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and chances of "snap-apple" for that evening were at an end.

Next followed the floating apple, of still greater dimensions than the former, placed in a tub of clear water, and destined to become the property of him who should, fairly between his teeth, and without help from hands, or the side of the vessel, lift it out of the fluid. This created most uproarious mirth for some time, until the man with the legs, in his own quiet, silent way, stalked among the disputants like the genius of fate, and picking it off the surface as if it had been a walnut, retired to his corner, followed by the wondering and envious glances of the gaping juniors.

While these things were transacted above, another group about the fire were occupied more interestingly, though not so merrily, in melting the lead through the handle of a key placed over a porringer of water, and conjecturing from the fantastical shapes which the metal assumed, their own future destiny; in burning the beans,* (in which process, much to the dis

Such is the demand for those articles " coming on" November-Eve, that rural speculators sow bean gardens for the purpose of profiting by the occasion.

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satisfaction of the young hostess and her noisy sweetheart, the village apothecary's lad was observed to burn quietly by her side, while the former bounced away with a "pop!" like a shot,) and other innocent and permitted arts of the Ephesian letter. These little minor tricks, however, were but child's play to the great girls, who were on thorns until the field should be left clear to themselves-when they might put in practice the darker and more daring ceremonies proper to the time-the drying of the shift sleeve on the three-legged stool, and watching in the silence of the midnight for the shadowy resemblance of the future spouse, who was to turn it before the fire; the sowing of hemp or rape-seed, the adjuration with a sageleaf, and all the gloomy and forbidden mysteries of the night, into which we shall not at present penetrate; these ceremonies not being peculiar or strictly national, and having already found admirable historians in the authors of "Halloween," and of "The Boyne Water."

After the company had wearied their spirits and memories in search of new matter of amusement, and exhausted all the accustomed festivi

ties of the evening, the loudness of their merriment began to die away, and a drowsiness crept upon their laughter and conversation. As the noisier revellers grew comparatively silent, the voices of two or three old gossips who sat inside the hearth in the chimney-corner, imbibing the grateful warmth, and seeming to breathe as freely and contentedly amid the volumes of smoke which enveloped them as if it had been pure aroma-their knees gathered up to their chins, and the tails of their cotton or stuff gowns drawn up over their heads, suffering the glazed blue or green petticoat to dazzle the eyes of the admiring spectators-the voices, as we have said, of these old crones became more audible as the noisy mirth around them began to decrease, and at length attracted the attention of the other guests.

"What is it ye're doing there?" exclaimed the old master of the house, looking towards the corner with an expression of face in which much real curiosity and some assumed ridicule were blended.

"Oyeh thin nothing in the world," replied a smoke-dried, crow-footed, white-haired, yet

sharp-eyed hag, whose three last teeth were employed in masticating a piece of " that vile roguish tobacco." "Nothing;-only we to be talking among ourselves of ould times—and things-the quare doings that used to be there long ago

'Onst on a time

When pigs drank wine,

And turkeys smoked tobaccy;'—

whin THEMSELVES used to be seen by the ould and the young, by day and night, roving the fields and places, and not to be scaming about as they do now, (maning 'em no disparagement), in a whisk of a dusty road on a windy day,whin goold was as plenty as bog-dust, and there used to be joyants there as long as the round towers; whin it was the fashion for the girls to come coorting the boys, instead of the boys going after the girls, and things that way, entirely."

"Poh, what nonsense!" exclaimed the hero of the snap-apple, " there's not a word ever to be had out o' the ould women, passing a chronicle of a fable about the fairies, and priests, and joyants, and things that we never seen, nor

that nobody ever come back to tell us aboutwhat kind they wor-or what truth was in 'em. Let somebody sit upright and tell us something that we'll know is it a lie that he's telling, or not."

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Something about wakes and weddings, and them things," said (a note above her breath) the modest, small mouthed Norry Foley.

"Or smugglers, or coiners, or fighting at fairs, or Moll Doyle, or rebellion, or murthering of one sort or another," roared he of the legs.

"Easy now easy the whole o' ye!-easy again!" said the host, waving his hand around the circle to enjoin silence," there may be a way found to please ye all;" (this was said with an air of good-natured condescension, as if the speaker, in his benevolence, were about to tolerate rather than enjoy the silly amusement which the youngsters meditated)-" gather round the fire, do ye, and let every body tell his story after his own way; and let the rest hearken, whether they like it or not, until 'tis over, and then tell their own if they think 'tis better."

A clattering of chairs and stools, and a general bustle announced the ready concurrence

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