Page images

son now.

this? Why should you expose your down beside him, raising his head life to the fire of one who has thus with my arm. The ball had struck injured you?"

him, as if directed with the most “There is no other method to wipe murderous duellist's aim, between out the stain,” he answered passion- the lowest rib and the hip joint. He ately, “but at all events it must be was bleeding inwardly, the damp of done. I may not, and I cannot rea. death was already on his face, and

I have a request, and the glassiness of his eye shewed that whether I shall ever make another I it was soon to close for ever. Oh! koow not. You see these papers—I horrible, horrible, is such a sight. shall seal them up to-night; if I fall, He held out a hand to me, and to his let them be conveyed to my brother, cousin,and murmured,“I expected it —and you will say to my mother, wouldend thus;" then disengaging his but that way madness lies, or some- hand from me, he put it in his bosom, thing worse, a faltering of the man and pulled forth two little packets. within me. You will do what I ask “These, these,” he faltered, " for my -I know you will. And now-for sister and my mo- Oh God! be I must sit down to write again-now merciful-comfort her, comfort her, farewell! God bless you-forgive my friend-farewell!” The blood ine all this trouble.”

gushed up his throat, from the inHe wrung my band-I promised, ward wound. I can describe no -I hardly kuew what I did, or where more; we boreaway the lifeless body I stood.

from the ground. “ Farewell!” he said again.

"No," I replied, "say good-night. I Who shall paint, or by what simiwill be on, or near the ground, to- litude shall be conveyed even a morrow morning.”

slight idea of the misery unutterable Thanks, thanks-more than I -the tearless agony—the swelling can utter,” he said;“ I wished it, but of the heart that will not burst and dared not ask it-good-night!”. end the pain—the burning sword

That uight I did not sleep. I knew within the bosom, that tortures but not what to do. I thought a hun will not kill the intensity of grief dred times of going to the police, that overwhelmed that widowed inobut was deterred by fear that in so ther, when by cautious and slow dedoing I was betraying my friend's grees the full extent of her calamity honour, and leaving him open to the was made known to her ? Her el. further sneers and calumnies of his dest born, that first lay upon her adversary. Morning came at length. bosom and drew suck-her consolaIt was the middle of March; a cold tion in her former great sorrow-her dry black wind blew in my face as I hope, her pride, her joy; he whom she went forth, the sky was scowling, had lately watched upon his bed of and gloomy forebodings took pos. sickness, and had seeu snatched from session of my soul. As I reacbed the jaws of death; he to whose reHyde Park, the gates were just open- nown she looked as the honour of ing. Soon after, two carriages pass. her old age, was dead! dead! and ed; I followed them as closely as I lost to her to all, not by the visitacould, and reached the ground just tion of God, but by the hand of a as the two coubatants were led to villain who had slandered him, and their respective places by their se- before whom he then stood up to be conds. I saw the self-confiding air, slain! Many a night in darkness she the cool, demoniac pride in superior paced about her room, trying to say, skill, which appeared in the face * Thy will be done, O Lord!” but aud wholo deportment of H. He the words stuck in her throat, for took his attitude with the air of she could not reconcile her soul to au officer saluting ou parade. R. what had happened. At length, how. was perfectly steady, but with an air ever, came tears and resignation, and of deep seriousness, far beyond that she confessed before high Heaven, of his adversary. The seconds left that her heart had been too proud of them--the moment of suspense was her son, and that the chastisement, agonizing. The word was given-they bitter, bitter as it was, and almost fired, and my friend R. tottered and killing, yet was just. Nor was she fell to the ground, never torise again. left without comfort and support.

I flew to him, and flung myself Never before had she felt in its

[ocr errors]

full extent the excellent spirit of rested and tried," I observed, with that noble girl her daughter, who, some anxiety. like an angel in loveliness, and pity, "No," he answered ; arrested and affection, tended her in her dis- I do mean he shall be, but not tried tress, and hid her own griefs, (weep- -at least not at any earthly bar.” ing in secret,) that she might the bet- “ Good heaven! what do you ter support her mother.

mean to do ?” I said ; “ I do not unThere was but one of the family derstand you ; what do you mean to whose heart was not softened by this do with respect to him?" terrible visitation. It was the bro- “ To kill him," he answered with ther, to whom my unfortunate friend frightful distinctness, and ground had written a long account of the his teeth, as if he were in imaginawhole course of affairs which led to tion trampling bim to death. the duel. To say he had loved the I was dreadfully shocked. I fearbrother he had thus cruelly lost, is ed he had lost his senses, and his nothing-he idolized him—he was look did not tend to expel the idea his guide, his instructor, his friend. -his hair had in two months chanIf Richard R. had had a thousand ged from black to grey-his eyes lives, he would have given them

all, Aamed with revenge and defiance ; to save that which was lost. The bis noble features for he was one death of Charles utterly changed his of the handsomest men I ever sawnature in an hour. He read the long had all lost their former expression letter which had been written for of tranquillity and sweetness. He him, and thenceforward, he seemed moved towards the door, but turning as a man of iron, or marble. He came round, and, I suppose, observing my to town immediately, and as soon as surprise and horror, he said, “I will his brother's funeral was over, asked not assassinate bim-I will bring him me, with a stern coolness that amazed into the field, or beat him to death me, a number of questions about H. in the public streets with my stick, I could tell him very little beyond as I would a mad dog;”—and as he what the reader of these pages is uttered these words, he struck his acquainted with, except that imme- stick with such violence against the diately after the duel he had set off Aloor, that it shivered like pipe.clay, for France. In two or three days and fell out of his hands in fragRichard R. came back to me.

ments. “ I have found out a good deal I started up.

“ You do not know about that murderer,” he said ; "he what you are doing," I said ; " you is in Paris, and will be back in two have no chance with him—you yourmonths, if it seems safe for him then self told me what a shot he was, and to return. Of course no impedi- you have no chance but that of being ment will be placed in his way. I killed, and your mother will break have found out too, that for six her heart.” weeks preceding my brother's mur- “I can feel but one thing," he der, he went every second day to a wered, “ and that is, that I shall shooting exercise ground, and prac kill him. Look you, this day two tised with the pistol; he was sure of months I had never fired a pistol but bitting any thing." All this was said two or three times in my life, but with a dry fierceness that confound- when a brother is murdered it is ed me. “Farewell,” said he, press- time to learn. I have learned, and ing my hand in his iron grasp, “I mark you any inch of space upon shall come back to town in two that knife,” he continued, pointing months, and shall then see you.” to one which lay on the table, “and

I saw him before that time, when upon the edge within that inch of I visited his mother, but his manner

space, I will split five bullets out of was still the same. At the end of six, at twelve paces.” the two months he came to London. Before I was able to address to After the first salutations were over, him any observation in return, he “Mr H.,” he said, “returned to Lon- had walked away. don yesterday.”

Ere three days had passed, he “ How do you know ?" I asked. had publicly proclaimed before a

“ I have had him watched," he re- whole company where H. was, plied.

that Mr H., whom they sat beside, " You mean, then, to have him ar- was a liar and a slanderer, I


heard of it the same evening, and at the pistol as he took it, and the that a meeting had been arranged to slightest imaginable trace of a bitter take place, out of town, the next smile played about his mouth. The morning but one. I determined pistols were raised-the word "fire,” that there should be no hesitation had hardly reached me when both on my part about applying to the pistols went off. Merciful heaven! police this time, and had arranged, H. leaped into the air, as it seembefore I went to bed, that both par- ed to me, the height of himself, and ties should be taken up at nine fell upon the earth as lifeless as the o'clock the next morning.

earth on which he fell. Richard R. It was now the height of summer, stood still, as though he were an iron and the mornings were beautiful. I statue. He had sent his bullet into got up early, as was my custom, and the ear of his antagonist, and right walked out between five and six through his brain. o'clock towards Knightsbridge. As I rushed up to him. « Is not this I passed the Park gate, I saw, to my horrible !” I said. horror and amazement, a carriage Very," he replied; “ but do pass with H. in it, and two others, not think me unfeeling that I conand in a minute after, another ra- template it without emotion. This pidly followed, in which I recog- sight has been constantly before nised Richard R. The fact was, that me for the last sixty or seventy after having settled the day follow- days and nights. I felt and knew ing but one, as a blind to all but the that I was to do this, and I have parties concerned, they had agreed seen many a time, or it seems to that the very next morning they me that I have seen all that I now should meet in Hyde Park. I look- see before me that miserable man ed about for assistance, but could dead, in this very place where my see none, and, like a distracted man, brother was slain, and you to whom I ran to the very spot where the I speak, beside me.

And now my former duel had been fought. As work is done. My brother died bere, I went very quickly, and across and now I can weep for him.And the ground, I gained upon the second he bowed his head upon my shoulcarriage, which had to go round by der, and wept as a strong man weeps, the road, and when I arrived at when his grief can thus find vent. the spot, H. was bathing his right It appeared probable that close arm with cold water. The morning together as the two shots appeared was so warm, that it appeared he to be, Richard R. had fired first, found it expedient to steady the and to the immeasurably short pemuscles by cooling them.

riod of time which his fire had pre“ Hold, murderous wretch!” I ceded that of his antagonist, he owed cried; but just then the second car- the preservation of his life. As riage drove up, and Richard R., with H.'s pistol was levelled, it seema military friend, alighted. It was ed certain that the ball would take in vain to expostulate; both parties effect under bis adversary's arm; were determined to fight, and they but before the charge had left the took their ground. Never , were muzzle of the pistol, he had doubttwo fiver-looking men set opposite less received the death-shot in his to one another for a deadly purpose. brain, and his weapon fell a little, Richard R., the moment he took his for the ball went through the legs ground, fell into a position like a of Richard R.'s trowsers, but withsoldier mounting guard, and stood out giving him even a scratch. firm as a piece of iron, coolly look- In three days from that awful ing at the spot where his antagonist morning, R. was on the Contistood. I thought that for a moment nent, where he lived in deep retiresomething like an appearance of ter- ment for two years. For more than ror crept over H.'s countenance, but a year his mother did not know the it soon gave way to the expression real reason of his going abroad, of cool Satanic hate. The pistols though she had heard that he who were handed to the duellists. I stood blew her son, had fallen in a similar transfixed with I know not what of manner himself. horror and fear. I could not look Wben Richard did return, it was away, and yet it seemed as if my to call me brother, to which title I eyeballs would burst in looking at had acquired a right-by the law the combatants. Richard R. looked matrimonial.

[ocr errors]


No. II.

The bitterness of Irish party with- to shoot his landlord, unless that in the last thirty years has extin- landlord is an orator, a Papist, and a guished the national character.. All rebel, to those days of Protestant the humour, the gay peculiarities, tyranny, when men were fed, if they the eccentric animation, are covered were not barangued; when the peawith a mask, worn like the high- sant was clothed and housed, if he wayman's crape, for the purpose of were not regaled with the knowledge rapine. The old recollections of the that he was the lord of the soil; and land are to be found now only in when men laughed, and sported, had books. The faithful attachment of their jest, and enjoyed their holiday, the tenant to his landlord is changed if they had not the supreme honour into conspiracy against his house; of clubbing their last farthing for an the undoubting reliance of the land- exported generation of orators in St lord on the attachment of his tenant, Stephen's. One of the conspicuous is now to be judged of only by the characters of those past days was the watch which he is compelled to Lord Mountmorris, who is charackeep on every movement of the pea- teristically introduced as the inmate santry. The Protestant minister, of a Dublin boarding-house for young no longer capable of exercising hos- students and templars. His peerage pitality to his neighbours, or charity did not prevent him from housing to the poor, is now starved by the himself in this moderate establishdishonest refusal of his right, or ment, nor his personal dignity from hunted from the country for de- furnishing its society with some very manding it.

amusing caricatures of the original The populace are the masters; and Irish Noble. Sir J. Barrington dethey have the full benefit of their scribes him to the life, as a very mastery, in vulgar praises of their clever and well-informed, but eccenvirtue, and in the general flight of tric personage, perpetually displaytheir landlords; in flagrant incite-ing the most curious contrasts, among ments to revolt, and in the hourly which ostentation and parsimony decay of their means of subsistence; were chieflyremarkable. Heconsiderin the simultaneous discovery of ed himself by far the greatest polititheir claim to all power, and in the cian in Europe, to which he added, growing and inevitable pauperism of in his own opinion, the fame of a the community. Yet the fertility of first-rate orator. The latter distincthe soil has undergone no change; tion was one which his Lordship was Ireland produces enough for twice peculiarly anxious to sustain, and her population, and could produce which once brought him into the enough for ten times more. In the dilemma, of which there have been midst of this bounty of Providence, 60 many instances in the annals of the mischief of man interferes ; the ambitious oratory. Some topic which politician puts the newspaper into peculiarly stimulated his fancy, had the hands of the peasant, that he induced him to prepare a florid hamay thereafter put the pike; and the rangue for the House of Lords. To “Son of the Green Isle," as the po- save time, it was sent to a favourite litician fondly names him, begins his newspaper, decorated with those incareer by agitation, to finish it by terstitial ornaments of “ Hear! hear ! famine.

Loud cheers, and vehement applnuse,It is some consolation to turn from which are supposed to be so essenthese days of Popish liberty, when tial to the triumph of modern eloevery peasant feels bimself entitled quence. It happened that the House

Historic Memoirs of Ireland ; comprising Secret Records of the National Convention, the Rebellion, and the Union ; with delineatious of the principal characters connected with those transactions. By Sir Jonah Barrington, Member of the late Irish Parliament. Illustrated with curious letters and papers, in fac-simile, and numerous original portraits. In Two Volumes. Colburn: London.

broke up without a debate. The had received a bullet from the Ho. noble lord's rambling recollection nourable Francis Hely Hutchinson, was diverted to some other subject; (late Collector for Dublin,) on the the rapid operations of the press right side, directly under his piswere forgotten; and on the break- tol arm. The peer had staggered, fast-tables of Dublin appeared next and now reposed at his length on morning, to the astonishment of his the greensward, when I certainly Lordship, and the infinite mirth of thought all was over with him. I every one else, his unspoken, spoken stood snugly all the time behind my speech, in all the glories of prema- tree; not wishing to have any thing ture fame. But even this unclouded to do with the coroner's inquest, genius had now and then his troubles which I considered inevitable. To of a more commonplace order. my astonishment, however, I saw my

“ One day after dinner, he seem- Lord arise, slowly but gracefully, ed rather less communicative than and after some colloquy the combatusual, but not less cheerful. He ants bowed to each other, and

sepatook out his watch, made a speech, rated. My Lord got back to his as customary; drank his tipple, as he coach with aid, if not in as good denominated his brandy and water, health, certainly with as high a chabut seemed rather impatient. At racter for heroism as when he left it. length, a loud knock announced But never did man enjoy a wound somebody of consequence, and the more sincerely. It was little more Marquis of Ely was named. Lord than a contusion, though twenty Mountmorris rose with his usual grains more of powder would proceremony, made a very low bow to bably have effectually laid his Lordthe company, looked again at his ship to rest on the field of battle. watch, repeated his congé, and made He kept his chamber a month, and his exit. He entered the coach was inconceivably gratified by the where Lord Ely was waiting, and number of enquiries daily made reaway they drove. Kyle, (the master specting his health; boasting ever of the house,), a most curious man, after of the profusion of friends who instantly decided that a duel was in thus proved their solicitude. His agitation, and turned pale, at the answer, from first to last, was ' no dread of losing so good a lodger! better. To speak the truth, one-half Lieutenant Gam Johnson (a naval of the querists were sent in jocuofficer dependent on his Lordship) larity, by those who knew his passion was of the same opinion, and equal" for public sympathy. ly distressed by the fear of losing his “ But this Cervantic Lord was not Lordship’s interest for a frigate. Each the only ornament of the House of snatched up his hat, and with the ut- Peers. He had his rivals; one of most expedition followed the coach. these was the late Earl of Kilkenny, I was also rather desirous to see the as memorable for his lawsuits as for fun, as Lieutenant Gam, though with his belligerency. This peer's cona sigh, called it, and made the best trivances for first getting rid of the of my way after the two mourners ; lawsuits and then of the lawyers, not, however, hurrying myself so deserve to figure among the curiosimuch, as, while they kept the coach ties of the human mind. Like many in view, I was content with keeping other proprietors in the

county which them in sight. Our pursuit exceed- supplies his title, his Lordship was ed a mile, when, in the distance, I much troubled with that national perceived that the coach had stopped disease, tardy payment of his rents. at Donnybrook-fair Green, where, The generality of landlords in earlier on every eighth of June, many an days took them as they could get eye seems to mourn in raven grey them; and desultory and dilatory as for the broken skull that had pro- the expedient was, it somehow or tected it from expulsion. I took my other succeeded tolerably in the end. time, as I was now sure of my game, The tenant grew ashamed of never and had just reached the field, when paying, or took a fit of punctuality I heard the firing. I then ran be- for the mere whim of the thing; in hind a large tree to observe further. Other cases the tenant seldom suf

“ Lieutenant Gam and Kyle had fered. The landlord did without the flown toward the spot, and had rent until he broke his neck over a nearly tumbled over my Lord, who six feet wall in a fox-chase, or went

« PreviousContinue »