|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Soldier's Wife|
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE. |
METHINKS there's something wanting in the heart (Some finer chord) of him whose s ep can turn, Is voluntary exile, from the spot
Where all his sires have lived; wherein do rest Their sacred ashes; wherein he himself
Hath grown from boyhood up to man's estate,
Till even the trunks of the time-hallow'd trees Have unto him become familiar friends,
Beneath whose shade perchance himself hath woo'd And won the bride that now too early sleeps The last long sleep not love itself can wake.
"ARRAH, then, honey, it's not for the like of me to be spakin' ill of his honor, that has many a time forgiven us the rint ; but when it comes to abandoning his own flesh and blood like, givin' up all father-right in the blessed babe, and goin' to live beyond the seas, in the very land that's always been the oppressor of ould Ireland, I can't but spake out my mind ; it shows little respict to the houly mimry of the dead lady-the Virgin rest her soul !"
Such was the lengthened exodium of a young Irishwoman, who sat in the door of her cabin, rooking a baby in her arms, whose costly attire showed it was none of her's. The man whom
she addressed, and who was her husband, was a favorable specimen of his countrymen-tall, Sturdy, and manly in his appearance, with an open, honest brow, and an intelligent eye. His
speaking countenance showed that the sugges- tions of his helpmate had made no inconsider- able impression on his mind, though he had weighty reasons for not exclaiming so loudly against " his honor " as Norah ; so he contented himself with shaking his head, knocking the ashes out of his pipe, and remarking that " His honor was not to be judged by them ; that all would turn out well, and that he knew Norah would be a real mother to his child."
"Don't be afther droppin' your dirty ash in the child's eyes," cried Norah, impatiently, and drawing back. " Be aisy, honey darlint," sho continued, as the infant began to whimper; sure and it's myself, jewel, that'll guard ye as the blessed mother of you would!" and the faithful creature held her charge yet closer to her bosom, and lulled it to sleep with a wild plaintive air, that seemed the echo of a strain bequested by the good elfin folk, when in olden times they rode their fairy steeds through tho length and breadth of the Green Island.
" His honor," tthe theme discourse between Phelim and Norah, was, or had been, a large landed proprietor in the county Longford. Generous, ardent in his affections, and, like all Hibernians, very impressionable, Mr. Doulavy had, at a very early period, become facinated by the beauty of a young girl of good descent, but of an impoverished family, and had married her. Their union had been happy, as each was of a facile disposition, and what is termed good natured; and if they did not arrive at complete felicity, neither found occasion for discontentor repining. At first Mrs. Donlavy gave her hus- band no promise of an heir ; but he comforted himself with the prospect of future paternity, and would not allow that or any other, care to cast a shade over his right merry life. He had always resided among his tenants, contenting himself with a yearly visit to Dublin ; but his house was the constant scene of festivity, in whioh his young wife took part with almost childish pleasure, and their reputation for hos- pitality and open-hearted kindness (in which tho poor shared as well as the rich) spread far and
Those were merry days at Castle Connor, such as were never again to be seen ; for now the walls aro ivy-grown, and the plough has passed over the smooth turf, and where the flower plots spread their gay treasures the sunburnt laborer is planting tho homely potato.
Yes, merry days were they at Castle Connor, and merry hearts teld the hours by their joyous pulse; but the black wing of death has spread over them, and they have become but memories -mere shadows ! Yet they were.
At length it was understood that an heir might be looked for, and as the pretty, still girl- like Mrs. Donlavy moved about among her hus- band's dependants, many a prayer was offered up for her. But heaven was inexorable. The sun that shone on the neew-born infant shone too on tho cold corpse of the young mother; she died ignorant of her danger, and still full of hope for days to come ; "not slain, but caught up as it were" Her's was a brief, bright life!
Mr. Donlavy's grief was sincere, loud, and perfectly Irish ; he sobbed and wept passionalcly over the icy form of his beautiful, lost wife. For days ho rejected food, and lay through sleep- less nights on tho coffin which held the dear ro- mains. Scarcely could he be persuaded to con- sent to their being removed to consecrated ground. At length sincere friends interfered, and insisted that the funeral should take place, and he was obliged to yield a reluctant consent.
After the last sad scene closed, the bereaved widower felt his desolate condition yet more in- tensely; he could not endure the sight of the innocent cause of his misfortune ; and instead of endeavoring to find consolation in the smiles of his helpless offspring, he turned from it with feelings of impatience, and committed tho charge of the child to a nurse, who did not become an inmate of Castle Connor, but was allowed to hear her foster child to her own humble cabin.
For a while Mr. Donlavy continued inconsol- able; at length, feeling the solitude and silence of Castle Connor quite unendurable, he invited several of his Dublin friends to come to his re- lief. They arrived, and an immediate attempt was made to revive the old state of things at the castle ; but it would not do ; it was but the mask of gaiety, not the rreality ; a spectre seemed to sit at their festivals, and though they veiled and crowned it with roses, still the hideous ghastliness was visible. No, it would not do! Songs and the dance seemed but as mockery to the now mournfulrlooking castle ; and wearying of an ungrateful task the guests lured their host to tho capital. He departed leaving indeed an abundant supply of money for tho use of his little Catherine, and many injunctions with regard to her he laid on Phelim and Norah ; but he looked not on his infant's face saw not the tiny features that would have imaged to him those of his lost wife; in fact, to spare his feelings Mr. Donlavy acted as though he had no feeling, and denied himself real consolation for fear of inflicting in his bosom a roomontary pang. Strange humun nature, how intensely selfish thou art! After a brief sojourn at Dublin Mr Don- lavy's spirits rallied ; and to insure his perfect recovery, an amiable English family (whom he had met in the capital) insisted on his accom- panying them to London. News arrived at Castle Connor that he had passed over to the ranks of the enemy ; that is, he had gone to England ! HenceNorah Doran' vehemont in- dignation against her master.
The land of his fathers never saw him again. Mr. Donlavy shortly became so attached to that of his adoption that he resolved to sell Castle
Connor (his own home and his father's), and all his Irish property. His little daughter was still loft to the caro of Phelim and Norah, who be- came tenants of the new landlord, and continued to reside on tho estate. Heaven had denied them the blessing of a living child, and the young and warm-hearted couple were completely wrapped up in their foster-child, who daily became lovelier and more engaging. She was beginning to prattle and call on her nurse by the tenderest of all names, " Mother." When Norah heard those words she pressed the iinnocent being yet closerr to her heart, and a vague terror came over her as she thus mused ; " His honor will soon be wanting the darlint, and will be taking her away to the stranger land, where she will learn to spake with a smooth tongue, but forgot the blessed Mother Mary among the heretic folks. Ignorant, quite entirely ignorant, they are of all good things there, and they'll be taching her to forget her old nurse, the only mother she's ever known. Arrah, Phelim, but it's a hard heart
his honor has."
Still Mr. Donlavy regularly forward the means of support for his dnughter, as for a child at nurse ; but meanwhile he forgot that tho infant hud morged into tho child, the child into the girl, that that girl, the rightful heiress of his property, was left uninstructed and un- trained, without even the education tho artisan bestows on his offspring- running wild among the peasant girls of what had been his own ca- tate, speaking their language, thinking their thoughts, and entering with glee into all their rustic amusements ; the most marked difference between herself and her associates being thut she was more beautiful, more richly dressed, and wore shoes and stockings while they ran bare- foot. But Catherine Donlavy at twelve or thirteen was not a whit more sophisticated than her rustic companions, and she was equally ig- norant of the mystries of reading and writing. Phelim and Norah grieved over their foster- child's want of education, and were sufficiently acute to foresee the thousand mortifications that awaited her when her father would be obliged to introduce her to his friends. Many an anxious hour they spent in consultation on the subject; and after propounding sundry futile schemes, and rejecting them, after many shakings of the head, tho fostor parents resolved upon sending an oxpoatulatory letter to " his honor," setting forth that Miss Donlavy (the saints guard her !) being such a lady as would bring his honor pride and credit, beautiful as the blessed mother of her, and for all the world like his honor, was just getting of age when book-learning would be most needful in order that she might not be ashamed to hold up her head among any gentle- folks ; and beseeching his honor to give orders that she should be put to a school in the neigh- boring town.
" It will break my heart, Phelim, sure it will," said Norah, " if his honor takes the durlint a bit slip from me ; but the saints forbid that ever I should stand in her light for my own pleasure and profit!"
" St. Patrick forbid !" said Phelim, piously.
Just at that instant tbeir foster-child burst into the cabin, wild with health and spirits, and flinging down a lapful of wild flowers she had gathered, threw her arms round her nurse's neck, and kissed her affectionately. Noruh burst into tears as sho contemplated tho probability of Mr. Donlavy's sending for their cliargo.
" Why do you weep, mother, honey ?" said
"Because I must lose you, jewel!" replied
"Lose me! Why, mother, the saints forbid I should ever leave you."
" But you forget, darlint," said Norah, sorrow- fully, " that Phelim and me be poor folks, and not like the likes of you, born rich and great. His honor will have you go over seas to the great city to get book-learning', and you'll forget us quite entirely."
" Niver, niver, mother, mavourneen," said Kate, fervently ; " I will not leave you! your country is my country, and your cabin my home. I would not change it for a glass palace built by fairy folk. I have no father but Phelim
" Don't be sayin'' that, arrah, don't darlint," said Phelim, brushing away the tears with his brown hand, "lost his honor should say I've been tachín' his flesh and blood to ribel against him. And it may be that he'll leave ye yet awhile to gladden our hearts; or when he hears what a beautiful colleen you're grown, may be he'll be for returnin' to his own and his father's
" Ah, that blessed day will niver come," said Norah, shaking her head ; " niver, niver. His honor has nothing now to warm his heart to his
fatherland and make him come back."
" No, nothing," said Kate, a shade of sadness crossing her sunny face, and dimming the light in those bright blue eyes that seem to have caught their hue from the deep skies of cloud- less summer. " It is plain to be seen my father loves me not. I said truly, I have no father but Phelim. Well, I don't want another ; no, mother, I ahall not be taken from you so soon as you think ; and as for learning, what would I do with it ? Father Harris has tached me my pater and ave, and yourself has told me all the wild stories about the fairies, and-"
" But there's other things, mavourneen, that you should be after learning as yese a born lady," interrupted Norah ; " and its for iver his honor will bo upbraidin' himself if he don't soon have you tached."
After a considorable time an answer arrived from Mr. Donlavy, to inform Phelim and Norah that he wished nothing done in the way of teaching his daughter, as he purposed shortly to send for her to England ; and in tho mean while, as she was so young a child, she could not be injured by waiting a little longer before be- ginning hor education. It was a sad hour in Phelim and Norah's cabin when "his honor's" letterr came.. It seemed to them as though the most brilliant orb were about to bo removed from their heaven. Kate going to England ! it could not be ! Grievous indeed was the lament- ing that night ; but as days, weeks, and months rolled on, and no further missive arrived, they begun to take comfort, and to hope " his honor" had " quite entirely" forgotton his intentions, as n truth ho had, and things went on as usual,
Kate Donlavy grew taller, more womanly there was a natural elegance in her person and manner, whioh rustic associations could not an- nihiliste ; and she was gradually becoming less wild and childlike. She still roamed about at wild over her father's former estate, but more fre- quently now, accompanied by Norah, who took pleasure in pointing out to her foster-daughter what had been Mrs. Donlavy's favorite walks; which were the rooms she occupied in Castle Connor in its merry days ; and, finally, the last narrow bed in which she rested, after her bright, brief career on earth had ended. Thus was the
young girl's heart in a measure educated, and her naturally lively sensibility awakened, though her " book learning," as Norah called it, was still at tho very lowest ebb , hut muoh as they re
'grettcd her want of education, her foster parents were resolved not to apply a second time to Mr
Donlavy on tho subject, for fear he should be induced to carry out the throat of sending for her to England-tho land of their superstitious dread and heartfelt suspicion '
AND for the weddling festival good Hubert, See it be ordered as my fortune seems
Methinks the sun shines forth this morning With more than usual lustre, and my heart
Beats as with youth's free pulse. I have put off
Those mourning weeds, whose sombre and dusky hue Bore evidence of woes I would forget!
WE must go back in our narrative to the period when Mr Donlavy bade farewell to the land of his birth, and accompanied his new friends to England.
Tho amiable family in question was that of Sir Edward Digby , his wife was a charming woman, had been a beauty and was still elegant and fashionable. They had no daughter; there- for the warm, though sudden friendship they professed for their now acquaintance must have been perfectly disinterested.
Mr Donlavy's excessive affliction at the loss of his young wife inspired them with the most ardent sympathy, and, nothing loath, the widow accompanied them to their house in town , and shortly after to Warsfield Park, Sir Edward's counriy seat.
Out of consideration for their guest's feelings, Sir Edward and Lady Digby refrained from in- viting a numerous circle of friends to meet him and on arriving he found himself in a lovely solitude,, rendered cheerful by all that hospita lity and good-breeding could devise. After a few weeks, however, their party was enlarged, and a number of guests were daily assembled at
the dinner table.
Mr. Donlavy still wore deep mourning. He was what is called a handsome man, and doubly îinteresting, a (even since his sojorn in England) succeeded to another and considerable fortune, which brought with it the necessity of adopting the surname of tho devisor. He was thenceforth known as Mr. Donlavy Balfour.
He had entered the dining-room rather late, and was therefore unconscious of the names of several persons at the table, but soon became aware of the presence of a beautiful woman, not directly opposite to him, but situated sufficiently near to allow of an examination of her fine fea- tures. Her beauty was dark and commanding, nor was she less interesting from the widow's cap which confined her jetty hair, and the sable habiliments which rather displayed than con- cealed her majestic figure. Her large black eyes rested on Mr. Donlavy with an expression of interest and curiosity, which was sufficiently flattering to induce that gentleman to consult a mirror that hung immediately facing him, and to speak truly, he saw reflected there a strikingly handsome set of features, lit by the usual fire of an Irishman's ready wit.
The widow had noted all at a glanco, and having been forwarned that she would meet Mr. Donlavy Bulfour, she had no difficulty in accer- taining that her admiration had been directed in the right quarter. The ladies withdrew, and Mr Donlavy took the earliest opportunity of re-
treating, that he might again catch a glimpse of the facinating widow. He found the lady lounging gracefully on one of the drewing-room ottomans, a littleegirl about ton years of age was seated by her side, holding her hand and playing with her rings. The child was beautiful, and her expressive countenance mirrored that of the mother. A more charming group could scarcely be imagined , they formed quite afableau, but nothing could exceed tho admiration with which the truly Irish Mr Donlavy gazed on that living picture. But he could not, much as he desired it, find an immediate introduction Lady Digby w is not to bo seen for a considerable time, and when at last she emerged from a group of her guests, her attention was claimed by another porson ere he could address ; he was therefore compelled to wait a more suspicious
In the meanwhile some one approached the lady, and after a leittle persuasion succeeded in leading her to the piano- but I mistake, it was in those days tho harpsicord-on which she ac- companied herself, and sung several exquite Irish airs with spirit and feeling, according to the varying expression demanaed by the music. Mr Donlavy was in ecstucies,and fortunately as the fair musician concluded, Sir Ednurd Digby entered, and acceded to his friend's re- quest of an immediate introduction to his sister for such the lady was.
Mrs. Chambers recieved her brother's guest with a cordiality which evinced a prepossion in his favor Her beauty, unfettered by the embarrassment attended on timidity had al ready capivated his fancy, and her lively, ani-
mated manner completed the conquest. Before the evening was over, Mr.Donlavy was quite enslaved by the bewitching widow.
Mrs Chumbers was the widow of an English officer, who had left her but slenderly provided for in the way of income. Her first marriage was consided a love match; at any rate she sincerely mourned her husband a demise, and still wore weeds and plain hair, though custom would have sancitioned her discarding them both
She remained some months at her brother's and Mr.Donlavy was in consequence induced to prolong his stay. How could he do otherwise?
Mrs Chambers being an excellent horse woman, was glad to secure so agreeable a companion in her rides. They therefore rode out together daily and beconing most naturally friends learnt to talk over their mutual sorrow and losses in a way thut was wonderfully con-
solitory to both.
They sat together at the table, and in the evening Mr Donlavy always found something to do in assisting the widow's white fingers as sho wound or disentangled skeins of silk that would have teased the patience of Pallas herself. But the more tiresome and lengthened the pro- cess, the more sweetly the lady smiled; and when her assistant, emboldened by her constant good humor, ventured for a moment to detain that soft hand, or even kiss it, he received no severer punishment than a playful tap, which, he well knew, meant anything rather than re- proof. Sir Edward and Lady Digby looked on, smiled, and wisely said nothing.
Mr Donlavy was as we have said before, of a facile temper, easily became attached, and the present object usually proved sufficiently ab- sorbing to preclude the intrusion of other im- ages or recollections. His absent child seldom occurrod to his mind , but ho lavished the most affectionate caresses on Matilda Chambers, never wearied of entering into her childish plays, and loaded her with valuable presents No wonder,
then, that shortly afterwards the pretty child whispered, in tho most natural way possible, "Oh, dear Mr. Donlavy Balfour, I wish you were my papa * Do be my papa !"
The widow turned away in blushing confusion, but Mr Donlavy effectually cut short her re- treat by falling at her feet, pleading his passion, and making her an offer of his heart and hand.
"I have then, thank heaven, found a father for my precious orphan," said Mis Chambers, as she resigned her future fate to be disposed by her lover.
SHE was a crerature form'd of light,
At once to charn and bless the sight; Childlike, yet woman's tenderness
Beam'd from her eye. Her loveliness Stole to the gazer's heart; once there It nestled, and a thing more fair
No painter yet hath drawn, nor sung
The entraptured poet, though his tongue Had stolen its music from a theme Bright and gorgeous fair dream.
Her eye of light had caught the dye That spring spreads over April's sky;
And those long, silken curls that roll'd Below her waist their rings of gold,
Seem'd from a sunbeam to have ta'en Their living lustre- but in vain
The flowery wreath she strove to bind Around those looks-soon unconfined They burst the bonds and floated free Around her form whose symmetry
No art had marr'd, nor fashion moulded The graceful robe that round her folded Show'd her of gentle ancestry.
One that had come of lair degree, And yet her free step on the hill Spoke her a simple maiden still; Unspoilt, untutor'd as a child, A flower unfaded, undetiled'
NOT far from Castle Conor was a shady walk which had originally been planted for the last propietor's mother, had been the scene of her children's gambols, and now was overgrown with weeds; for the present owner rarely visited the estate, and cared little for keeping up the pleasure grounds. The tall trees fancifully entwined their unloped branches, and the bright faces of the wild flowers peered up from a midst the luxu- riant growth of nettles. It was sad to those who remembered it in olen days, or at the time when Mr.Donlavy brought home his young bride, and the castle was a scene of perpetual festivity. That weedy, and to less buoyant hearts sombre walk, was the favorite resort of Kate Donlavy. Latterly she had not so much frequented it, for a detachment of troops from Longford had been quartered for some time in the neighborhood, and several of the officers had taken up their temporary abode at Castle
Norah's watchful care of her charge would not permit her to run any risk either of forming a casual acquaintance, or of even being exposed to the impertinent curiosity which her dawning loveliness was calculated to excite Besides, Kate had just completed her fifteenth year. Wherefor Phelin and Norah, in their s?pience, kept their foster child in a kind of honorable durance within the little cabin, until they had fairly seen the last colors marched off; but they forgot to inquire whether the officers had all re- tired from Castle Connor, which they had not;, and ignorant of the fact, Norah suffered Kate to burst her bonds, and rush forth like a free bird
as she was.
It so chanced that two young ensigns of the -th regiment were strolling down carelessly down the walk which we have before described. One of them having little to do with our tale, will oc- cupy but a smull share of our attention ; but the other, George Allan, who will stand more prominently forward in the narrative, must de- tain us for a while. He was tall, elegant, and handsome, like all heroes of romance, but unlike most of them, gentle reader, he was a real living breathing personage, and oven bore the name by which we designato lhim. His complexion was fair, his features were fine, and shaded by golden curls that fell in profusion over his forehead, while his large blue eyes seemed to mirror every bright thought and joyous fancy. He was a true son of tho soil,and much attached to his country, huving as yet seen little of others. Clever, daring, and witty, his words were elo- queutand manly, as his smile and manners were winningly gentle. The young soldier was forned by nature to conquer hearts, and to make the utmost use of his mental and personal advan-
" Hush! " said his companion, interrupting some remark he had made, " let us listen "
"To what?" said George, gaily. "You have heard a milkmaid sing ere now."
"Possibilty," replied his companion; "but not
in so melodious a voice "
"You are perfectly right," said George, sud-
denly stopping. "How exquisite! But who can our rustic singer be? Take care or we shall startle this songster before her carol be
The voice was indeed exceedingly sweet, as it floated on the gentle breeze from beneath a drooping silver poplar, that bent its graceful brunches near to the earth , and ever and anon, as the wind swayed the leaves to and fro, they seemed to keep time to the wild measure warbied
in their shade. These were the words:-
Oh for the time! - the merry time
Of the good old fairy folk;
When elfin kings and elfin queens
Danced round the summer oak.
Danced round the oak, when there uprose
The lady moon above,
And cast her silver adience round,
Her light so full of love'
Oh for the time!- the merry time,
When steeds of milk white sped
The enchanted chieftain and his train
Over the deep water's bed.
They say the maiden, pure and free,
Is ?itted to behold
Still . in the paley moonlight rays,
True elfin forms of old.
I knew not how this truth may be,
I only know that I
Have watch'd till the last star has set-
The last star of the sky!
But never yet- but never yet
My longing eye hath seen
An elfin knight ride o'er the wave
Nor fairy on the green.
The fairy ring, where daisies grow,
I've trodden oft al ne.
Buat merry times of the fairy folk,
O mother,they have flown! ____
As she concluded her wild ballad, Kate emerged from the tree's shade, in the act of twining a garland of pink tipped daisies, which she had been weaving round her bright hair, that gracefully hung in long massy curls. Her deep blue eye sparkled with innocnt happiness, her complexion was delicately fair, but her cheeks glowed with the hue of health' her features were well fornedm and though she was not tall her figure was symmetrical. An expressiuon of childlike guilele-eness enhanced the lovelines of her countenance and gave an added charm to each naturally graceful motion
"If ever I marry, that lovely being, shall be my wife!" exclaimed George Allan, as the beau- tiful vision burst on his astonished sight. The impetuous impulse with which the young man had spoken made him forget that his words might be overheard by the object of his admira-
Kate had indeed heard his speech, and blush- ing, deeply, immediately flew away like a startled
" Nonsense, Allan!" exclaimed his companion, "you, that are after every pretty face you see, but never yet truly admired a rustic belle; you, too, that are inconstantas the wind, how can you talk of marrying? Mark me, if you ever do marry, it will be something very different from that unsophisticated little creature whom we have just seen. You are too worldly and blase to love the purely natural. Your bride's roses will be made of muslim, her lilies of Valencien- nes lace; besides, she will paint, patch, and wear powder-you know she will!"
"I swear------" began George.
"Nay, my fellow, pray don't swear," in- terrupted his companion. "Lovers are never in their right senses; and it is only allowed to rational beings to take an oath "
"Pray don't be so provoking, Fitsmorris!" exclaimed George impatiently. "You know no- thing of my character, still less of my feelings. I have romance enough left inj me, though I have mixed much with the world, but I have now no time for arguing, or defending myself. We may so soon be required to join our corps that I must make the best use of my present opportunities, and discover who this nymph is."
"Nothing beyond a pretty rustic," Fits-
"That's quite a mistake!" exclaimed George, firing at the imputation " Every look and mo tion guvo evidence that gentle blood flowed in her veins. Did you not mark her foot-small,
wellformed, and ---------
"I saw she had shoes and stockings," said Fitzmorris, provokingly; "so that perhaps she may be a better sort of farmer's daughter."
"She is a lady born and bred," said George.
" As you please, my dear fellow," said Fitz- morris, " as you please; but shall we not pursue the enemy ?"
" I don't know that we are interested in the matter," saud George; "but I, shall certainly endeavor to discover who this young lass is, if only to overthrow you unwar- ranted suppositions." So saying he turned on his heel and pursued the path Kate had taken.
And George had not a very long or difficult search , perhaps it was fate, perhaps instinct, that guided his feet in the direction of Norah's cabin, certainly he never expected to find his divinity in that lowly dwelling, and his first emotion on discovering her fair young face at the casement window, was that of surprise and
" What a triumph it will be to Fitzmorris," he exclaimed involuntarily , but the next minute a ray of sunshine passed by, and lit the fair head before him with golden lustre, and he forgot his disappointment in contemplating her loveliness.
She observed him not; and as he stood, still watching the fair vision, a rustic looking woman of middle age approached the youn girl, and, passing her arm round her, kissed her brow affectionately.
" Yes, I see she is a peasant's daughter," said George, sighing over his vanished visions,"but still incomparably lovely. However, I must con fess the truth to Fitzmorris, I suppose, and doubtless I shall have little difficulty in making the young girl's acquaintance. I will not try this evening though, lest I should give the alarm to her mother. After all, Fitzmorris is a good- natured fellow; I must consult him; but then he will want to go to the cottage too."
So ruminationg, the soldier proceeded to join his friend, confessed his error of judgement, and entreated his assistance to form some plan for making the unknown beauty's acquaintance without alarming her fears.
"Ith is soon done," said Fitzmorris; but I am afraid she'll prove a troublesome acquaintance. I can't think how you could make that nonsen- sical speech in her hearing. The girl will cer-
tainly fancy you in earnest, and expect the ful- filment of your gratuitous promise. Depend on it she is now dreaming herself your wife, and indulging in rare visions of future splendour. Oh, Allan ! how could you do such misfhief?.
George winced under his friend's remarks; it seemed to him a profanation to hear the merits of that beautiful being thus lightly discussed; but still however deeply interested, he was not the man to form a connection with a lowly born girl, however beautiful, for he never forgot that he ( though not rich) was descended from a long line of unblemished ancestry, not one of whom could be accused of ever having done anything useful in life, and consequently they were through gentlemen. He was moreover a younger ?cion of a noble house, and clained ,cousinship with the Earl on L__. Yet more, he was certainly an accomplished gentleman, with polished and elegant manners, and an ardent, generous nature, though his finer quali-
ties were often rendered dormant by the im- petuosity of his passions.
FIRST love ! thou Eden of the youthful heart' Of all earth's joys the only priceless part
Thou bright, brief joy ! too beautiful to last:
To-day thou art: to-morrow thou hast passed, Leaving an impress on the inmost soul,
O'er which in vain the tide of years may roll. Not dark eternaity itself can ?aze
Thy memory, love !- first love of early days!
On the morrow, through the arrangement of Fitzmorris, the young officers assembled in an open space in front of Phelin's cabin, to amuse themselves with the diversion of football, which was common enough at that period even for gentlemen of some education. While seemingly intent on his game, George continually kept a watch on the casement of the lowly tene- ment before him; but no one appeared save Phelin, who stood leaning his shoulder against the cabin door, and smoked most vigorously, without the least respect to their honors' pre- sence. The door itself stood open; a circum- stance no sooner observed by George than he, taking a truly sportsmanlike aim, dexterously kicked the ball immediately into the cabin, and then bounced in after, as it in search of it. It was the action of an instant. Norah and Kate, who were seated in the corner of the room most
remote from the window, started up in surprise at the unlooked for intrusion; and Phelin hastily entered.
"Can you mend this for hole me, good mother?" said Allan, approaching Norah, and showing a hole in the ball which he of course perceived in it for the first time, forgerful that his knife hid
occasioned the rent.
"Yes, an' plase you honor," said Norah, dropping a curtsy as she took the ball; then, whispering a word to the blushing Kate, the latter withdrew to the only other room in her
Norah's quick eye soon detected the admira- tion of her charge evinced by the dashing young officer, and she tembled for her. Without say-
ing anything to offend, she contrived with true Irish acuteness, to baffle the inquires of George; whle Phelim stood by her side, with a look in his laughing eye which plainly told he was quietly enjoying the youn man's discomfl-
ture. For inconceivable reasons, however, Kate had never mentioned her previous encounter with our hero in the Castle Connor grounds. It was her first secret! perhaps she kept it because it was such; but at all events she did keep it, and the words of the handsome stranger thrilled through her beating heart.
After many vain efforts to become better ac-
quainted with Phelim and Norah, George was compelled to withdraw, and listen to the banter- ing, of the inexorable Fitzmorris.
" I have deserved this vexation," he mentally ejaculate, "for seeking to amuse myself at the expense of that innocent creature;" and he re-
solved to abstain from further molestation of the little fairy.
But, alas ! man's resolutions are little worth against the enchantments of a pretty face ! and the very next day found the ensign ( having pre- viously taken immense pains with his toilet) roaming round Phelim's cattage, but apparently to no purpose, for he caught not even a solitary glimpse of his divinity. Probably all women are curious, especially wher the object of curi-
osity is the first lover or admirer they have ever had; and it must be acknowleged, that not- withstanding all her simplicity and childlike in-
nocence, Kate thoroughly understood the glances of these admiring eyes. They at first intimi- dated her it is true; but she soon became accus- tomed to this trepidation, and them it was by no means disagreeable; and though Norah had strictly warned her against so doing, Kate one evening did contrive to peep from her little chamber window ( which was near the ground); and, strange to say, one long fair curl floated out; and, stranger still, some one contrive to cut a portion of it off ! Who could it be ? Norah discovered the fact, and chided her fos-
ter child with a sharpness that she had never before used toward her. Poor Kate's tears however soon disarmed her nurse's anger, when she assured her that she had not cut the hair, nor did she know who had.
Norah at last persuaded herself it was a mir- acle of the saints, and that the child was highly favored by them. "Whilst, but it's Holy mary's own work !" she repeated, crossing herself. She little dreamed that George Allan was the saint.
But it was in vain that elder wisdom strove
against young love, the contest was too unequal.
Kate heard so often that she was not to think of the young officer, that in fact she thought of little else ! But when her admirer contrived, by some peculiar feat of legerdemain or dexterity, to convey a letter into her chamber window, poor Kate awoke to a sence of shame for her want of education, and bitterly felt her father's neglect, as she held the letter in her little hands and wondered again and again what it could mean !- for read it she could not. Phelim might spell it out; bbut how could she show it to Phelim? And as for Norah, she would at once suspect her of receiving it clan- destinely, though in reality she had found ot on
the floor of her room.
However ignorant of the mystery of written characters, a woman cannot keep a sealed letter long without opening it; so Kate broke the seal, when to her surprise, a glittering ring fell from the envelope. Although she had never seen any- thing in the shape of a gem, instinct perhaps taught her the use of this ring, and it soon shone on her little white fingers (first on one, then on another) which Norah had never allowed to be spoilt by any labor. For a time she regarded it with childish pleasure, but soon the blood of her race tinged her very temples at the idea of receiving a gift from the stranger. She took the ring from her finger, and carefully laid it by, but placed the letter in her bosom to be read-when? When she would have toiled up the steep ladder of learning , the first step of which her timid foot had not yet tried. The re- memberance of her deficiencies made her momen- tarily sad; but the germ of feelings as new as they were charming, was already taking life in her innocent heart, and lending a ro????? hue to all her anaticipations of the unknown future.
hope, hope, how elaquent art thou in life's spring -time! ere yet we have tasted of the foun- tain, that to the eye sparkles in undimmed radi-
ence and purity, but which once tasted is to the lip "Mara!"
Dream on, young enthusiast, with thy fifteen bright unclouded summers ! Dream on ! life life has much in store for there, of weal and woe; but still dream on ! Lovely are thy visions, be
they false or true !
Why should the young heart wake too soon? The ensign omitted not to walk that night be- neath the casement; as his repeater marked 9, and while the inhabitants of the cottage were buried in their slumbers, Kate's window gently unclosed, a round ewhite arm was extented, and immediately something fell at his feet. H snatched it hastily from the ground; it was in- deed a sheet of white paper, but no characters were traced thereon; it only contained the glit-
tering bauble he had offered in the vain thought that woman's heart might so be purchased; as though, when it really gives itself away, it is not a free gift- free as Heaven's bounty, free as the dew distilling from the skies !
" I have played the fool indeed." said George ; " I should have a respected her feelings more. Her self respect is an additional charm; but at least she has not returned my letter; perhaps she has destroyed it, as she deigns no answer. She has the pride of a duchess. Would that she had another parentage ! But I rave; she can never be ought to me."
The young man little knew that his epistle, though unread, was lying close to Kate's heart, or his own would have beat high with happiness, for the soldier was seriously in love for the first time. He had admired man, flirted with more, but never loved till now, and his first real passion was proportionately impetuous.
Meanwhile poor Kate was lamost a prisoner. Norah felt sure that something very wrong was going on, though she could not tell precisely what. She never lost sight of Kate outside the cabin walls, and very rarely inside them. When the young girl went to mass Phelim and Norah escorted her, one on each side. What more could be done? At times they thought to write to Mr.Donlavy Balfour, and at any cost point-
ing out to him, firmly, though respectfully, the evil effects which would be likely to arise from his culpable neglect of his child; but he had lately been so unmindful of his daughter as not even to inquire how she was going on, the small stipend he continued to pay Norah being trans- mitted through the hands of a stranger agent; consequently she and her husband began to fear that any application to him would be useless.
The honest-hearted Phelim therefore, without further delay, resolved courageously to appeal to the honor of the young officer, whose assiduities annoyed them, and thus induce him to forgo any further molestation of their charge.
It was a bright, starry night, the dried leaves of autum strewed the ground, and were ren- dered crisp by a rather severe frost when Phelim stepped out from his cabin door, and boldly but respectfully accosted the young officer. "Savin' your honor's presence," he began, "if a poor man make so bold as to spake, I'd be afther askin' your honor to leave off tazing the colleen, that has no natural protectors like but me and Norah."
These simple words were uttered with all the heart's eloquence, and George stood com- pletely abashed before the peasant, and hesitated to reply. So Phelim took advantage of the ground he supposed himself to have gained.
" It's not because the father of her has for- saken her like," said he, " that others should show no respect to the bit slip; and I'd have your honor know as Miss Donlavy is come of as gentle blood as any in ould Ireland"
"Miss Donlavy ! good heavens ! " ejaculated George." you don't mean to say that lovely girl
"Own daughter to Castle Connor !" said Phelim; "that is, own daughter to his honor that owned Castle Connor, and should now but for----; but that'a his honor's business, not
" And Miss Donlavy lives with you? re- peated George.
"Arrah sure," replies Phelim, " and isn't the darlint our foster-child? and wasn't she nou- rished at Norah's breast, where our own blessed babe would have fed, but that holy Mary fetched him home, rest his sowl !"
" And her father has left her here till this age !" exclained George. " Incomprehensible !"
Phelim did not quite understand what " in- comprehensible" meant but he thought it advis-
able to reiterate to Ensigh Allan his charge of ceasing "to taze the colleen."
It happened, however, that George's ideas had undergone a perfect revolsion, though his feelings had not, and when the young soldier condescendingly explained to him that his in- tentions were perfectly honorable, and his pre- tensions such as Mr. Donlavy could not object to in a son-in-law, Phelim softened wonderfully towards him, and the conversation ended by his leading the ensign into his cabin, to the per-
fect consternation of Norah, who thought her husband out of his wits, and to the manifest con-
fusion of poor Kate, who hung back as though she had been guilty of ????????????.
"And is it ???? ye are, Phelim, bringing the quality ( that is gentleman) into our poor cabin !"
exclaimed Norah, endeauoring to catch her hus-
band;s eye, and signalise something to him which he was determined not to understand, for he re- solutely looked another way, a quiet smile at the same time playing on his face.
Failing in her first attempt, Norah desired kate to take the bobbin she held in her hands into the other room of the cabin; but as she was preparing to obey, Phelim took her hand and requested her to remain. Poor Norah groaned aloud as the blushing girl resented her- self on the low three legged stool, while Phelim was discouring with the ??sign, who left no- thing unsaid or undone to conciliate the good will of Kate's foster -father, who becoming more familiar with his guest dilated on all he knew of the Donlavy family history for several genera- tions back; and whenever he had occasion to mention Kate, he scrupulously called her Miss Donlavy.
Although this highly colored tale of her an- cestral honors was selected for the strange " qua- lity's " information, Kate listened to it with won-
der and interest, especially when she heard for the first time that she was descended from the ancient Irish kings ! And she could not help feeling, though she dared not look up, that the eyes of the young officer were fixed on her, and that he probably read in her face that his letter lay next her heart and his image in its inmost
We know not whethr George Allan really guess the truth, but however that might be, while talking to Phelim he was closely examin- ing the sweet young face before him, and read- ing the innocent soul that beamed in it, as on the open pages of a book. At last he rose to depart, having first remarked that if Norah did needle-work, and could knit, &c., he would sup- ply her with an abundance of occupation; these observations, with a few well turned compli- ments on the excessive cleanliness of her cabin and flourishing state of their little plot of garden, softened Norah into smiles, and though she had previously determined to act on the strong defensive, she could not now help remark- ing that " his honor had very winsome ways."
George had not heard Kate speak more than twenty words, and even those were clothed in the brogue of the country; but then the voice that uttered them was so sweet, the lips
ling smiles that accompanied them so bright,
that he was completely enchanted, and retired from her presence only to dream of the fair vision, sleeping or waking.
" An what think ye of the quality, Norah ?" said Phelim, when they were alone.
" Arrah, Phelim, but he spakes pretty," re- plied Norah; "but 'tis not all gould that glitters. May be the hour will be sad for the colleen that ever he darkened the door of the cabin !"
" Don't be always looking on the black side of ivirything, Norah; I'm clane of another mind, and the day'll come that he'll make the slip his wife; and proud shall we be when our darlint rides in the quality ? box" (i e. a carriage).
"Whist, whist, Phelim. "She'll be afterer leavin' us, and then she'll be afther throwin' her young heart away; which the saints forbid ! Ah! Phelim, Phelim, it's an evil hour for womankind when they set their affections on the likes of you, from the king on his throne to the gossoon that digs pratees !"
" This to my face, Norah !" said Phelim, "afther the miny years we've leved togither. By my mother's wowl (St. Michael rest her !) I nivir thought to hear the like from my Norah. But it's like all women, nothing so soft and tinder till they're won and wed ! then few things more sharp and cuttin' till they're widi?s again, and lookin' out for them as shall help them to be wives once more. Bad luck to them, anyhow !.
" And bad luck to you, anyhow, Phelim !" ex- claimed Norah. " Arrah, and don't the gossoons come scraping , and howling, and ogling, and the like, and telling hes faster than Ould Nick catches sow, till they've won the weak women to their minds, and thin there's no tratement too bad for them they've been used to pray to and worship
as if 'was holy Mary's self !"
" Come, come, Norah, we're all sinners, no doubt; but one hasn't much to say against the other; and if the colleen sets her heart on the quality, and their parentage, and manes, and name, and credit is equal like, they'll be very happy, and he'll make her as good a husband
as Phelim's self to Norah."
"Better, I hope, " said Norah, half smiling; "but Phelim, honey, why should you think it's marriage the quality manes ? Mayhap he's cast a light look on the colleen, and then----"
" He dare not !" said Phelim. "No niver to one of her blood, own daughter to Castle Connor as she is, good luck to her ! And isn't it the quality's self that has condescended to tell me his intentions, and didn't he spake out plain ? "Phelim," says he ' Yes your honor,' says I. "Phelim," says he. ' I love Miss Donlavy, and respect her as if she was a blessed angel in heaven, and I'll make her my wife, plase heaven and Mr.Donlavy and the other saints ! Isn't the plain ? ' But your honor, ' says I, ' there's Mr. Donlavy Balfour as must give you consent.' 'Never fear, Phelim,' says he, 'I'm sprung from near friends of Mr. Donlavy's and he'll not go
for to refuse me.'"
"So it's all clane settled !" said Norah. "But we must write a letter to his honor, Phelim, and show him all that's doing."
" Whist, honey," replied phelim; "not yet; I'm afther thinking we'll let things take their course just now. You'll keep a cute eye on the colleen, Norah and not let her stray forth alone, and then no harm can come; and if his honor should come in the cabin now and thinm we'll be friendly with him like and see if the colleen just fancies him, which maybe she won't."
" Faith, and afther all,' said Norah, "it's little ye know of womanhood, Mr. Phelim ! And didn't she the very blessed night that iver was didn't she spake out in her sleep about the day when she met him first in the ould lane, though never a word had she telled to me, the own mother of her like ; and didn't she tell all in her dreams, that she thought he was a prince come from fairy land, and that ther was an ugly yellow dwarf beside him, that seemed mocking' and deridin' all the time. Why, she's full of fancies, and fogets all day what she's doin'. There's niver a doubt of her lovin' him only too well."
" In my case," said Phelim, "I shan't take no notice to his honor just now, till I see how things turn out. Maybe he would not consint after all, and then it would go for to brake their young hearts entirely."
"Well, I begin to think that same, Phelim, and it's yourself that's right." replied Norah; 'not that I'd have you think you're always
( TO BE CONTINUED)
" CentK AM, " for lui'Si's Ima boon advortiaod undor iho nuiiio of " Nouruathcnipponskeles
WHY is Iho letter "11" of moro value than croam to a dairymaid?-Beeuuso it makeahotter
Tun acionco of velocípedo ütliiig is moally comprised hi n few words : you straddle, paddlo,
mid thou slied-idillo.
A -MAN was asked why ho married so Httlo a wifo. " Why," fluid lu», 1 ihauejht that of all
evils wo should choose the least."
WITHOUT Nori:s.-A city missionary was naked tho cnu'o ol Ins poverty. " Principally," Hnid ho, with a twinkle» of tho eye, " beoauso I have» proa .heil so long without notes."
S HAUT Pi si TUA rio»-" You don't lovo mo -1 know you elun't," aniel a young married lady to her husbund. "Igivoyou crail'., my dear, for u keon penetral ton," was his consoling reply.
Si'HHAi) Ol' KDUCAIION.-A correspondent Benda tho following, which ho saw in a shop window: "A bakers I'utient Mungel for Snil, nnd ii B Sold. Enqinru m uumber-, Streto. A D. sided U1rg.11."
Covn'AsliONATi: Or.D Hour,.-Mrs. Malnprop (Mrs. Hum-biithum's friend) w.ts very sorry to hear thut Ibu Aielnvcs wciodestioyodíiitliufiro ut Constantinople', nut! anxiously inquired
whether the bees wcro saved.
A MAN, ht'i'ig awakened hy tho captain of a passoiiger bout willi the' nmiouncpuiimt that ho muât not occupy his berth with bia boots on, coiiäideiutely lephcJ, " Oh, it won't hurt 'oin ; thoy'ro un old pair."
AN iiuulotnieal observen' u=tcrred a few days sinuo thiel therti were) -IS0 0S1 feathers on tho
wings of u btilierlly. '? 1 elun't believe it," said ono of his hoii'ers. "Thon count thom for yourself," was tim icplv.
A H0IJUII.II W IS wounded l>v a "hell from Fort Wagner. Ho was going to tho rouf. " Woundod by a sholl?" some win n-kect. " Yes," ho coolly answered ¡ " I vvus ii ¿lit under Iho darned thing when ¡ho botlu'ii dropped out."
" WAITI'II, I'll lake my lint," said n gentleman at a ball ono evening, us ho wits going home. " What kind of 11 hat is it, sir ?" " A brand new ono -I bought it tbii morning." " Well, eir," suid tho waiter, " ull the good huts hnvo been gone for two hours."
" THAT heil is not long enough for me," said avery tall, gi ull' old F.npliahmnn, upon being ushered into his bedroom hy nu Irish waiter at ono of our hotels. " Faith, un' you'll find it is plenty long, sir, when y nu get into it," was tho ruply j " for then llieru'll bo two (Vot moro added to it." Kxit Pat, with a bojt letching up tho
IN a little town out west n lady teacher was exercising a elliss of juveniles in miintul arith- metic. Sho fonimeiii ed tho question, " If you buy a cow for ten dollars-" when up cunio a little lituid. " What is it Johnny?" "Why, you 0,111't buy no kind of 11 oivv far len dollars ; father sold into fur sixty dollars tho otlior duy, and BIIO WUB U regular old scrub at that."
A OKNï KM IN who vvus very zealous on tho Bubjoct of hoisi's, but not urcoiding to know lodge, bought a maro at auction, and rodo hor homo. " Wt II, Cic-ur," suid ho to his sable couchman, "what do you think of hor. 8ho coat mo five hnndrod dollurs." " Dunno, inussn." "Yes, but what do you think?"
" Wolj, mns*u, it makes ino tink of what tho proaclier suid yesterday-something about ' his money is soon purled.' I disremembor tho fust
A sAiOON-KKErKit of questionable henosty wont to a lawyer to consult him about commono ing an aolion of defamation against a follow towuemaii. " Tho scoundrel," Buid ho fiercely, " has robbod mo of my ohuructor." " Ah, has ho? Aro you auro of thut fact?" ropliod tho grecn-satohel gontlomnri, quickly, and in ti sar castio tone. " If so, for goodnosB sake let him go ; for it is O10 luckiest thing thut over hap- pened to you !" Tho felbvv suoaked out of tho olllco like a puppy when a foot is raised against