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LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 1840.
A RAMBLE INTO IRELAND.
BEFORE I quit the precincts of Thurles, I must tell the reader about a visit which, in company with some dear friends, I paid, in the autumn of 1838, to the residence of an old parish priest at Clonoulty, some few miles from that town. The priest was a very decided political partisan—a great supporter of one of the gentlemen of our party, member for the county of proprietor of the land on which the priest resided. The good man, for truly a good man he was, has been since numbered among the dead. He was universally beloved—one of the most hospitable of his hospitable order, and as warm-hearted, as singleminded, as religious, and withal as merry, a priest as ever was in
then I could have had a little time for preparation, and some way or other got you a suitable dinner."
"We were pretty sure, Father Molowny," answered Mr. "that at all events you were not without eggs, and bacon, and potatoes; and I know these hills too well to fear that they required fine dishes to tempt the appetite."
"All I can say is, that you are heartily and again and again welcome to whatever my humble home can give; and I'm only sorry it isn't more worthy your acceptance. I'll see what Catty
Cordial as was our welcome, I could perceive, however, that our worthy host was not a little embarrassed in his manner. cause of this I could not comprehend, for I knew how truly his lips spoke the sentiments of his soul. In the course of a few minutes, however, his nephew, Father John, who was also his curate, made his appearance, and in a mysterious manner requested the ladies of our party to favour him with a moment's private conwhen he introduced them into his own bed-room, (blush not, fair reader, for the only sitting-room in the cottage was the parlour, now in active preparation for dinner,) they were still more puzzled.
Some partridges and other game having been sent out before hand in the morning, by way of announcing our intended incur-versation. They could not at all guess what was coming; and sion upon his hermitage, we found him, about two o'clock in the afternoon, in his garden, engaged in walking up and down a terrace, reading his "daily office," as it is called, out of a book entitled the" Breviary." The "Breviary" may be styled in other words an epitome of the New Testament, and of the best writings of the Fathers, interspersed with selections from the Psalms. It is admirably suited to its purpose, which is to keep the mind of a man devoted to the sacred ministry always thoughtful of his duties, and occupied in "prayer and praise" during a certain portion of the morning, afternoon, and evening. It is in the Latin language, and generally printed in a clear, beautiful type, intermingled with rubric notes, and instructions as to the festivals, and other subjects connected with the sacerdotal functions.
The terrace, in the middle of which was an arbour, formed one side of the garden, which was well stocked with vegetables, fruits, and flowers. It was not large, nor quite in such apple-pie order as those we are accustomed to in England. The walks, the terrace only excepted, were not gravelled; nor were the borders closely trimmed; nor were the clematis and jasmine trained with sedulous attention to effect. But although then in its undress, as the advancing season was turning every leaf brown, and had already made sad havoc among the roses and carnations, still its very rusticity was pleasing. It seemed a fit haunt for a plain, pious old man, thinking little of this world, much of the next, and preparing with fervent orisons and a rejoicing heart for the great change which, according to the order of nature, he was soon to undergo. Surrounded by a well-grown hedge, favoured by the southern and seated upon elevated ground which opened it to pleasant breezes from the neighbouring hills and moors, it afforded many beautiful views of the country, and at the same time was in
itself a solitude.
"No wonder," said we, "Father Molowny," (after we had received his blessing and his most cordial greetings of welcome,) "that you should look so well, for this garden and this walk seem the very abode of health.” (He did, in fact, then look the picture of a "green old age.")
"Thank God for all his favours! he replied. "Though now turned fourscore, the heart is as warm as ever, particularly when our beloved friends here (the lord and lady of the soil) come to see the old man. It does indeed delight me to see you all. didn't you write me a line yesterday, to say you were coming? for
"The fact is, ladies," said Father John, after a long preface about the respect due to high rank, and how much his uncle valued the great condescension of the principal guest who honoured him that day with his presence—“ the fact is, my uncle had invited, a week ago, some few friends and parishioners to dine here to-day, and as your messenger did not arrive until twelve o'clock, we hadn't time to put them off to another day."
"But why think of putting them off for us?"
The answer, couched in mysterious terms, at length made it appear that the good father was afraid the company would not be "good enough " for such a meeting. It is hardly necessary to add that this grand source of embarrassment was soon laughed away by the persons to whom it was addressed, and by Mr. also, when made known to him;-one of the last of men to throw away a moment's thought upon such a subject.
This incident was worth notice, as it was characteristic of the esteem-indeed I might say, the veneration-in which the Irish in general hold ancient birth and rank, especially when to these are added great amiability of character, which was the case in the present instance. And, let it be added to that, there are no men, or women either, in any country, of what may be called the secondary classes, who, when called upon by accidental circumstances to take a place in what they might consider" company above themselves," know better how to display that urbanity, ease, and pleasantness of manner, which are habitual to good society. The young Irish ladies are almost universally extremely well-educated, in consequence of the numerous convents in that country belonging to orders of nuns who devote all their time-that portion only excepted which is set apart for their religious duties-to the business of education. Their charges are exceedingly moderate for those who can pay ; and for the children of the poor they have separate establishments, in which there is no charge at all. Indeed several of the female conventual order in Ireland are dedicated solely to the gratuitous instruction of the humbler classes of society.
Of the good sense, natural politeness, open-hearted cheerfulness, and minds utterly without guile, or suspicion of wrong, which
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
may be pretty generally observed among Irish females, we had on this occasion more than one very agreeable specimen. They all acknowledge that they are fond of "fun;" and they are so to an extent which might shock the nerves of many English maidens of certain age." But the fun even of what Lady Morgan might designate as a "wild Irish girl," is never of that kind that would tempt any man possessed of the ordinary delicacy of a gentleman to take advantage of it, or encourage him to move one step, even in thought, beyond the line of decorum. In truth, as her cheerfulness is itself the measure of her innocence and virtue, so is it also her most impregnable bulwark. It forbids assault.
Nothing can be more honourable to the females of any nation than the tribute which Mr. Nichols, the chief poor-law commissioner in Ireland, paid to the sex of that country, when, after having travelled through almost every part of it, and noted with a most strict and intelligent eye the habits of every class of its community, he declared that no necessity existed there for a "Law of Bastardy*."
A more serious difficulty than that of "rank" was still to be got over, which in Irish phrase completely "bothered" the two priests. The parlour, by no means a large one, was scarcely sufficient to contain the pre-invited guests; how was room to be found for four more in addition? After due discussion, this matter also was speedily settled by a general agreement that every three persons should occupy only two chairs. And so Catty having informed his "Reverence" that dinner was on the table, we lost no time in repairing to the scene of action, accompanied by all the other friends whom Father Molowny had invited. The chairs being old-fashioned and nearly square, we easily placed them in close juxta-position. One or two, who could not by any process of squeezing be fitted in, and all the tables in the house being in requisition, were obliged to have their plates on Father John's bed, whose Morphean chamber luckily opened into the parlour.
These preliminary arrangements, the adjustment of the thin and the corpulent, the due intermixture of the ladies and the squires, and then some little provision for the motion of hands and arms intent on the good work before them, caused so much laughter, that never did an assembled party sit down with a better disposition to enjoy themselves. And, Heaven knows, plenty there was at our discretion :-a noble leg of mutton boiled, which at the first cut yielded a gush of red gravy, that made the snow-white turnips beneath it blush like a young maiden; next was disclosed to admiration an eighteen-pounder of a turkey-(oh, glorious sight!) boiled also, served with celery sauce, well stored with " 'stuffing" fragrant of sweet mountain herbs, and attended by a ham fit for the gods, browned in Catty's best style. Besides these good things, there were a princely sirloin of roast beef, potatoes of course, and cabbages, and cauliflowers, in abundance, followed by an immense apple-pie and a delicious baked custard-pudding.
All we wanted to complete the picture of an Irish wedding were a bride and bridegroom. I was impertinent enough to propose an impromptu match between a pretty smiling girl opposite to me, and a marrying-looking young gentleman at Father Malowny's end of the room. Our pleasant host seconded the motion, amidst a peal of laughter-the said laughter being directed against myself,
As far as I had opportunities of observing and inquiring, the Irish females are generally correct in their conduct. I am aware that opinions somewhat different have been expressed, but I feel bound to state that my own impressions of the moral conduct of the Irish females are highly favourable.
Their duties appear to be inuch more laborious than those of the same class of females in England. Their dress, too, is very inferior, and so likewise zeems their general position in society; yet they universally appear modest, industrious, and sober. I state this as the result of my own observation merely; and I do so here because, if the Irish females have preserved their moral character untainted under the very trying circumstances in which they are placed (as I believe in the main to be the case), it affords a powerful argument for letting well alone.' If it had been otherwise, however, and if the extent of bastardy, and its demoralising influence on public manners, had been much greater, I should still have recommended that the Irish females should be left, as now, the guardians of their own honour, and be responsible in their own persons for all deviations from virtue."-Nichols's First Report, p. 50, small
for the banns were forthwith forbidden by a quiet nice little woman on my left hand, and a partner too in my chair, who exclaimed, in the prettiest brogue in the world—“Oh! sir, that won't do at all, for that gentleman is my husband."
Round went the tankards of foaming ale, and black mouldy bottles of old sherry-sherry of those days when no Cape wine was to be found to adulterate it-cheering all hearts, and loosening all tongues, and exciting a sort of conversational riot, amidst which the perpetual clatter of knives and steel forks could only be now and then indistinctly heard.
The cloth being removed, Father Molowny proposed all our healths, not in a speech, but in an old Irish song—that is a song in the Irish language, and though there were few present who understood that tongue, yet such was the native humour and warmhearted enthusiasm with which the venerable octogenarian gave out the rich tones of his voice, that he made our cheek-bones ache with laughter. Before the uproar subsided, he was called out mysteriously by Catty. He was absent nearly half an hourwhich I afterwards learned-not from him-for he said no word about it was devoted to attendance on the sick-bed of one of his flock, who was supposed to be in the last stage of a severe illness. Merry as were his guests, delighted as he was by their presence, yet was the duty of his ministry dearer to him than all other things. Meanwhile arrived, from some quarter or another, a large square bottle of genuine Inishowen, yellowish with age, transparent as an Italian sky, attended by a posse of jugs of warm water, lemons, and sugar. The gentlemen proceeded forthwith to lessen the contents of the said bottle with amazing rapidity-the temperance societies having been as yet unknown in that region. Nor were the ladies altogether inaccessible to the temptations created by the flavour of the "dear old drop," as a Tipperary man called it the other day on 'taking lave" of it, as he declared, for I asked my little friend, the partner of my-chair, if she would venture on a glass of my compound. Most certainly, sir," she answered, apparently surprised that I should have felt the remotest doubt on the subject. Sure, there's nothing in the world I like better!" "What! better even than that gentleman I fixed upon a while ago as a husband for that young lady opposite? "Ah! that's a different thing," she replied, looking towards him with a radiant smile of genuine affection.
Songs and speechifications followed in uninterrupted succession, until the time arrived for the retirement of the ladies. whither were they to retire? There was the rub! They had no alternative: they had either to stay or to pack themselves into Father John's sleeping-room, which was almost wholly occupied by his bed. It was proposed that some should go into the bed, and that the remainder should sit upon it, and I believe that it was by some such arrangement they settled their difficulties. What I do know for certain is, that various peals of merry laughter struck upon my ears from that quarter; which said laughter was not at all mitigated by the embarrassment of the tray laden with cups and saucers and a huge tin kettle, sent into the little shrine, for the manufacture of their favourite nectar.
It was unanimously agreed upon our taking leave of our host, who had more and more endeared himself to us all by his animation and his most cordial language to us on this occasion; language more than once accompanied by the "heart's own tear," as he called it, which he could not restrain-that it was ever to be numbered amongst the happiest days of our lives.
A full brilliant moon in a clear azure sky, and the quiet hedges by which we travelled on our return to Thurles from Clonoulty, disposed my party to a state of pleasant reverie-dare I call it sleep?-from which we did not emerge until we found ourselves in a wild sort of bye-road, which we knew we had not traversed during the day. We asked our Thurles postilion, Peter by name, where we were?
"Not far from Holy Cross, your honour."
"Holy Cross! Why we ought to have been in Thurles an hour ago at least." And so we ought to have been, as our watches told us.
"Oh! and sure your honour wouldn't like to go back by that alarm, having, when I was a boy, and when its name was much bad road again?"
"Bad road! We had no bad road."
"Ch, then, 'tis your honour forgets; and no wonder after the merry day you had; the d-1 a worse road in all Ireland." "Well, well, hasten on."
worse, traversed many parts of it by night and by day, without ever having encountered the slightest molestation.
My thoughts being much engaged, I had little conversation with Peter, until we arrived near Golden Bridge. My friend resided not far from this place, and having, by dint of inquiry, made out
"And that I'll do, your honour; you'll be at home in a jiffy, I the road leading through two or three fields to his house, Peter promise you."
By-and-bye, somthing happened-a trace broke, as Peter said, and off he ran to a little cabin down a lane for a piece of cord to mend the trace. We waited quietly for a while; at length our patience becoming exhausted, I alighted, looked at the traces, and not being able to detect a fracture in any of them, the absence of Peter annoyed us. At that time Tipperary had not the best name in the world, and we were conjecturing all sorts of things when Peter re-appeared, bringing with him a little bit of twine, which he knotted on the trace, and then tied to the cross-bar of the carriage.
drove on through a deep muddy way, being obliged to alight three or four times, to open the ruinous gates on our route.
A squall, accompanied by piercing sleet, suddenly arose as we approached the house. It blew wildly, and I was almost perishing with cold, when we beheld the lights of the dwelling, to which I looked forward for at least a comfortable mutton-chop, and a glass of warm whisky-punch, to be drunk to the renovation of a friendship some thirty years old-for we were known to each other from infancy. Peter got down, and tapped gently at the door with the end of his whip, there being no knocker. Nobody came. He knocked louder; still no answer, although we heard voices and
"Where has the trace broken, Peter? We could not find it footsteps within. Peter then called out, "Why don't ye open the anywhere unsafe, as you say it is."
"Is it the trace, your honour? And sure it isn't the trace, your honour, that's broke at all; it is this hook, don't you see how 'tis bent? and sure it would come out entirely in a few minits, if I didn't see it in time."
Off he drove, putting an end to all further inquiry on the subject, and never ceased galloping until we arrived once more at our hotel in Thurles. I could not help looking upon this incident with a little suspicion, which I was resolved to clear up some day or other, and I was not therefore, at all displeased, when, upon my more recent ramble, I found that Peter was to be again my driver.
The Irish post-chaise has been altogether supplanted by the car, at least throughout the greater part of the south and south-west of Ireland. Those who would now think of committing themselves to a post-chaise in all that district, are very little to be applauded for their prudence. They must count upon the windows being all broken, and the frames buried in their cases, without the possibility of getting them up to be mended. The linings are in fragments, the padding torn, the machine rickety all over, the wheels rusted on their axles; and the chances are about ten to one, that he who adventures in one of these old-fashioned vehicles will be overturned three or four times upon a journey of fourteen miles; so no more post-chaises for me. I contented myself with an "inside car ;' it was shabby enough, to be sure, but I could not, even if I wished it, get anything else at the hour I was to set out.
"A pleasant question from an old friend!" thought I, while the sleet and rain were pouring down, and the wind was howling as if the heavens were angry with the whole earth.
"Open the doore, can't ye?" asked Peter, once more; "sure, don't ye know Mr. ? ""
A council of war having been duly held, the door was at last opened, and in I was very glad to get, not doubting the warm reception I was about to meet. Not a little astounded, however, was I to meet my "friend" armed with a blunderbuss, and ready at a moment's notice to be pointed at my breast, unless I gave a fair account of myself at once.
Admitted with manifest reluctance into the parlour, where were his lady and two or three children seated by a blazing fire, I did not hesitate to take him by the hand, though much surprised that he did not appear even to recollect my name.
After an observation, in which I heard something about such an "unseasonable hour," uttered in a voice very far from being friendly, he asked-" Whom, sir, have I the honour to addresswhat is your pleasure with me?"
"I am afraid you cannot recognise me," I replied; "it is some time since we have met."
I certainly have no recollection of ever having seen your face before."
"My name is
If you do not remember me, the name, at least, must be familiar to you." "The name I know well; but how am I to know that you are the person you represent yourself to be?"
There are few more economical vehicles in any country than an Irish car. It is fixed on springs; the seats are benches arranged sideways, with backs and footboards. The backs are sometimes cushioned, the seats always so. Some cars are covered with an oil-skin, lined with drab cloth; others have no cover. The better classes of these machines have also covers of similar material, or As Peter would say, this was a question that completely of leather, for the knees. The charge is sixpence per mile-the "bothered" me. It certainly was most unexpected on such an Irish mile, which is considerably longer than that of England. A occasion. The gun still retained its hostile position. I hardly knew small gratuity is paid to the driver. There is a great number of how I was to prove my identity, until I bethought me of a letter public cars in use, in different parts of Ireland. The fares by of introduction which I had in my pocket, addressed to the prothese do not, upon the average, if I rightly remember, exceed two-prietor already alluded to. This I took out, and was preparing to pence per mile. They are extremely well appointed, and travel with considerable rapidity upon the best roads in the United Kingdom. They afford also the most favourable attitude for observing and enjoying the scenery through which the traveller passes; and no country presents more interesting or more varied prospects than Ireland.
In the car just described, the passengers sit back to back. Had there been any person with me in the "inside car," we should have sat face to face. My purpose was to proceed on my route to Cork, and on the way to visit an acquaintance of my boyhood, and also a very extensive land proprietor who resided near him, with whom I had some business to transact. The evening was setting in apace when I started; but although I was aware of the "bad "under which my native county laboured, I felt no sort of
open it, when a fresh question was put
"How am I to know that this letter you talk of is genuine? It may be all true as you say—but—”
This was enough. After such a parley, it was no longer plea. sant to waste another word on the subject; and so, having expressed the extreme surprise which I felt at my reception, I made all haste, through the falling flood of rain and sleet, to my car; and desired Peter to drive on with all his might and main to Golden.
The squall abated as suddenly as it began.
"Well, Peter," said I, "I have travelled in many countries, but this reception is the first instance of anything like inhospitality I have ever met. Can you at all imagine what was the cause of it?"
"I dar say, your honour, he's a man in arraires." "In arrears!—what do you mean?"
"Why, your honour, that he's a man that owes money, I suppose; and perhaps he thought you came to sarve him with a writ, or something of that kind."
"That can't be true at any rate, Peter, for I know he is rather a wealthy man; and certainly his house had every appearance of comfort."
"True enough-and a nice house it is. That's the house in which Mr. lived, who, your honour knows, was murdered a
year or two ago." Here was at once the clue to the labyrinth of surprise in which I' was involved. That my old friend should not have remembered my face was natural enough. He had not seen me for thirty years, and more. But for the trepidation in his manner-the manifest exhibition of angry suspicion that I had come to his house with no good intention that I was a lurking enemy, who had assumed a friendly name, in order to gain admittance to his presence-for all this, and more than this, the utter impossibility which I experienced of winning him out of his sudden and violent nervous excitement, I could not account. until the murder was mentioned. This occurrence had, in fact, turned every gentleman's house in that neighbourhood into a fortress. All were armed, and on their ! guard. Indeed, I might think myself fortunate that "friend" my had not fired upon me out of his window, without making any previous inquiry, and that I had not received from him a ball or two into my digestive regions, instead of a mutton-chop! Peter was of the same opinion.
Though the evening was dark, it was little more than five o'clock. On arriving at Golden, I went into the inn, or rather tavern for its principal business was the retail of whisky. Here I found two men by the kitchen fireside; one taking a glass of punch, the other looking on at him very good-humouredly. "How happens it, my friend," said I, addressing the abstemious man, that you have no glass before you? "Look here, sir," he replied. bringing forth from his bosom a medal, which was suspended round his neck by a black ribbon; "this will show you the rason-I am one of Father Mathew's
"And I soon will be," observed his companion. "I am now on my way to Cork, and am taking lave of the crathur by degrees." Here were, in contrast, a specimen of what Ireland has been, and of what I trust it is to be. Peter was wicked enough to tempt the pledged man to join him in a glass, but utterly in vain. "No." said he, with a solemn emphasis; "no-Father Mathew has me down in his book, and out of that book (please God!) I'll never go-not for all the world! Besides, when I drank I was an ailing (sickly) man; but since I gave it up, I hadn't a day's bad health-glory be to God for it!"
My ear, I need scarcely say, was delighted by these sounds. The drinker seemed almost ashamed to finish what was in his glass, and forthwith started to resume his journey. His abstemious friend—under whose advice, it appeared, he was acting-went out with him, tapping him on the back, by way of encouragement. The scene was exhilarating. It fully consoled me for the mortification I had just endured; it was to me, moreover, the foundation of a strong hope, that when next I should come that way, I should not find my "friend" again with his blunderbuss shouldered. The tavern-keeper declared that his business was altogether gone. "This time last year, sir," he observed to me, "I seldom took less than from 207. to 307. a week for whisky, sold in drams across the counter; and for these last three months, I have not taken as many shillings in the course of the seven days." He said this without making it the subject of complaint. "I know," he continued, (he appeared a very intelligent man,)"that the change is for the benefit of the country; it must do away with those awful crimes which have so long made this neighbourhood, in particular, the terror of the country. So, I suppose, I must now turn my hand to some other way of getting my bread. Curious enough, sir,-and it shows what Father Mathew really is -his own brother has a fine distillery near this place. It must soon be given up; for there will be nobody found to buy his whisky, though it's the very best in Ireland."
Postponing to another occasion my other intended visits in that neighbourhood, I desired Peter to drive on to Cashel, where I
I should meet the Cork mail. Peter having been a little warmed by some punch he had just taken, I adverted to some matters which were on my mind to his disadvantage; for I began to like the fellow he was so full of cheerfulness, and had borne the pelting of the pitiless storm with so much philosophy.
"Now, Peter," said I, "on coming out of Thurles to-day, you did not take the straight road;-why did you go out of the usual course, and what cabin was that you popped into before you seemed quite easy in your seat?"
"Ah, then, I'll tell your honour;-'tis there my own little wife lives, and I wanted just to tell her that perhaps it would be late afore I could be home to her to-night; and I wanted, besides, to see the baby; and I'm sure your honour won't blame me."
"So. so, Peter, you have got married, then, since I saw you last year-and a baby, too, has come! Well. I'm glad of it. But I hope, when you drive me again to Clonoulty, you will not take me the round about you did then." Peter laughed outright.
"Do you know, Peter, I had some queer suspicions about you that night. What's your wife's name?"
"Peggy, plaise your honour," (still laughing,) "and as nate a girl as you'd see in a day's walk."
"Then I will tell Peggy, if ever I see her, to take care that, whenever you go to Clonuolty again, you shall return home by the straight road."
Peggy knows all about
Faith, and that I will, your honour. (Still laughing loudly.) "What! was there a rival in the case?" "The divil a bit, your honour; for 'twas Peggy herself that lived in that lane you remember so well. Why, sir, you see," the rascal continued, ready to drop off the car with laughing, "you were all asleep-and the night was beautiful-and I couldn't help going to see Peggy, who I was then coorting!'
By the time I arrived at Cashel, I found that I was well prepared for a good dinner, and a capital one I had from my friend of the hotel during the last twenty years. He gave me what he Michael, who has been viceroy over all the masters and mistresses called a "spatch cock;" that is, a fowl cut down lengthways in two equal parts, spread out, and roasted before the fire in a wired case, suspended from the top bar of the grate. When one side was done, the case was turned. There was at bottom a tin receiver for the gravy; and the fowl being thus thoroughly toasted, was served up quite hot, and, with some smoking potatoes, afforded a delicious repast.
The Cork mail soon after drove up. I ensconced myself in a corner seat, and forgetting at once the adventures of the day, I awoke not until I found myself in the second city of Ireland.
I lost no time in visiting Father Mathew, who happens to be one of my earliest friends. I could say much about him, and about the consequences of the marvellous operations in which I found him engaged, but that this article has already extended beyond its due limits. I saw the lower rooms of his humble home crowded with men, from the age of sixteen to sixty, attended by very few women, (another striking proof of the general virtue of the Irish females,) and I beheld him administering the pledge of temperance to these people-only a small portion of the thousands who are constantly flocking to him from all parts of the sister kingdom. He was occupied in this truly apostolic labour every day, from seven o'clock in the morning until ten or eleven, and often twelve, at night; yet he is, to all appearance, unconscious of the mighty revolution which he thus, single-handed, is preparing for his country. When I was with him, there were 70,000 names on his register; since then, this number has been more than trebled.
The prestige attached to Father Mathew's person is such, that a general impression fortunately prevails in consequence, that if an individual who once makes the pledge to him relapse into former bad habits, some dreadful punishment assuredly awaits the offender. So great is the fear of this penalty, that very few cases are said to have occurred of violation of the vow. It is another guarantee for the progress of this wonderful moral change, that the culprit is immediately expelled from the local society in which he is enrolled upon his return home from Cork, and that he cannot be again admitted into it until he shall have renewed his pledge to the Father." The disappearance, moreover, of the numberless whisky-shops, which lately abounded in every part of Ireland, must very much lessen the temptation to relapse; while the habits of temperance, and the healthy and cheerful feelings arising from it, will, it is to be hoped, strengthen these self-reformers in the virtuous path which, by the mercy of an over-ruling Providence, they have chosen.
QUEEN ELIZABETH AT GREENWICH. AMONG the many interesting recollections connected with the Royal Palace of Greenwich, whose first foundation is supposed to have dated as early as the year 1300, is the fact that it was there that the fair Anna Boleyn gave birth, on the 7th Sept., 1533, to that illustrious woman, than whom
"Sheba was never
More Covetous of wisdom and fair virtue."
Elizabeth was much attached to her birth-place, and often kept her court there. The following account given by the German traveller Paul Hentzner of his visit to Greenwich in 1598, at a time when the Queen graced it with her presence, though perhaps familiar to many of our readers, is so excellent a picture of the behaviour of her of "the lion port," and of the manners of the times, that we do not hesitate once more to reprint it, for the benefit of such of our friends as have not hitherto chanced to meet with it.
"We arrived next at the Royal Palace of Greenwich, reported to have been originally built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and to have received very magnificent additions from Henry VII. It was here Elizabeth, the present queen, was born, and here she generally resides, particularly in summer, for the delightfulness of its situation. We were admitted, by an order Mr. Rogers procured from the lord chamberlain, into the presence chamber, hung with rich tapestry, and the floor, after the English fashion, strewed with hay rushes, through which the queen commonly passes in her way to chapel; at the door stood a gentleman dressed in velvet, with a gold chain, whose office was to introduce to the queen any person of distinction that came to wait on her: it was Sunday, when there is usually the greatest attendance of nobility. In the same hall were the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of London, a great number of counsellors of state, officers of the crown, and gentlemen, who waited the queen's coming out; which she did from her own apartment when it was time to go to prayers, attended in the following manner: first went gentlemen, barons, earls, knights of the Garter, all richly dressed and bare-headed; next came the chancellor, bearing the seals in a red-silk purse, between two; one of which carried the royal scepter, the other the sword of state, in a red scabbard, studded with golden fleurs-de-lis, the point upwards: next came the queen, in the sixty-fifth year of her age, as we were told, very majestic; her face oblong, fair, but wrinkled; her eyes small, yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her lips narrow, and her teeth black (a defect the English seem subject to, from their too great use of sugar); she had in her ears two pearls, with very rich drops; she wore false hair, and that red; upon her head she had a small crown, reported to be made of some of the gold of the celebrated Lunebourg Table. Her bosom was uncovered, as all the English ladies have it till they marry; and she had on a necklace of exceeding fine jewels; her hands were small, her fingers long, and her stature neither tall nor low; her air was stately, her manner of speaking mild and obliging. That day she was dressed in white silk, bordered with pearls of the size of beans, and over it a mantle of black silk, shot with silver threads; her train was very long, the end of it borne by a marchioness; instead of a chain, she had an oblong collar of gold and jewels. As she went along in all this state of magnificence, she spoke very graciously, first to one, then to another, whether foreign ministers, or those who attended for different reasons, in English, French, and Italian; for, besides being well skilled in Greek, Latin, and the languages I have mentioned, she is mistress of Spanish, Scotch, and Dutch whoever speaks to her, it is kneeling; now and then she raises some with her hand. While we were there, W. Slawata, a Bohemian baron, had letters to present to her; and she, after pulling off her glove, gave him her right hand to kiss, sparkling with rings and jewels, a mark of particular favour: wherever she turned her face as she was going along, every body fell down on their knees. The ladies of the court followed next to her, very handsome and well-shaped, and for the most part dressed in white; she was guarded on each side by the gentlemen pensioners, fifty in number, with gilt battle-axes. In the ante-chapel next the hall, where we were, petitions were presented to her, and she received them most graciously, which occasioned the acclamation of 'Long live Queen Elizabeth!' She answered it with I thank you, my good people.' In the chapel was excellent music; as soon as it and the service was over, which scarce exceeded half an hour, the
queen returned in the same state and order, and prepared to go to dinner. But while she was still at prayers, we saw her table set out with the following solemnity: a gentleman entered the room bearing a rod, and along with him another who had a table.
cloth, which, after they had both kneeled three times with the utmost veneration, he spread upon the table, and after kneeling again, they both retired. Then came two others, one with the rod again, the other with a salt-celler, a plate, and bread; when they had kneeled, as the others had done, and placed what was brought upon the table, they too retired with the same ceremonies por told she was a countess) and along with her a married one, bearformed by the first. At last came an unmarried lady (we were ing a tasting-knife; the former was dressed in white silk, who, when she had prostrated herself three times in the most graceful manner, approached the table, and rubbed the plates with bread and salt, with as much awe as if the queen had been present: when they had waited there a little while, the yeomen of the guard entered, bare-headed, clothed in scarlet, with a golden rose upon their backs, bringing in at each turn a course of twenty-four dishes served in plate, most of it gilt; these dishes were received by a gentleman in the same order they were brought, and placed upon the table, while the lady-taster gave to each of the guards a mouthful to eat, of the particular dish he had brought, for fear of any poison. During the time that this guard, which consists of the tallest and stoutest men that can be found in all England, being carefully selected for this service, were bringing dinner, twelve trumpets and two kettle-drums made the hall ring for half an hour together. At the end of this ceremonial, a number of unmarried ladies appeared, who, with particular solemnity, lifted the meat off the table, and conveyed it into the queen's inner and more private chamber, where, after she had chosen for herself, the rest goes to the ladies of the court. The queen dines and sups alone, with very few attendants; and it is very seldom that any body, foreigner or native, is admitted at that time, and then only at the intercession of somebody in power.
"Near this palace is the Queen's park stocked with deer: such parks are common throughout England, belonging to those who are distinguished either for their rank or riches. In the middle of this is an old square tower, called Mirefleur, supposed to be that mentioned in the romance of Amadis de Gaul; and joining to it a plain, where knights and other gentlemen used to meet, at set times and holidays, to exercise on horseback."
THE ASSAM TEA TRADE.
THE following particulars relating to the present condition and prospects of this new branch of commerce, to which the events of each day seem to give increased importance, are extracted from the Report "On the Manufacture of Tea, and on the extent of the Tea Plantations in Assam," by Mr. C. A. Bruce, superintendant of Tea culture, presented to the Tea Committee on the bers of the Asiatic Journal." It will be seen by Mr. Bruce's 16th of August last, and published in the 120th and 121st Numreport, that the principal obstacles to the exertion of speculators, are the unsettled state of Assam and the undefined extent of British rights in the adjoining state of Muttuck, a country exceedingly rich in tea. We sincerely hope that Government will vigorously and immediately exert itself so effectually as to remove these checks to the extension of a trade which has now become of the very highest importance to the country. Assam is a country lying to the east of Bengal, and comprehends an extent of territory about half the size of England. Mr. Bruce thus commences his report.
"I submit this report on our Assam tea with much diffidence on account of the troubles in which this frontier has been unfortunately involved. I have had something more than tea to occupy my mind, and have consequently not been able to commit all my thoughts to paper at one time; this I hope will account for the rambling manner in which I have treated the subject. Such as my report is, I trust it will be found acceptable, as throwing some new light on a subject of no little importance to British India, and the British public generally. In drawing out this report, it gives me much pleasure to say, that our information and knowledge respecting tea and tea tracts are far more extensive than when I last wrote on this subject; the number of tracts now known amounting to 120, some of then very extensive, both on the hills and in the plains. A sufficiency of seeds and seedlings might be collected from these tracts, in the course of a few years, to plant