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with him thus, and we got on well; and as he was going to marry soon the daughter of a publican, who had as good as fifty pounds, and nothing that could be set on fire, and lived fifty miles away almost, he did not mind telling me all the truth, because he saw that I could keep it; and at his age he could not enter into the spirit of being kicked so. I told him I should like to see a man kick me! But he said that I might come to it.

ones. Moreover, as women usually are of a tougher staple than men can be, Chowne's successive liberation from three wives had added greatly to his fame for witch-craft, such as first accrued from his commanding style, nocturnal habits, method of quenching other people, and collection of pots and kettles. The head-groom told me, with a knowing wink, that in his opinion the Parson was now looking after wife No. 4, for he never had known him come out so smart with silver heels and crested

This was a very superior man, and I durst not contradict him; and having ar-head-piece, and even the mark of the sadranged so to settle in life, how could he hope to tell any more lies? For I have always found all men grow pugnaciously truthful, so to put it, for a month almost before wedlock; while the women are doing the opposite. However, not to go far into that, what he told me was much as follows:

dle must not show upon his breeches. This was a sure sign, he thought, that there was a young lady in the wind, possessing both money and good looks, such as Chowne was entitled to, and always had insisted on. Upon that point I could have thrown some light (if prudence had permitted it), or at least I had some shrewd suspicions, after what happened beside the river; however, I said nothing. But I asked him what in his opinion first had soured the young man Chowne against the whole of the world so sadly, as he seemed to retain it now. And he answered me that he could not tell, inasmuch as the cause which he had heard given seemed to him to be most unlikely, according to all that he saw of the man. Nevertheless I bade him tell it, being an older man than he was, and therefore more able to enter into what young folk call

Parson Chowne in early life, before his mind was put into shape for anything but to please itself, had been dreadfully vexed and thwarted. Every matter had gone amiss, directly he was concerned in it; his guardians had cheated him, so had his step-mother, so had his favourite uncle, and of course so had his lawyers done. In the thick of that bitterness, what did his sweetheart do but throw him over. She took a great scare of his strange black eyes, when she found that his money was doubtful. This was instinct, no doubt, on her part, and may have been a great sav-"inconsistencies." And so he told me that ing for her; but to him it was a terrible loss. His faith was already astray a little; but a dear wife might have brought it back, or at any rate made him think so. And he was not of the nature which gropes after the bottom of everything, like a twisting auger. Having a prospect of good estates, he was sent to London to learn the law, after finishing at Oxford, not that he might practise it, but to introduce a new element to the county magistrates, when he should mount the bench among them. Here he got rogued, as was only natural, and a great part of his land fell from him, and therefore he took to the clerical line; and being of a stern and decided nature, he married three wives, one after the other, and thus got a good deal of property. It was said, of course, as it always is of any man thrice a widower, that he or his manner had killed his wives; a charge which should never be made without strong evidence in support of it. At any rate there had been no children; and different opinions were entertained whether this were the cause or effect of the Parson's dislike and contempt of little

it was this. Chowne, while still a young boy, had loved, with all the force of his heart, a boy a few years younger than himself, a cousin of his own, but not with prospects such as he had. And this boy had been killed at school, and the matter hushed up comfortably among all high authorities. But Stoyle Chowne had made a vow to discover and hunt it out to the uttermost, and sooner or later to have revenge. But when his own wrongs fell upon him, doubtless he had forgotten it. I said that I did not believe he had done so, or ever would, to the uttermost.

Then I asked about Parson Jack, and heard pretty much what I expected. That he was a well-meaning man enough, although without much sense of right or wrong, until his evil star led him into Parson Chowne's society. But still he had instincts now and then, such as a horse has, of the right road; and an old woman of his church declared that he did feel his own sermons, and if let alone, and listened to, might come to act up to the n. I asked whether Parson Chowne might do the like, but was told that he never preached any.

We e were talking thus, and I had quite agreed to his desire of my company for supper-time, when the sound of a horse upon stony ground, tearing along at a dangerous speed, quite broke up our conference. The groom, at the sound of it, damped out his pipe, and signified to me to do the same.

"I have fired a-many of his enemies' ricks," he whispered, in his haste and fright; "but if he were to smell me a-smoking near to a rick of his own, good Lord!" and he pointed to a hay-rope, as if he saw his halter. And though he had boasted of speedy marriage, and caring no fig for Parson Chowne, he set off for the stables at a pace likely to prove injurious to his prospects of paternity.

was quite against what I had been long accustomed to, wherever I deigned to go in with my news to the servants' place, or the house-keeper's room, or anywhere pointed out to me as the best for entertainment. Here, however, although the servants seemed to be plentiful enough, and the horses and the hounds to have as much as they could eat, there was not a trace of what I may call good domestic comfort. When this prevails, as it ought to do in every gentleman's household, the marks may be discovered in the eyes and the mouth of everybody. Nobody thinks of giving way to injudicious hurry when bells ring, or when shouts are heard, or horses' feet at the front door. And if on the part of the carpeted rooms any disquietude is On the other hand, I, in a leisurely man- shown, or desire to play, or feed, or ride, ner, picked myself up from the attitude at times outside the convenience of the natural to me when listening kindly, and excellent company down-stairs, there is calmly asserting my right to smoke, ap-nothing more to be said, except that it canproached the track by which I knew that the rider must come into the yard; for all the dogs had no fear of me now, by virtue of the whistle which I bore. And before I had been there half a minute, the Parson dashed up with his horse all smoking, and himself in a heavy blackness of temper, such as I somehow expected of him.

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"No more of that! You have played me false. I expected it from a rogue like you. Restore me that trust-guinea."

This so largely differed from what even Anthony Stew would dare to say in conversation with me (much less at times of evidence), that I lifted up my heart to heaven, as two or three preachers had ordered me; and even our parson had backed it up, with lineage at least as good and perhaps much better than Parson Chowne's by right of Welsh blood under it: the whole of this overcame me so, that I could only say, "What guinea, sir?"

"What guinea, indeed! You would rob me, would you? Don't you know better than that, my man? Come to me in two hours' time. Stop, give me that dog's whistle!"

Taking that heed of me, and no more, he cast the reigns to my friend the headgroom, who came up, looking for all the world as if never had he seen me, and wondered strangely who I could be. And this air of fright and denial always pervaded the whole household. All of which VOL. XXIV. 1014

LIVING AGE.

not be done, and should never in coinmon reason have been thought of. For all servants nust enjoy their meals, and must have time to digest them with proper ease for conversation and expansion afterwards. At Candleston Court it was always so; and so it should be everywhere.

However, to return to my groom, whose cordiality revived at the moment his master turned the corner, perceiving that Chowne had some matter on hand which would not allow him to visit the stables, just for the present at any rate, he turned the black mare over to the care of an understrapper, and with a wink and a smack of his lips, gave me to know that his supper was toward. Neither were we disappointed, but found it all going on very sweetly, in a little private room used for cleaning harness. And he told me that this young cook-maid, of unusual abilities, had attached herself to him very strongly, with an eye to promotion, and having no scent of his higher engagement: neither would he have been unwilling to carry out her wishes if she could only have shown a sixpence against the innkeeper's daughter's shilling. I told him that he was too romantic, and he said with a sigh that he could not help it; but all would come right in the end, no doubt.

This honest affection impressed me not a little in his favour, and in less than half an hour I found him a thoroughly worthy fellow: while he perceived, through a square-stalked rummer, that my character was congenial. I told him therefore some foreign stories, many of which were exceedingly true, and he by this time was ready to answer almost anything that I

names were dying out, and they agreed much better in consequence. And how could any writ, warrant, or summons run against people without a name? It had once been tried with a " Nesho Kiss," the meaning of which was beyond me; but Parson Chowne upset that at once; and the bailiff was fit to make bricks of.

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At this I shook my head and smiled; because we put up with many evils on our side of the water, but never with people so unbecoming in their manner of life and clothes. And I thought how even mild Colonel Lougher would have behaved upon such a point, and how sharp Anthony Stew would have stamped when they began to pelt him; and how I wished him there to try it!

ehose to ask, even though he knew nothing about it. As for the people that wore no clothes, but lived all together in the old mud-house, there need be and could be no mystery. Every one knew that his Reverence had picked them up in his early days, and been pleased with their simple appearance and dislike of cultivation. Perceiving even then how glad he might be, in after-life, to annoy his neighbours, what did he do but bring these people (then six in number, and all of them wives and husbands to one another) and persuade them to dig themselves out a house, and by deed of gift establish them on forty acres of their own land, so that, as Englishmen love to say, their house was now their castle. Not that these were perhaps English folk, but rather of a Gipsy cross, capable, however, of becoming white if a muscular man should scrub them. The groom said that nobody durst go near them, except Parson Chowne and Parson Jack, and that they seemed to get worse aud worse, as they began to be persecuted by clothes-wearing people. I asked him what their manners were; and he said he believed they were good enough, so long as not interfered with; and who could blame them for maintaining that whether they wore clothes or not was entirely their own concern: also, that if outer strangers intruded, from motives of low curiosity, upon their unclad premises, it was only fair to point out to them the disadvantages of costume, by making it very hard to wash? There was some sense in this, because the main anxiety of mankind is to convert one another; and the pelting of mud is usually the beginning of such overtures. And these fine fellows having recurred (as Parson Chowne said) to a natural state, their very first desire would be to redeem all fellow-creatures from the evils of civilization. Whereof the foremost perhaps is clothes, and the time we take in dressing - a twelfth part of their waking life with even the wisest women, and with the unwise virgins often not less than three-quarters; and with many men not much better. But to come back to On the other hand, these noble fellows my savages. I asked this good groom hated nothing that could be chewed. how it came to pass that none of the Twenty-one sorts of toad-stool, with the sheriffs, or deputies, or even magistrates insects which inhabit them; three varieties of the shire, put down this ungoodly com- of eft, and of frogs no less than seven; pany. He said that they had tried, but also slugs six inches long, too large to failed, according to the laws of England, have a house built; moles that live in on the best authority. Because these men lines of decks, like a man-of-war's-man; of the ancient Adam went back to the time also rats, and brindled hedge-hogs, and before the beasts had come to Adam to the grubs of hornets (which far surpass all get their names. They brought up their oysters) - these, and other little things, children without a name, and now all like goat-moths, leopards, and money

Nevertheless I desired to know what victuals these good barbarians had; because, although like the Indian Jogis (mentioned by some great traveller) they might prove their right to go without clothes, which never were born upon them, they could not to my mind prove their power to do so well without victuals. He answered that this was a clever thing on my part to inquire about; but that I was so far wrong that these people would eat anything. His Reverence sent them every week the refuse of his garden, as well as of stable-yard and kennel, and they had a gift of finding food in everything around them. Their favourite dish. so to say, when they had never a dish among them was what they discovered in the pastureland; and this they divided carefully; accounting it the depth of shame, and the surest mark of civilization, to cheat one another. But they could not expect to get this every day, in a neighbourhood of moorland; therefore, instead of grumbling, they did their best to get on without it. And Providence always sends thousands of victuals for all whose stomachs have not been ruined by thinking too much about them; or very likely through the women beginning to make them delicate. So when a man is seasick he thinks of and hates almost everything.

grubs, kept them so alive as never to come, vited, because there was now no Mrs. down on the parish. Neither was there Chowne. And they saw a rare chance to any hen-roost, rickyard, apple-room, or tell good stories, and get on without the dairy, on the farms around them, but in it little snaps which are apt to occur among they found nourishment. Into all this I ladies, Therefore they all appeared in could enter, while the groom only showed strength, having represented it as a high the door of it.

duty, whatever their better halves might But while we were talking thus, I heard think. When a parson says this, his wife the stable-clock strike eight, which brought must knock under, or never go to church Ilezekiah to my mind, and my own church- again. Being there, they were treated clock at Newton. It struck in such a man- well, and had the good dinner they all dener that I saw the door of my own cottage, served, and found their host very different also Bunny in bed, with her nostrils ready from what they had been led to expect of to twitch for snoring, and mother Jones, him. He gave them as much wine as they with a candle, stooping to ease her by needed, and a very good wine too.

He means of a drop of hot grease; and inside, let them tell their stories, though his own by the wall, lay Bardie sleeping (as she al- taste was quite different; and he even huways slept) with a smile of high-born moured them so as to laugh the while he quietude. And what would all three say was despising them. And though he could to me if ever I got back again ?

not bear tobacco, that and pipes were Thanking this excellent groom for all brought in for them. his hospitality to me, and promising at his All went smoothly nntil one of them, desire to keep it from his master, I took edged on by the others, called for spirits my way (as pointed out) to the room and hot water. This Master Chowne had where his Reverence might be found. I prepared for, of course, and meant to feared that his temper would be black, un- present the things in good time; but now less he had dined as I had supped, and being gored thus in his own house, the taken a good glass afterwards. And I devil entered into him. His dark face could not believe what the groom had told grew of a leaden colour, while he begged me concerning one particular. There is a their pardon. Then out he went to most utterly pestilent race arising, and Mother Steelyard, and told her exactly growing up around us, whose object is to what to do. Two great jacks of brown destroy old England, by forbidding a man brandy came in, and were placed upon the to drink. St. Paul speaks against them, table, and two silver kettles upon the hobs. and all the great prophets. Also one of He begged all his guests to help themthe foremost parables is concerning bot- selves, showing the lemons and sugar-cadtles, as especially honest things (while dy, the bottles, and kettles, and everybushels are to the contrary), and the ten-thing: and then he left them to their own dency of all Scripture is such – whichever devices, while he talked with Parson Jack, Testament you take – that no man in his who had dropped in suddenly. wits can doubt it. And though I never Now, what shall I tell you came to pass read the Koran, and only have heard some - as a very great travelier always says verses of it, I know enough to say posi- – why, only that these parsons grew tively that Mahomet began this movement more drunk than despair, or even hope. to establish Antichrist.

Because, in the silver kettles was not waHowever, my groom said that Parson ter, but whiskey at boiling-point, and the Chowne, though not such a fool as to stop more they desired to weaken their brandy, other people, scarcely ever took a drop the more they fortified it; until they tumhimself; and his main delight was to make bled out all together, in every state of dislow beasts of the clergy who had no self- order. For this he had prepared, by placcommand. And two or three years ago ing at the foot of his long steps half-ahe had played a trick on his brother par- dozen butts of liquid from the cleaning of sons, such as no man would ever have tried his drains, meant to be spread on the fields who took his own glass in moderation and next day. And into the whole of this they enjoyed it heartily, as Scripture even com- fell, and he bolted the doors upon them. mands us to do, to promote good-fellow- This made a stir in the clerical cirship, and discretion. Having a power of cles, when it came to be talked about; visitation, from some faculty he enjoyed, but upon reference to the bishop, he he sent all round to demand their presence thought they had better say nothing about at a certain time, for dinner. All the par- it, only be more considerate. And on the sons were glad enough, especially as their whole it redounded gently to the credit of wives could not, in good manners, be in- 'Parson Chowne.

From Macmillan's Magazine. THE CURRENT STREET BALLADS OF IRELAND.

BY WILLIAM BARRY.

words thrown into them, for the sake of display rather than of sense. They have an air of ragged, boastful scholarship, that is quite indescribable. References to clasAMONG the series of ballads composed sic deities and names are abundant; and by Mr. Thackeray, the reader may recol- Virgil, Ovid, and Homer are alluded to in lect the Molony division, supposed to be a tone of confident acquaintance with the contributions of an Irish minstrel who these writers. The fact is, that most of had a trick of putting his social, political, the older ballads were manufactured and sentimental views into verses of a by the hedge-schoolmasters and by the very quaint and original pattern. Maginn, poor scholars, as they were called. The Father Prout, and Lover had indeed previ- hedge-schoolmaster was not unfrequentously discovered the humorous value of the ly an aspirant for admission to Maynotion which consisted in nothing more than nooth, who underwent a severe course of giving a certain artistic expression to forms self-preparation by acquiring some knowlof lyrical doggerel which were extremely edge of Latin and Greek. Having failed popular in Ireland. It is curious enough in his main enterprise, having discovered that the taste for these odd effusions still that he had no "vocation," the rejected or survives amongst a people who are be- disappointed candidate for the priesthood, coming thoroughly Anglicized in most of unfit for field labour, and too old to learn their habits and customs. The fairies a trade, possessing pedantic pride in his have gone from the land, the Holy Wells learning, such as it was, usually set up as are neglected, the cry of the Banshee is a teacher of the rustics, and as the local never heard, the wakes are decorous, the bard and poet of his parish. To him we Chincauns have abandoned the hills, the are probably indebted for the mythological waters of Killarney are deserted by the machinery of the ballad. This element equestrian spectre of O'Donoghue, but has been retained in the current lyrics the ballad· the Molony ballad - flour- with singular fidelity to the traditional ishes as briskly as ever. At the race- construction of the lays of the ditch-pedacourses, fairs, and regattas, the ballad gogues. minstrel is certain of bringing about him or her a large audience, and may be seen disposing of the wares in thick sheaves at the close of each ditty. The peasantry when coming to the market town for small purchases, invariably bring back in a basket or wallet the newest ballad; and in the cabins, and even farmhouses, a few of the broadsheets will be found pasted on the walls under the coloured effigy of a saint performing a miracle, or of Napoleon prancing over the peaks of the Alps on a steed. It should be noted that the Irish street ballad has nothing but its bad type and paper in common with the Catnach doggerel sung by the bawling vagabonds who hawk gallows and gutter literature about London. It is rarely indeed coarse; it is never consciously blesphemous. The ruffians in college gowns who here attend park meetings, chanting a mock litany and mock hymns would be stripped of their trappings, and probably put under a pump, by an Irish mob, before they had well roared through the introduction of their entertainment. The audience of the Irish ballad-monger and singer never relish an indecent or irreverent allusion. They enjoy fun, pathos, and an odd kind of gentility-yes, gentility is the word-in the verses. The ballads are thickly ornamented with big

The passion of love forms, of course, one of the principal themes of the Irish ballad-monger. He treats the subject generally, with a modest gallantry and distance which is now out of date with poets. His alarms, distractions, and fevers are expressed in language suggestive of our modish period, when ladies and gentlemen addressed each other as nymphs and swains. These songs remind you at once of the coffee-house Eclogues in which battered town toasts and hooped beauties were depicted listening to the flageolets of shepherds, and the elegant miseries of rural lovers with Virgilian titles. The minstrel seldom very much despairs or threatens to die when deceived, or when the object of his affection is inaccessible. Here is a stanza from "The Western Cottage Maid," a popular Munster lyric, in which the reader will perceive how completely naturalized the celebrites of heathenesse are in the productions to which I am referring :

"It was in the month of May, when lamkins sport and play,

As I roved out for sweet recreation,

I espied a lovely maid sequestered in a shade,
On her beauty I gazed with admiration.
How graceful and divine, how benignant an i
sublime,

More delicious than the fragrance of Flora;

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