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INSTRUCTIVE AND ENTERTAINING
LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
"OH, LAND OF HAPPY FIRESIDES AND CLEANLY HEARTHS AND DOMESTIC PEACE."-Southgate.
GARRETT ROWAN, THE FENIAN.
BY HENBY MARTIN.
various in mass and form, ever fling upon its “And, you, mon,
surface a magic play of light and shadow. Be true, men,
Across the eastern slope of this mountain an Like those of Ninety-eight."-Song.
excellent road runs. It was the one formerly ENTLEMEN, there is a country worth taken by " The Royal Mail” (that is before
fighting for.” The words are Oliver the age of railways began) on its journey from Cromwell's, and were spoken by him to some Dublin to Clonmel, and from thence on to officers of his staff, as standing upon a spur of Cork and other chief towns in the South of Sliev-na-Man Mountain, County Tipperary, he
Ireland. surveyed the Golden Vale, that rich belt of passing through a wild, barren, and deeply
It was from the box seat of this coach, after land, some twenty miles wide, which stretches fissured region some miles in length, that, east and west, across the North of Munster, several years ago, I first caught sight of the from the picturesque Suir to the noble Shannon. magnificent stretch of country which, as we
Perhaps we may as well note in passing that have seen, so forcibly evoked the admiration of the name Sliev-na-Man, means, we have been
“Old Noll,” when he paused to gaze upon it on informed, “ The Mountain of the Woman,” so
his way to the sack of Clonmel, and the sub
jugation, utter and complete, of the Stuart that, with the usual contrariety of matters, sympathising Munster. English and Irish-involving a condition of Never had I looked upon a more richlythings which, for centuries, has sorely puzzled wooded, well-watered, and fertile-seeming landthe most astute of our statesmen--man, it ap-scape. It smiled as a region specially Godpears, means woman in the sister land. Strange favoured and blessed. And, as the eye wandered fact, for that the opposite holds good, and that over it, one could not but think of the view woman signifies man by no means obtains—for vouchsafed to Moses, from Pisgah's height, of it is our faith that nowhere, the world over, is “ The Scripture Land;" that vision from woman more true, to all that the word conveys Jericho-City of Palm Trees—to the “utmost to Saxon ears, than she is in Ireland.
” of “a land both good and large," and The mountain called Sliev-na-Man, retaining " flowing with milk and honey.” its ancient Irish name, is not one of a range, That the actual character of the soil does not but swelling from the surrounding plain to a belie its appearance will be evident from a very considerable height, and, shaped like a bow short quotation from the celebrated economist, across the horizon, it forms a single elevation. Arthur Young, written by bim early in the Hence, visible afar from every hand, it con- last century. As Secretary of the Board of stitutes a splendid feature in the landscape, Agriculture, speaking of this district he says, and one that, in general aspect and colour-tone, " It is the richest soil I ever saw, and such as is never quite the same, for troops of clouds, in is applicable to every wish. It will fatten the the showery climate of the Emerald Isle, largest bullock, and at the same time do
equally well for sheep, for tillage, for turnips, days o' Crummel, they say—and settled down wheat, and beans, and, in a word, for every quiet for the rest of his natheral life.” crop and circumstance of profitable husbandry.” Methinks I hear many a dweller on the
CHAPTER II. semi-barren moors of the English and Scottish
“The rich ruleth the poor, and border, in strong desire, cry—“O for such a
The borrower is servant to the lender."-SOLOMON. soil to tickle into a laughing harvest."
A CONSIDERABLE period after this piece of When “The Mail," having descended the information from Larry—somewhere about the southern slope of the eastern elongation of year 1864 La young man might have been seen, liev-na-Man, had proceeded some distance one day in the late spring time, gazing with along the level road—not far from a small longing eyes upon the same pleasant Carberry tributary stream of the Suir—a pleasant Grange. His gaze, however, was not from the residence, embosomed in trees, and surrounded box seat of Her Majesty's Mail_indeed, that with well cultivated fields, caught my attention. would have been a thing impossible, for at the It was such a place as one could wish to spend date named box seats on mail coaches had betheir days in, and desirous of knowing the come, even in Ireland, superseded articlesname of its fortunate owner, I said to the but from the battlement of a little bridge, over coachman—“ Larry, whose residence is that ?” which he leaned. “Aye, aye," he replied, “ you're not the first to. He was tall, of rather slight yet muscular ask me that same idintical question ; it's wan, make, and of gentlemanly bearing. His cheek I believe, I have to answer aʼmost seven times was pale, his lips close set, and his features a week; and indeed it's small wonder, Surr, that regular. His eyes, dark, keen, and lustrous, it makes your covetches thoughts to rise— flashed from beneath a broad forehead and that's Carberry Grange, Surr, a place, the desire well marked eyebrows. His hair was black as to own which, is aʼmost enough to mak th' teeth the raven's wing, as were his flowing beard of even the dhriver of Her Majesty's Mail to and well trimmed moustache.
There were wather. The gintilman to whom it belongs, tokens about him of considerable intellectual and who lives in it, is wan they call Squire power, joined to a resolute will—as there were, Rowan-wan o' the finest gintilmin about also, indications of a heart capable of either these parts. They tell me, Surr, he continued, passionate love or intense hatred. “ but I can't say whether it's thrue or no, that Long and immovably did the young man he has some connection, by descent, with a gaze upon the fair dwelling, with its clustering gintilman o' the same name, a Mr. Hamilton trees and pleasure grounds spread out before Rowan, who giv' the English Goverment him; long, until his eyes, suffused with a mist a sight o' bother in the ould rebellion times o' of tears, (he was too proud to altogether weep), ninety-eight. They had him wanst, fast and could no longer distinguish any object. Brushing shure in hoult, too, in Green Street Prison, away, however, the gathering moisture, and Dublin. But, begorrah, he was too cute for summoning up his sternest energies, as he thim. Knowin' that iv he'd be brought to gazed again-although leaves rustled in a thrial, he'd shure as day be hanged, he bribed neighbouring wood, and waters babbled in the the gaoler with a big sum, for he was moighty brook which flowed under the arch beneath his rich--they say—to let him go for a night to feet—a person some distance off might have see his wife, sayin' he might, if he liked, go heard him vehemently, yet in suppressed tones, with him, to make shure he wouldn't run away. say, “ Dear home of my early childhood—of á Whin at the house, the turnkey, not to intrude father's care and mother's love-before upon their privacy, was so soft as to remain in Heaven I vow never to bate one jot of heart or an outher passage. Whew! Me brave Mr. Rowan hope, and never to refuse task or effort, until I
ye plaze-slipped through a back window, win thee back, by means fair or-God help memounted a horse, and off like a shot, vanished foul, as the rightful possession of my kindred." into darkness. The Castle folk offered, I'm The young man whom we have described, tould, Surr, £2,000, no less, for his arrest, but, and whose passionate and fierce resolve we have iv course, it warn’t a haporth o'use, no wan just quoted, is Garrett Rowan, the hero of our that knew wheer he war wud be mane enough narrative ; and it will be needful to furnish the to tell on him, and take the filthy lucre, so Mr. reader with a few details of his personal Rowan got off scot free to France, Surr, and history, in order that he may understand the from that wint to Amerikay.
young man's present mood, and the grounds of “ Afther sum time, through powerful friends his fixed and solemn determination. --as I've hard-he got a pardon, howsumever, The Encumbered Estates Act is a measure and cum back to the ould country, and, more nor which has wrought abundant advantage to the that, got hould in some way again of Carberry general community in Ireland. It has released Grange—where his ancesthors had lived from the tens of thousands of acres from the nominal
ownership of bankrupt men-hampered with But not ordinary, but extraordinary times settlements and steeped to the lips in debt and came, as upon the whole land, also upon the poverty—men who, from their financial embar- Rowans. Crops for two years totally failed — rassments, were utterly unable to fulfil the the potato blight destroyed the means of supduties of their social position; their lands, year port of millions. No rents could be collected after year, lay unimproved, and their tenants poor rates were imposed greater in amount were rack rented and harassed.
than the rents themselves, and besides, those Through the operation of this Act no less who had store of money could not hold it and than twenty and a half millions sterling worth see their poor neighbours around them dying of property were, in less than eight years, trans- from starvation. Less than any one could Mr. ferred to new proprietors-many of them pre- Rowan-of sympathising heart and a generous pared to invest capital in the soil, and either impulse, he would have shared his last loaf to work the farms themselves upon the most with his suffering dependents. Hence, the improved methods, or to rent them to tenants worst days of the famine over found him with who would engage so to cultivate them. a balance, for no very great sum, however, at
The Act, however, in some of its phases bore the wrong side of the account at his banker's. with tremendous severity upon not a few of It was at this hour, when resources were the oldest and most respectable families in the exhausted, and to borrow money was all but kingdom. And thus it was with the Rowans, impossible, that Mr. Archie MacDuff, the mortof whose representative we are about to sketch gagee upon the Rowan estate, made arrangement the history.
to put in force his bond, and, at a moment's Shortly after the famine year—“the black notice, demand a settlement. forty-eight”—through the facilities offered by Mr. MacDuff was by birth a North Briton. this Act, a multitude of estates were forced, by Fifteen years before he came, a poor man, the mortgagees, upon the land market. As a from his native land to set up a Scotch estabnecessary consequence, especially in a time lishment, that is a general drapery warehouse, when money was scarce, the supply of landed in one of the large towns of County Tipperary. property for sale far outstripped the demand, Shrewd, thrifty, and industrious, he secured a and estates became “ a drug" in the market. large trade, and made money. There is a pre
This was a result which just suited the aims judice against “Sandie," as an interloper, in of several greedy and unscrupulous men, the minds of the lower Irish; at all events there indeed was one which they maneuvred for was at the time of which we write, but the and contemplated. They managed thus to buy Scotchman sold wares good and cheap, and up a vast number of fine estates at far less Paddy is not the man to submit to be mulcted than half their just value, with the intention of by fellow-countrymen from high-flown notions holding them for a little until times mended, of patriotism. Archie MacDuff gave him and and then to dispose of them, in suitable lots, at his Biddy a good shilling's worth for their & very handsome, not to say extortionate, shilling, and, as the result, Celtic money flowed profit.
in a stream, fast and full, into Archie MacDuff's Garrett's father-in comfortable circum- coffers. In a dozen years, or so, he was able to stances, but not a wealthy man—just before retire, and (they say, though it may be a libel, the famine year unfortunately mortgaged his that a Scotchman never returns to his own estate for fifteen hundred pounds. It was done land) he purchased a small estate in the neighto compass the means of well educating his bourhood of Carberry Grange. only son, Garrett, who, as manifesting more The Rowans were a little shy of making the than common ability, he had resolved to have acquaintance of Mr. MacDuff and his family, trained for the profession of the law--one that He was a parvenu, Mr. Rowan declared, and has been adorned with splendid names in the his wife, Mrs. Rowan, was of opinion that sister country.
The fond father yearned to Mrs. MacDuff could make but small pretentions see, before he died, his son taking no mean place to be a lady. The Irish blood of the Rowans in the constellation of Irish forensic genius; and was proud, and the holders of Carberry Grange already, in imagination, he beheld him as the had been long accepted as a portion of the worthy peer of a Curran, a Fitzgibbon, or a “rale owld Irish gintry.” Garrett's father, Grattan.
however, often met Mr. MacDuff at the huntFifteen hundred pounds was comparatively for the Scotchman, of an ardent nature, took a small sum, and in ordinary times would have to sport; and more than this, one day Mr. created no difficulty. The mortgage, if unex- Rowan was greatly assisted by his neighbour pectedly foreclosed, could have been met by Mr. in an accident, which nearly cost him his life. Rowan from other available sources; or to So that from gratitude, as well as from a have obtained another loan would have been sympathy in their amusements, a measure of extremely easy.
friendship sprang up between the two men, and
Mr. MacDuff, though his reception was not bours, his friend had used up all his resources, over cordial, got introduced to the Carberry even what remained of the loan he had made household, and thus it naturally came about to him. To “raise the wind," as it is vulgarly that from him, as a monied man, Mr. Rowan, called, had become a sheer impossibility. No after a little time, borrowed the sum that he one would advance money now upon Irish required for his son's education.
land. The hour, therefore, had struck to give Carberry Grange excited the admiration of full effect to the claim which the mortgagee the retired tradesman, as it did nearly of all could urge upon Carberry Grange. who set eyes upon it.
His own smaller estate, “Why, its no less than a speecial Proveein the immediate neighbourhood, was excellent, dence," ejaculated Mr. MacDuff, as he rubbed but it could bear no comparison with this of his hands together with delight, “one of the his new made friend. Mr. MacDuff had been wonder-working ways of Heeven "--and he brought up a good Presbyterian ; had con- raised his eyes in acknowledgment—"and it sequently a fair knowledge of his Bible ; had would be a sin to pass it by, and thus abuse often, from the days of his boyhood, been put my God-sont preevilege. The man this Rowan face to face with the story of Naboth's vine- often talks about it comes this moment yard, but we fear that the hatefulness of Ahab's to my mind)—the sturdy Oliver, when hemmed sin, and the final catastrophe which his in at Dunbar, and the brave Scots made a covetousness entailed, did not make their due false move, with a savage joy cried out, “The impression upon Mr. MacDuft's conscience; for, Lord hath delivered them into our hands !' it is certain, a gnawing hunger after thre Car. The deliverance, too, was no less than to berry estate was permitted to enter and ever to slaughter; and, by my word, the Roundheads be welcomed in the heart of the retired draper. did give it to my poor countrymen. The Lord He is not a fair specimen of his country and hath delivered this haughty Rowan into my his class—we would not be understood to pre- hands, and shall I be so wanting in duty, to sent him as such, but in many a moment of the myself and family, as to miss my chance? Noday and night did these words rise to his lips : certeenly not; and this the more since I do not “Would to Heaven that a good chance would seek the man's life, but only his nice leettle come to me of laying hands upon the bonnie property.” and douse Carberry Grange. I know that this It is true, upon this resolve an inner monitor Squireen Rowan-confound him—and his suggested to Mr. MacDuff a solemn injunction brood, as thinking themselves superior, look from a certain book which he professed to down upon me and mine, but I'd soon show honour_Devise not evil against thy neighthem which is best-a fortune honestly and bour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee,' &c., cleverly made by one's own efforts, or their and at the gracious command, there was a poor and beggarly gentility that would scorn to momentary twinge of conscience. But Mr. put a finger to trade-a gentility handed down, Mac Duff had not to wait long until another forsooth, from the days of Cromwellian plunder verse of Scripture came into his thoughts to and confiscation.”
neutralize the former one's power,
Pride It was, therefore, with no small degree of goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit pleasure that Mr. MacDuff, as though inad. before a fall.' “Its a propheecy," he said to vertently approached, had an application made himself, “nothing less than a propheecy, and to him by Garrett's father-over the dinner it would ill become me--a poor sinful worm of table one day—for the loan which has been the earth—to hinder its fulfilment. Why, if mentioned The person solicited wished, with ever there was pride and haughtiness, its in alt his heart, that a larger sum were asked for, the heart of these Rowans; and destruction and It would give him a greater grip upon his a fall, therefore, it is plain, is their righteous intended prey—but, no matter. “Fifteen due, for the Screepture canna' be broken, and it hundred pounds,” he said within himself, “ is looks very like as if I, too, were to be the after all a good round sum ; and there is no chosen veessel to mete out their divine punishknowing what, by the blessing of Proveedence, ment.” may turn up to make it useful for my purpose. Some may suppose that such a perversion The money asked for was, therefore, promptly of Scripture as we have attributed to Mr. paid, and secured by a deed of mortgage upon MacDuff is impossible ; but such persons, we the Rowan property.
fear, have not fully sounded the depths of evil Mr. MacDuff was right : opportunity always in the human heart; besides, it has been said comes to hin
that has the wisdom to prepare, with a severe irony, “That the Bible is a book and the patience to wait for it. The course of to which every man comes to look for his events, as we have seen, put the Rowans in a opinion, and where every man is quite certain dreadful dilemma. Mr. MacDuff knew that, he finds it.' And what is true of opinion is also, from a liberal hand towards his famishing neigh- we should suppose, true of excuses for our