« PreviousContinue »
"Are you guilty or not guilty?"
66 Guilty, my Lord."
"The sentence of the Court is," said the Recorder, "that you be imprisoned for three months-remove him."
Branagan retired, delighted to find a short imprisonment substituted for the transportation he expected. As he passed through the other prisoners, he was eagerly interrogated
"What have you got?"
"Three months! only three months!" they exclaimed. "Oh! but we're in luck. His Lordship is as mild as milk this mornin'. It's seldom he's in so sweet a humour."
"Put forward another case," said the Recorder.
"Are you gilty or not guilty?"
"Guilty, my Lord."
"Let the prisoner stand back, and arraign the next.”
Accordingly, the prisoners were rapidly arraigned, and the same plea of "Guilty," recorded in each case.
Presently, it was signified to his Lordship, that the calendar was exhausted. All the thieves had pleaded guilty.
"Put the prisoners to the front of the dock," said he, and they were accordingly mustered as he directed. He then briefly addressed them"The sentence of the Court is, that you and each of you be trans ported for seven years. Crier, adjourn the Court.”
Branagan had been thrown as a sprat, and had caught the salmon very abundantly. The last incident might afford a useful suggestion to some of our present judges, especially on circuit, when there is a crowded dock. The reader may now adjourn, and depart, at least for a time, from the vicinity of the "Old Prison.”
FIGMENTS OF FANCY.
BY THOMAS IRWIN.
OF earthly orbs to which thy spirit burns,
Choose while I ope to thee the starry treasure:-
Sleepy soft, as with excess of pleasure;
Dusk Egypt's ebon melancholy smile,
Or proud and tranquil gaze of apathy;
Castilia's, brilliant o'er her twilight cheek,
Twin stars of eve, through hazel shadows peeping;
The girl of Erin's, beaming like the young blue day,
Kneel, lovers, kneel, and heave your prayer-like sighs,
ANTIQUE AND MODERN ART.
IN olden days, the artist mind
FIRST when I met her, it seemed to my heart
And when she left me, so great was the flow
THE ISLE OF THE STAR FAITH SEA OF OMAN.
Their loss to ye, no amaranth grieves;
Whose thoughts are pure as their young leaves;
Lo! though 't has lost its fairest bough,
The tree's green heart with welcome heaves.
See the enraptured fountain leaping
Sisters seven of island bowers
Will bear your incense buds on high,
TO DEATH-EVENING HYMN.
Come Death! come Death! across the world, 'mid silent evening dream
With scanty heap of faggots brown,
And while the clear star of the west
Waked by mute memories, on his cheek,
In whispers, ease his piteous soul with hopes of heaven and rest.
Pass to the cottage door, where laughing on its mother's breast,
Grasps at the beauteous early star,
And while as yet in raptures rare,
And future trouble manifold
Young life's blood blinded untried guest-
And mingle with Sleep's lullaby, a deeper meed of rest.
MILER MAGRATH AND THE BISHOP-HUNTERS OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
IN the year 1592, Edward M'Gauran was consecrated at Rome archbishop of Armagh, and in the same year he visited the court of Philip II. of Spain, to solicit aids for the Irish chieftains of the north, who were then preparing to rise in arms against the government of Queen Elizabeth. The Spanish monarch gave the Irish primate cordial welcome, and dismissed him with satisfactory assurances of his readiness to stand by O'Neill, O'Donnell, M'Guire, and the other magnates who were then confederating for the overthrow of English rule in Ireland. Elated at his success, M'Gauran took a passage in the ship of captain James Fleming, a merchant of Drogheda, and landed in that harbour some ten days after he weighed anchor at Carthagena. Meanwhile, the Irish executive had been warned by the authorities in London, to keep a strict watch on the ports, and to take measures for M'Gauran's arrest, the moment he set foot on shore. Sir Richard Bingham received special instructions to examine all persons landing at Drogheda, and it is almost unnecessary to say, that he discharged his duty zealously and faithfully, for he was the most active and efficient commissioner of police at that period in the pay of England. Withal, clever as he was in his capacity of chief detective, M'Gauran con ived to elude him, stept ashore from James Fleming's ship, and found shelter in the house of a Catholic who had made preparation for his entertainment. After a few days' repose, the archbishop set out for Enniskillen, and on his arrival there, was welcomed by M'Guire, to whom he delivered the letters which he had brought from the king of Spain. Safely lodged in the strong castle of the chieftain of Fermanagh, M'Gauran could afford to laugh at the precautions that had been taken for his arrest, and the utter disappointment of Bingham and his staff of bishophunters, who had let such a valuable prize slip through their fingers. Lord Burghley being informed of M'Gauran's arrival, lost no time in dispatching an angry missive to Fitzwilliam, censuring him for not arresting the "popish primate;" but the deputy excused himself by alleging that Bingham was at fault, and that that official had not acted with his accustomed cleverness. Bingham, in his turn, retorted on the deputy that he alone was not chargeable with remissness in this momentous business, and that there were others as culpable as he—if, indeed, any of the parties charged to arrest M'Gauran could be held accountable for the escape of such an important personage., Chafed by this inuendo, Fitzwilliam resolved to lose no time in laying hands on M'Gauran; and he accordingly wrote to M'Guire, commanding him to set out instantly for Dublin, and bring along with him the person of the "popish archbishop," and the letters, of which the latter was bearer, from Clement VIII. and the King of Spain. M'Guire replied that he was not at all anxious to visit Dublin castle, and that no threat or compulsion would or could persuade him to forget the sacred obligations of hospitality,
or deliver into the hands of his enemies the man whom he recognised as the chief of the Catholic religion in Ireland. If Fitzwilliam thought well of it, so ran M'Guire's answer,* he might come to Enniskillen and seize M'Gauran, if he could; but, to expect that he (M'Guire) would obey the deputy's mandate, and lower himself to the level of Bingham or adventurers of his sort, nothing could be more foolish or extravagantly absurd. Smarting under this rebuke, Fitzwilliam commissioned one Willis to enter Fermanagh with a posse, whom a cotemporary Protestant writer describes as "three hundred of the very rascals and scum of the kingdom," and harry the entire district till it was made shire groundor, in other words, till the native occupiers were evicted from their lands, to make way for the new settlers with their flocks and herds. M'Guire, however, instead of countenancing this projected civilization, which, as a matter of course, would bring along with it the new religion and the queen's supremacy, fell upon the civilizers, who had fortified themselves in a church, and would have put them, one and all, to the sword were it not for the interposition of Hugh O'Neill, who stipulated, on their behalf, that they would at once betake themselves to the Pale, and never again enter Fermanagh. Willis and his "rascals" disappeared instantly, and left M'Guire at liberty to act against the English, who were growing too strong for him on the Connaught border of his country. Accompanied by M'Gauran, the chieftain of Fermanagh marched, at the head of his forces, through Breffni-O'Rourke, and over the bridge of Boyle Abbey into the county of Roscommon, where Guelford, Sir Richard Bingham's lieutenant, was then encamped on the hill of Tulsk, waiting the advance of the Irish. The first meeting of the two armies, O'Sullivant tells us, occurred on a day which was so obscured by a thick fog that neither of them could see each other before they were in actual conflict. The Irish, however, fought with signal success, and M'Guire had the satisfaction of killing Guelford in the first onset. While the battle was raging, M'Gauran, accompanied by two horsemen, retired to the rear, but as they were moving off a squadron of Bingham's cavalry rode suddenly upon them and unhorsed the primate, who was mortally wounded in the melee. Collecting whatever strength was left him, he called aloud for assistance, and being heard by a detachment of the Irish foot they hastened to the spot where he lay, but before they reached him the vital spark had flown. What made this event still more melancholy was the death of Cathal M'Guire, for, owing to the dense fog, the Irish mistook him for one of Bingham's people, and slew him while he was in the act of protecting the lifeless remains of the archbishop. At the close of this disastrous skirmish, the Irish troops quitted the field, and as they had not time to inter their slain, M'Guire caused the head of the unfortunate primate to be cut off, in order that he might give it Christian sepulture elsewhere, and prevent the English from sending it as a trophy to the lord deputy. Bingham, however, * See Lee's" Declaration of the Government of Ireland."-Curry's Civil Wars, † Hist. Cath.