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land were assembled, with flags waving, and trumpets sounding, and all manner of glorious doings going on. The princess was placed on a throne of gold near her father; and there was a beautiful carpet spread for Owney to stand upon, while he answered her questions. After the trumpets were silenced, she put the first, with a clear sweet voice, and he replied:

"It's salt!" says he, very stout, out.

There was great applause at the answer; and the princess owned, smiling, that he had judged right. "But now," said she, "for the second. What are the three most beautiful things in the creation?"


"Why," answered the young man, they are. A ship in full sail-a field of wheat in ear-and

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What the third most beautiful thing was, all the people didn't hear; but there was great blushing and laughing among the ladies, and the princess smiled, and nodded at him, quite pleased with his wit. Indeed, many said that the judges of the land themselves could not have answered better, had they been in Owney's place; nor could there be any where found a more likely or well-spoken young man. He

was brought first to the king, who took him in his arms, and presented him to the princess. She could not help acknowledging to herself that his understanding was quite worthy of his handsome person. Orders being immediately given for the marriage to proceed, they were made one with all speed; and it is said, that before another year came round, the fair princess was one of the most beautiful objects in the creation.


By the time this last tale had drawn to its catastrophe, the narrator (the toothless hag before alluded to) found that she had been for a considerable time the sole admirer of her own romance. Alarmed by the increasing strength and harmony of the chorus with which the sleepers bore burthen to her tale, she raised her palsied head from beneath the covering she had drawn over it, and gazed upon the circle. The host and hostess sat upright in their lofty chairs, snoring as if it had been for a wager, at the same time that they maintained their attitudes with an unbending dignity that would have

struck Cineas mute, while their friends lay scattered about the room in all directions; and some in very queer, comical postures indeed. As it was the tale, beyond all question, which had set them to sleep, so the cessation of the drowsy hum of the old woman's voice produced the contrary effect. The moment that perfect silence reigned around them, all rubbed their eyes, and woke. The first grey shimmer of a winter dawn stole in upon the revellers-the fowls began to ruffle their feathers upon the roost over the door-and the swinish citizens of a neighbouring piggery gave grunting salutation to the morn.

With hurried and wondering gestures, the guests entered upon the bustle of separation, and the coast was presently left clear of all but the good folks of the house, and their guest, the chronicler of the evening,

Of late years, scenes like this have become rare in Ireland. Before the period of the year arrives, when ancient and revered custom reminds the peasant of the domestic jollities of his fathers, and of his own childhood, the horn of the Whiteboy, or the yell of the more ferocious Rockite, has startled the keepers of the land,


and warned the inhabitants to prepare for "other than dancing measures." Without presuming, for an instant, to venture an opinion on the causes of the change, we may, at least, calculate on the reader's sympathy in expressing a hope that it may be of brief continuance; and that the time may not be very distant, when the Irish agriculturist may enjoy the domestic comforts which at many periods were known to his progenitors, and which are not denied to other nations in our own day-when

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every man shall eat in safety

Under his own hedge, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours ;"

when he can have his pit of potatoes, his reek of turf, his Sunday coat and brogues, his "three tinpennies" for the priest at Christmas and Easter; and his family fireside, and his collection of "popular tales" at "Holland-tide."

J. M'Creery, Tooks Court,
Chancery Lane, London.


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