrs Costelloe you're not tasting it at all this morning.'
No one could have been more humble and meek than was Anty herself, in the
midst of her happiness. She had no idea of taking on herself the airs of a
fine lady, or the importance of an heiress; she had no wish to be thought a
lady; she had no wish for other friends than those of her husband, and his
family. She had never heard of her brother's last horrible proposal to
Doctor Colligan, and of the manner in which his consent to her marriage had
been obtained; nor did Martin intend that she should hear it. She had
merely been told that her brother had found that it was for his advantage
to leave the neighbourhood altogether; that he had given up all claim to
the house; and that his income was to be sent to him by a person appointed
in the neighbourhood to receive it. Anty, however, before signing her own
settlement, was particularly careful that nothing should be done, injurious
to her brother's interest, and that no unfair advantage should be taken of
Martin, too, was quiet enough on the occasion. It was arranged that he and
his wife, and at any rate one of his sisters, should live at Dunmore House;
and that he should keep in his own hands the farm near Dunmore, which old
Sim had held, as well as his own farm at Toneroe. But, to tell the truth,
Martin felt rather ashamed of his grandeur. He would much have preferred
building a nice snug little house of his own, on the land he held under
Lord Ballindine; but he was told that he would be a fool to build a house
on another man's ground, when he had a very good one ready built on his
own. He gave way to such good advice, but he did not feel at all happy at
the idea; and, when going up to the house, always felt an inclination to
shirk in at the back-way.
But, though neither the widow nor Martin triumphed aloud at their worldly
prosperity, the two girls made up for their quiescence. They were full of
nothing else; their brother's fine house Anty's great fortune; their
wealth, prosperity, and future station and happiness, gave them subjects of
delightful conversation among their friends. Meg. moreover, boasted that it
was all her own doing; that it was she who had made up the match; that Mart
in would never have thought of it but for her nor Anty either, for the
matter of that.
'And will your mother be staying down at the shop always, the same as
iver?' said Matilda Nolan, the daughter of the innkeeper at Tuam.
''Deed she says so, then,' said Jane, in a tone of disappointment.; for her
mother's pertinacity in adhering to the counter was, at present, the one
misery of her life.
'And which of you will be staying here along with her, dears?' said
Matilda. 'She'll be wanting one of you to be with her, any ways.'
'Oh, turn about, I suppose,' said Jane.
'She'll not. get much of my company, any way,' said Meg. 'I've had enough
of the nasty place, and now Martin has a dacent house to put over our
heads, and mainly through my mains I may say, I don't see why I'm to be
mewing myself up in such a hole as this. There's room for her up in Dunmore
House, and wilcome, too; let her come up there. Av she mains to demain
herself by sticking down here, she may stay by herself for me.'
'But you'll take your turn, Meg?' said Jane.
'It'll he a very little turn, then,' said Meg; 'I'm sick of the nasty ould
place; fancy coming down here, Matilda, to the tobacco and sugar, after
living up there a month or so, with everything nice and comfortable! And
it's only mother's whims, for she don't want the shop. Anty begged and
prayed of her for to come and live at Dunmore House for good and all; but
no; she says she'll never live in any one's house that isn't her own.'
'I'm not so, any way,' said Jane; 'I'd be glad enough to live in another
person's house av I liked it.'
'I'll go bail you would, my dear,' said Matilda; 'willing enough especially
'Oh! av I iver live in that it'll be partly my own, you know; and may-be a
girl might do worse.'
'That's thrue, dear,' said Matilda; 'but John Dolan's not so soft as to
take any girl just as she stands. What does your mother say about the money
part of the business?
And so the two friends put their heads together, to arrange another
wedding, if possible.
Martin and Anty did not go to visit Switzerland, or Rome, as soon as they
were married; but they took a bathing-lodge at Renvill, near Galway, and
with much difficulty, persuaded Mrs Kelly to allow both her daughters to
accompany them. And very merry they all were. Anty soon became a different
creature from what she ever had been: she learned to be happy and gay; to
laugh and enjoy the sunshine of the world. She had always been kind to
others, and now she had round her those who were kind amid affectionate to
tier. Her manner of life was completely changed: indeed, life itself was an
altered thing to her. It was so new to her to have friends; to he loved; to
be one of a family who regarded amid looked up to her. She hardly knew
herself in her new happiness.
They returned to Dunmore in the early autumn, and took up their residence
at Sim Lynch's big house, as had been arranged. Martin was very shy about
it: it was long before he talked about it as his house, or his ground, or
his farm; and it was long before he could find himself quite at home in his
Many attempts were made to induce the widow to give up the inn, and shift
her quarters to the big house, but in vain. She declared that, ould as she
was, she wouldn't think of making herself throublesome to young folks; who,
maybe, afther a bit, would a dail sooner have her room than her company:
that she had always been misthress, and mostly masther too, in her own
house, glory be to God; and that she meant to be so still; and that, poor
as the place was, she meant to call it her own. She didn't think herself at
all fit company for people who lived in grand houses, and had their own
demesnes, and gardens, and the rest of it; she had always lived where money
was to be made, and she didn't see the sense of going, in her old age, to a
place where the only work would be how to spend it. Some folks would find
it was a dail asier to scatther it than it wor to put it together. All this
she said and a great deal more, which had her character not been known,
would have led people to believe that her son was a spendthrift, and that
he and Anty were commencing life in an expensive way, and without means.
But then, the widow Kelly was known, and her speeches were only taken at
She so far relaxed, however, that she spent every Sunday at the house; on
which occasions she invariably dressed herself with all the grandeur she
was able to display, and passed the whole afternoon sitting on a sofa, with
her hands before her, trying to look as became a lady enjoying herself in a
fine drawing-room. Her Sundays were certainly not the comfort to her, which
they had been when spent at the inn; but they made her enjoy, with a keener
relish, the feeling of perfect sovereignty when she returned to her own
I have nothing further to tell of Mr and Mrs Kelly. I believe Doctor
Colligan has been once called in on an interesting occasion, if not twice;
so it is likely that Dunmore House will not be left without an heir.
I have also learned, on inquiry, that Margaret and Jane Kelly have both
arranged their own affairs to their own satisfaction.
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