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to the Times' for praising their works and not noticing mine. D-n 'em! what a thorough contempt I feel for 'em ! I can imagine them at their dinners, which cost them thousands a-year;—there they are, Phillips, and Shee, and Pickersgill, and Wilkie, laying their heads together to oppose me! But which of them can paint a Grenadier ?' D-n 'em! they are one mass of envy and uncharitableness, that I can tell you, Mister.”
“Happily, Mr. Daubson,” said I, “ those vices scarcely exist in Little-Pedlington.”
“ Unheard of, Mister. I don't envy them—I envy no man-on the contrary, I'm always ready to lend a hand to push on any rising talent that comes forward ;-though, to be sure, l'll allow no man to take profiles in Little-Pedlington whilst I live. That's self-preservation. But they— ! they'd destroy me if they could. But, bad as some of them are, the worst are those envious fellows, Turner and Stanfield. They have done their utmost to crush me, but they have not succeeded. Why, Mister, last summer I began to do a little in the landscape way. No sooner were my views of the Crescent and of Little-Pedlington Church mentioned in our newspaper, than down comes a man from London with a camera-obscura to oppose me! Who was at the bottom of that? Who sent him? Why, they did, to be sure. The envious -! But I didn't rest till I got him out of the town; so that scheme failed. No, no, Mister; they'll not get me amongst them in their d-d Academy,at least, not whilst they go on in their present style. But let them look to it;-let them take care how they treat me for the future ;—let them do their duty by me—they know what I mean—or they may bring the
Little-Pedlingtom Weekly Observer' about their ears. For my own part I never condescend to bestow a thought upon them! D-n 'em! if they did but know the contempt I feel for them !"
Here another sitter was announced ; so I received my portrait from the hands of the great artist, paid my shilling, and departed. “So then," thought I, “genius, even a Daubson's, is not secure from the effects of envy and persecution (real or imaginary) even in Little-Pedlington!”
Six o'clock.-Returned to mine inn. In the course of the evening received a note from Hobbleday, inclosing sealed letters to Rummins and Jubb.
“ Dear Sir,-Sorry cannot have pleasure of accompanying you to my dear friend Rummins, neither to my worthy friend Jubb. Send letters of introduction,-spoke in warmest terms, -all you can desire. Sorry shan't see you to dine with me this time,-next time you must, -no denial. Believe me, my dear Sir, your most truly affectionate friend,
" John HOBBLEDAY. "P.S. Do think of my advice about flute,-do turn your mind to it —will find it a great comfort.”
Will not believe otherwise than that Hobbleday is a warm-hearted, sincere little fellow.
To-morrow to Hoppy's public breakfast, where I shall meet all the beauty and fashion of Little-Pedlington. Afterwards with my letters to Rummins and Jubb. With such warm introductions from their friend Hobbleday what a reception do I anticipate !
(To be continued.)
SKETCHES ON IRISH HIGHWAYS.
“Waist! Maurice, whist !--and don't gainsay her. What she thinks, you know, is as good as a law with us all;- and that's enough about it
“A law is it, Anty ?" repeated Maurice. “ It may be a law to you, if you choose to make a fool of yourself, but it will be no law to me.”.
« For God's sake, Maurice, exclaimed the girl," don't go on so; you know she's charmed.”
“ Charmed !” he again repeated, in the true Irish fashion; “ Charmed !-ay, as much as the black slug that lives on and lies in the dew. As much as the frog that croaks in the meadows; as much, Anty, as the raven which I could bring down with your brother Luke's ash-bow !”
“ But, any way, it's only waiting till after Holly-eve, and that's not long. All she says is, wait till after that ;-—and indeed, Maurice-indeed, I cannot gainsay her.”
" And you-you, Anty Doyne, tell me ;-you! after our keeping .company for nearly two years ;-you say that, because your croaking OLD GRANNY says we must not marry until Holly.eve is past, though you were promise-bound to me before then if things answered—you say, that because she takes this whim in her head, you'll be off !”
No, Maurice-no," replied the girl; “ I sware to the Virgin, in the beams of this blessed moon which is now shining on both our heads, that in death, or--oh, Maurice-even in disgrace, I would be your wife, or go as I am to my green grave ;—but to wait a little whileonly a little while—to do her bidding-surely it's no great thing for her to expect ? And she that has been more than a mother to me ever since I lost my own."
“ Suppose she was to forbid it out-and-out ?” “ She would not do that.”
Why?" “ Because her word is given, that when once Holly-eve is passed, she will bless—not ban.”
“ I tell you what, Anty ; take me now -or give me up, up intirely. I'm too proud to wait on the bidding of an old woman, whatever I might do on the bidding of a young one.”
“ If it comes to that, Maurice, perhaps you'd rather it was so; and I'm certain that I never mean to keep any hoy to his promise if his mind is against it.” Anty Doyne drew herself up to more than her usual height, though her heart beat, and her cheek crimsoned from agitation. Anty, it seems mighty easy with
!” “ Maurice, it was you spoke of it first; and that man's not breathing who should speak twice to me of such a thing. I'm ready,” he continued, " quite ready to return your token, and break all off.”
While she spoke, she tugged hard to draw a ring from her rosy finger, and at last having accomplished her intention, she held the simple gage d'amour towards her lover.
Why don't you take it, Mister Maurice-it will fit Jane Lemon, or Kate Leslie, or any other girl, as well as me ;—and if I had known your mind before, I'd have burnt it—drowned it-trampled on itsooner than have suffered myself to wear it an hour-a single minute. Why don't you take the ring, Maurice ?”
Anty Doyne had talked herself into a passion ; and, truth to say, there is no young lady who would not have felt hurt at the insinuation which her lover's speech conveyed. Angry though she certainly was, Maurice thought he had never seen her look so lovely as she did at that instant; her calm and gentle nature was seldom roused to anything like wrath, and it lent an animation to her placid features which improved their expression for the time being. Maurice, like all young men - particularly young Irish men—had a vast opinion of his own powers of fascination, and though he loved Anty with all the impetuosity of youthful passion, he loved to exercise a power which many consider purely feminine—the power of tormenting. He knew she doated on her grandmother, who was the Sibyl of the neighbourhood, and, to confess the truth, he was not a little jealous of the influence she possessed over the mind of his betrothed.
“ And so—that's the end of your love, Anty, that you'd give me up for your grandmother?”
And while he spoke he could not avoid smiling at the absurdity of his inquiry. Anty saw the smile upon his lip, and it angered her the more. She felt that she could not give utterance to her feelings, and, with singular prudence, she remained silent, still holding the ring towards him.
“ And you want to turn me over to Jane Lemon ?--who's on the world since holly is green; or to Kate Leslie, whose eyes were set wrong in her head ?—I'm obliged to you, Anty!"
“ Take the ring, Maurice !” she exclaimed again.
“ Why, then-maybe I will—but if I do, it's only to give it to back you, Anty; for when I put that ring on your finger I kissed you for the first—but, please God, not for the last time.”
“ If you don't take it,” said Anty, rejoicing in her strength, which returned with her lover's last words, “ If you don't take it, I'll drop it into the very middle of the fairy round in the next field, and then none but the true-hearted will have power to pick it up.”
You'll do no such thing !” exclaimed a voice from the hollow of a blasted elm, the fragments of whose branches had overshadowed their meetings on more occasions than one. “Bright gold is not to be thrown as a temptation on fairy ground. Give me the ring, and let both of you remember that a troth present or a troth plight is not to be cast away like the feather from a wild bird's wing.”
The person who thus spoke was a worn shrivelled woman, thin and erect, whose figure at an earlier period of life must have been imposing, for even at the advanced age of seventy-six she carried herself with a dignity that made all the children in the neighbourhood look on Old Granny' with respect. Her character was in keeping with her carriage, and her carriage with her character; the one was exactly suited to the other, and in neither would the least change have been an advantage.
Margaret Doyne (for even in Ireland, where they delight in nicknames, and pet names, and all names except the right one, the dame
like courtly name of Margaret had never been reduced to the diminutive of Peggy or Peg), Margaret Doyne was, as I have already said, the Sibyl of the neighbourhood; but she was still more-poor herself, she was nevertheless the benefactress of the very poor. Often she used to say, when consulted by the peasants," Ah then! sure I have nothing to give but the kind word !" But the “ kind word” is much, when bestowed in due season ; and it would be difficult to determine whether, amongst the simple people who resided in her neighbourhood, she was most valued for her wisdom or good-nature. In England, she would have been esteemed a "worthy dame;" in Ireland, the superstitious feelings of the people magnified her into something more. She certainly did meddle with charms and philters—saw fate and fortunes in the stormy grounds of a tea-cup-and interpreted dreams—in a manner which none but those well acquainted with the circumstances, hopes, and fears of the dreamers could interpret. I believe that when her intellect was in its full strength and power, she laughed at those who relied upon her promises and prophecies; but latterly she believed in them herself—her kindliness outlived her wisdom, and it was observed that as Old Granny grew older, she grew more mysterious, and more celebrated as a soothsayer. She had been brought up by a family of distinction, and the good-breeding acquired by coming (during her early days) constantly in contact with her superiors, gave her manner and conversation a tone infinitely above her associates, or rather, I should say, her neighbours, for the only person she was intimate with was her grandchild. Anty Doyne's mother died while giving her birth, and her father was drowned at sea a few weeks after ; thus the helpless infant was thrown completely on the benevolence and care of “Old Granny," who soon prided herself on the beauty, ay, and the cleverness of her darling.
The old and young are always more attached than the young and middle-aged, and I doubt if Anty could have bestowed half the devotion on her mother which she offered spontaneously to her venerable grandame.
Maurice had never been inclined to pay the respect to her behests which were the willing tributes of Anty's heart, though in her presence he had seldom the courage to assert even a difference of opinion; he
Old Granny" drop the ring into the recesses of her black satin thread-case, and could not bring himself to remonstrate until the old lady was about to deposit it-treasure and all-in her capacious pocket.
“ It wasn't hers, Granny, to throw away,” he murmured at last, " and it's too bad to be thwarted by both.”
Ay,” she said, “ by a croaking old woman, Mister Maurice ?”
Well, Granny,” he exclaimed, “ listeners never hear good of themselves-not that I mean that to you.”
didn't compare me to a black slug_nor a frog-nor å raven-eh, Maurice ?"
“ I do not want nor wish to deny my words, Granny,” he replied sulkily; " but you well know how Anty and I have been long promised to each other.'
Ay, Maurice, I do, I do; and I know that when we want to use the wisdom of the wise we honour it, if-mind my words, young man-if it agrees with our own; but if it does not, we throw it to the dogs, and
curse the lips that spoke it. You think it long to wait till Holly-eve, and
you think that after that you will have nothing left to wish for. Hope often digs its own grave with the spade of indiscretion; but I tell you, I would rather dig her grave than see her your wife before then. The first week in November will bring you, Maurice Grey, either a cross or a crown, and though she will have my leave and blessing to share the one, I pray God that my darling may not die by the other.” “ Die!” exclaimed both young people at once. Ay, death will come sooner than you look for, any
the thunder growls in the heavens-it gathers before it breaks—and those who are warned should beware of the bolt."
“Oh Granny, don't be fostering the trouble on us before our time,” exclaimed Maurice, endeavouring to shake off the terror her words inspired, sure we'll bear sorrow together, and two can support it better than one."
“ It's thoughts like them that send many a one to the priest's knee before their time,” replied the old woman; " but wait till the day I have said is past, and when temptation is strongest on you, Maurice, Whink of Anty Doyne and Holly-ere !"
She placed her staff firmly on the earth, and was proceeding on her way towards the cottage, when Maurice called out, “The ring, Granny, give her the ring, any how; do not keep it from her.”
“Ah, ah!" she said ; " love, Maurice, was never bound by goldyou shall give it her when Holly-eve is past."
Old Granny's dwelling was swept and garnished with no ordinary care on the night of the festival to which she had so earnestly alluded. During the time that intervened between the commencement of my sketch, and of the period I now arrive at, Maurice and Anty had been together even more than usual. Old Granny, latterly, spent a good many hours of each day in wandering along the wild sea-shore near to which her dwelling was situated. I believe I had forgotten to mention that Maurice's trade was that of a ship-carpenter; he was considered exceedingly intelligent, and (for an Irishman) a quick workman. Granny farmed about seven acres of land-she held the farm for a nominal rent; and, thrifty as well as wise, Anty was regarded by her companions as a heiress of no small pretensions. She took much pleasure in adorning their clay-floored sitting-room, and the young people of the neighbourhood always thought their annual spells worked better in Old Granny's cottage than in any residence for ten miles round. The wind howled without—the rain poured—but “the boys and girls” within heeded neither. “The crackling faggot” blazed upon
the hearth-the piper blew his most discordant, and yet animating musiccrossed sticks, an apple upon one end, and a candle on the other, were suspended from the ceiling, and whirled round and round-while many a wide mouth extended its dimensions to " snap" the fleeting apple, and, instead of the expected prize, caught the moving light to the manifest amusement of the throng. Others were engaged in pouring boiling lead through the handle of a key into cold water, and reading their destinies in its various forms. Some bent anxiously over the hearth, to note which nuts jumped, and which remained stationary with
Jane Cahil! look at Jane Cahil's swectheart,” exclaimed one, Oct.-VOL. XI.V. NO. CLXXVIII.