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Grace recommenced :
“ Boys and girls—but most particular boys—we must all die! Ay, indeed, die,—as sure as grass grows or wather runs. Now, you see that the grate min of ould times are all dead! Not a mortial sowl of thim all alive.' Uncle,” said Grace, pausing, “ do you think that's true ?”
“ True !" repeated Black Burnett, not looking in the mildest manner from under the deep and shaggy brows which had gained him his cognomen ; “ to be sure; and to all reason it's true. Show me one of the people of ould times that's alive."
“Molly Myran, of Crag's-pass, near Carrickburn,’s above a hundred," replied Grace, who feared, she hardly knew why, that the sermon was a sort of quiz upon the priesthood, though she dared not say so.
“Molly Myran !" again repeated her uncle, contemptuously. “God help the child! Sure no one's worth talking of amongst the rale ancients that's less than a thousand or two! Go on with the sarmon."
"There was Julus asar, and twelve of them there was—mor est-he's dead!'
“ Morty who?" inquired Burnett, sharply.
" Mortus est !—M-O-R,” continued poor Grace, reading and then spelling the letters.
“I hope you're reading what's on the paper," persisted her uncle, doubtingly.
“ As true as Gospel,” she replied, “ that is what I'm reading. * There was the great Cleopathra, an Egyptian, and a grate warrior; he used to dhrink purls for wather--mortus est—he's dead, too! There was Marc Anthony, a great frind and co-ajuthor of Cleopathra's, he had a grate turn for boating and the like-mortus est-he's dead, too! There was Charleymange, a grate Frinch man of larning and tongues, and with all his larning-mortus est-he's dead, too! There was the grate Alexandre, the gineral of the whole wide world !!”
“ Lord save us !" ejaculated the old man, as he knocked the ashes out of his pipe against a stone which projected from the back of the chimney. «• The whole wide world ! ” repeated Grace ;
666 he used to roar and bawl whenever he couldn't set a faction fight a-foot; and it isn't at that he'd stop, if he had his own way, for it was all fun to him ;--mortus est !—he's dead, too! There was the great Cicero, a mighty fine pracher, like myself,-mortus est-he's dead, too! There was the wonderful Arkimedays, he was a great magician, an admiral, and a navigator; he used to set ships o' fire by just looking at them through a spy-glass; he had an eye, boys, like a process. Mortus est—he's dead
Grace,” interrupted the old man," I believe, after all, you're right. I wish I had the name of that paper. I don't think it's of the true sort, so I'll roul it up, put it into my pocket, show it to his reverence at the station on Friday, and ask him if the sarmon's a right one.'
“Just let me go over it a bit first," said Grace, intending doubtless to refer to the paragraphs on fashion, as all girls in Ireland and out of Ireland invariably do. Sure, I'm not so fond of spending my time at anything of the sort." She continued looking over column after
column, until at last she came to a name she thought she had heard her uncle speak of.
“ Didn't you know one James Kenneth, uncle ?"
“To be sure I did, Grace. What has honest Jemmy been after to be put on the paper ?
“ He's dead, uncle."
“ The Lord be good to us !” ejaculated the old man; “ James Kenneth was fifteen years to the good younger than me!-My poor Grace!"
“Why, what had I to do with him ?" inquired the girl, astonished at her uncle's earnestness.
“Not much to be sure,-and yet you had, Grace, as a body may
"But what's very strange, uncle, is, that just under his death, is the death of his son Thomas,-a young man in his seventeenth year !”
Grace was so intent on the paragraph, for people are always touched by the deaths of those who are nearly their own age, that she kept her eyes fixed on the paper, and it was some minutes before she perceived that a deadly palor had overspread her uncle's countenance. She sprang from her seat, when she looked up, and flinging her arms round his neck, inquired if he was ill.
I have observed the manifestations of joy and grief in the inhabitants of many lands. The Scotch are wisely taught from infancy to subdue their feelings; they bring them at an early period of life under a quaker-like subjection, which, though decidedly advantageous to themselves, shadows a coldness upon the feelings of others. The expressions of English sympathy or anxiety, though the sincerest in the world, are blunt and ungraceful. You feel that those of French tenderness are tricked and garlanded with a view to effect; their tears are shed after a form—their sorrow is made picturesque. But the anxiety, the earnestuess, the truthfulness of Irish sympathy-sorrow—tenderness—burst uncontrouled from the heart,—the young heart I should say, for old hearts learn how to regulate their feelings, and it is well they do, for otherwise they would go hackled and tortured to their graves. To one accustomed only to the well-bred griefs of modern society, the earnest and gushing sympathy with which an Irish girl enters into the joys, griefs, hopes and fears of those she loves, presents quite a new and delightful reading of human nature,—it is most beautiful and eloquent in its character! She loses all consideration of selfshe weeps -- she laughs-because those she loves weep or laugh. She forgets that she is a separate creation--and feels as if created for her friends - friends!-the word is all too cold to express her devotion, it must be seen to be understood_excited, or it can never be appreciated as it deserves. Grace Burnett was à creature of smiles and tears-a sunbeam or a shadow. She had never been seen to frown, though she was often sad, because her uncle was at times moody, even to ill-temper --the neighbours said they sometimes pitied her; had they understood the bappiness she felt in soothing his irritations, they would have envied her her delight when saying—“No one can please my dear uncle half as well as l.” Grace was proud of the influence her affectionate gentleness had gained over Black Burnett. And now, when she hung
round him and inquired so earnestly if he was ill, and what troubled him, she thought her heart would break at his continued silence : even her idiot brother seemed to sympathize with her he fidgetted on his seat, looked at her, shuffled his fingers through his hair, and at last came and stood by her side.
“Something's come entirely over him that I've no skill in,” she said at last, despairingly.—“Mick, speak to him, Mick--he'll mind you,
What you see wrong in others, mend in yourself;" muttered the idiot.
“Ay, Grace-my poor Grace--and that's it sure enough ;" said her uncle, recovering from his stupor,—“that's it!-the sarmon that poor natural preaches was ever more in my ear, and maybe that was the reason it did not reach my heart—'What you see wrong in others, mend in yourself.'-Wasn't I constant at Mr. Hanway of Mount-Grove, to get a lease of years, instead of lives, for his farm?-didn't I worry Mr. Maguire till he had his lease properly drawn ;-and when forty acres of the best arable land in the county went clean out of the hands of Nicholas Cruise, who passed so many censures on his carelessness as Black Burnett ?"
“What you see wrong in others, mend in yourself," again said Michael.
By the blessed saints !” exclaimed Burnett, his agitated feelings taking another turn, and glad of escape by words or violence, “ if you repeat that to me again, you poor tantalizing ill-featured fool! I'll find if there's any brains in your skull!—It's a purty thing for you to be reproaching me, that nursed you since you came out of your shell.” Michael and Snap paired off into the chimney-corner, and Grace burst into tears.
Ay, cry ;-you may well cry, Grace, but it's no use. I'm ould, and almost helpless,--and God only knows "continued the farmer, as he paced up and down the spacious kitchen, which his father and grandfather had trod before him—“God only knows how long I may be in the land of the living; and then, Grace, then what is to become of you ?”
Me, uncle? “Ay, you, uncle !-why you're growing as great an omadawn as your brother!"
Grace feared to ask a question, but still the tears rained down her cheeks. Haven't you
that I had three lives in the new lease of this place, -James Kenneth, and his son Thomas,—Thomas, who was born the same year as you, my poor Grace,-and-but the Lord forgive me, what an ould sinner I am -Tom Kenneth cut off, as a body may say, in the very bud of his youth—the same age as you, Gracy-within a week the same age,-yet he is taken,-a fine, strong, healthy boy~ he is taken-and you, a delicate, weakly girl, but the delight and treasure of your uncle's heart—you are left upon the earth, and in my own house, to bless it, as you have always done ;-God forgive me my sins ! --but I was always a passionate man-hot, and hasty,---you'll forgive me, my child ?"
The old man kissed the daughter of his heart and his adoption; and in the twinkling of an eye, the sorrow passed from her lovely facequicker than she could wipe away the tears.
heard me say,
Sure, thanks be to God, I've heard you say that your own life's in the lease, and sure that's to the good still, and will be, please the Almighty, for many a long day to come. --And, uncle dear, maybe the landlord would still renew it upon years ;—and even if he didn't, don't fret on our account, for
Before she could finish her sentence there was a loud knock at the cottage door; Snap, in his eagerness to investigate the character and demands of the visiter, overturned the wheel, and without heeding the mischief he had done, poked his snub nose through an aperture in the post, and growled angrily. The doors of Irish cottages are seldom fastened ; indeed, during the last month, notwithstanding what is called in England“ the disturbed state of the country,” I slept more than a week in the house of a Conservative gentleman, residing in the midst of a Catholic community, whose doors and windows were never disfigured by bolt, bar, or lock, though the house was known to contain much plate, and some fire-arms. I question if this could occur in any part of undisturbed England !
The visiter opened the door at which he had knocked, before Burnett had time to raise the latch,—but Grace, as her uncle turned to do so, made time enough to whisper Michael, “ If you'll be a good boy, and not repeat what vexed uncle just now, for three days, I'll give you a rosy-cheeked apple, and butter to the potatoes for a week.” -Mick laughed with delight, and Grace finished her speech just in time to say"Kindly welcome,” illustrated by a pretty curtsey to the muffled-up stranger, who was now standing in the midst of the apartment. He was a stout thick-set man, whose blue great-coat, strong brogues, and wellfitting beaver, told of his belonging to the “ warmer ” portion of the commonalty ;-his “shillelah” was more carved than as it is usually seen in a countryman's hand, and when he politely removed his hat, his brown clustering hair curled around a handsome, yet disagreeable countenance ;-—at least, so Grace considered it,--she thought of the -simile in the mock sermon she had just read, of " a look being as bad as a process ;” and after dusting a chair with her apron, and pushing it towards him, she waited, expecting that he would speak in reply to the friendly greetings he had already received. He stood, however, in his old position, looking alternately at Burnett, at Grace, at Michael, and then investigating, with curious eye, every article of furniture in the kitchen--the delf neatly arranged upon the dresser—the three deal chairs—the stools and “ bosses"—the noggins—the settle—the wheel, that most unusual piece of furniture in an Irish cottage,-a small work-table, and a neat book-shelf“ facing the dresser,” —all were carefully scrutinized-until at last Burnett became annoyed at his visiter's rudeness, and in a rough tone said, “ he hoped he liked all he saw, for he would be sure to know them again.”
“Ay," replied the man; “like, to be sure I do-everything here is to be liked-and-" his eye glanced familiarly at Grace, “ loved, for the matter of that-but"-he paused, and looked round againand again.
“ It's a wild night, and I'm thinking you'd better take an air of the fire,” said Burnett.
“ Thank ye, so I will; it feels very comfortable,” said the stranger, walking under the shadow of the wide chimney, and spreading out his hands to the heat, which Grace had increased by the addition of some
« sods" of turf. “The boy-a natural—the dog," he continued, talking aloud, and yet as if to himself; " the dog—the pretty girl-everything exactly as I saw it-it is very strange!
May I make so bould as to ask what is so strange ?" inquired Burnett.
Everything—everything here,” he replied, turning his back to the fire, and again surveying the apartment.
“Nothing out of the common, Sir, barring Grace's little work-tablea compliment from the carpenter," observed the simple-minded man, while Grace blushed beautifully at the allusion to her-(truth will out) --her lover!
“ Stranger and stranger still,” resumed the traveller; “ and that that young lady's name should be Grace ! ”
Young lady!” repeated Burnett ; "she's an honest man's daughter, and a good little girl, but no lady.”
“She's your niece, and that poor fellow's your nephew, and that dog's name is Snap, and your name is Corney Burnett, commonly called Black Corney, or Black Burnett.”
"Holy Mary defend us !” ejaculated Grace, crossing herself; even Mick opened his large brown eyes; while their uncle said, “ Why then it's known you must be among the neighbours, though you're strange to me, and your tongue's not of this country.”
“ I have walked seventeen miles since I entered a house - I was never in this part of the world before—and I was born in foreign parts; and yet I am as much at home here as if I had lived in the parish all my life! Every stick of your furniture I feel as used to as if it had been
Black Burnett crossed himself as he turned to look round his cottage, and Grace slid slily out of the kitchen into her little chamber, and dipping her fingers in the vase of holy water that hung at the head of her humble bed, sprinkled herself with it; wetting her fingers again, so that on her return to the kitchen she might convey a few drops to her brother's person : her uncle wore a scapular, so she considered him safe.
“Why then, may I ask again how you gained your information ?” questioned Burnett, as he seated himself opposite his mystifying guest, who on Grace's return was seated also. “Indeed you may,” he replied“and what's not always the case,
I'll answer you—1 dreamt it!” Upon this there was a loud exclamation, and a general crossing succeeded. Their visiter looked round and smiled." Do not be ashamed of your religion, my good friends; I have been in many countries, and one religion's as good as another if it's acted up to; that's my belief. Cross yourself again, my pretty maid, and you too, Master Burnett, and I will tell you how it was; but first let me ask, is there not a deep line of sand-pits near this, a little way off the road leading to the left ?
“ There is ! » replied the uncle and niece together.
“ And-now mark me! is there not a very large elm tree a few perches farther on?"
“ There is !” responded the same voices.