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mony more of us, for no crime at all, as they did poor Murphy, an' the four militia men at Blarnmoor. But though I love Mr. O'Halloran, I wish he could not have persuaded you to join the United Irishmen, for I fear this work will bring trouble on us all."
“I could not help it. He argued that it was my duty; told me how poor Ireland was enslaved--an' when he mentioned the sufferings of Orr, an' the killing of Murphy and the militia men, I felt my blood get warm, and I tauld him, I would tak' the oath, let what like come o't!"
Here Edward not wishing longer to act the mean character of a listener, especially to such discourse, made a noise, as if he had just awoke from sleep. He asked what hour of the night it was. The woman told him; when having enquired how he felt, she requested permission to bring him some wine and toast, which she said the doctor had allowed him to take, as soon as he wished for refreshment. “ The wine," she remarked, “must be very good, for it was sent from the castle by Mr. O'Halloran, God bless him, just of the kind he kept for his own use. Oh! Sir! how fortunate it was, that he and Miss Ellen were at the Point, when you were a drowning, otherwise you would hae been drowned altogether, for he jumped into the sea, and saved you, just when you were sinking the third and last time? And then, Miss Ellen, how she attended to you till you recovered ! God bless her every day she rises, for she's as good as an angel, and as beautiful too.-But I was forbidden to speak owre muckle to you, for fear I should disturb
look sae weel, that I'm thinking my talk doesn't hurt you.”
Edward assured her that he was delighted with her communications, and begged to know whether Mr. O'Halloran lived far off, and whether he might not have an opportunity of thanking him the next day in person, for the important service he had rendered him ?
“Oh! that you will,” she replied, “ for he lives only about a mile off, and I'm sure he will be here in the mornin', for he will not be easy till he sees himsel that you are gaun to lieve an be weel.”
" And the young lady,” said Edward, “ does she live with bim? Is she his daughter ?”
“She is his grand-daughter; but he still calls her his own child, for since that jewel o' a woman, her mother, died, she is now all that he has."
" Jenet !” cried the husband, “ you disturb the gentleman owre much wi' your cracks. You had better let him sleep. The doctor said sleep would be good for him. Come awa', we'll send Peggy to tend him.”
Aye, aye,” said the wife, “ Peggy is a tidy lass, an' winna mak’ sitch a clatter as I hae done. Poor thing! she's amaist owre shy, to speak much. Guid night! or, rather guid mornin', sir, sleep sound, an’ whatever you want just ask it frae Peggy, an' you'll get it at yince.”
They both left the room, and Edward had just begun a train of reflections on the strange incidents of the preceding day, when the door gently opened, and a pretty modest-looking peasant girl, apparently about seventeen years of age, entered the apartment without noise. As Edward lay quiet, treading on tip-toe, she slowly approached the bed in order to ascertain if be were asleep. Presuming that he was, for he purposely feigned to be so, she was about retiring in the same slow and noiseless manner, when wishing to detain her, that he might get some more information concerning O'Halloran and his lovely grand-daughter, he asked, in a tone as if he had just awoke, if any one was there?
“Yes, sir,” was the reply,“ my mother sent me to see if you wanted ony thing."
“ My pretty girl, I want nothing but to enquire in whose house I am, and by what strange accident I have been brought here?”
“ The house is my father's, William Caldwell's, and you were brought here carried by Mr. O'Halloran, our landlord at the castle, quite dead, for he found ye drowning, in the sea, at the Point Rock."
“ And are you acquainted, Miss Caldwell, with the young lady his grand-daughter ???
“ With Miss Ellen? yes, I am sir, right well, for she has no pride at all. She sends for me often to walk with her from one house to another, when she visits the poor sick people of the neighbourhood, and carries things for their use; and, we often get together to the top of the hill, when it is a clear day, where we can see Scotland and the ships passing back and forwards. For, she says, it is a beautiful sight, and takes great delight in looking at it.”
“ And, my dear girl, does she ever speak of her parents? Do you know any thing of them ??
" I remember her mother. She died about seven or eight years ago, when I was a very little girl. Miss Ellen was then very little also; for she is not quite two years older than myself. She often talks about her parents, and laments their misfortunes so much, that it makes her rather pensive in her disposition, though she is generally one of the merriest and liveliest young ladies you ever knew. Her father, it is said, fled the country for fear of being punished, for killing some lieutenant in the army, in a duel, when she was but an infant."
“ Have they never heard of him since ?"
“ Yes; his name was Hamilton, and she should be called Miss Hamilton, but her grandfather will let her be called nothing but Miss O'Halloran." “ Has she any brother or sisters ?”
No; her father and mother did not live long together. They rever had any children but herself.—But, sir, the doctor told us not to fatigue you by talking to you, too much. Would it not be better to leave you to your sleep? for you must be very weak and distressed after being drowned. If you want any thing, tell me, for I ought not to stay longer with you, unless to attend you."
This impatience in Peggy, arose from the manner in whick Edward had almost unconsciously caught her hand, and pressed it rather warmly, as he listened to her account of Ellen's parentage. Peggy's cheeks displayed a blush, which plainly discovered that she felt the indelicacy of her situation with a young man, who in place of being as she expected, half dead with drowning, seemed quite alive to all the impulses of gallan
try and feeling. He checked himself, however, and bade her good-bye, thanked her for the information she had given him, and the attention she had manifested to his comforts.
The alarm that Peggy felt was quite natural, and, to handsome young women who have been in similar situations with handsome young men, any explanation of it would be unnecessary. Even Edward felt that her withdrawing had relieved him from an impending danger. For whether it was occasioned by the sweetness of her looks, or the interest he took in her communications, he felt, as he pressed her hand, a warmer tide of blood than usual, flowing from his heart, which was not cooled for some minutes after her leaving the room, when the idea of the fair Ellen, excited a flow of affections, more congenial to his principles, and more agreeable to his feelings, because more capable of being approved of by his reason.
The various agitations of his mind, together with the still fatigued state of his body, however, soon again found relief in sleep, from which he did not awake until the arrival of the doctor, accompanied by O'Halloran and his grand-daughter in the morning. The doctor found him rather exhausted, with a slight degree of fever, which although chiefly caused by the state of his mind, was readily enough accounted for by the preceding day's accident. He was assured, however, that the only inconvenience that could result, would be a few days confinement. O'Halloran was desirous that he should be conveyed to the castle until his recovery; which, after the adjusting of some preliminaries, such as apologies and expressions of gratitude on the part of Edward, and assurances that he considered it nothing but his duty, on the part of his deliverer, was at last effected. The doctor then having given some directions for his management, took his leave, carrying a letter to Tom Mullins, Edward's servant, whom it was expected he should find at the Antrim Arms, in the town of Larne. In this letter he informed Tom of the accident he had met with, and instructed him to continue at the inn until further orders, without communicating to any one bis master's real name or quality, as he had important reasons for wishing to remain unknown in this part of the country for some time.
Edward Barrymore, was of a very conspicuous family, disținguished alike for its rank, wealth, and devoted attachment to those political principles, which had set the family of Brunswick upon the British throne. With respect to England, their politics were exactly those professed and acted upon by the whigs of the country. Hence they were in favour of extending every kind of indulgence to the dissenters, and had opposed the American war, and lord North's administration. In Ireland, however, where their principal property and influence lay, they supported every high-handed measure of the government, and were rigid sticklers for the protestant ascendency. Whatever were their motives for such difference in their political conduct, with respect to the two countries, it is certain that they acted only as many other great Irish families at that time did. Their avowed reasons were, that it would not be safe to allow the mass of the Irish community the same political privileges, that might with advantage be allowed the English, because the for: mer were chiefly catholics; professors of a religion which, they insisted, inculcated direct hostility to the establishments of both church and state, in either country.
Those sentiments, while they made the family of Barrymore high in favour with the ruling powers, caused them to be looked upon as no better than tories, by those protestants, whose views with respect to their catholic fellow-subjects were more liberal. By the catholics, they were held in utter detestation, as their natural enemies, and as the supporters of a tyrannic system of government, which had deprived their ancestors and themselves of some of the most valuable privileges of the constitution.
At the period at which our history commences, Edward's paternal uncle, the earl of Barrymore, was a member of the Irish privy council; and, his father, who was a member of the house of commons, had distinguished himself by his strenuous opposition to some measures, which had recently been introduced into parliament for the relief of the catholics.
In consequence of these circumstances, Edward supposed, that if he made himself known, he should be no welcome guest in the house of O'Halloran, whose political principles, he had reason to believe, were in direct opposition to those of his fa