صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

to the thriving couple. Corney had his salary and his quarter-day, like other ministers of state. But unluckily, like other ministers of state, he ran the hazard of a downfall. Managers, like captains, are casual things. The Opera was more brilliant than ever; the theatre constantly crammed; and the result was, the Gazette and Basinghall Street for the first lord of its treasury, and consequent loss of office to one whose letters were now occasionally directed, Cornelius Cregan, Esq. There was nothing left for it but to give up the cottage at Hampstead, pigsty, strawberry-bed and all, and re-enter the modest ranks of private life. Cornelius gazed wistfully upon the miniature Katty and Corney adorning his fireside, and, with a spirit of magnanimity worthy of Coriolanus, became Corney again. It was as though Louis Philippe were to secede from the throne of France, and become once more Duke of Orleans for the benefit of his interesting family!

That was a trying moment—the first night on which Corney took his station once more among his quondam confraternity, his humble link in his hand! Flesh is trail. Linkmen, though enlightened men, are but mortals; and it must be admitted that certain among them, jealous of his recent dignities, wagged their heads, saying, "Behold, this is our brother, who exalted himself, but who, being abased, is come to take the bread from our mouths, and the mouths of our children !

It was not till he had made them fülly understand that he was a ruined man, -a beggar like themselves,-one who, like Dogberry, had had losses,'—his whole amount of savings having been invested in the hazardous speculation which had just engulphed his place and his profits,—that they forgave him his elevation, and forgave him his downfall, -welcoming him cordially again to the world of flambeaux.

Such is the history of Corney Cregan,—the tulip of links, of whom as many bon-mots are on record as of Alvanley or Brummell, and who

may be regarded as the Dr. Johnson of the vernacular of slang. Corney is now a veteran. He can no longer call a coach in the brilliant and original style that was wont to excite the plaudits of the stand, when Hughes Ball was a dandy and Theodore a wit. He is considered, however, the father of the links. His testimony has been more than once invoked in perplexing cases by the sitting magistrates, as the most trustworthy witness in cases of carriage-breaking, or footman-slaying, amid the crush of fashionable fêtes ;—for Corney is known to be a man of honour,-the Bayard of the kennel, as well as its admirable Crichton.

It is astonishing the reverence shown him by the rising generation. Whenever a linkboy picks up a diamond cross in the mud, or receives a sovereign in place of a shilling from some reeling swell, it is in the hands of Corney Cregan the treasure is deposited till the question of property can be established. Corney is king of the elective monarchy of Links. Though not pensioned as an ex-porter, like others as ex-chancellors, he retains out of place almost all the consideration he enjoyed in his darkblue livery. There is something imposing in the bassoon-like tone of his voice when gratuitously vociferating such names as those of the · Duke of Wellington,' or the Countess of Jersey,' whenever their footmen are missing at some gay entertainment. The intonation of Corney hath a character as classically distinct from that of inferior links, as the enunci. ation of Kemble from that of the lisping romantic school of modern tragedians. -Corney is the noblest Roman of them all!-Corney's reminiscences would be worthy the attention of the readers of Bentley's Miscellany. We recommend him to their notice, as a link of some value in the glorious chain of modern enlightenment. On issuing from the Operahouse on Saturday next, let them shout aloud the henceforward immortalized name of—*CORNEY CREGAN!'

THE MILL OF POULDU.

(FROM MISS COSTELLO'S FORTHCOMING ROMANCE,) THE QUEEN'S POISONER.'

In the old mill of Pouldu, not far from the point of rock which seems to cleave the roaring waves at its feet, lived the miller Trevihan, who was more than a hundred years old, and had lived in that mill as long as any man could remember. He had witnessed as many shipwrecks as there are nights in the year; he had seen as many steeples stricken with lightning as there are weeks; and no one could say how many times he had beheld the Doll-men with dancing dwarfs circling round its huge stones. He had visited the Tourigans in their caves; and he knew all things past and to come.

He was dwarfish in stature, and his large bragaw-bras, * like great floursacks, seemed to bury him in their folds. His long thin legs were finished by huge long feet. His big head rested on his breast, which was prominent and pointed; his mouth was wide and grinning, and his two eyes unlike each other. When he sat at night in his inill, smoking his short pipe, he looked like a fiend risen up amidst the darkness; yet this frightful monster dared to love one of the prettiest girls in the parish. Her name was Francique, and she was betrothed to the young sailor, Kerias, who had been out for several weeks at sea; and during his absence her father, who was very avaricious, lent an ear to the proposals of the dwarf.

* But Trevihan is old and hideous,' said the pretty maiden, "and Kerias is so handsome and young ; besides, I gave him my promise, and I will wed none but him.'

When Trevihan heard this, he said to himself, “It is true I look aged, but I have the power to renew my youth; and why should I not again have recourse to the Tourigan, who will aid me?'

Accordingly he went into the pine wood of Kérisonet, and there, in the midst of the trees, by the side of a little fountain, he saw the fairy comb

ing her hair.

What would you with me?' said she. “Fifty years ago, and ten before that, you came to me for youth; if I grant it you again, you must give me up your bride to nurse my little changeling, as you have done all your brides before.'

'She shall be yours a year and a day after I have married her,' said the miller. He drew his knife, and spilled three drops of his blood in the fountain ; a cloud rose out of it, and covered him all round; when it cleared away there stood in his place a handsome young mariner, gay and sprightly, who took his way back to the village, and stopped at the gate of Francique.

Culottes.

Open, open, Francique,' said he ; 'I am Kerias, come back from sea to claim your promise.'

Very happy was the pretty maiden when she saw her lover, and she welcomed him with embraces; but she bade him hasten away, for her father had forbidden her to hold discourse with him, as she was to marry the dwarf of the mill of Pouldu.

Fear not,' said her lover, “he is no longer here to trouble you ; no one has seen him at his mill, and it is said he has fallen over the cliff into the sea. I am rich now, and

your

father will not refuse me your hand.' The father of Francique loved gold, and as Kerias had plenty, and the dwarf appeared no more, he gave his consent, and the wedding-day was fixed by Francique. But Francique was always unhappy: she did not feel her first love for Kerias ; she shuddered when he came near her, and always wished him away ; and at last she could endure her feelings no longer, and resolved to make a pilgrimage to the chapel of Ste. Ninoc'h, on the borders of the wood of Kérisonet. She got up one morning by daybreak, and pursued her way; she had not gone far when a little white fawn suddenly started out of a brake, and began to play round her.

She was much alarmed, and walked on, saying her paternoster all the way ; for she knew whoever sees the white fawn of Ste. Ninoc'h will lose her husband on the day of her marriage. The fawn kept gamboling before her, and she thought the whole time of all she had heard of that mysterious animal. A thousand years ago, this fawn was pursued by hunters, and took refuge in the oratory of Ste. Ninoc'h, whose hermitage was in this wood. Ever since then the fawn haunted these glades, and, though constantly hunted and attacked, it remained unhurt. When she got to the chapel it vanished, and there she said her prayers devoutly, and laid her distaff and flax on the altar with pious care. After some time she left the place to return home, her heart much lightened, and as she reached the edge of the wood she met Kerias coming to meet her, and, to her surprise, felt towards him the same affection as ever. She told him she had now no regrets, and would no longer delay naming the wedding-day. Kerias smiled, and replied that he had that morning only returned from sea, and was rejoiced to find such happiness awaited him. 'I am,' he said, ' as poor as ever; and will

your

father consent ?? • What can you mean? replied the maiden ; 'is not everything ready, and my consent alone wanting, not my father's, for that he has given ? As for being poor, that is a joke, as we know, and he thinks it a very good

For myself, it is you I love, not your gold; and to-morrow I will be your

wife. Everything was ready next morning; the bride-maids, and men with their flowers and ribands; plenty of crêpes on the board, and the basvalan* full of merriment. She was taken to church by her father and her friends ; but as she alighted from her little white horse at the door, to the surprise of all, two trains approached from opposite roads, and preceding them appeared two young men in sailors' dress, both so like each other that it was impossible to pronounce which was or was not Kerias. The bride shrieked with astonishment, but ran immediately to the one whom her heart told her was the true; but her father insisted on the other being the real bridegroom, and a great contention ensued. While this was going

one.

• Negotiator of weddings.

on the priest came forward, and bade them all enter the church, which they did.

• Now,' said he, “I will marry this maiden to both these men, in the name of the blessed Ste. Ninoc'h, who will reveal which is the true one. Till to-night, let every one watch in the churchyard; the bride and the two bridegrooms shall remain close to the altar with me, and Heaven will provide for the rest.'

All was done as the priest had commanded, and they remained in prayer during the rest of that day. At the close of evening the churchyard gate suddenly opened next the wood, and in the sight of all a little white fawn came trotting up to the church-porch. As soon as one of the bridegrooms saw this he became agitated, and uttered strange sounds; his garments began to rustle, and his body to swell: suddenly he burst forth with a long loud howl, his clothes disappeared, and a hideous wolf darted out of the church in pursuit of the white fawn, which bounded off into the wood.

The true Kerias and his beloved remained thunderstruck, and falling on their knees at the altar thanked the blessed saint for their deliverance. The dwarf of the mill was never seen again alive; but his spirit may be sometimes beheld hovering amongst the ruins of the mill of Pouldu, sometimes in the shape of an aged and deformed man, sometimes as a Loup-garou, when he utters such hideous and appalling howls, that the old mill trembles, and

A DAY WITH NATURE.

BY JAMES ALDRICH.

ADIEU, the city's ceaseless hum,

The haunts of sensual life, adieu !
Green fields, and silent glens, we come,

To spend this bright spring-day with you.

Whether the hills and vales shall gleam

With beauty, is for us to choose ;
For leaf and blossom, rock and stream,

Are coloured with the spirit's hues.

Here to the seeking soul is brought

A nobler view of human fate,
And higher feeling, higher thought,

And glimpses of a higher state.

Through change of time, on sea and shore,

Serenely nature smiles alway;
Yon infinite blue sky bends o'er

Our world, as at the primal day.

The self-renewing earth is moved

With youthful life each circling year;
And flowers thai Ceres' daughter loved

At Enna, now are blooming here.

Glad Nature will this truth reveal,

That God is ours, and we are His;
Oh! friends! my friends! what joy to feel

That He our living Father is!

AN ADVENTURE IN THE FIFTEEN ACRES.

BY PHELIM O'TOOLE.

BOB DONNELLAN'S STORY.

I HAD grown

tired of home, and small blame to me. There wasn't a fox from Kilnaghee to Brownstown but we had exterminated; and even if a straggler was to be found, the hounds, alas ! were no longer likely to be forthcoming. The colonel who kept the dogs so long, and used to make them go in such sporting style, was gone to the dogs himself; the doctors had got hold of Mark Nolan ; the sheriff of Hubert Brown; Luke Battersby was off to the Continent, to prevent his bodily health being put in similar peril; the races of Listurrock had followed the fate of the Olympian games; and, save and except the fair of Ballinasloe, and an odd shindy with the military at Athlone or Loughrea, the devil an inducement was in the whole province to cause a reasonable man to abide within it for a fortnight. So much for the want of fun,-no small want for a Connaught man under

any circumstances, but an especial want to me, who had nothing else to tempt me to stay in the world at all, let alone in Connaught, at least unless the times got better, and half a score creditors were to go to their rest, leaving no heirs behind them.

My poor father was, you know, up to the nose in debt; profession or occupation had I none; and when it pleased heaven to call him to the rest of the Donnellans, I had nothing else to expect but the pleasure of being compelled to divide his effects among his creditors, at the rate of ten shillings in the pound, and turn out on the world a walking gentleman.

I had revolved in my mind every method whereby I had ever heard money had been made in a hurry, from pitch-and-toss to horse-racing and gold-finding, without meeting anything to please me, and was fretting away in a most melting state

of uncertainty, when it pleased Rody Fitzgerald to return home from Demerara, “a made man,' as his trumpeters declared him. Rody always had a taste for description, and what between the flattering pictures he drew, and the still more seducing testimony his own good fortune lent to his eloquence, it was not long until my mind was made up to cross the Atlantic, and do wonders like my neighbours. I hadn't much difficulty in persuading the people at home of the propriety of my resolution, if only the needful could be raised for the purpose; and having, by the sale of a couple of hunters, helped to remove that obstacle, there was shortly nothing to prevent me from setting out at once to my

destination. I had still

, however, a lingering idea that if I could manage to spend a week or so in Dublin previously, I might perhaps fall on a readier method of raising the name of Donneilan; for my vanity told me I had made something more than a common impression on Grace Seymour ; and, independent of my being sunk into the lowest pit of love on her account, report gave out that whoever won Grace would stand in good repute at the

43

VOL. VII.

« السابقةمتابعة »