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therefore, I watched the setting sun illumi- , and securing the end of a stout rope to an nating the west with all the majesty of bis iron ring, contrived by dint of perseverance golden grandeur, and giving every promise of and strength to steady the boat so as to
permit us to land. I can hardly express the " A goodly day to-morrow.”
feelings of awe that overcame me as I gazed
upwards at the immense mass of rock which Nor did he prove a faithless barbinger, as the towered above in so threatening a manner, following morning was so favorable as to as to give one great reason to doubt its stawarrant us in making the attempt; and we bility. I stood riveted to the spot, spellaccordingly engaged a strong boat, with six bound, as it were, and was only roused to able-bodied sailors, to row us to the rock. activity by my friend, who exclaimed as he
We left the harbor at nine, and soon after pointed upwardsclearing the channel dividing the island from “ There is our destination." the mainland, saw the object of our enter The object to which my attention was thus prise looming to the south like some gigantic drawn, appeared, as seen from below, like a obelisk. The Great Skellig does not, how- small jutting crag, whose dimensions seemed ever, stand quite alone. Two other rocks, hardly capable of bearing the most diminuknown by the names of the Lemon and Little, tive sea-bird, much less the foot of man ; or Middle Skellig, are in the vicinity. The and, involuntarily shuddering at the bare first of these is circular, having an elevation contemplation of standing on so giddy a considerably above high-water mark, and height, I demanded if he really proposed abounding with various kinds of sea-fowl; guiding me to such a break-neck place. and about three miles to the south is the “ You can hardly say you have visited the Little Skellig, consisting of a reddish kind of Great Skellig unless you have kissed the slate, rising abruptly from the sea, and fre cross on its summit," was his reply.
“ And quented by vast numbers of gannets, or solan although but few have the head to do so, geese, and a great variety of other birds, all yet almost all make the trial.” of which are eagerly sought by the peasantry
“ Allons donc !" I responded; and bracing for their feathers, as also, in seasons of my nerves to the task, we commenced the scarcity, for food.
ascent. About a league farther from the main A rude path led from the rock on which land lies the Great Skellig, which we were we landed, to a small sloping plain of about now fast approaching, after a pretty severe a couple of acres in dimension, which forms pull of some three hours. Calm as the day the middle region of the island, and is was, yet the roll of the waves, as they came bounded on all sides by precipices; from sweeping in from the Atlantic, rendered it this plain, which is about one hundred and most difficult to effect a landing, and as the fifty feet from the base, the rock divides into boat rose and fell on the giant swell, ber two peaks, the tallest of which has an elevasides occasionally grating against the jagged tion of about one thousand five hundred feet. rocks, I certainly expected every moment to To surmount this was the object of our entersee her impaled on them.
prise. Before, however, addressing ourselves I ought to mention that there are but two to so formidable an undertaking, we prospots on the rock where a landing is at all ceeded to view the remains of two small practicable, even in the calmest weather, wells, which, together with a chapel, are and, notwithstanding every precaution, it has dedicated to St. Michael. In fact, we stood frequently happened that the attempt has on holy ground; this circumscribed spot * been attended by loss of life. We find it having been in the earlier ages of Christianity recorded in the Irish histories that one of selected as a place of religious seclusion. In Milesius's sons was lost in endeavoring to support of this tradition the remains of the land for the purpose of visiting the monas- abbey of St. Tinian, and the cells of the tery, and was, according to the same authori- monks who lived here in most austere solities, buried on the island.
tude, are still to be seen. The chapels, or Our sailors happened, fortunately, to be cells, are built of stone, dovetailed without powerful fellows, and being well accustomed mortar, similar to those at the Seven Churches to the management of a boat in these rough in the county of Wicklow, and possess coniseas, assured us, if we would only remain cal roofs of the same material. perfectly tranquil, they would speedily land It was when the abbey flourished that the us in safety. Three of the strongest, watch cross to which we have alluded was erected, ing their opportunity, leaped on the rock, with a view, in all probability, of increasing
the church funds, as it was declared ihat the lurking devil in his eye, and a roguish smile
- house was as to run the risk of annually immolating enough for them, for when they crept to the some members of their flocks.
edge and peeped over, they alter'd their As we were viewing the scattered remains mind all of a sudden, and said they had no of the monastery, a peasant accosted us, and time to go bigher, or they were too tired, or demanding if we contemplated ascending to it was too could, or too hot; but atween ourthe crass, as he called it, proffered his ser- |selves, yer honor, it's afear'd I think they vices as a guide. He was a true Kerryman, were. inquisitive and intelligent, and had, moreover, By this time we had ascended some two a touch of classical Iore, which might have hundred feet, and stood on the ledge-like shamed some of his superiors in worldly sta- terrace, on which the light-house alluded tion.
to is erected. It is a strong and compact It may be remarked here, how prevalent a building, and appears incorporated with the knowledge of Latin is amongst the lower rock, into which, indeed, it is dovetailed. classes in Kerry. Few, who have been at The lantern displays a fixed bright light. the Lakes of Killarney, will fail to remember The house is tenanted by a family consisung the frequent outbreak of occasional scraps of of seven individuals, who reside here througbLatin amongst the peasantry, and especially out the year: their stock of provisions is al. those acting as boatmen.
ways calculated to endure six months; a I saw at a glance that the specimen of precaution rendered highly necessary, when “the finest pisantry in the world,” now be it is remembered they are sometimes cut off fore us, was none of your prattling, parrot- from all communication with the main land like cicerones, who describe the same thing, for months together, and during the winin the same words and tone, day after day, ter it is rarely that a landing can be effectuntil it becomes so habitual, that were they ed. Few situations can be conceived more checked, or put out, they would in all proba- dreary than that of these poor light keepers, bility have to commence again at the begin- and when we add to the above the additional ning: No, our friend never could claim any misery of a lamentable deficiency of wholerelationship with the latter; there was a some water, it may well be believed that they
occasionally suffer great privations ; yet, with greater part of which time we had been
Here we were, then, on the Great Skellig, “We live to love, whate'er may be around."
within a few feet of the cross, standing, or
rather balancing on a crag about a couple of We paused here a few minutes; and with feet brod, and some eight or ten long, and recruited strength and braced nerves proceed at an elevation of nearly fifteen hundred feet. ed to the more adventurous part of our enter. The stones, as they were loosened from the prise. The path which I mentioned as lead- giddy height, fell vertically into the sea, ing from the base of the rock, ceased at the which is upwards of ninety fathoms deep light-bouse; and it was now that the services around the rock. We sat down with our of our guide became essential. Casting off | feet dangling over the precipice in a line, one his frieze coat, and seizing the ever faithful before she other, the guide being outside, shillelagh, he led us upwards with an alacrity and the apex of the cone immediately above requiring all our strength and activity to The far-famed cross was constructed in emulate ; now surmounting the shoulders of the rudest manner, and was aslixed to the huge crags, and then worming his way extremity of the crag on which we were, by through fissures occasioned by the strange means of a large iron staple encircling the disposition of the rocks. Path, indeed, there lower limb. The wood was' blanched by was none, or even the faintest track; and it time and exposure to the weather, and exwas literal!y climbing, by dint of the com- hibited on that part nearest the rock several bined efforts of bands, knees, and feet, the specimens of the ingenuity, and at the same face of a jagged precipice. Up, up we went, time, rashness of various individuals, in the higher and higher still, until we came to the shape of initials, and in some few instances, base of the highest peak, which consists whole names carved on its surface. principally of immense masses of rotten slaty I no longer wondered at what I bad heard substance, apparently decomposed by the concerning a pilgrimage to the cross on the electric fluid. Our progress now became Great Skellig, and the many difficulties and really difficult, and even dangerous, and I dangers attendant thereon, for, though blessmay truly say without exaggeration, that in ed with the strength and energy of youth, I all my rambles on foot through Switzerland, more than once quailed when the giving way 1 never encountered anything so formidable of some faithless stone occasioned a false as the ascent to the cross on the Great Skel- step, and all the terrors of the depth below lig.
flashed before me. Who is there that has Once or twice I felt half inclined to yield, not felt his blood grow cold, as, standing on when the voice of our guide, who was still some giddy height, he has gazed at the deep holding on with all the apparent ease of a abyss, whose gloomy terrors fascinate while mountain goat, reassured me.
they appal? There is no situation, perhaps, Now, yer honor," he exclaimed, ever and in which the mind exhibits so great an ascenanon, “give me yer hand, that's it,—now dency over the body as the above; and we yer fut, there; and don't look down; niver have all heard, or read, of the most extraordilook down. I always till gintlemin so, but nary effects from such a cause. I was sitting some will take a peep over their shouldher; entranced as it were, my eyes riveted beneath, but oh! sir, if ye could only see their faces, or following the mazy flight of some sea-bird, As pale as buttermilk, and their knees trim- that seemed like a flake of snow borne on bling under them, when they see the boats the breeze, when the voice of our guide, who and birds below, for all the world like nut- had been hitherto engaged in the preparation shells and flies."
of his dudeen, or short pipe, roused me., And so went on Tim, encouraging and “Well, gintlemin, I hope ye like yer amusing by turns, until we arrived under the quarthers ? they're airy enough, anyhow." projecting crag overhanging the sea. It was “You may say that, Tim; and high enough no easy matter to attain this; however, by too,” responded my companion ;
ri and now the help of our guide we finally prevailed, suppose we drink her Majesty's health ? You and had the satisfaction of standing on the are a royal subject, I hope, Mr. Healey ?” Darrow ledge within a few feet of the summit, “Oh! to be sure, yer honor, and why not? which was a nere point. The ascent had we're all loyal men in Kerry, as the girls will. *occupied upwarus of half an hour, during the I tell ye.”
VOL. XXV. NO. II.
I produced my flask; and we drank the cifx, which I will give you, agin it, and whin royal toast, and made it circle again to absent you come back, you must give it to Mary to friends, when it was returned to me as empty kiss, and thin come to me.' as the day it first commenced its travels. “Away wint Barney that very night, and
“And won't you kiss the crass ?” said our the following morning he crassed to the island, guide, as he took off his hat to the sacred ascended to the crass, and did all his riverobject.
ence tould him. Well, when he returne be Presently, Tim,” said my friend, “but gave Mary the small crucifix, and she had no first tell us the story concerning the poor sooner kissed it than-glory be to God fellow that you alluded to.”
she was like a new girl, and at the end of a "Oh! certainly, yer honor;” and Tim, who month was as blooming as if she had niver evidently desired nothing better, gave two or been ill at all at all. Barney wint to his three preliminary puffs, and then recited the riverence, and tould him how much better following tale, which well merits the appel. his Mary was, and was going to thank him, lation he gave it, of
whin his riverence bid him hould his tongue
--for it was the blessed crass there before “THE FATAL PILGRIMAGE.
yez that had done all. Well, yer honors, “ You must know, gintilmen, that some time wore on, and the day settled for the years ago, when I was a bit of a gossoon, marriage was close at hand, whin, ov coorse, that crass before yez was one of the holy Barney went to be confessed, and tould bis crasses of Ireland. Indeed, according to riverence that he was going to be married. Father O'Toole—who, rest his sowl! is now “• Fair and aisy,' said Father O'Toole ; dead and gone--it was accounted the holiest all in good time, Barney; but you must first crass in Kerry, and hundreds used to come do pinance for your sins.' from far and near to kiss it. A priest thin · By all means,' said Barney. lived in one of the cells below, and used to Well, thin,' said his riverence, 'what give every one who had made pinance a would
you think of a pilgrimage to the Great paper wid absolution for their sins; and, by Skellig, and the more so seeing that you all accounts, he had a fine busy time of it, ought to return thanks to the crass for its anyhow. Now it happened, just thin, whin miraculous cure in regard of Mary, and take the crass was in its glory, that one of the care to rimimber the chapel, Barney.' tightest and gayest lads in the barony lost his “ Barney was but too well pleased to be heart to a girl who might have bothered an able to get so clane absolution, and the fololder head than Barney Dempsey's. She lowing morning, after bidding Mary a tinder was, indeed, a lovely crathur, wid eyes for all | farewell, he hurried off, and the weather the world like two diamonds; and it would being calm, arrived at the rock early in the have done your heart good to have seen thim afternoon. As the year was in its fall, there going to mass on a Sunday morning.. Well, was but little light in the evening, so that the coortin' wint on smooth and fair, and it Barney had to make great haste. On his was sittled that they were to be married at way up le stopped to talk to the priest for a the end of the year, by which time Barney few minutes, and, promising to return soon, would be masther of a snug little farm, when, commenced his perilous pinance. The priest all of a sudden, Mary-for such was her watched him as he climbed the precipice with name--tuk sick, and all the beauty faded youthful energy, and saw him gain the ledge from her cheeks, and she grew thin and pale. | in safety. His anxiety was so great to emOr coorse they sint for the docthor, and he brace the holy object, that he ran hastily forgave her some physic, but all to no good, as ward, whin the priest suddenly missed him, she grew worse and worse, until poor Barney and had barely time to run to the edge of the gave her
up for all the same as dead. Well, plain, when a heavy body darted past him, they at length went to bis riverence, Father and in a moment more the waters opened to O'Toole, and asked him to come and see Mary receive poor Barney. He had made a false To be sure, he did come, and afther confessing step, and fell from the spot where yer honor her, he called Barney, and towld him he is now sitting.” thought he could do her good, if he would only “ And poor Mary, what became of her ?" do what he said. Yez may be sure Barney pro- I asked. mised to do anything he could, quick enough. Ab, yer honor-poor sow]!it was the
« Well, thin,' said his riverence, you death of her! That night she watched, and must go to the crass on the Great Skellig, watched, and the morning dawned and found and afther kissing it twice, rub a small cru- her still alone. Unable to bear the agong
suspense, she rushed to the coast, and ere "Not I, Tim !"_" Nor I !" said
friend. long her straining eyes beheld a boat fast And
wouldn't be afther going away approaching the shore from the island. It without touching it even ?" drew near, but her lover was not therein. I fear our resolutely declining to make any She questioned the crew, wildly, concerning | fufther acquaintance with the holy relic, him : they knew her, and endeavored, at first, tended to alter Mr. Healey's opinion of our to conceal the thruth-each shrinking from courage considerably; at least so I deduced disclosing the fatal reality. But 'twas of no from two or three hints he threw out. use; she read it in the looks of all. The “If it was only to say you had touched it, dreadful certainty came before her in all its yer honor !" horrors. She died, sir, bereft of reason; and It was, however, out of the question; and should ye ever visit the village of Killimly, we put an end to our guide's entreaties by you will see in the churchyard a small tomb- at once commencing the descent. This occustone, inscribed to the memory of Barney pied even more time than the ascent, but Dempsey, and his bethrothed Mary.” was accomplished in safety.' The fact was,
“A fatal pilgrimage, indeed,” I exclaimed, Tim's story had a strange effect on our as the guide concluded the foregoing tale, nerves, and I often wished he had indulged which we have given to our readers nearly us with it when we were in a less perilous as we heard it." And you say it was from position. We found our crew waiting in the this spot he was precipitated
boat, and were soon gazing upwards at the “Yes, yer honor, just here ; and he fell cross, which was fast dwindling to a mere beyant that big black rock."
speck. The evening was just closing as we I cast my eyes below, but quickly with pulled into the harbor of Valentia. drew them from the fearful depth. The huge That night the cross on the Great Skellig waves, as they broke angrily against the was often before me, and more than once I gloomy cliffs, seemed yawning for their prey. I felt as if some irresistible impulse urged me
Let us leave this,” I said; a proposition towards it; and, advancing to embrace it, which my friend gladly echoed.
my foot made a false step, and I woke Ov coorse yer honors will kiss the crass in perfect agony. Never did poor mortal first ?" exclaimed our guide.
welcome the first rosy streaks of morning An involuntary shudder came over me, more than I did. I jumped up, hurried on and I felt, if my very existence had been de. my clothes, and rushing to the beach, was pending upon it, I could not have advanced soon breasting the waves as they came rollanother step on the crag.
ing in from the Atlantic.
ROMANCE IN REAL LIFE.
The late Mr. Basil Montague, Q.C., whose , Earl of Sandwich, by Miss Margaret Reay, a death, at the advanced age of 82, is recorded celebrated beauty of her day. The melanto have occurred at Boulogne-sur-Mer on the choly fate of this lady inspired the deepest 27th ult., was formerly à Commissioner in public interest at the time, and the whole Bankruptcy, and was so eminent a practi- | affair has been justly styled one of the most tioner in such matters that for many years he romantic and extraordinary love tales ever was regarded as an oracle of the bankrupt recorded, so much so that it has often struck laws. So little had been heard of him of us with astonishment that, in these novel late years, that many of his quondam friends manufacturing and ready-reading days, none labored under the impression that he had of the novelists who cater so strangely at long ago discharged the debt of nature. It times for the public taste have seized upon s not generally known that this distinguished the ample materials this case affords as the awyer was the fourth son of John, fourth groundwork for a book of lasting and intense