« 上一页继续 »
tentred all his warmer feelings in her, whose uncommon
accounted, even in childhood, for all his fond partiality.
Thus he was often heard to boast, that “his Mary should THE IRISH BESSY BELL AND MARY GRAY.
be as fine a lady as the best of them ;" and with this view "Oh! Bessy Bell and Mary Gray,
he had intrusted her, when but eight years old, to the care They were twa bonnie lassies." --Scotch Ballad.
of the most fashionable schoolmistress of the metropolis, THESE names are perfectly familiar to the inhabitants desiring her to take charge of her until she was as accomplishof the town and neighbourhood of Omagh, in the county ed as unsparing expenditure could make her. Mary was Tyrone, and are given to two low mountains, situate on accordingly thrown at once among associates all higher Fither side of the splendid demesne of Mountjoy Forest. than herself in station and prospects of life ; and, save During a late visit to that part of the country, I made it when the honest farmer paid his regular half-yearly visit, may business to inquire into the origin of these titles, guess she never even saw, for a number of years, any that moved ing, rightly, that some legend of interest might be found within her own natural sphere. to be connected with them. The result of my investiga But while her companions, as I have said, had the sution I shall now commit to writing, doubting not that the periority in point of rank, she found few to rival her in narrative itself, independently of any powers of the nar- innate elegance, in graces of person, and in thirst for imrator, will be found sufficiently engaging to justify me in provement; and although it must be admitted that the arthe attempt Concerning the date of the events I am rival of her unfashionable relative never failed to excite about to relate, I have ascertained nothing accurately, a momentary titter among her playmates, yet it was speedi. further than that they were still fresh in the memory of ly checked by the recollection of her own unassuming some of the elders of the district, as either coeval with or merit and extraordinary good nature, which had won, from shortly preceding their early youth.
the first, the affections of each individual of the little comMary Gray and Bessy Bell were two maidens, whose munity. hereditary residences were placed near the foot of the res One of these, and inferior only to Mary in acquirements, pective mountains which serve to hand down their names was the second heroine of my tale; and, strange to say, to posterity. The former might have had the precedence although as different in tastes as I have described them, in Fears by two summers at the farthest; and while they they soon formed for each other a fond and faithful attache equalled each other in fascinations and accomplishments of They had been born and nursed amid the same the first order, yet these were in each composed of far dif- scenes, and it was Mary's greatest delight, during her long ferent lights and shades, even as their degrees in life were exile from the midst of them, to freshen her recollections widely removed. Mary's ancestors had long leased the and multiply her inquiries from her very willing and hapconsiderable farm which her family now held, and which pier friend, who twice, at least, each year, could draw her was justly looked upon as one of the most substantial and information from experience. They were the joint idols thriving in the neighbourhood. Bessy, on the other hand, of the school, but so far were they either from envying was highly descended, and connected with many of the the other's popularity, that they would sit conversing toleading families around her. Mary’s disposition was gether in some quiet corner on the occasion of many a pasthoughtful, calm, and imaginative; Bessy's, again, was time, when there was the loudest cry for their aid and playful, capricious, and inconsiderate. The one could sit countenance of the general sports. Thus did each delight happily for hours, on the summit of her native hills, gaz- in the other's society, the very opposition of their characing on the beautiful scenes of lawn and woodland beneath ters enhancing perhaps the charms of intimacy. When her, and, lulled by the murmur of the river of the valley, Mary sung a pensive melody, Bessy would reply to it in conjure up a world of a thousand dreams around her, and some merry little native air : when Mary's imagination was trace in admiration the fair handywork of nature. The attracted by the sombre and melancholy, Bessy would disother, yielding to every passing impulse, fearless of care, cover each lighter sentiment, as if by magic, in their comand open to enjoyment, was apparently intended to figure mon studies. only in the more sunny passages of existence, and was her. Years fitted by, strengthening their attachment as they self a potent mistress of the spells of gaiety. Mary's passed, and Mary was at length delighted by a sumfigure was tall, perfect, and commanding, and though her mons to attend her father on his last expedition homelight blue eyes, and auburn tresses, seemed the very em ward. Bessy was to remain one year longer at the blems of all that was tranquil, yet every fine feature was academy, and the friends parted with mutal protestations robed in inexpressible dignity, during her moments of ex of regard, and threats of almost daily correspondence, citement or enthusiasm. It was impossible, on the other which they afterwards put into very accurate execution, to
to withstand the laughing glances of Bessy's spark- the great pride and pleasure of the farmer, who was gratiling eyes, set off as they were hy a profusion of raven fied by the connexion and intercourse in which his daughringlets that clustered down her dimpled cheeks, while her ter had engaged. Not so with Mr. Bell Naturally haughalmost fairy form was cast in the finest mould of feminine ty and distant, he listened with little satisfaction to Bessy's
account of her great intimacy with one so much her in. Such were the two fair creatures whose histories I am ferior in rank, although accompanied by the most glowing about to relate, when the one had reached her twentieth, and enthusiastic praise ; and when at length the period of and the other her eighteenth year; and by what link those her departure from school arrived, and she was to appear as histories came to be united, it will be now necessary to ex his daughter in society, he sternly interdicted all future in
tercourse between them. Need I tell of the supplications, The reader has already, perhaps, felt surprise, that the of the tears that attended so cruel a disappointment. He qualities and attractions I have ascribed to Mary should be was resolute in his severity, and Bessy rode over to make found in a farmer's daughter, in a “ maiden of low degree." the terrible disclosure, and wept for the last time on My information, however, accounted readily for the fact. the bosom of her devoted and disconsolate friend. It Mer family, as i have hinted, had long enjoyed an unusual, was, indeed, a trying scene-they parted in the deepest and an almost uninterrupted prosperity, and in consequence affliction.
singular industry and perseverance on their part-vir When poor Mary was left alone, she had time to esti. tues which seldom go without their reward—were conver mate fully the overpowering loss she had sustained. Even, want with few of the distresses that annoyed and agitated before this sad occasion, indeed immediately on her arrival their less-gifted neighbours. Her father, though in other from school, she had perceived, and almost regretted, the spects a prudent and moderate man, seems to have indulg- deep mistake her father had committed in-giving her an ed in overweeningly-ambitious views for his daughter's education so completely disproportioned to her rank-an Welfare. Her birth had been soon followed by the loss of an education, which, if it added refinements, yet increased her affectionate wife, and he appeared thenceforth to have wants, and unfitted her to take
any interest in the pursuits
or pleasures of her natural associates and protectors, while Luty, and carlier indications of a superiority of mind, the fatal barrier of her birth seemed irrevocably to forbid
the acquisition of that place in a higher circle, to which displayed an air of unstudied elegance, that had the power she was both entitled by her accomplishments, and which for an instant to change Montgomery's delight into astonshe could have filled with dignity. Her relations, indeed, ishment. Work-boxes, a writing-desk, music and drawing, had greeted her return with every demonstration of pride occupied their various positions through the apartment ; and affection, while her father doated on her with the most a piano-forte lay open, while one or two feminine oma intense, nay, painful fondness ; yet both they and he ap- ments had been left in progress on the table. Books of proached her with an involuntary betrayal of a conscious- belles-lettres, instruction, and devotion, were arranged in ness of their inferiority, that, to her delicate sensibility, spider-shelves around the walls, and a splendid portrait of almost destroyed the satisfaction which should naturally their beautiful possessor hung over the inantel-piece. Every be afforded her from the kind interest of kinsfolk, and thing seemed to acknowledge the governance of a tasteful the warmth of a father's love. Viewing her circumstances, mistress, though all the occupations whose tokens were therefore, with discreet and unbiassed penetration, she thus visible, had been neglected for months previous to the would have regretted, I say, her adventitious elevation time of which we speak. above her fellows, had she not hitherto enjoyed a solace for Soon inastering his surprise, Montgomery, with admir. all distresses in her “ sweet communion" with her beloved able tact, displayed his pleasure only so as to flatter the Bessy, and felt how deep should be her gratitude for being vanity, without exciting the suspicions, of the farmer ; and 80 strangely enabled to preserve an equality and enjoy an having discovered she had gone abroad for some time, the interchange of feeling and affection with so much merit and contrived to carry on so successfully his insidious attacks elegance.
upon the gratified father, that, won by the courtesy and Can any wonder, then, that this disappointment preyed | bearing of his guest, and believing his daughter also might kravily on her tender disposition ; that she gave herself up be pleased at the society of one who was evidently so fully for a time to a deep and wearing melancholy, and fancied accomplished, he invited him to return to his house that that she was now left almost alone in the world. It was evening on his way homeward. during the Christmas holidays that the unexpected shock Need I tell the rest ? His visits were daily repeated came upon her, which seemed for the moment to stun all / while his stay with his friend was further protracted, and her faculties; and the spring had softened into summer, each morning he started for the mountain with his gun and ere her mind regained ought of its natural elasticity. The dogs, long after there had ceased to remain a single feather honest farmer felt deeply affected, and, unable as he was to for his bag. He was a favourite alike with father and appreciate her sentiments duly, still endeavoured to sooth daughter, the one he continued to manage as artfully as her too visible sorrow with unavailing fondness. Fearful at their first meeting--the other could not but be taken of giving offence, by letting him see the inefficiency of his with a person who possessed so many attractions, taste sympathies, she songht rather to retire into solitude; and, talents, and mutiplied, though showy and superficial, read as the season advanced, she wandered up the mountain | ing—who was ready to join in all her studies and amnis almost daily to some shady spot, and soon forgetting the ments-who took such interest in every trifle that engaged subject of the book before her, was lost for hours together her, and carried off all with those delicate and obsequious in her own bitter and crowding thoughts, until the even attentions, which, while they failed not to flatter and de ing's chill, or the gathering gloom, reminded her that it light, could never for a moment appear obtrusive or alar... was time to return.
ing. They read, they sung, they walked and conversel It was on the morning of the 28th of August, that Fre together ; Mary's disappointment at the loss of her friend derick Montgomery also climbed that mountain, with the was soothed, as her place was supplied ; nor was she for a eagerness of a sportsman on the first day of the grouse- long time aware of the potent poison she was imbibing. shooting for the season. As he descended again, it was And, strange to say, although it cannot be denied that his with no slight astonishment that he perceived, at a little first intentions were of the basest and most infamous order, distance, Mary Gray, as it were some fair spirit of the as his letters to a friend, of that date, attempted not even heights, moving slowly and musingly downward towards to disguise, yet the same testimony at a latter period declarher father's cottage. It was the thought of a moment to ed him to be caught, as it were, in his own snare, and comfollow cautiously and trace her steps; and at length his pletely disarmed of his terrible purposes, by the gentle inquiries from a labourer in the adjoining field, convinced nature and glowing virtues of the fair being they were is. him that he had discovered her residence. Accordingly he tended to assail. resolved to return the next day to the same ground for sport, Time rolled on, and at length he ventured to speak open. trusting to his ingenuity to invent some pretext for gaining ly of love and wedlock, and met with a reception, fren admission at Farmer Gray's.
both father and daughter, as flattering as his pride court · Frederick Montgomery was a stranger in Ireland, and desire. He was the first of his sex whom Mary had ever had come down to the neighbourhood to pay, as he had at known, and in truth he was a favourable specimen, and it first intended, but a short visit to a newly-married friend would have been unaccountable if the farmer had not himself a late settler. Although naturally of a frank and been dazzled at the prospect of such a brilliant alliance. manly disposition, yet the dissipation of an Oxford life, and Such was the promise of happiness, which enlivened the a subsequent unlimited enjoyment of the pleasures of the little party at the cottage; when one noon, in the decline Continent during two years, now found him nearly as heart of the season, this young and interesting pair strolled oa less as he was gay. Early the master of an independent as they conversed of their prospects far into the enchanting fortune, and gifted with ready and showy talents, he had scenery of Mountjoy Forest. arrived at perfect self-confidence from his intercourse with the world, and was possessed of an address as insinuating as of the details of that fatal day nothing further was his person was striking and handsome. It was no wonder known, than that Mary returned alone, and late in the then that he boasted of some success with woman, who evening, in a state bordering on frenzy, and never recover. had been long his favourite study, as her favours were his ed from the shock she had sustained, or regained the peace darling pursuit, and that he now flattered himself with an she had sacrificed. Happily indeed for himself, her father intimate knowledge of the sex, and believed that he was was then absent, and for several days afterwards, and came accomplished in its passions and whims, its oddities and home to suspect no more from the change in his daugh. caprice, and every access to its softer feelings.
ter's spirits, which all her efforts could not conceal, than a Such was the person who stopped at Farmer Gray's on mere lover's quarrel, often but the enhancement of lorens the morning of the 21st, under the plausible pretext of re- happiness. medying some accidental disorder of his gun. While a ser Meanwhile, Montgomery appeared early the following vant was heating water for that purpose, perhaps it was morning at the cottage, and from that moment continually through some momentary feeling of vanity, that her father besieged the door, begging, supplieating, even fiercely de requested him to step into Mary's little drawing-room; al manding to be admitted, and in vain. A thousand billet. though the furniture was plain and unpretending, yet it doux, addressed to Mary, he entrusted to her faithful at.
fondant „all, except the first, were immediately returned wearied zcal towards her ! Nor was Bessy long insensible of unopened. He, too, seemed to have become a maniac his his addresses, and, though her playful and innocent coquetry dress and figure were disordered, his words rash and violent, left him for a considerable period in doubt as to the state of and his voice hoarse and broken.
her feelings towards him ; yet, this very coquetry seemed The farmer's arrival, however, acted like a charm ; he destined to produce a result fatal to herself, as it roused him deemed to have awaked from a dream, and gained over his the more effectually from the languor which had oppressed feelings so sudden and powerful a mastery, that the poor him, awoke in him an interest and excitement, and elicited unsuspecting man was confirmed in the opinion I bave numberless fascinations which might have remained unmeutioned, and pitying his distress, engaged to intercede noticed had her manners been more distant and formal on for him with his daughter. Who will not pause to pity the one hand, or had she seemed on the other, more easy him in the fulfilment of such a task ? Whose heart will and open to conquest. As it was, ench soon received a sennot bleed for the poor victim whom he solicited ? He sible impression from the other's attractions, and looked for. came back at length, bewildered and displeased at her perti. ward with delight from day to day to the renewal of their nacity, while she s'ill remained resolute in declining to ad- intercourse. Montgomery, with his usual tact, won the mit Montgomery in defiance of all importunities.
good-will even of the cold Mr. Bell, and began to he looked At length, exhausted and despairing of success, the latter upon as a constant visiter at his house. His daugliter was absented himself wholly from the cottage, though he long seldom absent; and, as before, with her early friend, their continued to hover about at some distance, under the vain recreations and pursuits became the same, and as he walked expectation of accidentally crossing her path. The friend at or rode by her side, with admirable versatility of talent he whose house he was a viziter, and to whom he betrayed no accommodated his thoughts and feelings to hers, and was desire to move, though his originally-intended limits were now as light and gay in his topics of conversation with now inore thon trebled, could not but observe his forlorn Bessy, as he had been grave and speculative with Mary. and dispirited state of mind, which, indeed, it needed but a At length, a lawsuit in which he was engaged, demanded glance at his haggard check and sunken eye, to ascertain. his presence in England within the course of a few days, Too delicate to probe a wound which appeared so deep and and he determined, though with considerable compunction, irritable, he resorted rather to every kind artifice and de- to sound Miss Bell's feelings, and, should be find them sign, which might have the effect of reviving and awaken. propitious, to make an immediate declaration of his owli. ing him from the deplorable condition into which his every This important step he reserved for his last day in the faculty had fallen. Among the rest, he invited company country, and on the morning previous engaged to accomto his house, and courted the society of all the neighbour pany the fair object of his now undivided passion in her ing gentry, to whose advances, as a stranger, he had been usual ride. until now, considered unaccountably distant ; and it was For the first time, and he now remarked it with deep in the round of gaiety that ensued, that Montgomery met, uneasiness, she led the way toward farmer Gray's cottage. for the first time, the former friend of his Mary, who seemed, of her former intimacy with his daughter, Montgomers, as it were, the very soul and arbitress of all that was mirth: by some strange chance, had never heard. Each of them ful and happy. Worn and lethargic as he was, he could perhaps, had thought of it as a painful subject, and one, too flot helpleing attracted by such a brilliant display of charms; sacred, it might be, to be intruded on a stranger's attention. and his anxious friend was soon delighted to remark, that But the reaction of restrained feeling is often more lively in her society he appeared to shake off much of the torpor than its original force, and on this occasion as the pretty which had so long preyed on him, as the opportunities of farm-house at the foot of the mountain came suddenly in meeting her seemed to multiply with an almost fated ac- view, Bessy was as instantaneously overcome, and bursting curacy.
into tears, “ There,” she exclaimed, “ even there lives one Surprising and inconsistent, with that morbid and pain. who is dearest to me on earth !" ful state of feelings I have described, as the next passage of What? Mary ? stammered Montgomery, and, but that his history would appear, let no man, I would say, pre- his companion was herself so touched at that bitter mo. sume to decide on the hidden motives, the inner workings ment, his guilty confusion could never have passed un. of a fellow-creature, however open his external conduct to observed. Little did either imagine that the pitiable sul censure or dislike. For myself, I would fain see the sunny ject of the thoughts of each, was at that same instant gazing side of each fleeting picture, and I am satisfied, with re from a shrubbery on the road side, and, after a long wild gard to Montgomery, that during the latter part of his in- stare, reeled and fell to the ground ! timacy with Mary, he had been perfectly honourable in his They had paused for some time involuntarily, Bessy intentions, whatever mysterious fatality seemed to have yielding to pathetic and sad remembrances, while Montgohung over its issue ; that his grief and melancholy, when mery's heart was nearly rent asunder by a thousand mad. that intimacy was broken off, were equally unaffected ; and dening and conflicting emotions ; at length they, each as that it was not owing to heartless indifference, but to na. involuntarily, turned their horses' heads, and pursued their tural fickleness and instability, and to the ardent spirits way home ward in melancholy and ill-omened silence. He and warm constitution of his youth, that he soon was seen was engaged for the same evening to meet a large party at to be inspired with equal devotion to another, and as fair Mr. Bell's, and it was not until they sat together at dinner an object.
that almost a syllable was interchanged between them ; As for Bessy, she too had recovered from the shock her even then it cost an effort on both sides. The company obfriendship had sustained, althongh the latter feeling remain. served it, and rallied each on their depression, and Bessy was ed still undiminished ; and we have already noticed the ere long again the centre and attraction of all cheerfulness. number and power of the fascinations which now newly Montgomery still maintained a gloomy taciturnity, for which beset her. In a word, Montgomery was formed to be the the frightful convulsions of his mind that morning but too bane of two gentle creatures, with respect to whom, whe truly accounted. Bessy herself was surprised, when it no ther we look to their personal charms, their intellectual at- longer seemed to originate in compliment to her own feelings ; tractions, the innocence in which he found them, or their but still following the bent of a fond woman's credulity, taalterable attachment to each other; it would be difficult she gave it the flattering interpretation of extreme regret at to decide which would be the object of the greater interest his early intended absence. and admiration.
The ladies had long retired, and Montgomery, had forti Yes, is it not, after all, nearly incredible when we recur fied himself with deep and long potations, ere he fouud it po.. to the circumstances of this little tale from the commence- sible to gain even an artificial excitement. Under such in. ment, that in the course of four months from the hour when fluence, he at length appeared in the drawing room, and he parted with Mary, her recollection was now almost hastening again to Bessy's side, he lavished on ber, to an exeffacel, at least from the seat of his deeper emotions, and he travagent excess, all the flattery and compliment of which found himself day after day engaged in attentions as assi. he was so finished a master. He led her to the piano-forte, duous to another, as he had so lately practised with un- hung over her chair, mingled his manly voice with her own
sweet thrilling notes, and during each pause whispered in the cause which might have reduced Montgomery to such a her ear his fixed and unalterable devotion.
fearful situation. They were, after some time, induced by the delighted His horse might have taken fright, and fled to a haunt audience, to attempt a celebrated duet, the most difficult once so familiar. He might have been attacked by ruffians, they had yet performed, and peculiarly expressive of tender with whom the forest was said occasionally to abound, and and iinpassioned sentiments. " It was in the inidst of this, fled for protection to his house, whilst the violence of their and when Montgomery was taking his part with exquisite assaults, or the exhaustion of fatigue, would account for his taste and masterly skill, that a servant slipped into his having been found insensible. These, and a thousand such hand a note which had been just delivered to him. He held accidents, his imagination speedily suggested ; but they it with the air of one totally abstracted in his occupation were soon discarded successively, and as it were by instinct; until it was Bessy's turn to respond, as she did with power his fears settled finally on the truth that all he saw was equal to his own : then he ventured to snatch one hasty connected, though he guesed not how, with the interests of glance at its superscription. It seemed to contain a deadly his beloved daughter. spell_his very reason appeared to fail him—he staggered Instantly he sought her chamber. She heard, with little to the door, to the astonishment of all present, and seizing surprise, that Montgomery was in the house ; but was his hat, and seeming to fly from their attentions, rushed deeply shocked to learn his pitiable condition. She accomwith the speed of madness to the stable-yard, mounted his panied her father to his bedside, and along with him watched saddled horse, and galloped furiously away.
over the wretched being it contained, with a deep intensity Can it be doubted from whom that communication came? of emotion, until a long-drawn sigh and violent contortion The beautiful characters were but too well known to him, at length betokened his reviving sense, and then, in bitterand the words, which he himself read not till the next dawn, ness and misery, she glided back to her own apartment. were the following :-“ Unhappy man! as thou wouldst The farmer, in the meantime, had resumed his painful reyet hope for mercy for all thy accumulated guilt, ensnare verie. During the last three months he had laboured unnot by thy wiles another victim, in addition to the lost der continual anxiety and doubt, concerning the lovers' uf.
accountable separation, and had latterly yielded to dark 3. Often after that night, did Montgomery curse the perfec. suspicions as to the purity of Montgomery's intentions, tions of the animal which carried him, that he dashed him whose unworthiness he believed his daughter might have not to atoms on the rough roads which he passed. On, on
earlier detected, and acted accordingly. Even his present he rode, pushing him at the height of his speed, nor pulled compassion could not prevent their growing form ; and it a rein till he arrived at Farmer Gray's cottage. It was already is not then to be wondered at
, that when at length the paan hour past midnight, when he paused, scarce knowing tient opened his eyes, and rolled them wildly round ere he where he was, and having come so far without fixed pur- could recollect and account for his present situation, which pose or intent. All around was calm and quiet, in awful he finally testified by grasping convulsively the hand of his contrast to the tumult that raged within him. The farmer
kind physician, that the latter replied to his wistful look, and his household had long retired to rest ; yet there was
by saying abruptly, one sleepless being within that heard the horse, and guessed
“ Mr. Montgomery, I am a plain-spoken man, and you at its rider. It was a moment of fearful excitement, and
must not be offended by my asking, what brought you having almost mechanically led the reeking animal to a
here? or rather, was it to marry my daughter that you stall, he struck his hand against his forehead, and endea
came?" voured to regain the composure which he appeared to have
« Marry her !" exclaimed the unhappy young manutterly lost. That he soon found was, at the moment, and oh ' if you have a heart, but prevail on her this hear
“ Marry, did you say ?-yes, yes !-it was to marry berhe was, he determined to await the morning ere he sought -to-morrow—or the next day—or when and where she
He wandered round the environs pleases !" of the farm, and as each familiar spot recurred to his eye and all again was the tenderest and most attentive kindness:
The farmer was at once disarmed of every angry feeling, beneath the clear moonlight, which he had trod so often with the lost, the loving Mary, he imprecated the deepest his daughter, and left him for that purpose ; while Monto
Finally, he undertook to gain for him an interview with curses upon his own devoted head. clouded, as if in unison with his thoughts
, the moon disap gomery, whose powerful constitution had already rallied peared from the heavens, the stormrose apace, the rain considerably, made the necessary preparations in case his descended thick, drifting, and violent. Involuntarily he request should be granted. bared his head and bosom to its assaults, and felt, for the
And, after a long interval, it was so. Wrought up te moment, the first relief from frenzy. But in its place came
the highest pitch of excitement, he received and obeyed the
But alas! how changed was reason, once more calm and cool, and he felt he had but summons—and they met. to a clearer sense of his misery. The lightning he had once known and loved, in the beauty of opening wo.
the fair creature before him, from the bright young being began to flash, and as its transitory brightness aided the manhool, in the charms of happy innocence, in the springgrey glimmering of morning, he traced the expressions of the day of health and hope, almost a stranger to care, and peso almost forgotten note. Deadly sickness came over him—a sessing within herself a world of fascination, and of peace spasmodic shudder—a gravelike chill—and, staggering to a stable door, he sunk senseless beneath his steed upon the
Now that cheek was lighted up as brilliantly as ever, but
it was hectic flush ; that eye was as bright, but with the The
farmer was, as usual, the first astir, and on going glaze of disease ; that brow was as eminently fair, but as surprised to see that door but half.closed.
with the wan pallor of death.
He entered hastily, and was horror-smitten at the spectacle withi, There lay Montgomery, as if in the grasp of a
What passed during that sad interview nerer transpired cruel and violent death, his throat and breast still bare, his
to any. His voice had been elevated in the various tones distorted, his hands clenched, and his hair damp and sobs were heard distinctly through the cottage. She had
of supplication, of passion, and of anguish ; even his bitter dish "evelled.
On closer examination, the farmer was rejoiced always spoken in the lowest accents of calm resolution and discover that life yet remained : and being somewhat collected dignity. At length there was a long pause there killed in surgery, a power which his retired situation often
was one heart-breaking groan—the door opened, and Mout. having bled him freely, used every means to recall the comind gomery frushed to the stable, and, having thrown himself
on his horse, galloped furiously to Omagh, called wildly ‘nce which seemed so fast ebbing. Nor were they long for a post-chaise, and took the road to Dublin. There without effect ; and whilst he bent over him, anxiously
were no tidings of him afterward for many a week, sare a watching their progress, and having administered a gentle opiate, laid him in his own bed, and sat him down by the hasty note to his friend, apologizing for his abrupt deside, he gave up his mind to innumerable conjectures upon
admission at the cottage.
It were idle to detail the innumerable conjectures and with a paper she held, while her eye glanced from line to rimours in the neighbourhood concerning his strange con line with wild rapidity. It was the manuscript from which duct the preceding evening, and his sudden and mysterious some of the leading facts I have related were originally exdisappearance. Idler far were the hope of describing the tracted, and as Montgomery started up, and caught the woful feelings of the terrified, the forsaken Bessy. She had | reader's eye, she would have fallen had he not folded her in just learnt what it was to love, and be beloved, when the his arms. He laid her tenderly on the ground-staggered cup of happiness was dashed from her lips ; she had just a few yards from the spot-there was the report of a pistol felt the fall brightness of the vision, when it vanished from -and all was over. She recovered but too speedily to hear her straining gaze.
that deadly sound. She rushed to the fatal spot, and threw
herself on the bleeding and mangled corpse. At length It was in the noon of the 20th August, one year from she was torn away, borne to the house, and laid in her bed the day on which he had first seen Mary—and during that under the rage of a delirious fever. Long was her existence short year what misery had he not wrought for himself hopeless. But joy was in every countenance, when after and others ?—that Frederick Montgomery arrived in Omagh, nineteen days, there was a plain and evident improvement. having ridden by casy stages from the metropolis. He was Then came a few lucid intervals, during which who would much and visibly changed. His face had lost its former not have wept with her? And then a relapse. And after sweet expression, his cheek was pale, his lip colourless, his two months she rose from that bed an unconscious idiot. eye was wilder than before, and his brow wore the ravages It were impossible to describe the emotions with which I of illness, and the traces alike of harrowing affliction and listened to this deeply pathetic tale. Two mountains, as I deep despair. What had brought him thither he dared not have said, serve to keep up its recollection amidst the scenes to ask himself. Could it be to look once more on the of its sad occurrences ; and the weatherwise of the neighwaste, the ruin he had made ?
bourhood have been often heard to remark, that any menaHe partook of some refreshment, and prepared to resume ces from the object of their study, are still earliest indicated his lonely way. As he waited the appearance of his horse, by the gloom that gathers around Mary Gray; while in the the church-bell threw sullenly on the air its awful lament darkest hours of the showery season of spring or autumn, of death. He listened calmly for a moment, then burying if any spot around would seem to indicate a brighter pro. his face in his hands, yielded himself up to the succession spect, it is ever the green and sunny summit of Bessy Bell. of bitter emotions that those sounds inspired ; and the -Dublin Magazine.
groom had summoned him thrice ere he started from his * sad reverie. He mounted, rode slowly up the street, and
AN OLD SCOTTISH TOUN. saw the mournful paraphernalia of mortality enter the CRAWFORD, in the parish of Crawford, afforded, thirty church-yard as he was about to pass. Under an involuntary years ago, a good picture of a toun in the intermediate impulse he paused, and moved after the sorrowful crowd stage between feudalism and the modern degree of civilization. toward the gate. He thought he heard some whispers of his name in the procession, but was too deeply abstracted It consisted, or was the centre of above twenty freedoms, to listen with much attention.
holden by a certain tenure off the Crawfords and DougAt length he reached the gate-there was, immediately lases, the former superiors of the parish and country. Each within, a newly dug grave, and the coffin was being lowered freedom consisted of four or five acres, parcelled out here and from the hearse. As he gazed almost unconciously around there ; as in England, about the the same period, a tenant -suddenly, like the lightning's flash-he caught the chief
on a manor, had his wheat soil in one place, his barley field, mourner's eye-that chief mourne rwas Farmer Gray, and and ground for peas in another, scattered here and there, a in that glance what was there not conveyed ! It seemed to pierce him to the heart, and turning round instantaneous bit of each kind being allotted to equalize the holdings of ly, he fled with the mad speed of the criminal, down the
the different tenants. The proprietors of the freedoms precipitate bill, and whither ?--and wherefore ?
of Crawford were named Lairds, and their wives Ladies.
They enjoyed the right of common hill pasture for a certain That terrible evening, Bessy was sitting in a little arbour number of cattle, sheep, and horses. The little statesmen of which Montgomery's hands and her own had raised in hap- Westmorland are still in much the same condition. In pier days, and she looked on the last beams of the setting sun, and thought how the wit and merriment of which she Crawford, there was an inferior caste who only feud was then the mistress were now as faint and evanescent as ground for a hut and a kail-yard. This rural commonthe expiring glories on which she gazed. Then her ideas, wealth was governed by a Birley-Couit, in which every
The great as they wandered in a pensive strain, reverted to her happy Laird had a vote, or, in his absence, his tenant. schooldays, to her beloved companion in them all. Oh! business of this legislative assembly and executive body, if she had known taat the faithful, the well-remembered several Lairds were entitled to graze on the common pas
was to settle disputes about the number of animals the the once-lovely being, was at that very moment being consigned as dust to dust..
Like more celebrated assemblies, it was chiefly reSuddenly there was a step—there was a vioce, and in markable for the noise which attended its deliberations. another instant she was folded in the arms of Montgomery! It was held weekly, and a regular adjournment was made It was a long-an impassioned, as it had been an involun
to the village ale-houses, the Brookeses and Boodles of Crawtary carese. At length it was over, and tears, while they ford to wit. Once a-year, about Martinmas, when a cow relieved her, prevented her for a while from observing the or a few sheep were sold, each member cleared his annual ghastly, the frantic expression of him who still wildly gazed club-score. The Lairds and their tenants were not troubleupon her. But it could not be longer unnoticed, and terri- some, or new fangled about improvements, though, when fied and horror-struck_“ What means that look ?” she ex- convenient, they generally threw the dung out of the byres claimed. “Oh, dearest Frederick, you have never yet re
upon the fields; but if any new-fashioned farmer offered to covered from the shock of that awful night," and she burst purchase it," that was so much money gained, and“ a bird into a new passion of tears.
in hand was worth two in a bush." The Lairds of Craw“ In truth,” he replied slowly, and gasping for breath, ford were a contrast to the blood-mounted, wine-bibbing * in truth it was a fearful shock'; and the next day”—he gentleman-farmer of a generation later. What a contrast paused, and added convulsively—“ the next day I was to
in their habits and modes of cultivation! The old people have asked you to marry me.Oh, Bessy! dearest, best-spoke of the easy life, and the easy mind of the former times, beloved, would you have been the wife of the
as making the most striking difference in their condition. « Murderer" he would have added, but he sunk power I remember hearing an old farmer tell that the site of a particular less on the ground.
cow-house of a farm on the banks of Dollar Burn, was especially valued, After a considerable interval he revived. A servant was
some fifty years ago, as it afforded such facility for shovelling off the chafing his templez. Bessy stood near, intensely oceupied deme, inedite rapid rivulet, when it became soinewhat
more than kneeEditor.