« AnteriorContinuar »
himself pyramidally on the other two; raging like a whelp-reft tigress, and and thus laden she crossed the river vowing vengeance against the author in a high swell, with as much ease as of her brothers' deaths. Few dared you would pass over a Dublin kennel venture within her sight until the only encumbered with your own Ma. first paroxysm of her madness had gazine. I hope your readers won't passed away; even the very cattle think have given you too heavy a Aed from her presence ; and she spent burden for the effect of my contrast. many days and nights without food or Her passengers often afterwards a habitation, living, it is thought, on blamed themselves for trusting their berries or the bark of shrubs, and lives to her capricious cruelty; and sleeping (if she did sleep) on the Bettheen herself confessed that she mountain heath. was strongly tempted to disencumber
At length her rage subsided into herself of her load in the middle of what appeared a melancholy torpor, the stream, and was only restrained though the event showed that it was by the dread of losing her sack of corn only the gloom of settled determined in the attempt.
and Cashel, who for some Not long after the murder of Wat- time skulked about the city of Cork, kins the Brynes were cut short in returned to the mountains at the end their career of plunder and massacre, of two years, imagining that_grief being hanged at Cork for manifold had broken down the spirit of Betty, crimes and misdemeanors, on the evi- and that he might rest undisturbed, dence of one John Cashel, who had, save' by the worm that dieth not.? I believe, been in some degree impli- When she heard of his arrival, her cated in their outrages.
eyes, which had long seemed quenchTheir conduct at the place of execu- ed in ideot torpor, flamed with the tion evinced the most hardened de- anticipation of near and quick repravity: no sign of penitence, no venge. She started from the position token of remorse, told their sorrow which she had not quitted for months for their past offences. They died before, except to totter froin the
hoping nothing, believing nothing, chimney corner to her scanty bed at and fearing nothing ! The only ap- the far end of the cabin, and rushed pearance of any thing like remorse with the strength and rapidity of was that one of them, during the other times to execute her wrath. period between the passing and the It was dinner-time when one of the execution of his sentence, was heard inmates of the house where Cashel to observe that he could wish Keating then was discovered Betty hastening and Ryland had not been executed so to the place. The alarm was given, guiltless of any crime: but the care- and he had just secreted himself unlessness with which the observation der a bed when she entered. She was made, and the quickness with screamed wildly when she missed him which the feeling passed away, like a from the table; but, fastening the faint gleam of light through the gloom door, she first searched round the of a dungeon, only served to display outer apartment, whence, hastening the darkness it could not dispel. to the bed-room, she drew the devoted
Bettheen, who was present at the trembling wretch from his skulkingexecution, bore the scene with amaz- place, and, flinging him across her ing firmness: not a tear was in her eye back with his head downward, rushed - not a shadow crossed her cheek- with her prey to the glen below. not a word of sorrow passed her lip ; labourer who was working on a and, but for a slight shuddering and cliff over the glen (for the people of a stífled groan at the moment they the house were too much terrified to were launched into eternity, you would stir beyond the threshold) was the have thought her the most uncon- only person who witnessed the terrible cerned spectator in the thronging catastrophe. He was alarmed, he multitude that crowded around the said, by the half-stifled shrieks of place of execution. But when she Cashel, 'and, looking, he beheld Betreturned to her native hills she gave theen stalking up, the glen with her unbounded vent to her fury; roam- victim flung behind her. She paused ing from mountain to mountain, when she reached a sharp jutting. rock, which rose out of the middle of rently closed against any external the stream; and, addressing a few impression, except when her brothers words, unintelligible by the distance, or Cashel were named ; and care was to the wretch who seemed petitioning taken to prevent any allusion to the for mercy, she dashed his head against subject, for on such occasions her the projecting rock, and his last cry eye would lighten up into a wild unof agony and despair was drowned in earthly fury, she foamed at the mouth, the savage yell of fiendish exultation laughed savagely as when she sat which was echoed from the hills above the corse of her victim, and around as she hailed the completion then sunk again into her accustomed of her vengeance. Then, flinging the stupor. body on the sands, she sat above it, Some short time before her death, muttering execrations, watching the to the astonishment of those who last throb of life in his quivering beheld her, she walked out towards limbs, and laughing, in wild delirium the glen, the scene of her last bloody of horrid delight, when some strong performance: and those who traced contortion of fiercer pain bore evi- her steps described her as sitting on dence of his increasing agony. At the rock against which she had dashlength, when all was over, and no ed the head of Cashel, and acting more of life remained to glut her over in imagination the by-gone insatiate vengeance, she snatched the tragedy, gazing on the sand where body from the earth, and, piercing the body had lain; tossing her witherinto the depths of the mountains, is ed arms (for grief had wrought a rapid supposed either to have buried it in change in her frame) in frightful some enexplored chasm, or to have gesture; and shouting, less loudly intorn it limb from limb, and hidden deed, but not less appallingly, than the fragments in some exhausted turf- when her savage yell first announced pit, as no traces of the body were ever the triumph of revenge. This custom after discovered. She returned to the she continued until prevented by her place of her abode without any marks death-sickness, which occurred soon of her exploit, except that some spots after, and bore her to answer on high of fresh blood were still visible on her for the conduct of which man had garments; the flash of revenge yet taken no cognizance. lingered in her eye, and something Such is the story of Bettheen-alike a smile of triumphant malice was Vryne, as related by almost every perceptible on her countenance: but peasant on the mountains of Araglen: they soon subsided, and she sunk and even now, when the wintry flood again into that stupid listlessness from comes down, and the wind whistles which revenge had for a moment shrilly through Macrona's wood, the aroused her. Iexpressed my astonish- cottage girls, as they gather closer ment, at this part of the story, that round the fire, whisper, • There's the law did not take cognizance of her Bettheen murdering Cashel.' conduct: but they told me that it was When the story was concluded I thought the effect of insanity; and, walked down towards the bridge, and, as people would rather have nothing as I leant over its battlements, felt to do with her, no one would busy that I never beheld a spot so calcuhimself in setting on foot an investi- lated to excite superstitious fears, gation. I was surprised to find some and conjure up the visions of the even speak of her with a kind of dreary past. This bridge, forming a pity, when they described the ravages part of a new line of road which runs which grief is said to have made upon through the mountains east of Kilher frame and countenance ; but pity worth, has been only lately erected for the unfortunate, however their over a small, but wild, mountain misfortunes may have been caused, is stream, which discharges itself into a leading trait in the character of the the Araglen. In summer, like the Irish peasantry.
river into which it runs, it is but a Bettheen continued some years in scanty stream, scarcely murmuring this state of insensibility,never making over its rocky bed; but, like its any greater exertion than from her moody recipient, when the winters bed to the fire-place, her mind appa. torrents swell its force, it sweeps
from side to side of the glen, bearing for a moment from its glassy surlarge stones, heaps of heath-hound face earth, and torn shrubs, along its rapid Whilst I gazed upon this scene, so course. The scene, as I then gazed lonely, so tranquil, yet so wildupon it, seemed to have acquired a whilst I marked the
rocks that new and wilder charm from the tale lifted themselves up into the moonwith which it was associated. To the light in various and fantastic forins, north of the bridge, at the other side or the fleecy wreaths of smoke that of the Araglen, the wood of Macrona rose from some unseen hovel in the lifted its leafless branches : behind glen beneath-I felt that I would me, towards Kilworth, an intermina- scarcely start to meet a spirit there.' ble waste of heath-clad swelling hills My thoughts went forth from me, and lay spread in dim extension. Glen- joined themselves with the things finishk, (Anglice, the glen of the fair around me, and, whilst I apostrophized waters), stretched deep into the the scene, and my own sensations, in mountains beside me, its waters at the following stanzas, with which I one time foaming over some hidden shall conclude my communication. I rock, giving back the moonbeam in a understood what our late lamented thousand broken reflections; then poet meant when he asksstealing calmly in unchequered beauty, * Are not the mountains, seas, and skies, a save when now and again some fairy part spark of diamond light started up Of me and my soul, as I of them !
Glenfinishk ! where thy waters mix with Araglen's wild tide,
The heart of a poet once wandered from home,
To look for a lodging was then his first thought;
From this hour, in despite of the sex, well ne'er part.'
DUBLIN AND LONDON MAGAZINE.
THE FATHER OF THE FORTESCUES.
IN TWO CHAPTERS CHAPTER I.
Years have gone, since, through the church of Clone,
that met the sight
YEARS, indeed, have fixed there by the trembling fingers gone away since I visited the place of those who intended, in the prowhich I have endeavoured to describe gress of the after-years, to repose in the lines above quoted; but years beneath their congenial shelter. cannot alter the impression made It was in the delightful season of upon me by that visit. The church autumn that I paid my last visit to of Clone was, and I believe is still, that interesting neighbourhood: the a beautiful ruin ; there is a mixture old church was not far from the of freshness and of age in the ap- place of my residence, and after pearance of the walls. The church- dusk I generally took a stroll in yard, though latterly neglected, is that direction. I have sat there for pretty: there is about it a rural hours upon some grassy grave, thinkneatness, an air of comfort, that ing to myself of the hopes and the might almost induce a stranger to fears, of the wishes and the disstop and die near it, that his re- appointments, of those who then mains might rest there. The head- rested in loneliness around me. I stones are thinly scattered through have lingered there in the gentle the place ; and the openings between light of the young harvest moon, them are occupied by a number of tracing upon the weather-beaten flags beautiful shrubs, that seem to have the half-worn inscriptions, and smiling been placed there by a sort of melan. at the weakness of those who could choly foresight. Some of them, no think that, by such means, a trifling doubt, were planted merely to orna- name might be rescued from obz ment the spot where a beloved bro- scurity. I
have spent many ther, or son, or friend, was laid; but idle hours there; but, in that spot, I many more of them were probably never passed a guilty one. These
Vol. J.--No. 8.