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Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. The traveller then hastens to dress himself and return to his beloved coffee-room, where the ingredients p. Like one who would rather die of a surfeit than leave any thing uneaten which he had paid for, the systematic Englishman thinks that having called for a newspaper he ought not to leave a letter of it unread.
By this means his breakfast lasts several hours, and the sixth or seventh cup is drunk cold. I have seen this glorious meal protracted so long that it blended with dinner; and you will hardly believe me when I assure you, that a light supper followed at midnight without the company quitting the table. On this occasion several were assembled; and I must remark, generally, that when that is the case, a very different scene is exhibited.
The wine, instead of producing the lethargic reverie I have described, makes them rather too talkative. Something of the kind occurred to-day. Five or six travellers were very jovial, and having carried this a little too far, a violent quarrel arose among them, which, after long continued noise and confusion, ended, strangely enough, in their all falling foul of the waiter and pushing him out at the door. Upon this the host was forced to come in, and to beg pardon for the poor fellow, who was perfectly innocent.
Not one of the men who were eating at their solitary tables took the slightest notice of this affray, but stared straight before them just as indifferently as if nothing were going on. Soon, however, one of them who had begun his dinner very late gave us a new scene. It amused him much: The next morning, the same title. This mode of travelling, to a man who has any thing in view beside mere change of place, or who does not feel himself flattered by the increased reverence of innkeepers and waiters, is certainly preferable to the usual manner of making the grand tour.
The diminution of comfort and convenience is counterbalanced by so much that is instructive and agreeable, that one gains a hundredfold by the change. I returned, this time, by way of Kingston , along a rough but very romantic road, close to the sea. A crowd of beggars stood on the road. They were not, however, deficient in industry and activity, for an old woman among them was busily gathering up some white sand which had fallen from a cart.
How I wished to open the treasures of our Sand-Golconda to this poor creature! As I could not, I made her happy with a few pence, of which I always carry a cargo in my coat-pocket to throw out like corn among fowls; for here every body begs. Kingston is a little town, consisting chiefly of the country houses of the opulent people of Dublin.
The Lord Lieutenant sometimes resides here. Since the king's visit a harbour has been made, at which the men are still at work. The shallowness of Dublin Bay renders this very desirable; but its principal end now is to give work to the lower classes. The many ingenious inventions which are here applied, the four rail-roads running side by side, on which one horse can draw enormous loads, the chain windlasses by which huge masses are brought to hand and walled into the dam, and other things of the like kind, are uncommonly interesting and instructive. Several large ships are lying in the unfinished harbour, in which they already find deep water and safe anchorage.
Among them I was struck by the appearance of a black hulk, which lay like a solitary ghost; it contained, as I was told, the convicts ordered for transportation to Botany Bay ; the transport ship which was to convey them had already arrived. This is no very severe punishment deducting sea-sickness , and converts two-thirds of these criminals into useful citizens. Every government might according to its local resources create a Botany Bay ; but it will be long ere the principle of vengeance is banished from our systems of law or of religion.
A monument has been erected at the entrance of the harbour, in honour of the King's memorable visit memorable, that is, for its disappointing all hopes and expectations. It is designed and executed with the sort of taste which seems to lie like a curse on all the public buildings of Great Britain: The royal crown is stuck at the top like a lid on a mustard-pot, and the whole, contrasted with the noble p. The road from hence to Dublin is very fine, and covered with riders and carriages. I wondered not to find it watered, which makes the roads near London so agreeable.
Probably it is only done when the Lord Lieutenant is here. The dust to-day was almost insufferable, and all the trees covered as if with chalk. Still more delightful were two inimitable clowns, whose limbs were perfectly at their disposal. The one was excellently supported by his piebald ass, which shamed the noblest horses in the precision with which he executed his feats; and the other on an instrument of his own invention, produced a sort of music so truly mad, that even the mere tones excited resistless laughter.
Here the human form seemed obliterated; and the scene, frightful as a tale of Hoffman 's, appeared to the bewildered spectator like the dance of two mad polypi. You make me laugh by your gratitude for my diligence in writing. Are you not aware that I can have no greater enjoyment? I have hardly written a word before I feel myself at home, and new comfort and courage are infused into my heart. Do you remember the young parson at Bray? Yesterday evening after dinner we left the metropolis in my carriage. We had just a hundred-and-one miles to go. In England this is soon accomplished; here things are very differently managed, and it took us four-and-twenty hours.
The scenery is strikingly like the Wendish districts of Lower Lusatia, whither my unlucky stars once drove me; except that there are thick woods, while here, with the exception of a few arid furs, they appear only to have been. Boundless plains are covered with bog and turf; the oakwood, thousands of years old, which is found sometimes at a great depth, fetches a high price for decorative furniture; snuff-boxes and ladies' ornaments are likewise made of it.
The other part of the soil is sandy or wet: The bog is first levelled, the projecting part being cut into squares of turf, and the soil then burnt and sown with corn. All the bogs appear to be remarkably deep: The cabins of the inhabitants are beyond description wretched, and the appearance of all the flat country extremely poor, till you approach my friend's estate, where Nature becomes more smiling; and blue hills, the scene of many a wondrous tale, peep above the horizon.
The house is not over-clean; the small establishment very respectable from length of service, zeal and attachment, but of a somewhat unwashed and boorish appearance. The rain for alas! The furniture is rather tottering; but I have tables enough a great matter to me with my multitude of things, and the bed seems at least large and hard enough.
In my chimney burns, or rather smoulders, capital turf, which not only gives heat, but covers everything with fine ashes, like an eruption of Vesuvius. It is as if my visit were a distinguished favour, for which all seem to feel indebted to me as for some real service. I like my host very much; he is seventy-two years old, and still p. Our amusements for some days to come are arranged as follows. They are ridden by gentlemen. In the evening is a ball, at which I am promised a sight of all the beauty of the neighbourhood.
To tell you the truth, touched as I am by the kindness shown me in this house, I rather dread a long stay: The manners here are so old-fashioned that the master of the house every day drinks to my health, and we have no napkins at table, for which pocket-handkerchiefs or the corners of the table-cloth are obliged to serve as deputies.
We passed four hours this morning in the church of the neighbouring town of Tuam, and saw four clergymen ordained by the archbishop. The English Protestant service differs much from ours: The dress of the priests, even of the archbishops, consists only of a white surplice. On the other hand, the seat of the latter, built like a throne, covered with purple velvet and adorned with an archbishop's crown, stands ostentatiously opposite to the chancel. The sermon is read, and lasts very long. The most wearisome part, however, both before and after it, is the endless repetition of antiquated and contradictory prayers, the burthen to which is occasionally re-echoed p.
The text was chosen, strangely enough, from the story of the passage of the evil spirits into the herd of swine; and after this had been discussed for an hour, the four priests were ordained. The old archbishop, who enjoys a high reputation for strict orthodoxy, has a very dignified air, and a fine sonorous voice; but the deportment of the young divines displeased me exceedingly; it was disgustingly hypocritical. One of the oddest customs is, that every body during the short prayer at coming and going, turns himself to the wall, or into a corner, as if he were doing something not fit to be seen.
Why should we not devote all our best powers to the honour of him who gave them? Why not employ every art in its highest perfection, in order to consecrate to God the noblest, the finest works that the human faculties can produce? Before my fancy no longer float separate churches for Jews, and for fifty sorts of Christians; but true temples of God and Man, whose gates at all times stand open to every human being, who when oppressed by the Earthly, seeks to have the Holy and the Heavenly within him, animated and sustained by all the aids and appliances of sense or spirit; or who longs to pour out the overflowings of his heart, when filled with happiness and gratitude.
The sight of the people was however extremely curious and interesting to me. In many points of view this nation is really semi-barbarous. The universal want of decent clothing among the lower classes, even on festivals like the present; their utter inability to resist ardent spirits, so long as they have a penny in their pockets; the sudden and continual wild quarrels and national pitched battles with the shillelah a murderous sort of stick which every man keeps hidden under his rags , in which hundreds take part in a p.
Hundreds of drunken men accompanied our carriages as we drove from the race-course to the town, and more than ten times, fights arose among them. The confluence of guests was so great that we with difficulty found a miserable lodging: Galway was chiefly built by the Spaniards. Some descendants of the ancient families still exist, as do several very curious houses of that period. It struck me as characteristic, that in a town of forty thousand inhabitants there was not a single bookseller's shop or circulating library to be found. The suburbs and all the villages through which we passed on our way, were of a kind which I should vainly attempt to liken to any thing ever seen before: I write to you this morning from the house of one of the sweetest women I ever saw in my life: It is a remarkable sight of its kind, and exactly suited to a half-savage nation.
I confess that it far exceeded my expectations, and kept me in a state of intense anxiety; only one must leave pity and humanity at home, as you will see from what follows. On the left side is the starting post; opposite to it, on the right, is the goal. Between them, at the opposite points of the circumference, are built walls of stone without mortar, five feet high and two broad.
The course, two English miles in length, is run over once and a half. You see then, from my description, that the first wall must be leaped twice, the second only once in each heat. Many horses run, but none is declared winner till he has beaten the others in two heats; so that this is often repeated three, four, or even five times, if a different horse comes in a-head each time. To-day they ran four times; so that the winner, in a space of less than two hours, reckoning the intervals, ran twelve English miles at full speed and leaped the high wall twelve times!
It is impossible not to have a favourite on such occasions. The third in goodness, in my opinion, Killarney, was a strong, but not very handsome horse, ridden by a young man who showed more power of endurance than perfect horsemanship: The fourth gentleman, perhaps the most skilful, though not the strongest of the riders, rode a brown horse, not remarkable in its appearance, and was dressed in brown.
Gamecock, who darted off with such fury that his rider could hardly hold him in, and flew, rather than leapt, over the walls, with incredible bounds, won the first heat with ease. Immediately after him came Rosina without her rider, whom she had thrown, and took the remaining leaps of her own accord with great grace.
Gamecock was now so decidedly the favourite that the bets were five to one upon him: After this noble animal had distanced the other two in two successive heats, and had achieved the two first leaps in the most brilliant manner, he set his foot, in the third, on a loose stone which one of the less skilful horses had pushed down as he fell, and which it was not permitted to remove out of the course. He fell backward upon his rider with such violence that both lay motionless, when the other riders came up, took not the slightest notice of them, and accomplished the leap.
After a few seconds Gamecock got up, but his rider did not recover his senses.
A surgeon present soon pronounced his state to be hopeless; both his breast-bone and skull were fractured. His old father, who stood by when the accident happened, fell senseless on the ground, and his sister threw herself with heart-rending cries on the yet palpitating though unconscious body. But the general sympathy was very slight. After the poor young man had been repeatedly bled, so that he lay on the turf weltering in his blood, he was taken away, and the race began again at the appointed time as if nothing had happened. The brown rider had been the first in the preceding heat, and hoped to win the last and decisive one.
Killarney at last won only by a quarter of a head: This last contest was of course the most interesting, since one of the two running must of necessity win everything. There was a great deal of betting, which at first was even. Twice did the victory appear decided, and yet at last terminated on the contrary side. At the first leap the horses were together; before they reached the second it was evident that the brown was exhausted, and Killarney gained so much upon him that he reached the second wall more than a hundred paces before him.
But here, contrary to all expectations, he refused to leap, and the rider had lost all power over him. In the intervals between the preceeding heats I was introduced to many ladies and gentlemen, all of whom most hospitably invited me to their houses. I however preferred following my young host, who promised to show me the fairest of the fair, if I would give myself up to his guidance, and not object to riding ten miles in the dark.
We did not arrive till ten; and surprised her in her little cottage for the place is miserable at tea. I wish I could describe this sweet and lovely being to you in such a manner as to place her visibly before you; certain that you, like me, would love her at the first glance.
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But I feel that here all description falls short: Her person is slender and extremely youthful, full of gentle grace, and yet not without animation and fire in her movements. Her complexion is of a pure and clear brown, and has the soft polish of marble. More beautiful and brilliant black eyes, or teeth of more dazzling whiteness, I never beheld. Her mouth too, with the angelic, childlike character of her smile, is enchanting. Her refined unaffected good-breeding, the sportive graces of her gay and witty conversation, were of that rare sort which are innate, and must therefore please, whether in Paris or in Pekin , in town or country.
The greatest experience of society could not give more ease or address, and no girl of fifteen could blush more sweetly, or jest more joyously. And yet her life had been the most simple and uniform, and her youth was rather the unfading spring of the soul than that of the body; for she was mother of four children, near thirty, and but just recovered from an attack on the lungs which had threatened to prove fatal. But the fire of all her movements, the lightning-flashes of her conversation, had all the freshness and all the power of youth, imparting a resistless charm to the gentleness of her nature.
One felt that this was the child of a warmer and kindlier sun, of a more luxuriant soil, than are to be found in our misty climes. And indeed she felt the most melancholy longings after her native land, and a painful expression passed over all her lovely features as she said, she should never more breathe that balmy air charged with sweet odours. I was too much absorbed in looking at her to think of food, had she not, with all the kind activity of a good housewife, made preparations for entertaining us as well as she could p.
It was not till I was in bed that I learned that, finding it impossible to get us beds in a place consisting of only a few cabins, this kind-hearted and unceremonious woman had quitted her own for me, and gone to sleep with her eldest daughter. Concerning her family, whose name was necessarily so striking to me, Mrs. She had married Mr. She had heard, indeed that she had relations in Germany , but never corresponded with them.
The indifference of this African child of nature went so far, that she had not only up to the present time left this letter unanswered, but, as she told me, had never been able to decypher the whole of it, as it was written in Dutch, and she had almost entirely forgotten the language. This bathing-place, Athenrye , is also one of the curiosities of Ireland. From what I have already said, you will conclude that no Polish village can have a more wretched aspect.
The cluster of cabins is on a bare hill rising out of the bog, without tree or bush, without an inn, without any convenience, inhabited only by ragged beggars, and by the few invalids who bring with them everything they want, and must send for even the most trifling article of food to Galway , a distance of twelve miles. Once it was otherwise; and it saddens one to see at the further extremity of this wretched village the proud ruins of better times. Here stood a rich abbey, now overgrown with ivy: Further on is a castle, with walls ten feet thick, in which King John held his court of justice when he came over to Ireland.
I visited these ruins with a most numerous company: I do not exaggerate when I say that at least two hundred half-naked beings, two-thirds of whom were children, had collected round my carriage at a very early hour in the morning, doing nothing: The strangest compliment now and then resounded from the midst of the crowd: Neglected or oppressed by the government, debased by the stupid intolerance of the English priesthood, and marked by poverty and the poison of whiskey, for the abode of naked beggars!
I will only give you one or two examples. To-day something was said about magnetism, and no one p. Yesterday we returned home, tearing ourselves away from the lovely African, who however had promised soon to follow us. No nation is more poetical, or more richly endowed with fancy. In front rode the queen, on a white stag-like horse; and by her I saw, with a shudder, my son, whom she smiled upon and caressed; while he, with a fevered eye, looked wistfully at her, till all were past Castle Hackett. There was not a handsomer or a better lad in Connemara , and it was for that the queen chose him.
The old man seemed so firmly and unaffectedly convinced of the truth of his story, that it would only have offended him to express the least doubt of it. He replied to our inquiries for further details with great readiness, and I promise myself the pleasure of giving you the most accurate description of the dress of the fairy queen for your next masked ball. At the foot of this hill is a pretty country-seat; and the hill itself is covered to its summit with young and thriving plantations.
On the top is a sort of artificial ruin, made of loose stones piled together, laborious and almost dangerous to climb. The view from it is, however, worth the exertion. On two sides the eye wanders over the almost immeasurable plain; on the other two lies Lough Corrib , a lake thirty miles in length, behind which are the mountains of Clare; and in still remoter distance the romantic ridge of Connemara.
The lake just at its middle bends inland like a river, and its waters gradually lose themselves between the lofty mountains, which seem to form a gateway for their entrance. Just at this point the sun set; and Nature, who often rewards my love for her, displayed one of her most wondrous spectacles. Black clouds hung over the mountains, and the whole heavens p. It is the most contented, the most comfortable state of the soul: Perhaps it is found in perfection in woman alone; for it is rather a passive than an active quality: It is a truly kind, loving and cheerful principle; mild and balmy as a cloudless Mayday.
Great and striking single qualities cannot therefore be combined with it; for wherever one quality is predominant, the equilibrium is destroyed. The contemplation of harmony in all things has a salutary effect on the mind; often unconscious of the cause, the soul is gladdened and refreshed by it, whatever be the sense through which it is communicated.
We gain strength from his tranquillity, courage from his cheerfulness, comfort from his resignation; we feel our anger vanish before his loving patience, and are finally the better and the happier for listening to the spiritual music of his harmony. How many words, you will say, to describe one! The beautiful view of yesterday evening enticed me to take a nearer survey of what I had beheld at a distance. We determined to visit Lake Corrib, Cong and its caverns, and to return in the night. After four hours smart trotting, and p. Every one of them was on the watch to do us some service: After I had given away all my small money, came one who affirmed that he had shown me some trifle or other.
I unwillingly refused him, and told him my purse was empty. These pieces of rock are as smooth as if polished by art, and look like stones regularly piled and half prepared for some colossal building. In this rocky plain, at about half a mile from Lough Corrib, is the entrance of the cave, like a broad dark well, in which thirty or forty steps, roughly hewn in the rock, lead down to the stream, which here flows subterraneously, making its way through long and romantic arches, till at length it rises into day, and turns a mill.
It then buries itself a second time in the earth, and at length appears again as a broad, deep, and crystal river, and thus flows on till it falls into the lake. It was a wild scene! Her flickering torches threw fitful gleams on the rolling water, and the lofty vaulted roof bristling with stalactites; and now and then brought out the pale and squalid figures behind her with a broad red glare.
She took some bundles of straw, and with words which sounded like an incantation, lighted them and threw them blazing into the stream. As they floated rapidly away, they disclosed new grottoes, more grotesque forms, and at length, after a hundred windings, disappeared in the distance like small tapers. We followed them, scrambling over the slippery stones as far as we could, and discovered here and there a trout in the ice-cold water.
They have this peculiarity, that whatever bait may be offered them, no attempt to catch one has ever succeeded. The people of course think them enchanted. On emerging from the darkness to the spot where daylight breaks faintly, as down a shaft, you see the ivy and creeping plants hang p. We quitted this gloomy region, where all is close and oppressive, and wandered down to the broad sea-like lake, where all seems to lose itself in boundless space.
This majestic body of water fills a basin of twelve German miles long, and at its widest point, three broad. It is bounded on two sides by the high mountains of Connemara; on the others its waters are nearly level with the plain: The navigation of this lake is very dangerous from its numerous rocks and islands, and the sudden squalls which often arise upon it. We saw in a newspaper a short time ago, that a boat, having on board a butcher and his sheep, had gone down, and man and beast perished. We had a very calm, though not a bright day. When we landed, my companion went before to give some orders; while as the sun was setting, I visited the ruins of an abbey, which contained some striking remains of architectural and sculptural beauty.
Ireland is studded with ruins of old castles and monasteries more thickly than any country in Europe, though they do not present such enormous masses as those in England. As there are none of those tasteless modern monuments which deform English churches, and the grave is marked only by a mound of earth, or at most a flat stone, the touching picture of human frailty is enhanced, not impaired, by this custom.
The impression is, however, sometimes heightened into horror by the little heed paid by those who dig the graves to the earlier buried, whose skeletons are thrown out without ceremony as soon as there is a want of room. The ruins are consequently filled with heaps of skulls and bones thrown confusedly together, and sometimes placed in pyramids or other forms by children at play. I climbed over a heap of mingled stones and bones, and crawled up into a ruinous chamber of the first story, where I feasted myself on the strange romantic picture.
On my left the wall had fallen in, and opened to the eye the beautiful landscape which surrounds the lake, with its bright-green foreground, the mountains in the distance, and on one side the house and the high trees in the park of the Macnamaras , who reside here. On the right, where the wall of the chamber remained perfect, was a low niche, which no doubt formerly contained a saint, but was now occupied by a skull; the empty eye-sockets were directed exactly towards the beautiful landscape spread before it, as if its brilliancy and freshness had power to gladden even death itself.
Following the same direction, I discovered a grated window just above the ground, which I had till then overlooked: The sunny landscape above, the dark charnel-house below, p. Our return in a dark night, with incessant rain, was fatiguing and unpleasant; we broke several springs of our carriage, and had all sorts of calamities to endure. The prodigal attentions and the infinite kindness of these excellent people daily put me to shame, and I continually admire to see that their cordial hospitality is not deformed by the slightest trace of ostentation. You will know me safe and well up to this point, and in the care of people whose hearts are like your own, however inferior to you they may be in mind and cultivation.
No conversion can consequently be effectual, be the subject what it may, till the opposite belief has already begun to totter. Till that point is reached, though you speak with the wisdom of Plato, and act with the purity of Jesus, every man will retain his belief, on which reason and good sense have ordinarily little influence. He who wishes to produce any sudden change in the minds of men before they are already disposed to it, will either be confined as a madman, or stoned and crucified as a martyr. History teaches us this in every page. The consequences of such a turn of mind, and the hostilities it excites, becomes painful, and at length dangerous, only when he grows weak and ceases to be self-sustained; when instead of despising, as before, the opinions of others, he begins to fear them.
The multitude are quick to perceive the change, and instantly begin a steady and vigorous pursuit of the game which flees before them, and which, so long as it stood at bay and looked them boldly in the face, they dared not openly attack. We have had a strange accomplishment of a prophecy. The next morning early, we were all alarmed by the firing of two shots; Miss Kitty rushed down stairs half dressed, and nearly fainting from terror; and every one in the house ran to see what was the matter.
We found that two of Kitty's younger brothers, who had been on a visit to Mrs. They were soundly rated, and then drove off with Miss Kitty; so that everything happened precisely as the old woman, Heaven only knows how! Meanwhile the scene here has altered. The fair African is arrived, and we immediately set out, ten in number, on a ride; in the course of which the old Captain showed us his bog cultivation and his draining with all the ardour of a young man.
He was as much enchanted by a field of potatoes as I by my fair companion. I found some peasants for my plan of colonization; they were all eager to go, but unfortunately had not a penny in the world in furtherance of such a scheme. One runs no risk in promising them that they will find everything better than they have here, where a man must subsist from half an acre of land; and if he be ever so willing to seek work abroad, cannot find it. Those of them who are best off live in dwellings which our peasants would think too bad for their cows or horses.
I visited one of these cabins and found the walls built of rude blocks of stone, with moss stuffed into the interstices, and a roof covered partly with straw, partly with turf. The floor consisted of the bare earth; there was no ceiling, and the roof admitted the light in many places. Chimneys seem to be esteemed a useless luxury. The smoke ascended from the open hearth, and found its way through the holes, which served as windows.
A lower shed on the right was the bed-room of the whole family; a similar one on the left, the habitation of the pig and the cow. The house stood in the middle of a field, without garden, and utterly bare, and this they all called an excellent house. When we got home our pretty visitor's hands were nearly frozen, even at this season. They were perfectly white and insensible, and were rubbed a quarter of an hour before the blood and life returned to them.
How strangely are the good things of this world distributed! He is a furious Orangeman: But on what principles! As this is a specimen of the height to which the spirit of party has reached, and the shamelessness with which it dares to avow itself, I will give you the quintessence of his conversation. If I were called out to serve again, or if I were to lay down my life the very day it broke out, I should make the sacrifice willingly, could I but be sure that the blood of five millions of Catholics would flow at the same time with my own.
The youthful and uncorrupted hearts of the sons of my host were roused as much as my own: Several had early dropped off from table to escape from such revolting conversation. It is necessary to study the forms of nature for the details; but the principal thing is never to suffer an expanse of water to be completely overlooked, or seen in its whole extent. The lord of the demesne, who is rich, possesses a numerous collection of pictures, some of which are excellent. There is a winter landscape of Ruysdaal 's, the only one of its kind which I remember to have seen by that master.
The character of the cold foggy air, and the crisp frozen snow, are so perfectly given, that I almost shivered before it; I felt at least that the flickering blaze in the fire-place beneath had a double charm. A fine and undoubted Rubens, the Miraculous Draught of Fishes is chiefly remarkable for a strange singularity.
St Peter has a scarlet wig, and yet the general expression of the picture is not injured. After breakfast several hunters and racers were brought out, and we exhibited our feats of horsemanship to the ladies. The hunters of this country are not, perhaps, quite so swift as the best English ones, but they are unequalled at leaping, to which they are trained from their youth.
They go up to a wall with the most perfect composure, and mount it with their fore and hind feet like a dog. The less the rider attempts to help a well trained horse the better. If he keeps a steady light rein upon him he may safely leave him to himself. I don't know whether these details of horsemanship are very interesting to you, but as my letters are at the same time my journal for how should I find time to keep any other? I have just discharged one.
You may think that I did not quit such cordial friends without great regret, but I had resolved to go, and adhered steadily to my resolution. I intended to leave Tuam by the mail, but it was not its day for going, and no species of conveyance to Galway was to be had, except the little two-wheeled cart of the man who carries the letter-bags, in which there is room for two passengers. The other passenger was a fine athletic young man, well dressed, with whom I soon got into an interesting conversation on the beauties and wonders of his country, and the character of his countrymen.
He was not long without affording me a fresh proof of the hearty kindness and civility of the latter. I was very lightly dressed, and heated with riding, so that I suffered from the cold wind. I offered the driver some money to surrender his cloak to me: The young man immediately took off a magnificent great-coat of vast dimensions, and almost forced me to take it, protesting that he never caught cold, that he could sleep in the water without taking any harm, and that he had put on the great-coat only because he did not p.
We found the ragged potatoe-eating people everywhere gay and joyous. Most striking, amid such singular poverty, is the no less singular honesty of these people; perhaps, however, the one arises out of the other, for luxury makes us covetous, and the poor man can often bear the privation of necessaries more easily than the rich of superfluities. We saw a number of labourers sitting by the road-side on heaps of stone, which they were breaking.
A pretty boy, of about twelve, looking like a personification of happiness and joy, though half naked, was sitting on a heap of stones, hammering. Would you believe that, from the number of labourers and the scarcity of labour, not one of these men earns enough to buy sufficient food; and yet every one of them will spare something to his priest: We now approached the Galway mountains, over which the sun was setting magnificently. This is a spectacle which I can never behold unmoved; it always enchants me, and leaves a feeling of calm and security, arising from the certainty that this language, which God himself speaks to us, cannot lie, though human revelations be but piece-meal, differently understood by every different interpreter, and often abused to the purposes of cunning and selfishness.
We alighted at the same inn at which I had been during the races; and to make some return for my young friend's civility, I invited him to sup with me. Whatever each obtains from the other of kind feeling or good opinion, he owes to himself alone. I had hoped my carriage would have arrived during the night, but it is not yet come; and I therefore employed my leisure in taking a more perfect survey of this ancient city.
I was greatly assisted by some fragments of an old Chronicle, which I accidentally picked up in a grocer's shop, where I made some inquiries. In an obscure corner of the town stands a house of extreme antiquity, over the door of which are still to be seen a skull and cross-bones, remarkably well sculptured, in black marble.
He was reverenced for his inflexible rectitude, and loved for his condescension and mildness. On the other hand, his oft-proved patriotism, his high-hearted generosity, his romantic courage, and complete mastery in all warlike exercises, forming part of an education singular in his age and country, secured to him the permanency of an esteem which his first aspect involuntarily bespoke. So much light was not without shadow.
Deep and burning passions, a haughty temper, jealousy of all rival merit, rendered all his fine qualities only so many sources of danger to himself and others. Often had his stern father, although proud of such a son, cause for bitter reproof, and for yet more anxious solicitude about the future. After his first displeasure was past, the defects of his son appeared to him as they did to all others, only spots on the sun.
He was soon still further tranquillized by the vehement and tender attachment which the young man appeared to have conceived for Anna Blake, the daughter of his best friend, and a girl possessing every lovely and attaching quality. He looked forward to their union as the fulfilment of all his wishes. But fate had willed it otherwise. After James Lynch had delegated his authority to trusty hands, and prepared every thing for a distant journey, with an overflowing heart he blessed his son, wished him the best issue to his suit, and sailed for his destination.
Wherever he went, success crowned his undertakings. For this he was much indebted to the friendly services of a Spanish merchant named Gomez, towards whom his noble heart conceived the liveliest gratitude. It happened that Gomez also had an only son, who, like Edward Lynch, was the idol of his family, and the darling of his native city, though in character, as well as in external appearance, entirely different from him. Both were handsome; but Edward's was the beauty of the haughty and breathing Apollo; Gonsalvo's of the serene and mild St.
The one appeared like a rock crowned with flowers; the other like a fragrant rose-covered knoll, threatened by the storm. The Pagan virtues adorned the one; Christian gentleness and humility the other. Gonsalvo's graceful person exhibited more softness than energy; his languid dark blue eyes, more tenderness and love than boldness and pride; a soft melancholy overshadowed his countenance, and an air of voluptuous suffering quivered about his smiling lips, around which a timid smile rarely played, like a gentle wave gliding over pearls and coral. His mind corresponded to such a person: His inmost heart was thus warmed by a fire, which, like that of a volcano buried too deep to break out at the surface, is only seen in the increased fertility of the soil above, which it clothes in the softest green, and decks with the brightest flowers.
Thus captivating, and easily captivated, was it a wonder if he stole the palm even out of the hand of Edward Lynch?
Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years 1826, 1827, 1828, and 1829
But Edward's father had no such anticipations. Full of gratitude to his friend, and of affection for his engaging son, he determined to propose to the old Gomez a marriage between Gonsalvo and his daughter. The offer was too flattering to be refused. The fathers were soon agreed; and it was decided that Gonsalvo should accompany his future father-in-law to the coast of Ireland , and if the inclinations of the young people favoured the project, their union should take place at the same time with Edward's, after which they should immediately return to Spain.
Gonsalvo, who was just nineteen, accompanied the revered friend of his father with joy. His young romantic spirit enjoyed in silent and delighted anticipation the varying scenes of strange lands which he was about to see; the wonders of the deep which he would contemplate; the new sort of existence of unknown people with whom he was to be connected; and his warm heart already attached itself to the girl, of whose charms her father gave him, perhaps, a too partial description.
Every moment of the long voyage, which at that time abounded with dangers and required a much longer period than now, increased the intimacy and mutual attachment of the travellers: This hope appeared likely to be completely fulfilled. Edward, who found all in Gomez that was wanting in himself, felt his own nature as it were completed by his society; and as he had already learned from his father that he was to regard him as a brother, their friendship soon ripened into the warmest and most sincere affection.
But not many months had passed before some uneasy feelings arose in Edward's mind to trouble this harmony. Gonsalvo had become the husband of his sister, but had deferred his return to Spain p. On the same night in which suspicion had driven Edward from his couch, a restless wanderer, it appears that the guilty lovers had for the first time met in secret.
According to the subsequent confession of Edward, he had concealed himself behind a pillar, and had seen Gomez, wrapped in his mantle, glide with hurried steps out of a well-known side-door in the house of Anna's father, which led immediately to her apartments. Like an infuriate tiger he darted upon the unhappy youth, who recognized him, and fled.
Led by the instinct of self-preservation, he fled, like Cain, into the nearest wood. How long he wandered there he could not recollect. Meanwhile the murder was soon known in the city; and the fearful end of the gentle youth, who had confided himself, a foreigner, to their hospitality, was learned by all with sorrow and indignation.
A dagger, steeped in blood, had been found lying by the velvet cap of the Spaniard, and not far from it a hat, ornamented with plumes and a clasp of gems, showed the recent traces of a man who seemed to have sought safety in the direction of the wood. The hat was immediately recognized as Edward's; and as he was nowhere to be found, fears were soon entertained that he had been murdered with his friend. The terrified father mounted his horse, and, accompanied by a crowd of people calling for vengeance, swore solemnly that nothing should save the murderer, were he even compelled to execute him with his own hands.
We may imagine the shouts of joy, and the feelings of the father, when at break of day Edward Lynch was found sunk under a tree, living, and although covered with blood, yet apparently without any dangerous wound. He was brought home bound, tried before a full assembly of the magistrates, and condemned to death by his own father.
But the people would not lose their darling. Like the waves of the tempest-troubled sea, they filled the market-place and the streets, and forgetting the crime of the son in the relentless justice of the father, demanded with threatening cries the opening of the prison and the pardon of the criminal. During the night, though the guards were doubled, it was with great difficulty that the incensed mob were withheld from breaking in.
At this, the inflexible magistrate took a resolution, which many will call inhuman, but whose awful self-conquest certainly belongs to the rarest examples of stoical firmness. As the people, and the greater part of the armed men mingled in their ranks, now prepared, amidst more wild and furious menaces, to storm the prison, James Lynch appeared at a lofty window; his son stood at his side with the halter round his neck. Providence has taken me at my word; and you, madmen, learn from the most wretched of fathers that nothing must stop the course of justice, and that even the ties of nature must break before it.
While he spoke these words he had made fast the rope to an iron beam projecting from the wall, and now suddenly pushing his son out of the window, he completed his dreadful work. Nor did he leave the spot till the last convulsive struggles gave certainty of the death of his unhappy victim.
As if struck by a thunder-clap, the tumultuous mob had beheld the horrible spectacle in death-like silence, and every man glided as if stunned to his own house. From that moment the mayor of Galway resigned all his occupations and dignities, and was never beheld by any eye but those of his own family.
He never left his house till he was carried from it to his grave. Anna Blake died in a convent. Both families in course of time disappeared from the earth; but the skull and cross-bones still mark the scene of this fearful tragedy. At ten o'clock my carriage arrived, and I immediately quitted Galway.
As long as the country remained monotonous, I beguiled the time by reading. At Gort it becomes more interesting. Not far from it flows a river, which, like that at Cong , looses itself several times in the earth. You now begin to approach the Clare mountains: A park belonging to Lord Gort broke upon me like a magnificent picture: One of the most miserable post-horses seemed to participate so intensely in my delight, that it was impossible to make him stir.
Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years , , , and
This was the course of things to-day. We must probably have passed the night in the park of Gort, had not assistance and horses been most hospitably despatched to us from the house. Notwithstanding this, our stay was so long that it was ten before I reached Limerick. Pray for a prosperous journey for me; and above all, love me with the same tenderness as ever. Limerick is the third city in Ireland , and of the kind of cities I like, old and venerable, adorned with Gothic churches and moss-covered ruins; with dark narrow streets, and curious houses of various dates; a broad river flowing through its whole length, and crossed by several antique bridges; lastly, a busy market-place, and cheerful environs.
Such a city has for me a charm like that of a wood, whose dark branches, now low, now high, afford sylvan streets of various forms, and frequently over-arch the way like a Gothic roof.
- Author: Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau!
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Modern regular cities are like a trimly cut French garden: I was not quite well, and returned after a little walk in the town to my inn. I found a sexton of one of the Catholic churches waiting for me; he told me that they had rung the bells as soon as they knew of my arrival, and hoped I would give them ten shillings as a gratuity. I asked him what he wanted.
But this was not all; I was soon waited upon by a deputation of the catholics, consisting of the French Consul an Irishman, a relation and namesake of O'Connell , and some others, who harangued me, and begged to present me with the Order of the Liberator. I resigned myself very patiently, and was first conducted to the cathedral, a building of great antiquity, more in the style of a fortress than of a church; the architecture solid and rude, but imposing by its massiveness.
In the interior I admired a carved chair of the most exquisite workmanship; it is five hundred years old, and made of bog-oak, which time has rendered black as ebony. Its rich ornaments consisted of beautiful arabesques and most curious masks, which were different on every side. The grave of Thomond, King of Ulster and Limerick , though mutilated and defaced by modern additions, is a very interesting monument. Descendants of this royal line are still in existence.
The head of the family bears the title of Marquis of Thomond, a name which you will remember to have seen in my letters from London , where its possessor was distinguished for the excellence of his dinners. We quitted the church, and were proceeding to visit the rock near the Shannon, upon which the English signed the treaty after the battle of the Boyne; a treaty which they have not been remarkably scrupulous in observing.
I remarked that we were followed by an immense crowd of people, which increased like an avalanche, and testified equal respect and enthusiasm. As a perfectly unpretending stranger I cannot in the least degree understand why they seem disposed to do me so much honour. Here I shut myself up, and shall not quit my retreat to-day. The people, however, patiently posted themselves under my windows, and did not disperse till it was nearly dark. With my present simple exterior no human being thought of assailing me with homage; and I could not help philosophizing on this public farce, and thinking how often the desire of glory and renown leads only to disguise and false assumption.
Certainly of all the dreams of life this is the most shadowy! In a quarter of an hour I was comfortably established in the stage-coach. The passengers inside consisted of three women; one fat and jovial, another extremely lean, and a third pretty and well proportioned. There was also a man who had the air of a pedagogue, with a long face, and still longer nose. I sat entrenched between the two slender ladies, and conversed with the corpulent one, who was very talkative.
On my letting down a window she told us that she had lately been nearly sea-sick in this very coach, because an ailing lady who sat opposite to her would not allow a window to be opened on any account. That she, however, did not give it up; and after a quarter of an hour's persuasion had succeeded in prevailing on the lady to admit of one inch of air; a quarter of an hour after another inch, and so on, till she manoeuvred the whole window open.
Further on the Shannon appeared in all its grandeur. In some parts it is like an American river, nine miles broad, and its shores finely wooded. At Lisdowel , a little place where we dined, hundreds of beggars assembled as usual about the coach. I must conclude; for the mail drives off again in a few hours, and I want rest. In the course of to-day I saw twelve rainbows, a bad omen for the steadiness of the weather; but I receive it as a good one for me. It promises me a many-coloured journey.
The company had dropped off, one by one, like ripe fruit, and I found myself alone with an Irish gentleman, a manufacturer from the north, when I entered the pretty cheerful town of Killarney , where the incessant resort of English tourists has almost introduced into the inns English elegance and English prices. We immediately inquired for boats, and for the best way of seeing the lake, but were told that it was impossible to go on in such a storm: An English dandy, who had joined us during breakfast, p.
We had a capital boat, an old characteristic-looking grey-headed steersman, and four sturdy rowers. The heaven was as if torn open; in some places blue, in others various shades of gray; but for the most part raven-black. Clouds of all forms rolled in wild disorder, now and then tinged by a rainbow, or lighted by a pale sun-beam. The high mountains scarcely appeared through their gloomy veil, and on the lake all was like night. The Black waves heaved in busy and ceaseless tumult; here and there one bore a crest of snow-white form. As the motion was nearly as great as at sea, I was slightly sea-sick.
The manufacturer was pale from fear; the young Englishman, proud of his amphibious nature, laughed at us both. Our boat, which was the only one on the lake, for even the fishermen would not venture out, danced so fearfully up and down without making the smallest way, in spite of all the efforts of the rowers, that the manufacturer began to think of wife, children and manufactory, and peremptorily insisted on returning, as he had no intention of sacrificing his life to a party of pleasure.
The dandy on the other hand was ready to burst with laughter: It seems I had all the beauty of the scene to myself; one of my companions being prevented from seeing it by fear, the other by self-complacency. This happened as he predicted: All the islands of this little lake, even to the smallest, called the Mouse , which is only a few yards long, are thickly clothed with arbutus, and other evergreens. They grow wild; and both in summer and in winter enliven the scene with the bright colours of their flowers and fruit. The forms of many of these islets are as curious as their names.