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"Well, my dear mother," said Percy, "you may, I assure you, feel proud of having entertained such a man-don't leave us, Ada." His sister had risen suddenly to quit the drawingroom- "Remain but a moment." She returned at her brother's request, but her heart was full, and she could not speak.
"Listen," continued Percy, addressing his father, "Frank Leigh is a rich man, and could buy Dorset Hall twice over. He confessed to me that he loved my sister before he left Australia, and obtained my sanction to win her love if he could, under an assumed name, and if I am any judge he has been successful," and he drew his sister to his heart and kissed her. Ada sobbed confession.
Sir James's family prejudices were strong, but he felt himself helpless in the case, and resigned himself to fate. "But, after all," he said to himself, "he is very wealthy, and riches the real Aladdin's lamp-make wonderful transformations."
BUT what of May Leigh?
"I do not write for those dull elves Who cannot picture to themselves," that Percy Ilford had paid his first attentions to the lady of his love, and that their meeting had been
"All that the best can mingle or express
When two pure hearts are pour'd in one another." May could have saved her mother the trouble of going to the Hall to enquire for Frank, but her lips had been sealed. The little conspirator could have solved the mystery as to Ralph Maitland. That gentleman had sought means to see her on the very first day of his arrival at the Cottage. He had confided to her his hopes and fears, and she had been faithful to the trust.
There have been great rejoicings at Dorset Hall. Miss Ada Ilford has become Mrs. Leigh, and May Leigh has been transformed into Mrs. Ilford. Sir James and Lady Ilford, as may readily be supposed, entertained strong prejudice against the marriage of their children with plebeian blood, and more especially in the case of their heir, who bore their name and would transmit it to posterity. But they became reconciled to it; at first, because they had no other alternative; but afterwards, because they learned to be proud of their tall and manly son-in-law, and to love with all their heart their lovely and gentle May.
It must not be left untold that Miss Danvers was invited to Miss Ilford's wedding, and came. The old lady was delighted with Percy's charming bride, and confessed to Ada that she did not wonder at Lord Clifton's unsuccessful
suit, at which the young lady blushed charmingly, and kissed her aged relative.
"I told you," said Percy Ilford, one day after their marriage, to May, his wife, "that I would marry you with the full consent of my father and mother. I have lifted them over the gulf of their prejudices, and they are happy on the other side."
"I am sure your mamma loves me, Percy; and I love her and dear Sir James with all my heart," said May.
He answered her with a sweet caress.
Gossip has had her full talk, and matters have assumed a quiet course at Dorset Hall.
The two gold-diggers proved themselves men in every essential, and the whole countryside changed its aspect under the magic influence of a judicious expenditure of money. Percy Ilford rebuilt the old hall, and Frank Leigh built himself a new one in the neighbourhood. The farmers had their buildings repaired, and were assisted to improve their farms. James's spirits rose, and, old as he was, he talked of entering Parliament, and dying in the service of the State. But, on consideration, he thought it would be better that Percy should do so in his stead. The baronet's advice suited his son's designs, and Percy Ilford became in due course an M.P. for his county. Frank Leigh also sought and found a seat for a neighbouring borough. May Leigh took her place as a lady of the land, as if she had been born to it; and her parents, naturally drawn up into the ranks of the gentry, acquitted themselves in their new position with a dignity that always accompanies good sense, combined with honesty and goodness of heart.
In woods primeval the bold pioneer,
With brawny arm cuts down the huge old tree; Yokes to the rudest plough the solemn steer, And practiseth the roughest husbandry ; And ages follow ages, and the bright,
Cultur'd landscape doth at last appear; In flow'ring beauty to make glad the sight; In fruitful plenteousness the heart to cheer; And thus, by slow degrees, this dear old earth Again gives Eden's smiling aspect birth: But man, with wilful blindness, doth remain Grov'ling in sin's dark night; O, that he would In justice seek the bond of brotherhoodThen might the world lost paradise regain!
INSTRUCTIVE AND ENTERTAINING
LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
"OH, LAND OF HAPPY FIRESIDE AND CLEANLY HEARTHS AND DOMESTIC PRACE."-Southgate.
GARRETT ROWAN, THE FENIAN.
BY HENRY MARTIN.
Author of "Stories of Irish Life," "Arnold Percival Montaigne," &c., &c.
"To be, or not to be, that is the question."-HAMLET.
It was resolved, therefore, at a sitting of Dublin Castle officials to notify secretly to Professor Doctus the names of his pupils concerned in the conspiracy afoot; and to ask him, without letting it be known who had suggested
the matter, to use in the best way he thought fit, his remonstrance and warning.
and distressed at the communication, orally Professor Doctus was extremely surprised and circumstantially, made to him; and most of all that Garrett Rowan, his favourite and most promising pupil, should have been so ill-advised and rash as to compromise himself in a conspiracy, which, in his opinion, aimed at the best and truest interests of the nation.
HE day after Stephens's arrest, Garrett was surprised by receiving a note from the leading Professor of the medical school to which he was attached; saying that he wished to speak with him upon an important matter; and requesting that he would favour him with a call at his house, at a given hour. The young man asked himself what could be the meaning of this. Garrett never was informed, but the explanation we can give. We are aware that, from the moment Garrett took the Fenian oath, he was a marked An eye, he was not cognisant of, had seen the whole transaction; had noted his study; who, seeing him enter, rose and warmly shook him by the hand. "I have called, sir," personal appearance; and after he and Malachy said Garrett, "in obedience to your written rehad left Centre MacNally's house, this worthy quest received this morning." "Thank you very had given the Government spy Garrett much," replied the Professor, "I do want Rowan's residence and name; and never after-greatly to see you my young friend, and alone. wards was he free from a jealous surveillance. And, perhaps, you will be a good deal surprised to learn it is that I may, in quietness, relate to you an Eastern tale. Please sit down."
Garrett was punctual to the hour named -was conducted to the Professor in his
The authorities, however, were deeply concerned that such promising young men as Malachy O'Byrne and Garrett Rowan should be mixed up with a movement which they knew was destined to utter failure and collapse; and connection with which was certain to entail most disastrous consequences.
character and safety, Garrett was, therefore, From a sincere regard for the young men's the very first he undertook to rescue, if possible, from impending ruin. Hence the note to him which has been mentioned.
Garrett was, indeed, surprised at this statement. He knew, however, that the man before him was not one to do a foolish thing; and, therefore, he felt that his proposal was prompted by some significant design. But what could that be? He would wait to discover from the promised story.
"A Tartar Khan," said Professor Doctus surrounded by his nobles was once on his way to a royal hunt. A dervish with flowing beard and staff in hand met him, who cried with a loud voice 'A hundred pieces of gold,
O King, and I will give thee valuable counsel A hundred pieces of gold, O King, and I will give thee valuable counsel!!'
"The Khan was struck with the dervish's earnest manner; and, his curiosity excited, he asked him what this counsel might be.
Pay me my price,' the dervish replied, 'and my counsel shall be thine.'
"Meet the dervish's demand,' said the Khan to his treasurer who stood by his side; and the hundred pieces of gold soon glistened in his hand.
"This then is my counsel,' the dervish said, looking steadily into the Khan's face; and speaking in a very impressive way, As I do now, to you, Mr. Rowan," added the Professor. "Undertake nothing, of which thou hast not well considered the end.'"
"He paid dearly for his advice," exclaimed Garrett.
"So the Khan's courtiers declared, Mr. Rowan," replied Professor Doctus, "and even laughed at what they deemed his foolish
"But the Khan answered-The dervish's words convey indeed a very simple and obvious maxim; but one it may be which on that very account is likely to be forgotten. It is, however, certainly a wise one; and I shall have it written over my palace doors, upon my chamber walls, and upon the household utensils of my daily use.'"
"Was it worth the cost and labour?" interrupted Garrett.
"You shall hear," replied the Professor. "The royal physician, my young friend, some time afterwards, was bribed to bleed his master with a poisoned lancet. A silver basin was brought to him by an attendant to receive the blood. Around its rim was engraved in gleaming letters the counsel of the dervish. Its warning words catching the eyes of the physician, he turned pale; dropped the lancet to the ground; fell upon his knees, and confessed his intended crime.
"Yes,- Undertake nothing,'" slowly repeated the Professor-" of which thou hast not well considered the end.' The advice, we see, Mr. Rowan," he continued, "proved itself well worth the gold which the Khan had paid for it. It saved his life. I give the counsel to you, my dear young friend, for nothing; and for the sake of your beloved mother, Mr. Rowan, and your sister, whom I know you tenderly regard, and your own good name, and hopes for the future, my young friend-ponder these same words, I beseech you. I will not tell you, Mr. Rowan, how it has come to pass, that I have brought them before you. I think, I may safely leave you to divine the reason but, be assured, my young friend, I have your
welfare deeply at heart, and hence the interview I have requested, and the simple legend which I have just related."
Garrett left Professor Doctus's house-the subject of questioning thoughts and most conflicting feelings. "It must be," he said to himself "that he has obtained in some way information of this secret oath, which I have lately taken; but yet, how is that possible? No, that cannot be. This, however, must be it. He knows this great movement is on hand; and that many young men in the City have joined in it. He suspects, but only suspects, that I am a sharer in the plot. Hence this sought interview and vouchsafed advice. I am sure I am exceedingly obliged to him. It is very kind. But, then, he is an old man, and, therefore, morbidly cautious. Were youth to be ruled by such persons as he, the world's history would come to a dead stand-still, and every abuse would be perpetuated. "But then, again," Garrett reflected"Undertake nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end.' After all, these are, without question, weighty words; and by my love for my darling mother and sister, were they pressed upon me. What may be the end of this Fenian plot? Why, possibly, a victorious. insurrection; and Ireland an independent state
and Malachy is confident of this. But it may be, on the other hand, utter and disastrous defeat; a felon's cell; and a dishonoured grave; and such in all the past has been the issue of such outbreaks My God!" he exclaimed, "if anything like this were to happen me, it would bring my mother with sorrow to the grave."
Garrett moodily pondered this possible and dreadful calamity; yet, the solemn oath he had taken was upon him; and he felt he could not, with a true and faithful heart, extricate himself at once. He would, however, take no very active part in the conspiracy; would rather hold himself far as possible aloof; and, as soon as honour would at all permit, would cut himself free of the perilous business.
CASSIUS: "You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Two days after this, Malachy, evidently full of some most important intelligence, sought a word with Garrett. Scarcely had they retired to Garrett's room, when Malachy, setting his finger to his lip, said, "O, Garrett, a most momentous secret," and then he hoarsely whispered, "Our noble Stephens is to be released." Misunderstanding him, and supposing that Malachy meant a legal release, he said, "I am exceedingly rejoiced Malachy; but how in the world has it come about that the
Authorities are going to enlarge him; has he made surrender and peached." Filled with disgust, at such a supposition, Malachy exclaimed, "Stephens surrendered and peached! What are you thinking of, Garrett, are you losing your brains and heart? No, man alive, Stephens is not the one to turn his hand from an enterprise he has once entered upon; he leaves that sort of thing to dastards and cowards. No, I tell you; but a splendid scheme, certain to succeed, is on foot, to set him at liberty. I am one of the band of true and faithful ones, which is to undertake the plan, and more than this, my dear fellow, knowing your metal and the heartiness of your zeal in the good cause, I have persuaded our Central Committee to associate you with me in this brilliant enterprise. Is not that good news, old fellow?" and Malachy patted, with his hand, Garrett's shoulder. Garrett bit his lip, for he felt himself getting into a most perplexing difficulty.
He had made up his mind, from consideration for mother and sister, to withdraw himself from all active part in this perilous and criminal undertaking. "Would to God," he said within himself, "that I had separated myself decisively and completely from the whole affair. This would indeed have imperilled my life with the Fenians, and would have lost me the regard and respect of this dear fellow here before me. But, no matter, it would have saved me from this dreadful dilemma in which I now find myself; the appearance of treachery and cowardice on the one side; or a share in sedition and rebellion on the other; and what in the world shall I do?"
Malachy became impatient at the unexpected silence of his friend; and in the presence, too, of such a joyous and glorious communication as he had made to him.
"What are you thinking about Garrett?" he enquired, "Do you hear me man? You are to be companion with me in restoring to our national and sacramental host, their Heaven appointed leader. I have obtained this for you; your name will be emblazoned on the page of history for ever, and do you not owe me for this, my good fellow, your eternal gratitude?"
Garrett was about to say that of late he had a good deal changed his mind as to the rightness and expediency of the whole movement; and would rather that Malachy would choose some other comrade for the task he spoke of; but, as he looked into Malachy's face, so full of the light of a whole-hearted enthusiasm, and the fire, of what to him was a sacred passion, the words died upon his lips; and he could only ask for an explanation of the method of release resolved upon.
"Oh," said Malachy, "the whole thing is arranged, for, with the greatest cleverness and completeness. Unknown to the English authorities, we have our sworn adherents among the very officials of the prison. An impression has been taken in wax of the key that opens Stephens's cell. The true key is locked up each night in the safe of the Governor of the gaol, but what now boots that. We have a duplicate key, made from the wax impression, by a Fenian whitesmith in the city. And we have a devoted friend in the gaol to use it, and it will be used; upon the next dark night of rain and storm, Garrett, Stephens will be conducted, by his secret liberator, from his cell, along the corridor and on to the prison yard. I and you, and two or three others, are to be outside the yard wall, to throw over, upon a preconcerted signal, a rope ladder. You see the rest, don't you? Stephens will, in this way, conquer and evade every barrier and hindrance his enemies, in their pride and power, have imposed upon him will rejoin his friends and head his awaiting hosts-and then very soon the green flag, Garrett, will wave triumphantly over emancipated Ireland; and I will add to this glorious consummation another one less important; but which I know is very near to your heart, my dear friend; Garrett Rowan, will soon after be the owner of Carberry Grange."
Garrett was greatly interested in the statement of his friend; and, what he told him, gave him to think that there was far greater probability than he had supposed, in the success of the present conspiracy. If Fenians were to be found among the very officials of the gaols, over the land, British authority was certainly in a very jeopardized condition. Besides, the task he was now asked to take part in was to be comparatively a venial one. Not to take life, but to restore to liberty; and that of one, too, whom he was under a solemn oath to befriend at all sacrifice.
Even had he formally given up his sworn pledge, he would be disposed to take share in giving freedom to a captive. How much more then should he lend himself to such an enterprise, when his oath was still resting upon him.
But, more than all this, the mention of Carberry Grange brought up before his mind the great longing of his life. If the Fenian outbreak should end in triumph, as really seemed probable, he was to have the dear old place, as his reward for valuable service; but, if from want of constancy, he should withdraw himself, he would be in a worse position in regard to it than he was even now-he would be branded as a coward and a traitor—and scorn and contempt would be his portion, and not Carberry Grange.
After these thoughts had rapidly passed through his mind, giving his hand to Malachy, and pressing it hard, he said, smilingly, "All right Malachy, when the fitting hour comes let me know, I will go with you and free our captive eagle from his cage."
The result of this well concerted plan for the escape of the Head Centre, Stephens, it is well known, has become a thrilling episode in Irish history.
"Locks, bolts, and bars, soon fly asunder."-SONG.
"WHEN built, fifty or sixty years ago, Richmond was one of the strongest gaols in Ireland; but it was entirely wanting in those facilities for supervision which modern prisons, with radiating corridors, possess. At the head of one of the several stone stairs, ran a short cross corridor of six cells. The door between the corridor and the stairhead was of heavy hammered iron, secured by a lock, opening from either side. The cell doors were likewise of wrought iron, fastened with ponderous swinging bars and padlocks. The other end of the corridor was closed by a similar door. In four of these cells Stephens, Luby, Kickham, and Rossa, were confined. Lest there might be any tampering, or undue communication, no warder or other person was allowed in the corridor at night; but a warder and policeman were placed outside the locked door at the end, opposite the stairhead door. At the latter no watch was deemed necessary.
"Vain were all bolts and bars and iron doors and grated windows to hold Stephens in this prison. In anticipation of his arrest, some of the prison officers had been long secretly secured as sworn members of the I.R.B. (Irish Republic Brigade.) One was J. J. Breslin, hospital superintendent. Another, was Byrne, night watchman, whose duty it was to patrol the whole building, yard, and passages, from 'lock up' at night, to unlock, each morning. Breslin had a pass key for all interior doors; Byrne had one for exterior and interior. The moment the Fenian Chief-Captain was brought in, wax impressions or moulds of these keys were taken, and duplicates were, at once, manufactured by an expert hand.
"Night came, 23rd November, 1865. Lock up and final inspection were duly completed. The warders paraded, and gave up their pass keys, to be locked in the Governor's safe. The watches were posted, and sang out, All's well.'
"Stephens sat up through the night, aware that some time between midnight and morning his deliverer would be at hand. The elements were propitious. An unusual storm of wind
and rain howled through the pitchy darkness of that night.
"The prison clock chimes one, and Stephens hears a stealthy footfall approach. The stairhead door is unlocked. A friendly tap is at his own door, and soon it swings open. Daniel Byrne and James Breslin are outside. Softly they descend the stair, each man now grasping a revolver, for a desperate work has been begun.
"They gain the yard, and reach the boundary wall at a spot outside which confederates were to be in waiting.
"They fling over the wall a few pebbles, the pre-arranged signal. In answer, a small sod of grass is thrown to them from the other side. Then they bring from the lunatic prisoners' day-room, which is close by, two long tables, which they lay against the wall. A rope is thrown over, which Byrne and Breslin are to hold, while Stephen's descends by it on the other side. He mounts the tables, he gains the top, and swings into the arms of his friends below. Each one is drenched to the skin, but they bound with joy, and embrace effusively.
"One Sunday evening, three months afterwards, a handsome open carriage and four drove through the streets of the Irish Metropolis, two stalwart footmen, seated on the dickey behind. Two gentlemen reclined lazily on the cushioned seats within. They proceeded northwards, through Malahide and towards Balbriggan. Near the latter place, close by the sea, the carriage stopped. One of the occupants got out, walked down to the shore, where a boat was in waiting. He entered, and was pulled off to a lugger in the offing.
"The gentleman, placed on board the lugger, soon speeding down the Channel, with flowing sheet to France, was James Stephens, the Central Organiser of the Irish Republic."*
A thousand pounds were offered by the Government, for information that would lead to his re-capture. Mrs. Butler, Summer Hill, Dublin, " a woman of humble means," might at any time have secured this money, and upon any day during the three months which elapsed, between the escape of Stephens from the gaol, and his departure from the Irish shores, as it proved, for ever; for he passed there thirteen weeks, secreted in her house. She knew the risk she ran in harbouring him. She knew, that what would be to her quite a fortune, was attainable by a single whispered word to the police; but Stephens trusted to her fidelity, and did not trust in vain. In her view he was a persecuted and hunted patriot, a noble souled man, who had imperilled all for native land; and poverty was esteemed by her better than gold, won at the price of the death or captivity
A. M. Sullivan's, "New Ireland."-Passim.