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Frank." A great pity, sir. You are a scholar and a grammarian, and you would find the English tongue spoken there in all its purity. No cruel hexhasperation of the haich, fearful to classical ears like yours: no saying my haunt,' in place of 'my aunt;' or Hymen's halter,' in place of altar.' And, on the other hand, no elision of that much-abused letter, such as calling a house' a ouse; or saying 'appy' instead of "happy.' And, again, no vulgar paragoge, or final addition of a letter, or change of the same, such as you find in the speech of men bred at Eton-ay, Doctor, and who have graduated at Christ Church, Oxfordsuch as calling a window a 'winder,' or Eliza Elizar.' This you never meet in Ireland. True, you will hear the English undefiled, sounded forth in all its richness and platitude; but it is always intelligible and unvitiated by barbaric dialects like those of Somersetshire, Devon, or Lancashire. In Ireland we speak the language unprovincially and purely. True, we have amongst us what you call brogue; but this is its beauty, and its breadth, its power, and its euphony."
Doctor (interrupting)." You surely, sir, do not mean to assert that the Irish people speak our language better than we do ourselves ?"
Frank.- "Unquestionably, sir, they do, and foreigners allow it: they are not guilty of your commonest anomalies. Why, in this very word Cano, you pronounce the a ay; while in its English derivative, chant, you make it au, and call the word chaunt. Now in Ireland we give the same intonation both to the Latin and English words. And, by-the-bye, your pronunciation of the vowel a, as if it was spelt au, is a relic of your Norman Conquest; for a as au is pure, or rather impure, French. How can foreigners acquire your language, abounding in such irregularities! We, as a conquered nation, have accepted the tongue of our victors, and improved it."
Doctor (smiling)." Why, sir, we consider the brogue a decided burlesque on our spoken language."
Frank.-" Pure ignorance, Doctor, and founded on pride, just as the Greenlanders esteem themselves the most polished of all nations, and the
Tartar grins at you that you may see how lovely are his black teeth. A well-bred Irishman speaks the English language better than any Saxon could do. Our own Celtic is a magnificent thing: not like your English, cribbed and cabbaged from many languages, Greek, Latin, German, French, &c.; but self-derived and independent, drawing all its power, its variety, and its beauty from its own ancient radicals as every leaf and twigling of the kingly oak derives its life and glory from its own roots-or as each planet which adorns our system educes its light and motion from its own sun."
Doctor." Indeed, Mr. Gayston, I never thought so much could be said of Ireland or the Irish; for, with the exception of yourself, and Walter here, and a few other descendants of the English whom I have the honour of knowing and esteeming, I have ever held the nation as something below par, both as regards learning as well as morals."
Frank.-"Doctor, you amaze me beyond expression. A scholar like you to speak so! Have you never read the great Ussher? Are you not acquainted with the Venerable Bede,' your own countryman? Are you ignorant of their testimony to the old faith, pure morals, deep learning of Ireland, when your ancestors-forgive me for so saying-were seminude, or at least wearing petticoats of skins, in place of black inexpressibles of broad Yorkshire cloth, eating raw salmon, trapping wolves, and burning their children in basketfulls amidst the oak groves of their idolatry? Have you never heard of Maildulf, the tutor of Aldhelm, who was the best scholar, according to Warton, of the eighth century? This tutor was an Irishman, as were also Albin and Duncan, John Erigena, an illustrious name, renowned for Greek ; and Sedulius, the commentator on St. Paul; with Claudius, a brother divine, who wrote on the Galatians; and Bishop Dungal, a geometrician and a logician; and Clement, the assistant at Paris of the renowned Alcuin, the tutor of the Emperor Charlemagne. Then further, we claim for Ireland the chronicler Marianus, who wrote in the eleventh century, and whom Sigebert styles 'the most learned man of his age.' But I see I
am wearying you, Doctor, with this long literary Irish roll-call; so, passing over a dozen or more of learned men's names, I would go on to modern days, and ask you where you would find such a gifted statesman as Edmund Burke; so classical and polished a speaker as George Canning; such a humourist as Sterne; such a master of the English tongue as Swift; such a divine as Archbishop Ussher; such an orator as Sheridan; such a lyric bard as Moore; such a dramatist as Farquhar; such a wit as Curran; such a poet as 'poor Collins; such a lively writer as Sir Richard Steele; such a novelist, dramatist, poet, and essayist as Dr. Goldsmith, on whose tomb your great lexicographer, Johnson, wrote Nil tetigit quod non ornavit? All Irishmen, Doctor; every man and mind of them genuine Erigenæ, and redolent of the green sod of sweet Erin."
The Doctor.-smiling "Oh indeed, I do not dispute your names, nor your claims to national talent, though I believe Swift rather disowned youbut the antiquity of civilization which you pretend to, I own I conceive to be rather apocryphal and unproven."
Frank-getting very wild and energetic." Antiquity, Doctor! If it is antiquity you require, I think I can satisfy you on that score: come back with me now among the old classics, and you will find Ireland mixed up with them all. What is Orion, the mighty hunter, whom Homer speaks of in his Odyssey, but an Irish word-O'Ryan, an ancient family who emigrated from the county of Clare into Greece? and Orestes too, what is it but a derivation of O'Redmond, O'Reilly's, or probably Reeves or anciently O'Reeves? And what is Eschylus but a barbarous corruption of "O'Scullys? A very good family these O'Scullys, I assure you."
The Doctor." Oh dear sir—surely you are facetious."
Frank." Then Homer very likely was an Irishman."
The Doctor.-"Oh dear-dear! this is too bad!"
Frank-becoming utterly reckless "Yes, Doctor, I do assert my belief in the extreme probability that the king of the poets was my countryman, and a native of the emerald isle; and I argue from plain facts.
What is his name in Greek? Ounpor, which is just O'Meara, an ancient sept in the county of Tipperary, and thus is solved the puzzle of his birthplace, and why the seven towns disputed for him, seeing he was only an Irish ballad singer, and blind beggarman-and this point is certified by looking at his two heroes-I need not speak of Patrocles, or Pat Rockles, or Roche (the origin it is supposed of Moore's Captain Rock) as we call him in Ireland. And even you, doctor, must own that Achilles is a mere corrupt transposition by the Doric dialect of O'Kellies-the impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer," being a Mayo man, and the chief of them all, and a fine old family they are."
The Doctor" Oh dear-oh dearbut you're a strange man, sir."
Frank-warming into high steam power-"Then Machaon in the Trojan horse was Macan, ancestor to the Dublin counsellor of that name. Ulysses or Odysseus was a corruption of O'Dennis, or rather O'Dennessy; and the Furies were called Erynnysthat is Irishwomen. Livy, whose history Lord Byron calls a "pictured page," was Hibernian, and probably a Dublin man taking his name from the Liffey, on whose banks he was nurtured, &c. &c. &c. &c." Here the Doctor falls back in the chair in a sudden burst of laughter, "tabulæ risu solvuntur," and Frank becomes melancholy, heaves a sigh, and proceeds to hammer his egg gravely.
Gayston accompanied me to London: I was astonished to find in him a most profitable companion. He was grave, thoughtful, and communicative of much information derived from varied and extensive reading; he had a quick eye for scenery, a warm yet just relish for poetry, and a lively sympathy in the tastes and feelings of those he was with. Those bursts of extravaganza animal spirits which took him and shook him into every kind of absurdity for the time, were the exceptions and not the rule of his bright and intelligent mind. It was the letting off of steam previous to the start of the steady engine with its train; and after one of these paroxysms he would continue pensive for a long time, as patients are physically depressed after the spasm of epilepsy. He was in truth a very Irishman-no doubt volatile as well
as versatile, yet so conscious of the errors of his own temperament, that he would often lament to me the wild things he was guilty of saying under the buoyant and dashing influence of these spring-tides of gaiety, which hurried him on against his better judgment; he grieved also for the irresistible temptation which drove him to attack his old friend Dr. Silverties, to do battle against his English prejudices, and to shock and horrify his matter of factness by his rhodomontade and wild rollicking assertions. Gayston would say that when he felt on these occasions the combative quality getting up, mingled with a wild measure of reckless fun, he would compare himself to an Irishman at a fair-with hat on one side of the head, knee-strings loosened, stockings coiled half-calf high, red and hirsute breast exposed, and shillelagh in hand, leaping with a 'whoop' among the crowd, and crying, "Strike me, boys, if you dare ;" and the comparison always humbled him, and made him sad. What is this feeling, oh ye physiologists and ye psychological professors! so distinctively natural to Ireland-this national idiosyncrasy, so combining the highest beat of the combative pulse with fun, courage, carelessness, and good nature that I know not if so anomalous an exhibition can be found in any other nation upon earth?
Three days I passed with Frank in London, during which time I received letters from home. Those from my uncle were full of love, cheerful encouragement, and gentle monition. Once I heard from Isabella, and twice from her lady mother. The former a modest and rational letter, written with much care; and I thought both cold and cautious, which made my heart swell with an emotion I could not define. The latter epistles were long, and verbose, and complimentary in the extreme, and full of quotations from Enfield's Speaker and the Elegant Extracts, "the Sweet Bard of Avon," and all that sort of thing, &c., &c. So in a fit of ill-humour I consigned them to the bar of the grate, and gave them the fate of Bishop Latimer, without, I fear, its after effect on the English nation.
As it was now time to set out on my continental tour, I had shaken
Gayston by the hand as I mounted bye" to him and to England together; the Dover couch, and said "Good but in the Ostend packet I found Lord and Lady Noredale, who were friends of my uncle, and their son Ellersly, who had been at school with me in Hampshire. They were bound for Rhineland, on a mission of health, This old nobleman was a venerable specimen of united dignity and simplicity; on his white brow benevolence sat enthroned; kindness looked out of his clear blue eyes; and when he spoke, intelligence flowed from his lips. He had lived for sixty years on his property, in the county of Kilkenny, and had walked amidst the stately oaks of his noble place during that time, dispensing beneficence around him, and causing the widow's heart to sing for joy. Elbent on a pedestrian excursion through lersly, the eldest son, was at present the more beautiful parts of the country, and I gladly accepted his invitapanion. We started from Coblentz, tion that I should become his comploring either bank alternately of the and spent nearly two months in exlovely Moselle. Our first sojourn was gula was born; and afterwards many at Moselweiss, where the tyrant Calia bright and sunny day we had together in roaming through the charming woodland scenery of the Brodenbach - with its river, its castle, and its glen-each more beautiful than the other having our quarters at the Moritz Inn. Wandering from thence, and sketching most diligently by the way, we arrived at Carden, with its picturesque old village and ancient three-towered church, where we spent windings of the Elz, roaming by its a fortnight in exploring the exquisite snake-like and inimitable banks, or reading beneath the shadow of its time-worn and fantastic castle. There is no such diamond gem of beauty on the long green velvet skirt of the Moselle as is Elz. Arriving at Treves, awaiting me at the Roth Haus Hotel. I found letters from the Darragh My uncle was well; but one of M'Clintock's daughters was alarmingly ill, and was to be removed as soon as practicable to France, and thence to the baths of Wies-Baden ; so I had the prospect of seeing that good honest fellow, and hearing from him a detail of news I could not
expect to receive by letter. Miss Cardonald had not honoured me with any letter by this mail. At the hotel we met a very fair and fascinating Scotch girl, Miss Conyngham. She was of very noble lineage, and had a beautifully chiselled aristocratic face and charming manner, simple-natured and kind. We were known to her party, and had many an excursion together in carriage, barge, donkey, or afoot; and before ten days had elapsed, Ellersly had fallen most irretrievably in love with Louisa Conyngham; and, ceasing to become my companion from his entire absorption in her society, I left him and Treves together, where Rome is grey in antiquity, and nature is green in sweet landscape, and the air is pure and bracing, and
"Sweetly and nimbly doth commend itself Unto our gentle senses."
I still grasped my pilgrim's staff, walking all the stages, and picking up the language even amidst the patois which I heard from the peasantry. I visited the Polishing Mills of Idar, on the Nahe, (which river often reminded me of our County of Wicklow Ovoca,) and saw the curious painful sight of a number of workmen lying on their stomachs in wooden shields, in order to reach the low level of the water wheels, by whese action they cut, shaped, and polished the magnificent agates and chrystals in which the place abounds. I endured the utter filth and ill-savour of Oberstein for the sake of its cliffs, its castle, and its scenery; and eventually, after following the flowings of the Nahe, I rested for two late autumnal months at Kreuznach, interesting to me from its historical, personal associations, for here it was that my ancestor Count Nugent had his left arm shattered by an imperialist bullet, when a captain in Lord Craven's English Horse Guards under Gustavus Adolphus, who took the town by escalade in the year 1633. Inthe Hof where I lodged there was a Hungarian, who had been professor of European languages at a school in Hamburgh, and was now here for his health; he was an amiable and accomplished man, and was glad to have me as a regular pupil for two or three hours each day, instructing me in German, Swedish, and
Russian; and as I was fond of languages, I made under his clever teaching great proficiency both in writing and speaking these tongues; and this I knew would gratify my uncle, when he came to know that I had not been living a mere idle life, but cultivating the mental soil, and enlarging my means of acquiring knowledge.
As the winter approached, the good professor advised me to go on to Heidelberg, and join the lingual courses of lectures there, and thus perfect myself in the languages I had been learning from him; and this counsel I the more readily adopted, as Lord Ellersly was there, and as my present place of abode was becoming very solitary as the winter deepened in. At Heidelberg I lived quietly, lodging at a large farm-house which lay in a green recess off the Bergstrasse, on the high road to Darmstadt; here I attended Professor Kreuzer's lectures on classical history, and Herr Meyerstein's prelections on the languages of modern Europe. I also improved my skill in fencing, which accomplishment I had acquired from Corporal Mon, and practised under his severe tuition, or rather drill, almost from my infancy; but I did not mingle much with the students, not liking their ways or manners. I abhorred beer, cared nothing for smoking, and was too independent in mind and bearing to submit to be bound down to the strict code of the conventional laws of their clubs and their societies; nevertheless, having friends among them, I occasionally frequented the Hirschgasse, where I acquired rather a high renown for my skill and success in fencing, and where I was a spectator, but not a principal, of many a furious duel, which however seldom eventuated in anything more serious than a slit ear, or a slight gash across the cheek, which these warlike youths considered but as the insignia of honour. I had a good horse also, thanks to my uncle's generous bounty, and some good boar-hunting in the forest of the Odenwald and round the roots of old Melibochus. Time wore on, and I had not heard from my Irish home for many weeks. Miss Cardonald had sent me but two letters in calm response to some fiery folios I had transmitted to her, full of the scenes I had mingled amidst, and not silent
on the hopes 1 still nourished. M'Clintock and his family were in the north of France, and my dear uncle's last and most affectionate letter was becoming older in date each day, when rather an exciting incident took place which stirred the still waters of my tranquil life, and was followed by a storm, under whose fury I now wonder I did not perish altogether.
I have spoken but little of Lord Ellersly; he was a delicate young man, extremely mechanical in his tastes, with great ardour of temperament concealed beneath a shy manner, which those who did not know his true and "modest merit" mistook for pride of birth. On the departure of the Stewart Conynghams for England, he had come on to Heidelberg, there to remain till the return of his parents, who were wintering at Rome. He kept himself quite apart from society, but fraternized much with a very young man at the University, who was of an honourable family in Saxony, and whose name was Von Klein. This youth was a graceful and most promising artist, and had much refinement of feeling; but he was a sad cripple, and his mind always appeared to me to be too bright and vivacious for his body, as the keen steel rapier wears the scabbard. His mother was a widow, and I believe her life was locked up in the life of the lad, which in truth he was, and nothing more, his years scarce reaching to eighteen. He lodged in the same house with Ellersly, and they were continually toge ther. I called them "the Etcherand the Sketcher."
Von Klein had, unintentionally, given some offence to a big and burly student, named Zornbach. This man was son to an Austrian army-clothing contractor, and had been at the University now for two years; he was an extremely vulgar person-- full of practical jokes; and presuming on his physical strength, and some skill at fence, he was apt to play the bully whenever he was permitted. I had fenced with him several times; our reputation at the foils was about at a par among the students; but by some Chance I had, at each of our amicable encounters, obtained a decided advantage, and I could perceive he was quite ready to quarrel with me.
VOL. XLVIII.-NO. CCLXXXIV,
the reserve of my manner had hitherto defended me from a challenge, and my uncle had educated mewith a dislike to duelling merely for its own wild sake,-often quoting to me the wise words of old Polonius to his son :--
Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but being inBear it, that the opposer may beware of thee. He had quite put a stop to the custom in his own regiment, thus anticipating the feeling which at present exists.
One evening we were assembled at Herr Meyerstein's lecture, which he held in his private rooms. At the termination of his discourse, and as the Professor left the chamber, we all rose and bowed to him, and were in the act of resuming our seats, when Zornbach, in one of his practical jokes, drew away the chair from behind Von Klein, who fell heavily on the floor, where he remained, seemingly in great pain, till lifted up by Ellersly and myself.
"A mere joke, I declare," said Zornbach ; but many stern voices sounded angrily, and cries of "shame, shame," were heard among the students.
Flushing with passion, Zornbach exclaimed, "Who says shame ?--Which of you, gentlemen, dares to apply that word to me? Did you Mr. Nugent, speak such a word against me? Answer me, Sir, at once."
Burning with indignation, I yet restrained myself to say, "I certainly did not speak the word"
"What mean you by that emphasis, Sir ?"
His manner was so overbearing and haughty, that I felt all my blood getting up, and I answered: "I did not use the word shame, or comment on your act audibly; but I certainly felt, I am sure in common with every gentleman in the room, that such conduct as you displayed towards that poor crippled boy, whom Lord Ellersly has now taken off to his bed,, was unbecoming and vulgar; and if I did not know Mr. Zornbach's character, I should add dastardly, as coming from a strong man to one who is unable to repel it."
Pale with anger, and the shame of my rebuke, he rejoined
'These are biting words, Sir;—