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sume more humble place of residence. As he slowly walked homeward, through an outlet called Phibsborough, notices of “ Furnished Lodgings" caught his eye, posted on the windows of some small, but neat and cleanly-looking houses. He entered more than one ; even here the terms seemed too high for his means. At last he inspected a single room, accommodated with a turn-up bed, which, in the day-time, was contrived to look like a sofa; and though he disliked the persons who showed it, and the room itself, neat and tidy as it was, still the rent came within his views, and Jolin engaged the lodging, provided his lady should like them.
Proceeding still homeward, he debated how he should dispose of his watch, as he bad determined to add whatever it would produce to his little stock-purse ; indeed, it was already included in his calculations. Knowing little of the trade of pawnbrokers, he thonght his best way would be to offer the article at a watchmaker's, and he was looking out for a shop of this description, when a placard of “Money lent,” attracted his notice. The announcement puzzled bim in the first instance; he was really simple enough to debate the question of its being a benevolent offer to assist the needy; at all events he entered the house, handed his watch at the counter,
and received for it about a third of what he had calculated. But then he understood this was only a loan ; and trying to feel contented, he hurried to Dawson -street, most anxious about breaking to Letty, in the best manner, his proposed change to Phibsborough ; uneasy, on her account, at his long absence, and, in the midst of all his blacker feelings, experiencing the tenderest yearnings of the heart, once more to see before him, and to clasp in his arms, the poor devoted one who sat so solitary in her chamber, dependant on him alone for society and bappiness.
We know not how it may strike our readers, but it strikes us that there is great beauty and nature in that thought of “ the poor devoted one, who sat so solitary in her chamber, dependant on him alone for society and happiness." There is a touching simplicity too in the expression of the sentiment. What follows is of melancholy interest :
Letty met him at the door of her apartment, with outstretched arms, and a happier face and freer manner than she had lately shown ; her mind was lightened by writing her letters to her uncle and brother, and, as we have seen, hope fluttered in her heart. She had made her toilet, too, with more than usual care ; John saw her dressed in one of the gowns he had purchased for her; altogether, while she looked perhaps more beautiful than ever, his feelings for her took a peculiar turn of fondness and devotion ; and he folded her to his breast in murmurs of melancholy delight.
As evening approached, he studied to shape, in the most delicate way, the an. nouncement of a change of abode ; but the words stuck in his throat: he knew the lodgings he had selected were too humble for Letty's former rank, tastes, and comforts; and be durst not explain why she was not to be introduced to better lodgings; he durst not speak to her of pecuniary matters yet.
But Letty saved all his feelings on this subject. She had reflected as much as he during the day, and started her own plans, and taken her own resolutions.
“Dearest John,” she said, as they sat side by side before dinner, “perfect confidence should exist between all married persone, and especially between us, on account of our peculiar situation. You know I have no property in my own right, or at my own immediate disposal, and I know you are similarly circumstanced ; and until our friends think of forgiving and assisting us, of which I do not despair, whatever little funds we possess between us should be known to both, and all placed in your hands ; 80, dear sobn,” as she hid her face on his neck,“ keep this little purse for me ; it is the amount of a half.year's pocket-money allowed by my generous uncle, and I brought it out upon that evening—the evening we met-to apply it to some particular purposes; now we may surely use it ourselves.”
He put up the purse without an observation." And I have been thinking, too, how very expensive this place is ; 0 must, every way, have already spent much money, dear John ; and the sooner ve leave it for a humbler abode a very humble
(you know, though lately accustomed to luxury, my early life, at my father's, was thrifty and humble enough)—why, John, the sooner that step is taken, the better. We can await, anywhere, answers to my letters.”
The same evening they occupied the single apartment at Phibsborough. When Letty first entered it, Johň did not see her strange glance around; he only saw the smile she assumed as he turned to consult her features, and heard the cheering tone in which she compelled herself to admire the little thriftily-contrived room, and say it
even went beyond her expectations, and was a state-room compared to that assigned to herself and three of her sisters at Mount Nelson.
Bui, notwithstanding Letty's manner and expression, John continued to dislike, on her account, and indeed on his own, the room, and the house, and the people of the house, and every thing connected with it and them. His dislike of the very first day increased each day he remained; and yet he could not exactly tell why. It was not a very wretched house, and they were not ill-conducted or disreputable people ; on the contrary, their abode and themselves bespoke independence, even comfort, and yet he had an indefinable notion that was all mean, pinching economy, miserly comfort, unwarranted neatness and propriety ; cold, heartless, worthless, independence. It more overpowered him with ideas and apprehensions of poverty, than could a scene and group of squalid misery; and he feared the same impression would be made on Letty.
Although very small, containing, indeed, but four rooms altogether, every inch of this house had been made the most of: nay, over-occupied, over-attended to, overdone, in fact. From his window John looked into a little yard, around which were various wooden sheds, clumsily constructed in his evening leisure hours, by the old man of the establishment, assisted by as old a helper, a kind of jack-of-all-trades in the neighbourhood, and composed of all the scraps of boards and staves both could pick up here and there, without paying for them. There was a little shed for coals, another for turf, another for ashes, another for odds and ends, another for "case of necessity;" and in the middle of the yard rose an impoverished grass-plat, from which a sickly laburnum tree vaivly strove to draw moisture for its scanty boughs and leaves. Below stairs, in the parlour, was the bed of the old couple; a daughter and a niece slept in the kitchen ; and next to John's room was another chamber" to be let." Each apartment was barely furnished (and yet furnished) with articles selected, from time to time, wherever they could be found cheapest, of the oldest known fashion, and all out of suit with one another; yet all shining and polished with incessant care, into a presumptuous appearance of respectability. An oil-cloth, composed of three different scraps, of different patterns, spread over the little hall, or passage, from the street-door; a shamefaced attempt at a ball lamp, suspended by the old man's peculiar contrivance, dangled so low as to oblige one, at the risk of one or two shillings for a new green glass, to stoop under it, or walk round it; and the little narrow stairs boasted a strip of carpet, half as Darrow as itself, patched up, like the oil-cloth, darued over and over, like the heels of all the old fellow's stockings, and yet absolutely looking smart from the endless brushing and dusting every day, and shaking and beating once a week.
The carpet of John's own room was an extraordinary patch-work of diamond bits of cloth, showing every colour in the rainbow, and each no bigger than the corner of a card. His sofa-bed was covered, during the day, with stamped calico, of a venerable pattern, balf washed out; his one window had a curtain of a different pattern, and his five chairs, covers still diversified. His one table was of old mahogany, dark even to blackness, and shining as a mirror ; his chest of drawers was of oak, more ancient still, and also glittering so as to put him out of patience; his corner cupboard pretended to be Chinese ; six high-coloured, miserable prints hung in black frames, and at the most regular distances round the room, of which three sides were papered, and one wainscot ; but the old people had ventured on one modern article, in the shape of a long narrow chimney-glass, set in a frame about an inch deep, and presenting to the eye about as faithful reflection of the human face, as might a river or a lake with the wind blowing high upon it; nay, a row of flower-pots were placed inside the window, in a curious frame-work; as if to show a wanton exultation in the midst of this scene of beggarly contrivance, flowers had actually been prostituted in its service, and Nature's rarest perfumes deeined well employed in scenting its shreds and patches, and its crazy « fragments of an earlier world.”
“ Poor flowers !" sighed Letty, after she had given them one first and only look ; poor flowers ! what brought ye here?”
The old man, who bad some petty situation of thirty or forty pounds a year in some public office, was upwards of seventy-five years, tall, shrivelled, stooped in the neck, illset on his limbs, and with a peculiar drag of one le "which, from certain reasons, and taken with other things, rendered him very disagreeable to John. He was obliged to be up every morning at seven, in order to reach bis office, or place of occupation by eight; and he might be heard creeping about the lower part of the house, making the parlour and kitchen fires, to save his daughter and niece so much trouble : cooking his own solitary breakfast, his fat wife lying in bed; and then cautiously shutting the hall-door after him, as, rubbing his hands, he tried to bustle off in a brisk, youthful pace, to his important day's work.
His wife was fat to excess ; so much so, that she waddled under her own fardleherself ; but she was strong and sturdy too ; and her waddle did not lessen the length and stamp of her stride, when, upon occasions that required a show of authority, she came out to scold, or, as her niece called it, to " ballyrag," in the kitchen, at her handmaidens, or in the ball, at her poor lodgers up stairs. Then the little house shook from top to bottom under her heavy and indignant step, as well as with the echoes of her coarse man's voice, half smothered amid the fat of her throat, and the sputterings of her great pursy lips. And poor Letty also shook, from top to toe, on these occasions, and flew for shelter to John's arms.
When not called upon thus to enforce law in any refractory branch of her garrison, Mrs. Grimes spent the day in a vast indolent arm-chair, reading pathetic novels of the last age, or casting up her accounts, to re-assure herself, crer and over again, of the pounds, shillings, and pence, laid up during the last month or week, and how half a farthing might be split for six months to come. Every day, by twelve o'clock, she was dressed " like any lady,” (still according to her niece) to receive her cronies, or strike with importance the tax-collectors or landlord's agent, none of whom had ever to call a second time, and that was hier constant boast ; but even there, shut up in her parlour, the old female despot was fully as much dreaded as if her voice and her stride sounded every moment through the house—or as much as if she had lain there screwed down in her coffin, and that, at the least turn of a hand, herself or her ghost might come out to roar for a strict reckoning.
Her daughter and niece (the latter an orplian) supplied the place of a servant maid, in lieu of the eating, drinking, and sleeping, such as it was, that came to their lot. They were of a size, and that size very little : of an age, and that age more than thirty ; but from their stunted growth, hard, · Jiny shape, and nondescript expression of features, might pass for ten years younger or ten years older, as the spectator fancied. They gave no idea of flesh and blood. They never looked as if they were warm, or soft to the touch. One would as soon think of flirting with them, as with the old wooden effigies to be found in the niches of old cathedrals. They imparted no notion, much less sensation of sex. But they were as active as bees, and as strong as little horses; and as despotic and cruel, if they dared, and whenever they dared, as the old tyrant herself. From the moment they arose in the morning, thump, thump, thump), went their little - heels, through the passage, to the kitchen, up stairs and down stairs, or into the parlour, to see after the fires the old man bad lighted; to make up the beds ; to prepare breakfast; to put every thing to rights ; to sweep, to brush, to shake carpets, to clean shoes, knives, and forks; to rub, scrub, polish, and beautify, for ever and ever; the daughter always leading the piece; and the whole of this gone through in a sturdy, important, vain-glorious manner; accompanied by slapping of doors every two minutes, and (ever since Letty had refused to go down to the parlour to join an evening party,) by loul, rude talking, and boisterous laughing, just to shew that they did not care a farthing for the kind of conceited poor lodgers they had got in the house.
No charity was in the house, nor in a heart in the house. In the faces of all professed beggars the street-door was slammed without a word, but with a scowl calculated to wither up the wretched suitor ; and with respect to such as strove to hide the profession under barrel-organs, flutes, fageolets, hurdy-gurdies, or the big.drum and pandean pipes, their tune was, indeed, listened to, but never requited.
Yet the family was a pious family. Mr. and Mrs. Grimes sallied out to church every Sunday, and sat at the parlour window every Sunday evening, (while their daughter and piece went, in turn, to have a rest, as they said,) a huge old Bible open before them, and visible to all passers by, that the neighbours might remark-" There's a fine old couple.” John, however, thought it odd, that after all this, his cold mutton, or his cold beef used to come up to him, out of the safe, (a pretty “safe,” truly,) rather diminished since he had last the pleasure of seeing it; and one Sunday evening, after listening for half an hour to the daughter's shrill voice, reading the Bible before supper, when, on particular business, he somewhat suddenly entered the parlour, he was still more surprized to find the good family seated round the ham, (a rare temptation, no doubt, in their system of housekeeping ) which that day bad formed part of his dinner.
But nothing irked him half so much as the ostentatious triumph over starvation, the provoking assumption of comfort, nay, elegance, as it were, and the audacious independence which resulted from the whole economy. He felt it, as before hinted, to be the most irritating specimen of poverty. Old Grimes's glossy Sunday coat, perpetually the same, was worse than the clouted gaberdine of a roving beggar. Every burnished thing around him seemed to shine with a beggarly polish. The whole house and its inhabitants bad an air of looking better than they really were, or ought to be ; and the meanness, the sturdiness, the avarice, the hard-heartedness, that produced this polish and this air, he considered as loatlısome as the noise, the thumping about, the loud talking, and the endless fagging of the two little skinny Helots, was brazen and vexatious.
One more extract * and wehave done. The handy wench of whom we have before spoken, Peggy Nowlan, is on her way to Dublin, when
Late in the second morning of her journey, the coach upset within about a stage of the metropolis, and she was violently thrown off, and deprived of sense by the shock. When Peggy recovered, she found herself in a smoky looking room, dimly lighted by a single dipped candle of the smallest size. The walls were partly covered with decayed paper, that hung off, here and there, in tatters. There were a few broken chairs standing in different places, and in the middle of the apartment a table, that had once been of decent mould, but that now bore the appearance of long and hard servico, supporting on its drooping leaves a number of drinking glasses, some broken and others capsized, while their slops of liquor remained fresh around them.
Peggy was seated with her back to the wall; she felt her head supported by some one who occasionally bathed her temples with a liquid which, by the odour it sent forth, could be no other than whisky; and if she had been an amateur, Peggy might bare recognised it as pottheen.
“My God, where am I ?” looking confusedly around, was her first exclamation.
"You 're in safe hands, Peggy Nowlan,” she was answered in the tones of a woman's voice: an' l'am glad to hear you spake, at last.”
Turning her head, she observed the person who had been attending her. The woman was tall and finely-featured, about fifty, and dressed pretty much in character with the room and its furniture ; that is, having none of the homely attire of the country upon her, but wearing gay flaunting costume, or rather the remains of such; and there was about her air and manner a bold confidence, accompanied by an authoritative look from her large black eyes, that told a character in which the mild timnidity of woman existed uot. Yet she smiled on Peggy, and her smile was beautiful and fascinating.
“How do you know me, good woman ?" again questioned our heroine, for we be. lieve she is such.
“Oh, jist by chance, afther a manner, miss; onct, when I went down to your counthry to see a gossip o' my own, the neighbours pointed you out to me as the come. liest colleen to be seen far an' wide ; an' so, Miss Peggy, fear nothing ;" for Peysy, as sbe looked about her, and at the woman, did show some terror; “an' I'm glad in the heart to see any one from your part, where there's some kind people, friends o’ mine ; an' for their sakes, au’ the sake o' the ould black hills you cum from, show me the man that daares look crooked at you."
This speech was accompanied by such softness of manner, that Peggy's nervousness lessened. She gained contidence from the presence of one of her own sex looking so kindly on ber, and though years had been busy with her fine features, looking so handsome too. Her next question was, naturally, a request to be informed how she came into her present situation. “ You were brought bere, jist to save your life,” answered the woman ;
"a son o' mine coming along the road from Dublin, saw the coach tumule down; he waited to give it a helping hand up again ; and when it druv away—"
“ And has it gone off, and left me behind ?” interrupied Peggy, in great distress. “Of a thruth, ay has it, my dear.” “ What, then, am I to do? -"
Why, you must only stay where you are wid me, until the day; and you're welcome to the cover o'th' ould roof, an' whatever comfort I can give you ; an' when the day comes we'll look out for you, Miss Peggy, a-roou. Put, as I was saying, when the coach dbrew off again, my son was for hurrying home, when he heard some one moaning inside o' the ditch ; an' he went into the field, an' there was a man lying, jist coming to his senses, an' you near him, widout any sense at all; au' when the
The author must take it as a compliment, that we have here made the longest extract we ever saw conveyed from a work into a periodical. Those persons who have not read the novel, will find in the interest of this adventure, which is in itself an entire tale, the best excuse for our apparent unreasonableness. Jan. 1827.
man got betther, my son knew him for an old acquaintance ; and then they minded you, and tuck you up between them ; an’ sure here you are to the fore.”
It is absolutely necessary I should continue my journey to-night," said Peggy. “ If you ’re for Dublin, child, you can hardly go it's thing a friend can't lear of,"
Peggy reflected for a moment. Her usual caution now told ber, what her first suspicions had suggested, that, in some way or other, the house was an improper one, and, perhaps, that good-nature had not been the only motive in conveying her to it. The woman's last words seemed to show a particular determination that she slıould remain. It would be imprudent, then, to express a design to go away; she might be detained by force. Nor would she suffer herself to become affected by her fears, lest she might incapacitate herself for escaping by stealth. Prompted by grosving suspicion, she stole her hand to her bosom to search for her purse ; it was gone : and Peggy became confirmed in her calculations, though not more apparently shaken by her fears.
“I had a small hand-basket,” she said, “ containing a few little articles, and my money for the road ; it's lost, of course, and I am left pennyless ; if I go to the spot where the coach fell, maybe I could find it.”
“We can go together,” said the woman, "if you are able to walk so far.”
Peggy had made the proposal, not in hopes of recovering any thing, but that she might be afforded a chance of walking away; if, indeed, the story of the coach having driven on proved to be true. Now, however, she was, in consistency, obliged to accept the attention of her officious protector; and the woman and she walked to the road along a narrow, wild lane, on each side of which a few old decayed trees and bushes shook their leafless branches in the wintry wind, while the footing was broken and miry, and overgrown by weeds and long grass. It seemed to have been a wiuding avenue to the house she had left, once planted with rows of trees, when the mansion was better tenanted and in better repair, but which had disappeared, from time to time, beneath the axe or the saw of the marauder.
Arrived at the spot required, she commenced a seemingly careful search ; but, finde' ing nothing, returned at the continued urgency of the woman, who linked her closely, to the house they had quitted. Ere Peggy re-entered, she took a survey of the fabric: it was, like every thing around it and within it, a ruin. She could see that it had been a good slated house, two stories high, but that in different places the slates were now wanting ; indeed she trod, near the threshold, upon their fragments, mixed with other rubbish. Some of the windows were bricked up, some stuffed through their shattered panes with wisps of straw and old rags ; and of the lower ones, the shutters, which were, however, attached to the wall, outside strong iron bars, hung off their hinges, and flapped in the blast.
Again entering the room in which she had first found herself, two men appeared seated. Peggy, in something like the recurrence of a bad dream, thought she recognized in one of them the air and figure of the person who, on a late and fearful occasion, had stood so near her in the Foil Dhuiv.* But as she did not feel herself entitled to draw any certain deductions from feature, complexion, or even dress, Peggy, after a moment's faltering pause, struggled to assure berself that this misgiving was but a weakness of her agitated mind, and firmly advanced to the chair she had before occupied.
The second man was very young, his person slight, and twisted into a peculiar bend and crouch as he sat ; his face pale and sharp, resembling that of the woman who called herself his mother; and in the sidelong glance of his cold jetty eye there lurked a stealth, an enquiry, and a self-possession, as, in reply to Peggy's curtsey and her look of observance, he, in turn, observed her, and gave, slowly and measuredly, his "Sarvent, miss.”
He and his companion sat close to the drooping table. Two of the glasses that had been capsized now stood upright, and were frequently filled from a bottle of whisky, of—as one miglit augur from the smell-home manufacture. The person whose first view had startled Peggy, made more free with the beverago than the other; the pale young man visibly avoiding the liquor ; but often filling for his friend, and urging him to drink bumpers.
“ Go, Phil, my boy,” resumed the old woman, addressing the pale lad, “ take Ned and yourself up stairs ; an' the bottle wid you; you must have the hot wather, when it's ready, and the sugar along wid it: this young woman and myself 'll stay together."
* The scene to which we bave alluded, in which Peggy goes to meet her supposed husband at midnight, and takes the alarm on seeing a man digging a grave.