Page images
PDF
EPUB

that she could see it, gently unclasped her hands, and held them down by her knees in both of mine. She silently submitted, and I then spoke : "You saw my letter ?” An assenting movement and a gasp, no articulate sound. “ Believe me, that in its spirit I will act towards you. Believe me, that I will strive with all my heart and soul, as woman to woman, to lend your lot every possible alleviation, and you every aid in supporting it. Accept, I beseech you, and trust in my sympathy. It has been given without question, and will never seek any explanation. These are the first words and the last that shall ever pain or shake you from me. You need strength and patience, neither shall be taxed by any words between us, and beyond us shall none be ever spoken.” While I was speaking, her bands clasped mine convulsively, when I had finished she withdrew them, and while I remained kneeling she drew away her veil, and I saw her face. A face of such imperishable beauty of form, that its five or six-and-tbirly years had but purified, strengthened, refined, and ennobled the matchless outline of the features. A face so full of woe, so marked with traces of storm and suffering, and so worn with the slowness of grief, that it was like some splendid scene strewn with ruins; a face in which I read that there the lightning had flashed, until it had scathed, and there volcanic fires had gleamed and were extinct. The black, deep eyes were quiet and weary ; the exquisite mouth was wan and tranquilized; the fine brows had been long knitted and roughened, and had now fallen apart, in weariness and exhaustion. As only raven hair can whiten, hers had whitened. The beautiful cheek was colourless, except just beneath the eyelid, but under the thick, dark, long lashes, lay a faint streak of crimson,

We gazed at each other for some minutes, and then she spoke :“Where is Marguerite ?" Upstairs; but

you will surely not risk seeing her till you are more composed.”

"You may trust me, I am stronger than I seem.”

I went to the door, and found Mr. Lydyard and Marguerite were in the hall. He looked pale and nervous. I smiled at them, and said,

Marguerite, come in, and see Mrs. Ross; she is very tired, and not very strong, and I think I shall persuade her not to come down to-night.” She came with me into the room, but hung back timidly as we approached the stranger. Mrs. Ross stood up ; I saw she trembled, and got my task over quickly. “This is Marguerite, Mrs. Ross.” The child looked at the tall, pale lady, held her hand out, and finally raised her lovely face, offering a kiss. I shook with apprehension, but Mrs. Ross had not miscalculated her strength. She pressed her lips upon the smooth fresh cheek, touched the golden hair, and said in a steady tone, “ You are the younger, my dear, are you not ?"

“Yes, ma'am ; Maud is not at home, but she soon will be.”

A servant now entered to say all madame's trunks had been taken to her room, so I proposed to conduct the stranger thither. As we reached the hall, I saw that Marguerite's hand had stolen into that of the stranger, in whom some attraction already existed for the child.

She went on,

66

chatting briskly about the house, and the weather, and the flowers, and Maud's return.

At the foot of the wide winding stair was a sitting-room, appropriated to Mr. Lydyard's use ; its door was open, and I saw him ; he turned at the sound of the voices, and as he did so, Mrs. Ross dropped her veil. When we had reached the first landing, he advanced to the door of the room, and I knew he watched us till we had entered Mrs. Ross's apartment.

I had not forgotten how I had been received at Mr. Lydyard's house, and had done all that lay in my power to secure for our new inmate the same sense of home and comfort that I had experienced. The apartments destined for her occupation consisted of two rooms, looking into the garden.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]

MILER MAGRATH, ARCHBISHOP OF CASHEL, AND

THE DEANERY OF ST. PATRICK'S IN 1592.

*

We need hardly tell our readers that the individual whose name figures so prominently in the subjoined documents* —-never before published was a Franciscan friar, whom Pius IV. promoted to the see of Down, and whom the successor of that pontiff (St. Pius V.) deposed in 1569, for apostasy, and for having written a series of anonymous letters, the object of which was to defame the character of Richard Creagh, archbishop of Armagh. The whole college of hypocrites, so vividly described by Dante, did not contain a greater scoundrel than this unfortunate man, whose violation of the most solemn religious obligations, and contemptible meanness in acting the spy, pimp, and delator to queen Elizabeth, were rewarded with every ecclesiastical promotion that that sovereign could confer on him. She appointed him, in the first instance, to the see of Clogher, and subsequently to the archdiocess of Cashel and Emly, which he held together with Waterford and Lismore till 1589, when, as Ware tells us, he quitted the latter to make room for Weatherhead, on whose death (three years afterwards) he again resumed them, and held them in commendam till 1607. All these dignities and emoluments, however, could not satisfy Magrath's avarice, and he, therefore, set out for London, in order to prove to lord Burghley that he was entitled to further consideration ; and that there might be no questioning of his claims, he provided himself with a letter of recommendation from Sir Henry Wallop, whose zeal for the new religion was so signally evidenced in the inhuman slaughter of O'Hurly, the

* In printing Wallop's and Magrath's letters, we have accommodated the orthography to modern usage.

+ Inferno, c. xxiii.

pope's archbishop of Cashel. Magrath, no doubt, persuaded himself that a letter from such a personage as Wallop would get bim all he wanted; but it would appear that Burghley had nothing then in his gift that was worth offering to the distinguished proselyte, whose rare virtues are thus set forth in the following profuse eulogy

Sir H. Wallop to lord Burghley, recomending the good service done by the archbishop of Cashel and his sound affection to the state.

“It may please your honourable lordship: my lord the archbishop of Cashel having entreated me to acquaint your lordship with my knowledge of bis service done unto her majesty, though I cannot do it by speech, yet I presume to trouble your lordship by writing, wishing that I could as well further his reasonable suit, as I hold myself tied in duty to deliver my opinion of his good deservings. Ever since my first coming into Ireland I have taken notice of his willingness to further the service by all the means he could, especially by giving intelligence and advertisements to the state which he always did in sound manner, and to very good purpose. Sir John Perrott used his employment into the north, where he wrought that which by Sir John was accounted very good service, and my lord deputy that now is hath done the like; and for aught I know he bath received no consideration for either of those his travels. This, I know, he had the bishopric of Waterford granted unto him in commendam, with a clause in bis patent to hold the same till he were better provided for, yet was it taken from him and no recompense made him. It may, therefore, please your lordship to stand his favourable lord, and be good unto him ; for, in my opinion, he is of his sort and birth the best affected to the state of any in Ireland. Even so recommending him to your honourable consideration I humbly end. At Winchester house the 3rd of June, 1591. Your lordship's most humbly at command.

“ H. WALLOP.”

Magrath commenced his career as a mendicant, for he had been initiated in that calling at Rome, where, in his unsullied youth, he often craved alms from door to door for the convent of Araceli, and for the poor and sick in the hospitals. But now, albeit archbishop of Cashel, with Waterford and Lismore in commendam, and the many other emoluments coming to bim for his good service done to the state—or, in other words, for playing the role of informer-general to the English government; he is a beggar of another order, mean, insatiable, importunate, ever hanging about lord Burghley's door, and waiting a favourable moment to congratulate that high personage on his recovery from the gout, and at the same time to pick up some crumbs from the rich man's table. A veritable beggar, with worse than Lazarus’s leprosy upon him, and without a single one of Lazarus’s virtues! The Deanery of St. Patrick's had been vacant, and Magrath’s petition for it had been rejected, why or wherefore we know not; but, probably, because Burghley would not even for so great a pervert set aside that clause in the confirmatory bull* of Leo X., which ordained that no man of Irish blood or customs” should be eligible to such a dignity. Poor Magrath would willingly have cancelled that curious provision made in favour of the English catholics of the pale, but for all that Burghley was inexorable, and would countenance no innovation in this particular instance. The lord high treasurer's inflexibility told sadly on Magrath’s sensitiveness, and had well nigh cost the new religion the loss of one of its most zealous and devoted champions. Nevertheless, all was not lost, and Burghley might yet regret his obduracy, and console “ the broken-hearted” Miler, by giving him something else with a good salary “for doing nothing," annexed. Full of this hope he, therefore, addressed the following statement of his grievances

To the very good lord, the lord High Treasurer of England :

“Right honourable, my humble duty remembered having thought fitter in respect of your long sickness to write unto your honour than to trouble the same with speeches in person, and where heretofore your honour have thought more meet to bestow the Deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin, otherwise than upon me, your honour have willed me, then, to be vigilant to know when or where any other living should be void in Ireland wbich might be given to me for the maintenance of the poor archbishopric of Cashel, having by the year but £98 4d. Therefore I thought it meet to signify unto your honour that the bishopric of Limerick is now void by the death of the last incumbent thereof, and the bishopric of Waterford in like sort; bumbly beseeching your honour to help me some way whereby I might be able to live in some convenient sort and serve God and the prince according to my calling ; for I protest before the Almighty God, who knoweth all secrets, that I am not able to maintain myself and three servants yearly with the fruit of the said archbishopric; howsoever your honour is other. wise informed. I signify also to your honour that Limerick is nearer to Cashel and more addicted to the Irish tongue than Waterford, and, therefore, in some respects, fitter for me, if it shall so please your honour. Humbly praying your honour to revive your pristine opinion of me, for, I may say with the prophet, “ Thy rebuke hath broken my heart, I am full of heaviness, I look for some to have pity on me, but there was no man, neither found any to comfort me," &c. I am here eleven months and have done nothing, neither have I hope to do, till your honour shall consider of me, and in very truth I have no money to live here unless your honour shall help me with some of her majesty's money to be paid in the excbequer in Ireland, in which and all other my reasonable requests I hope only in your honourable favour with expedition. And so I pray God to restore your honour your health. From Westminster, the 15th day of March, 1592, your honour's most humble to command.

“ MILERIUS, AR. CASHEL." * "Item 'consuetudo illa antiquitus observata, de Hibernicis natione, mori. bus et sanguine, non admittendis in ecclesia cathedrali Sti Patritii præfata, quacumque regia dispensatione non obstante : concordatum est, quod vigeat, valeat et invalescat,” etc., etc. v. Mason's Hist. of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

What answer he may have received to this letter we know not; but it is quite certain that while intent on benefiting himself, he was doing his utmost to defeat the lord high treasurer's schemes for arresting popish bishops and priests in Ireland, thus playing a game of double dealing very unbecoming the character and dignity of an archbishop. Magrath,* as a matter of course, married after he had got rid of the pope and all his vows; and the unhappy woman who was foolish enough to link her fate with his was one Anna O'Meara, who, strange to say, did not and would not change her faith with her morality. Miler, doubtless, had controversies enough on hands without troubling himself with idle attempts to convince her that queen Elizabeth was the rightful supreme head of the church, and he, therefore, did not fall out with her for sticking to the old religion. Quite the contrary; for if we may credit the anecdotes which O'Sullivant has preserved of the private life of this interesting couple, it would appear that Miler respected Anna's scruples, and took no particular pains to dissipate the gloomy apprehensions with which she looked to the next world. Thus, for example, when seated at dinner on a Friday, and finding that she did not eat, Miler, thinking she was unwell, asked why she was not dining, and being told it was unlawful to eat meat on that day, he philosophically replied, that abstaining from it could be of no use to her, as she was sure to go to hell for having married him. On another occasion, when he found her tweeping, he sympathetically, as we may fancy, inquired the cause of her tears, and on being told that a far-famed preacher and poet, named Father Duffy,f of the Franciscan monastery of Cavan, had terrified her with a picture of her sinful life, Miler, instead of consoling her with a vision of future bliss, gave her to understand that she was already doomed to woes unutterable. Nevertheless, Miler had unbounded confidence in her honour and fidelity to him, so much so, that he did not hesitate to confide to her all the state secrets he could pick up while he was vainly beseeching lord Burghley for money and preferment. Anna, it would appear, was in the habit of sheltering bishops and priests, when they were pursued by the queen's officers, and among the former was Dermot, or Darby Creagh, catholic bishop of Cork and Cloyne, who, it seems, was Miler's cousin, and for whom the latter, degraded as he was, still cherished feelings of friendship. Finding that the bishop was likely to fall into the hands of the protestant authorities, Miler lost no time in sending timely warning to his loving wife,” to get Creagh out of Ireland.

* The Franciscans repudiated Magrath, and were not accountable for his infamous conduct. It may also be stated, that O'Duffy, a member of the Franciscan monastery of Cavan, satirized the hoary apostate and covered him with ridicule in a series of Irish ballads, some of which have been translated into English. The last of his poems, however, appeared in the Irishman newspaper, but remains to be translated. A gentleman connected with that journal is eminently qualified to give us an English version of those valuable stanzas.

† Hist. Cath. Hib., p. 107.

| Poor Mangan has left us a beautiful translation of one of Father Duffy's Ballads, entitled “ Miler Magrath's Apostasy,” v. Ellis' Ballads and Romances of Ireland. Dublin : J. Duffy.

« PreviousContinue »