Chapter 160139512

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter TitleDRIVEN TO ULTIMA THULE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160139512
Full Date1880-12-25
Page Number44
Corrections0
Word Count906
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleSir Denis O'Donoghue. A Reminiscence of the English Bar
article text

CHAPTER VIII.

DBIVBM TO ULTIMA THULB.

" Tbe loss of the friendship of the parson and his wife," O'Donoghue went on, '• made my wife very sad, and almost discontented with tbe country as with the town. But the finishing stroke to onr occupation of our charming retreat occurred a few months after. Perhaps I did not tell yon that most of the property in the parish belongs to Lord Crawfish, and I took the cottage from a tenant of his, thonghthe cottage itself is not on Sis Lordship's estate. Well, there was a great dispute about a road which the majority of the farmers wanted to have repaired at the ex pense of the parish, because it was a great advantage to them as a short cut into the turnpike road. The road ran over what was once a common, but had been enclosed under a

Commission of Enclosure.

" Two or three of the farmers who ocoupied land not belonging to Lord Crawfish and not likely to receive any benefit from the repair of the road being thrown npon the parish but rather to sustain a loss from the adlitional burden on the rates, came to me upon the subject. After talking it over, I advised the man over whose land it went to drive away the work men who came to repair it the moment they began to repair it beyond the width of a bridle and drift road. I told him also to discharge all carts from comiDg on it; but not to say anything of the principle on which he acted.

"My advice was followed. The workmen were turned away, and an action of assault was brought. Lord Crawfish's steward took the matter up, and His Lordship's solicitors were engaged in the case. When the next Assizes came on, Chyles, Yarnfortb, and Perquod appeared for tbe plaintiffs, and I condncted tbe rase of the defendant, and brought him throngh triumphantly, proving by the Enclosure Act, and in other ways, that the road was nothing more than a bridle and drift way, or that, at all events, it was only to that extent that' the parishioners were entitled to nse it; all beyond that width being a private way.

"The result of this was tnat we Decameneany as unpopular with the greater part of the farmers as we were little in favour with the parson. But, worse than all, His Lordship's steward put the screw on my landlord, and obliged him to give me notice to quit Mildmate Cottage.

"£o my wife came back to town fairly broken hearted, and divided her complaints between the solitude of London life and the troubles that

she had derived from her marriage with a

lawyer.

" She now finds that the climate of London is unsuited to her health, and is fully convinced that to live as a lawyer's wife in the country is incompatible with peace. She has therefore urged me to apply for a vacant appointment to Ultima Thule, thinking no doubt, that while her husband is lifted fromthednstof the forum, she, poor creature, will become a more important person, and be sheltered beneath the ermine of

the President of the Bench."

"Bat have you endeavoured, "I asked, " to form aDy estimate of the natnre and extent of the benefit to be acauired by Mrs. O'Donoghue by exchanging the air of London for that of

Ultima Thule?"

" Oh! no benefit at all, I should imagine," said he, "for it's very foggy out there. But, at all events, by goiDg there, I shall have complied with her request, and shall be pro vided for for life, and, inasmuch as no further chsBge would be open to ma of my own volitioD, short of throwing np work altogether, I fancy I am adopting a course which will thoroughly pound her. In short, I shall be like the man who turned bis coat so often that it wonld not turn any more; and I never heard that that man's wife importuned him to go without a ooat at all."

Ton may depend upon it she did," said I.

" Then be was a fool if he listened to her; and I shall certainly make no more changes in compliance with what I regarded as caprice and ill-temper, springing np in a petty and selfish nature, and nurtured by ignorance and narrow

education."

"Ton may be sure" I said, "that the mists of Ultima Thnle will not long suit the health of Mrs. O'Donoghne."

" Well, any way, my great-aunt approves of it, probably as being a realization of her prophecy, and I have accepted the appointment, and so I shall wish yon good-bye in a few days."

For the last time I went to dine with him and his wife. Mrs. O'Donoghne seemed hoveriDg between painful emotion at quitting her native land, which she attributed to her marriage with O'Donoghne, and a eon* ciousness that she was now the wife of a Chief

Justice, which Bhe ascribed^ to her own merits in having discerned bis aptitnde for the post and directed him to the proper objeot of his ambition. "If it had not been for me Mr. Fandi," she said, "I do not think he would

have dreamt of it."

'• No, indeed," said O'Donoghne.

Two days after I accompanied them to Southampton and saw them on board the steamer bound for Ultima Thule.