Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

hard case, it was an act of oppres- how to act; the country people were sion--and the poor sufferers united in nearly five to one, and their number resisting it. This, however, was quite appeared still to increase. A few useless. The law was against them; shots were fired over their heads, to and a day was fixed for receiving pay, try to intimidate them ; but this only ment, or carrying off the stock of made them press on the closer. At those who were not prepared to set- this moinent Burke, who stood with tle. The day came-the collector a pistol in his right hand, called out went his rounds, attended by a strong to Russell to ' come on. The latter party of police, commanded by young was armed merely with a stick; this Burke, the seducer of Mary Russell - made Burke the more confident. they went from farm to farm; and, Come, Russell,' said he,'' why do as few of the poor people were pre- you not advance ? Bring your valiant pared, the cow or the pig was at once troops to the charge, until we pepper driven away.

They came to the them a little. Why are you so cowdwelling of Russell; he was out ardly? Why, man, your sister had at the moment. His wife offered them

inore spunk in her. Eh! Billy, she a part of the money, begging of the was not backward for her age.' collector to accept it, with a promise Poor Russell could hear no moreof paying the balance in two days. he rushed forward-and, dashing the

The cow must travel, cried pistol from the hand of Burke, he, Burke, with a savage sneer; ‘ the lit- with one blow, felled him to the earth: tie Kerry cow.'

- the blow was repeated-it fell upon Poor Catherine heard this with a the head of the seducer, and he never heavy heart. Her children were just moved after it. The police were atrecovering from the measles, and tacked on all sides ; and, after a terwithout the milk of this little cow rible struggle, were routed, and the they must perish; nothing, however, cattle carried off

. Some of the councould be done the cow was driven try folks were badly wounded, but no off with the others—and, when Wil- life was lost except the one. liain returned home, he found his The slavish journals of the day rung wife weeping in hopeless misery over with reports of this “ abominable outher sickly children. She told him all rage :—the unprovoked aggression' that had passed, and he rushed at - tlre 'savage and ferocious attack'once from the house. The people in the cold blooded murder'-the the mean time had collected in great 'amiable victim'--and all the other numbers ; they were hastily armed, pet terms, were brought regularly and bent upon rescuing their cattle. into requisition. As to William RusWilliam joined the crowd, and they sell-need ive pause to say what was proceeded at the moment in pursuit his fate? He was taken-tried-conof the police. They overtook them demned-and, finally, executed. In near the village of Monabeg, and call- the eyes of some he appeared a mere ed on them in a quiet way to give up murderer ; but the heart of many a their booty. The police knew not suffering one acquitted him.

TUE WOODCUTTER AND DEATH.

From the French of Boileau.
His bundle of sticks a poor woodcutter found

Too much for a back over-burdened with yeurs;
And, Alinging the faggot with pain on the ground,

For Death, in its stead, he petitioned with tears :
Ay, rather than heap it again on his load
Of age and of aches he would die on the road.
Though a hundred times called, yet, unmoved by his tears,

His deathship was lazy or loth to attend;
When, quite unexpected, at length he appears,

Complacently asking, "What wouldst thou, good friend?'-
· Who I?'-'Yes; thou calledst, friend. What dost thou lack ?'

Oh! nothing—but just to put this on my back.' New Ross.

W. G.

SUPERSTITIONS OF THE IRISII PEASANTRY.NO. IX.

ALLHALLOW EVE.

a night boys and girls are willing The last day of October, whatever to draw aside the opake veil which the Almanacks may say to the con- conceals the future from mortal trary, is, with the Irish peasantry, eyes? the conclusion of autumn. None but Some years since, when people had a sloven would have potatoes to pit, more faith than at present in sowstacks to thatch, or hay to draw home, ing hemp-seed backwards, the kitafter this time; and, as the Paddies, chen of a cozy farmer, not far from like all the children of Genius, are a Kilkenny, was filled with servants, procrastinating race, the Eve of All- followers, dependents, and neighhallows is generally a busy day. They bours. They had just finished digging seldom think of doing this week what the potatoes, and yet felt as little may be done the next; and hence the fatigued as if they had only returned bustle and activity which character- from chapel on a Sunday. The moize the last day of ()ctober through- narch of the house was seated in his out the South of Ireland. Thus the antiquated chair, which always stood feast of the harvest home' always in the corner; and his wife and takes place on an evening devoted to daughters were busy preparing the divination ;* for why should not the kalecanon, which kept hissing beneath Irish rustics have a peep into futurity two half hundred weights, in a large as well as their betters? Being no pot on the fire. People may talk of great adepts in the theories of Lava- Írish misery and wretchedness; but, ter and Spurzheim, instead of exa- phsaw! in what farmer's house are mining the lumps or physiognomy either of these ever found ? Not in of their sweethearts, they resort to that of Ned Kavanagh's, any how; for what they consider more infallible the carcasses of half a dozen pigs interpreters to ascertain the disposi- lined his ample chimney. Milk was so tion of their future partners; or, plenty that the hogs were fed with it; what is of more consequence, perhaps, and so little was thought of potatoes, to discover whether the object of that Ned would not allow his horses their choice is decreed to bless their to eat them, unless they had been arms. Things of this nature can only boiled. On this night there were be done on the Eve of Allhallows. Is lashings gulhore of every thing; the it any wonder, therefore, that on such kalecanont was moistened with half

* General Vallancy, speaking of Allhallow Eve, says, “On the Oidhche Shamlina, ór vigil of Saniam, the peasants of Ireland assemble with sticks and clubs, going from house to house, collecting money, bread-cake, butter, cheese, eggs, &c. &c. for the feast, repeating verses in honour of the solemnity, demanding preparations for the festival in the name of St. Columb Kill, desiring them to lay aside the fatted calf, and to bring forth the black sheep. The good women are employed in making the griddle cake and candles: these last are sent from house to house in the vicinity, and are lighted up on the (Saman) next day, before which they pray, or are supposed to pray, for the departed soul of the donor. Every house abounds in the best viands they can afford. Apples and nuts are devoured in abundance;

the nut-shells are burnt, and from the ashes many strange things are foretold. Cabbages are torn up by the root. Hemp-seed is sown by the maidens, and they believe that, if they look, they will see the apparition of the inan intended for their future spouse. They hang a shift before the fire, on the close of the feast, and sit up all night, concealed in a corner of the room, convinced that his apparition will come down the chimney and turn the shift. They throw a ball of yarn out of the window, and wind it ont he reel within, convinced that if they repeat the Pater Noster backwards, and look at the ball of yarn without, they will then also see his sith, or apparition. They dip for apples in a tub of water, and endeavour to bring one up in their mouth. They suspend a cord with a cross stick, with apples at one point, and candles lighted at the other; and endeavour to catch the apple, while it is in a circular motion, in the mouth. These and many other superstitious ceremonies, the reniains of Druidism, are observed on this holiday, which will never be eradicated while the name of Saman is permitted to remain.'

+ This is called Callcannon by the peasantry: it is made of potatoes, cabbage, care rots, parsnips, and turnips, all boiled and blended together.

[ocr errors]

sense.

66 Who

a firkin of butter; and the whiskey people in the country whose fidelity punch was handed about in wooden had not been put to the test. noggins. Opportunely enough a piper Och musha,' said Ned, after a fit made his appearance just as the house of laughing, 'I'm sick of such nonhad been swept, and a jig or two was When I was a boy, by the danced ; but this was a night sacred livens, we had other sport; someto other purposes, and, accordingly, thing that would try a fellow's mettle. the boys began to prepare other pas- What think you, Biddy Brady, of times.

going down to the ould lime-kiln at The long-concealed apples were the bottom of the boughareen, in the brought from the hay-rick; and a stone field, and throwing in your ball large tub of water being placed in the of thread, and then axen, middle of the floor, the largest apple houlds my bottom of yarn?” was thrown in, and became the pro- Troth, masther honny,' replied perty of whoever could catch it in his Biddy, ' I wouldn't do that this blessmouth. Loud and lengthened were ed night for all the king's dominions ; the peals of laughter which followed for sure, ent the good people allowed each successive ducking; for the to do all the mischief in their power prize was to be obtained only by get- at twelve o'clock to-night?' ting it between the teeth and the bot- • Faith and that's true, Biddy tom of the tub, as hands were prohi- agrah,' said the granny in the corner, bited from being used.

' for its a murdhering bad thing to be After some time this sport gave way doen foolish tricks on All Saints Eve, to another. A stick was suspended when people ought to be prayen

for by the middle, a lighted candle fasten- their poor sinful sowls, or the sowls ed to one end, an apple to the other. of those who are gone before 'em. The machine was then twirled round, It's now, let me see, three-and-thirty and the most dexterous were chal- years since Father Mogue, Lord be lenged to catch the apple with their marciful to his sowl in glory, preachmouth. In this attempt many eye- ed a most beautiful sarmon on the brows were singed, many lips greased, death of Molly Meyler, who died from and many noses burnt. Such mis- seeing the devil, Christ save us! on fortunes only provoked laughter at All Holland Eve.' the expense of the sufferer; and, The devil! How was that?' when all had in vain endeavoured to asked twenty voices, the company at secure the prize, attention was called the same time drawing closer to the off to another trick.

fire. A plank was nicely balanced on a 'Tis a sad and a sorrowful story,' form, an apple placed on one end, and replied the old woman, but fakes a tub of water placed under it. Who- not a bit o' myself but forgets the ever mounted this plank and seized greater part of it. All I know is, that the fruit with his mouth, was allowed Molly lived in the house where to eat it. As they knew but little Johnny Walsh lives now, and was a about the centre of gravity, a ducking brave, clean, hearty girl. Like most was generally the reward of the enter. thackeens,who don't know when they prise; and, of course, loud laughter are well off, she thought it should followed.

never be day wid her until she got Many similar sports succeeded; married, and so she should try on All and these in turn gave way to another Saints' Eve who her husband was to species of amusement. The company be. She went alone by herself formed a circle round the fire, and to the kiln, and threw in her ball whoever doubted the sincerity of of thread, holding the end of it in her their lovers placed two nuts, side by hand. She began to wind and wind, side, on the hottest part of the hearth-' and thought, as no one held it, that stone. If they burnt without stirring, she would never get inarried. But it was a proof of their fidelity; but, begad, at length and at long run, she if either of them few off, the reverse felt some one pulling against her. was inferred. The parties subject to “ Who houlds my bottom of yarn?” this ordeal need not be present; and, axed Molly; and she was answered on this night, there were few young by a loud' laugh. “ Ah !” said she,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Johnny Farrell, is that you ?” quite but, before she had half done, a man delighted, bekase Johnny was an steps in and takes the riddle out of ould sort of sweetheart of hers. But her hands. Who should he be the it wasn't Johnny, nether; for then exact image of but Peter Purcell there was another laugh.

himself, her ovn master? and in she “ Come out o’that you, spalpéen runs and says, Musha masther, why you,” said Molly, “ and don't be did'nt

you let me finish my winnowfrightening a body with your laugh- en?” “ Me?” says Peter; “ arrah, ing, as if you had got a mare's nest.” you foolish thackeen, I didn't stir out The word wasn't well out of her of this corner since you went out.” mouth, when, cross o’ Christ about Every other body in the house said us! the ould boy himself stood right the same; and, at last, the girl went forenent her, grinning as if he would out again. The same person came have eaten her. She screeched like once more-took the riddle out of a Banshee; and run home as fast as her hand—and she still thought it her legs would carry her, took to her was her master; and, though they all bed, and never come alive out of it. swore it wasn't, she would not believe So you see what a dangerous thing it 'em. “No, no," said she, “ don't is to be doen such things.'

be afther thinken to frighten me; for • Sure enough, granny,' said one of sure I know my own masther, at any Ned's children, 'for don't you know rate. Hadn't he on his own blue big the story which Kittough Nancy was coat, his grey stockens, and the ould telling us the other night, about the caubeen, which he wears when he is two girls who went to sow the hemp- mending his brogues, or doen any seed; and, instead of seeing their thing else by the fire? and didn't Í sweethearts, saw the devil himself?' see his face too ?« Oh!' said one of the

potatoe

• At this they all laughed; but diggers, that was bekase they sow Peter's wife held down her head, and ed it in the name of Ould Nick; looked very sorrowful, sure enough, and what betther luck could they as well she might; for she knew she have ?'

should die. «The will o' God be The devil burn me,' said Ned, • if done,” said she ; “ I am a dead woI ever liked sowen hemp-seed at all at man before this night twelvemonth ; all; but where's the harm in a body and my own servant girl will be the pullen cabbage, or winnowen corn, mistress of my house, and the mother

of my childer: but, Anty (that was Oh, God bless you, man!' inter- the girl's name), do you be kind to rupted a beggar-woman, who had these little ones, and 'Heaven will be taken her seat on the settle, · don't your bed.' Peter strived to laugh; be afther sayen any thing about win- but, faith, his wife spoke nothen but nowen corn; for sure Peter Purcell's God's truth ; for, in six months after, woman, of Gurcheennimogemand a I ate the bread which was given away froughoolough women she was—and at her birn; and, soon after, as God a good body to give a trencher of wud have it, Anty got married to meal to a poor traveller-lost her life Peter.'

God bless us all!' said the gran• How was that?' inquired several ny, 'what a strange thing! and how persons present.

like what happened to a cousin of Why you must know, proceeded mine. His name was Andy Murphy, the old woman, that as the boys and and he lived with his father at Cromgirls, on an All Holland Eve, were Ichtown. They had the farm for litlaughen and sporten, may be as you tle or nothen; but, as they were no are now doen, one o' 'ein says, “I'll good to manage it, they were always go into the barn and winnow some striven and striven, and never could corn, and try if I shan't see the man be out of debt. The women were to whom I am to be married.” Wud. mere slameens; and so every thing in out more ado, out she goes, as niin- the house was filthafotiha, and ble as a cricket, opens the barn door, threena helhu, --upside down. As the and the haggard door, takes a riddle- ould cock crows, the young one larns; ful of corn, and begins to winnow it; and, faith, Andy was his daddy's son

[ocr errors]

or?'

that way.'

“ Be easy,

from head to foot-a lazy little good- said I was blind drunk; but, troth, I for-nothen garsoon-God forgive him wasn't more than half gone. · Well, his sins—and would never do any out I went, and promised to be back thing for his own good. He was in in a giffy. Goen over the garden every mischief in the country; and stile my foot slipt, and I tumbled one saint's eve he was playen his head over heels, but soon got up pranks. He took three pewter plat- again, and into the little meadow ters from off the dresser, filled one leaden down to the river. I crossed with meal, another with ashes, and a the ford; but, when in the stubble third with earth. He then went out, field, what should I see runnen right tied a handkerchief over his eyes— forenent me, but a great,big, red,mad, like one goen to play boder-boodeen bull, with fire flaming from his eyes, —and walked in on his hands and mouth, and nose ! You may be sure feet. A person in the mean time had I cried “War hawk !” and took to my placed the platters on the floor, in a heels. I run for the bare life ; but way anoent to Andy, who was to still the bull was red-hot afther me; grope them out. If he put his hand and every minute I thought le first into the one wud the meal, he would stick his horns in me. I tried was to be a wealthy man; if in the all I could to get away from him, but one wud the ashes, he was to live it was of no manner of use, for still long: but, if in the one wud the earth, he was close behind me. At length he was to die soon. Poor Audy, as I ran to the top of Billy Ryan's limebad luck wud have it, popped his kiln ; but, faith, here I was near hand hand into the clay, and then turned being done for; the bull made no as pale as a cloth. In less than three more ado than jumped up afther me; months afterwards he was killed in a and, while you'd be

cryen fight betune the Murphys and the pitched me over into the bushes. I Reynolds's.'

thought sure that my back was fairly By the time the old woman had broke; and I wonder now that it concluded, it was discovered that the wasn't. By-and-by, a man comes apples were all eaten. * Let us go up to me, and says, “ Musha, bad and steal some,' said one of the boys. luck to you, Paddy Moran; and is it • I know a hay-rick in which a bushel. there you are this hour of the night, ful are hid.'

and no body wid you but your own Away wid you,' said Paddy Mo. four bones?" ran, drawing his stool closer to the “ Faith, and sure enough it is my: fire; ' but the Puck take me if I go.' self,” said I, “ and who else would

Oh! that's true, Paddy,' said Ned, you have me?” I said this in a bit of • didn't you see the PHOOKA one a flurry, bekase I didn't know the night?'

fellow, at all at all. * Troth you may sing that,' replied

Arrah! be easy now, Paddy Paddy, • and myself never vent aghud,” says he,“ and don't be afther through so much since or before. I getten angry for nothen; for sure I often tould all about it; and, if you meaned no harm. But why don't you all like, I'll tell it again.'

get up out of that?” The company immediately assent- • I tried to get up, so I did, and

and Paddy went on with his ad- cudn't; kase why? my back was venture with the mischievous

broke. “ Christ save us!” says I,

“ I'm fairly murdhered outright, so * Of all nights in the year,” said I am." Paddy, it was on All Holland Eve “ Musha, no you're not,” says he that I inet the Phooka. We had just “ let me only help you;" and, so finished diggen the phaties at my ould sayen, he grips me by the middle, and masther's; and, as he wasn't a nig- hoists me like a bag of bran upon his gard with his drop, we got lashens shoulders. of whiskey. About twelve o'clock at “ What are you goen to do ?” night, nothen would do me but to go says I. home to my mother's cabin for to Nothen,” says he. bring some apples, which I had “Oh! but you are,” says I. there, to the girls. Every one o' them “ Whist, you gomulah," says he,

6

ed;

PIOOKA.

« AnteriorContinuar »