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who had been all for some time puzzled at the absence of him who was proverbial as
“ Best foot on the flure,
First stick in the fight.” “ There's the murderer of Mat Dolan, boys," cried the woman, as some ten or twelve yards off she recognized Johnny, who was con. spicuous enough, wearing his shirt like a herald's tabard, as in his haste he had drawn it on at Hell-kettle. With a yell that might have scared the devil, thirty athletic fellows sprang forward at full speed after Evans, who wisely never stayed to remonstrate, but made one pair of heels serve, where the hands of Briareus, had he possessed as many, would not have availed him. He arrived at Mrs. Donovan's door before his pursuers; he raised the latch, but it gave not waythe bar was drawn within ; and, had his strength been equal to it, further flight was become impracticable. Turning with his back to the door, there stood Johnny like a lion at bay, uttering no word, since he well knew words would not prevail against the fury of his foes. For ward with wild cries and loud imprecations rushed the foremost of his pursuers, and Evan's life was not worth one moment's purchase. A dozen sticks already clattered like hail upon his guard and on the wall over his head, when the door suddenly opening inwards, back tumbled Johnny, and into the space he thus left vacant stepped a gaunt figure, naked to the waist, pale, and marked with a stream of blood yet flow. ing from the temple. With wild cries the mob pressed back.
“ It's a ghost !—it's Dolan's ghost !" shouted twenty voices, above all of which was heard that of the presumed spirit, crying in good Irish, “ That's a lie, boys; it's Mat Dolan himself! able and willing to make a ghost of the first man that lifts a hand agin Johnny Evans, who bate me at Hell-kettle like a man, and brought me here on his back like a brother."
“Was it a true fight, Mat ?" demanded one or two of the foremost, recovering confidence enough to approach Dolan, who, faint from the exertion he had made, was now resting his head against the doorpost.
A pause, and the silence of death followed. The brows of the men began to darken as they drew close to Dolan. Evans saw his life de. pended on the reply of his antagonist, who already seemed lapsed into insensibility.
“ Answer, Mat Dolan!” he cried impressively, “ for the love of Heaven answer me—was it a true fight ?”
The voice appeared to rouse the fainting man. He raised himself in the doorway, and stretched his right hand towards Evans, exclaiming,
" True as the cross, by the blessed Virgin !” and, as he spoke, fell back into the arms of his friends.
Evans was now safe. Half a dozen of the soberest of the party escorted him down to the police station, where they knew he would be secure; and Dolan's friends, bearing him with them on a car, departed, without an attempt at riot or retaliation.
This chance took place sixteen years ago ; but since that day there never was a fair at Dunlavin that the orangeman Evans was not the guest of Dolan, nor is there a fair-night at Donard that Mat Dolan does not pass under the humble roof of Johnny Evans. I give the tale as it occurred, having always looked upon it as an event creditable to the parties, both of whom are alive and well, or were a year ago ; for it is little more since Evans, now nigh sixty years old, walked me off my legs on a day's grousing over Church-mountain, and through Oram's-hole, carrying my kit into the bargain. Adieu. It will be a long day ere I forget the pool of “ Hell-kettle," or the angels in whose company I first stood by its bubbling brim.
THE DEW.DROP AND THE ROSE.
A Dew-Drop fell on a Rose's breast,
Deep in her cup be fell,
And deem'd he'd ever dwell.
Whilst he lay hush'd beneath,
And sann'd him with her breath.
And loved away the hours;
And blush'd the neighb'ring flowers.
Till sultry noon was high-
Fear'd no inconstancy.
(And sparkled on the fair,)
I long to breathe the air."
And full of tenderness,
Or e'er could love her less.
Came rambling down that way;
And paused her court to pay.
Array'd in splendour's gay attire,
And looking linger'd to admire.
The faithless lover gazed a while,
He sunk, and perish'd neath her smile!
(As she who is forsaken grieves,)
And, silent, shed her beauteous leaves.
The faithless men ye kindly cherish:
Their fleeting vows like “dew-drops" perish.
It was not until after I had written the following fable that the similarity of its point to that of the beautiful song,
“ Who'll buy my love-knots ?" occurred to me. I am aware that my case may be thought to resemble his, who, when accused of having borrowed his thoughts from the immortal Bard of Avon, replied, “ It is no fault of mine that Shakspeare and myself should have had the same ideas.” Nevertheless, I venture to assert that my humble muse is not more indebted to that of the “ Modern Anacreon” for the con. ception of this fable, than is the midnight lamp for its glimmering rays to the glorious orb of day. It was entirely suggested by a “ fresco” painting, still existing on the walls of a house in Pompeii ; and if my readers could have watched, as I did, the process of removing the envious “ lapilli” which had concealed it for so many ages, they would, I think, allow for the impression it was likely to produce, and acquit me of plagiarism. The painting represents the figure of an old man, with a long white beard and flowing garments. Before him stands a large cage, or basket, containing several impri. soned “amorini," one of whom he has raised from it, and is holding forth by the wings, to attract the attention of a group of females. On the foreground lie a pair of compasses, and a mathematical figure described on a tablet.
O’ER Cupid and his quiver'd band
Chronos, who seem'd in beard a sage,
Thanks to philosophy-or age;
The young insisted on the latter,
Had help'd the dotard in the matter.”
(Spite of the virtue rules confer)
Of that self-styled philosopher.
Nor did the miser Chronos stop
Now Loves, though always in demand,
(I write of very ancient days-)
The chronicle I quote from says,
I hear some blooming reader say,
To listen to fair Venus' call,
Suspend their trophies on her "wall,"
But, -when they once have raised on high
Nay, frown not, fair one, for 'tis true-
Of those to whom, like Lady • Horace seems to have thought fifty a very proper age for retiring from the field of amorous warfare.
Jam durum imperiis," In a previous ode he had already declared his intention of reposing on his laurels.
" Vixi puellis nuper idoneus,
Et militayi non sine gloria.
A certain character is given,
But who contrive to be "received," Because the mates they fit for heaven
Are either patient or-deceived ; And I assert as my conviction, Without much fear of contradiction, That such will oft defer the age For quitting Love's seductive" stage," Till Death, whose “management is certain," Cuts short the “farce,” and “ drops the curtain.',
But let us turn from this digression
“First, I declare,” the sage began, " That I'll not serve one single man Until each lady in the crowd,
Who may to purchase be inclined,
To choose a Cupid to her mind.
As thus he spoke, a cage he shook, When, such was the imploring look Of each poor pris'ner, as in turn
He fuiter'd to the close-barrd side,
And, whilst the poorer deeply sighed