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any kind, and the rain steadily increased. Nothing remained to us therefore but to take shelter for the night in the one public-house that reared itself two storied amongst its thatched neighbors. The owners of the hostelry with glib readiness undertook to provide us with tea and sleeping accommodation. We were seated at the former meal, not very appetizingly set forth in the frowsy, stuffy parlor behind the "tap," when a scuffling and shuffling became audible in the narrow passage outside, and, propelled from behind, there came in at the door of the room a huge featherbed.

"What is this for?" demanded my aunt.

"Sure 'twas tay and a bed yez ax'd of me," returned the bare-armed hostess, still heated and dishevelled from her struggle with the feather-bed.

"But we do not require them side by side," returned my aunt with dignity. "Is there not a bedroom in the house which we can have?"

"Yis, sure, there's an iligant room above-stairs.”

"Then let us see it, if you please." And up we went by a ladder-like stair, and through a hole in the floor which gave access to the upper story. We were ushered into a good-sized room that contained two beds, curtained with blue and white.

"A double-bedded room!-why, this is excellent; this will suit us admirably,” said my aunt with much satisfaction. Even as she spoke, however, a loud snore proceeded from behind one of the curtains. "Surely there is some one in this room already?" she asked in dismay.

"Ach, that's only Father Connellan, the qui'test, nicest man that iver was. And sure he'd not mind the likes of yous."

My aunt, however, thought that we might be more pernickety than Father

Connellan; and we were beating a hasty retreat when the reverend father, roused from his slumber by our voices, inquired from behind his curtains what was amiss. On being informed of the state of affairs, he insisted gallantly on rising and dressing himself, and giving up the apartment to us in undivided possession.

In the morning we discovered that the state chamber of our wayside hostelry was unprovided with washing apparatus of any kind, and my aunt sallied out in search of some means of supplying the deficiency.

"If you could even let us have some water in a tub, if there is nothing better," she said.

There was a hasty, whispered colloquy at the foot of the trap-ladder stair. A suggestion was evidently made and objected to. Then we heard the hostess's decisive tones. "Sure the last of them is out of it," she said, as she hurried towards the back premises. This time it was a bumping and rolling that ensued; and a barrel which had recently held salt herrings, and was still redolent of its late contents, was rolled in from the yard. We preferred to postpone our ablutions, and to await the arrival of a conveyance from home, which a messenger, in local parlance, had "slipped over" to fetch.

Another of the recollections of my childhood is of the wedding of our nurse, the same who had taken me to the private view of Lord Anglesey's legs. She had come to us from a distant part of the county, and on going up to the nursery one morning I found her in floods of tears. "Me father's sint a sthrange man to marry me, miss," she sobbed.

I promptly advised that she should refuse to be married, and stay on with us; but she only answered hopelessly, "Sure, I must do as I'm bid."

We escorted our faithful handmaiden

to the chapel, all weeping in sympathy with her, whilst she wept more unrestrainedly than all the rest. The bridegroom-a shy, loutish countryman, who kept at a respectful distance as we walked along-did not appear to be in any way troubled by the grief of which he was the cause. We saw the bridal pair duly married, and they forthwith departed on foot together. I never heard of our devoted Mary again; but I have no doubt that long before the eleven miles into Galway had been covered she had dried her tears and acquiesced in the inevitable. Such marriages were universal, the only unusual feature in this case being the bride's unwillingness-unwillingness for which, children as we were, we shrewdly held a good-looking young stable helper in my father's employment responsible. In general, such arrangements were accepted as a matter of course by the parties most nearly concerned.

I was visiting one day with one of my aunts at a cottage in our neighborhood. We were much surprised to see there a large mahogany chest of drawers,-a very much handsomer piece of furniture than was generally to be found in those lowly abodes. En passant, I may observe that, owing to the extensive trade between Galway and Spain which had been carried on down to the beginning of the last century, Spanish mahogany had been imported into Galway in large quantities; and much good and solid old mahogany furniture still remains, a silent witness to the trade and commerce of those days. The mistress of the cottage, seeing where our eyes had strayed, said with much complacency, ""Twas for that same I was married." She then proceeded to relate to us that the piece of furniture which had attracted our attention had been bequeathed to her father by an aunt, or some other female relative,

with the express stipulation that it should form part of the wedding portion of the first girl married from the house. Not long afterwards her mother was at a fair, and heard that a small farmer, hitherto unknown to her, had come in, partly on his ordinary business of buying and selling and partly to open negotiations for the hand of his only son. Such a chance was too good to be missed. An introduction was forthwith sought and obtained; and her mother explained to the father of this eligible parti that though her daughter would have but a slender portion in money, yet she would bring with her to her future home a couple of sheep, a yearling bullock, and, above all, the chest of drawers. The bargain was struck, and on the appointed day the bridegroom-expectant arrived to view his future possessions. "He wint down to the field wid me father," said our hostess, "an' he seen the sheep an' the young baste, an' thin he come up to the house for to look at the dhrawerses. He took a bit of a sthring out, an' he measured them ivery way, to make sure the size they was; an' thin he says, 'An' which o' thim little girls is it?' An' I was next the doore"meaning thereby the eldest unmarried daughter-"an' so I wint."

To have been married as an adjunct to her chest of drawers seemed to the good lady a cause for pride, and the match had to all appearance proved a most satisfactory one.

Our gardener had the reputation of being very parsimonious and niggardly in his money dealings. He had also a sister who had somewhat passed the flower of her youth. I remember our lying crouched amongst some shrubswith a fine childish unconcern at eavesdropping-to listen to the negotiations which were being carried on across the garden wall between the gardener and an aspirant to the sis

ter's hand. The wooer was holding out for a small increase to the lady's dower, which the gardener was unwilling to give. Losing patience at last, as the latter remained adamant to all arguments and persuasion, the ardent lover exclaimed angrily, "Troth, thin, it's glad ye should be to be gettin' shut of her. It's a trifle shtale she's gettin'." He marched off with that parting shot, and the negotiations were temporarily broken off. They were afterwards resumed and brought to a successful issue, but I do not know which of the parties gave way.

I also remember, though I had no personal acquaintance with any one immediately concerned, the marriage of the daughter of a well-to-do shopkeeper in the town of Galway. The father of the bride, like our gardener, was considered to be decidedly closefisted. The bridegroom, as well as I remember, was of a station somewhat superior to that of the family he proposed to ally himself with. The wedding-day came, but when the bridal party assembled at the chapel the bridegroom failed to appear. After waiting long and vainly for the laggard, emissaries were despatched to his abode to hasten his coming. They found him snugly ensconced in bed.

"Sorra foot do I stir out of this," said the prospective Benedick, "unless the fortune's doubled."

the bridegroom got up, dressed himself, and came to church to be married.

For an hour and more intermediaries ran backwards and forwards between the chapel and the bridegroom's dwelling, striving to make terms, whilst the bride waited at the altar with such patience as she could muster. The bridegroom, however, stood, or rather lay, firm, and at last the father, unwilling that his daughter should be put to shame in the sight of all Galway by returning to her father's house unwed, gave way, and promised to double the fortune as demanded, whereupon


Somewhere in those far back days, too, there was a festivity long remembered in the annals of Galway. The owner of an estate some few miles outside the town was married to a lady who was very fond of company and of social gaieties, and who also held complete sway in the domestic establishment. She insisted on her husband throwing down the old house in which he and his fathers had lived and building a palatial mansion in its stead. When the imposing pile was little more than roofed in, the walls being only covered with their first coating of rough, criss-cross plaster, the lady, unable to restrain her impatience any longer, gave a house-warming,-entertainment that lasted three days and three nights without intermission, and to which the whole of the County Galway were invited. Guests were put up in the unfinished bedrooms, on the stairs, in any nook or corner which could be made to serve. Others, who could not secure even such accommodation, slept in their carriages, drawn up outside in the yards and shrubberies, whilst the remainder drove in and out of Galway for occa sional periods of rest. On the second night of the festivity, in the hurry and scurry of getting supper ready for the numerous company, a luckless kitchenmaid missed her footing and fell from top to bottom of the stone kitchenstairs. She was taken up dead, but the major-domo, deeming it a pity that the revels of the quality should be cut short, allowed no word of the disaster to be breathed above-stairs. He had a grave hastily dug under the stairs, in which the hapless girl was laid, whilst the dancing went on uninterruptedly overhead. The cost of the house-warming having wellnigh ruined the ambitious dame and her

docile spouse, the mansion remained in its unfinished condition for many a long year, and eventually passed into other hands.

Though our hospitalities, happily for ourselves, were on શૈ very much smaller and more modest scale, yet my grandfather was the most hospitable of mortals. Notwithstanding that he had already a large and manybranched family of children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and other collaterals established under his roof, he was never so happy as when a goodly number of guests were gathered there too. His family were quite in accord with him on this head, and every member of it was ready to give up his or her room at a moment's notice to accommodate another guest. Our practice was to spread a sheet upon the floor, empty our belongings into it, and gathering it up by the four corners to depart with it to seek a shakedown in some one else's room, leaving the chamber thus summarily cleared for the new arrival.

The only member of the household who did not approve of this keeping of open house was Bartley, the turf-boy. Bartley's mission in life was to carry in turf from the long, dark turf-stacks, which were built up every autumn beside the hay- and oat-ricks in the haggard. He was to be met at all hours of the day mounting the back-stairs with a huge creel of turf upon his back, which he emptied with a thunderous reverberation into the capacious receptacles provided upon each landing, or else wheeling barrowloads of turf into the kitchen, which he flung down with even less ceremony in a heap in the corner. Some one happening to praise my grandfather's open-handed hospitality in his hearing, Bartley muttered in return

"Och, ay, ivery wan is for iver cryin' up the ould masther and his hospitali

tee, an' his axin' this wan and that wan to shtop wid him, but sorra wan thinks of Bartley that has to carry the turf for the whoule of thim."

Another time, as he toiled upstairs beneath his load, he was overheard groaning to himself, "Pity help the people that has to carry the turf for Purgathory."

One of my younger sisters somewhat shared Bartley's views upon this latter point. We were periodically catechised by the Warden of Galway, as the incumbent of the old collegiate church of St. Nicholas was styled. This dignity dated far back into ancient and troublous times, when the inhabitants of Galway represented to Pope Innocent VIII., in the first year of his popedom, that they were civil and modest people, living in a town surrounded by walls, and that they did not follow the customs of the wild and mountainous people of those parts. By reason, however, of the impetrations and provisions of these wild people they were so much harassed at their devotions that they could not assist at divine service, nor receive the holy sacraments according to English decency, rite, and custom. Further, that they were much disquieted and sometimes robbed and killed by these unlearned men. To protect his beloved children, the inhabitants of Galway, from all such damages and inconveniences, Pope Innocent, by papal bull, erected their parish church into a collegiate, to be governed by eight vicars, all of whom were to be virtuous, learned, and well-bred men, with a warden or custos at their head, who was, in some manner not very accurately defined, to guard his flock from all such undesirable impetrations and provisions, and to keep the wild and mountainous people at bay. The lines of the Warden of our day had fallen upon more peaceful times, and he had not to fear the onslaughts

of unlearned men, but only the ignorance of a few little girls when he came out to give us Scripture teaching. He had been instructing us one day about the end of the world, and that no one would then be left alive in this mortal flesh upon earth, when my small sister spoke up boldly,

"I don't believe it."

"But you must believe it, my child," said the Warden, "for it is true."

"It can't be true."

"Why not?" queried the perplexed divine.

"There must be people left in the world to cut the turf for hell," said my sister clinchingly and triumphantly.

The question of turf, indeed, loomed very large in all Irish households in those days, for except in the towns near the coast coal was rarely burnt. Our turf-bogs lay at the lower end of Blackwood's Magazine.

our lake, and the turf was brought up in big, clumsy turf-boats, and discharged at what we called the turfquay, below the house. I remember one of our visitors standing on our hall-door steps, looking out over our lawn and lake to the purple slopes of the heather-clad mountains rising beyond, and extolling the beauty of the view and the judgment of the old builders who had set the house just where it stood. My grandmother, to whom this encomium was made, and who had an eminently practical mind, answered drily, that for her part she thanked Providence that those who had gone before her had built the house where there was an abundant supply of spring-water, and within convenient proximity of a good turf-bog, --matters vastly more important, to her thinking, than the finest prospect in the world.


"Oblong early French mirror, in richly carved and gilt frame. Sheraton settee, four-seat.' That reads all right."

The speaker was my friend Errington, and the scene a stuffy carriage in the new "fast" morning train up to London. Errington was a collector. His house in quiet little Midford was filled with antiques and curios of all sorts. Collecting was his hobby, and he was now busily engaged looking over the catalogue of a furniture sale to which we were both going. The sale in question was near to Pagton, a sleepy little town some forty miles south-west of London, with which a portion of my early life had been associated; and having introduced the matter to my friend, I had made arrangements to accompany him.

This for several reasons. There was

my own connection with Pagton, I was interested in Errington's collection, and finally the deceased lawyer, whose goods were being sold, had some little attraction for me, for I could not help thinking that some of his money, at least, had been accumulated at my expense.

It was "view day"; therefore, upon arrival, we at once made the best of our way to the scene of the sale.

The lawyer could not exactly be called an art patron, the pictures and ornaments being distinctly commonplace; but he had acquired, by means known best to his profession, some good old furniture. A few items under the heading of "Hall" and "Drawing-Room" had attracted Errington. The French mirror, the Sheraton settee, and one or two others seemed, to say the least, promising.

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