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DUNLUCE CASTLE. TO-DAY from all thy ruined walls

Thy halls are open to the sky, The flowers wave flags of truce;

Thy revelry has ceased ; For Time has proved thy conqueror,

The echoes of thy mirth have died And tamed thy strength, Dunluce!

With fires that lit the feast. Lords of the Skerries' cruel rocks,

What keepers of thy secrets old Masters of sea and shore,

Flit through the wind and rain! Marauders in their clanking mail

What stern-faced ghosts have come by night Ride from thy gates no more.

To visit thee again! Thy dungeons are untenanted,

Grim fortress of the Northern sea, Thy captives are set free:

Lost are thy power and pride; The daisy, with sweet childish face, Within thy undefended walls Keeps watch across the sea.

The folded sheep abide.

O

last day of the month, and unusually as to show that it was not a permissible cool for the time of year-I made up my topic of conversation with him.

It was mind to go and spend an hour or two surmised that the lady had jilted him; with my friend Keningale. Keningale but, on the other hand, she herself rewas an artist (as well as a musical ama- turned home not a great while after, and teur and poet), and had a very delightful though she had plenty of opportunities, studio built on to his house, in which he she has never married to this day. was wont to sit of an evening. The stu- Be the rights of that matter what they dio had a cavernous fire-place, designed may, it was soon remarked that Ken was in imitation of the old-fashioned fire-places no longer the careless and merry fellow of Elizabethan manor-houses, and in it, he used to be; on the contrary, he appearwhen the temperature out-doors warrant- ed grave, moody, averse from general soed, he would build up a cheerful fire of ciety, and habitually taciturn and undedry logs. It would suit me particularly monstrative even in the company of his well, I thought, to go and have a quiet most intimate friends. Evidently somepipe and chat in front of that fire with thing had happened to him, or he had my friend.

done something. What? Had he comI had not had such a chat for a very mitted a murder? or joined the Nihilists ? long time-not, in fact, since Keningale or was his unsuccessful love affair at the (or Ken, as his friends called him) had re- bottom of it? Some declared that the turned from his visit to Europe the year cloud was only temporary, and would before. He went abroad, as he affirmed at soon pass away. Nevertheless, up to the the time, “for purposes of study," where- period of which I am writing it had not at we all smiled, for Ken, so far as we passed away, but had rather gathered adknew him, was more likely to do any- ditional gloom, and threatened to become thing else than to study. He was a young permanent. fellow of buoyant temperament, lively and Meanwhile I had met him twice or social in his habits, of a brilliant and ver- thrice at the club, at the opera, or in the satile mind, and possessing an income of street, but had as yet had no opportunity twelve or fifteen thousand dollars a year; of regularly renewing my acquaintance he could sing, play, scribble, and paint with him. We had been on a footing of very cleverly, and some of his heads and more than common intimacy in the old figure-pieces were really well done, con- days, and I was not disposed to think that sidering that he never had any regular he would refuse to renew the former relatraining in art; but he was not a worker. tions now. But what I had heard and Personally he was fine-looking, of good myself seen of his changed condition imheight and figure, active, healthy, and parted a stimulating tinge of suspense or with a remarkably fine brow, and clear, curiosity to the pleasure with which I full-gazing eye. Nobody was surprised looked forward to the prospects of this at his going to Europe, nobody expected evening. His house stood at a distance him to do anything there except amuse of two or three miles beyond the general himself, and few anticipated that he would range of habitations in New York at this be soon again seen in New York. He was time, and as I walked briskly along in the one of the sort that find Europe agree clear twilight air I had leisure to go over with them. Off he went, therefore; and in my mind all that I had known of Ken in the course of a few months the rumor and had divined of his character. After reached us that he was engaged to a hand- all, had there not always been something some and wealthy New York girl whom in his nature-deep down, and held in he had met in London. This was nearly abeyance by the activity of his animal all we did hear of him until, not very long spirits—but something strange and sepaafterward, he turned up again on Fifth rate, and capable of developing under Avenue, to everyone's astonishment; suitable conditions into-into what? As made no satisfactory answer to those who I asked myself this question I arrived at wanted to know how he happened to tire his door; it was with a feeling of reso soon of the Old World; while as to the lief that I felt the next moment the correported engagement, he cut short all al- dial grasp of his hand, and his voice bid

Vol. LXVII.-No. 402.-58

ding me welcome in a tone that indicated seemed to be peering duskily through a unaffected gratification at my presence. latticed casement, lit by a faint moonlight; He drew me at once into the studio, re- a third showed her splendidly attired in lieved me of my hat and cane, and then evening costume, with jewels in her hair put his hand on my shoulder.

and ears, and sparkling on her snowy “I am glad to see you,” he repeated, bosom. The expressions were as various with singular earnestness—“glad to see as the poses; now it was demure penetrayou and to feel you; and to-night of all tion, now a subtle inviting glance, now nights in the year.”

bạrning passion, and again a look of elf"Why to-night especially ?"

ish and elusive mockery. In whatever "Oh, never mind. It's just as well, phase, the countenance possessed a singutoo, you didn't let me know beforehand lar and poignant fascination, not of beauyou were coming; the unreadiness is all, ty merely, though that was very striking, to paraphrase the poet. Now, with you but of character and quality likewise. to help me, I can drink a glass of tama- “Did you find this model abroad ?" I rind-water and take a bit draw of the pipe. inquired at length. “She has evidently This would have been a grim night for inspired you, and I don't wonder at it.” me if I'd been left to myself."

Ken, who had been heating the tama“In such a lap of luxury as this, too!" rind-water, and had not noticed my movesaid I, looking round at the glowing fire- ments, now looked up, and said: "I didn't place, the low, luxurious chairs, and all mean those to be seen. They don't satisthe rich and sumptuous fittings of the fy me, and I'm going to destroy them; room. “I should have thought a con- but I couldn't rest till I'd made some atdemned murderer might make himself tempts to reprodụce- What was it you comfortable here."

asked ? Abroad ?

Yes-or no.

They "Perhaps; but that's not exactly my were all painted here within the last six category at present. But have you for weeks." gotten what night this is ? This is No- “Whether they satisfy you or not, they vember-eve, when, as tradition asserts, the are by far the best things of yours I have dead arise and walk about, and fairies, ever seen." goblins, and spiritual beings of all kinds "Well, let them alone, and tell me have more freedom and power than on what you think of this beverage. To my any other day of the year. One can see thinking, it goes to the right spot. It you've never been in Ireland.”

qwes its existence to your coming here. I “I wasn't aware till now that you had can't drink alone, and those portraits are been there, either."

not company, though, for aught I know, “Yes, I have been in Ireland. Yes~" she might have come out of the canvas He paused, sighed, and fell into a reverie, to-night and sat down in that chair." from which, however, he soon roused him. Then, seeing my inquiring look, he addself by an effort, and went to a cabinet in ed, with a hasty laugh, “It's November a corner of the room for the liquor and to eve, you know, when anything may hapbacco. While he was thus employed 1 pen, provided it's strange enough. Well, sauntered about the studio, taking note of here's to ourselves." the various beauties, grotesquenesses, and We each swallowed a deep draught of curiosities that it contained. Many things the smoking and aromatic liquor, and set were there to repay study and arouse ad-down our glasses with approval. The miration; for Ken was a good collector, punch was excellent. Ken now opened a having excellent taste as well as means box of cigars, and we seated ourselves beto back it. But, upon the whole, nothing fore the fire-place. interested me more than some studies of “All we need now," I remarked, after a female head, roughly done in oils, and, a short silence, “is a little music. Byjudging from the sequestered positions in the-bye, Ken, have you still got the banjo which I found them, not intended by the I gave you before you went abroad?". artist for exhibition or criticism. There He paused so long before replying that were three or four of these studies, all of I supposed he had not heard my question the same face, but in different poses and “I have got it,” he said at length, " but it costumes. In one the head was enveloped will never make any more music." in a dark hood, overshadowing and part- “Got broken, eh? Can't it be mended? ly concealing the features; in another she It was a fine instrument."

“It's not broken, but it's past mending. | mark, which I had idly made with an old You shall see for yourself.”

etching point not more than eighteen He arose as he spoke, and going to an- months before. After convincing myself other part of the studio, opened a black that there was no mistake, I laid the banjo oak coffer, and took out of it a long object across my knees, and stared at my friend wrapped up in a piece of faded yellow silk. in bewilderment. He sat smoking with He handed it to me, and when I had un- a kind of grim composure, his eyes fixed wrapped it, there appeared a thing that upon the blazing logs. might' once have been a banjo, but had “I'm mystified, I confess,” said I. little resemblance to one now. It bore Come; what is the joke? What methevery sign of extreme age. The wood of od have you discovered of producing the the handle was honey-combed with the decay of centuries on this unfortunate bangnawings of worms, and dusty with dry- jo in a few months? And why did you do rot. The parchment head was green with it? I have heard of an elixir to countermould, and hung in shrivelled tatters. act the effects of time, but your recipe The hoop, which was of solid silver, was seems to work the other way-to make so blackened and tarnished that it looked time rush forward at two hundred times like dilapidated iron. The strings were his usual rate, in one place, while he jogs gone, and most of the tuning-screws had on at his usual gait elsewhere. Unfold dropped out of their decayed sockets. Al- your mystery, magician. Seriously, Ken, together it had the appearance of having how on earth did the thing happen ?" been made before the Flood, and been for "I know no more about it than you do," gotten in the forecastle of Noah's Ark ever was his reply. .Either you and I and since.

all the rest of the living world are insane, “It is a curious relic certainly,” I said. or else there has been wrought a miracle “Where did you come across it? I had aš strange as any in tradition.

How can no idea that the banjo was invented so I explain it ? It is a common saying-a long ago as this. It certainly can't be less common experience, if you will—that we than two hundred years old, and may be may, on certain trying or tremendous ocmuch older than that."

casions, live years in one moment. But Ken smiled gloomily. "You are quite that's a mental experience, not a physical right,” he said; "it is at least two hundred one, and one that applies, at all events, years old, and yet it is the very same ban only to human beings, not to senseless jo that you gave me a year ago."

things of wood and metal. You imagine “Hardly," I returned, smiling in my the thing is some trick or jugglery. If it turn, "since that was made to my order be, I don't know the secret of it. There's with a view to presenting it to you." no chemical appliance that I ever heard of

“I know that; but the two hundred that will get a piece of solid wood into that years have passed since then. Yes, it is condition in a few months, or a few years. absurd and impossible, I know, but no- | And it wasn't done in a few years, or a thing is truer. That banjo, which was few months either. A year ago to-day made last year, existed in the sixteenth at this very hour that banjo was as sound century, and has been rotting ever since. as when it left the maker's hands, and Stay. Give it to me a moment, and I'll twenty-four hours afterward—I'm telling convince you.

You recollect that your you the simple truth-it was as you see it name and mine, with the date, were en- now." graved on the silver hoop ?"

The gravity and earnestuess with which “Yes; and there was a private mark of Ken made this astounding statement were my own there also."

evidently not assumed. He believed ev“Very well,” said Ken, who had been ery word that he uttered. I knew not rubbing a place on the hoop with a cor- what to think. Of course my friend might ner of the yellow silk wrapper; “look at be insane, though he betrayed none of the that.”

ordinary symptoms of mania; but, howI took the decrepit instrument from ever that might be, there was the banjo, a him, and examined the spot which he had witness whose silent testimony there was rubbed. It was incredible, sure enough; no gainsaying. The more I meditated on but there were the names and the date pre- the matter the more inconceivable did it cisely as I had caused them to be engraved; appear. Two hundred years--twenty-four and there, moreover, was my own private hours; those were the terms of the proposed equation. Ken and the banjo both | much, and before her family left London affirmed that the equation had been made; she and I were engaged. We parted there all worldly knowledge and experience af- for the time, because she had the Contifirmed it to be impossible. What was the nental trip still to make, while I wanted explanation? What is time? What is life? to take the opportunity to visit the north I felt myself beginning to doubt the real- of England and Ireland. I landed at Dubity of all things. And so this was the lin about the first of October, and, zigzagmystery which my friend had been brood- ging about the country, I found myself in ing over since his return from abroad. No County Cork about two weeks later. wonder it had changed him. More to be “There is in that region some of the wondered at was it that it had not changed most lovely scenery that human eyes ever him more.

rested on, and it seems to be less known "Can you tell me the whole story?” I to tourists than many places of infinitely demanded at length.

less picturesque value. A lonely region, Ken quaffed another draught from his too: during my rambles I met not a single glass of tamarind-water and rubbed his stranger like myself, and few enough nahand through his thick brown beard. "I tives. It seems incredible that so beautihave never spoken to any one of it here- ful a country should be so deserted. Afttofore,” he said, “and I had never meant er walking a dozen Irish miles you come to speak of it. But I'll try and give you across a group of two or three one-roomed some idea of what it was. You know me cottages, and, like as not, one or more of better than any one else ; you'll under those will have the roof off and the walls stand the thing as far as it can ever be in ruins. The few peasants whom one understood, and perhaps I may be relieved sees, however, are affable and hospitable, of some of the oppression it has caused me. especially when they hear you are from For it is rather a ghastly memory to grap- that terrestrial heaven whither most of ple with alone, I can tell you."

their friends and relatives have gone beHereupon, without further preface, Ken fore them. They seem simple and primirelated the following tale. He was, I may tive enough at first sight, and yet they are observe in passing, a naturally fine nar- as strange and incomprehensible a race as rator. There were deep, lingering tones any in the world. They are as superstiin his voice, and he could strikingly en- tious, as credulous of marvels, fairies, mahance the comic or pathetic effect of a gicians, and omens, as the men whom St. sentence by dwelling here and there upon Patrick preached to, and at the same time some syllable. His features were equally they are shrewd, skeptical, insensible, and susceptible of humorous and of solemn ex-bottomless liars. Upon the whole, I met pressions, and his eyes were in form and with no nation on my travels whose comhue wonderfully adapted to showing great pany I enjoyed so much, or who inspired varieties of emotion. Their mournful as- me with so much kindliness, curiosity, pect was extremely earnest and affecting; and repugnance. and when Ken was giving utterance to “At length I got to a place on the seasome mysterious passage of the tale they coast, which I will not further specify than had a doubtful, melancholy, exploring to say that it is not many miles from Ballook which appealed irresistibly to the lymacheen, on the south shore. I have imagination. But the interest of his story seen Venice and Naples, I have driven was too pressing to allow of noticing these along the Cornice Road, I have spent a incidental embellishments at the time, month at our own Mount Desert, and I though they doubtless had their influence say that all of them together are not so upon me all the same.

beautiful as this glowing, deep-hued, soft“I left New York on an Inman Line gleaming, silvery-lighted, ancient harbor steamer, you remember," began Ken, and and town, with the tall hills crowding landed at Havre. I went the usual round round it and the black cliffs and headof sight-seeing on the Continent, and got lands planting their iron feet in the blue, round to London in July, at the height of transparent sea. It is a very old place, the season. I had good introductions, and and has had a history which it has outmet any number of agreeable and famous lived ages since. It may once have had people. Among others was a young lady, two or three thousand inhabitants; it has a country-woman of my own-you know scarce five or six hundred to-day. Half whom I mean--who interested me very I the houses are in ruins or have disappear

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