The Letters of “Norah” on Her Tour Through Ireland

THE LETTERS OF “NORAH” ON HER TOUR THROUGH IRELAND

BEING A SERIES OF LETTERS TO THE MONTREAL “WITNESS” AS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT TO IRELAND

COMPLETE LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS TO THE PUBLICATION OF MRS. McDOUGAL’S LETTERS FROM IRELAND.

Monsignore Farrelly. Belleville, Ont. $ 5.00
Wm. Wilson, Montreal 10.00
Edward Murphy, Montreal 5.00
Joseph Cloran, ” 5.00
Timothy Fogarty, ” 5.00
Robert McCready, ” 5.00
James Stewart, ” 5.00
T.J. Potter, ” 5.00
John Mahan, Paris (France) 5.00
Henry Hogan, Montreal 5.00
Bernard Tansey, ” 2.00
B. Connaughton, ” 2.00
F.G. Gormely, ” 2.00
J.C. Fleming, Toronto 2.00
C.D. Hanson, Montreal 2.00
D. McEntyre Jr., ” 2.00
Ald. D. Tansey, ” 4.00
Wm. Farrell, ” 2.00
M. Avahill, ” 2.00
E.P. Ronavae ” 2.00
Michael Sullivan,” 1.00
James Guest ” 2.00
M.P. Ryan ” 5.00
Joseph Dunn, Cote St. Paul 4.00
Owen McGarvey, Montreal 5.00
Daniel Murphy, Carillon, P.Q. 5.00
John Kelly ” ” 5.00
C.J. Doherty, Montreal 5.00
James McCready ” 5.00
Andrew Colquhoun, Winnepeg 5.00
P. Cuddy, Montreal 5.00
W.S. Walker ” 5.00
M.J. Quinn ” 5.00
Rev. M.J. Stanton, Priest, Westport, Ont. 5.00
E. Stanton, Ottawa 5.00
J. Fogarty, Montreal 5.00
P. McLaughlin, Montreal 3.00
P.J. Ronayne, ” 5.00
William Redmond, ” 2.00
J.J. Milloy, ” 2.00
C. Egan, ”
2.00 John Cox, ” 2.00
P.J. Durack, ” 2.00
John McElroy, ” 2.00
Michael Fern, ” 2.00
J.I. Hayes, ” 2.00
James Maguire, ” 2.00
J.J. Curran, M.P., ” 2.00
Mrs. McCrank, ” 2.00
Dr. W.H. Hingston, ” 5.00
John B. Murphy, ” 5.00
Tim. Kenna, ” 2.00
Matthew Hicks, ” 5.00
Patrick Wright, ” 5.00
Wm. S. Harper, ” 2.00
Richard Drake, ” 1.00
James O’Brien, ” 5.00
H. Hodgson, ” 2.00
P.A. Egleson, Ottawa, Ont. 5.00
John Keane, ” 2.00
B.J. Coghlin, Montreal 5.00
Henry Stafford, ” 2.00
Mrs. P. McMahon ” 2.00
P. Cadigan, Pembroke, Ont. 5.00
H. Heaton, Nebraska, U.S. .50
Thomas Simpson, Montreal 1.00
Alexander Seath, ” 2.00
M.C. Mullarky, ”
5.00 John Fahey, ” 5.00
J.J. Arnton, ” 5.00
Richard McShane, ” 2.00
B. Emerson, ” 2.00
J.D. Purcell, ” 2.00
W. O’Brien ” 5.00

(Signed)

W. Wilson Treasurer “Norah’s Letters” Fund.

A TOUR THROUGH IRELAND

I.

OFF—EXPERIENCES IN A PULLMAN CAR—HOARDING THE “ONTARIO”—THE CAPTAIN— THE SEA AND SEA-SICKNESS—IMAGININGS IN THE STORM—LANDING AT BIRKENHEAD.

On January 27th I bade good-bye to my friends and set my face resolutely towards the land whither I had desired to return. Knowing that sickness and unrest were before me, I formed an almost cast-iron resolution, as Samantha would say, to have one good night’s rest on that Pulman car before setting out on the raging seas. Alas! a person would persist in floating about, coming occasionally to fumble in my belongings in the upper berth. Prepared to get nervous. Before it came to that, I sat up and enquired if the individual had lost anything, when he disappeared. Lay down and passed another resolution. Some who were sitting up began to smoke, and the fumes of tobacco floated in behind the curtains, clung there and filled all the space and murdered sleep. Watched the heavy dark shelf above, stared at the cool white snow outside, wished that all smokers were exiled to Virginia or Cuba, or that they were compelled to breathe up their own smoke, until the morning broke cold and foggy.

Emerged from behind the curtains, and blessed the man who invented cold water. Too much disturbed by the last night’s dose of second-hand smoke for breakfast at Island Pond. The moist-looking colored gentleman who was porter, turned back to Montreal before we reached Portland. I strongly suspect that a friend had privately presented him with a fee to make him attentive to one of the passengers, for he came twice with the most minute directions for finding the Dominion Line office, at Portland. Still his conscience was unsatisfied, for finally he came with the offer of a tumbler full of something he called pure apple juice. There are some proud Caucasians who would not have found it so difficult to square a small matter like that with their consciences.

It was pleasant to look at the comfortable homes on the line as we passed along. Not one squalid looking homestead did we pass; every one such as a man might be proud to own. All honor to the State of Maine.

The train was three hours late—it was afternoon when we arrived in Portland. Following the directions of my colored friend, I went up an extremely dirty stair into a very dirty office, found an innocent young man smoking a cigar. He did not know anything, you know, so sat grimly down to wait for the arrival of some one who did. Such a one soon appeared and took a comprehensive glance of the passenger as he took off his overshoes.

“Passenger for the ‘Ontario,'” explained the innocent young man.

“Take the passenger over to the ship,” said the energetic one, decidedly. “We will send luggage after you. How much have you?”

Explained, handed him the checks, and meekly followed my innocent guide down the dirty stair, across a wide street, up some dirty-looking steps on to the wharf where the ‘Ontario’ lay, taking in her cargo. Large and strong-looking, dingy white was she, lying far below the wharf.

My guide enquired for the captain, who appeared suddenly from somewhere— a tall man with a resolute face and keen eye, gray as to hair and whiskers, every inch a captain. I knew that his face—once a handsome face, I am sure—had got that look of determination carved into it by doing his duty by his ship and facing many a storm on God Almighty’s sea. I trusted him at once.

Did not sail through the night as I expected, but were still in Portland when morning came. We had fish for breakfast; found mine frozen beneath the crisp brown outside. After breakfast went up on deck. The sky was blue and bright, the air piercing cold. The town of Portland looked clean and beautiful in the fair sunlight. It is a place that goes climbing up hill. The floating ice and the liquid green water ruffled into white on the crest of the swells, are at play together. The ship moves out slowly, almost imperceptibly. Portland fades from a house- crowned hillside into a white line, darkness comes down. We are out at sea.

The glass has gone down; the storm has come up; the sea tyrant has got hold of the solitary passenger and dandles her very roughly, singing “The Wreck of the ‘Hesperus'” in a loud bass to some grand deep tune, alternating with the one hundred and third Psalm in Gaelic. The passenger holds on for dear life and wonders why the winds sing those words over and over again.

Sabbath passes, day melts into night, night fades into day, the storm tosses the ship and sea-sickness tosses the passenger. The captain enquires, “Is that passenger no better yet?” Comes to see in his doctoral capacity, looks like a man not to be trifled with, feels the pulse, orders a mustard blister, brandy and ammonia, and scolds the patient for starving, like a wise captain and kind man as he is. All the ship stores are ransacked for something to tempt an appetite that is above temptation; but the captain is absolute, and we can testify that eating from a sense of duty is hard work. It was delightful to get rid of an occasional apple on the sly to one of the ship’s boys and be rewarded with a surprised grin of delight.

It is grand to lie on cushions on the companion-way and watch long rollers as they heave up and look in at the door-way. They rise rank upon rank, looking over one another’s shoulders, hustling one another in their boisterous play, like overgrown schoolboys, who will have fun at whoever’s expense. Sometimes one is pushed right in by his fellows, and falls down the companion-way in a little cataract, and then the door is shut and they batter at it in vain. Then there is a great mopping up of a small Atlantic.

The storm roars without, and within the passenger lies day after day studying the poetry of motion. There is one motion that goes to the tune of “Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep,” but this rocking is so violent that as one dashes from side to side, holding on to the bars above and the edge of the berth, one is led to pity a wakeful baby rocked wickedly by the big brother impatient to go to play. The tune changes, and it is “Ploughing the Raging Main,” and the nose of the plough goes down too deep; then one is fastened to the walking beam of an engine and sways up and down with it. A gigantic churn is being churned by an ogre just under our head, and the awful dasher plunges and creaks. Above all the winds howl, and the waves roll, and sometimes slap the ship till she shivers and leaps, and then the “Wreck of the Hesperus” recommences. Things get gloomy, the variations of storm grow monotonous, nothing delights us, no wish arises for beef tea, nothing makes gruel palatable. Neither sun nor stars have been visible for some days; the only sunshine we see is the passing smile of the ship’s boys, who are almost constantly employed baling out the Atlantic.

It was the ninth night of storm. They say every ninth wave is larger than the rest; the ninth night the wind roared louder than ever, the Almighty’s great guns going off. The ship staggered and reeled, struggling gallantly, answering nobly to the human will that held her to her duty, but shivering and leaping after every mighty slap of the mad waves. I got one glimpse at the waves through a cautiously opened door. I never thought they could climb upon one another’s shoulders and reach up to heaven, a dark green wall of water ready to fall and overwhelm us, until I looked and saw the mountains of water all around.

Land in sight on the 8th of February, the Fasnet rock, then the Irish coast; the great rollers drew back into the bosom of the Atlantic: the winged pilot boats appeared; the pilot climbed up the side out of the sea; we steamed over the harbor bar and stopped at Birkenhead on the Cheshire side to land our fellow-passengers the sheep and oxen.

I might have gone up to Liverpool but was advised to remain another night on board and go direct to the Belfast packet from the ship. I considered this advice, found it good and took it.

II.

FROM LIVERPOOL TO BELFAST—IRELAND’S CONDITION DISCUSSED—EVICTIONS—A SUNDAY IN BELFAST.

From Liverpool to Belfast, including a cup of tea, cost in all four dollars and fifty cents. It seems ridiculous to a stranger that the cars and cabs always stop at a little distance from the steamers, so as to employ a porter to lift a trunk for a few yards at each end of the short journey by cab.

The kind steward of the “Ontario” came over to the packet to look after his passenger; had promised to see that passenger safely conveyed from one steamer to the other, but, detained at home by sickness in the family, came back to the ship a few minutes too late, and then came over to explain and say good-bye. There could not possibly be a more courteous set of men than the captain and officers of the steamship “Ontario.”

On the Belfast packet two ladies, one a very young bride on her way from her home in South Wales to her new home in Belfast, were talking of the danger of going to Ireland or living in it at the present disturbed time. A gentleman in a grey ulster and blue Tam o’Shanter of portentous dimensions broke into the conversation by assuring the handsome young bride that she would be as safe in green Erin as in the arms of her mother. Looking at the young lady it was easy to see that this speech was involuntary Irish blarney, a compliment to her handsome face. “You will meet the greatest kindness here, you will have the heartiest welcome on the face of the earth,” he continued.

“But there is a great deal of disturbance, is there not?” asked her companion.

“Oh, the newspapers exaggerate dreadfully—shamefully, to get up a sensation in the interest of their own flimsy sheets. There is some disturbance, but nothing like what people are made believe by the newspaper reports.”

Old lady—”Why are Irish people so turbulent?”

Tam O’Shanter—”My dear lady, Ireland contains the best people and the worst in the world, the kindest and the cruelest. They are so emotional, so impulsive, so impressible that their warm hearts are easily swayed by demagogues who are making capital out of influencing them.”

Old lady—”Making money by it, do you mean?”

Tam O’Shanter, with a decided set of his bonnet—”Making money of it! Yes, by all means. They have got up the whole thing to make money. But here in Belfast, where you are going,” with a bow to the bride, “all is tranquil, all is prosperous. In fact all over the north there is the same tranquillity, the same prosperity.”

Here, a new voice, that of an enthusiastic supporter of the Land League, joined in the conversation, and the controversy becoming personal the ladies disappeared into the ladies’ cabin. There was an echo of drunken argument that was likely a continuation of the land question until the wind increased to a gale. The little boat tossed like a cork on the waves; there was such a rattle of glass, such a rolling and bumping of loose articles, such echoes of sickness, above all, the shock of waves and the shriek of winds, and the land question was for the time being swallowed up by the storm.

Belfast, with its mud and mist, was a welcome sight. The dirty-faced porters who lined the quay and beckoned to us, and pointed to our luggage silently, seemed to be a deputation of welcome to terra firma. At a little distance from the line of porters the jaunting cars were stationed to convey passengers to the hotel. It did look ridiculous to see full-grown people take the long way round in this fashion.

At noon Saturday, the 19th of February, I had the blissful feeling of rest connected with sitting in an easy chair before a coal fire, trying to wake up to the blissful fact of being off the sea and in Ireland.

On Sunday it was raining a steady and persistent rain; went through it to the Duncairn Presbyterian Church because it was near, and because I was told that the minister was one skilled to preach the gospel to the poor. Found myself half an hour too early, so watched the congregation assemble. The Scottish face everywhere, an utter absence of anything like even a modified copy of a Milesian face. Presbyterianism in Ulster must have kept itself severely aloof from the natives; there could have been no proselytizing or there would have been a mixture of faces typical of the absorption of one creed in another.

Judging from the sentiments I have heard expressed by the sturdy descendants of King Jamie’s settlers, the sympathy that must precede any reasonably hopeful effort to win over the native population to an alien faith has never existed here. There is a great social gulf fixed between the two peoples, with prejudice guarding both sides. The history, the traditions of either side is guarded and nourished in secret by one, openly and triumphantly by the other, with a freshness of strength that is amazing to one who has been out of this atmosphere long enough to look kindly on and claim kindred with both sides. Still there is a perceptible difference between these Hiberno-Scotch and their cousins of Scotland. Their faces have lost some of the concentrated look of a really Scottish congregation. They are not so thoroughly “locked up;” the cead mille failte has been working into their blood imperceptibly. The look of curiosity is kindly, and seems ready to melt into hearty welcome on short notice.

It is not the minister of the Duncairn Church who preaches, but a returned missionary, who tells us by what logical hair-splitting in the regions of Irish metaphysics he confounds Hindoo enquirers after truth, and argues them into the Christian religion. Pity the poor Hindoos upon whom this man inflicts himself. In the afternoon I strayed into a small Sabbath-School where the Bible never was opened; heard a stirring Gospel sermon at night, and joined in a prayer-meeting and felt better.

III.

BELFAST—TEMPERANCE—”THE EVE OF A GREAT REBELLION”—THE POOR HOUSE— THE POLICE—COUNTY DOWN—MAKING ENDS MEET—WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO TURN UP.

Belfast seems a busy town, bustle on her streets, merchandise on her quays. Did not meet one man on the streets with the hopeless look on his face of the poor fellow who carried my trunk in Liverpool. There must be distress however, for the mills are not running full time, and there are entertainments got up for the benefit of the deserving poor. I saw no signs of intoxication on the streets, yet the number of whiskey shops is appalling. Had a conversation with a prominent member of the Temperance League, who informed me that temperance was gaining ground in Belfast. “Half of the ministers are with us now; they used to, almost entirely, stand aloof.” But where are the rest?

The land question is the absorbing topic. Every one seems to admit that there is room for vast improvement in the land laws, that there has been glaring injustice in the past. They acknowledge that rents are too high to be paid, and leave anything behind to support the farmer’s family in any semblance of comfort. There is a very strong feeling against Mr. Parnell among the Protestants of the north. In fact they talk of him exactly as they did of Daniel O’Connell when in the height of his power. Many whisper to me that we are on the eve of a great rebellion. One strong-minded lady who informed me that she had come of a Huguenot stock talked of the Land Leaguers as if they were responsible for the revocation of the Edict of Nantes: but she acknowledged that the land laws were very unjust and needed reform.

Visited the Poor House, a very noble building in well-kept grounds. Went on purpose to see a sick person and did not go all over it. It was not the right day, or something. It was very distressing to see the number of able-bodied looking young men and rosy-cheeked women about the grounds who begged for a halfpenny, and so many loungers in hall and corridor—perhaps they were only visitors. If they were inmates there was plenty of cleaning to be done—the smell in some parts was dreadful. In the hospital part the floors were very clean, and the head nurse, a bright, cheery woman, seemed like sunshine among her patients. She showed us all her curiosities, the little baby born into an overcrowded world on the street, the little one, beautiful as an angel, found on the street in a basket. It was very touching to see the beggar mothers sparing from their own babies to nourish the little deserted waif. A poor house is a helpless, hopeless mass of human misery.

One thing that impresses a stranger here is the number of policemen; they are literally swarming everywhere. Very dandified as to dress and bearing, very vigilant and watchful about the eyes, with a double portion of importance pervading them all over as men on whom the peace and safety of the country depend. These very dignified conservators of the peace are most obliging. Ask them any question of locality, or for direction anywhere, and their faces open out into human kindness and interest at once.

Went out into County Down by rail about twenty miles. No words can do justice to the beauty of the country, the cleanness of the roads, the trimness of the hedges, and the garden-like appearance of the fields. The stations, as we passed along, looked so trim and neat. The houses of small farmers, or laborers I suppose they might be, were not very neat. Many of them stood out in great contrast as if here was the border over which any attempt at ornament should not pass.

On the train bound for Dublin was a little old woman travelling third class like myself, who scraped an acquaintance at once in order to tell me of the disturbed state of the country. She emphasized everything with a wave of her poor worn gloves and a decided nod of her bonnet.

“They are idle you know, they are lazy, they are improvident. They are not content in the station in which it has pleased God to place them. I know all about these people. They are turbulent, they are rebellious; they want to get their good, kind landlords out of the country, and to seize on their property. It is horrid you know, horrid!” and the little old lady waved her gloves in the air. “If they had a proper amount of religion they would be content to labor in their own station. I am content with mine, why not they with theirs? You understand that,” appealing to me.

“Have you a small farm?” I enquired.

“Indeed I have not,” said the little old lady with the greatest disgust, “I live on my money.”

It was quite evident I had offended her, for she froze into silence. As I left the train at Tandragee she laid her faded glove on my arm and whispered, “It is their duty to be content in their own station, is it not?”

“If they cannot do any better,” I whispered back.

“They cannot,” said the little old lady sinking back on her seat triumphantly.

It is rather unhandy, that the names of the stations are called out by a person on the platform outside the cars, instead of by a conductor inside.

The manufacturing town of Gilford is a pretty, clean, neat, little place clustered round the mills and the big house, like the old feudal retainers round the castle. Here, as in Belfast, a certain amount of distress must exist, for the mills are not running full time.

The wages of a common operative here is twelve shillings (or three dollars) per week. If they have a family grown up until they are able to work at the mills, of course it adds materially to the income. Girls are more precious than boys, I have heard, as being more docile and easier kept in clothing. They can earn about half wages, or six shillings (one dollar and a half) per week. Rents are about two shillings (or half a dollar) per week. It takes one and sixpence for fuel. A young family would keep the parents busy to make ends meet in the best of times. In case of the mill running short time I should think they would persistently refuse to meet. No signs of distress, not the least were apparent anywhere. The mill hands trooping past looked clean, rosy and cheerful, and were decently clad. The grounds around the factory were beautiful and very nicely kept, and beautiful also were the grounds about the great house. I felt sorry that there were no little garden plots about the tenement houses occupied by the operatives; so when hard times come they will have no potatoes or vegetables of their own to help them to tide over the times of scant wages. How I do wish that the large-hearted and generous proprietors of these works could take this matter into consideration.

People waiting at the station talked among themselves of hard times, of farms that were run down, that would not yield the rent, not to speak of leaving anything for the tenants to live on. There was no complaint made of the landlords; the land was blamed for not producing enough. Of course, these people ought to know, but the fields everywhere looked like garden ground. The only symptoms of running down that I could see were in some of the houses, two-roomed, with leaky-looking roofs and a general air of neglect. I must own, however, that houses of this description were by far the fewest in number. At one station where we stopped, one respectable-looking man asked of another, “Have you got anything to do yet, Robert?” “Still waiting for something to turn up,” was the answer. This man was not at all of the Micawber type, but a well-brushed, decent-looking person with a keen peremptory face, evidently of Scottish descent. A group of such men came on the train, whose only talk was of emigrating if they only had the means.

I have heard a great deal of talk of emigration among the people with whom I have travelled since I landed, but have not heard one mention of Canada as a desirable place to emigrate to. The Western States, the prairie lands, seem to be the promised land to everyone. One of these would-be emigrants took a flute out of his pocket and played the Exile of Erin. The talk of emigration stilled and a great silence fell on them all. There were some soldiers on the car, young men, boys in fact, who seemed by the heavy marching order of their get-up to be going to join their regiment. Some of them struggled mannishly with the tears they fain would hide. Truly the Irish are attached to the soil. I could not help wondering if these lads were ordered to foreign service, and on what soil they would lay down their heads to rest forever.

Two persons near by, conversing in low tones on the state of the country, drew my attention to them. One was a sonsie good-wife with any amount of bundles, the other a little old man with a face of almost superhuman wisdom.

“The country will be saved mem, now; when the Coercion Bill has passed the country will be saved,” said the old man.

“There’s a great deal too much fuss made about everything,” remarked the good-wife. “Look at that boy ten years old taken up, bless us all! for whistling at a man.”

“Did you take notice, mem, that the whistling was derisive, was derisive, it was derisive. That is where it is, you see,” said the old man with a slow, sagacious roll of his head.

“I would not care what a wee boy could put into a whistle: it was awfully childish for a man and a gentleman to take up just a wean for a whistle.”

“You see mem, they have to be strict and keep everything down. The Government have ways of finding out things; they know all though, they don’t let on. There will be a bloody time, in my opinion.”

Oh, the wisdom with which the old man shook his head as he said this, adding in a penetrating whisper, “The times of ’98 over again or worse.”

IV.

LOYALTY IN THE “BLACK NORTH”—GENTLEMEN’S RESIDENCES—A MODEL IRISH ESTATE—A GOOD MAN AND HIS WIFE—VISITING THE POOR.

Down in the North the loyalty is intense and loud. An opinion favorable to the principles of the Land League it would be hardly prudent to express. Any dissatisfaction with anything at all is seldom expressed for fear of being classed with these troublers of Ireland.

The weather is very inclement, and has been ever since I landed. Snow, rain, hail, sleet, hard frost, mud, have alternated. Some days have been one continuous storm of either snow or sleet.

The roads through Antrim are beautifully clean and neat, not only on the line of rail but along the country roads inland. The land is surely beautiful, exceedingly, and kept like a garden. The number of houses of some, nay of great, pretensions, is most astonishing. Houses set in spacious and well-kept grounds, with porter lodges, terraced lawns, conservatories, &c., abound. They succeed one another so constantly that one wonders how the land is able to bear them all, or by what means such universal grandeur is supported. There is an outcry of want, of very terrible hard times, but certainly the country shows no signs thereof. The great wonder to me is where the laborers who produce all this neatness and beauty live? Where are the small farmers on whom the high rent presses so heavily? Few houses, where such could by any possibility be housed, are to be seen from the roadside. There are so very few cottages and so very many gentlemen’s houses that I am forced to believe that the peasantry have almost entirely disappeared. Yet I know there must be laborers somewhere to keep the place so beautiful,

Ballymena, always a bustling place, has spread itself from a thriving little inland town into a large place of some 8,000 inhabitants. Notwithstanding the depression in the linen trade, this town presents a thriving, bustling appearance as it has always done. The number of whiskey shops is something dreadful. The consumption of that article must be steady and enormous to support them. There is squalor enough to be seen in the small streets of this town, but that is in every town.

The public road from Ballymena to Grace Hill passes through the Galgorm estate which passed from the hands of its last lord, through the Encumbered Estates Court, into the hands of its present proprietor. On this estate a most wonderful change has been effected, and in a short space of time to effect so much. During the old regime, and the good old times of absentee landlordism, squalor and misery crept up to the castle gates. The wretchedness of the tenants could be seen by every passer-by. The peasantry tell of unspeakable orgies held at the castle even upon the Sabbath day. The change is something miraculous. The waste pasture-like demesne is reclaimed and planted. The worst cabins have entirely disappeared; the rest are improved till they hardly know themselves.

They match the new cottages for which the proprietor took a prize. These little homes with their climbing plants, their trim little gardens, look as if any one might snuggle down in any of them and be content. The castle itself looks altered; it has lost its grim Norman look, and stands patriarchal and fatherly among the beautiful homes it has created.

Not far from the castle gate is a pretty church and its companion, an equally pretty building for the National School. I enquired of several how this great improvement came about; the answer was always the same, “The estate passed into the hands of a good man who lived on it, and he had a godly wife.” Passing the pretty little church I heard the sound of children’s voices singing psalms, and was told that the daughter of the castle was teaching the children to sing; I noticed In Memoriam on a stone in the building, and found that this church was built in memory of the good lady of the castle, who has departed to a grander inheritance, leaving a name that lingers like a blessing in the country side. So the old landlord’s loss of an estate has been great gain to this people.

It is in the country parts, more remote from the public eye, that one sees the destitution wrought by the depression in the linen trade. People there are struggling with all their might to live and keep out of the workhouses. Hand-loom weaving seems doomed to follow hand-spinning and become a thing of the past. Weavers some time ago had a plot of ground which brought potatoes and kale to supplement the loom, and on it could earn twelve shillings a week. But alas! while the webs grew longer the price grew less and they are in a sad case.

I called, with a friend, on some of these weavers: one, an intelligent man, with the prevailing Scotch type of face. We found him, accompanied by a sickly wife, sitting by a scanty fire, ragged enough. This man for his last web was paid at the rate of twopence a yard for weaving linen with twenty hundred threads to the inch, but out of this money he had to buy dressing and light, and have some one, the sickly wife I suppose, to wind the bobbins for him. He must then pay rent for the poor cabin he lived in, none too good for a stable, and supply all his wants on the remainder.

Another weaver told me that all this dreary winter they had no bed- clothes. They think by combining together they will be able to obtain better prices; but they are so poor, the depression in the trade is such a fearful reality that I am afraid they cannot combine or co-operate to any purpose. However, people in such desperate circumstances grasp at any hope.

It is wonderful with what disfavor some of these people receive a hint of emigration. It seems like transportation to them. Truly these Irish do cling to the soil.

The weavers seem to blame the manufacturers for the reduction of wages. They complain that the trade is concentrated into a few hands; that therefore they cannot sell where they can sell dearest, but are obliged to take yarn from a manufacturer and return it to him in cloth. They complain that he still further reduces the poor wage by fines. As many of these have only a hut but no garden ground, they have nothing to fall back on. There are many suffering great want, and with inherited Scotch reticence suffering in silence. There may be some injustice and some oppression, for that is human nature, but the hand-loom weaving is doomed to disappear, I am afraid.

There are some complaints of the high price of land here, and of the hard times for farmers, but there is no appearance of hard times. Laborers are cheap enough. One shilling a day and food, or ten shillings a week without food, seems to be the common wage. The people of Down and Antrim, as far as I have gone, are rampantly loyal to Queen and Government and to all in authority. If a few blame the manufacturers, or think the land is too dear, the large majority blame the improvidence of the poor. “They eat bacon and drink tea where potatoes and milk or porridge and milk used to be good enough for them.” It is difficult to imagine the extravagance.

I went through part of the poor-house in Ballymena. It is beautifully clean and sweet, and in such perfect order out and in that one is glad to think of the sick or suffering poor having such a refuge. What fine, patient, intelligent faces were among the sufferers in the infirmary. The children in the school-room looked rosy and well-fed, and the babies were nursed by the old women. So many of them—it was a sad sight indeed.

V.

ONE RESULT OF THE COERCION ACT—THE AGRICULTURAL LABORERS IN DOWN AND ANTRIM—WHISKEY—RAIN IN IRELAND—A DISCUSSION ON ORANGEISM.

It is the eighth of March. The weather remains frightfully inclement; the snow and sleet is succeeded by incessant rain storms. The Coercion bill has become law and even in the north there seems a difference in the people. There is a carefulness of expressing an opinion on any subject as if a reign of governmental terror had begun. The loyalty always so fervent is now intense and loud. The people here think that there is an epidemic of unreasonableness and causeless murmuring raging at the south and west.

In all that I have seen in Down and Antrim, the agricultural laborers seem to be never at any time much above starvation; any exceptionally hard times bring it home to them. In cases of accident, disease, or old age, they have no refuge but the workhouse. There is a constant struggle, as heroic in God’s sight as any struggle of their Scottish ancestors, to escape this dreaded fate. When it does overtake them, however, the beggar nurses wait upon the sick beggars with a tenderness that is inexpressibly touching.

Emigration is impossible to the laborer or the hand-loom weaver. They have no money, they have nothing to sell to make money, and they are utterly unwilling to be torn from the places where they were born to be expatriated as beggars, and as beggars set down upon a foreign shore. I am literally giving utterance to the opinions expressed to me.

I have heard these people loudly accused of extravagance; on enquiry was told that they bought American bacon and drank tea, whereas, if thrifty, they would be content with potatoes and buttermilk, or ditto and stir- about. As the cow has disappeared, and potatoes have been known to fail, I did not see the extravagance so clearly as I saw the parsimony that would grudge the hard-worked laborer or the pale over-worked weaver any nourishment at all.

The charge of spending on whiskey seems more likely by the frightful amount of whiskey shops. Ireland’s whiskey bill is going up into somewhere among the millions. It is a fearful pity that this tax on the industry and energy of the people could not be abolished. Truth compels me to add that faces liquor-painted abound most among the well-dressed and apparently well-to-do class whom one meets on the way.

The tenant-farmers, in some cases, complain of their rents, and would complain more loudly but for fear of being classed with the Land League, for they in the north are intensely loyal. As for the mere laborer, no one seems to consider him or think of him at all.

The weather has been so inclement, the days all so much alike, rain, hail, snow, sleet, high winds, and we were so busy coughing that the days slipped by almost unnoticed. Refusing the tempting offer of a free trip to see the beauties of Glengarriff, through the medium of a heavy rain we started for Derry by train. Ah! it does know how to rain in Ireland. Such a downpour, driven aslant by a fierce wind, so that, disregarding the thought of an umbrella, we held on to the rail of the jaunting car and were driven in the teeth of the tempest, smiling as if we enjoyed it, up to the station.

Both sides of the road at the station were crowded with men in all sorts of picturesque habiliments. If it had been near the poor-house we would have thought that the population was applying for admittance en masse. As it was, seeing the station likewise crowded, the platform beyond crammed, all eager, expectant, waiting on something, we thought it was some renowned field preacher going to give a sermon, or a millionaire going to give largess. Not a bit of it. It was some person, idle and cruel, who was bringing a couple of poor captive deer to be hunted, and the hounds to hunt them, and the immense crowd represented the idle and cruel who had assembled to get a glimpse of this noble and elevating diversion. If it were possible for the deer and the man to change places the crowd would be still more delighted.

Leaving Ballymena behind we panted through a completely sodden country. Everything was dripping. In many places the waters were out, and the low-lying lands were in a flood. Potatoes in pits linger in the fields, turnips and cabbages in the rows where they grew, bearing witness that even the last hard winter was many degrees behind the winters of Canada. The land on this road is not so good as what I left behind; therefore there were few gentlemen’s houses, and the small farmhouses wore the usual poverty-stricken and neglected appearance. There were more waste hillsides devoted to whins, and flat fields tussocked with rushes as we swept on through the dripping country, under the sides of almost perpendicular rocks, down which little waterfalls, like spun silver, fell and broadened into bridal veils ere they reached the bottom. Then along the historical Foyle, “whose swelling waters,” rather muddy at this season of the year, “roll northward to the main,” and so following its windings and curvings we flashed into Derry.

VI.

THE HILLS OF LOUGH SWILLY—TENANTS’ IMPROVEMENTS—A MAN-OF-WAR AND MEN OF LOVE—THE PIG—RAMELTON—INTELLIGENT ROOKS—FROM POTATOES AND MILK TO CORNMEAL STIRABOUT AND NOTHING—MILFORD—THE LATE LORD LEITRIM’S INJUSTICE AND INHUMANITY—ACCOUNT OF HIS DEATH.

On the 14th March we left Derry by train, crossing from the banks of the Foyle to Lough Swilly. Got on board a little steamer, marvellously like an American puffer, and panted and throbbed across the waters of the Lough. The sun shone pleasantly, the sky was blue, which deserves to be recorded, as this is the very first day since I arrived in Ireland on which the sun shone out in a vigorous and decided manner, determined to have his own way. We have had a few—a very few—watery blinks of sun before, but the rain and sleet always conquered. Sailed up among whin- covered mountains, with reclaimed patches creeping up their sides, and pretty spots here and there, with handsome houses, new and fresh looking, built upon them. It is an inducement to merchants and others to build their brand new houses here, that the air is fresh and pure, the scenery grand and beautiful and the salt water rolls up to the foot of the rocks.

It was pointed out to me by a friend, that these mountain-side farms were reclaimed, by great labor I’m sure, by the tenants, trusting to the Ulster custom, but the landlords, knowing that custom was not law, then raised the rents upon them. If they could not, or were not willing to pay the increased rent, increased because of their own labor, they could leave; others would rent the places at the increased figure. “As for you, ye shiftless, miserable tillers of the soil, ye can go where you like; emigrate if you can; get you to the workhouse or the grave if you cannot.” It is hard to believe that this could be done, or has been done lawfully again and again. If it is true it spoils the comfort of looking at the pleasant homes built upon reclaimed spots. We look more kindly on the cottage homes nestled among nooks of the hills.

The sky did not cloud over again, it remained blue and bright and coaxed the waters of Lough Swilly to look blue and bright also. Flocks of white sea gulls dipped, darted and sailed about in an abandonment of enjoyment. Flights of ducks rose on the wing and whirled past.

We sailed between two forts that frown at one another in a grim and desolate manner at Rathmullen. Was informed that a man-of-war ordinarily lay at anchor in this Lough to keep half an eye on things in general, and poteen, I suppose, in particular. It was complained that the blue jackets, finding these mountain girls sweet and pretty, and easy to keep—for since cows are become such a price, a good one, not one of the bovine aristocracy, but a commonly good one, being value for £20, the damsels of the hills are accustomed to “small rations of tea and potatoes”—the sailors marry them, “and that,” said my informant, “makes servant girls scarce about here.”

I did not sympathize properly with this complaint. I was glad to hear that any form of humanity in this island is scarce. I hoped the blue jackets were happy with their Irish wives, for a Liverpool sailor lamented in my hearing that the girls of seaport towns did not often make good sailors’ wives. Let us hope that they did better who chose among the wild hills of Lough Swilly.

I am told that another cherished institution of Ireland is passing away—

  “The pig that we meant To drynurse in the parlor to pay off the rent.”

The pig is becoming an institution of the past. I was told by a gentleman of the first respectability in Derry, that sucking pigs are sold in that market for thirty shillings. These would be precious to the peasant if he had them, but he has not, nor means to get them. This great resource for paying the rent is gone.

Up the Lough we sailed into beautiful Ramelton, an exceptionally pretty, clean little place, boasting of a very nicely kept hotel. The scenery all around is delightful. Across the Lannon River, on the banks of which is one of the principal streets, is a lofty ridge crowned with grand trees. The Lannon runs into Lough Swilly, and is affected by the ebb and flow of the tide. The trees on the ridge are tenanted by a thriving colony of rooks, very busy just now with their spring work. Two delightful roads, one above another, run along the brow of the hill under the shade of the trees.

I discovered that rooks know a great deal; that there is infinite variety of meaning in their caw. The young couples who are starting housekeeping have not only to provide materials and build their homes, but to defend their property at every stage from the rapacity of their neighbors. They have also to build in such a manner as to satisfy the artistic taste of the community. I saw an instance of this during a morning walk. Five rooks were sitting in judgment on the work of a young and thoughtless pair of rooks, I suppose. The work was condemned, the young couple were evicted without mercy and the nest pulled to pieces by the five censors with grave caws of disapprobation, while the evicted ones flew round and showed fight and used bad language. The Coercion Act was not in favor among the black coated gentry of the air.

It has fallen like a spell over Ireland though, and evictions are hurried through as if they thought their time was short. People are afraid to speak to a stranger.

I have succeeded in obtaining introductions, which I hope will give me an entrance into society in Donegal.

Was driven by my new friends over a part of Lord Leitrim’s estate, and through his town of Milford. The murdered Earl has left a woeful memory of himself all over the country side. He must have had as many curses breathed against him as there are leaves on the trees, if what respectable people who dare speak of his doings say of him be true, which it undoubtedly is. Godly people of Scottish descent, Covenanters and Presbyterians, who would not have harmed a hair of his head for worlds, have again and again lifted their hands to heaven and cried. “How long, Lord, are we to endure the cruelty of this man?”

One case (which is a sample case) I will notice. In the plantation of Scottish settlers in the North it seems that either for company or mutual protection against the dispossessed children of the soil, the farmhouses are built together in clachans or little groups. After a lapse of years these clachans in some cases expanded into small towns. The people built houses and made improvements on their holdings, paying their rent punctually, but holding the right to their own money’s worth, the result of years of toil and stern economy under the Ulster custom. In this way the greater part of the town of Milford sprung into existence.

One John Buchanan, a Presbyterian of Scottish descent, son of respectable people who had lived on this estate for generations, was employed in the land office of the Earl of Leitrim over twenty years. This man trusting to the Ulster custom, and the honest goodness of the old Earl, grandfather of the present Earl, a good landlord and a just man, by all accounts, invested his savings in building on the site of the old farmhouse in Milford a block of buildings—quarrying the stone for them—consisting of two large houses on Main street, and the rest tenement houses on Buchanan street. He improved his farm by reclaiming land, making nice fields out of bog.

When the good Earl died and the late Earl came into possession, he immediately raised the rent to nearly double what was paid before, making John Buchanan pay dearly for his improvements. John Buchanan died rather suddenly, leaving a widow and five children. The widow in her overwhelming grief was visited by Lord Leitrim personally. He told her with great abuse and outrageous language, that she had no claim whatever to a particle of the property, “she did not own a stone of it.” The widow, worn and nervous with the great trouble she had passed through, was unable to bear this new trouble; his Lordship’s violence gave her a shock from which she never recovered. He then sent his bailiffs and put her and her children out; put out the fires, as taking possession, and re-let the place to her, again doubling the rent. Her eldest son, a young lad, boiling with wrath over the wrong done and the language used to his mother, went to his aunt, living at some distance, and besought her to send him out of the country, lest he should be tempted to take vengeance in his own hand. His aunt seeing this danger, fitted him out from her own pocket, and the poor lad, his mother consenting, was expatriated out of harm’s way to far Australia.

The widow never recovered the shock which Lord Leitrim had given her. It was aggravated by despair at seeing all the savings of her husband’s lifetime appropriated by the strong hand, and her children left destitute. She was also in debt to the value of £600 for building material for an addition built to the house and some office houses, built later on, some time after the rest of the property. This debt of £600 wore on her. She had no means of payment; all her means were swallowed up in this property. The creditors could not collect it off the property, it was not held liable for the debt, neither was Lord Leitrim, who had seized the property. Her sense of honesty and the honor of her husband’s name made her fret over this debt. The doctor had declared her illness heart disease brought on by a shock, and her death imminent. To soothe her mind her sister again came forward and out of her own pocket paid the money. The widow died and was buried. Their only relative tried what the law would do to redress the grievances of the orphans. The presiding judge, the chairman of the quarter sessions, lifted up his hands saying, “Must I issue a decree that will rob these helpless orphans.” The decree was issued, and the children ejected without a farthing of compensation. To leave no stone unturned, the children went in a body to Lord Leitrim to ask, as justice had been powerless, for mercy from him. He ordered his servant to put them out. At the time these orphans were turned out of the house their father built, there was not a farthing of rent due, all had been paid up at the unjust Earl’s own estimate.

This case had been heard by the Royal Commissioners sent to enquire into these things, but it appears that there is no law to redress a tenant’s wrong. This occurred under the tenant custom of Ulster.

I drove round this fine property in Milford. It was pointed out to me that almost all the houses in the town were acquired by Lord Leitrim, by the strong hand, in the same way. Passed the house from which the Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Mr. White, was evicted. It was his own private property. It stands windowless and roofless, a monument to the dead earl. The priest of the parish had no house of his own; he was a boarder with one of his flock, who had built himself a house in the time of the good earl. When Lord Leitrim fancied that he had cause of quarrel with the priest he obliged his tenant to put him out, on pain of losing the house which he had built. After he had got rid of priest and minister, he built a little Episcopal Church, that the people might worship at his shrine. The little church stands empty now. The graveyard about this little church was a rocky corner with little soil. The minister ventured to request that the people might have leave to draw a little clay from a hill nearby, to cover the bodies interred there, as there was not soil enough. “I’ll not give a spoonful; let their bones bleach there,” said the earl.

During the life-time of the good earl, the people being encouraged to improve their lands, crept up the mountain side, reclaiming whatever land they could. I have seen some of these portions, and noticed how they had got up close to the rocks, by using the spade where the plough would not go. They cleared off the whins of the mountain; they drained the bogs. They made kilns and burned lime for top-dressing. When the wicked lord came into possession he not only raised the rent on the tenants’ improvements, but built a kiln of his own, and burned lime, forbidding them to use theirs, compelling them to buy from him at his price. He would not even allow them to make manure of the floating sea- weed that drifted in from the sea.

Went to see the place where Lord Leitrim was done to death. Looked down on Milford Bay, dotted with little treeless and shrubless islands. Round it are round-shouldered hills, brown and bare now—purple with heather bells in summer time, I dare say. On a point stretching out into this bay stands his residence, Manor Vaughan. The road leading from Manor Vaughan to Milford is screened by a plantation of trees. On the opposite side of the bay the hills are really mountains. The murderers crossed the bay, tied their boat to a stone, and waited in the plantation. Lord Leitrim, with his clerk, was driven along on one car, followed by another containing his servants. His car, somewhat in advance, went slowly up a little hill. Those lying in wait fired; the driver fell dead. Lord Leitrim was wounded; he jumped off on one side, the clerk on the other. He had pistols but they were in the car; he retreated, trying to defend himself as they poured on him shot after shot. Those in the other car, instead of coming up, stopped in mortal terror. The clerk, only slightly wounded in the ear, ran to them, exclaiming, “They are killing Lord Leitrim, they have killed me,” and dropped dead with nervous terror. The assassins had poured in all their shot, still the Earl was not dead. He might yet have been saved if there had been any one to help him. What must his thoughts have been in that supreme moment. They beat the life out of him, he defending himself to the last. They cut loose their boat, rowed across the bay, cast it adrift, took the mountains and escaped.

The Earl fell, his head in a little pool of water. The country people coming in to Milford town passed by with white faces on the other side; no one lifted his head, no one looked to see if life was extinct. At length the constabulary came, and the remains of the dreaded lord were carried in a cart into Milford. There was a post mortem examination; part of his poor remains was buried in the graveyard of the little church which he built, and a load of the clay he refused to his tenants brought to cover it. His name will long linger in evil fame among the mountains and deserts.

It is but just to the memory of this man to say, that some, who with good reason abhor his memory, do not believe that charges of gross immorality made against him were true. Others who think themselves equally well informed hold a contrary opinion. To think of mentioning all I have heard of his oppressive injustice would be impossible. I was told that when news of his death came into certain places, men clasped hands and drank one another’s health as at a festival; that pious people thanked God for the deliverence, who abhorred the means by which it came about.

I saw among the hills three nice farms, which a well-to-do farmer bought and improved, and finally bequeathed to his three sons. One died and the Ahab-like Earl took possession. Wishing to evict another for the purpose of throwing two farms into one, he offered the farm to the remaining brother in addition to his own. The man refused to ruin his brother. The Earl, to punish him, raised his rent from £35 to £70. Griffith’s valuation of this farm is £29 5s. Another eviction from Milford was so pitiful in its cruelty that the compassion of the country was aroused, and a home bought by subscription for the old people. I saw the property from which these people were evicted in Milford, a valuable row of houses.

The present Earl acknowledged the justice of the claim of John Buchanan’s children, and spoke of restitution, but his agent, on whom the mantle of the late Earl had fallen, persuaded him against it, as nearly all the property in Milford town had been acquired in the same way. “Making restitution to one would open up the question of the others, and could not be afforded.”

VII.

IRISH COLD AND CANADIAN COLD—EVIDENCES OF THE FAMINE—PREPARING FOR THE IRISH LAND BILL—THE BAD PEOPLE OF DONEGAL—INFLUENCE OF THE BALLOT ON LANDLORDS—A MOUNTAIN STORM—A “BETTER CLASS” FARMER’S HOME.

To make excursions to a short distance from this pretty town of Ramelton and to return again has been my occupation for the last week. It was arranged that on Monday, March 21st, I was to go with some kind friends to see life up among the mountains of Donegal, but down came another storm. Snow, hail, sleet, rain, hail, sleet and rain again. Storms rule and reign among these hills this March, destroying all prospect of March dust I am afraid. Nothing could be done but wait till the storm was over, going to the windows once in a while to watch the snow driving past, or to notice that it had changed to sleet or rain.

The mountain tops are white again, and look wild and wintry. To-day it rains with a will. The cold here at present is more chill and penetrating than Canadian cold. I have put on more, and yet more clothing, and I am cold. Many, very many, people during the past dreary winter have had no bed-clothes at all.

I am afraid from what I see and hear that the famine was more dreadful here in Donegal than we in Canada imagined. Plenty of people even now are living on Indian meal stirabout, without milk or anything else to take with it. This, three times a day, and thankful to have enough of it to satisfy hunger. It was pitiful to see little children and aged women, with but thin clothes on, walking barefoot through the snowy slush of yesterday.

My attention was drawn to a ballad singer, almost blind, “whose looped and windowed raggedness” was picturesque. His dreary attempts at singing with his teeth chattering, the rain and sleet searching out every corner of his rags, was pitiful. He was hardly able to stand against the cutting wind. I sent out and bought his ballad as an excuse to give him the Queen’s picture. The songs were clever for local poetry. They were treasonous too, but then loyalty is the song of the well fed, well clad, well-to-do citizen. Treason and wretchedness fit well together, in a helpless, harmless way.

Your London correspondent of February 11th remarks, “Even Ireland has nothing left but to settle down and attend to putting in the crops.” This is an English and comfortable view—the remark of a man who was not there to see. It is far otherwise here in County Donegal. Evictions are flying about as thick as “the leaves of the forest when autumn hath flown.” This wild second winter is the time selected for these evictions. Every local paper has notices of evictions here and there.

They tell me that the reason of the great number of evictions at present is to prevent the wretched tenants from having any benefit under the promised Land Bill. If they are evicted now and readmitted as caretakers, they can be sent off again at a week’s notice and have no claim under the Ulster custom for past improvements. I think any candid person can see that these people are not in a position to pay back rent, or even present rent at the high rate to which it is raised. In some instances they are not able to pay any rent at all. There had been some years of bad seasons ending in one of absolute famine.

The report of the Relief Committee for northern Donegal was published on 28th of October, 1880. I met with a member of that Committee, which was composed of sixteen Protestants and eleven Catholics, including the Catholic Bishop of Raphoe and the Presbyterian member of Parliament. This gentleman informed me that food was given in such quantities as to preserve life only. Seed was also given. Many people of respectable standing, whose need was urgent, applied for relief secretly, not wishing their want to be known. Helped in this careful way the amount given, exclusive of expenses, in North Donegal was £33,660.17.1, of which amount the New York Herald gave £2,000, besides £203 to an emigration fund enabling 115 persons to leave the country. Surely we must think that before these people applied for public charity—and every case was examined into by some of the Committee or their agents— they had exhausted all their means, and sold all they had to sell. How, then, could they possibly be able to pay back rent in March, 1881?

In the middle of my letter I got the long-waited-for opportunity to leave Ramelton behind and go up into the Donegal Hills.

The environs of Ramelton are wonderfully beautiful, sudden hills, green vales, lovely nooks in unexpected places, waters that sparkle and dash, or that flow softly like the waters of Shiloh, great aristocratic trees in clumps, standing singly, grouped by the water’s edge, as if they had sauntered down to look about them, or drawn up on the hill-side many deep, stretching far away like the ranks of a grand army. All that these can do to make Ramelton a place of beauty has been done. It is hemmed in by hills that lie up against the sky, marked off into fields by whin hedges, till they look like sloping chequer-boards. Beyond them, in places, tower up the mountain-tops of dark Donegal, crusted over with black heather, seamed by rift and ravine, bare in places where these rocks, those bones of the mountains, have pushed themselves through the heather, till it looks like a ragged cloak. The sun shines, the rooks flap busily about, as noisy as a parliament, the air is keen, and so we drive out of Ramelton.

The sky was blue, although the wind was cold, and it was blowing quite a gale. We had not left the town far behind when the storm recommenced in all its fury. The hail beat in our faces until we were obliged to cover up our heads. Finally the pony refused to go a step farther, but turned his obstinate shoulder to the storm and stood there, where there was no shelter of any kind, and there he stood till the storm moderated a little, only to recommence again. Up one hill, down another, along a bleak road through a bog, past the waters of Lough Fern, up more hills, round other hills, across other bleak bogs, the little town of Kilmacrennan, up other hills, the storm meanwhile raging in all its fury until we drew up on the lee side of a little mountain chapel.

The clergyman, who happened to be there, received us most courteously, and conducted us to his house. We were offered refreshments, and treated with the greatest kindness. Owing to this priest’s courtesy and kindness I was provided with a room in the house of one of his parishioners, a mountain side farmer.

I parted with my friends with great regret. They returned to Ramelton through the storm, which increased in fury every moment. I, in the safe shelter of the farmhouse, looked out of the window, hoping the storm would moderate, but it increased until every thing a few yards from the house, every mountain top and hill side were blotted out, and nothing could be seen but the flurrying snow driven past by the winds.

I have now left the Presbyterians of the rich, low-lying lands behind, and am up among the Catholic people of the hills. I have felt quite at home with these kindly folk. They remind me of the kindliness of the Celtic population of another and far-off land. I like the sound of the Irish tongue, which is spoken all around me. I feel quite at home by the peat fire piled up on the hearth. The house where I am staying is that of a farmer of the better class. A low thatched house divided into a but and a ben. The kitchen end has the bare rafters, black and shining with concentrated smoke. The parlor end is floored above and has a board floor. Among the colored prints of the Saviour which adorn the wall are two engravings, in gilt frames, of Bright and Gladstone, bought when the Land Bill of 1870 was passed.

This Bill, by the way, has been evaded with great ease, for the law breakers were the great who knew the law, and the wronged were the poor who were ignorant of it. The farmer’s wife could not do enough to make me welcome. She had the kind and comely face and pleasant tongue that reminded me of Highland friends in the long ago. Their name of Murray, which is a prevalent name on these hills, had a Highland sound. Feeling welcome, and safe under the care that has led me thus far, I fell asleep in the best bed, with its ancient blue and white hangings, and slept soundly.

These people are very thrifty. The blankets of the bed were homespun; the fine linen towel was the same. The mistress’s dress was home-made, and so was the cloth of her husband’s clothes. In noticing this I was told that where they could keep a few sheep the people were better off, but it was harder now to keep sheep than formerly.

VIII.

THE HILL COUNTRY OF DONEGAL—ON THE SQUARE—OFFICE RULES

Left up among my country people in this hill country of Donegal, I set myself to see and to hear what they had to say for themselves or against their landlords. In the pauses of storm I walked up the mountains to see the people in their homes. I seem to have lost the power of description. I will never think of scenes I saw there without tears. I never, in Canada, saw pigs housed as I saw human beings here. Sickness, old age, childhood penned up in such places that one shuddered to go into them. Now, mark me! every hovel paid rent, or was under eviction for failing to pay.

The landlord has no duties in the way of repairing a roof or making a house comfortable. Such a thing is utterly unknown here. To fix the rent, to collect the rent, to make office rules as whim or cupidity dictates, to enforce them, in many instances with great brutality, is the sole business of the landlord; and the whole power of the Executive of England is at his back. This is not a good school in which to learn loyalty. Submission to absolute decrees or eviction are the only alternative.

The tenant has no voice in the bargain. He has no power to be one party to a contract. This irresponsible power of an autocrat over serfs of the soil is bad for both parties. I will try to tell these people’s side of the question as nearly in their own words as I can.

When the native population was driven off the good valley lands to the hills of Donegal during the confiscation times, they built their cabins in groups, like the Scotch clachans, for company, perhaps even for protection. Each man broke up, clearing off stones and rooting up whins, the best patch within his reach. He ditched and drained pieces of low-lying bog, and paid for what he cultivated, all the rest being common.

By what title the Clemens of Leitrim got lordship over the wild hills as well as the fat lowlands I cannot tell; but all the country here, for miles and miles, up hill and down vale, is his. The people have absolutely no rights, far as the land is concerned.

The first move towards this dreadful state of things was called “Squaring the farms.” This was done to compel the people to pay for the wild as well as the cultivated lands. Under the old system a man might have a few goats or sheep, or a heifer, on the hills, and, if his crop was not good, or a hail storm threshed out his oats, he could sacrifice these to pay the rent. When the farms were squared each man drew lots for his new holding. I am speaking of Lord Leitrim’s estate. This was a hard decree, but the tenant had no alternative but to submit. A man often found himself squared out of the best of his clearing, squared out of his cabin and all accommodation for his cow or horse, and squared on to a new place without any house on it at all.

I made particular enquiry if Lord Leitrim had ever made any allowance or compensation to a man deprived of the house, which he or his fathers had built, after this summary fashion. No compensation. Every fixture put upon the land belonged to the landlord absolutely.

“Was there ever any help allowed to a man in building a new house?”

“In a very few instances a man got a door and a couple of window-sashes as a charitable assistance, not by any means as a compensation.”

After some time the wild mountains, where there was nothing but rocks and heather, were fenced off. Before this the goats and sheep grazed up there. A new office rule made the price for a sheep or goat picking a living among the heather. It was one shilling and sixpence for a sheep with a lamb at her foot, and other animals in proportion. Still the wretched men of the hills struggled to live on in the only homes they had, or had ever known. Then the rents were raised. In one instance from £3 11s 4d to £6 5s for 6 Irish acres, the increased value being the result of the man’s own hard labor. In another instance from £1 9s 4d to £13. Another office rule charges five shillings for the privilege of cutting turf for fuel even if cut on the little holding for which he is paying rent.

Now, when every nerve was strained to pay this rack rent, and cattle were high in price, if the unfortunate tenant failed, why, he was evicted. He might go where he liked, to the workhouse or the asylum, or the roadside, his little clearing would make pasture, and this, at the price of beef cattle, would be still more profitable. For any landlord in this part of Donegal to speak of freedom of contract is a fallacy. It does not exist.

The oppression at present exercised by Captain Dopping on the Leitrim estate, which he can carry out safely under the protection of bayonets, would raise up Judge Lynch in America before three months. Lately, the people told me, he visited the farm-houses in person, pulled open the doors of the little room that the better class strive to have, without permission asked, and walked in to inspect if there were any signs of prosperity hidden from the eye that might warrant further extortion. This act was resented with a feeling that found no relief in words. I noticed that there was no word of complaint or denunciation anywhere. Facts were stated, and you understood by glance and tone that the time for mere complaint was past.

I was taken to see a paralytic schoolmaster who had dared to build a room next to the school-house out of which he was helped into school every morning, for he could teach, though he had lost the use of his limbs. No sooner did Lord Leitrim know this than he had the paralytic carried out and laid on the road, and the room which he had built with his earnings and the help of his neighbors, was pulled down—not one stone was left upon another. He then lost his situation which was his living. I can hardly bear to describe this man’s dwelling in which I found himself, his wife, four children and the cow. The winds of the mountain and the rains of heaven equally found their way in. His wife teaches sewing in the school at a salary of £8 per annum. This, with other help from the Rev. Mr. Martin, formerly Episcopal Rector of Kilmacrennan, who got the wife the post of schoolmistress, has kept these people alive. The father has not seen the sky since he was evicted in 1870. At present there is a writ of ejectment on the house for £9 of back rent, and he is sued for seed, got in the time of scarcity.

The house is horrible—there are boards with some straw on them over the beds. The children are very pretty, and as hardy as mountain goats. The father was quite an educated man, to judge from his speech. I, who was well clothed, shivered at the hearth, but want and nakedness stayed there constantly. If this poor man were put in the poor-house, he would have to part from the faithful wife and sweet children; but that is the doom that stares him in the face.

The longer I stayed among the hills the more I became convinced that the people had strained every nerve to pay what they considered unjust and extortionate rents. They worked hard; they farmed hard; they wore poor clothing; they left their hill and went over to Scotland or England, at harvest time, to earn money to pay the rent. “And we were not considered as kindly, or as much respected, as their hogs or dogs,” said a farmer to me. There was nothing left after the rent for comfort, or to use in case of sickness; they always lived on the brink of starvation.

“Why did you not refuse to pay these increased rents when they were put upon you first? You should have refused in a body, and stood out,” I said to one man. “Some could do that, my lady, but most could not. At first I had the old people depending on me, and I could not see them on the hillside; now I have little children, and the wife is weakly. And there were many like me, or even worse.”

Now consider some of the office rules. My lord had a pound of his own: for a stray beast, so much; for a beast caught up the mountain without leave, eviction; for burning the limestone on your own place instead of buying it at the lord’s kiln, eviction; for burning some parings of the peat land, the ashes of which made the potatoes grow bigger and drier, eviction. Not only did the man who did not doff his hat to the landlord stand in danger, but the man who did not uncover to his lowest under- bailiff. One exaction after another, one tyranny after another has dug a gulf between landlord and tenant that will be hard to bridge. I saw a stone house used as a barn. Lord Leitrim made the man who built it, who had got permission to build from the good Earl, tear down the chimney and make an office-house of it, on pain of eviction. He must continue to live himself in the hovel. Another widow woman, evicted for not being able to pay her rent, had the roof torn off her house, but has a place like a goose pen among the ruins, and here she stays. Every day rides out Capt. Dopping with his escort of police, paid for by the county, and evicts without mercy. Since the eyes of the world have been drawn to Ireland by the proceedings of the Land League none have been left to die outside. The tenants are admitted as caretakers by the week, but the eviction, I am told, extinguishes any claim the poor people might have under the Ulster Custom.

I have seen nothing yet to make me think I was in a disturbed country except meeting Captain Dopping and his escort, and seeing white police barracks and dandy policemen, who literally overrun the country. It carries one’s mind back to the days of bloody Claverhouse or wicked Judge Jeffries to hear and see the feelings which the country people— Catholic as well as Protestant—have towards the memory of the late Earl. “Dear, the cup of his iniquity was full, the day of vengeance was come, and the earth could hold him no longer,” said a Protestant to me.

“It was bad for the people, whoever they were, that took vengeance out of the hands of the Almighty, but many a poor creature he had sent out of the world before he lay helpless at the mercy of his enemies,” said many an orthodox person to me. One poor girl on that dreadful day thanked God that the oppressor was laid low. Her mother evicted, had died on the roadside exposed to the weather of the hills, her brother went mad at the sight of misery he would almost have died to relieve but could not, and is now in the asylum at Letterkenny. One can imagine with what feeling this desolate girl lifted her hands when she heard of the murder, and said, “I thank Thee, O Lord.”

What kind of a system is it that produces such scenes, and such feelings? It is a noticeable fact how many there are in the asylum in Letterkenny whose madness they blame on the horrors of these evictions. Wise legislation may find a remedy for these evils, but the memory of them will never die out. It is graven on the mountains, it is stamped on the valleys, it is recorded on the rocks forever.

IX.

ALONG A MOUNTAIN ROAD—WHY THE RENT WAS RAISED—TURNING FARMS INTO PASTURES—ST. COLOMBKILL—IRISH HOSPITALITY—A NOTABLE BALLAD.

The twenty-sixth of March rose sunny and cold, and I decided to hire a horse and guide to go to Derryveigh, made memorable by Mr. John George Adair. The road lay through wild mountain scenery. Patches of cultivated fields lay on the slopes; hungry whin-covered hills rose all round them, steep mountains rank upon rank behind; deep bog lands, full of treacherous holes, lay along at the foot of the mountain here and there. The scenery is wild beyond description, not a tree for miles in all the landscape.

On some of the lower hills men were ploughing with wretched-looking horses. Men were delving with spades where horses could not keep their footing. The houses were wretched, some only partly roofed, some with the roof altogether gone and a shed erected inside, but for the most wretched of all the hovels rent is exacted.

Every bit of clearing was well and carefully labored. The high, broad stone fences round hillside fields were all gathered from the soil.

At one place, I was told that the brother of the occupant had sent him, from America, money to make the house a little more comfortable. He roofed it with slate. The rent was raised from £2 9s 4d to £13 10s. I may remark here that the tenants complain that the present Earl, through his agent, Capt. Dopping, is even more oppressive in a steady, cruel manner than the late Earl.

The late hard times—the cruel famine—has led to the sacrifice of all stock, so that some of these people have not a four-footed beast on their holding.

As we wound along among the hills my guide spoke of getting another man to accompany us, who was well acquainted with the way to Derryveigh, and we stopped at his place accordingly. He came to the car to explain that he was busy fanning up corn, or he would be only too glad to come. In a subdued whisper he told my guide of Capt. Dopping having been at his house, with his bailiffs and body-guard of police—threatening the wife, he said. He then told of the sacrifices he had made of one thing and another to gather up one year’s rent. He had to pay five shillings for cutting turf on his own land, and one shilling for a notice served on him. Poor little man, he had a face that was cut for mirthfulness, and his woefulness was both touching and amusing. So we left him and went our way.

Along the road, winding up and down among the hills, by sudden bogs and rocky crags still more desolate and lonely looking, we came upon a cultured spot, now and then, where a solitary man would be digging round the edges of the rocks. Again we were among wild mountains heaving up their round heads to the sky and looking down at us over one another’s shoulders. It brought to my mind the Atlantic billows during the last stormy February. It is as if the awful rolling billows mounting to the sky were turned into stone and fixed there, and the white foam changed into dark heather. After driving some time the landscape softened down into rolling hills beautifully cultivated, and sprinkled here and there with grazing cattle.

We are coming to Gartan Lake, and where there is a belt of trees by the lake shore stands the residence of Mr. Stewart, another landlord. He, when cattle became high-priced, thought that cattle were much preferable to human beings, so he evicted gradually the dwellers who had broken in the hills, and entered into possession, without compensation, of the fields, the produce of others’ toil and sweat. His dwelling is in a lonely, lovely spot, and it stands alone, for no cottage home is at all near. He has wiped out from the hill sides every trace of the homes of those who labored on these pleasant fields and brought them under cultivation. Since the Land League agitation began he has given a reduction of rents, and the whole country side feel grateful and thankful.

There is no solitude so great that we do not meet bailiffs at their duty, or policemen on the prowl.

We are now nearing Derryveigh. There are two lakes lying along the valley connected with a small stream. My guide informed me that both lakes once abounded with salmon. The celebrated St. Colombkill was born on the shores of the Gartan Lake. Being along the lake one day he asked some fishermen on the lower lake to share with him of the salmon they had caught. They churlishly refused, and the saint laid a spell on the waters, and no salmon come there from that day to this. They are plentiful in Upper Gartan Lake, and come along the stream to the dividing line, where the stream is spanned by a little rustic bridge; here they meet an invisible barrier, which they cannot pass. I told my guide in return the story of the Well of St. Keyne, but he thought it unlikely. So there is a limit to belief.

Since Mr. Adair depopulated Derryveigh, and gave it over to silence, the roads have been neglected, and have become rather difficult for a car. The relief works in famine time have been mainly road-making, and there are smooth hard roads through the hills in all directions, so the people complain of roads that would not be counted so very bad in the Canadian backwoods. However, the difficulty being of a rocky nature, we left the car at the house of a dumb man, the only one of the inhabitants spared by Adair. He and his sister, also dumb, lived together on the mountain solitudes. She is dead, and a relative, the daughter of one of the evicted people, has come to keep house for him. He made us very welcome, seeing to it that the horse was put up and fed with sheaf oats. I and my guides, for we were now joined by the man who had had the oats to fan— he had got his brother to take his place and came a short cut across the hills to meet us—so we all three set out to walk over Derryveigh.

It was a trying walk, a walk to be measured by ups and downs, for the Derryveigh hamlets were widely scattered. There they were—roofless homes, levelled walls, desolation and silence. And it is a desolation, indeed. Broken down walls here and there, singly and in groups, mark the place where there was a contented population when Mr. Adair bought the estate. He had made plans for turning his purchase into a veritable El Dorado. The barren mountains are fenced off, surely at a great expense, that no sheep or lamb might bite a heather bell without pay. It was to be a great pasture for black-faced sheep. The sides of the mountains, which are bog in many places, are scored with drains to dry up the bog holes and give the sheep a sure footing. I did not see many sheep on the hill or many cattle on the deserted farms. It is an awfully lonesome place; desolation sits brooding among the broken-down walls. My guide, a lonesome-looking man, enlivened our way by remarks like these: “This was a widdy’s house. She was a well-doin’ body.” “Here was a snug place. See, there’s the remains of a stone porch that they built to break off the wind.” “That was Jamie Doherty’s, he that died on the road-side after he was evicted. You see, nobody dare lift the latch or open the door to any of the poor creatures that were put out.”

And this has been done; human beings have died outside under the sky for no crime, and this under the protection of English law. Many of these people lost their reason, and are in the asylum at Letterkenny. Some are stillcoshering here and there among their charitable neighbors, while many are bitter hearted exiles across the sea. After walking up and down amid this pitiful desolation, and hearing many a heart-rending incident connected with the eviction, a sudden squall of hail came on, and we were obliged to take shelter on the lee side of a ruined wall till it blew over. To while away the time one of the guides told me of a local song made on the eviction, the refrain being, “Five hundred thousand curses on cruel John Adair.”

Across the Gartan Lake we could see from our partial shelter the point to which Mr. Stewart wasted the people off his estate. Mr. Stewart’s is a handsome lonely place, but when one hears all these tales of spoliation it prevents one from admiring a fine prospect. “He is dealing kindly with the people now,” said my guides, “whatever changed his heart God knows.”

The shower being over we returned to the house of the dummy. In our absence dinner had been prepared for us. She had no plates, but the table on which she laid oat cakes was as white as snow. She gave us a little butter, which, by the signs and tokens, I knew to be all she had, boiled eggs, made tea of fearful strength, and told us to eat. My guides enjoyed the mountain fare with mountain appetites. I tried to eat, but somehow my throat was full of feelings. I had great difficulty to make this mountain maid accept of a two shilling piece for her trouble. We returned by the way we came to a point where we had a view of a rectory which was pointed out to me as the abode of another good rector. These people do seem to feel kindness very much. Here we took another road to visit Glenveigh and see Adair’s castle. On the way we were informed by a woman, speaking in Irish, that a process-server near Creeslach was fired at through the window of his house. He had been out serving processes, and was at home sitting with his head resting on his hand. Three shots were fired, two going over his head and one going through the hand on which his head was resting. Two men are taken up to-day.

* * * * *

I have secured a copy of the ballad referred to by our guide, which records the desolation of Derryveigh. All such actions are celebrated in local poetry; but this is one of the fiercest; you can publish it if you think best:—

DERRYVEIGH.

  “The cold snow rests on levelled walls, where was a happy home, The wintry sky looks down upon a desolate hearthstone. The hearth by which the cradle song has lulled our infant’s sleep, Is open to the pitying skies that nightly o’er it weep. There is rippling in the waters, there is rustling through the air, Five hundred thousand curses upon cruel John Adair.

  “It is not we that curse him, though in woe our sad heart bleeds, The curse that’s on him is the curse that follows wicked deeds. He suspected and he punished, he judged, and then he drew The besom of destruction our quiet homesteads through; So it’s rippling in the waters, it is rustling through the air, Five hundred thousand curses upon cruel John Adair.

  “We little dreamed upon our hills destruction’s hour was nigh, Woe! Woe the day our quiet glens first met his cruel eye! He coveted our mountains all in an evil hour, We have tasted of his mercy, and felt his grasp of power; Through years to come of summer sun, of wintry sleet and snow, His name shall live in Derryveigh as Campbell’s in Glencoe.

  “A tear is on each heather bell where heaven’s dew distils, And weeping down the mountain side flows on a thousand rills; The winds rush down the empty glens with many a sigh and moan, Where little children played and sang is desolate and lone. The scattered stones of many homes have witnessed our despair, And every stone’s a monument to cruel John Adair.

  “Where are the hapless people, doomed by John Adair’s decree? Some linger in the drear poor-house—some are beyond the sea; One died behind the cold ditch—back beneath the open sky, And every star in heaven was a witness from on high. None dared to ope a friendly door, or lift a neighbor’s latch, Or shelter by a warm hearthstone beneath the homely thatch.

  “Beside the lake in sweet Glenveigh, his tall white castle stands, With battlement and tower high, fresh from the mason’s hands; It’s built of ruined hearth stones, its cement is bitter tears, It’s a monument of infamy to all the future years, He is written childless, for of his blood no heir Shall inherit land or lordship from cruel John Adair.

  “His cognizance the bloody hand has a wild meaning now, It is pointing up for vengeance to Cain-like mark his brow, It speaks of frantic hands that clasped the side posts of the door; Pale lips that kissed the threshold they would cross, oh, never more. The scattered stones of many homes, the desolated farms, Shall mark with deeper red the hand upon his coat of arms. The silver birches of Glenveigh when stirred by summer air Shall whisper of the curse that hangs o’er cruel John Adair.”

X.

WHY THE RENT IS RAISED—THE HISTORY OF AN EVICTION FROM ONE OF THE EVICTED—A DONEGAL CONGREGATION—A CLIMB TO THE TOP OF DOONHILL—DOON HOLY WELL—MAKING THE BEST OF A STRANGER.

In the silence of the night when sleep would not come, and when my imagination rehearsed over and over again sights I had seen and tales I had heard, I made an almost cast-iron resolution to escape to the estate of Stewart of Ards and have one letter filled up with the good deeds of a landlord. Alas for me! another storm, a rain storm, and a touch of neuralgia conspired to keep me “ben the house” in the little room upon the mountain side. One can weather snow or hail easier than a mountain rain storm. The rain is laden with half-melted snow, and the wind that drives it is terribly in earnest.

It is one queer feature of this mountain scenery, the entire absence of trees. The hills look as if the face of the country had been shaved. Up the hill sides the little fields are divided off by high, broad stone fences, the result of gathering the stones out of the fields. The bog land to be reclaimed requires drains three feet deep every six feet of land.

To trench up a little field into ridges six feet apart, to gather stones out of a little field sufficient to surround it with a four feet high stone fence, to grub out and burn whins, to make all the improvements with your own labor, and then to have your landlord come along with his valuator and say, “Your farm is worth double what you pay for it; I can get thirty shillings an acre for it,” and to raise the rent to its full value, which you must pay or go out. This sort of thing is repeated, and repeated, in every variation of circumstances and of hardship, and the people submit and are, as a whole, quiet and law-abiding.

I was called out of my little den to see a woman, one of the evicted tenants of Mr. Adair. She was on her way to Letterkenny to see her son, who is in the asylum since the eviction. It was hard enough to wander through the ruins and hear of the eviction scenes from others, but to sit by the turf fire and listen to one who had suffered and was suffering from this dreadful act, to see the recollection of it expressed in look and tone was different. This woman—husband dead, son in the asylum—was a decent-looking body in cloak and cap, with a bleached face and quiet voice.

“We were all under sentence of eviction, but it was told to us that it was for squaring the farms. Then we were warned to pay in the half- year’s rent. It was not due till May, and we had never been asked to pay the rent ahead of us before. But the landlord was a new one, and if he made a rule, why, we must obey him; so we scraped up and sold this and that and paid it. If we had known what was coming we might have kept it, and had a penny to turn to when we were out under the sky. It was to get the rent before he turned us out that he made that plan. We were put out in the beginning of April; our rent was paid up to May. Oh, I wish, I wish that he had driven us into the lake the day he put us out. A few minutes would have ended our trouble, but now when will it end! I have been through the country, my lady, and my boy in the asylum ever since.”

Went to the Catholic chapel up here in the mountains. It was quite convenient to my lodging. It is a very nice building with a new look. I was surprised to see such a fine building in the mountains, for, owing to the poverty of the people, there were no chapels at all in some places a little time ago. Mass was celebrated in scalans, a kind of open sheds, covered over head to protect the officiating priest from the weather, while the people clustered round in the open air. When I spoke of the nice appearance of the chapel I was told that the children of these hills scattered through the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, had helped in its building. There were between seven and eight hundred people present. There were no seats on the floor of the chapel. I could not help admiring the patient, untiring devotion of these people, and the endurance that enabled them to kneel so long. The prevailing type of face is eminently Scottish, so is the tone of voice, and the names, Murrays, Andersons, and the like.

Were it not for the altar and the absence of seats I could have imagined myself in a Glenelg Presbyterian congregation. The Irish spoken here, and it is spoken universally, has a good deal of resemblance to Glenelg Gaelic. I was surprised at how much I understood of the conversations carried on around me. The women, too, in their white caps, with their serious, devotional comely faces, reminded me of faces I have seen in dear old Glengarry.

There were not half a dozen bonnets in the whole congregation—snow- white caps covered with a handkerchief for the matrons. They wore cloaks and shawls, and looked comfortable enough. I saw some decent blue cloth cloaks of a fashion that made me think they had served four generations at least. The lasses wore their own shining hair “streeling” down their backs or neatly braided up; abundant locks they had, brown color prevailing. Fresher, rosier, comelier girls than these mountain maidens it would be hard to find.

The men’s clothing, though poor, and in some instances patched in an artistic fashion, was scrupulously clean. In the congregation were some young men well dressed, bold and upright, whose bearing, cut of whiskers, and watch chains, showed that they had lived among our trans- Atlantic cousins of the great Republic.

The priest of the hills is the one man whom these people trust. The prevailing type of landlord has been their enemy and oppressor. The priest has been friend, counsellor, sympathizer, helper, as well as clergyman, and so he is soggarth aroon.

The storm continues at intervals. I get one clear, cold bit of fair weather to climb to the top of Doune hill, where the Ulster kings used to be crowned, a sugar-loaf shaped hill with the top broken off, rising in isolated grandeur up high enough to give one a breather to get to the top.

The weather returned to its normal condition of storm, and I was shut up again. I became a little homesick, had the priest to tea, and enjoyed his conversation very much, but he had to go off in the storm on a sick call. A priest in these mountains has not the easiest kind of life in the world.

Illusions took possession of my brain. I fancied myself a great queen, to say the least of it. A whisper got among the hills that a great American lady with unlimited power had come seeking the welfare of the country, and so any amount of deputations wafted on me. I will give a few specimens.

Two men to see my lady in reference to a small still that had been misfortunately found on the place of an old man upward of eighty. He was fined £12, and would my lady do anything?

Two women under sentence of eviction, my lady (I saw the place of one of these, the roof was on the floor, and a little shelter was in one corner like the lair of a wild beast, and here she kept possession in spite of the dreadful Captain Dopping; the agent). Would my lady send out their two daughters to America and place them in decent places?

And here was old Roseen, old and miserable, without chick or child, or drop’s blood belonging to her in the wide world, and would my lady remember her?

Here’s the crature of a widow from the mountain with four small children, and no man body to help her with the place, and not a four- footed beast on it belonging to her; all went in the scarcity; would my lady look to her a little, sure she was the neediest of all?

And here was the poor cripple boy that his reverence was so good to, &c., &c., &c., in endless file.

Nothing kept this over-dose of “my lady” from going to my head like Innishowen poteen, but the slenderness of my purse. Determined at last, warned by my fast-collapsing portmonnaie, to refuse to see any more deputations and keep ben-the-house strictly. A cry arose that Captain Dopping and his body-guard, on evictions bent, were coming up the hill. I rushed out, mounted a ditch of sods for one more look at the little tyrant of their fields. As I stood shading my eyes with my hand and looked across at the dreaded agent, a plaintive “my lady,” bleated out at my side, drew my eyes down. It was a woman; she did not speak any more, but looked, and that look drew out my fast collapsing purse. I walked slowly into the house, determined to escape from the hills while I had the means left of escaping.

XI.

THE JAUNTING CAR—SCENERY IN DONEGAL—MOUNTAIN PASTURES—A VISIT TO GLENVEIGH CASTLE.

I have returned to pleasant Ramelton, and will write my visit to Glenveigh Castle from here. This town will always be a place of remembrance to me on account of the Christian kindness, sympathy, encouragement and counsel which I have received in it.

It was my great good fortune to get an introduction to Mr. and Miss McConnell, a brother and sister, who are merchants in this place. They are of the stock of the Covenanters, a people who have left the stamp of their individuality on the piety of the North of Ireland. Sufferers themselves from Lord Leitrim’s tyranny and greed, they sympathize with other sufferers, and sympathize with me in my work to a greater extent than any others since I left home. I can say with feeling, I was a stranger and they took me in.

I have been driven in many directions sight-seeing in their cosy little pony carriage. It is a nice little two-wheeled affair. I believe the orthodox name of it is a croydon. It carries four, who sit back to back, while the back seat turns up when not wanted. It was in quite a different trap that I rode in on my visit to Glenveigh. During my journey there we talked, my guide and I, of what constitutes a good landlord. It was a negative sort of goodness which he expected from the good landlord—”that he would not harry the tenants with vexatious office rules; that he would let them alone on their places so long as they paid their rent; that he would not raise the rent so that all grown on the land would be insufficient to pay it.” Since the Land League agitation some landlords have granted a reduction of rents, and some have even given a bag of potatoes for seed as a gift to the poorer tenants.

The road to the new castle leads through scenery of grand mountain solitudes, treeless, houseless and silent. Our road wound in a serpentine fashion among the mountains. The drains that regularly score the foggy mountain sides produce a queer effect on the landscape.

As we wound along the serpentine road nearing the castle, the hills seemed to get wilder and more solemn. No trace of human habitations, no sound of human life, treeless, bare, silent mountains, wastes of black bog, rocks rising up till their solemn heads brushed the sky,—Irish giants in ragged cloaks of heather.

At last we came in sight of Loughveigh lying cradled among the rocks, and got a glimpse of the white tower of Glenveigh Castle. There is a small skirting of wood near the castle where the silver barked birch prevails from which the glen takes its name, interspersed with holly trees, which grow here in profusion, and some dark yews, prim and stately, drawn up like sentinels to guard the demesne.

No place could be imagined more utterly alone than Glenveigh Castle. The utter silence which Mr. Adair has created seems to wrap the place in an invisible cloak of awfulness that can be felt. Except a speculative rook or a solitary crane sailing solemnly toward the mountain top, I saw no sign of life in all the glen. Owing to the windings of the road it seemed quite a while after we sighted the top of the tower before we entered the avenue which sweeps round the edge of the lake shore, and finally brought us to the castle. The castle stands on a point stretching out into the lake. Opposite, on the other side of the lake, a steep, bare, dark rock rises up to the dizzy height. It is the kind of rock that makes one think of fortified castles, and cities built for defence, that ought to be perched on a summit, but Glenveigh Castle should be a lady’s bower, instead of a fortalice. Behind the castle the mountain slopes are clothed with young trees. The castle itself is a very imposing building from the outside; grand, strong, rather repellant; inside it has a comfortless; ill-planned, unfinished appearance. The mantel-piece of white marble with the Adair arms carved on it—the bloody hand, the motto valor au mort, the supporters two angels—lies in the hall cracked in two. A very respectable Scotchman, a keeper, I suppose, showed me over the building. He must enjoy a very retired life there, for in all the country for miles there is not a human habitation except the police barrack that looms up like a tall ghost at the other end of the lake.

As we drove home through the mountains I noticed that Mukish wrapped herself in the misty folds of her veil. Soon after the storm rolled down the mountain sides and chased us home.

XII.

GOOD-BYE TO RAMELTON—ON LOUGH SWILLY—A RUINED LANDLORD—FARM STOCK VS. WAGES—A GOOD LANDLORD—A REMINDER OF CANADA—MOVILLE—PORT-A-DORUS ROCKS—ON GOOD TERMS WITH THE LANDLORD.

Left Ramelton at seven o’clock Monday morning, April 4th, the hoar- frost lying white on the deck of the little steamer. The cabin was black with smoke that would not consent to go in the way it should go, so one had to be content with the chill morning, the hoar frost and the deck.

We steamed up past the town of Rathmullen with the two deserted forts grinning at one another.

Two women of the small farming class were, like myself, sitting close to the machinery to get warm. They were gravely discussing the value of a wonderful goose owned by one of them. I do not think the owner of a fast horse could go into greater raptures or more minute description of his good points than these two ladies did about the goose. One declared that she had been offered eight shillings ($2) for the goose and had refused it. This is one proof of the high figure at which all animals, birds and beasts, common to a farm are held. Although this goose was exceptionally valuable, yet a goose is worth five shillings or $1.25.

A laborer’s wages is two shillings, without food, so it would take him two and a half days’ work to earn a goose, a day’s work to earn a hen or a duck, fifteen days’ work to earn a suckling pig, nearly four months to buy the cheapest cow; always considering that he has food to support him while so earning. I have heard poor men blamed for not raising stock. When the price of stock is considered, and that a small field for grazing purposes is rented at £8, I confess I wonder that any poor man has a cow. If he has, butter is now thirty cents per pound in this locality, and a cow is therefore very valuable.

Before I leave bonnie Ramelton behind altogether, I must say that it has been in the past fortunate in a landlord. Old Sir Annesly Stewart, lord of this fair domain at one time, invariably advised his tenants who purposed to build houses, to secure titles first, saying, “Do not trust to me, I am an old man and will soon pass away: who knows what manner of man may succeed me? I will give a free farm grant, equivalent to guarantee deed, I am told, to anyone wanting to build.” So the owners of houses in Ramelton pay ground rent, while at Milford, Kilmacrennan and Creaslach the strong hand has seized the tenants’ houses without compensation. It is said that the present owner of old Sir Annesly’s estate, who is not a lineal descendant, however, feels as Bunyan describes the two giants to feel, who can grin and gnash their teeth, but can do no more.

All this and more I hear, as the sun comes up and the frost disappears, and we sail over bright waters. One might enjoy sailing over Lough Swilly, the whole of a long summer day. Everything pleasant comes to an end, and we land at Fahan, and while waiting for the train my attention is drawn to the fair island of Inch, with its fields running up the mountain side, and the damp black rocks through which the railway has cut its way at Fahan. The train comes along, and we go whirling on past Inch, Burnfoot Bridge, and into Derry. A Presbyterian doctor of divinity is in our compartment, and some well-to-do farmers’ wives, and again and yet again the talk is of the land and the landlords. Instance after instance of oppression and wrong is gone over.

But Derry reached, I must say good-bye to some agreeable travelling companions, and take the mail car to Moville for a tour round Innishowen; Innishowen, celebrated for its poteen; Innishowen, sung about in song, told about in story.

  “God bless the dark mountains of brave Donegal, God bless royal Aielich, the pride of them all— She sitteth for ever a queen on her throne, And smiles on the valleys of green Innishowen. A race that no traitor or tyrant has known Inhabits the valleys of green Innishowen.”

From Derry to Moville is, as usual, lovely—lovely with a loveliness of its own. Fine old trees, singly, in groups, in thick plantations; beautiful fields; level clipped hedges; flowers springing everywhere, under the hedges, in little front gardens, up the banks. The land is dreadfully overrun with gentry’s residences fair enough to the eye, some of them very beautiful, but one gets to wonder, if the land is so poor that it is spueing out its inhabitants, what supports all these?

The wide Lough Foyle is in sight of the road most of the way, and a sea- bound steamer carries me away in thought to Canada. The air is nipping enough to choke sentiment in the bud. It is bitter cold, and I have the windward side of the car, and shiver at the nodding daffodils in blooming clumps at every cottage as we pass along. There are some waste unreclaimed fields, and the tide is out as we drive along, so that long stretches of bare blue mud, spotted with eruptions of sea weed, fit well with the cold wind that is enjoying a cutting sweep at us. Then we come again to trim gardens and ivy garnished walls. The road follows the curves of the Lough, and we watch the black steamers ploughing along, and the brown-sailed little boats scudding before the breeze.

The Lough is on one side, and a remarkable, high steep ridge on the other, yellow with budded whins, green with creeping ivy, and up on the utmost ridge a row of plumed pines. When I noticed their tufted tops standing out against the sky, I felt like saying, “Hurrah! hurrah for Canada!” the pines did look so Canadian looking. I soon was recalled to realize that I was in my own green Erin, and certainly it is with a cold breath she welcomes her child back again.

We knew we were nearing Moville: we saw it on a distant point stretching out into the Lough. I forgot to mention that the land began to be full of castles as we drove along the road. We passed Red Castle and White Castle and when we reached Moville, Green Castle was before us a few miles further down. Further down I wished to go, for a very distant relative was expecting me there—Mr. Samuel Sloan, formerly of the Royal Artillery, who had charge of Green Castle Fort for years; but now has retired, and lives on his own property. I like people to claim kindred with me; I like a hearty welcome, the Cead mille faille ghud, that takes you out of hotel life and makes you feel at home. I was so welcomed by my distant kinsman and his excellent wife that I felt very reluctant to turn out again to hotel life.

Next day after my arrival we got a car and made an excursion down along the coast to Port-a-dorus. I thought I had seen rocks before, but these rocks are a new variety to me. They occur so suddenly that they are a continual surprise. Along the coast, out in the water, they push up their backs in isolated heaps like immense hippopotami lying in the water, or petrified sharks with only a tall serrated back fin visible. There would occur a strip of bare brown sand, and outside of that row upon row of sharp, thin, jagged rocks like the jaw teeth of pre-Adamite monsters. In other places they were piled on one another in such a sudden way, grass growing in the crevices, ivy creeping over them, the likeness of broken towers and ruined battlements, that one could hardly believe but that they were piled there by some giant race.

When we had driven as far as the car could go we left car and driver, and scrambled over the rocks like goats. Rocks frowned above us, between us and the sky, rocks all round in black confusion. As we climbed from slippery rock to slippery rock, over long leathery coils of thick sea weed, like serpents, on, on through the Dorus to the open sea, noticing the dark passages, the gloomy caves, the recesses among the cliffs, the narrow passes, where one could turn to bay and keep off many, it was natural to think of rebels skulking here, with a price on their heads, after the ’98, or of lawless people stilling illicit poteen to hide it from the gaugers. Sheltered by the rocks of Port-a-dorus, I could enjoy the sea air flavored with essence of sea weed. We watched for a while the waves playing about the rocks and washing through the door in innocent gambols. This sportfulness did not impose upon me nor the rocks either, for the marks of the Atlantic in a rage were graven on their brows in baldness and in wrinkles.

Along the road as we drove back I noticed the white cottages of coast guardsmen who have married the maidens of the hills. They were there in their patches of ground, delving with the spade, scattering sea weed manure, the landlords here allowing them to gather all the sea weed that drifts to their shores. Decent looking men these, in their blue uniforms and thoughtful sea-beaten faces, with hardy little children around them, playing or helping. The rocks rise among the fields with the same startling abruptness as they do along the shore, looking still more like ruins of old castles. Round these rocks and among them, in every nook and cranny where there is a spadeful of earth, is delved carefully by these mountain husbandmen.

As I looked at the rocks and crags, and the workers among them, I could hardly help thinking they dearly earned all that grew upon them, although there would be no half-yearly rent hanging over them. In one little clearing some children were scattering manure. One, a sturdy little maiden, but a mere baby of about seven years of age, had a fork cut down to suit her size, and was handling it with infantile vigor, laying about her with great vim. It was such a comical sight that we stopped the car to watch her. As soon as she saw she was watched, she dropped the fork and scampered off to hide. A pretty little child, hardy and healthy and nimble as a goat.

Of course on this coast there are tall, white light houses, two of them keeping guard over the rocks. Here and there are coast guard stations, white and barrack-like, only holding blue jackets instead of red or green.

The tenants along here praised their landlords. One of them, the Marquis of Donegal, was spoken of as a merciful lord all through the hard years. He had forgiven them rent which they could not pay, and lowered the rent when they did pay, returning them some of the money, and the poor people spoke of him with warm gratitude.

I notice that the people here have a good many sheep. They are not so very wretched as the mountaineers I saw in northern Donegal. Poor they must be, to dig out a living from among these rocks and keep up a lord besides, but their lord has had a more human heart toward them than other lords over whose lands I have been.

XIII.

GREEN CASTLE—A LOOK INTO THE FORT—THE OLD AND THE NEW—MARS IN WAITING—A KIND WORD FOR THE LANDLORDS—IN TIME FOR AN EVICTION—FEMALE LAND LEAGUERS—THE “STUPID” IRISH—THE POLICE.

Went on an exploring expedition to the ruins of Green Castle. One authority told me it had been the castle of the chief of the clan Doherty, once ruling lord here in the clannish times. Another equally good authority told me it was built by De Burgo in the sixteenth century to hold the natives in awe. Whoever built it, the pride of its strength and the dread of its power have passed away forever. It is a very extensive ruin and covers a large tract of ground. It looks as if three solid, high, square buildings were set, not very regularly, end to end, the outer wall of one built in a semi-circle, and towers raised at every corner and every irregularity of the wall. Of course the roof was on the floor, turrets and towers have lost part of their height and stand, rent and ragged, tottering to their fall.

A good deal is said about the Norman style of arch and the Saxon style of arch found in old buildings. I am convinced that the arches of Green Castle, and its architecture generally, had been formed on the pattern of the rocks at Port-a-dorus and the other heaps along the coast. The same massiveness, the same wedge-like stones piled together to form arches prevail in both.

Seaward the castle sits on a steep rock, like the rock on which Quebec sits for height, but cleaner scarped, and more inaccessible I should think. To stand on the shore and look up, the castle seems perched on a dizzy height, its ruined battlements and broken towers rising up into the sky. The pretty green ivy forms a kindly hap and a garment of beauty, both for rock and ruin. Long live the ivy green.

There is a clean, smooth new fort standing beside the ruined old castle like a prosperous, solid, closely-shaven, modern gentleman beside dilapidated nobility. Its fat, broad tower looks strong enough and solid enough and grim enough for anything. Inside of the fort everything is clean, regular and orderly, as becomes a place under the care of British soldiers. The house, or quarters I suppose they should be called, are clean and bright, whitewashed (I almost said pipe-clayed), to the highest point of perfection. There are fortifications above fortifications here, and plenty of cannon pointed at an imaginary foe. There are cannon balls in scientific heaps waiting to be despatched on errands of destruction. Long may they wait.

I saw the outside of the magazine, cased over with so many feet—oh, a great number—of solid masonry, padded over that with a great many feet of earth, containing a fabulous amount of powder—tons and tons of it. Saw also the slippers which the worshippers of Mars put upon their martial feet when they enter into his temple—slippers without a suspicion of shod, hob nail or sparable, with which the heels of the worshippers of Ceres in this country are armed. If any one of these intruded on this domain sacred to Mars, he would in his indignation gift them with the feathered heels of Mercury and send them off with an abrupt message for the stars.

Had a great desire to go up to the top of the great tower and see what could be seen from it. I was informed, delicately, that in these disturbed times it was not thought best to admit strangers. The lonely martello tower on the opposite sands was pointed out to me, sitting mistress of desolations in the shadow of the rocks of MacGilligan. I was informed of the money’s worth of pile work, thousands upon thousands of pounds sterling, on which this ugly and useless tower is sitting. As I walked around the outside of the fort landward and seaward, I think it quite possible to take it. I make this spiteful remark because I did not get into the tower.

On the opposite shores of the lough at the inland end of the range that rose above and behind the martello tower where it slopes down, I saw the rocky figure of a woman, gigantic, solemn, sitting with her hands on her knees looking southward. Looking for what—for the slowly approaching time of peace, plenty and prosperity, of tardy justice and kindly appreciation? The cost of tower and fort would give Innishowen a peasant proprietary, loyal, grateful and loving, that would bulwark the lough with their breasts. Burns is true—a patriotic, virtuous populace forms the best “wall of fire around our much-loved isle.”

It is not easy to get up and leave Green Castle, and the friends there who made me feel so pleasantly at home; but hearing of evictions that were to take place away in the interior of Innishowen, I bid a reluctant good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Sloan at Green Castle, and hiring a special car set off in the direction of Carndonagh. The road lies between mountains. The valley through which the road threads its way is varied enough; in parts bog of the wildest, and barren-looking fields sloping up to as barren, rocky mountains in their tattered covering of heather, black in its wintry aspect as yet—mountain behind mountain looking over one another’s shoulders ever so many deep with knitted brows, wrinkled into deep gullies. One of these mountains (Sliabh Sneach, snow mountain) deserves its name; snowy is its cap, and snow lingers in the scarred recesses running down its shoulders. We passed fair, carefully cultured farms and farm houses, spotlessly white under the shade of trees. Other farms meeting these ran up far on the mountain side. The white houses, with which the mountain sides are plentifully dotted over, show very plainly, and are rather bare-looking and unsheltered among the dark heather. There are more dwellings on the same space in Innishowen among the hills than in the parts of the Donegal mountains where I have been. The people seem better off and more contented. Many of them have a kind word for their landlords.

In no part of Innishowen that I saw is the same wretchedness and misery apparent as I saw in “northern Donegal.” There is, there must be a less crushing set of office rules. As an instance of this, the car driver informed me that the high, utterly heath-clad mountains were allowed to the people for pasturage, with very little if anything to pay. This accounts for the number of sheep I saw trotting about with lambs at their feet, twins being the rule and even triplets far from uncommon. My informant told me that lambs in early autumn were worth from thirty-five shillings to two pounds when fit to kill. I thought this a fabulous price, but it was confirmed to me by a cattle dealer on the train from Derry to Limavady. If a small farmer had many lambs to sell, he would have material help in making up the rent. My driver had three acres of land; he told me if he owned it out and out, after he got it paid for, he could lived comfortably. He had two horses and a car, and let out his car for hire. I considered that if he got much call for his car he might do that—a special car for four or five miles costing $1.25, and if the driver is a hired man he often depends on his chance, so there must be 25 cents for him also.

It is very necessary, if one wants to see anything of the country to get off regular routes at regular times, so posting becomes a necessity.

Suddenly we became aware of a great crowd assembled at a group of small houses a little off the public road, and turned our horse’s head in that direction. There were a great many cars—well there might be, for there were seventy police on the ground, under the command of a police officer named McLeod. There was an immense crowd of people, who were entirely unarmed, not even a shillelagh among them; but if knitted brows and flashing eyes mean anything, there were men there capable, if any incident set pent-up rage free, to imitate the men of Harlech, who, with plaided breasts, encountered mail clad men. A large proportion of the crowd were women and girls, for there is a flourishing branch of the Ladies’ Land League here.

The tenants to be evicted were, some of them, tenants of the Rev. William Crawford. I was told by what seemed good authority that the tenants did not owe much rent, but were pressed just now to punish them for joining the Land League. It was believed that the tenants were able to pay, but there was a strike against what they believed exorbitant rent. The evictions were to demonstrate the landlord’s power to compel them to pay. There was a great crowd.

The policemen were formed in fours, and the crowd howled and hooted as they proceeded to the first house, McCallion’s. The policemen took up a position convenient to the house, and a few were stationed at the door. The under sheriff was on the spot.

The little cottage was neat and tidy, white-washed of course. I was not inside; I did not like to go; those who were said it was very clean and neat. A room with a few ornaments, a table and some chairs, and a kitchen with its dresser and table, and a few chairs and stools. The rent was £14 6s. The tenant stated that he objected to pay the rent on account of it being too high. The family were sad-looking, but were very quiet. A paper was presented to him to sign, acknowledging himself a tenant at will, and promising to give up the holding on demand; on signing the paper, he got a respite of six months.

The crowd then went to the house of James McCauley, when the same form was gone through and the same respite granted.

The next house was John Carruthers’. Here the crowd were very much excited, the women screeched, the men howled, and the poor constabulary came in for unlimited hooting.

The next place was the joint residence of Owen and Denis Quigley, joint tenants of a little patch. The cottage is in a gulley on the mountain side, about a mile of crooks and turns from John Carruthers’ house. The crowd was very large that was gathered round the door. As the police came up how they did howl! How they did shout, “Down with Harvey (the agent), and the Land League for ever.” Some of the women declared themselves willing to die for their country.

Another man was evicted, a tenant of Mr. Hector McNeil. The rent here was £22 3s and the valuation £18 10s. Like the rest he said he could not pay it because it was too high.

At the next place a young lady Land Leaguer delivered a speech—Mary McConigle, a rather pretty young girl. Her speech was a good deal of fiery invective, withering sarcasm and chaff for the police, who winced under it, poor fellows, and would have preferred something they could defend themselves from—bayonets, for instance—to the forked lightning that shot from the tongue and eyes of this female agitator. Whatever would be the opinion of critics about it, Mary McConigle voiced the sentiments of the people and was cheered by the men and kissed by the women. There were a good many speeches made at different times.

Father Bradley, a tall, sallow young priest with a German jaw, square and strong and firm, spoke very well, swaying his hearers like oats before the wind. He praised them, he sympathized with them, he encouraged them, putting golden hopes for the future just a little way ahead of them, but through it all ran a thread of good advice to them to be self-restrained and law-abiding. I think I rather admired Father Bradley and his speech. I had a little conversation with him afterward. He said the lands were really rented too high, too high to leave for the cultivator of the soil anything but bare subsistence in the best of years; and when bad years followed one another, or in cases of sickness coming to the head of the family, want sat down with them at once.

Mr. Cox, the representative of the Land League, was also there, and made a speech. He and some gentlemen of the press arrived in a car with tandem horses. Such grandeur impressed upon the people the belief that they were connected with law and landlords, so, in enquiring the way, they found the people very simple and ignorant. When they came where roads met they were at a loss to know how to proceed, and a countryman whom they interrogated was both lame and stupid; when he knew, however, who Mr. Cox was, he recovered the use of his limbs and brightened up in his intellect in a truly miraculous manner. There were other speeches during the forenoon of the evictions from Father O’Kane, the gentle little priest of Moville, Mr. McClinchy, the Poor Law Guardian, and others.

The greatest success of the day as to speech-making was, after all, the speech of Mary McConigle, to judge of its present effect—no one else was kissed. The gist of most of the speeches which I heard, or heard of, was, advising to hope, to firmness, to stand shoulder to shoulder, and a counsel to be law-abiding, wrapped up in a little discreet blarney.

As we drove away in the direction of Carndonagh we passed on the way a wing of the Ladies’ Land League, marching home in procession two and two. A goodly number of bareheaded sonsie lasses, wrapped in the inevitable shawl; rather good-looking, healthy and rosy-cheeked were they, with their hair snooded back, and gathered into braids sleek and shining. Brown is the prevailing color of hair among the Irish girls in the four counties I have partly passed through. These Land League maidens reminded me of other processions of ladies which I have seen marching in the temperance cause. They were half shame-faced, half laughing, clinging to one another as if gathering their courage from numbers.

Carndonagh, which we reached at last, is another clean, excessively whitewashed little town, straggling up a side hill, with any amount of mountains looming up in the near distance.

A little after we arrived the Carndonagh contingent of the police on duty at the evictions came driving in, horses and men both having a wilted look. The drivers came in for some abuse as they took their horses out of the cars on the street. One old man could not at all express what he felt, though he tried hard to do so, and screeched himself hoarse in the attempt.

The police, as they alighted down off the cars, made for their barracks— a tall white house standing sentry at a corner. As one entered, a little child toddled out to meet him with outstretched arms. He stopped to kiss and pet the child, looking fatherly and human. I am sure the little kiss was sweet and welcome after the howls and hoots of the crowd and the sarcastic eloquence of Miss McConigle. I pity the police; they are under orders which they have to obey. I have never heard that they have delighted in doing their odious duty harshly, and the bitter contempt of the people is, I am sure, hard to bear.

XIV.

THE PEASANTRY—DEARTH OF CAR DRIVERS—A PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER’S OPINION OF THE LAND LAWS—PADDY’S LAZINESS—ILLICIT WHISKEY.

After dinner at Cardonagh, went down to the establishment of Mrs. Binns, an outlying branch of the great factory of Mr. Tillie, of Derry. Saw the indoor workers, many in number and as busy as bees. Some of them were very, very young. Mrs. Binns informed me that the times were harder in this part of the country than a mere passer-by would ever suspect; that the clothing to be worn when going out was so carefully kept, from the ambition to look decent, that they appeared respectable, while at the same time sorely pinched for food. The employment given in this factory is all that stands between many households and actual want. The machines here are not run by steam, but by foot power. I noticed weary limbs that were beating time to work! work! work! Mrs. Binns, a kind motherly woman, spoke earnestly of the industry, trustworthiness, self-denial, loyal affection for parents, and general kindliness that characterized the Irish peasantry.

This testimony to the qualities of the Roman Catholic peasantry has been the universal testimony of every employer who spoke to me on the subject. I have met with those who spoke of the native Irish, as they spoke of the poor of every persuasion, as lazy, shiftless and extravagant. These people talked from an outside view, and looked down from a certain height upon their poorer neighbors. Invariably I found the most favorable testimony from those who came into nearest contact with these people. As far as personal danger is concerned, having neither power nor inclination to oppress the poor of my people, I feel free to walk through the most disturbed districts as safely as in the days of Brian Boru.

To come back from that stately king down the centuries to the present time, I had intended to go from Carndonagh to Malin, and afterward to Buncrana, and from thence to Derry, having nearly gone round Innishowen. But this was not to be. Regular mail cars did not run on the days or in the direction in which I wished to go. I deliberated with myself a little, heard the comments of the people on the events of the day—the regrets that a greater force had not gathered and a greater demonstration been made. The women especially who had been forced to remain at home on the occasion of to-day regretted it very much. My car- man must return home to plough on the morrow; could not by any means go any further with his car just at present. I do think he is afraid. Another car in this little place is not to be had in the present state of police demand, for they are going out for further evictions on the morrow.

I retained the car and driver I had brought with me, and returned to Moville. My driver, a rather timid lad, told me he would not like to drive the police to these evictions and then return after dark the same way; he would be afraid. He would not drive the police, he said, on any account; he thought it wrong to do so. I noticed that, on pretence of showing me more of the country, he brought me back to Moville another way. Whether he thought I was likely to be taken for Mrs. Doherty, of Redcastle, who was one of the evicting landholders at the present time, or only for a suspicious character, I cannot say.

I was very glad afterward that I had not been able to carry out my original intention of going to Malin, for some of the evictions there were of a most painful character. It was better that I was spared the sight. In the case of a Mr. Whittington, whose residence, once the finest in that locality, is now sorely dilapidated, his wife, with a new born babe in her arms, and a large family of little children around her, were evicted. Is there not something very wrong when such things can be? Of course, when the bailiff carried out the furniture to the the roadside he was jeered and hooted at.

All the sympathy of the press is on the side of the landlords, and none but the very poor, who have suffered themselves, have pity, except of a very languid kind, for scenes such as this.

There are evictions and harassments flying about, as thick as a flight of sparrows through Innishowen at present.

At Moville I had the pleasure of an interview with the Rev. Mr. Bell, the Presbyterian minister of that place. He has studied the subject of the land laws in general and as they affected his own people in particular. Mr. Bell admits that there is great injustice perpetrated under the Land Law as it stands; that the Land Law of 1870 gave relief in many instances, and was intended to give more, but that numerous clauses in the bill made it possible to evade it, and it was evaded by unscrupulous men in many cases. “The necessity of a large measure of land reform, we admit,” he says; “we must get this by constitutional means. Real wrongs must be redressed by agitating lawfully, persistently, continually and patiently, till they are redressed constitutionally. We must remain steadfast and never give in, but never transgress the law in any case or take it into our own hands. The Parnell agitation goes beyond this, and when they travel out of the safe path of using constitutional means, into something that leads to confiscation of property and robbery of landlords, and a concealed purpose, or only half concealed, of separation from England, we cannot follow them there.”

Mr. Bell instanced many cases of gradual prosperity and attainment of wealth among his flock, but they were exceptional cases, and there were better farms in the case for one thing, and leasehold tenure for another, combining with their industry and thrift to account for the success.

I had conversation with another gentleman of this congregation, who, like many others, believed firmly in Paddy’s laziness and carelessness at home. I am very tired of these statements, for any one can see the thrifty way mountain sides, scraps amid rocks, strips of land inside the railway fences, and every spade breadth is cultivated. It is not fair for a man who has means to judge a poorer man from the outside view of his case. There was a strange inconsistency in this gentleman’s opinions, for while he declared laziness to be the cause of poverty and not the oppression of rent raised above value, yet when peasant proprietorship was mentioned as a remedy, he declared he would not take the farms as a gift and try to raise a living out of them.

I heard some lament the prevalence of stilling illicit whiskey in Innishowen. The excuse for doing so was to raise money for help in the prevailing poverty. They said the manufacture on the hills, whiskey being so easy to be had, nourished drinking customs among men and women alike, and what was made one way was lost one hundred-fold in another. A priest, recently deceased, a certain Father Elliott, had devoted talents of no mean order and great loving-kindness to the work of stemming this great evil. At his funeral there were between three and four thousand members of the temperance bands, which were the fruit of his labors. He died of typhus fever, and I heard his name mentioned with respectful regret by all creeds and classes.

XV.

A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST—THE DERRY OF TO-DAY—PURCHASING TENANT RIGHTS—NIBBLING AT THE TENANT RIGHT—INSTANCES OF HARDSHIP—”LIBERTY OF CONTRACT.”

At Moville I heard that there were some who had become peasant proprietors by purchasing out and out their holdings, and that they had bitterly repented of so doing; for they had tied a millstone about their necks. I was advised to go to Limavady and see the Rev. Mr. Brown, who had made the purchase for these people, and knew how the bargain was turning out.

I was still at Moville. I was to return to Derry by boat, a much preferable mode of travelling to the post car. I mistook the wharf. There are two, one hid away behind some houses, one at the Coast Guard Station standing out boldly into the water. I walked over to the most conspicuous wharf and had the pleasure of hearing the starting bell ring behind me, and seeing the Derry boat glide from behind the sheltering houses and sail peacefully away up the Foyle like a black swan. Why do they paint all the steamers black in this green Erin of ours? Well, as my belongings were on board, there was no help for it but to take a special car and go after my luggage, a long, cold drive to Derry. So much for being stupid.

I have been in Derry for some time. At different times I have tried to admire it, and it is worthy of admiration; but some way it is a little difficult to think up thoughts as one ought to think them. Thoughts will not come to order. Besides, Derry “is an old tale and often told.”

Still, it is an event in one’s life to go round the old Derry walls. Owing to the kindness of Mr. Black, I have had that sensation. The gateways, without gates now of course, look like the arches of a bridge, and the walls like streets hung up out of the way. When one looks through a loop hole or over a parapet, there does a faint remembrance come up, like a ghost, of the stirring times that have wrapped themselves in the mist of years, and slid back into the past. I stood over the gates—this one and that one—trying to look down the Foyle toward the point where the ships lay beyond the boom, and to fancy the feelings of the stout-hearted defenders of Derry, as they watched with hungry eyes, and waited with sinking hearts but unflinching courage on the relief that the infamous Colonel Kirk kept lying, a tantalizing spectacle, inactive, making no effort of succor. But the houses are thick outside the walls, and shut up the view and choke sentiment. Of course I was in the cathedral, and looked at the rich memorial windows that let in subdued light into the religious gloom. Saw the shell which was thrown over with terms of capitulation, sitting in a socket on a pillar in the cathedral like a dove on its nest. It might tell a tale of what it saw in its flight through the air from one grim bank to the other, but it maintains a blank silence.

Of course I looked up at Walker on his monument, and went home to read Professor Witherow’s book on the siege, which was kindly presented to me by Mr. Black, and to listen to people who scruple not to say that the monument, like the London monument of the great fire as described by Pope,

“Like a tall bully lifts its head and lies.”

The moderns are plucking some of the feathers of glory from the wings fame gave to Walker. That is the way the fame of one generation is served by another.

Derry seems a very prosperous old maid, proud of her past, proud of her present. The great industry of Derry is shirt making. Was over the largest factory, that of Mr. Tillie, whose branch factory I saw at Carndonagh. This factory employs about twelve hundred hands. These work people were more respectably dressed than any operatives I have seen in Ireland. They all wore bonnets or hats; the mill people at Gilford and Ballymena went bareheaded or with a shawl thrown over the head. In the present woeful depression of the linen trade, it is cheering to look at this busy hive of industry. The shirts are cut out by machinery, the button holes are machine made and the machines are run by steam, a great relief to the operatives. This industry has prospered in Mr. Tillie’s hands. He is also a landed proprietor. His own residence, Duncreggan, is very beautiful, and the grounds about it are laid out in fine taste.

There are now many other factories in Derry, but this is the largest. There was an effort to begin ship-building here, but it was defeated by the parsimony of the London companies, which are extensive landlords in Derry, and would not give a secure title to the necessary land; so Belfast is the gainer and Derry the loser by so much.

Was a Sunday in Derry. She has got faithful watchmen on her spiritual walls. Visited a large living Sabbath-school in connection with Mr. Rodgers’ church. Had the privilege of a class, and found that the little maidens had an appreciative knowledge of their Bibles. I hear that there is considerable religious earnestness in Derry, especially among the young men.

From Derry I ran down to Limavady to have an interview with the Rev. Mr. Brown anent the purchases made by tenants and how they were getting along afterward. Went down in the evening train. Behold, there was no room for me in the inn, and there was no other hotel in the little town. This was not so pleasant. Had a letter of introduction to a person in the town; made a voyage of discovery; found out his residence, and he was not at home. Obtained a guide and went to the Rev. Mr. Brown’s—a good bittie out in the environs; found him just stepping on a car to leave for a tenant right meeting. Got a recommendation from him to a private house where I might, could, would or should get accommodation for the night, and made an appointment with Mr. Brown for the morrow.

I may here remark that the residence of the Rev. Mr. Brown is both commodious and elegant. As a rule the ministry are comfortably and even stylishly housed in the North.

The next day had an interview with Mr. Brown, a frank, able and communicative man. Under his agency the people had bargained for a part of the Waterford property from the Marquis of that ilk. “The Marquis was a good and generous landlord; all his family, the Beresfords, were good landlords.” I had heard that said before. There were reasons why the Marquis was willing to sell, and the tenants were eager to buy. It was a hard pull for some of them to raise the one-third of the purchase money. They paid at the rate of thirty years’ rent as purchase money. They are paying now a rent and a half yearly, but hope is in the distance and cheers them on. So if they have a millstone about their necks, as my Moville friend insinuated, it will drop off some day and leave them free for ever. Some of them have already paid the principal.

The Marquis got such a high price for his land that he only sold two- thirds of the estate, retaining the rest in his own hands, and raising the rents. Some two or three of the purchasers had a good deal of difficulty in raising their payments, but Mr. Brown has no doubt they will eventually pull through.

I heard again and again, before I met with Mr. Brown, of Limavady, that it was about thirty years since the tenants of the rich lands of the Ulster settlement began to feel the landlords nibbling at their tenant right. The needy or greedy class of landlords discovered a way to evade the Ulster custom, by raising the rents in such a way as to extinguish the tenant right in many places. For instance, a tenant wished to sell his interest in a certain place. The agent attended the sale to notify parties wishing to buy that rent would be doubled to any new tenant and there was no sale, for the place was not worth so much. The tenant’s right was more than swallowed up by the increase of rent. This was done so successfully that were it not for the Act of 1870, there would be no trace of the Ulster custom left.

It has been the custom from the plantation times to let the tenants build, clear, fence, improve, drain, on lands let low because they were bare of improvement. The difference between what the land was worth when the tenant got it, and what generations of thrifty outlay of time and the means made it was the tenant’s property, and the Ulster custom allowed him to sell his right to his improvements to the highest bidder. On some lands the tenant right was much more than the rent, as it should be when it was made valuable by years and years of outlay; but landlords, pinched for money, or greedy for money, naturally grudged that this should be, and set themselves by office rules to nip and pick the tenant right all away.

One great difference between the men of the lowland farms and the Donegal Celt of the hills is that they have felt and treasured up the remembrance of injustice since the settlement. Their lowland neighbors never began to sympathize with them until they knew how it felt themselves. In speaking of injustice and cruelty toward the hill tenants, I was often told, “Oh, these things are of the past,” they occurred thirty years ago. How philosophically people can endure the miseries they do not feel. The sponge has not been created that will wipe off the Donegal mountains the record of deeds that are graven there.

To come back to tenant right, an office rule was made giving the out- going tenant three years’ rent, in some cases five years’ rent for his claim on the farm, and “out you go.” Mr. McCausland, whose estate joins Limavady, gave three years’ rent. Since the Land Act of 1870, and since the eyes of the world have been turned on the doings of Ireland, he has allowed something more for unexhausted manuring. He has also advanced money to some extent for improvements, adding five per cent, not to the loan, but to the rent, thus making the interest a perpetual charge on the property. Landlords in Donegal did the same with the money they got from Government to lend to the people—got it at one and a half per cent from Government, re-lent it at five per cent, making the interest a perpetual rent charge.

  “When self the wavering balance shakes ‘Tis rarely right adjusted.”

The tenants, I think, are naturally averse to borrowing money which brings interest in perpetuity over them, and enables the landlord to say, “I made the improvements myself.” Into these improvements enters the tenant’s labor, as well as the perpetual interest.

A good man, a minister, not Mr. Brown, reasoned with me that the landlord was sleeping partner with the tenant, that he gave the land, the tenant the labor, and both should share the profit of improvement. If the land was rent free I could see that partnership just, but as long as a man paid the rent value of the land as he got it, the improvement made by his labor and means through the slow years should be his own. I might think differently if I had an estate with daughters to portion, sons to establish in life, a castle to build, a fine demesne to create, or even a gambling wife or horse-racing sons tugging at my purse strings.

Whatever good and sufficient reasons may be found for skinning eels alive, nothing will ever reconcile the eels to it.

The companies of Derry, who are great landlords there, the Fishmonger’s company, the Mercers, &c., are following suit with the rest in evading the Ulster Custom. It is thought, as these companies never observed the conditions upon which these grants were made to them, but held them merely to make money of them, they should be compelled to sell to the tenants. I agree with this. Still, if the same rule of non-fulfilment of obligation were laid to private landlords there would be compulsion of sale there too. The companies on the whole get the name of being better landlords than private individuals, and are more liberal to their tenants. In cases of hardship the managers for the companies, not the companies themselves, get the blame.

The great complaint is the landlord’s power to raise the rents as often as he pleases. When a landlord appoints a valuator, the latter understands what he is to do and why he was appointed. The tenant has no say in this matter. Where is the freedom of contract of which so much is said? This arbitrary power of raising the rent at will irresponsibly and thus confiscating the tenant’s rights, the people who are affected by the wrong with one voice declare must cease to exist.

Instances were given me by Mr. Brown, who, by the way, had just come home from giving his testimony before the Bessborough Commission. A man named Hamilton Stewart was put out of his place, receiving three years’ rent as compensation. His predecessors had bought the tenant right of the place; he had improved it after it fell into his hands. All his rights, including the purchase money paid, except the three years’ rent, were confiscated.

Another case he mentioned as happening on the estate of one Major Scott. A tenant, one John Loughrey, was lost in the river. His widow died in a few months afterward, leaving two little boys absolutely orphans. Their uncle, who lived near, offered to manage the place for the boys and to pay the rent till one of them came of age. Answer—”No, we cannot allow minors to hold land on our estate.” Very much against the wishes of the uncle he was obliged to fall in with this landlord’s arrangement, and five years’ rent were laid down as a settlement of the case by Mr. King, the agent. The boys’ uncle thought it a great hardship to have to give up the place the boys’ father had improved, for he was a thrifty man, had some money, and was able to improve. When the five years’ rent was counted out on the table, Mr. King said to the boys’ uncle, “That is the money coming to the boys, count it.” He counted it and said, “This is five years’ rent certainly.” “Now,” said Mr. King, “there is a bad house upon the farm; it is not in as good repair as I would like and I would like a good house upon it. I will take £100 of this money and with it I will build a house upon the place.” He took £100 of the five years’ rent and built a house that was never inhabited. The children never got this money back. This case was referred to again and again in public meetings and other places till Mr. King was obliged to make an effort to explain it away. The children’s uncle was rich, and they thought that, therefore, the orphans need not get all the money. Mr. Brown knew this case intimately, as the drowned man, his widow, and orphans were members of his congregation. This is liberty of contract.

The argument that the children had relatives comparatively rich was the same argument as Captain Dopping used as a reason for not restoring what was robbed from the Buchanan children—their relatives were rich and therefore they did not need it. Now, what person who was touched with a trial like this would not consider this freedom of contract absolute robbery. In the case of the Loughrey children there had been no agreement or shadow of an agreement with the drowned man to keep up the house, and the house was as good as any of the neighboring houses—a good substantial farm house. This case was brought before the Bessborough Commission.

XVI.

REMEMBRANCES OF “THE LONG AGO”—A SOAP AND WATER REMEDY NEEDED—SPOILING FOR A FIGHT.

After I had seen Mr. Brown, and heard how well his new proprietors were getting along, and had given attention to the complaints of those who were not yet peasant proprietors, I made a sudden determination to run over to Grace Hill for Easter and rest among my ain folk. Was not very well and as home-sick for Canada as an enthusiastic Irishwoman could afford to be.

Found a package of letters and papers from home awaiting me and felt better after reading them. Made an effort for old times’ sake to be at all the meetings on Easter Sunday and enjoyed them all, seasoned with early recollections. The quaint Litany held heartfelt petitions for me. The love feast with its tea and buns so noiselessly served, brought back many a pleasant memory. Even the minister’s face, son of parents much beloved, had a special power of recalling other days. I felt as if in a dream when I sat in Grace Hill church among the people, in the place to which I have so often desired to return. I have felt as if, were I to turn my head as I used naughtily to do when a child, I should see the dear Miss Borg, sitting on the foot-board—a raised seat running along the front wall of the church when it had an earthen floor—her sweet face tinted with autumn red, bearing sweetly and graciously the burden of consecrated years. What a spot of memories is the “God’s Acre” on the hill to me, surrounded by solemn firs, shaded by spreading sycamores.

Rose up in the morning and left Grace Hill behind me once more. Passed into Derry and found that veteran maiden lady quite well, with a small stir on her streets caused by the Land League meeting. Heard no one speak of it at all, no more than if it had not been, while I waited some hours for the Omagh train.

This train, like all third-class trains, which I have yet seen, including one second-class train, by which I travelled a little way, was extremely filthy. One would think a little paint or even soap and water were contraband of war as far as these cars are concerned. After steaming a short distance the solitary lamp went out for want of oil. When the cars were stopped at the next station we were told to go into another compartment that had a lamp—they never seemed to think for a moment of replenishing with oil the lamp in the compartment where we were. The compartment into which we were moved was pretty full already. A good many were smoking strong tobacco, some were far gone in the tipsy direction, one of whom was indulging very liberally in profanity. I was the only woman in the compartment; but my countrymen, as always, were polite, inconveniencing themselves for my accommodation. Even the profane person made a violent effort to curb his profanity when he noticed me.

A good many of these persons were going to the Land League meeting. One respectable man spoke to me of the high rate of land and the miseries of the poor, but acknowledged that there were wealthy farmers in Tyrone. He recommended me to a nice quiet hotel near the railway, but it being late and I feeling a little strange, went to the best hotel in the town, the “White Hart,” where I was received with uncommon kindness and attention, and allotted a quiet, comfortable bedroom away from the noise of the street.

In preparation for the Land League meeting the next day the following lively placard was posted in Omagh:

“A general public meeting, with bands and banners, of the Tyrone Orange Leaguers against the murderous, blood-stained, seditious Popish League, commonly called the Irish National Land League, will be held in Omagh on Thursday, April the 21st, 1881, to consider the terms of the Land Bill, and transact other necessary business. A protest will be made at this meeting against the introduction of the principle among the Protestant people of Tyrone that it is good to murder Protestants under the guise of a Land Reform cry. The Land Leaguers have proved themselves murderers and robbers! Why allow the system to be introduced into Tyrone? They are boasted rebels. The swindler Parnell stated in his speech in Cincinnati, ‘We will not be satisfied till we have destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland bound to England.’ It is now sought to have this disloyal society and association of murderers established in Omagh. They tried in Dungannon first, but the Orangemen frustrated the design. The Orangemen of Omagh and neighborhood know well how to shoulder their rifles. Let them be ready. Trust in God and keep your powder dry! No peace with Rome. No surrender. By order of the Committee.”

This proclamation was pulled down by the police, but people seemed to expect a faction fight. There was a great force of constabulary in town, and military also. It was pointed out to me how skilfully they were posted, the military entirely out of sight, but in readiness. There were twos and threes here and there, lounging about apparently, but with eyes alert and watchful.

XVII.

HONORED AS MISS PARNELL—A LAND LEAGUE MEETING—AN EXPENSIVE DOCUMENT— THE LAND LAW DISCUSSED.

In the morning a good many police were scattered about the corners, but no massing of them. All the fiery placards had completely disappeared. I was a little astonished at the scrupulous courtesy with which I was treated, a guide volunteering to show me the place of meeting. Found out afterward that when I arrived at the hotel I was mistaken for Miss Parnell, and felt highly flattered. Omagh was quiet enough; no more stir than would be likely for a fair or market day. No sign or sight of a counter Orange demonstration. The meeting was held in a field on the outskirts of the town, on the property of a gentleman, whose name I forget, but who was described as a very good, kind and considerate landlord.

On the highest ground in the field a rather slenderly put up platform was erected, while farther back and lower down a large tent was pitched for the banquet which was to follow the speechifying. The platform, slightly railed in and protected by a primitive gate, was furnished with two tables and a number of chairs. As soon as I came near the platform a gentleman opened the little gate which admitted into the sacred enclosure and invited me to a seat on the platform. I accepted gladly, for I was very tired. Not knowing the mistake under which the people labored, I wondered at the respectful attention that was directed to me. Groups of people came and stared at me through the board enclosure, to go away and be succeeded by other groups, mostly ladies of the country- bred kind. Finally I drew my chair to the back of the platform to be more out of the way, and sat there watching the crowd gather.

The crowd was assembling slowly in dozens and half dozens straggling along, no great enthusiasm apparent at all. The great majority wore corduroys of a great many varieties of color and states of preservation or dilapidation. The irrepressible small boys were clustering over the slight fence that surrounded the platform, crawling under it, roosting on top of it, squatting round my chair and smiling up at me as if they expected a universal pat on the head.

The time for the meeting arrived, and with it a squad of reporters, who monopolised one table, all the chairs but one, and proceeded to make themselves at home, producing their pencils and note books in a business-like manner. The crowd clustered at the back of the platform began to fling jokes from one to the other about penny-a-liners. Two policemen, one tall, blonde, pleasant featured, one short, dark and rosy-cheeked, arrived next with their note books and pencils. There were a few more policemen at the entrance gate into the field, one soldier standing carelessly on the road, an unconcerned spectator to all appearance.

Presently the straggling crowd began to concentrate round the platform. The women who were peeping into the tent and the men who were helping them forsook that pleasing occupation and made for the platform at a double quick trot. Many voices said, “yon’s them.” Looking along the road toward the town black with the coming crowd, I saw a waggonette drawn by four horses, gallant greys, coming along at a spanking pace.

The crowd around me disputed whether the driver was able to bring his four in hand safely through the rather narrow gate, which involved a sharp turn, but he did, and drew up inside with a flourish, to the great admiration of all. The gentlemen came on the platform, Mr. Dillon, a half dozen or so of priests and some other gentlemen. There was a goodly number of people assembled; still not as many as I expected to see. There were not many thousands at all. The faces of the crowd were not by any means so fine as the faces of the Donegal peasantry. They were mixed faces, all but a few seemed simple country people, some of the heavy, low English type, some keen and Scotch, some low Irish. The women were not so fair skinned and rosy as the mountain lasses. There were a good many ladies and gentlemen present. I do not think all who were present were in favor of the Land League, by the remarks which reached me, but the large majority were. As none of the gentlemen speakers spoke to me when they came on the platform, I lost my prestige at once.

The first speakers, not accustomed to pitch their voices so as to be heard by a crowd, were quite inaudible where I sat. On the contrary, every word Mr. Dillon said was distinct and clearly audible. He has a clear voice, pleasant to listen to after those who preceded him. He is tall, slim, rather good-looking, very black hair, which he wears long, and which was so smooth and shining that it made him look like an Indian, and truly he is as well made, lithe and nervous-looking as one. His manner is cold and clear and self-repressed; not a word but tells. His speech was exactly the same as he gave in Derry. He did not approve of the Land Bill—and I had thought it so good—but he pointed out a great many defects in it. Faults I never should have suspected to be there, were picked out and brought to view.

A very telling speech was made by a dark, thin, wiry man named O’Neil. His speech dealt with the hardships which they had passed through owing to excessive rents and hard years of poor crops. He spoke what the people felt, for many a voice chorused, “True for you; we know that well.” In the middle of the speeches the platform prepared to break down, but only collapsed in the middle and fell half way and stopped. Two of the priests spoke also, and spoke well to judge by the people’s applause. No one spoke in favor of the Bill.

I thought as I sat there of the remark made to me by a Catholic gentleman of Innishowen, who said: “The Irish people have hoped in vain so long, have been deceived so often, that it is hard now to win their confidence.” The more I move through the country the more I believe this. Mr. Dillon was the idol of the assembly, that was easy to be seen. A few words with him, a touch of his hand, was an honor. He apologized for Mr. Parnell’s absence, who being elsewhere could not possibly be at Omagh that day. I left before the meeting was over.

As far as I hear from the Common people themselves, they think the law and the administrators of it sympathize with the landlords only, and let that sympathy influence their decisions. They are, therefore, very averse to go to law to obtain what they consider justice from a landlord.

Another great complaint that I hear again and again is the expense attendant on a transfer of property. As an instance, a little property of the value of a hundred pounds changed hands when I was in Ramelton. The deed of transfer was a parchment as big as a table-cloth, and cost £10.

XVIII.

IRISH HUSBANDRY—A DESCRIPTION OF LORD LEITRIM—ABOVE AND BELOW THE SALT—LANDLORD AND TENANT

The valley through which the railway passes from Derry to Omagh is one long stretch of beauty, fertility and careful tillage. Every field, whatever its shape, is cultivated up to the fence and into the corners with a mathematical nicety. The regular fields, the green separating ditches with their grassy covering, the hills cultivated to the very tops, and the trees growing here and there all over made a landscape that should delight the heart of a farmer. Whenever I come to careless husbandry, I will be sure to record it. I have seen nothing of the kind yet on mountain side or valley. I do not wish to fling a rose-colored veil over everything because it is Irish.

The country is simply beautiful—no works can do justice to it. Still there are some things one could find fault with freely. Between Omagh and Strabane I took a third-class car. It was dirty, of course, horribly dirty, but, as Mrs. McClarty said, “the dirt was well dried on,” and it was almost empty, so I entered. At a way station a great crowd, great compared to the size of the compartment, came surging in. Every man had a clay pipe, every man had a supply of the most villanous tobacco. I do not wonder the Government taxes such tobacco, that it has to be sold by license—some would not grieve if the duty were prohibitory.

Soon matches were struck, a tiny flash and a fusilade of reports like toy pistols—all matches here go off like that. Every man began to smoke for dear life, and smoked furiously with great smacks and puffs. And the floor! when the mud of many days that had hardened and dried there was moistened again by tobacco juice! Soon the compartment was filled with smoke, there was literally nothing else to breathe. The car began to heave about like a ship at sea. Fortunately we stopped at a station and some on board got out, so that there was an opportunity of getting close to the door and letting down the glass and a faint was prevented.

It was not pleasant to sit there craning one’s neck round to breathe at the window, for the seats ran lengthways of the carriage, and keeping all crushed up to keep out of the way of a cross fire of tobacco juice from the opposite benches. Made a vow there and then against third-class carriages.

When the train stopped at Strabane was quite dizzy and sick and took refuge in the first ‘bus, which ‘bus belonged to that superfine establishment, the “Abercorn Arms.” Was informed that the late Lord Leitrim had stopped there a day or two before his death on his way to Manorvaughan. “Stopped in this very room,” said my informant. “He left here on the Sabbath day in his own carriage for Manorvaughan; he had not much reverence for the day. He was a very old man, walked lame with one leg, had a fiery face and very white hair. I did think they might have respected his gray hair. He had not long to live anyway, they might have spared him.” He rested one day at Manorvaughan, the next day he set out for Milford and was killed.

“Why did they murder him?”

“They said he was a cruel landlord. Yes, a very bad landlord they said he was. He was very impatient to get away from here that morning. He little thought he was hurrying to his death.”

From Strabane took the Finn Valley Railway, and went off on a voyage of discovery to Rusky.

From Killiegordon took a first class ticket, as the distance was short, to see what first-class passengers enjoyed. There is a great difference indeed between first and third. Third-class is a penny a mile, first is two pence half-penny; third is simply horrible with filth, first is as luxurious as carpets, curtains, cushions, spring seats and easy chairs can make it. There is not nearly so much difference in price, as difference in style. As a first-class passenger I was assisted in and out, and the door held open for me; as third or second-class one can get in or out as they please for all the officials care. There is a very wide difference in every respect between those above and those below the line which separates “gentry from commonality.” Of course I am using local words. Gentry are expected to have a well-filled and an open hand. If they have not both, what business have they to set up for gentry? Popular opinion thinks of them as Carleton’s hedge scholar expressed himself, “You a gentleman? No, nor one of your breed, seed or generation ever was, you proctoring thafe you!”

Now the line of demarcation between the people trained by ages to stand with open hand expecting a gift, and those to whom a gift is an insult is hard to find sometimes. A young lad, a sharp boy, had been my guide to two or three places and carried my bag for me. I offered him pay, for pay had been expected from me by every one with whom I came in contact from the moment I landed. Tears came into the poor lad’s eyes with mortified anger. One feels bad to hurt anyone’s feelings, and between those who have a desire for a gift and are hurt if they do not get one, and those to whom offering a gift is the worst form of insult, one is sometimes puzzled to know what to do.

I find a very strong feeling in some places where I have been in connection with the contempt which some owners of the soil feel for the cultivators of it. A landlord—lately an attorney in a country town— who has succeeded, most unexpectedly, to a great estate, takes no pains to conceal the contempt in which he holds his tenants. He sauntered into a shop, also the post-office of the town, and in the course of conversation informed them that his tenantry were a lazy lot of blackguards. Two of his tenants were present standing in the shop. He did not know them, but they knew him. To the eyes of an outsider like myself the tenants seemed the more gentlemanly of the two parties. This gentleman, it was explained to me by his tenants, was not a specimen of the usual landlord, who, whatever the fault of the land law might be which they believed in and ruled their conduct by, they were gentlemen who would not degrade themselves by such an utterance.

The idea is brought forward to me again and again that the best landlord clings to the power to oppress, absolute unquestioned power to do as he likes with his tenantry though he might never exercise it. The Protestants of Derry, Donegal, Tyrone, farmers with whom I have had the opportunity to converse, all refer to this fact. The good landlord considers it an infringement of his rights as a landlord, to take away a power he is too kind to use, although he will admit that some have used it unmercifully.

A recent speech of Lord Lifford’s complains that things are now claimed as a right that used to be regarded as a favor on the part of the landlords. There is a strong, deep feeling among the best of the tenants against such utterances as these and the spirit behind them.

XIX.

LANDLORD AND TENANT—THE LAND QUESTION FROM BOTH SIDES.

As far as I have travelled yet, in the mountains of Donegal, through Derry, Antrim, Tyrone and Down, I have seen no trace of what Dr. Hepworth lays to the charge of the Irish—laziness, never cultivating a holding up to the line or into the corners. What excited my wonder again and again, is the fact that up to the boundary ditch or hedge, into the corners, up to the very edge of the rocks the tillage extended. I saw men dig up little fields entirely with the spade among the sudden rocks of Port-a-dorus. Some of the patches a horse with a plough attached could not turn in, yet they were tilled; there was not a spade’s breadth left in any corner. And they paid high rent for this ground, rocks and all. They fell behind in famine time—not so very far—and humbly grateful were they for the help that came from outside in that time, and a mercy that forgave a little of the rent. I saw men digging on the mountain-side on the Leitrim estate, and wondered how they could keep their footing. As far as I have seen, it is a slander on the people to say they are averse to labor. On the contrary, they are very laborious, and singularly uncareful for their personal comfort. I heard a fellow- countryman at Moville talk of Paddy’s laziness. I pointed out to him how carefully mountain-side and rough bog were cultivated. He admitted it, but spoke of want of rotation of crops and absence in many instances of fall-ploughing. This, I humbly consider, is want of skill, or maybe want of means—not laziness.

Every one says that the country depends almost solely on agriculture; agriculture rests on farm labor; farm labor pays rents high enough to produce periodical famine. The £90,000 rental of one estate, the £40,000 of another, is all produced by these lazy people. If there were any spot so rocky, so wild, that it was under no rent, one might think them lazy if they failed to make a living out of it, but they make a living and help to support a landlord, too, out of these rocks and morasses. I hope to see life farther south, and see if these lazy people exist there. They do not exist in the north so far as I have seen.

It seems to me that the tenant-farmers have been out of sight altogether. Now they have waked up, and there is no power to put them to sleep again. I am more than astonished to find not one intelligent person to defend the Land laws. There is no possibility of understanding previous apathy from an American standpoint unless we think of the thoughtlessness with which the Indians have been treated. The thoughtless landlord has looked upon his own needs according to the requirements of his station, not thinking whether the tenant could pay so much or not, and, whether, if the rent was raised, it left the means of existence behind. I met with very estimable people, who were taking a very high rent; higher than any man could honestly pay, and at the same time laughing at the poverty-stricken devices of their tenants. They did not think.

It must be borne in mind that there was a famine in the land but a short time ago, that these thousands and thousands of people who are under eviction now have no money and no place to go to but the ditch-back, or the workhouse. The workhouse means the parting with wife and children. These things must be taken into consideration, to understand the exasperation of mind which is seething through the whole country.

I do not think the people here, generally speaking, have any idea of the amount or intensity of hidden feeling. I confess it frightens me. I stayed in a country place for a week. I boarded with a family who were much better off than their neighbors. They were favorites at the office of the landlord, and paid him their rent punctually. I often sat at the kitchen hearth as neighbor after neighbor came in in the evening and told in Irish the tale of some hard occurrence that had taken place. I understood enough to guess the drift of the story. I understood well the language of eye and clinched hand with which my host listened. The people who suffered were his people; their woe was his; he felt for them a sympathy of which the landlord never dreamed; but he never said a word. I thought as I sat there—silent too—that I would not like to be that landlord and, in any time of upheaval, lie at the mercy of this favorite tenant of his.

They talk of agitators moving the people! Agitators could not move them were it not that they gave voice to what is in the universal heart of the tenantry.

A gentleman connected with the press said to me to-day: “The fact is that any outrage, no matter how heart-rending, committed by a landlord upon his tenantry is taken little notice of—none by Government—but when a tenant commits an outrage, no matter how great the provocation, then the whole power of the Government is up to punish.”

One great trouble among the people is, they cannot read much, and they feel intensely; reading matter is too dear, and they are too poor to educate themselves by reading. What they read is passed from hand to hand; it is all one-sided, and “who peppers the highest is surest to please.”

The ignorance of one class, consequent upon their poverty, the insensibility of another class, are the two most dangerous elements that I notice. It is easy to see how public sympathy runs, in the most educated classes. There is great sympathy, publicly expressed, for Captain Boycott and his potatoes; for Miss Bence-Jones, driven to the degrading necessity of milking the cows; but I have watched the papers in vain for one word of sympathy with that pale mother of a family, with her new-born infant in her arms, set upon the roadside the day I was at Carndonagh. Policemen have been known to shed tears executing the law; bailiffs have been known to refuse to do their duty, because the mother’s milk was too strong in them; but the public prints express no word of sympathy.

In the papers where sympathy with the people is conspicuous by its absence, there will be paragraph after paragraph about prevention of cruelty to animals. I had the honor of a conversation with a lady of high birth and long descent, and, as I happen to know, of great kindness of heart, a landlady much beloved by a grateful and cared-for tenantry. I remarked to her that justice seemed to me to be rather one-sided: “There is much difference unavoidably between one class and another, but there are three places where all classes should stand on an equality— on a school room floor, in a court of justice, in the house of God.” “I would agree with you so far,” said the lady, “that they should be on a level when they come before God.” I am sure there would be no agitation nor need of coercion if all the landladies and landlords were like this kind-hearted lady in practice.

Another instance of kindly thought on the part of another landlady. The famine left many a poor tenant without any stock at all; every creature was sacrificed to keep in life. This lady bought cows for her tenants who were in this sad plight. She left the cows with them until a calf grew up into a milking cow; then the cow was sold to pay the landlady the money invested. If the cow sold for more than was paid for it the balance was the tenant’s, and he had the cow besides. “Thus,” said the lady to me, “I benefitted them materially at no expense of money, only a little.” This lady, who claims and receives the homage of her tenants for the ould blood and the ould name, has by these acts of inexpensive kindness, chained her tenants to her by their hearts. “It’s easy to see,” said one to me, “that the ould kindly blood is in her.”

There have been many humble petitions for reduction of rent; many have been granted, more have been refused. The reasons given in one case were, a ground-rent, a heavy mortgage, an annuity, and legacies. The question whether one set of tenants was able to meet all these burdens, not laid on by themselves mind, and live, never was taken into consideration for a moment.

When I arrived in Ireland, I met with an English gentleman who took a lively interest in the purpose for which I crossed the sea, namely, to see what I could see for myself and to hear what I could hear for myself on the Land Question. He volunteered a piece of advice. “There are two different parties connected with the Land Question, the landlords and the tenants. They are widely separated, you cannot pass from one to the other and receive confidence from both. If you wait upon the landlords you will get their side of the story; but, then, the tenants will distrust you and shut their thoughts up from you. If you go among the tenants you will not find much favor with the landlords. You must choose which side you will investigate.”

Considering this advice good, I determined to go among the people and from that standpoint to write my opinions of what I saw and heard. I made up my mind to tell all I could gather of the opinions and grievances of the poor, knowing that the great are able to defend themselves if wrongfully accused, and can lay the land question, as they see it, before the world’s readers.

I hear many take the part of the landlords in this manner: “You are sorry for the tenants, who certainly have some cause of complaint; can you not spare some sympathy for the landlords who bought these lands at a high figure, often borrowing the money to buy them and are getting no return for the money invested?”

Land hunger is a disease that does not attack the tenants alone. The poor man hungers for land to have the means of living; the rich man hungers for land because it confers rank, power and position. As soon as men have realized fortunes in trade they hasten to invest in land. That is the door by which they hope to enter into the privileged classes. Men accustomed to “cut things fine,” in a mercantile way, are not likely to except a land purchase from the list of things which are to pay cent. per cent. The tenant has created a certain amount of prosperity, the new landlord looks at the present letting value of the land and raises the rent. This proceeding extinguishes or rather appropriates the Tenant Right. The landlord thinks he is doing no wrong, for, is he not actually charging less than Lord So-and-so, or Sir Somebody or other? which is perhaps very true. All this time the tenant knows he has been robbed of the result of years, perhaps of generations of hard and continuous labor. It is impossible to make such a landlord and such a tenant see eye to eye.

A gentleman asked a lady of Donegal if she would shut out the landlord from all participation in profits arising from improvements and consequent increase in the value of the land. I listened for the answer. “I would give the landlord the profits of all improvements he actually made by his own outlay; I would not give him the profits arising from the tenant’s labor and means.” Now I thought this fair, but the gentleman did not. He thought that all profit arising from improvements made by the tenant, should revert to the landlord after a certain time. I could not think that just.

As a case in point, a brother of Sir Augustus Stewart said to a Ramelton tenant:

“My brother does not get much profit from the town of Ramelton.”

“He gets all he is entitled to, his ground rent, we built the houses ourselves,” was the answer.

These people are safe, having a secure title, not trusting to the Ulster Custom or the landlords’ sense of justice.

I have not been much among landlords. I did sit in the library of a landlord, and his lady told me of the excessively picturesque poverty prevailing in some parts, citing as an instance that a baby was nursed on potatoes bruised in water, the mother having hired out as wet-nurse to help to pay the rent. There was no cow and no milk. I had a graphic description of this family, their cabin, their manner of eating. The mother cannot earn the rent any longer and they are to be evicted. I was told they were quite able to pay, but trusting to the Land League had refused.

Naturally what I have seen and heard among the poor of my people, has influenced my mind. I could not see what I did see and hear what I did hear of the tyranny wrought by the late Earl of Leitrim, and the present Captain Dobbing, or walk through the desolation created by Mr. Adair, without feeling sad, sorry and indignant.

XX.

LORD LIFFORD—THE DUKE OF ABERCORN—WHOLESALE EVICTIONS—GOING SOUTH— ENNISKILLEN—ASSES IN PLENTY—IN A GRAVEYARD.

On the banks of the Finn, near Strabane, was born the celebrated hero Finn ma Coul. I think this just means Finlay McDougall, and, therefore, claim the champion as a relative. Strabane lies in a valley, with round cultivated hills, fair and pleasant to the eye, swelling up round it. Near it is the residence of Lord Lifford. I have heard townspeople praise him as a landlord, and country people censure him, so I leave it there. His recent speech, in which he complains of the new Land Bill, that, if it passes into law, it will give tenants as a right what they used to get as a favor from their landlords, has the effect of explaining him to many minds.

Leaving Strabane behind, went down or up, I know not which, to Newtown- Stewart, in the parish of Ardstraw (ard strahe, high bank of the river). In this neighborhood is the residence of the Duke of Abercorn, spoken of as a model landlord.

The Glenelly water mingles with the Struell and is joined by the Derg, which forms the Mourne. After the Mourne receives the Finn at Lifford it assumes the name of the Foyle and flows into history past Derry’s walls.

At the bridge, as you enter the town of Newtown-Stewart, stands the gable wall of a ruined castle, built by Sir Robert Newcomen, 1619, burned by Sir Phelim Roe O’Neil along with the town, rebuilt by Lord Mountjoy, burnt again by King James.

Upon a high hill above the town, commanding a beautiful view of the country far and wide, stand the ruins of the castle of Harry Awry O’Neil (contentious or cross Harry), an arch between two ruined towers being the only distinct feature left of what was once a great castle. This castle commanded a view of two other castles, owned and inhabited by two sons or two brothers of this Harry Awry O’Neil. These three castles were separate each from each by a river. Here these three lords of the O’Neil slept, lived and agreed, or quarrelled as the case might be, ruling over a fair domain of this fair country. I do not think the present generation need feel more than a sentimental regret after the days of strong castles and many of them, and hands red with unlimited warfare.

Towering up beyond Harry Awry’s castle is the high mountain of Baissie Baal, interpreted to me altar of Baal. I should think it would mean death of Baal. (Was Baal ever the same as Tommuz, the Adonis of Scripture?) In the valley beyond is a village still named Beltane (Baal teine—Baal’s fire), so that the mountain must have been used at one time for the worship of Baal. The name of the mountain is now corrupted into Bessie Bell.

In the valley at the foot of the mountain is the grand plantation that stretches miles and miles away, embosoming Baronscourt, the seat of the Duke of Abercorn, and the way to it in the shade of young forests. There are nodding firs and feathery larches over the hills, glassing themselves in the still waters of beautiful lakes. Lonely grandeur and stately desolation reign and brood over a scene instinct with peasant life and peasant labor some years ago. The Duke of Abercorn was counted a model landlord. His published utterances were genial, such as a good landlord, father and protector of his people would utter. Some one who thought His Grace of Abercorn was sailing under false colors, that his public utterances and private course of action were far apart, published an article in a Dublin paper. This article stated that the Duke had evicted over 123 families, numbering over 1,000 souls, not for non- payment of rent, but to create the lordly loneliness about Baronscourt. His Grace did not like tenantry so near his residence. Those tenants who submitted quietly got five years’ rent—not as a right, but as a favor given out of his goodness of heart. They tell here that these evictions involved accidentally the priest of the parish and an old woman over ninety, who lay on her death-bed. He had called upon the priest personally and offered ground for a parochial house; he forgot his purpose and the priest continued to live in lodgings from which he was evicted along with the farmer with whom he lodged. Of the evicted families 87 were Catholics and 36 Protestants. If they had been allowed to sell their tenant right they might have got farms elsewhere. Of those cleared off seventeen who were Protestants and six who were Catholics got farms elsewhere from His Grace. Some sank into day laborers, some vanished, no one knows where.

People here say that the reason why there are Fenians in America and people inclined to Fenianism at home is owing to these large evictions— clearances that make farmers into day laborers at the will of the lord of the land. The people feel more bitterly about these things when they consider injustice is perpetrated with a semblance of generosity. Nothing—no lapse of time nor change of place or circumstances—ever causes anyone to forget an eviction. Now they say that the Duke of Abercorn holds this immense tract of country on the condition of rooting the people in the soil by long leases, not on condition of evicting them out; therefore, he has forfeited his claim to the lands over and over again. This article, published in a Dublin paper, was taken no public notice of for a time, but when sharply contested elections came round, the Duke and four others, sons and relations, were rejected at the polls because of the feeling stirred up by these revelations. Such is the popular report of the popular Duke of Abercorn.

Omagh is a pretty, behind-the-age country town. The most splendid buildings are the poor-house, the prison, and the new barracks. The hotels are very dear everywhere; they seem to depend for existence on commercial travellers and tourists. Tourists are expected to be prepared to drop money as the child of the fairy tale dropped pearls and diamonds, on every possible occasion, and unless one is able to assert themselves they are liable to be let severely alone as far as comfort is concerned, or attendance; but when the douceur is expected plenty are on hand and smile serenely.

Left Omagh behind and took passage for Fermanagh’s capital, Enniskillen of dragoon celebrity. The road from Omagh to Enniskillen showed some, I would say a good deal, of waste, unproductive land. Land tufted with rushes, and bare and barren looking—still the fields tilled were scrupulously tilled. The houses were the worst I had yet seen on the line of rail, as bad as in the mountains of Donegal, worse than any I saw in Innishowen. I wonder why the fields are so trim and the homes in many cases so horrible. Not many, I may say not any, fine houses on this stretch of country.

Arrived at Enniskillen on market day, towards the close of April. The number of asses on the market is something marvellous. Asses in small carts driven by old women in mutch caps, asses with panniers, the harness entirely made of straw, asses with burdens on their backs laid over a sort of pillion of straw. I thought asses flourished at Cairo and Dover, but certainly Enniskillen has its own share of them. The faces of the people are changed, the tongues are changed. The people do not seem of the same race as they that peopled the mountains of Donegal.

A little while after my arrival, taking a walk, I wandered into an old graveyard round an old church which opened off the main street. Underneath this church is the vault or place of burial of the Cole family, lords of Enniskillen—a dreary place, closed in by a gloomy iron gate. A very ancient man was digging a grave in this old graveyard, sacred, I could see by the inscriptions, to the memory of many of the stout-hearted men planted in Enniskillen, who held the land they had settled on against all odds in a brave, stout-hearted manner. None of the dust of the ancient race has mouldered here side by side with their conquerors. There was a dragoonist flavor about the dust; a military flourish about the tombstones. A., of His Majesty’s regiment; B., officer of such a battalion of His Majesty’s so-and-so regiment; C., D., and all the rest of the alphabet, once grand officers in His Majesty’s service, now dust here as the royal majesties they served are dust elsewhere. Went over to the ancient grave-digger, who was shovelling out in a weakly manner decayed coffin, skull, ribs, bones, fat earth—so fat and greasy-looking, so alive with horrible worms. He was so very old and infirm that, after a shovelful or two, he leaned against the grave side and peched like a horse with the heaves.

“How much did he get for digging a grave?”

“Sometimes a shilling, sometimes one and six, or two shillings, accordin’ as the people were poor or better off.”

“How were wages going?”

“Wages were not so high as they had been in the good times before the famine. A man sometimes got three-and-six or four shillings then; now he got two shillings.”

“And board himself?”

“Oh, yes, always board himself.”

“Some people now want a man to work for a shilling and board himself, but how could a man do that? It takes two pence to buy Indian meal enough for one meal. You see there would be nothing left to feed a family on.”

A stout, bare-legged hizzie appeared now, and kindly offered the old man a pinch of snuff out of a little paper to overcome the effects of the smell, and keep it from striking into his heart. This was one errand; to find out who was talking to him was another. She did not; we gave the poor old fellow a sixpence and moved away.

XXI.

ENNISKILLEN MILITARY PRIDE—THE BOYS CALLED SOLDIERS—REMNANTS OF BY- GONE POWER—ISLAND OF DEVENISH—A ROUND TOWER—AN ANCIENT CROSS—THE COLE FAMILY

Owing to the very great kindness of Mr. Trimble, editor of the Fermanagh Reporter, we have seen some of the fair town of Enniskillen. Knowing that Innis or Ennis always means island, I was not surprised to find that Enniskillen sits on an island, and is connected with the mainland by a bridge at either end of the town. Of course, the town has boiled over and spread beyond the bridges, as Derry has done over and beyond her walls. There is a military flavor all over Enniskillen, a kind of dashing frank manner and proud steps as if the dragoon had got into the blood. There is also nourished a pride in the exploits of Enniskillen men from the early times when they struggled to keep their feet and their lives in the new land. They feel pride in the fame of the Enniskillen dragoon, in the deeds of daring and valor of the 27th Enniskilleners all over the world. Enniskillen military pride is closely connected with the Cole family, lords of Enniskillen.

The town is not old, only dating back to the reign of the sapient James the First. Remembrance of the sept of Maguires who ruled here before that time, still lingers among the country people.

Had a sail on Lough Erne at the last of April; tried to find words sufficiently strong to express the beauty of the lake and found none. It is as lovely as the Allumette up at Pembroke. I can not say more than that. The banks are so richly green, the hills so fertile up to their round tops, checked off by green hedges into fields of all shapes and sizes; the trees lift up their proud heads and fling out their great arms as if laden with blessing; the primroses, like baby moons, more in number than the stars of heaven, glow under every hedge and gem every bank, so that though the Lake Allumette is as lovely as Lough Erne, yet the banks that sit round Lough Erne are more lovely by far than the borders of Lake Allumette. They are as fair as any spot under heaven in their brightness of green.

Sailing up the lake or down, I do not know which, we passed the ruins of Portora old castle; ruined towers and battered walls, roofless and lonely. Kind is the ivy green to the old remnants of by-gone power or monuments of by-gone oppression, happing up the cold stones, and draping gracefully the bare ruins.

The Island of Devenish, or of the ox, is famed for the good quality of its grass. Here we saw the ruins of an abbey. It has been a very large building, said to have been built as far back as 563. The ruins show it to have been built by very much better workmen than built the more modern Green Castle in Innishowen. The arches are of hewn stone and are very beautifully done without the appearance of cement or mortar. The round tower, the first I ever saw, was a wonderful sight to me. It is 76 feet high, and 41 in circumference. The walls, three feet thick, built with scarcely any mortar, are of hewn stone, and I wondered at the skill that rounded the tower so perfectly. The conical roof is (or was) finished with one large stone shaped like a bell; four windows near the top opposite the cardinal points. There is a belt of ribbed stone round the top below the roof, with four faces carved on it over the four windows. Advocates of the theory that the round towers were built for Christian purposes have decided that there are three masculine, and one feminine face, being the faces of St. Molaisse, the founder of the abbey; St. Patrick, St. Colombkill and St. Bridget.

Near the round tower is the ruins of what was once a beautiful church. The stone work which remains is wonderfully fine. The remaining window, framed of hewn stone wrought into a rich, deep moulding, seems never to have been intended for glass. It is but a narrow slit on the outside, though wide in the inside. There are the remains of two cloistered cells, one above another, very small, roofed and floored with stone, belonging to a building adjoining the church. Climbed up the little triangular steps of stone that led into the belfry tower, and looked forth from the tower windows over woodland hill, green carpet and blue waters, with a blessing in my heart for the fair land, and an earnest wish for the good of its people.

There is in the old churchyard one of the fair, skilfully carved, ancient crosses to be found in Ireland. It was shattered and cast down, but has been restored through the care of the Government. It is very high and massive, yet light-looking, it is so well proportioned. There are pictures of scriptural subjects, Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, &c., carved in relief over it. Two I saw at Ennishowen had no inscription or carving at all.

The Government has built a wall around these fine ruins for their protection from wanton destruction. It takes proof of the kind afforded by these ruins to convince this unbelieving generation that the ancient Irish were skilled carvers on stone, and architects of no mean order. I have looked into some of what has been said as to the uses for which the round towers were built with the result of confusing my mind hopelessly, and convincing myself that I do not know any more than when I began, which was nothing. I am glad, however, that I saw the outside of this round tower. I saw not the inside, as the door is nine feet from the ground and ladders are not handy to carry about with one.

XXII.

THE EARL OF ENNISKILLEN AND HIS TENANTS—CAUSES OF DISSATISFACTION— SPREAD OF THE LAND LEAGUE AMONGST ENNISKILLEN ORANGEMEN—A SAMPLE GRIEVANCE—THE AGENTS’ COMMISSION—A LINK THAT NEEDS STRENGTHENING—THE LANDLORD’S SIDE.

It seems a great pity that the attachment between the Earl of Enniskillen and his tenants should suffer interruption or be in danger of passing away. The Earl, now an old man, was much loved by his people, until, in a day evil alike for him and for his tenants, he got a new agent from the County Sligo. Of course, I am telling the tale as it was told to me. Since this agent came on the property, re-valuation, rent raising, vexatious office rules, have been the order of things on the estate. The result of this new state of things, has been that the Land League has spread among the tenants like wildfire. I did not feel inclined to take these statements without a grain of salt. To hear of the Land League spreading among Enniskillen Orangemen, among the Earl’s tenants, of dissatisfaction creeping in between these people historically loyal and attached to a family who had been their chiefs and landlords for centuries, was surprising to me.

To convince me that such was the case, I was requested to listen to one of the Earl’s tenants reciting the story of his grievances at the hands of the Earl’s agent. It was a sample case, I was told, and would explain why the people joined the Land League. It was pleasant enough to have an opportunity of going into the country and to have an opportunity of seeing the farms and the style of living of the Fermanagh farmers, as compared with the Donegal highlands.

The country out of Enniskillen is very pretty. May has now opened, the hedges have leafed out and the trees are beginning lazily to unfold their leaves. The roads are not near so good as the roads in Donegal, which are a legacy from the dreary famine time, being made then. The hedges are not by any means so trim and well kept as the hedges by the wayside in Down or Antrim. The roads up to the farm houses are lanes, such as I remember when I was a child. The nuisances of dunghills near the doors of the farmhouses have been utterly abolished for sanitary reasons, also whitewashing is an obligation imposed by the Government. For these improvements I have heard the authorities both praised and thanked. In these times of discontent, it is well to see the Government thanked for anything. The country is hilly and the hills have a uniform round topped appearance, marked off into fields that run up to the hill tops and over them and down the other side. There are, of course, mountains in the distance, wrapped in a thick veil of blue haze.

The house to which I was bound was, like most of the farm houses, long, narrow, whitewashed, a room at each end and the kitchen in the middle. I will now let the farmer tell his grievances in his own words. He is about sixty years of age, a professor of religion of the Methodist persuasion, an Orangeman, and a hereditary tenant of Lord Enniskillen, and now an enthusiastic adherent of the Land League. “In 1844 I bought this farm—two years before I was married. There is 17-1/2 acres. I paid £184 as tenant right—that is, for the goodwill of it. The rent was £19 7s 4d. I should have gone to America then; it would have been better for me. I have often rued that I did not go, but, you see, I was attached to the place. My forbears kindled the first fire that ever was kindled on the land I live on. I held my farm on a lease for three lives; two were gone when I bought it. I have been a hard-working man, and a sober man. There is not a man in the country has been a greater slave to work than I have been. I drained this place (fetches down a map of the little holding to show the drains). It is seamed with drains; 11 acres out of 17-1/2 acres are drained, the drains twenty-one feet apart and three feet deep. Drew stone for the drains two miles, £100 would not at all pay me for the drainage I have done. I built a parlor end to my house, and a kitchen; also, a dairy, barn, byre, stable and pig house. Every year I have bought and drawn in from Enniskillen from sixty to one hundred loads of manure for my farm; this calculation is inside of the amount. I have toiled here year after year, and raised a family in credit and decency. When the last life in my lease died, my rent was immediately raised to £27 10s. I paid this for a few years, and then the seasons were bad, and I fell behind. It was not a fair rent, that was the reason I was unable to pay it. I complained of the rent. I wanted it fixed by arbitration; that was refused. I asked for arbitration to decide what compensation I had a right to, and I would leave; that was refused too. I was served with a writ of ejectment. The rent was lowered a pound at two different times, but the law expenses connected with the writ came to more than the reduction given. I had the privilege, along with others, of cutting turf on a bog attached to the place at the time I held the lease; that was taken from us. We had then to pay a special rate for cutting turf, called turbary, in addition to our rent. So that really I am struggling under a higher rent than before, while I have the name of having my rent lowered: I once was able to lay by a little money during the good times; that is all gone now. I am getting up in years. If I am evicted for a rent I cannot pay, I cannot sell my tenant right; I will be set on the world at my age without anything. I joined the Land League. At the time of an election it was cast up to Lord Enniskillen about taking from us the bog. It was promised to us that we should have it back, in these words: ‘If there is a turf there you will get it.’ After the election we petitioned for the bog, and were refused. We were told our petition had a lie on the face of it. It is the present agent, Mr. Smith, that has done all this. He is the cause of all the ill- feeling between the Earl of Enniskillen and his tenants. He has raised the rents £3,000 on the estate, I am told. He gets one shilling in the pound off the rent; that is the way in which he is paid; so it is little wonder that he raises the rents; it is his interest to do so.”

I listened to this man tell his story with many strong expressions of feeling, many a hand clench, and saw he was moved to tears; saw the hereditary Enniskillen blood rise, the heart that once throbbed responsive to the loyalty felt for the Enniskillen family now surging up against them passionately. I thought sadly that the loss was more than the gain. Gain £3,000—loss, the hearts that would have bucklered the Earl of Enniskillen, and followed him, as their fathers followed his fathers, to danger and to death. I decided in my own mind that Mr. Smith’s agency had been a dear bargain to the Enniskillen family. “The beginning of strife is like the letting out of water; therefore, leave off contention before it be meddled with.”

After I had listened to the farmer’s wrongs and heard of others who also had a complaint to make, I was obliged to think that their case was not yet so hard as the case of those who suffered from the eccentricities of Lord Leitrim. Still, it is a hard case when we consider that the man’s whole life and so much money also sunk in rent, purchase, improvements, and when unable to pay a rent raised beyond the possibility of paying, to lose all and begin life again without money or youth and hope, at sixty years of age. People with exasperated minds are driven to join the Land League, in hope that union will be strength, and that ears deaf to petition of right will grant concessions to agitation.

I began to feel afraid that I was hearing too much on one side and too little on the other, and I requested to be introduced to some who had ranged themselves on the side of the landlords. I was, as a consequence, introduced to several gentlemen at different times, but I got no light on the subject from any of them. They were so very sure that everything was just as it should be, and nothing short of treason would induce any one to find fault. Still when the question was asked squarely, “Are there no reasons for wishing for reform of the land laws?” the answer was, “We would not go quite so far as that?” There was a vague acknowledgment that, generally speaking, some reform was needed, and yet every particular thing was defended as all right on the whole, or not very far wrong.

XXIII.

A MODEL LANDLORD—ERIN’S SONS IN OTHER LANDS.

I have, at last, heard of a model landlord; not that I have not heard of good landlords before, as Mr. Humphreys and Mr. Stewart, of Ards, in Donegal. I have seen also the effects of good landlordism. When passing through the Galgorm estate I saw the beneficial changes wrought on that place by Mr. Young; but I have heard of many hard landlords, seen much misery as the result of the present land tenure, and I did feel glad to hear men praising a landlord without measure. It was a pleasant change. This landlord who has won such golden opinions is Lord Belmore, of Castle Coole. “The Land League has gained no adherents on his estate,” says one to me, “because he is such a just man. He is a man who will decide for what he thinks right though he should decide to his own hurt. Eviction has never occurred on his place; there is no rack rent, no vexatious office rules.”

As I have listened to story after story of tyranny on the Leitrim estate, so here I listened to story after story of the strict justice and mercy of Lord Belmore. His residence of Castle Coole is outside of Enniskillen a little, and is counted very beautiful. Of course I went to get a peep at it, because he is a lord whom all men praise. “His tenants,” said one, “not only do not blame him but they glory in him. Why should they join the Land League? They get all it promises without doing so.” As we drove along I heard his justice, his sense of right, his praise, in short, repeated in every way possible. I have noticed about this lord that to mention his name to any one who knows him is quite enough to set them off in praise of him. As he is not an immensely wealthy peer, but has been obliged to part with some of his property, it is the more glorious the enthusiastic good name he has won for himself.

We drove across a long stretch of gravel drive through scenery like fairyland. A fair sheet of water lay below the house, bordered by trees that seemed conscious of their owner’s renown by the way they tossed their heads upward and spread their branches downward, as saying, “Look at us: everything here bears examination and demands admiration.” Swans ruffled their snowy plumage and sailed with stately bendings of their white necks across the lake. Wild geese with the lameness of perfect confidence grouped themselves on the shore or played in the water. Coots swam about in their peculiar bobbing way, as if they were up to fun in some sly manner of their own. Across the lake were sloping hills rising gently from the water arrayed in the brightest of green. Grand stately trees stood with the regal repose of a grand dame, every fold of their leafy dress arranged with the skilful touch of that superb artist, Dame Nature.

My driver, with a becoming awe upon him of the magnificent grounds, the stately house and the high-souled lord, drove along the most unfrequented paths, and we came, in the rear of the great house, to a quaint little saw-mill in a hollow, a toy affair that did not mean business, but such as a great lord might have as a proper appanage to wide land and as a convenience to retainers.

After some whispered consultation with the man in charge, it was certified that we might drive round, quite round the castle, and, favored by fortune, might chance to see the housekeeper and get permission to see the inside of the house. I knew the house was very nice by intuition; it was very extensive, and I was sure held any quantity of pleasant and magnificent rooms; but someway I did not desire to go through it. I should have liked to have seen its lord, this modern Aristides, whom I was not tired of hearing called the just. The lord with the cold stately manner, but the heart that decided matters, like Hugh Miller’s uncle Sandy, giving the poor man the “cast of the bauk,” even to his own hurt.

We drove down the broad walk just out of sight of the extensive gardens and conservatories, between trees of every style of magnificence down to the lodge gate which was opened to us promptly and graciously. You can always judge of a lord by the courtesy or the want of it in his retainers. Indeed I believe that even dogs and horses are influenced by those that own them, and become like them in a measure. I waft thee my heart’s homage, lord of Castle Coole! Thy good name, thy place in the hearts of thy countrymen, could not be bought for three thousand pounds sterling wrung “by ways that are dark,” from an exasperated tenantry. The drive back to Enniskillen with another suggestive peep at the lake was delicious and enjoyable.

In Enniskillen I wandered into the Catholic church, the only church I could wander into without a fuss about getting the key. It is grand, and severely plain in the absence of pictures and ornaments.

I am told there was a good deal of distress in the County Fermanagh, and that they obtained relief from the Mansion House Fund and from the Johnston Committee Fund. This Johnston was a Fermanagh man, and has risen to wealth in the new world under the Stars and Stripes. The sons and daughters of Ireland do not forget, in their prosperity on far-off shores, the land of their birth and of their childhood’s dreams.

  Like the daisies on the sod, With their faces turned to God, Their hearts’ roots are in the island green that nursed them on her lap.

Suffering from want in those hard times must have been comparatively slight in Enniskillen, as the local charity was strong enough to relieve it, I was informed by an Episcopal clergyman.

XXIV.

SELLING CATTLE FOR RENT—THE SHADOW OF MR. SMITH—GENERATIONS OF WAITING—UNDER THE WING OF THE CLERGY—A SAFE MEDIUM COURSE—THE CONSTABULARY—EXERTIONS OF THE PRIESTS—A TERMAGANT.

Hearing that there was a great disturbance apprehended at Manor Hamilton, in the County Leitrim, and that the military were ordered out, I determined to go there. I wanted to see for myself. I put on my best bib and tucker, knowing how important these things are in the eyes of imaginative people. Arrived at the station in the dewy morning, and found the lads whom I had seen carrying their dinners at the Redoubt drawn up on the platform under arms. How, boyish, slight and under-sized they did look, but clean, smart and bright looking, of course. Applied at the wicket for my ticket, as the ‘bus man was eager to get paid and see me safely off. The ticket man told me curtly I was in no hurry, and shut the wicket in my face. The idea prevails here, except in the cases of the local gentry who are privileged, and to whom the obsequiousness is remarkable, that the general public, besides paying for their accommodation, ought to accept their tickets as a favor done them by the Company. This stately official at last consented to issue tickets; as I had not change enough to pay I gave him a sovereign, and, not having time to count the change, I stuffed it into my portmonnaie and made a rush for the cars as they snorted on the start.

In spite of my determination, made amid the smoke and filth of the third-class cars between Omagh and Strabane, I took a third-class car, and to my agreeable surprise it was clean, and I had it to myself. We steamed out of Enniskillen, all the workers in the fields and the people in the houses dropping their work to stare at the cars, crowded with soldiers, that were passing. I had a letter of introduction to an inhabitant of Manor Hamilton, as a precaution. We passed one of the entrances to Florence Court, the residence of the once-loved Earl of Enniskillen. When I understood that this nobleman was up in years, his magnificent figure beginning to show the burden of age, and that he was blind, I felt a respectful sympathy for him, and wished that the shadow of Mr. Smith and his three thousand of increase of rent had never fallen across his path. After passing the road to Florence Court, when the train was not plunging through a deep cut, I noticed that the land did not, all over, look so green or so fertile as in the farther down North. There was much land tufted with rushes, much that had the peculiar shade of greenish brown familiar to Canadian eyes. There were many roofless cottages standing here and there in the wide clearings. There were bleak bogs of the light colored kind that produce a very worthless turf, that makes poor fuel.

At one of the way stations, a decent-looking woman came into the compartment where I sat. Divining at once that I had crossed the water, she spoke pretty freely. Their farm was on a mountain side. It had to be dug with a spade; horses could not plough it. The seasons had been against the crops for some years. Yes, their rent had been raised, raised at different times until it was now three times was it was ten years ago. She was going to the office to try to get some favor about the rent. They could not pay it and live at all, and that was God’s truth. Had no hope of succeeding. Did not believe a better state of things would come without the shedding of blood. “Oh, yes, it is true for you, they have no arms and no drill, but they look to America to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. Oh, of course it should be the last thing tried, but generations of waiting was in it already, and every hope was disappointed some way.” The laws got harder and the crops shorter, that was the way of it.

Arrived at Manor Hamilton, every male creature about congregated with looks of wonder to watch the military arrive. They were a totally unexpected arrival, and caused the more sensation in consequence. There were none to answer a question until these boyish soldiers had been paraded, counted, put through some manoeuvres of drill, and then “’bout face and march” off. They seemed so alive, so eager for fun, so different from the stolid-faced veteran soldier that I hoped inwardly that to-day’s exploits would not deepen into anything worse than fun.

When they tramped off, carrying their young faces and conscious smiles away from the station, I found a porter to inform me that Manor Hamilton was a good bit away. As there was no car I must walk, and a passing peasant undertook to pilot me to the town. Passed a large Roman Catholic church in process of erection. It will be a fine and extensive building when finished. They were laying courses of fine light gray hewn stone rounded, marking where the basement ended and the building proper began. Such a building, at such a time, is one of the contradictions one sees in this country.

Stopped at a hotel and was waited on by the person to whom my letter of introduction was directed, who introduced me to some other persons, including some priests. It was ostensibly an introduction, really an inspection. Only for this introduction I should not have got admittance into the hotel. People were arriving from every quarter. I stood at an upper window watching the people arrive in town. The first band, preceded by a solemn and solitary horseman, consisted of a big drum beaten by no unwilling hand, and some fifes. They played, “Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching,” with great vim. The next detachment had a banner carried by two men, the corners steadied by cords held by two more. It was got up fancy, in green and gold, a picture of Mr. Parnell on one side, and some mottoes on the other. “Live and let live,” was one. The band of this company, some half-dozen fifers, were dressed in jackets of green damask rimmed with yellow braid, and had caps made of green and yellow, or green and white, of the same shape as those worn by the police. The operator on the big drum had a white jacket and green cap. He held his head so high, his back was so straight, his cap set so knowingly on one side, he rattled away with such abandon, and looked as if he calculated that he was a free and independent citizen, that I guessed he had learned those airs and that bearing in classic New York. The next detachment had a brass band and some green favors and a green scarf among them.

One of the clergy to whom I was introduced, volunteered to show me to a position from which I would safely see the whole performance, which was the auction of cattle for rent—I was quite glad to have the kind offices of this gentleman, as without them I would have seen very little indeed. As I passed down the street under the wing of the clergy, I was amused at the innocent manner in which a half-dozen or so would get between his reverence and me, blocking the way, until they understood I was in his care, when a lane opened before us most miraculously, and closed behind us as the human waves surged on.

The police officers and men were patient and polite to high perfection. We made our way to the Court House, where the soldiers were drawn up inside, crowding the entrance hall and standing on the stairs. It was thought the sale would be in the Court House yard, in which case the official offered me a seat on the gallery. As the building was low, the long windows serving for both stories, it would be only a good position if the cattle were auctioned in the Court yard. This had been done before, and would be prevented if possible this time, as it was too private a proceeding. Meanwhile I sat in the official room, the kitchen in short, and waited looking at the peat fire in the little grate, the flitches of bacon hanging above the chimney, the canary that twittered in a subdued manner in its cage, as if it felt instinctively the expectant hush that was in the air.

It was decided to hold the sale on the bridge, so I was piloted through the military, through a living lane of police, through the surging crowd, to a house that was supposed to command the situation, and found a position at an upper window by the great kindness of the clergyman who had taken me in charge.

It is something awful to see a vast mass of human beings, packed as closely as there is standing room, swayed by some keen emotion, like the wind among the pines. It is wonderful, too, to see the effects of perfect discipline. The constabulary, a particularly fine body of men, with faces as stolid as if they were so many statues, bent on doing their duty faithfully and kindly. They formed a living wall across the road on each side of an open space on the bridge, backs to the space, faces to the crowd, vigilant, patient, unheeding of any uncomplimentary remarks.

The cause of all this excitement was the seizure of cattle which were to be sold for rent due to Cecil White, Esq., by his tenants, at the manor of Newtown.

The crowd here was far greater than at Omagh the day of the Land League meeting. The first roll of the drum had summoned people from near and far in the early morning. I am not a good judge of the number in a crowd, but I should say there were some thousands, a totally unarmed crowd; very few had even a stick. There were few young men in the crowd— elderly men and striplings, elderly women and young girls, and a good many children, and, of course the irrepressible small boy who did the heavy part of the hissing and hooting. These young lads roosted on the Court House wall, on the range wall of the bridge so thickly that the wonder was how they could keep their position. The crowd heaved and swayed at the other end of the bridge, a tossing tide of heads. The excitement was there.

I could not see what was going on, but a person deputed by the clergyman before mentioned, came to bring me to a better station for seeing what was going on at the other end of the bridge. The crowd made way, the police passed us through, and we got a station at a window overlooking the scene. Out of the pound, through the swaying mass of people, was brought a very frightened animal. If she had had no horns to grip her by, if she had had the least bit of vantage ground to gather herself up for a jump, she would have taken a flying leap over the heads of some and left debtor and creditor, and all the sympathizers on both sides behind her, and fled to the pasture. She was held there and bid for in the most ridiculous way. All that were brought up this way were bought in and the rent was paid, and there the sale ended

There might have been serious rioting but for the exertions of the Catholic clergy. Members of the Emergency Committee were particularly liable to a hustling at least. The least accidental irritation owing to the temper of the crowd would have made them face the bayonets with their bare breasts. The police were patient, the clergy determined on keeping the excitement down, and all passed off quietly enough. There were a few uncomplimentary remarks, such as addressing the police as “thim bucks” which remark might as well have been addressed to the court house for any effect it had. There were a few hard expressions slung at Mr. White which informed all who heard them that Mr. White was cashiered from the army for flogging a man to death, that he had well earned his name of Jack the flogger, &c.

The crowd dispersed from the bridge. The youthful military passed on the march for the train to return to their barracks, the crowd, now good- natured, giving them a few jokes of a pleasant kind as they passed; the soldiers looking straight ahead in the most soldierly manner they could assume, but smiling all the same, poor boys, for surely compliments are better than hisses and hoots.

I never heard a sound so dreadful as the universal groan or hoot of this great crowd. There was some speaking, a good deal of speaking, from the window of the hotel, praising the crowd for their self-control, and advising them to go home quietly for the honor of the country and the good cause.

After the sale, the three bands and the great crowd, paraded the streets. The cattle were brought round in the procession, their heads snooded up for the occasion with green ribbon. I do not think the cattle liked it a bit; they had had a full share of excitement in the first part of the day.

The most active partisan of the Land League was an elderly girl. She was the inventor and issuer of the most aggravating epithets that were put into circulation during the whole proceedings. Her hair was dark and gray (dhu glas), every hair curling by itself in the most defiant manner. The heat of her patriotism had worn off some of the hair, for she was getting a little bald through her curls—such an assertive upturned little nose, such a firm mouth, such a determined protruding chin. This patriot had a short jacket of blue cloth, and could step as light and give a jump as if she had feathered heels. She reminded me of certain citizenesses in Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” May God of His great mercy give wisdom and firmness to the rulers of this land.

XXV.

THE LABORING CLASSES IN MANOR HAMILTON—THEIR HOMES—LOOKING FOR HER SHARE—CHARGES AGAINST AN UNPOPULAR LANDLORD.

I called upon a clergyman in Manor Hamilton in pursuit of information as to the condition of the laboring class. Manor Hamilton is a small inland town, depending solely on agriculture. Want of work is the complaint. Out of work is the chronic state of things among the laboring population. A few laborers are employed on the Catholic church in process of erection. The railway is newly finished between Enniskillen and Manor Hamilton. While it was being made it supplied work to a great many. Rail communication with the rest of the country must be a benefit to the town and the surrounding country.

The hopes nourished by the Land League prevent the people from sinking into despair or rousing to desperation. “Have the laboring class any garden ground to their homes?” I asked. “No. You would not like to see their homes. They are not fit for anyone to go into,” was the answer. It is good sometimes to look at what others are obliged to endure.

Having provided myself with infinitesimal parcels of tea and sugar for the very aged or the helplessly sick, I set out with the clergyman and went up unexpected lanes and twisted round unlikely corners, dived into low tenements and climbed up unreliable stairs into high ones. One home, without a window, no floor but the ground, not a chair or table, dark with smoke, and so small that we, standing on the floor, took up all the available room, paid a rent of $16 per year, paid weekly. The husband was out of work, the wife kept a stall on market days, and sold sweets and cakes on commission.

Another hovel, divided into two apartments like stalls in a horse stable, a ladder leading up to a loft where an old gate and some indescribably filthy boards separated it into another two apartments, accommodated four families. The rent of the whole was $52 per year, paid weekly. One of the inmates of this tenement, an old, old man, whose clothing was shreds and patches, excused himself from going into the workhouse by declaring that there were bad car-ack-ters in there, while he and his father before him were ever particular about their company.

Children, like the field daisy, abound everywhere. In one hovel a brand new baby lay in a box, and another scarcely able to walk toddled about, and a lot more, like a flock of chickens, were scattered here and there. In one of these homes a small child was making a vigorous attempt to sweep the floor. On asking for her mother, the little mite said, “She is away looking for her share.” This is the popular way of putting a name on begging.

One inhabitant made heather brooms, or besoms, as they are called here. He goes to the mountain, cuts heather, draws it home on his back, makes the besoms, and sells them for a halfpenny apiece.

In one hovel a little boy lay dying of consumption—another name for cold and hunger—his bed a few rags, a bit of sacking and a tattered coat the only bed-clothes. “I am very bad entirely, father,” was the little fellow’s complaint. I stood back while the father talked to him, and it was easy to see that he had well practised how to be a son of consolation. It was a cold windy day, and the wind blew in freely through the broken door. Surely, I thought, the workhouse would be comparative comfort to this child; but it seems that the whole family must go in if he went. The saddest consideration of all is the want of work—excitement like what is in the country now must be bad for idle and hungry men.

Mr. Corscadden and Mr. Tottenham, the contractor for the railway, are the two landlords who are most unpopular. Mr. White, one of those who had the cattle seized for rent, is also unpopular, very. Mr. Corscadden is a new landlord, comparatively speaking; was an agent before he became a proprietor. He is at open war with his tenantry. He requires an escort of police. His son has been shot at and missed by a narrow enough shave, one ball going through his hat, another grazing his forehead. This is coming quite nigh enough. Some buildings on his property in which hay was stored were burned—by the tenants, thinks Mr. Corscadden; by the Lord, say the people. I hope to see Mr. Corscadden personally, so I have made particular enquiries as to what he has done to deserve the ill- feeling that rages against him.

The chief charges against Mr. Corscadden are wasting away the people off the land to make room for cattle and black-faced sheep; taking from the people the mountain attached to their farms which they used for pasture, and then doubling the rent on what remained after they had lost part.

The land out by Glenade (the long glen) is very poor in parts. The amount of cultivated fields does not seem enough to supply the inhabitants with food. The country has in a large degree gone to grass. There is also a suspicion of grass on the mountain sides which are bare of heather and whins. They say the grass is sweet and good, and that cattle flourish on it, but the improved quality of stock and milch cows require additional tub feed to keep them in a thriving condition. There are some rich-looking fields, but the most of the land has a poverty- stricken look and the large majority of the houses are simply abominable.

It is spring weather and spring work is going on. Men are putting out manure, carrying it in creels on their backs. Asses are the prevailing beasts of burden, carrying about turf in creels or drawing hay—a big load to a small ass. Men and women and children are out planting potatoes in patches of reclaimed bog. Very few cattle are to be seen compared to the extent of the grazing lands.

The formation of rock here in the mountain tops has a resemblance to the fortification-looking rocks at McGilligan, but they are neither so lofty nor so abrupt. In one place there was a mighty cleft in the rock, as if some giant had attempted to cut a slice off the front of the rock and had not quite succeeded. I was told by my driver that an old man lived in the cleft behind the rock; it was said also that a ghost haunted it. I wonder if the ghost makes poteen.

Apart from the condition of the country and the poverty of the people a drive through the long glen of Glenade on a pleasant day is delightful. The hills swell into every shape, the houses—if they were only good houses—nestle in such romantic nooks, and the eternal mountains rising up to the clouds bound the glen on each side. I saw one house made of sods, thatched with rushes, that was not much bigger or roomier than a charcoal heap. I would have thought it was something of that kind only for the hole that served for a chimney.

The people are very civil, and if they only knew what would please you, would say it whether they thought it or not. If they do not know what side you belong to, no people could be more reticent.

The Land League is very popular. Since the Land League spread and the agitation forced public attention to the extreme need of the people many landlords have reduced their rents. Lord Massey is a popular landlord; anything unpopular done on his estate, Mr. LaTouche, his agent, has laid to his door.

XXVI.

TENANTS VOLUNTARILY RAISING THE RENT TO ASSIST THEIR LANDLORDS— BEAUTIFUL IRISH LANDSCAPES—CANADIAN EYES—RENTS IN LEITRIM—THE POTATO.

Determined, if possible, to hear something of the landlord’s view of the land question, I wrote to Mr. Corscadden, the so unpopular landlord, asking for an interview. This gentleman, some time ago, moved the authorities to erect an iron hut for the police at Cleighragh, among the mountains that garrison Glenade. There had been an encounter there, a kind of local shindy, between him and his tenants, when they prevented him from removing hay in August last. The police came in large numbers to erect the hut, but it could not be got to the place, for no one would draw it out to Glenade.

Mr. Corscadden bought this small parcel of land at Glenade from a Mr. Tottenham; not the unpopular Tottenham, but another, much beloved by his people. He lived above his income, and was embarrassed in consequence. His tenants voluntarily raised the rents on themselves for fear he would be obliged to sell the land, and they might pass into the hands of a bad landlord. They raised the rent twice on themselves, and after all he was obliged to sell, and the fate they dreaded came upon them; they passed into Mr. Corscadden’s hands.

During the famine this part of Leitrim got relief from the Mansion House Fund. Mr. Corscadden never gave a penny; never answered a letter addressed to him on the subject.

Having posted my letter I went out among the people who were, or were to be, evicted in the country around Kiltyclogher, (church of the stone house, or among the stones). We left the bright green fields that belt around Manor Hamilton and the grand trees that overshade the same green fields, and drove up among the hills, in a contrary direction from Glenade. A beautiful day, warm and pleasant, shone upon us; the round- headed sycamores are leafed out, and the larch has shaken out her tassels, the ditch backs are blazing with primroses and the black thorns are white with bloom, and there are millions of daisies in the grass. We passed over some good land at the roadside, some green fields in the valleys, but there is a very great deal of waste and also of barren land. A great deal of the tilled land is bog, a good deal of the waste land is shallow earth overlying rocks, some is cumbered with great boulders, and rough with heather and whins.

My companion, a lady active in the Ladies’ Land League, thought it good land and worth reclaiming if let at a low rent. I, looking at it with Canadian eyes, would not have taken a gift of it and be bound to reclaim it. If I rented a few acres of those wild hills, and rooted out the whins and raised and removed the stones, I would think it unjust to raise the rent on me because of my labor.

It is admitted by all who know anything of the matter, that the tenants have reclaimed what land is reclaimed. Rent in County Leitrim has been raised from £24,990 to £170,670 within the last eighty years, and is £34,144 above the Government valuation.

We called at the house of a tenant farmer who had been evicted for non- payment of rent, and was back as a weekly tenant. He was putting in some crop, working alone in the field. He came to speak to my companion. He had got no word from the landlord as to whether he would put in any crop or not. He was in sore anxiety between his fear of offending the landlord, and the fear of doing anything against the rules of the Land League. His little boys were putting out manure in creels, carrying it on their shoulders. He had no means of paying rent. If he were forgiven the rent due and a year’s rent to come, he might then be in a position to resume paying rent. This is my own opinion. The poor man himself was sorely perplexed and cast down. A thin, white, helpless-looking man. The terrors of the eviction had taken hold of his wife, who was sickly. The only hope they had was that God would bless the potato crop, for they had secured Champion potatoes for seed.

The potatoes that used to flourish in Ireland forty years ago, have entirely passed away. Even the Champion potato is not very good. The skin is thick and has a diseased appearance and the potato has black spots on the outside. I think the land is suffering from an overdose of such manure as they apply here, and the leaf mould is entirely exhausted. Of course this is the opinion of one who knows nothing of farming.

Passed another house, a widow’s, who has been evicted. The family had been put out and the official went to get some water to quench the fire; all the little household belongings were scattered about. Putting out the fire and fastening up the door were the last acts of the eviction. While the official’s back was turned, the widow slipped in again, and was fastened up in the house, the children being outside. Her sons are a little silly. The children camp outside and she holds the garrison inside. She thinks the Land Bill or the Land League, or something miraculous will turn up to help her if she keeps possession for a while. Fear that she has done wrong and laid herself open to some greater punishment, and excitement have blanched her face. In the dim evening she sits at the window inside; the children have a gipsy fire and sit under the window outside. When the gloaming has passed and dark night settled down, the police come over from the barracks to see if any of the children have gone in beside the mother. This would be taking forcible possession, and some other process of law would be possible. To make assurance sure, the policeman puts his head close to the window, sees the widow’s white face and wild eyes sitting in the dark alone, and the children sitting under the window, and then the party, with something like tears in their eyes, something very like pity in their hearts, go back to the barracks.

I wonder how these things will end. It is not stubbornness, but helplessness and despair that makes them cling so to their homes, combined with an utter dread of the disgrace and separation involved in going to the workhouse. I listened to one tale after another of harassment, misery and thoughtless oppression in Kiltyclogher till my heart was sick, and I felt one desire—to run away that I might hear no more. I applied the traditional grain of salt to what I heard, but could not manage to add it to what I saw.

Mr. Tottenham rules part of Kiltyclogher. This man has a very evil name among the tenants. Reclamation of land by very poor people is a very serious matter. Not only do the bogs require drains twenty-one feet apart and three deep (I have seen the people in the act of making such drains again and again); not only do the surface stones require to be gathered off, but great stones and immense boulders that obstruct the formation of the drains, have to be removed, and as they have no powder for blasting, they take the primitive method of kindling great fires over the rock and splitting it up that way, so that their husbandry is farming under difficulties. As the Fermanagh farmer said, they put their lives into it.

In the long ago the landlords of Ireland, though extravagant, were not, as a class, unkindly, but their waste involved the land, and their absenteeism prevented any thoughts for the benefit of the country ever occurring to them.

The commercial spirit has invaded the aristocracy and men have begun to see visions of redeeming their lands from encumbrances and to dream dreams of still greater aggrandizement, all to be realized by commercial tact in raising the rents and abolishing the long-suffering people who could not be squeezed any farther. It was then that the beginning of the present desperate state of things was inaugurated. I do not think the landlords deliberately meant to oppress. I think they looked to the one thing, raising their rental, increasing their income, and went over everything, through everything to the desired end. They have succeeded in making a wide separation between the land-holding and land-tilling classes. It will be a difficult matter to bring them together again.

XXVII.

A HARD LANDLORD INTERVIEWED—CONFLICTING STATEMENTS—COLD STEEL.

The morning after our return to Manor Hamilton, Mr. Corscadden called on me in response to my note asking for an interview. I had formed a mental picture of what this gentleman would be like from the description I had heard of his actions. I found him very different. An elderly man, tall, gray-haired, soft-spoken, with a certain hesitation of manner, dressed like a better class-farmer, eyes that looked you square in the face without flinching, and yet had a kindly expression. This was Mr. Corscadden. I need not say he was not the man I expected him to be.

He, very kindly indeed, entered into an explanation of his management of this property since it fell into his hands. He mentioned, by the way, that he was a man of the people; had risen to his present position by industry and stern thrift; what he had he owed, under the blessing of God, to his own exertions and economy. He declared that he ruled his conduct to his tenants by what he should wish to be done to himself if in their place.

He then took up the case of one tenant, James Gilray, who waited on him to enquire, “What are you going to do with me?” This man, according to Mr. Corscadden’s statement, owed three years’ rent, amounting to £30; owed £15 additional money paid into the bank for him; owed £6 for a field, “for which I used to get £11 to £12.” “Now,” said Mr. Corscadden to him, “what do you want?” “I want,” said the man, “to have my place at the former rent.” “Do you,” said Mr. Corscadden, “want your land at what it was 118 years ago? Land has raised in value five times since then.” There is here a wide discrepancy between this statement of Mr. Corscadden’s and the statement of another gentleman—not a tenant—who professed himself well acquainted with the subject. He said that before Mr. Corscadden bought the land the tenants had voluntarily increased the rent on themselves twice, for fear of passing out of the hands of the man they knew into the hands of a stranger; so that it was under a rack rent when Mr. Corscadden bought it.

Another case referred to by Mr. Corscadden was that of a man to whom he had rented a farm of 20 acres at £16. He got one year’s rent; two and a half years were due, when he served a writ of ejectment. Mr. Corscadden said to this man; “You are a bad farmer and you know it. You have about £150 worth of stock; I will give you £40; leave my place and go to America. He took the money,” said the old gentleman pathetically, “and did not go to America, but rented another farm. The woman at Glenade whom you went to see I have kept—supported—for years. Her husband did not pay his rent, and I gave him £10 to pay his passage to America. He is a bad man. It is rumored that he has married another woman; his wife never hears from him.”

“It is wonderful, Mr. Corscadden,” I remarked, “when you are so kind that you have such a bad name as a landlord. Mr. Tottenham and you are the most unpopular landlords in Leitrim.”

“I do not know why; I act as I would wish others to do to me. I do not forget that I have to give an account to the Holy One.”

“You are accused of wasting away the tenants, because cattle and sheep are more profitable than people.”

“I transferred two to places down near the sea and gave them better land than I took from them. I have been speaking about the others whom I paid to remove.”

“People complain that you took the mountain pasture from the tenants and then raised the rent of the remainder to double of what they had paid for all.”

“Not double, nearly double. As to the mountain, I called them together and proposed taking the mountain, as they had nothing to put on it; they had not a beast. They consented, at least they made no objections. I wanted the mountains for Scotch sheep. I put on about a hundred; there are few to be seen now; they have disappeared.”

He then mentioned the shooting at his son, the burning of the office houses with hay and potatoes stored there, the trouble he had had about the police hut which the constabulary had drawn to Glenade that morning.

“That will cost the country as much as £500,” said Mr. Corscadden. “They are unthrifty in this country, they eat all the large potatoes, plant all the little runts, till they have run out the seed.” (Alas, what will not hunger do!) “They come into market with their butter in small quantities, wasting a day and sacrificing the butter.” (Need again: time is wasted here, for labor is so plentiful and men are so cheap that time has no value in their eyes.)

I asked Mr. Corscadden what he thought would be a remedy for this dreadful state of things. He did not see a remedy except emigration. Mr. Corscadden took his leave politely, wishing me a pleasant tour through my own country. I have as faithfully as possible recorded Mr. Corscadden’s side of the story. The tenant’s side I have softened considerably, and omitted some things altogether to be inside of the mark. One thing I forgot to mention: Mr. Corscadden said that the tenants might raise a couple of pigs or a heifer and pay the rent and have all the rest to themselves.

I said, “When these bad years ending in one of positive famine have stripped the poorer tenants bare, and pigs are so dear, where could a poor man get thirty shillings to buy a sucking pig or buy provender to feed it?” This is true, the first step is the difficulty. They might do this, or this, or this, and it would be profitable, but where are the means to take the first step? It is easy to stand afar off and say, be economical, be industrious, and you will prosper. In the meantime pay up the back rent or get out of this and give place to better men. They tell me that Mr. LaTouche charges the poor creatures interest on all the back rent. Some who have paid their rent here did not—could not—raise it on their farms, but got it from friends in America.

Mr. Corscadden asked me in the course of our conversation what I would consider a fair rent. I said I would consider the rent fair that was raised on the land for which rent was paid, leaving behind enough to live on, and something to spare, so that one bad season or two would not reduce the tenant to beggary.

The fact of the matter is, and I would be false to my own conscience if I hesitated to say it, these people have been kept drained bare; the hard years reduced them to helpless poverty, and now the only remedy is to get rid of them altogether. The price of these military and police, the price of these special services rendered to unpopular landlords to aid them in grinding down these wretched people, spent to help them would go far to make prosperity possible to them once more. If they had a rent they could pay and live, the millstone of arrears taken from about their necks, I believe they would become both loyal and contented. Empty stomachs, bare clothing, lying hard and cold at night through poverty is trying to loyalty.

The turbary nuisance is the great oppression of all. Want of food is bad, but want of fuel added to it! Forty years ago renting land meant getting a bit of bog in with the land. When there is a special charge for the privilege of cutting turf and the times so hard there is much additional suffering.

In the famine time people getting relief had to travel for the ticket, travel to get the meal, and then go to gather whins or heather on the hills to cook it, and the hungry children waiting all the time. A respectable person said to me the famine was worst on respectable people, for looking for the red ticket and carrying it to get meal by it was like the pains of death.

Wherever I went through Leitrim I saw people, scattered here and there, gathering twigs for fuel or coming toward home with their burden of twigs on their backs. I declare I thought often of the Israelites scattered through the fields of Egypt gathering stubble instead of straw. A tenant who objects to anything, who is not properly obedient and respectful, can have the screw turned upon him about the turf as well as about the rent.

XXVIII.

THE MANOR HAMILTON WORKHOUSE—TO THE SOUTH AND WESTWARD—A CHANGE OF SCENERY—LORD PALMERSTON.

Before leaving Manor Hamilton, I determined to see the poor-house, the last shelter for the evicted people. I was informed that it was conducted in a very economical manner. It is on the outskirts of the town. On my way there I went up a little hill to look at a picturesque Episcopalian church perched up there amid the trees, surrounded by a pretty, well-kept burying-ground. The church walls were ornamented with memorial slabs set in the wall commemorating people whose remains were not buried there. A pretty cottage stood by the gate, at the door of which a decent-looking woman sat sewing. I addressed a few questions to her as to the name of the pastor, the size of his flock, &c. Her answers were guarded—very.

I made my way down the hill, and over to the workhouse. The grounds before the entrance were not laid out with the taste observable at Enniskillen. Perhaps they had not a professional gardener among their inmates. At the entrance a person was leaning against the door in an easy attitude. I enquired if I might be allowed to see through the workhouse. He answered by asking what my business was. I informed him that I was correspondent for a Canadian newspaper. He then enquired if the paper I wrote for was a Conservative paper. I replied that I would not describe it as a Conservative paper, but as a religious paper. He then said the matron was not at home, and I prepared to leave. I enquired first if he was the master. He replied in the affirmative, and then said he would get the porter to show me round. “You will show her through,” he said, to a stout, heavy person sitting in the entry.

This gentleman, who brought to my mind the estimable Jeremiah Flintwinch, accordingly showed me through the building. We passed the closed doors of the casual ward, where intending inmates were examined for admittance, and casuals were lodged for the night. Every door was unlocked to admit us and carefully locked behind us, conveying an idea of very prison-like administration. The able-bodied were at work, I suppose, for few were visible except women who were nursing children. There was a large number of patients in the infirmary wards. One man whose bed was on the floor was evidently very near the gate we all must enter. He never opened his eyes or seemed conscious of the presence of a stranger. I noticed a little boy lift the poor head to place it easier. I saw no one whom I could imagine was a nurse. The kindness and tenderness of the beggar nurses in the sick wards of the workhouse at Ballymena struck me forcibly. The absence of anything of the kind struck me forcibly in Manor Hamilton.

The children in this workhouse were pretty numerous. They demanded something from me with the air of little footpads. The women were little better. I was told, pretty imperatively, to look in my pockets. One woman rushed after me half way up stairs as if she would compel a gift. Coming back with my throat full of feelings, I was directed to a little desk behind the door, where lay the book for visitors: I was shown the place where remarks were to be entered. I wrote my name standing, as there was no other way provided. I was hardly fit to write cool remarks. The locked doors, the nurses conspicuous by their absence, the importunate beggars, the absent matron, the whole establishment was far below anything of the kind I had yet seen in Ireland. One woman had made her appearance from some unexpected place, and explained to me with floury hands, that if she were not baking she would herself show me through the house.

I think it is hard for struggling poverty to go down so far as to take shelter in the workhouse. It must be like the bitterness of death. I cannot imagine the feeling of any human beings when the big door clashes on them, the key turns, and they find themselves an inmate of the workhouse at Manor Hamilton. I do not wonder that the creatures starving outside preferred to suffer rather than go in. When I returned to the entrance the master had been joined by some others who were helping him to do nothing. He asked me over his shoulder what I thought of the house. I answered that it was a fine building, and walked down the avenue, wishing I was able to speak in a cool manner and to tell him what I thought of the house and of his management of the same.

Left Manor Hamilton on the long car for Sligo. The long car is the unworthy successor of the defunct mail coach of blessed memory. It is an exaggerated jaunting car arranged on the wheels and axles of a lumber waggon and it is drawn by a span sometimes; in this case, by four horses. A female was waving her hands and shouting incoherent blessings after us as we started. It might be for me or it might be for the land agent, who sat on the same side. I smiled by way of willingness to accept it, for it is better to have a blessing slung after one than a curse or a big stone.

Our road skirted Benbo (the hill of cattle), sacred now to rabbits and hares and any other small game that can shelter on its bald sides. Up hill and down hill, between hills and around hills, mountains of every shape and degree of bareness and baldness looking down at us over one another’s shoulders as we drove along. An ambitious little peasant clung on behind with his hands, his little bare feet thudding on the smooth road and over the loose layer of sharp stones that lay edge upwards in places. He thought he was taking a ride. We passed small fields of reclaimed bog, where ragged men were planting potatoes in narrow ridges. We passed the brown fields where nothing will be planted; passed the small donkeys with their big loads; passed green meadows on a small scale; in places here and there, passed the houses, dark, damp and unwholesome, where these people live.

After we had rumbled on for some miles, enjoying blinks of cold sunshine, enduring heavy scudding showers, the landscape began to soften considerably. The grass grew green instead of olive, and trees clustered along the road. Umbrageous sycamores, claiming kindred with our maples, began to stand along the road singly and in clusters. We were still in a valley bounded by mountains, but the hill-sides waved with dark green and light green foliage, where the fir stretched upward tall plumes and the larch shook downward tasseled streamers. The green of the fields became greener and richer, the dark sterile moss-covered mountains retreated and frowned at us from the distance; we were leaving the hungry hills of north Leitrim for the pleasant valleys that lie smiling around Sligo.

The trees grew larger, the sycamores massed together in their full leafiness, bringing visions of a sugar bush in the time of leaves; they were mingled with the delicious green of the newly-leaved beech. The round-headed chestnuts, with their clustered leaves, were covered with tall spikes of blossom like the tapers on an overgrown Christmas tree. The ash and oak are shaking out their leaves tardily; the orchards are white with the bridal bloom of May. The fields are flocked with myriads of happy eyed daisies, the ditch backs glowing with golden blossoms. My eyes make me wealthy with looking at beauty.

We are nearing the town, for the woodland wealth is enclosed behind high walls. Grand houses peep from among the branches; trim lodges, ivy- garnished, sit at the gates, glimpses of gardens are seen, all the wealth of leafage and blossoming that fertility spreads over the land when spring breathes is here. In a glow of sunshine after the rain— smiles after tears—we enter Sligo.

We draw up in the open street, everyone alights from our elevation as they can. No one takes notice of any other by way of help. Each gets off and goes his several way. The land agent, who has sat in high-bred silence all the way, pays his fare and goes off on the car that awaits him. The rest disperse. I pay my fare. The driver asks to be remembered. I mentally wonder what for. I paid a porter to place my bag on the car. I got up as I could, I scramble down as I may. I will pay another porter to take me to a hotel. The driver’s whip takes as much notice of me as he does. Why in the world should I remember him? It is part of a system of imposition and it would be rank communism to find fault, so I remember him; he thanks me, and this little game of give and take ends.

Installed in the Imperial Hotel I send off my one letter of introduction, which remains. Discover the post office, find no letters, return and sit down to write across the water. The lady proprietor of the Imperial Hotel has been across the Atlantic and has a warm feeling toward the inhabitants of the great republic; she shares the benefit of this feeling with the wandering Canadian and takes us out to see Sligo.

Gladly do we lay down the pen to look Sligo straight in the face. Sligo looks nice and clean. Belfast is large, prosperous, beautiful; but many of her fine buildings and public monuments look as if they required to have their faces washed, but Sligo buildings are fair and clean. We pass a rather nice building, suppose it a school, but we are informed it is the rent-office of the late Lord Palmerston. That astute nobleman showed his usual good sense, if it was his choice, to own lands in the sunny vales of Sligo instead of the hungry hills of Leitrim. If some have greatness thrust upon them, some in the same way inherit lands. Out of the town we went, and climbed up a grassy eminence; with some difficulty got upon the “topmost tow’ring height” of an old earthwork—blamed on the Danes of course; everything unknown is laid on them. The square shape, the remains of the ditch that surrounds it look too much like modern modes of fortification not to have a suspiciously British look. Of course we are both delightfully ignorant on the subject.

The scenery from our elevated position is glorious. At our feet Sligo, all her buildings, churches and convents white in the sunshine, around her the fairest of green fields; the blue waters of Lough Gill sparkling and glancing from among trees of every variety that in spring put on a mantle of leaves. On every side but the gate of the west through which we see a misty glance of the far Atlantic, Sligo has mountains standing sentry around her. One, Knock-na-rea, is seen from a great distance, a long mountain with a little mountain on her breast. The bells were chiming musically, the sound floating up to where we stood. Below us, on the other side of the old earthwork, a little apart from one another, stood two great buildings, that are so necessary here, the poor-house and the lunatic asylum. These magnificent and extensive buildings must have cost an immense sum. The asylum has been enlarged recently, as the freshly-cut stone and white mortar of one wing testified.

As I looked, a band struck up familiar airs. We saw them standing in a field beside the asylum. I was told that the band was composed of patients. This made the music more thrilling. When they struck up “Auld Lang Syne,” or “There Is no Luck About the House,” there was a wail in it to my ears, after home, happiness and reason. We got down from our high position and came home by another way, passing through some of the poorer streets of Sligo, which are kept scrupulously clean. Even here women and girls were gathering sticks to cook the handful of meal. The poor are very poor on the bare hills of Leitrim, or in this green valley of Sligo.

XXIX.

ON LOUGH GILL—TWO MEN—STAMPEDE FROM SLIGO—THE ANCIENT AND THE MODERN.

I was a little disappointed that I was getting no information on any side of the question of the day, and my letters which were to be sent to Sligo not coming to hand, I was advised to go down the beautiful Lough Gill to Drumahaire to see the ruins of Brefni Castle, the place from which the fair wife of the O’Ruarke, Prince of Brefni, fled with McMurrough, which was the cause of the Saxon first gripping green Erin. I thought I might as well, and set out to walk to the boat landing, a good billie out of Sligo, along the street, past small tenement houses inhabited by laborers, who do not always obtain work, past the big gloomy gaol, past the dead wall and the high bank on the top of which goats are browsing, down to the landing beside the closely-locked iron gate, and the little lodge sitting among the trees behind it, belonging to the property of a Captain Wood Martin. Had the felicity, while yet some way off, of seeing the shabby little boat cast off the rope and puff herself and paddle herself slowly off down the lake.

Coming back a very pretty girl electrified me by informing me that I was from America. She advised me to take a small boat and have a sail on Lough Gill, for I would always regret it if I did not see its beauty when I had the opportunity. In her excessive kindness she introduced me to a river maiden, strong and comely, who would row me about with all kindness for a small consideration. Prudently discovered what the consideration was to be, and then gave in to the arrangement.

The water nymph had been away gathering sticks; she had to empty her boat and I waited a little impatiently, a little ruefully. The boat was big, clumsy and leaky, but the girl was eloquent and eager to persuade me it was a fast and comfortable boat. She produced an ancient cushion from somewhere; there was a clumsy getting on board, and she pushed off. We went sailing down among the swans, the coots and the rushes, and passed little tree-laden islands, hooped with stone wall for fear they might be washed away. The sun shone pleasantly, the swans floated on majestically, or solemnly dived for our pleasure, the coots skimmed about knowing well we had not often enjoyed the pleasure of watching them. The grand woods that encompass the residence of Wynne of Hazelwood spread out over many, many acres, caught the sunlight on one side. The broad green meadows of Captain Wood Martin lying among the trees looked like visions of Eden on the other. My river maiden discovered to me a swan’s nest among the reeds; told me stories of the fierceness of brooding swans, and offered to get me a swan’s egg for a curiosity, nevertheless.

Remarking to her that Captain Wood Martin kept his grounds locked up very carefully; enquired what should happen if we drew ashore and landed on his tabooed domain. The water maiden said one of his men would turn us out. Enquired if he was a good landlord. “Oh, sure he has ne’er a tenant at all at all on his whole place; it does be all grazing land. He takes cattle to graze. He charges £2 a year for a yearling and £5 a year for a four-year-old, and he has cattle of his own on it.” How do you know the price? “Sure I read it on the handbills posted up.”

Looking at the other side of the glorious lake, at the long thicket of trees that shades the demesne that Wynne of Hazelwood keeps for his home and glory, stretching over miles of country; saw the little grey rabbits, more precious than men in my native land, that were hopping along, after their manner, quite a little procession of them, at the edge of the bush; and said, “What kind of a landlord does Wynne of Hazelwood make?” “Is it Mr. Wynne, ma’am? Oh, then, sure it’s him that is the good landlord and the good man out and out. He is a good man, a very good man, and no mistake.” “Why, what makes you think him such a good man?” “Because he never does a mane or durty action; he’s a gentleman entirely.” “Come now, you tell me what he does not do; if you want me to believe in your Mr. Wynne, tell me some good thing he has done.” “I can soon do that, ma’am,” said my water maiden. “Last winter was a hard winter; the work was scarce, and the poor people would have starved for want of fire but for Mr. Wynne of Hazelwood.” “He let you gather sticks in his woods, then?” “He did more than that; he cut down trees on purpose for the people, and we drew them over the ice, for the lough was frozen over. We had no fire in our house all last winter, and it was a cold one, but what we got that way from Mr. Wynne.” Mr. Wynne’s eloquent advocate rowed along the lake close in shore, for fear of any doubt resting on my mind, and showed the stumps of the trees, cut very close to the ground, a great many of them indeed, as a proof of Mr. Wynne’s thoughtful generosity.

We rowed along over the laughing waters among the pretty islands, and finally pulled ashore on the Hazelwood demesne and landed. We walked round a little bit, filling our eyes with beauty; feloniously abstracted a few wild flowers and a fir cone or two, and reluctantly left Hazelwood. Now this gentleman was not a perceptible whit the poorer for all the cottage homes that were warmed by his bounty—yes, and hearts were warmed, too, through the dreary winter. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor.” There is riches for you—oh master of Hazelwood!

The emigration from Sligo amounts to a stampede now. How many more would leave the island that has no place for them, if they only had the means?

I missed that Drumahaire boat no less than three times—that is, she was either gone before the time when she was said to go, or was lying quietly at the wharf, having made up her mind not to stir that day. She seemed to have no stated time for going or coming, or if she had, to keep it as secret as an eviction, for no one could be found to speak with certainty of her movements. When disappointed for the third time, my very kind friend, Mrs. O’Donell, of the Imperial Hotel, took me on her own car to Drumahaire. We drove completely round lovely Lough Gill, seeing it from many points of view. Sligo is not altogether a garden of Eden, for we passed a great deal of poor stony barren land here and there during this journey. Like all hilly land, there are pretty vales among the hills and fair, broad fields here and there, but there is much barren and almost worthless soil.

Now, there is one thing that has struck me forcibly since I came to Ireland. I saw it in Down, Antrim, Derry, Donegal, wherever I have been as well as in Sligo. The poorer and more worthless the land, there were the tenants’ houses the thickest. The good land has been monopolized to an immense extent for lands laid out for grandeur and glory—and they are grand and gloriously beautiful. Then pride and fashion demand that the mountain commons be reserved for game, that is, rabbits. A man must have extensive wilds to shoot over, so the poor laborers are huddled into houses—awful hutches without gardens, and the poor farmers are clustered on barren soil, trying to force nature to allow them to live after paying the rent.

We got to Drumahaire, stopped at a dandy iron gate beyond which the turrets of Brefni Castle were waving funereal banners of ivy, entered and found ourselves in a private domain. Here in the shadow of the old castle was the handsome modern cottage, extensive and stylish, inhabited by Mr. Latouche, the agent so much dreaded, so much hated in Northern Leitrim. This is the gentleman who is accused of charging the tenants 10s. 6d. for potatoes which the landlord sent down to be given to the tenants at five. If racking the tenantry is the condition on which he gets this lovely home, it is a temptation certainly. We felt as if we were in the wrong place, as, after glancing at the handsome cottage, the trim lawn fringed with shrubbery and then at the ruins we took the lower walk hoping to get round under the shelter of some trees to the ruins. A small river brawled over the stones below—far below where we were walking. A detached portion of the ruins sitting on a rock overlooked both us and the river. Was it in any part of this building that the naughty lady watched for her lover?

A little further on we looked down some steps into gardens stretching along beside the river—gardens blazing with flowers and sweet with blossomed fruit trees. It was so unexpected, so splendidly beautiful, it surpassed a dream of fairy-land. We passed on, saw a shadowy lady among the flowers on the lawn, knew it was the wraith of the unhappy and guilty Dearvorgill. Stole out of the farther gate—at least I did— feeling naughty and intrusive. Found ourselves in the clean little town of Drumahaire, a pretty little village, straggled over a hillside among the trees.

Went into a shop to enquire for the veritable Brefni Castle. A sad and hungry-looking man scenting a possible sixpence started forward as guide. He piloted us back by the way we came into the ruins we had passed. Was determined to see visions and dream dreams amid these historical ruins. Alas, it was a disgraceful failure. Not only was the back of the modern tyrannical cottage laid up against the tyrannical castle of history, but the ancient and modern were dovetailed into one another, trying to bewilder you as to where ancient history and legend ended, and modern anecdote began. We looked into the great hall with its deep fire-place at the side, and upwards where another stately apartment had once been, a lofty presence room over the great hall, but the week’s wash of the La Touches was flapping in the wind that moaned through the deserted halls of the O’Ruarke. Looked into a tower to find a peat stack, climbed over a load of coal to see the withdrawing room of the departed, but not forgotten great lady, or the kitchen that cooked for the men-at-arms, who waited on the lord’s behest. Peeped into a turret and was insolently asked what we meant by a splendid but ill-tongued peacock; admired the ivy green that happed the bare walls and noticed that the chickens roosted there in its shelter.

We drove home by another way, among gay, green woods under the shelter of mighty rocks, passed more ruins. We stopped to examine these older ruins of the ancient O’Ruarkes. A Milesian gentleman showed us through them. It is the correct thing to have a ruin on your place; it is a kind of patent of gentility. If a banshee could be thrown in along with a ruin, a new man would give a great price for an old place. But banshees are getting scarce and decline to be caught. This ruin has been patched over, clumsily but earnestly, so that hardly a speck of the original ruin is left. It was delightful to listen to our Milesian guide. My companion was bound to get some information out of him. He was cautious, not knowing who we were or what design we might have to entangle him in his talk; he was determined that he would not give the desired information. He conquered. The ruins were not worth sixpence altogether to look at, but I gave him sixpence as a tribute to genius. And so in the dim evening we drove back to Sligo.

XXX.

SLIGO’S GOOD LANDLORDS—THE POLICE AND THEIR DUTIES—A DOUBTFUL COMPLIMENT—AN AMAZON.

It has been something wonderful to me that when I left Leitrim, I seemed to have left all bad landlords behind me. Every one I came in contact with in Sligo, rich or poor, had something to say about a good landlord. Some were thoughtfully kind and considerate, of which they gave me numerous instances; others if the kind actions were unknown, positively unkind ones were unknown also, so their portraits came out in neutral tints. I conversed with high Tories and admirers of the Land League, but heard only praise of Sligo’s lords of the soil. I thought I should leave Sligo, believing it an exceptional place, but just before I left I heard two persons speak of one bad landlord of Sligo.

On May 18th I left the green valleys of Sligo behind and took passage on the long car for Ballina. I found that the long car was to be shared with a contingent of police, who were returning to their several stations after lawfully prowling round the country protecting bailiffs and process-servers in their unpopular work. I cannot believe that these quiet, repressed conservators of the peace can possibly feel proud of their duties. These duties must often—and very often—be repugnant to the heart of any man who has a heart, and I suppose the majority of them have hearts behind their trim jackets. I liked to look at these men, they are so trim, clean, self-respectful. They have also a well-fed appearance, which is comfortable to notice after looking at the hungry- looking, tattered people, from whom they protect the bailiffs.

We passed Balasodare—I did not stop, for I felt that it was better to get this disagreeable journey over at once.

We stopped at a place called Dromore west, to change horses and to change cars. We had dropped the police, a few at a time, as we came along, so that now the car was not by any means crowded. We all stood on the road while the change of horses was being made. It was slow work, and I went into a shop near to ask for a glass of water. The mistress of the shop enquired if I would take milk. I assented, and was served with a brimming tumbler of excellent milk. Payment was refused, and as I turned to leave, I was favored with a subdued groan from the women assembled in the shop. Evidently they thought I was some tyrant who required the protection of the police. It would not flatter me—not much—to be taken for some landholders here.

When my police fellow-voyagers were dropped at their comfortable white barracks here and there, and only one was left, we fell into conversation to beguile the time. He had been at one time on duty in Donegal and knew how matters were there, from his point of view, better than I did. We spoke of Captain Dopping, and his opinion of him was if anything lower than mine. He expressed great thankfulness that guarding the Captain had never been his duty. Whether he disliked it from moral causes, or for fear of intercepting in his own person a stray bullet intended for the gallant captain, he did not say.

Arrived at Ballina after a long, tiresome journey, yet like everything else in this world it had its compensations. Ballina is a kind of seaport town, in the Rip Van Winkle way. An inlet from Killala Bay called the Moy runs up to the town. There is no stir on the water, no perceptible merchandise on the quay. One dull steamboat painted black, in mourning for the traffic and bustle of life that ought to be there, slides out on its way to Liverpool and creeps back again cannily. Unless you see this steamboat I can testify that you might put up quite a while at Ballina and never hear its existence mentioned, so it cannot be of much account. The streets are thronged with barefoot women and ragged lads with their threepenny loads of turf. The patient ass, with his straw harness and creels, is the prevailing beast of burden everywhere I have travelled since I entered Enniskillen with the exception of Sligo.

Sligo town, like Belfast in a lesser degree, has the appearance of having something to do and of paying the people something who do it. The traders who come to Ballina market seem to trade in a small way as at Manor Hamilton. Still, the town is handsome and clean, a large part of the population, prosperous-looking, in an easy going way, the ladies fine-looking and well dressed. One wonders what supports all this, for the business of the town seems of little account.

Spent a Sunday here and after church became aware that the too, too celebrated Miss Gardiner, with her friend Miss Pringle, had arrived at the hotel on their way to Dublin, on evictions bent. The police had marched out in the evening to her place to protect her in. I was eager to see this lady, who enjoys a world-wide fame, so sent her my card requesting an interview, which she declined. I caught a glimpse of her in the hall as she passed out with her friend and guard. She is a very stout, loud-voiced lady, not pretty. The bulge made by the pistols she carries was quite noticeable. “Arrah, why do you want to see either of them,” said a maiden to me. “Sure they both of thim drink like dragons”— dragoons she meant, I suppose—”an’ swear like troopers, an’ fight like cats.” This was a queer bit of news to me. I did not take any notice of it at that time; but, dear me, it is as common news as the paving stories on the street.

Miss Gardiner is almost constantly at law with her tenants, lives in a state of siege, maintains, at the cost of the country, an armed body guard, and is doing her very best to embroil the country in her efforts to clear the tenants off her property. At the Ballycastle petty sessions a woman summoned by this lady for overholding, as they call it, appeared by her son and pleaded that she had been illegally evicted. Miss Gardiner told them they might do what they liked, but she must get her house. Now this house never cost Miss Gardiner a farthing for repairs nor for erection, and it is all the house the wretched creatures have, and, of course, they hold to it as long as they are able. The priest attempted to put in a word for the woman, and was unmercifully snubbed by the bench. In Miss Gardiner’s next case, the bench decided that the service was illegal. Miss Gardiner then called out, “I now demand possession of you in the presence of the court.” The bench would not accept this notice as legal. She had a great many cases and gained them all but this one. This particular Sunday when I had the honor of seeing her she was bound for Dublin on eviction business.

XXXI.

KILLALA—THE CANADIAN GRANT TO THE FAMINE FUND AND WHAT IT HAS DONE— BALLYSAKEERY—THREE LANDLORDS—A LANDLORD’S INTERESTING STATEMENT.

I had the very great pleasure of a drive to the ancient town of Killala, accompanied by the wife of the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, who superintends the orphanage and the mission schools in connection with the Presbyterian Church of Ballina. Killala is an old town with a gentle flavor of decay about it. It has a round tower in good preservation, and an ancient church. I was shown the point where the French landed at the stirring time of war and rebellion.

It makes my heart glad to hear in so many places of the benefit the Canadian grant has been to this suffering country. I heard with great pleasure of fishing boats along the coast named Montreal, Toronto and other Canadian names in affectionate remembrance of the Canadian dollars that paid for them. This grant has been a means of convincing the people that there is such a place as Canada. The peasant mind had a sort of belief that America consisted of two large towns, New York and Philadelphia. In one instance the Canadian paid nets arrived on Thursday; they were in the water on Saturday, and many boats returned laden with mackerel. So great a capture had not been remembered for many years. In one locality where the nets given were valued for less than £200, it was proved that the boats had brought in during four weeks over £1,200 worth of mackerel.

After we had taken a view of Killala we had a pleasant interview with the good minister at Ballysakeery. Here we received one of those welcomes that cheer the travellers’ way and leave a warm remembrance behind. The famine pressed hard upon Mayo. Many respectable people were obliged to accept relief in the form of necessary food, seed potatoes and seed oats. It is a noticeable fact that here, as in Leitrim—that part at least of Leitrim in which I made investigations—the landlords in a body held back from giving any help to the starving people on their lands. Sir Roger Palmer gave potatoes to his tenants and sold them meal at the lowest possible figure, thus saving them from having the millstone of Gombeen tied round their neck. Sir Charles Gore, a resident landlord, has the name of generosity at this time of want, and justice at all times, which is better to be chosen than great riches. The Earl of Arran, who has drawn a large income, he and his ancestors, from this part of Mayo for which they paid nothing, not only gave nothing but gave no reply whatever to letters asking for help.

The land belonging to the Earl of Arran here—I cannot undertake to write the name of the locality by the sound—was a common waste and was let by the Earl at two shillings and sixpence per acre to Presbyterian tenants, who came here from the North I believe. Of course they had to reclaim, fence, drain, cultivate for years. They built dwellings and office houses, built their lives into the place. After they had spent the toil of years on improvement, their rents were raised to seven and sixpence per acre, five shillings at one rise; then it was raised to ten shillings; the next rise was to fifteen shillings and then to twenty. The land is not now able to bear more than fourteen shillings an acre rent and support the people who till it. These people have been paying a rack rent for years to this nobleman, the Earl of Arran, yet when starvation overtook them, he had neither helping hand nor feeling heart for them.

The distress of this last famine was so great in this corner of Mayo that people on holdings of thirty acres were starving—would have died but for the relief afforded. It takes some time—and more than one good harvest—for people who have got to starvation to recover themselves far enough to pay arrears of rent.

We visited the ruins of Moyne Abbey, which are in good preservation yet. One of the present lords of the soil had a part of it made habitable and lived there some time, but it is again unroofed and left to desolation. It has been a very extensive building, stretching over a great extent of land now cleared of ruins. What remains is still imposing.

We had a pleasant interview with the Rev. Mr. Nolan, the kind and patriotic priest of this neighborhood, and we returned to Ballina as gratified and as tired as children after a holiday excursion.

I was introduced at Ballina to a landlord, a fine, clever-looking man, with that particularly well-kept and well-fed appearance which is as characteristic of the upper classes in Ireland as a hunger-bitten, hunted look is characteristic of the poor. I would not like to employ as strong language in speaking of the wrongs of the tenantry as this gentleman used to me. He is both landlord and agent. He condemned all the policy of the Government toward Ireland in no measured terms. Spoke of the emigration that is going on now, as well as the emigration that had taken place after the last famine, as men going out to be educated for and to watch for the time of retribution. Retribution for the accumulated wrongs which mis-government had heaped upon Ireland he looked upon as inevitable, as coming down the years slowly but surely to the place of meeting and of paying to the uttermost farthing. Well, now, these are queer sentiments for a landlord to hold and to utter publicly. He acknowledged freely that a great part—a very great part—of the excessive rents extorted on pain of eviction, the eviction taking place when the unfortunate fell behind, were really premiums paid on their own labor. Furthermore, he acknowledged that he himself had raised the tenants’ rents on the estates for which he was agent, compelling them to pay smartly for the work of their own hands. He spoke highly of the people as a whole, of their patience, their kindliness to one another, and their piety. He spoke of the case of one man, a peasant, who could only speak broken English, who came under his notice by coming to him to sell rye-grass to make up his rent. This man with the imperfect English was a tenant of the gentleman’s brother. He held three acres, two roods of land in one place at a rent of £7 5s, where his house stood; one acre, at £1 4s. Of course he or his ancestors built the house. His poor rate and county cess is 16s, or $46.25 yearly for four acres, two roods of land. If they got it for nothing they could not live on it, say some. The best manure that can be put upon land is to salt it well with rent, say Mr. Tottenham and Mr. Corscadden. Well, this man since the famine, has no stock but one ass and a few hens. He cut and saved his rye-grass himself, sold it for £3 10s, sold his oats for £3 4s 6d; had nothing more to sell; had remaining for his wife and two little ones a little meal and potatoes. He is a year and a half behind in his rent, and likely, after all his toil and struggle, to be set on the roadside with the rest. He has no bog near, there is none nearer than over five miles, except some belonging to Miss Gardiner. Of course that mild and sober spinster that will not oblige her own tenants has nothing in the way of favor for outsiders. It took him twelve days last year to make sufficient turf to keep the hearth warm. He went to the bog in the morning on his breakfast of dry stirabout, with a bit of cold stirabout in his pocket to keep off the hungry grass, as the peasant calls famished pains, and walked home to his dry stirabout at night, having walked going and coming eleven Irish miles over and above his day’s work. He drew home seventy ass loads of turf at the rate of two loads per day—twenty-two Irish miles of a walk. Let Christians imagine this man at his toil in his thin clothing, poor diet and bed of straw with scanty coverlet, toiling early and late to pay an unjust rent. Often after his hard day’s work he has gone out at night with the fishers and toiled all night in hopes of adding something to his scanty stores. Said the landlord, “The vilest criminal could not have a harder life than this God-fearing uncomplaining peasant. What I tell you I drew from him, for he made no complaint.” “You have a hard life of it, my man,” said the landlord to him. He was not his tenant. “Well, sir, sure God is good and knows best,” was the man’s answer.

I was very much astonished at this gentleman’s narrative and his other admissions, and I ventured to enquire for my own satisfaction had he made restitution to the tenants. “Have you, sir, restored what you have robbed?” I did not suggest the four-fold which is the rule of that Book which we acknowledge as a guide and law-giver. “I am doing so,” he replied, and he handed me a printed address to the tenants, offering twenty-five percent reduction on arrears, if paid within a certain time. Now, I was very much interested in this gentleman and in his opinions, but I could not bring myself to agree with him that this was restitution. However, I state the matter and leave it to that enlightened jury, the readers of the Witness, “too large to pack at any rate,” and let them give their decision. I think myself that a little of the Sermon on the Mount, applied conscientiously, would be good for those who hold the happiness of Ireland in their hands. When justice becomes loud-voiced and likely to pass into vengeance, they talk of giving a little as charity.

XXXII.

THE STORY OF AN EVICTION.

On the 20th of May I received a whisper of an eviction that was to occur up in the neighborhood of the Ox Mountains. Great opposition was expected, and therefore a large force of police was to be there. I procured a car, and in company with the local editor went to see. The landlord of this property is an absentee; the agent—a Mr. Irwin—lived in a pleasant residence which we passed on our way. We noticed that it was sheepshearing time at his place, and many sheep were in the act of losing their winter covering.

After we left Ballina behind, and followed in the wake of the police for some time, we seemed to have got into the “stony streak.” Such land! Small fields—pocket handkerchiefs of fields—the stones gathered off them built into perfect ramparts around them! I enquired of one gentleman what was the rent exacted for this land so weighted down with stones—for in addition to the high, broad fences surrounding the little fields some of them had cairns of stones built up in the middle of them. He said thirty shillings an acre ($7.50); asked another who said fifteen ($3.75). I fancy one would need to see the office receipts to know correctly.

There is little cultivation in this part of the country. Hopeless- looking ragged men, and barefoot ragged women, were at work in the fields; little ragged children peeped from the wretched houses at the police as they passed. And indeed they were a fine squad of broad- shouldered, good-looking men, heavily-armed, marching along, square and soldier-like, with a long, swinging step that goes over the ground quickly.

We followed them up a stone-fenced lane just wide enough for the car to pass. As we went along, men working at building a stone wall, looked at the procession with a cowed frightened look. Our carman gave them the “God save you” in Irish, and in answering they turned on us surely the weariest faces that ever sat on mortal man. The lane becoming narrower, we soon had to leave the car and follow the police on foot through a pasture sprinkled with daisies.

Suddenly we saw the police scatter, sit down on the ditch and light their pipes, throw themselves on the grass, group themselves in two’s and three’s here and there. The end of the journey was reached.

We looked round for the wild men of Mayo from whom the bailiff, sub- sheriff, and agent were to be protected, who were, I was told, to shed rivers of blood that day. They were conspicuous by their absence. There were three or four dejected-looking men standing humbly a bit off, three women sitting among the bushes up the slope, that was all. The house where the eviction was to be held was a miserable hovel, whose roof did not amount to much, sitting among untilled fields, with a small dung heap before the door. It was shut up, silent and deserted.

The bailiff, a gentleman who, if ever he is accused of crime, will not find his face plead for him much, broke open the door and began to throw out the furniture on the heap before the door. Here are the items: One iron pot, one rusty tin pail, two delf bowls,—I noticed them particularly, for they rolled down the dungheap on the side where I stood,—one rheumatic chest, one rickety table, one armful of disreputable straw, and one ragged coverlet. This was supposed to be the bed, for I saw no bedstead; there was no chair, no stool, or seat of any kind. The sub-sheriff with the bailiff’s assistance fastened the door with a padlock. He handed the agent a tuft of grass as giving him possession, and the eviction was over.

The agent—a large-featured man—seemed undecided as to whether he would view the transaction in a humorous light or as a scene where he was chief sufferer. He came forward and offered some rambling remarks addressed to nobody in particular. He drew our attention to the condition of the roof which needed renewing, to the fields that were uncropped. This was certainly shiftless, but when he mentioned that the man had gone to England “in the scarcity” to look for work, and was lying sick in an English hospital, we did not see how he could help it. He told us how bad the man was; how he pitied his wife, who was, he said, worse than himself. She was not present, being from home when her poor furniture was pitched out. He lamented over the fact that this man had sent him nothing of his wages, while another man had sent him as much as thirty pounds. He then went into details of these evicted tenant’s married life; how his wife and he lived, and how they agreed; and rambled off into general philosophic remarks rather disagreeable and nasty.

No one seemed to pay any attention, although he looked from one to another for an answering smile of appreciation to his funny attempts to justify himself and amuse his hearers. Some one asked him how much rent was due; he said ten or eleven years. Two years were due, as we found by the law papers on returning to Ballina. He then made an attack on the poor men standing there, asking why they were not at home working, and telling them what they should be doing. While he lectured these men in a joking voice, he turned his eye from one to another of those present as if he were seeking for applause.

These men, not heeding the agent, were presenting a petition to the sub- sheriff. I drew near to learn what it was. They were thin, listless looking witted men. One could not help wondering when they had last eaten a square meal. Half-starved in look, wretched in clothing, stood like criminals awaiting sentence, with dreadfully eager eyes and parched lips that would not draw together over their teeth, before the plump rosy sub-sheriff. They asked for some meal on credit which the sub- sheriff refused. I asked them if they owed any rent. No, they did not owe a penny of rent, they said. Remember there was only one harvest between them and the famine year. They had also put in the crops in their little holdings, they said, “but as God lives we have neither bite nor sup to keep us till harvest time.” The sub-sheriff asked why they did not go to a certain dealer. They said the terms were so hard that they could never pay him. “How much would keep you till the crops come in,” he asked. Two hundred of Indian meal for each they said. Finally he promised them one hundred each on credit, even if he had to pay it out of his own pocket. “That is what you will have to do,” said the agent.

We left and drove home. We saw the police, hot and tired, march past to their barracks after our return. These men had a long march, loaded down with arms to protect the bailiff, the stalwart agent, the rosy sub- sheriff from a crowd of five hunger-bitten peaceable men and three ragged women. The whole crowd might have been put to flight by any one of the three with one hand tied behind him.

I forgot to mention that the agent offered to one of the women there all the tenant’s poor things that were thrown out, which was an honest and honorable proceeding on his part, and very generous.

XXXIII.

A SEVERE CRITICISM JUSTIFIED—PROCESS SERVING BY THE AID OF THE POLICE— THE WHITE HORSE OF MAYO—PEASANT PROPRIETORSHIP.

I am glad to see by the papers that the state of the workhouse at Manor Hamilton has been censured by the doctors, and deliberated about at a meeting of guardians. It is certainly the worst conducted workhouse I have seen as yet in Ireland, and it says with a loud voice, woe to the poor who enter here. It was told me on this twenty-seventh day of May that if I really wanted to see a disturbance a serious collision was apprehended between the constabulary and the people, at some distance from Ballina. I have been led to distrust the accounts of disturbances that appear in the papers, or at least to admit them with caution. I was assured that now at least I should see the wild men of Mayo, for they had assaulted the process server and stripped him of his clothing, taking his processes from him, some days before, and they would be out in thousands this day to oppose the serving of the processes.

Got a car, as travelling companion the local editor, and driven by a knowledgable man, followed in the wake of the police, seventy of them, toward the scene of the disturbance to be. The police had one hour the start of us. It was a dim day of clouds and watery blinks of sunshine. As we drove along all historical spots were pointed out to me, being a stranger, with great politeness. A place on the road where the French had surged up from Killala and met and fought with the English, was pointed out to me. “Here they were defeated, thim French.”

We passed the place where lived from colthood to glory the celebrated white horse of Mayo, the “Girraun Bawn.” This horse, a racer, “bate” all Ireland in his day, and was ridden without a saddle or bridle. Mayo was very proud of this racing steed, so much so that when horses were seized and impounded for the county cess, a farmer who had received his mare back again, considering that it would be a disgrace if the king of horses were left in the pound, returned to Castle Connor to the pound, left his own horse there and released “Rie Girraun.”

This celebrated horse was stolen it appears. After some time a troop of dragoons were quartered in Mayo, whose commanding officer rode a horse suspiciously like “Rie Girraun.” The servant man who had ridden and cared for the white horse of Mayo recognized the horse and drew inconveniently near to the soldiers on parade to make sure whether it was “Rie Girraun” or not. The officer, annoyed at the man intruding where he was not wanted, asked him what business he had there. He said, “The horse your honor rides was stolen from this place, and I was looking at him to be sure. He is the famous white horse of Mayo.” He was asked to prove it, which he undertook to do if the officer would alight, which he did. The peasant, then, hidden behind a stone ditch, called to the horse in Irish, asking him if he would have a glass of whiskey. The horse had been accustomed to get this when he had won a race, and knew the taste of poteen. He pricked up his ears and galloped round, looking for the voice. On the words being repeated two or three times, he vaulted over the stone wall and came to his old friend hidden behind. The officer would not part with the horse, but he paid liberally for him—so it seems the white horse of Mayo ended his days in the service of royalty.

The grandson of the possessor of the white horse was the other day fined £6 for possessing poteen, and was unable to pay it.

Listening to these stories we came up with the police, who had alighted from their cars and were going through their exercise preliminary to a march. We made our way through the cars, our driver chaffing a little with the drivers of the other cars. Just opposite where the police left the cars was the most utterly wretched house that I had yet seen. A large family of ragged people gathered at the door, looking to be in anything but fighting trim. We drove slowly, the police marched quickly, until we saw them take to the fields, when we alighted per force and followed them.

A slim, fair-haired woman, with her arms bare and her feet and legs in the same classic condition under her short dilapidated skirts, began to make some eloquent remarks. If there had been a thousand or two like her I do think the seventy police would have had hard work to protect the bailiff. One of our company, a gentleman, remarked to her that she had a fine arm of her own. “Troth, sir,” said she, “If I was as well fed as yourself it’s finer it would be.” We agreed with this gentleman that if this woman was fed and clothed like other people she would certainly be a fine-looking person. She drew near to enquire if we were in any way connected with the police. Her enquiries were especially directed to myself. She was told that I was an American lady, and a few faces that scowled were smoothed into smiles immediately.

There were by this time four women and half a dozen boys present. No one spoke above their breath but our woman of bare arms. In answer to something addressed to her by our party, she said, “Sure they could not take a better time than seed time to droive us out of our senses. Sure God above has an eye and an ear for it. Look here,” she said, throwing out her handsome bare arm, “look at the bare fields lying waste because the seed cannot be got to put in the ground; they’re cryin’ up to God against it. The cratures here have not enough yellow male to keep the hunger off. If they had waited till harvest there would be a color of justice to it.” This woman had all the talking to herself, no one else had anything to say. She herself was not among those against whom the processes were served.

We saw the process server leave the ranks of the police and walk down to a wretched little cabin and return in a few moments. The order to march was given, and the police tramped along to the next house, a bit off the road. Two or three little children were in the field, apparently herding cattle. The least one said to his brother in an accent of terror, “Jimsey, Jimsey, the war is come at last.”

Along the road, tramp, tramp, off the road through the bogs, every house called at seeming worse than the last. A rumor had been running along before us—ever before us—of an Amazonian army with pitchforks, tongs and the hooks used for drawing the sea weed ashore, armed and ready, some three hundred strong, waiting for the police. We never came up to this army or caught a sight of their rags. Crossing a field we were told of a merciful lady, a Mrs. Major Jones, who gave them seed potatoes and trusted them with meal when they had nothing to eat. As the police halted before some houses we heard the muttered exclamations of the few women near, “Eagh! eagh! oh, Lord, and them in need of charity!”

Well, we never came up with the army of women. The processes were not all served, for some of the houses were empty, and there was no one on whom to serve them; we turned our steps, or our horses rather, homeward to Ballina, the boys calling out in compliment to America, “Three cheers for the noble lady,” as we drove off.

The threatened rain came on and came down heavily and we got our share of it before we got under shelter. An elderly gentleman was introduced to me at Ballina who had had a very great opportunity of noticing the working of the law and the struggles of the people. He admitted to me that some might possibly have paid some rent before the agitation began, but kept it back hoping for a permanent reduction, and then when they had it by them had used it for living, and now had nothing to meet the rent with. He said, however, that the most part had not recovered from the effects of the scarcity sufficiently to be able to pay up arrears— or, indeed, to pay anything on arrears.

We conversed a little about peasant proprietorship. He instanced the case of two persons who had become owners of church land, one of eight acres, another of sixteen. He spoke of the prosperity that had crowned their labors ever since hope came to them and they had something to struggle for. He said they came now decently clad to church and market. He had been in their houses and noticed as much as two flitches of bacon hanging in the chimney. One of them owned a team of horses. A man with a team of horses on his farm is in a different position from a man with only an ass and creels. Absolutely, said he, the man has devoted a portion of his land to apple trees.

It was a touching thing to see the earnestness with which this man spoke of these great evidences of prosperity—horses to work the farm, two flitches of bacon and planting apple trees. In Mayo, in two instances, I have seen a corner left untilled in a field. As there was an ass in one, and a goat browsing in the other, I do not know but what it was the best thing they could do to leave them untilled.

I may as well mention that the wretched people on whom the processes were served lived in Sligo, and the landlords who were pursuing them, as it were between the hay and the grass, were Sligo landlords, of those whom I heard praised so highly in Sligo town. Round Ballina, as round Sligo, there are few tenants on the land near the town; it has gone to grass and has cows instead of tenants. Sir Charles Gore’s demesne and residence is very fine, and, as he seems to have a blessing with it, long may he enjoy his good things.

XXXIV.

THE LAND OF FLAMES—A RELIC WITH A HISTORY—CATTLE VS. MEN—THE MEETING OF EXTREMES—”PUT YOURSELF IN HIS PLACE.”

Was invited by a friend to visit Rappa Castle to see a celebrated vessel which once belonged to Saint Tighernain, the saint who belongs more especially to the west and the clock which was removed from Moyne Abbey when it was dismantled. This vessel, belonging to the saint called Mias Tighernain—which I would freely translate as meaning Tighernain’s own—has been used until of late years, when the clergy interposed and forbid it, for the discovery of stolen goods. Any one swearing falsely on the Mias Tighernain was sure to come to grief. People swearing falsely on the Bible have been known to escape visible consequences. Our car driver, a not very old man at all, told us he was present himself when a numerous household were brought together to be sworn on the Mias Tighernain for the discovery of a large sum of money which had been stolen. The thief was discovered but money was not.

It is very pleasant to drive along through the fair but tenantless lands that surround Ballina. The county of Mayo is beautifully diversified by mountain and valley, wood and water, glen and stream. The tall hedges of white thorn in their bridal white perfume the air. Myriads of primroses smile at the passer-by from sunny banks. Small golden blossoms, like whin blossoms, cluster thickly here and there, and the starry-eyed daisies, white and sweet with blushes edged, lift their modest faces to the sky. Even the bog waste is nodding all over with a cotton flower, white as a snowflake; they call it ceanabhan in Irish, and the peasantry use it as a comparison when praising the white arms and bosoms of the Mayo maidens. Surely one might say this bright May morning with Tim, “Glory be to God, but it is a purty world!”

When we crossed the boundaries, passed the lodge gates into the demesne lying around Rappa Castle, the residence of Captain Knox, there was a change to still greater beauty. Money will build a grand and stately home in the fair proportions of a castle, but money has to run in the blood for centuries to produce a scene like this. Broad lands swelling and sinking like an emerald sea, trees that stand out singly wrap themselves in aristocratic leafiness, spreading their magnificent arms toward you, saying, “Look at me! I am not of yesterday; the dews of heaven, the fatness of the earth, the leisure of centuries, fanned by breezes, tended by culture, have made me what I am, a ‘thing of beauty’ to gladden your eyes.” They stand in groups upon the slopes and whisper this to one another; they open their ranks to give you delicious glimpses into further away “spots of delight:” they are drawn up in ranks shading mysterious walks that lead away into the grand dim woods. They distract you and bother you with their loveliness till you wish that the English language had a bushel more adjectives.

Rappa Castle where we arrived with a beggarly feeling of having exhausted our adjectives is a large comfortable building not very much like one’s idea of a castle. We drove up to the rear entrance—it is always prudent to take the lowest room—and waited on the car while a messenger was despatched with our request. Presently the messenger came back with directions to us to drive round to the hall door. We were received by a respectable servant in plain dark clothes, who looked like a minister or a mild edition of a churchwarden. He ushered us from the entrance hall—a comfortably furnished apartment—across a second, into the crowning glories of a third, where we were requested to wait till Captain Knox made his appearance, which was not a long time.

The owner of Rappa Castle, a landlord against whom nothing in the way of blame is said, was assuredly of as much interest to us as the relics which his house possessed. A tall, fine looking, kindly faced man, rosy with health, courteous and pleasant, came into the room. We told our errand and the Captain went for the Mias Tighernain and placed it in our hands. It is evidently only part of the original dish, the socket where the upper part rested being still there. It is very heavy, formed of three layers of thin bronze bound at the edge with brass—evidently a later thought, and done for preservation. There are three bands of silver across it, which show the remains of rich figuring. There was originally a setting of three stones, one of which still remains and looks as if it might be amber. It is as large as a soup plate. Something is among the layers of metal which rattles when shaken. It is one of the oldest relics in the country. Whoever made it had no mean skill in the art of working metals. According to a certain Father Walsh it was used to wash the saint’s hands in at mass. This dish, after lying at the bottom of Lough Conn for a hundred years, came up to the surface and revealed itself. It has been used as a revealer of secrets ever since it came into the hands of the Knox family. We requested afterwards to see the clock of Moyne Abbey, and were taken by the courteous captain across other rooms to the flagged kitchen, where the clock ticked as it has done for three hundred years—or since the Abbey was dismantled, how long before history hath not recorded. The case is of some dark wood beautifully carved. I thought it was bog oak; Captain Knox said mahogany, which would make the case to be much younger than the clock. The Captain assured us that it was the best time-keeper in the world. It only requires winding once a month; used to show the day of the month, but some meddler disarranged that part of the machinery. The dial plate is of some white metal, brilliant and silvery. Captain Knox said it was brass, but I have seen things look more brazen that were not so old.

Nothing could exceed the courtesy of Captain Knox. He made some enquiries about Canada, and deplored the rush of cattle across, which was injurious to the interests of graziers, of whom he was one. It would have been discourteous to express the wish that lay in my mind, that they might come in such numbers as to lower the price of cows and grazing also till the poor man might be able to have a cow oftener and milk to his “yellow male” stir-about till it might be not quite so impossible to replace the cow seized for the rent and the County cess.

I saw a trial in the papers lately of a woman who was in bed, in her shake-down, when she became aware that the cow—the only cow—was taking a lawful departure. Up she got, in the same trim as that in which Nannie danced in Kirk Alloway, and by the might of her arm rescued the cow. She was condemned to jail, but one’s sympathies go with the law breakers here often. At least mine do. I did sympathize with this woman of one cow and a large family. Why should any one have power lawfully, to “lift” the only cow from half-starved children. The defence for this woman was that through trouble she did not know what she was doing. It was a mean, paltry defence; she did know that she wanted to keep her cow, and the law should be altered to enable her to do so. The law that enables men of means to strip these poor wretches of everything that stands between them and their little children and starvation, is a monstrous law for Christians to devise and execute, and is worse for the rich and for the executive of the law than even for the sufferers. All these things flashed through my mind as we conversed with Captain Knox.

On leaving Rappa Castle we paused a little on the doorsteps to take one more look at the beauty of the grounds. I wish I had words to convey to others a little of the delight which the scene gave to me. The trees, branched down almost to the ground, have gotten themselves into so many graceful attitudes. The bending thick-leaved branches look like green drapery, the larch flings its tassels down in long pendants fluttering in the breeze, the spruce and balsam—they are a little unlike ours of the same name, but I do not know any other names for them—rise in pyramids of dark green tipped with sunny light green, the cedars fling their great arms about cloaked with rich foliage, the laburnums shake out their golden ringlets and tremble under the weight of their beauty, the copper beeches stand proudly on an eminence where every graceful spray shows against a background of blue sky. There are vistas opening among the trees giving glimpses of the brightest green and dashes of waters like bits of captured sky.

I gave a glance at the owner, tall and stately, with ruddy, pleasant face and kind blue eye, and acknowledged that he looked every inch an English squire.

With many thanks for his kindness we took our departure. Were glad to hear from both friend and car driver that nothing of cruelty and oppression could be laid to the charge of this man. As I stood beside him at his own door, drawing all of the beauty I could into my soul through my eyes to carry away with me, I thought if I were born into that place with its associations, could I, would I mar any corner of it to make a homestead for starving Thady, ragged Biddy, and the too numerous children? Who knows what transformation might lie in the pride and power of possession!

There was a single laborer working before the castle raking up the gravel walk, I think. “I would he were fatter!” If he were only in as good condition as the beautiful dogs of superior breed which we saw in the castle yard; but the dogs are fed at the expense of the proprietor of this fair domain, the thin laborer at his own. We returned by another way. After we left the grounds we noticed with sad eyes the miserable cabins and barren fields at his gates. People of the upper, middle and comfortable classes are so used to horrible cabins, thin laborers, old women, barefoot, toothless, ragged and wretched, begging by the wayside to keep out of the dreaded workhouse, that the sight makes not the slightest impression. People tell me over and over again that they deserve their poverty, for it is the result of extravagance and drunkenness. This assertion makes one stare and then consider whose faces show the greater evidence of the action of different liquors. It would be an easy matter in a national gathering to pick out the class and the strata of society that is the support of the liquor traffic in Ireland.

XXXV.

WORKHOUSES—THE POOR LAW—A REASONABLE SUSPECT.

Returning from Rappa Castle we must pass the Ballina workhouse. My friend had business there. As it was Board day, and I had about an hour to spare, I thought I would look in and see what I thought of it in the light of a possible refuge for many evicted ones. There were some wretched looking people, applicants for out-door relief, waiting about the entrance when we went in. I have been informed and have seen it confirmed in newspaper reports of the proceedings of Boards of Guardians, that it is a rule of universal application by every means possible to discourage out-door relief in every form. “Let the poor come into the union altogether,” is the spirit that actuates the Boards of Guardians, so it was pointed out to me that these applicants for out- door relief had small chance of success.

It was a Board day, and the master of the house, a polite little man, apologized profusely for not accompanying me over the building. He deputed the schoolmaster of the establishment to show me through in his place. I followed the Ballina Schoolmaster of the Union from the entrance along the gravel walk bordered with flowers to the house proper, and into the refectory or eating room. One does not want in every workhouse to look at the same things, when they see they are the same as in the last. I noticed the set of printed rules hung up on a card and lifting it down sat down to read the rules contained on it. They were very strict, and conceived in such a spirit that a naturally tyrannical man could make a pauper’s life a very miserable burden to him.

After I read these rules I questioned the schoolmaster, a very nice person, as to the administration of this workhouse. He casually mentioned that able-bodied paupers only got two meals in the day. This was such a surprising statement to me that I said, “Your workhouse then is harder to the poor inmates than the workhouses elsewhere. I have made enquiry in several places as to the diet given, and they invariably told me of three meals, mentioning also that they had meat allowed them three times per week.”—They have given you “the infirmary diet,” said the schoolmaster, gravely. We conversed a little while on this subject, and as I was to go by train to Castlebar, fearing my time was too short, I did not penetrate into the workhouse any further.

Coming out we encountered the doctor, a very courteous person. Hoping to get further information, confirmatory or contradictory of this most astounding piece of news respecting the food allowance, I referred to it before the doctor, who qualified the statement by informing me that if actually engaged at work for the house they were allowed a third meal. I was thoroughly surprised at this. The conviction forced itself upon me, that the poor having taken refuge in the house from actual starvation, the house considered itself justified in keeping them on short commons ever after.

As I left the building feeling very sad over this information, I could not help wishing that these creatures, guilty of the crime of poverty, had the nourishing fare given to the criminals in our common gaol at Pembroke on the Ottawa. Now the workhouses are by no means crowded; the Ballina workhouse, for instance is empty enough to afford a wing as a temporary barracks for some military. I have been told by what I consider good authority, that for every shilling levied of the distressingly great poor rate eightpence is needed to pay the administrative officials. While thinking of these things, I take up the Castlebar local paper and notice in the report of the proceedings of the Board of Guardians, that a doctor not attending to his duty through being “in a state of health not compatible with much exposure to rough weather or country professional work,” was to be allowed for a still greater length of time a substitute at three guineas per week. During the debate on this motion a member reminded the Board that last year they paid £54 for substitute work for one official on the plea of ill- health; another complained that sums of £50 were voted to officials, while paupers were denied shillings of out-door relief. Still another complained that the auditors would disallow the relief given to cases which require relief, while they never disallow sums paid incurred by leave of absence of officials.

The whole administration of the poor law is complained of pretty universally in this style. The poor rate is excessively high, the administration very expensive, and the economy is practised where it is least needed, is the complaint I hear again and yet again.

At the station a great crowd and a rather excited one was assembled. A Mr. Moffany had been arrested as a reasonable suspect, and was to be taken to Kilmainham. The man who was arrested was a small, sickly- looking, by no means interesting specimen of humanity, slightly lame. He was in some sort of shop-keeping business. The crowd on the platform was dense and composed mostly of the poorer class, who were enthusiastic enough for anything. The policemen in charge, civilly and politely, with no fuss or force, got their suspect into a second class carriage and got in beside him. The suspect put his head out of the window and addressed the crowd, expressing his willingness to suffer for the good cause, and said he was not likely to come out of the prison alive owing to his state of health. He advised them to be law-abiding and to go home quietly.

Oh, the cheering there was; the endeavors to get near enough to shake him by the hand; the surging to and fro of the crowd, the half-crying hurrahs of the women; the waving of handkerchiefs and caps was something to be remembered. As the train moved off slowly the people ran alongside cheering themselves hoarse, shouting words of encouragement and blessing, of hope and farewell till the train quickened its speed and left them behind.

XXXVI.

DEPARTURE OF EMIGRANTS—TURLOUGH—THE FITZGERALDS—FISH—THE ROYAL IRISH WATCHDOGS.

The day on which I had to return to Sligo from Castlebar an immense crowd was gathered at the station, and I wondered what was the matter. It was a gathering to see emigrants start for America. The emigrants took the parting hard. If they had been going to instant execution they could not have felt worse. Three young girls of the party had cried until their faces were swollen out of shape. The crowd outside wept and wailed; some clasped their hands over their heads with an upward look to heaven, some pressed them on their hearts, some rocked and moaned, some prayed aloud—not set prayers, but impromptu utterances wrung out by grief. The agony was so infectious that before I knew what I was about I was crying for sympathy.

I was not to say sorry for them, for I knew the fine, healthy, strong girls were likely to have a better chance to help their parents from the other side of the water than here, and the young men might make their mark in the new world and make something of themselves over there. Still it was hard to witness the agony of their parting without tears.

When the carriage moved off, the cry “O Lord!” with which the passengers started to their feet and the relatives outside flung up their hands, was the most affecting sound I ever heard. It was a wail as if every heart-string was torn. A countryman explained to me that the Irish were a people that wept tears out of their hearts till they wept their hearts away. By the conversation of the emigrants, I found that one girl had turned back. “She failed on us, my lady,” said her comrade. “Her heart gave up when she saw the mother of her in a dead faint and she turned back. One has but the one mother and it is hard to kill her with the bitter grief of parting before the time.”

People who have travelled much, and are loosely tied to any spot on earth, ridicule the affection of these mountain people for their cabin among the hills, but love of home is a glorious instinct, and if the country of these people could afford them a little bit of the soil for a home—liberty to live and toil—they would be both loving and loyal. All the poor want is permission to live in a corner of their own country.

Castlebar is reached by rail. The station is a little out of town. Castlebar is the first town where my few belongings were fought for. The victor in the strife was a most determined old man. I thought he had a car, but he had only his sturdy old legs. He shouldered my big bag, little bag and bandbox and trudged off. I ventured to ask him had he not a car. “Sorra a car, miss. After all your sitting in the cars sure it will do you all the good in life to walk a bit.” They think to flatter elderly women by calling them Miss individually.

I had an introduction to a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary in Castlebar. He was son to a gentleman who was kind enough to claim kindred with me in Antrim. When I alighted from the cars I noticed a sub-constable with quiet face taking note of all arrivals, and saw that he was good enough looking to be an Antrim man. Found I was right and entered Castlebar protected by a member of the force. Paid the victorious old heathen who had walked off with my luggage the price of a car, partly for his bravery and partly for his impudence. The approach to Castlebar from the station, about a mile, is bounded on one side by Lord Lucan’s demesne, shut in behind a high wall, over which the tall trees wave their arms at you. Another domain, Spencer Park, I think, is on the other side, and as it is only shut in by a hedge, one gets delicious peeps at it as one goes along.

Went, with my new acquaintance, who got leave and put on plain clothes for the occasion, to the small Presbyterian Church in Castlebar. There were about a dozen present. Presbyterianism does not, as a rule, flourish in Mayo, though there are a good many small congregations and many mission schools.

My friend of “the force” got leave of absence for a day and having got into plain clothes drove with me to Pontoon Bridge between Lough Conn and Lough Cullin. As we passed the poor-house he told me of the awful crush that took place round its doors, where the relief was served during the scarcity. The press and struggle of the hungry creatures were so dreadful that no serving could be attempted for some days. I could not help pitying the force standing in mud ankle-deep trying to beat back the frantic people, to make serving the relief possible. But, oh! the despair of the people who had to go and come again because the press was so great. It seemed to a civilian like me that the matter was badly planned and by heartless people, or two or even three places would have been appointed for the distribution of the relief and not send them home without. I often wonder if I am too tender-hearted, too easily moved. The want of feeling toward the very poor strikes me forcibly wherever I turn. I think that it was not so to such a perceptible degree before the poor-houses were built. I solemnly think the Poor Law system educates people into hardness of heart.

The road out from Castlebar was very beautiful but thinly populated. All gone to grass near the town, hardly any cottages at all. Our first visit was to Turlough where there is a round tower with an iron gate quite close to the ground. The other two which I had seen before at Devinish and at Killala had their doors about eleven feet from the ground. The top of this round tower was broken and it had been mended by the Government. There is a story among the peasantry to the effect that it never had been finished at all. They say it was the work of the celebrated Gobhan saer, an architect who seems to have had a hand in every ancient building almost. The finishing of the rounded top of this tower was done by an apprentice who was likely to rival his great master. He, in a sudden fit of jealousy, before it was quite finished pulled away the scaffolding and the too clever apprentice was killed.

There is a ruined abbey adjoining the round tower. It is roofless and open, yet still an iron gate opens from one part to another. Here in this abbey has been the burying-place of many of the sept of the Fitzgeralds, and it was interesting to pass from tablet to tablet and read of the greatness that had returned to dust. The most remarkable dust which moulders here is the celebrated George Robert Fitzgerald, a man who was handsome, well educated, who had spent much of his time at the French Court. In Ireland he felt himself as absolute as King Louis (le petit grand). In pursuance of a private feud he arrested his enemy, and with a slight color of law murdered him. The act was too glaring, he was tried and to his great surprise hung. The rope broke twice, and the country people believe that the breaking of the rope gave him a right to a pardon. They tell me that the sheriff, a personal enemy, in spite of the signs and tokens of the breaking ropes, hung him while he had a reprieve in his pocket. There is a kind of Rob Royish flavor about the memory of this man in the country side.

Continued our drive to Pontoon. As soon as the land became rugged, boggy and comparatively worthless the tenant houses became more plentiful. Saw some sheep about, which is always a cheering sign amid the utter poverty of the people. On the way to Pontoon, on the top of a rock stands one of the famous rocking stones of the Druidical time in Ireland. A party of soldiers in their boisterous play determined to roll it down from the rock. This they were unable to do, easy as the matter looked, but they destroyed the delicate poise of it, and it rocks no more.

The rocks become bolder and the scenery wilder as you come to the shores of Lough Conn. Lough Cullen, or lower Lough Conn, has bare round- shouldered rocks sleeping round it, reminding one of the rocks on the Ottawa about the Oiseau. The Neiphin Mountain towers up among the rocks far above them all, looking over their heads into the lake. Lough Conn is three miles long, and in its widest place three miles wide. Where the upper and lower lakes meet it is narrow as a river, and over this the bridge is placed. The marvel here is that a strong current sets in from Lough Conn to Lough Cullen half the time, and then turns and sets from Lough Cullen to Lough Conn. The bridge is called Pontoon because a bridge of boats was made here at the time of the French invasion.

Saw some fishermen fishing in the lakes. There were many boats here and there lying on the sandy shore, or anchored out in the lake. These fishermen had no boats; they had waded out waist-deep, and stood fishing in the water dressed in their shirts. As the fishing is strictly monopolized, I should not wonder if these breekless, boatless fishermen were poaching.

The quantum of fish in the waters, the scarcity of fish on the shore is often referred to as a proof of the people’s laziness. The fishing is so severely monopolized that fish diet and fishing are to the people almost lost arts. I heard of the delicious oysters found on the coast, but one would require to go to England or Dublin to test their flavor. Lobsters could be purchased in their season at Montreal, but not at the seaports in Mayo. I asked for a bit of fish at Castlebar, where I remained some time, and once succeeded in buying a small herring, for which I paid 2 1/2 pence.

To return to Pontoon; we stood on the bridge in the sunlight and drank in the scene—broad blue waters, spotted with islands, guarded by the munitions of rocks, watched over by the eternal mountains, bald and wrinkled, every wrinkle scored deep on their brows, heather on the cliffs, ivy creeping some places, ferns waving their delicate fronds in another; bare, desolate grandeur here, tree-crowned hill tops waving their magnificence before you there. This was the scene spread out on either hand.

We came back over the bridge to the police barracks, sitting on a rock with its back to a grove of trees, and reached by a flight of stone steps. I was introduced to the sergeant in charge, a fine specimen of the Donegal men. Tall and straight, strong and kindly are the men of Donegal. The sergeant took us to a hill back of the barracks where was a very lonely vale surrounded by steep hills wooded to the top. Down the perpendicular sides of this hill a waterfall dashes in the rainy seasons, but it was only a tinkling splash at this time. The sergeant and I had some conversation about Donegal, and of course Lord Leitrim. This noblemen has graven his name with an iron pen and lead on the rocks for ever.

We bade adieu to the kindly sergeant and drove back to Castlebar in the quiet evening. Opposite the Turlough round tower is the charming residence of a Fitzgerald, one of the race whose dust moulders in an aristocratic manner in the ruined abbey of Turlough. This gentleman, not thinking himself safe even under protection, has left the country. Only fancy a squad of police marching from their barracks in the dusk, five or ten miles as the case may be, pacing round a gentleman’s house in rain or snow, sleet or hail, no shelter for their coercion heads, no fire at which to warm their protecting fingers; pace about from dusk till dawning, march back to barracks and to a few hours’ rest. I was silly enough to suppose that the protected family would provide a bowl of hot coffee for their protectors through the silent watches of the night, or a glass of the handier and very popular whiskey, but dear, oh no! the most of them would not acknowledge the existence of the Royal Irish protectors with a word or a nod no more than if they were watch dogs.

XXXVII.

CASTLEBAR—WASTING THE LAND—CASTLE BOURKE—BALLINTUBBER ABBEY.

Castlebar is not a large town at all. It is, like all other towns which I have yet seen in Ireland, swarming with houses licensed to sell liquors of different kinds to be drunk on the premises. In one street I noticed on the side of the car on which I sat every house for quite a little distance was a licensed whiskey shop.

The country people bring in ass-loads of what they have to sell. Very few horses are to be seen in the hands of country people. Their trading is on a decidedly small scale. The number of women who attend market barefoot is the large majority. The ancient blue cloth cloak is the prevailing hap. Upon a day my friend and I went out to see the glories of Ballintubber Abbey. It was not possible for him to go in plain clothes so soon again; so I had the appearance of an obnoxious lady of the land, protected by a member of the force.

We drove out of Castlebar some seven or eight miles in the opposite direction from where Pontoon Bridge lies. Our road lay for miles through the country wasted of inhabitants by the Marquis of Sligo after the great famine. Here and there a ruin where a cabin has been speaks that it was once inhabited. The people tell that Lord Sligo’s people were rented the land in common by the settlement. All but two of one settlement had paid; as those two could not pay, the whole were evicted. My informant thought the settlement deserved eviction when they did not subscribe and pay for the two who could not pay. He never seemed to think they might not be able to do so, nor that it was cruel to evict all for the sake of two.

Lord Lucan made a great wasting also at that time. Between the land near the town devoted to private demesnes, laid out for glory and beauty, and the lands wasted of inhabitants, you can travel miles and miles on more than one side of Castlebar and see scarcely a tenant; a herd’s cabin, a police station, being the only houses. As soon as we come to barren land over-run with stones, tenant houses become thicker.

We passed a cabin of indescribable wretchedness; a woman who might have sat for a picture of famine stood at the door looking at us as we passed. She had a number of little children, of the raggedest they were, around her. Some time ago the father of these scarecrows was suspected of having stolen some money, and a posse of the much enduring police were sent out to search in the dead of the night. The family were in bed. The bed was a few boards laid on stones, on which was spread a little green hay, and among the loose hay they slept. The terror of the little creatures pulled out of bed, while the wretched lair was searched and they stood on the floor naked and shivering, was described to me by one who assisted at the search. The bed was overturned, but the money was not found. We drove on through the “stony streak” out to a clearer grass country to Castle Bourke, a lonely looking ruin sitting among her own desolations. It once covered a great deal of land, and there is evidence of additions having been made to it at different times. This Castle Bourke was one of the castles of the Queen of the West, the celebrated Grace O’Malley. This castle is one of those given to Grace by her husband of a year, Sir Richard Bourke.

There are still the remains of three buildings; one, said to be the prison, was loopholed through the solid stone, some loopholes being quite close to the ground, some straight through, some slanting, so as to cover a man come from what direction he might, or what height soever, even if he crept on the ground. Most of the castle, as well as these buildings attached, had their roof on the floor, but in the square tower of the castle proper still remains a stone staircase of the circular kind.

As you go up this stair lit by narrow slits in the wall formed in hewn stone you find an arched door at three different places admitting to three arched galleries roofed and floored with stone. These have their loophole slits to peep out of, or fire out of, stone spouts through which molten lead or boiling water could be poured on the besiegers. In one gallery a trap door let down to an underground passage which came out at the lake some distance off. By this they could send a messenger to raise the O’Malley clans, or by it could escape if necessary.

The goats of Mayo are inquisitive, and would persist in climbing the circular stair and exploring the galleries. Whenever they found this secret passage, for pure mischief they fell down and were killed, to the great loss of their owners; so the secret passage is filled up, for which I was very sorry.

We must take our car again and rattle back over the road to Ballintubber Abbey. Ballintobar (town of the well) near this was one of the sacred wells of St. Patrick. The abbey gates were locked, and it was some time before the key was forthcoming. The church part of the abbey is entire except the roof and the lofty bell tower. The arch that supported the tower was forty-five feet in height, but I do not know how high the tower was which it supported. At last the key was found and we were admitted into the church. The chancel is still roofed, and here in these solemn ruins, watched over by the crows and the jackdaws, the few inhabitants still left assemble for mass. There is a rude wooden altar and a few pine benches; the ivy waves from the walls; the jackdaws caw querulously or derisively; the dead of the old race for centuries sleep underneath, and now in a chancel the remnant gather on a Sabbath. I cannot describe it as an architect or antiquarian, and these classes know all about it better than I do, but I want to convey as far as I can the impression it made upon me to others as delightfully ignorant on the subject. The roof is made in the same way as all arched roofs of old castles which I have yet seen, of thin stones laid edge-wise to form the arch and cemented together. The country people tell me that a frame of wood was made over which they formed the arch and then poured among the stones thin mortar boiling hot. On the inside of the arch run along ribs of hewn stone cemented into their places, running up to meet in a carved point at the extreme top. These groinings spring from short pillars of hewn stone that only reach part way down the wall to the floor and run to a point. These consoles are highly ornamented with sculpture. The mouldings round the doors, and the stone window frames and sashes, are wonderfully well done, and would highly ornament a church of the nineteenth century.

I think we undervalue the civilization of the far past of Connaught. Those who erected such churches, such abbeys and such castles were both intelligent and possessed of wealth in no small degree. The ingenuity of the cut stone hinge on the stone that closes the tomb in the chancel, the carving on the tomb of the Prince of the O’Connor line, the staunch solidness of every wall, the immense strength of every arched roof, show skilled builders, whether they worked under the direction, of the Gobhan Saer or another man. The plans of the castles, for offence, defence or escape, show them to have been built by men of skill for men of large means and great power.

XXXVIII.

OVER-POPULATION OF THE WEST—HOW PEOPLE FORM THEIR OPINIONS—MR. SMITHWICK AND JONATHAN PYM—A DEARTH OF FISH.

Left Castlebar with regret and went down to Westport. I find at every step since I landed the information that in going round Ireland I should have begun at Dublin. In Dublin I could have procured a guide book. I have sought for one in every considerable town from Belfast round to the edge of Galway without obtaining it. If I had started from Dublin I should have taken a tourist’s ticket there. Well, I am not sorry for that, for it is rather hard on me when I get into the beaten track where I encounter tourists—some of them are trying specimens of humanity. However, I am made to feel as if I was patting the wrong foot, instead of the best foot foremost.

I got into Westport in the fair sunlight in the early part of June. Between Castlebar and Westport the land is part stony, part bog, part better land under grass. Mountains with hard names, that one makes haste to forget, are to be seen all round from whatever side of the car you look. They are all over—a good deal over—one thousand feet high. A few lakes are spread out here and there also. I am as ignorant of their names as of those of the lakes I saw crossing Maine. Westport, like Castlebar, has a mall. Castlebar mall is a square of grass with some trees drawn up on one side. It is fenced in with chains looped up on posts—a fence that nobody minds except to step over and they track the grass with paths running in every direction. Westport’s mall is a long space with trees standing sentry by a river, walled in as if it were a canal.

I had a wish to meet with a Mr. Smithwick, a land agent, from whom I might receive a good deal of information. I had information from himself that he should be at Newport upon the day after I arrived at Westport. I fought successfully against myself, and got up at an uncomfortably early hour and went to Newport by mail car. Newport, Mayo, is six Irish—seven and a half English—miles from Westport and is at the head of Clew Bay. The road lies through a nice rolling country, entirely desolate and empty.

The only passenger by the car besides myself, was a gentleman, English I presume, who, after he became tired of silence, began a conversation with me, taking for his subject the over-population of the West. I looked to the side of the car where we sat—it was a country of fine grassy hills with not one wreath of smoke curling up from a solitary chimney as far as the eye could reach. I leaned over the well of the car and looked to the other side—to the limit of the horizon, behold, the land was empty of house or home or human being. I looked over the horses’ ears—there was the same scene of utter desolation. I turned round with difficulty and looked behind us—saw the same grassy hills swelling up in green silence without man or beast. I said softly, “Lift up thine eyes, sir stranger, and look northward and southward, eastward and westward. Is not the land desolate without inhabitant, where then is the over-population?” The strange gentleman looked, not at the empty hills and the silent green valleys, but at his fellow-traveller with emotions of fear. To doubt that this fair and desolate Mayo is over- populated is to show signs of lunacy or worse. Fenianism, Communism, or even Nihilism, is possible if there is no lunacy to account for such strange ideas.

Mildly, but with resolution like Samantha’s, I urged on the gentleman to look at the prospect, and he was like one awakening from a dream, for the country from Newport to Westport, seven and a half miles, is without inhabitants. I believe Lord Lucan was chief exterminator over this stretch of country. Brought up at the little inn at Newport, and the stranger and I had breakfast together. We conversed about over- population. He had travelled much, and when he recollected what his eyes saw instead of what his ears heard of a false cry, he admitted that a loneliness had fallen upon this part of the west.

After breakfast he went his way, with a new subject for thought, and I, deserted in a wilderness of a commercial room, took out some paper and began to write. There was no sound but the steel scratch of a pen that grew monotonous. After a long time—some hours—of solitude, the door opened and a gentleman entered with some luggage and a young woman followed him. I gathered up my scribblings and put them away. The gentleman took off his overcoat, and shining out of the breast pocket was a bright revolver. I grew afraid, though, generally speaking, I am too busy to think of being afraid. There was a trans-Atlantic look about the gentleman, a Mississippi appearance about the too conspicuous revolver, and, I admit, I thought of some Fenian leader and wondered what Stephens was like. I heard the gentleman order lunch and afterward he left the room.

When he returned he introduced himself as Mr. Smithwick. He was not at all the kind of gentleman I had expected to see. By some perversity he had become fixed in my imagination as a very tall gentleman with fair curled hair. Now this was sheer foolishness, but it had a disastrous effect on the interview. My mind, instead of gathering itself up into an attitude for receiving information about the land question, would go off wool-gathering in speculation whether this was the very Mr. Smithwick or not. The gentleman said with all politeness that he was willing to give me all the information in his power on any subject on which I wanted information.

There is something not canny in the west. I had felt it before, but never as I did then. I could not possibly disentangle my ideas enough to be clear as to what information I did want. I was under some spell. I could only look at Mr. Smithwick, wondering if he was he, and smile at my own stupidity. Time passes quickly; the gentleman remained but about an hour and a half at most, and he had to have luncheon out of that and attend to some little business in town besides. Before I got to be myself he was gone. We did talk a little about reclaiming bog land. He put the cost per acre for trenching, laying stones in the drains, sand and manure, at £21 per acre. Reclaiming bog land has been done by tenant farmers all over the country, who were evicted afterward when they fell behind in rent in the bad years, and did not get any compensation for the land so reclaimed. Mr. Smithwick did not think the relief money in all cases reached those for whom it was intended; believed it was partly intercepted on the way. Did not have a high opinion of his countrymen of the poorer class. Thought them a useless set who did not do the work of their farms properly; did not even make a drain properly if done for themselves; made it in a proper manner if made on another man’s land, because there he was overseen, and if he slighted his work he would not get paid for it. In short, “Paddy anywhere but at home is a splendid man, but at home he is worthless.”

Mr. Smithwick deplored the present agitation among the people; deplored it as an agitation got up, not for people’s benefit, but to feather the nests and fill the pockets of agitators. He informed me that he himself had to carry a pistol wherever he went. In speaking of rents Mr. Smithwick informed me that the lands were really rented low; that the people could pay, and were quite able to pay, were it not for the advice of agitators; said he was getting no rent at all these years. The total cessation of rent coming in was a great deprivation to landlords, who depended on their rents for the means of living.

Mr. Smithwick thought emigration was the remedy for the undeniable poverty of the country, for if the people got their farms for nothing they could not make a living out of them, owing to their shiftless method of farming. I objected that it would be scarcely fair to send their people, who were so useless and helpless, over to be a burden on us, but Mr. Smithwick thought that they would soon come in to our ways, and help themselves, and be not a burden but a help to the community. I found out in conversation with this gentleman that to reach Ballycroy, where he lives, I should have come from Ballina. I seem perversely to take the long way round. Mr. Smithwick kindly explained to me the way I should go to reach Ballycroy by private car. He thought there was so little of interest in that direction that it would hardly repay me for a long tiresome journey, and that Connemara direction was much more full of interest. After his croydon had driven off I began to remember various points on which I should have liked to obtain his opinion that I had never thought of once when I had the opportunity. Perhaps it was the very early drive that had wearied me, but I was dreadfully stupid all through the interview. I had counted a great deal on seeing this man, and I seemed to myself to have gained nothing of facts to which one could refer triumphantly in support of an opinion in consequence of it.

To wake myself up I enquired of the civil landlady if there were any wonderful sights to be seen in the neighborhood within an easy drive. Yes, there was Borrishoole Monastery (the place of owls) and Carrig a Owlagh (rock of the fleet) Castle, one of the strongholds of Granna Uisle Well, got a car and driver and drove off to see these ruins. I was told that no tourist ever visited Newport without going to see them.

As we rattled and jolted over the roughest bit of road which I have yet seen in Ireland, the driver, a dark, keen-eyed man, began to talk of landlords, of the wasting and exterminating Lords Lucan and Sligo. I asked him whom did he think a good landlord. He answered immediately, “Jonathan Pym.” “If you think him so good you might say Mr. Pym.” “When a man is the best in any way he’s too big for Mr.,” said the man readily. “I dare say,” I remarked, “that this Jonathan Pym is very little better than the rest.” “But I say he is,” retorted the man fiercely. “Where inside of the four seas of Ireland will you get his aiquil? He bought the land, coming among us a stranger, and he did not raise the rents. The people live under the rents their fathers paid.” “Well, that’s not much?” “If you were a tenant you would think differently. He took off the thatch of the cabins and put on slates at his own expense: There is not a broken roof on the land that he owns. Every tenant he has owns a decent house, with byre and barn, shed and stable, and he done it all out of the money he had, that never was lifted out of the land, and after all left them in at the ould rents. There has never been wan eviction on his place yet.” “Has he been shot at yet?” I enquired innocently. “Arrah, what would he be shot for?” demanded the man, turning his swarthy face and black eyes full on me. “I thought maybe some one might shoot him for fun,” I explained, feebly. “Fun!” growled the car-man, “quare fun! If a man is shot or shot at he deserves it richly. He’s not a rale gentleman, word and deed, like Jonathan Pym.”

The driver continued to praise the wonderful landlord, Jonathan Pym, in a growling kind of tone as if, were I his spouse, he would thwack me well to cure my unbelief, as we jolted over the stones to the ruins of the monastery of owls.

There is a lake, the lake of owls, near this ruin, and in it, it is said, gentlemen anglers can readily obtain leave to fish. I have heard that amateur anglers give the fish they catch to the person who gives the permit, retaining the sport of catching as their share; or if they want the fish paying for them at market price. I think this unlikely, but it may be so nevertheless.

The monastery was once a splendid place, to judge by the remains of the carving on window and arched door. One of the skulls of Grace O’Malley used to be kept here as a precious relic. There was another at Clare Island and I think I also heard of another. It seems some speculative and sacrilegious Scotchman brought a ship round the west coast of Ireland to gather up the bones lying in the abbeys to crush them for manure, and they took the brave sea queen’s bones and skull with the rest.

Returned to Newport in a very undecided frame of mind whether to go to Ballycroy or not. There was a Land League meeting to be held there, and I might see that; but then I had been at two Land League meetings, and they are pretty much alike. Of course it is well to see a great assemblage of people, for they always are of interest as showing what condition the people are in, and what sentiments find an echo in their hearts. But the length of the way, the uncertainty of a place to stop at had some weight, and I found myself unable to decide. To clear up my brain I asked for a bit of fish for dinner, but such a thing could not be obtained at Newport. The fish caught there are exported. They might get a fish by going down to the boat for it, and paying dearer for it than the Dublin price. I asked for fish at Westport with the same result. If you mention salmon they will say, “Oh, yes,” and if not stopped, rush off and buy a can of American salmon for you. I got something to eat—not fish, and not very eatable—and wrote a little while, with the same stupid sensation bothering me that I had felt during my interview with Mr. Smithwick, and decided to put off all decision and go to bed, which I did.

In the morning, having found that Newport was the nearest point by which to reach Achill Island, I determined to go there, and if I thought I could endure the journey to diverge at Mulrany and drive to Ballycroy on my return from Achill Island.

XXXIX.

BY THE SHORE OF CLEW BAY—ACROSS ACHILL ISLAND—A LONELY LOVELY RETREAT.

The drive from Newport, Mayo, to Mulrany was very pleasant. The roads winds along Clew Bay, that bay of many islands, for quite a distance. Clew Bay was resting, calm as a mirror, blue and bright, not a lap of the wave washed up on the shore of Green island or Rocky Point the day we drove past. No fisher’s boat divided the water with hopeful keel. The intense solitude of bays and inlets as well as the loughs looks like enchantment. It reminds one of the drowsy do-nothingness of “Thompson’s Castle of Indolence,” only here the indolence is not the indolence of luxurious ease but of hunger and rags. If the knight of arts and industry will ever destroy monopoly, and these silent waters will be alive with enterprise:

“When many fishing barks put out to fish along the coast.”

there will be a happy change in the comfortless cabins that dot the shores of Clew Bay.

The islands of Clew Bay, being treeless and green, have a new look, as if they had just heaved up their backs above the waters and were waiting for the fiat that shall pronounce them good. I looked with longing eyes in the direction of Clare Island, that has one side to the bay and one side to the broad Atlantic which lies between me and home. On Clare Island is the remains of Doona Castle, the principal stronghold, of the heroic Grace, where she held the heir of Howth captive till ransomed, and till his father learned to understand what Cead mille failte means at dinner time.

Here, by Tulloghan Bay, I was told to look across the bay, where the heather-clad mountains rise above the broad heather-clad bog, where the road to Ballycroy winds along between the bay and the mountains, past houses of mortarless stone, hard to be distinguished from the heath; for over there in a certain spot occurred the shooting affray which has made young Mr. Smith, the son of the then agent for the Marquis of Sligo, a man of renown.

The hard feeling between the exterminating Marquis, the agent who executed his will and the tenantry was intense. Four men were lying in wait here with the intention of shooting Mr. Smith, who was expected to pass that way. He drove along accompanied by his son. The would-be assassins fired; they were concealed above the road; the shots passed harmlessly over the heads of the two Smiths. Young Mr. Smith, who is an exceptionally good shot—can hit a small coin at an immense distance— saw the men run and fired after them, killing one, fired again, wounding another, and would have fired again, but was prevented by his father.

Young Mr. Smith is quite a hero among the people on this account. There is an expressed regret that Mr. Smith the elder interfered to prevent the young marksman from shooting them all; very few would blame him if he did, as the men, though too nervous to do harm, lay in wait for the purpose of murder. Still it is revolting to hear people in cold blood regret so heartily that there was not more bloodshed.

The scenery—as scenery—was as grand as bare heathery mountains and wide desolate waters could make an almost treeless solitude, but viewed as a home for human beings, viewed as land that has rent and taxes and existence to be carved out of it, it has a hopeless look.

The houses are something dreadful, to consider them in the light of human habitations. Limestone does not abound here, and therefore the houses of the poorer sort are built like a cairn or a fence of loose stones without mortar. When the Atlantic winds sweep in here in winter time, the crevices in these houses will be so many chinks to whistle through. God pity the poor!

The people along the road here had a thrifty look; the men wore homespun coats; the pinned-up dresses of the women showed petticoats which were homespun of warm madder red, well dyed, good and comfortable looking. Of course the majority of the women were barefoot, but they were used to it.

At Molraney we stopped to deliver mails. In these cases the passengers sit on the car in the street, while the driver hands in the mail, gossips awhile, goes into the convenient “licensed to sell” for a taste of something, and the police saunter down for the mail and look you over, judiciously but not offensively, and at last you make another start.

Arrived at the Sound, you find a nice-looking hotel for such a remote place. There is any amount of liquor to be got: you can also get the never-varying chop or steak served up with another variety of miserable cooking, but you cannot get a bit of fish any more than if the sea were five hundred miles off instead of lapping on the rocks less than a perch away. Was pulled across the Sound by two young girls, who handled the big oars as if they were used to them, and urged the boat with its load of men across the green waters very swiftly with their strong white arms. As we neared the island of Achill trees were conspicuous by their absence, and purple heather was plentiful.

Achill Island is a treeless place. There are mountains beyond mountains lying against the sky, heather clad or mossgrown; there are small lakes lying at the foot of mountains or between mountains; there are dreary expanses of bog stretching for miles on each side of the road between us and the mountains, and rising out of the bog are wee bits of fields and most horrible habitations. We passed the plantation, noticeable because there is not another, that Mr. Pike has coaled to flourish round his fine house. There are dark green firs, feathery light green larches, birches, and other trees that dress in green only when summer comes; great clumps of laurel and rhododendron, the latter one mass of blossoms that almost hide the leaves beneath their rosy purple. Mr. Pike has already made for himself a delicious looking home amid this barren waste. It enriched our eyes to look at it.

Mr. Pike and Mr. Stoney, of the castellated new building down at the edge of Clew Bay, have the distinction of being the most unpopular landlords in this part of the country. After we passed Mr. Pike’s place there were no more trees. The houses are very bad indeed; the cattle in the pasture are of the small native breed, and have little appearance of milk; the sheep are very miserable and scraggy. I have often heard of Cook’s recipes saying, “Take the scrag end of a piece of mutton.” These recipes must have emanated from Achill Island, where the mutton must be pretty much all scrag.

After we drove a long way—what appeared a long way—I do not believe they measure all the crooks and turns this most serpentine of roads into the miles—we passed establishment of lay brothers called the Monastery. There is quite a block of white buildings, and a good many reclaimed fields, green with the young crops, lie in the valley below them. There is a bell in a cupola that will call to work and worship, and a chapel where they meet to pray. The valley where their fields lie stretches to the sea, and in the bay lay a smack of some kind by which they trade to Westport. They labor with their own hands, so have not the name of employing any laborers, but have the name of dispensing charity. I should have liked to see the buildings and the brethren, but did not make the attempt.

At length we came to Dugart, the Missionary settlement. A little row of white-washed houses on one side of a street that ran up hill, another row of whitewashed houses that ran along the brow of the hill at a right angle. Slieve Mor behind towering up between the village and the sea; below the hill at the foot of another mountain is the rectory, beside it the church, both having a trimming of young trees; some good fields, the best I have seen in Achill, and a pretty garden lie round both rectory and church. This is the mission village of Dugart.

At the corner where the two rows of whitewashed houses meet is the Post Office. As we drove up there was a gentleman with a northern kindliness in his face, a long brown beard, an unmistakable air of authority, whom we found out was the rector of Achill. After introduction and some conversation, he kindly invited me to the rectory after I had brushed off some of the dust of travel.

The Dugart hotel possesses a large collection of stuffed sea birds, the proprietor having taste and skill in that direction, and I was enabled to take a nearer view of specimens of the birds that sail and scream round the Achill mountains, eagles and gulls, puffins and cormorants, than I would otherwise have done. After a little rest and refreshment I walked down the hill to the lonely, lovely rectory in the valley below.

There is a solidity about a stone house, stone porch and stone wall in every part of Ireland; a strength that makes one think how easily a house could be turned into a fortalice at a short notice.

I confess I liked this rector, so tall and stately, with his long beard, grave, kindly face, northern speech, penetrating look, with a certain air of authority as became a pastor in charge. When he asked me pleasantly if I had come as a friend, I thought at once of the Bethlehem elders to Samuel, “Comest thou peaceably?” I think I almost envied this man his position, the power which he holds as a leader to be a patriot worker for the good of his countrymen and countrywomen on the barren isle of Achill.

We walked upon the shady path that leads from rectory to church, under green arches of leafage, in the real dim religious light which grand cathedrals only imitate. There is a nice useful garden on one side of the path, stocked with things good for food and pleasant to the eye. Along one side is a hedge eight feet high of fuschia growing thus in the open air, proving that it is possible to turn sheltered spots of barren Achill into nooks suggestive of Eden.

The little church to which this romantic path brought us was such a church as one might snuggle down in to learn the way to Zion, and enjoy the comfort of the old, old story. This mission was begun by the Rev. Edward Naugh, I believe, in the famine time. It invaded the island with bread and the Bible. I hear that it has done much good, chiefly, I believe, in educating and emigrating the people.

The village of the mission opposite the rectory has two schools, an inn or hotel, a co-operative store, a post-office, some dwellings of coastguard’s men and other official and semi-official people, the agent over the mission property for one. A little further away on the sea sands is a miserable collection of cabins inhabited by the people. There were some poor-looking farmhouses dotting the mountain side.

As far as I could learn there was no industry on Achill Island but tilling their miserable crofts. The fishing was monopolized by one man, a Mr. Hector, a Scotchman. The people as far as I could learn had no boats fitted for deep sea fishing and the coast fishing was monopolized. They are said to be lazy, unthrifty, unenergetic. I enquired a little about this and it seemed to me as if there was a door locked and barred between them and any field for the display of energy with hope—without an atmosphere of hope, energy is a plant that will not thrive. It is hope, and nothing but hope, that nerves the backwoods settler of Canada to do battle with summer heat and winter snow, with the inexorable logic of circumstances, and he conquers because he has hope. Over every peasant holding in Ireland of the western part there is written, “Here is no hope.” The superior mind looks upon the peasantry as minors who are not able to judge for themselves, who need to be tied down with office rules, and held in by proprietory bit and bridle. They admit, that they do well in the free air of Canada, but they contend that thrift, forethought, frugality is produced in them by desperation. I see desperation all round here producing a recklessness and despair. I know that hope is the star that shines for the backwoods Canadian to light him to competence.

I did not see any of the mission tenants in Achill. I saw nothing but what lay on the surface. I have no doubt that the mission has done good in many ways, great good. I am sorry, however, that they lost the opportunity of testing the capabilities of the islanders to flourish as peasant proprietors; it is not always well for the church to have vineyards and oliveyards, manservants and maidservants. It is well sometimes for the church to come down like her Master and to be alongside of the discouraged mortal who has toiled through a lifetime and caught nothing but hunger and rags, to share with them the toil and want.

XL.

REMEMBRANCES OF THE GREAT FAMINE—THE “PLANTED” SCOTCH FARMERS—A BEAUTIFUL EDIFICE.

On my return from Achill Island I decided that I would not take another post car drive to Ballycroy, and returned to Mulraney again along the same road in the shadow of the mountains. On to Newport we drove, back over the road winding along the side of Clew Bay, and across the head of the bay through the lonely country leading back to Westport.

The driver, a weather-beaten man in a weather-worn drab coat, entertained me with tales of the clearances made in the famine time that left the country side so empty. It is hard to believe that ever human beings were so cruel to other human beings in this Christian land, and that it passed unknown, or comparatively unknown, to the rest of the world.

This man told, with a certain grim satisfaction, of what he called God’s judgments which had fallen on “exterminators.” The common people of the West have a firm belief that God is on their side, no matter what trouble he allows to come over them. “Sure I do feel my heart afire, when gintlemen sit on my car driving through this loneliness an’ talk of over-population. Over-population! and the country empty!” I wish I could remember all this old man said, but I can only recall snatches here and there.

It is most amazing to think that, when the world at large was sending help to save the Irish people alive in the awful visitation, so many were throwing their tenants out on the road to die. And these people had by hard toil won a living here and paid rent. Every rood of this land, every cabin had helped to swell princely revenues, until the finger of God came down in famine, and then, when the revenue stopped, there was no pity, and it seemed to these poor people that there was no one that regarded them. I do not wish to ever come to that time of life when I can hear of the scenes that wasted this country without feeling a passion of sorrow and regret.

I spoke of these things to a worthy gentleman resident in another part of the country and he brushed it aside as if it were a fly, saying, “Oh, that is long past, thirty years and more.” Memory is very strong among people who seem to have little to look forward to—the past seems the principal outlook. Every incident of the French landing here so far back as ’98 is told to me in the West here with a freshness of detail as if it happened a few years ago; one can imagine, therefore, how the cruel evictions of the famine time fit themselves into the memory of the people, especially as the rush of fresh evictions are awaking all the horrors of the past.

It seemed a gloomy satisfaction to this man to tell over what he considered God’s judgments which had fallen on exterminators. He pointed out to me many who seemed doomed to be the last of their race.

At last we passed the long, dead wall which encloses the magnificent demesne of the Marquis of Sligo and drew up at Westport once more. The local papers which await me are full of Miss Gardner and her war with her tenants—more evictions, emergency men from Dublin to hold possession—and all the rest. I was introduced by a Protestant clergyman to a gentleman connected with the executive of the law for a quarter of a century. He knows the heartrending inner history of legal eviction. This gentleman has a wonderful tenderness in his heart for Miss Gardner. “Sure she grew up among us. The other one (Miss Pringle) found her as kindly a woman as was on God’s earth and has made an ogre of her.”

I will give an extract or two out of the softest part of the statement he has drawn up for me.

He tells of a landlord who evicted whole townlands in 1847. He hated the people because the famine swept over them. He became possessed with the same ideas as other landlords of the period, whose income had diminished through the visitation of God, that if the present possessors were rooted out and depopulated lands planted with Scotchmen, their skill and capital would prevent a recurrence of famine.

Now it is a fact freely attested to me by clergymen of different denominations that the planted people of Mayo required help, and help to a very large amount to keep them from starvation during the last scarcity. On many estates in Mayo and the adjoining parts of Sligo the Protestant population would have died of hunger but for the large help given both denominationally, and otherwise. They could not have seeded their grounds but for seed freely given them. Fields in Mayo this season are lying bare because the wretched people are not able to get seed to put in the ground. Some of the planted people complained to me that though when they settled on their present lands they got them cheap, two shillings and sixpence an acre for wild land, yet as they improved their land the rent was raised to five, to seven and six, to fourteen, and now to over a pound an acre. These men also complained that they could not possibly exist at all during these last seasons and pay the rent which was laid on them in consequence of the improvements done by their own labor. I find by the most conclusive proof that a difference of religious belief did not enable the settlers any more than the natives to pay a rent that could not be produced from the soil. The desire to change the nationality and religion of his tenants was so strong in one landlord that, in the words of my informant, “A scene of ruthless havoc began among his tenantry. To stimulate the slowness of the crowbar brigade he was known to tear down human habitations with his own hands.” I remember these poor people standing in the market in those dark days of famine, having their bits of furniture for sale on the streets, and there were none to buy. I have heard the wailing of men, women and children on the coach-top day after day, when these fortunate unfortunates were escaping from their native land forever. I saw those who could not go in the agonies of death in the fever sheds. These scenes happened over thirty years ago, but they will never be forgotten. Four large townlands, on which eighty homes had been, became a wilderness of grass and rank weeds. No Scotch were forthcoming for the wrecked farms. There was a Nemesis in store for him. His day of eviction came about, and in his trouble his tenants saw retribution. As charity kept some of his tenants alive, so he also was indebted to the charity of friends, and passed away to meet his tenants at a bar where high blood or aristocratic connections do not sway the Judge who sits on the throne of justice, nor does party prejudice blind his eyes.

When Miss Gardner came of age it took all the property of her father to pay the money secured to her by her mother’s settlement, and she entered into possession in his stead. Like Queen Elizabeth, whom Miss Gardner greatly resembles, she had in her youth known troubles; sympathy for these trials, so well known to the peasantry, made them receive her with open arms and open hearts. In the interval between Miss Gardner entering into possession and her coming under the influence of Miss Pringle she set herself to repair the havoc made by her predecessor, and was the idol of her tenantry. She was near neighbor to the model farm and orphanage presided over by the Scotch ladies. Philanthropy collected the vast sums which bought and stocked the model farm at Ballinglen. When their mode of managing matters there could be no longer hidden from the Presbyterian Church which they misrepresented, the mission came out largely indebted to these ladies. It took all the stock to pay off its indebtedness to one lady, and the farm itself to pay the other. It is the lady who got the farm as her share, that lives with Miss Gardner, and gets the credit of her every unpopular act. She has divided between her and her only friend in the dark days. This Scotch hag found her a kind-hearted woman, and has made her into an ogre. Some of this communication, the hardest of it, I shall reserve, also several confirmatory anecdotes given me at Westport.

In mercy to the readers, I will only say that Miss Gardner has intense courage and an intellect of masculine strength, and resembles Queen Elizabeth in more ways than one. It is a great pity that she has not Queen Bess’s popularity or her care for her people.

Westport, when I have time to look at it, is a very pretty town. Its buildings, its hotels and the warehouses on the quay look as if it once had an extensive and flourishing trade, or was prepared for and expecting it. There was, I am told, once a flourishing linen trade here, but it has gone to decay. The town is in a little hollow, with pleasant tree-crowned green hills rising all round it; at one side is the demesne of the Marquis of Sligo, which is open to the public. These grounds extend for miles, and are as beautiful as gorgeous trees, green grass, dark woods, waters that leap and flash, spanned by rustic bridges, can make them. There are winding walks leading through the green fields, under trees, into woods, up hill and down, into shady glens, where you might wander for miles and lose yourself in green-wood solitudes. Crowds of Westport folk, in the calm evening, saunter through the grounds and enjoy their beauty.

The little town has a subdued expression of prosperity. You feel conscious that some business is going on that enables the inhabitants of the town to live comfortably and to dress respectably. You hear of the mills of the Messrs. Livingstone, of their business in trading and land- owning, until you are convinced that they are the centre round which this little world revolves.

I had a lady pointed out to me here as being in such embarrassed circumstances, owing to the non-payment of rent, that her son was obliged to join the police force to earn a living. I heard also great sympathy expressed for another gentleman in Dublin who has many sons, whom he has brought up to do nothing, and who has been reduced by the strike against rent to absolute poverty. I am told that banks in Dublin are glutted with family silver left as security for loans. These people are to be pitied, for poverty is poverty in purple or in rags; but when poverty comes to actual want, it is still more pitiful.

XLI.

GOING TO ENGLAND FOR WORK—CANADA AND AMERICA.

I have been going against the stream on my travels. I am reminded, incessantly that I should have begun at Dublin. Going backward, as I am doing, the orthodox route is to Leenane, passing Erriff and the Devil’s Mother, but the regular cars were not yet running, I was told, nor were they likely to run this summer, as, owing to the exaggerated reports of outrage, tourists are not expected in any numbers. Was persuaded to take a special car to go by Leenane round the coast. Would have liked to do so, but not to bear all the expense myself. The further west the more expensive the car, I find. Instead, I returned to Castlebar, and on to Balla. Balla is the small town where the Land League was born.

In the compartment to which I was consigned there were some gentlemen, for gentlemen and ladies of very great apparent respectability do travel in the cars devoted to the humbler people; there were also some respectable looking laborers who were going over to England to look for work. A discussion arose in our compartment as to what constituted politeness. One gentleman defined it as ceremonious manners, the result of early training; while another objected that that was only the veneer of manners, as all true politeness arose from the heart. I listened awhile and then spoke across the seat to a decent, dejected looking man with a little bundle beside him tied up in a blue and white check handkerchief. “Yes, he was going to England to look for work; many had to go for the work was not to be had at home.” “The rents were so high, and the taxes, what with one thing and another, there was a new cut always coming heavier than the last.” “The people are being crushed out of the country very fast, and that was God’s truth.” “And you are from America? It is a fine country they say. I would be there long ago but for the heavy care I have here that I can neither take with me nor leave behind.” “Yes, I go over to England every year. For a good many years past I have always worked for the same man, ever since I went there first.” “It grows harder to live in Ireland every year.”

I told this man amid the craned necks and open mouths of his companions, some of the advantages of Canada as a home. I do not know why it is that the people know so little of Canada. I was listened to with exclamations of “Well, well!” “Boys a boys!” “Dear O dear!” “Hear that, now! A man might live there!”

Getting at last across the Mayo plains to Claremorris, I parted from my acquaintances with many a “God bless you,” while many hands lifted out my travelling bags. At Claremorris a car man asked if I was a pilgrim for Knock which was the first intimation that I had that I was in the vicinity of Knock. Hired this car man, who was also owner of the car, to drive me there. I have always heard that those born on Christmas Day are privileged to see apparitions. I have not yet come into that part of my inheritance, but do not know how soon I may.

On the way, which led through a well-cultivated, fertile country, waving with trees, and showing glimpses of great houses peeping out among them, the driver asked me if I had ever heard of Captain Boycott. I said there were few who had not. “He used to live in that house up there; he was agent in this part of the country, but he left us, thank God.” “What made people dislike him so?” “Because he was the height of a great tyrant.” “Come now, what did he do?” “Everything he could do to oppress the creatures who were in his power. I have known a man come home to his little family with three shillings for his week’s wages, all the rest scratched off him in fines. If you have a family yourself you will understand what their living would be when they paid the rent of the cabin. A man dazed with hunger would not have all his wits about him and there would be more fines. In that way the mane hound got his work done for half price, and ground the life out of the people. There was no word of an emergency man to pity or help them. God help us; how true it is that the help does not go where the want is.”

We got to Knock, a country church in a country place. Alighted, and while the carman tied his horse I looked round me. There was an enclosure round the chapel. At one side was a row of wooden booths, where relics, beads and trinkets were sold. On the other side of the enclosure was a school for girls. It was at the end of the church where the apparition is said to have appeared that we entered. All the plaster on this end was removed by devotees. In the spot where the apparition was said to have been seen, there was a life-size statue of the Virgin in plaster. All over the gable were strips of wood cleated on, behind which were ranged walking-sticks and crutches in regular order till the whole gable was covered. There was a long frame-work of wood about twelve feet long and three broad, also filled with crutches and walking- sticks.

As I stood looking, the car man came in after tying his horse, and knelt down on the damp earth before the Virgin’s shrine and repeated a prayer. He was not ashamed to practice what he believed before the world and in the sight of the sun. When his prayer was over he joined me, and drew my attention to the number of crutches and sticks left behind by those who were benefited. I pointed out to him a very handsome black-thorn stick among the votive offerings, and asked him would it be a sin to steal it, as black-thorns were in demand over the water. He told me if I did that whatever disease was laid down there by the owner of the stick would cleave to me. I thought of Gehazi and restrained my hands from stealing the black-thorn. There is one nice characteristic of a genuine Irishman, he can take a joke.

There were many masons working at an enlargement of the church. We went in. It had an earthen floor, and there were many people kneeling on it at their prayers. Some were silently making the stations of the cross, others, a large number, were reciting the rosary aloud under the leadership of a young woman, who repeated one part, when they all answered in concert. The windows were darkened by the scaffolding and building outside, and as I sat there seeing and hearing, looking toward the altar, in the shadow of a pillar I saw a hand steal out. I own I was startled; but when my eyes got accustomed to the gloom, I saw it was a man at the top of a ladder quietly painting away as if the church were empty.

After a while I came out and went over to the school. There were 78 children present, all girls, all clean and decent. There was one teacher, a pleasant-faced young woman, who had two monitor assistants. The order kept was very good, the school furniture neat, a good many maps on the wall, and the children seemed busy and interested. The teacher told me that the income of the school, owing to results fees—a sum paid by Government according to the progress of the pupils, was sometimes as high as £80 per annum.

After leaving the school, went over to the booths to buy some trifle as a memorial of Knock. The man in the booth told me I had come from America. There was another man with his arm in a sling, who had come from America also. He had come to visit Knock. I asked him if his arm was better. He said it was, but not entirely well. I asked the man in the booth if he had ever seen anything. He said that he did not come there to see anything, but to make a living. He and the American had both bits of the original plaster, which they showed to me.

The priest of the place was not at home. He lives in a cottage down the hill a bit, in sight of the church. I had seen all there was to be seen, so I made my purchase and bid good-bye to Knock, and drove back to Claremorris.

Claremorris is a nice enough little town, very quiet, as if not much of any great work was going on. Where there are factories I notice the people step quickly and look straight ahead. Over towns which depend on the trading of the country round there is an air of repose and leisure. I did not see much of Claremorris, for I soon left it behind in going to Ballinrobe by car.

The land here seems very rich. I remarked this to my travelling companions, who told me that I was on the rich plains of Mayo. The fields are large and well cultivated. There were no signs of the abject poverty, wee, stony fields, horrible rookeries of houses that exist in the shadow of the Ox hills. Not that the houses of the laborers here were good; for that, a good, decent laborer’s house, I have not yet seen in Ireland, except on Mr. Young’s Galgorm estate. They may exist on other estates, I dare say they do, but I have not seen them. This country over which we were travelling was as rich with round-headed trees and wide meadows as a gentleman’s park. The road, a particularly meandering one, passed through Hollymount—a lovely place—and through Carrowmore, my companions telling me of the landlords and the tenants as we drove along. The rent was high and hard to make up, the turf far to draw, that was all. There was no account of vexatious office rules or special acts of tyranny related to me at all.

Ballinrobe, on the river Robe, is near Lough Mask, and is another quiet, pretty, leisurely little town. I was troubled with neuralgia and did not see much of it. Opposite the hotel was the minister’s residence, amid gardens, all shut in behind a stone wall high enough for a rampart. Through an archway from the street was the church where he ministered, sitting meditating among the tombs. I wandered into this place one day on my way to the post-office. Noticed the great number of the name of Cuffe who were buried there. Cuffe is the family name of Lord Tyrawley.

The Catholic church sits back from the street a good way and the ground before it is laid out in flowers. There are some images of saints through the grounds, which are set in arches of rock work, over which climbing plants are trained. There is also a community of Christian Brothers, who have a school here. Their building had so much glass in front, with so many geraniums in flower, a perfect blaze of them behind the glass, that it looked like a conservatory.

Left Ballinrobe behind and drove to Lough Mask Castle, where the celebrated Captain Boycott managed to kick up such a fuss. We passed a couple of iron huts occupied by policemen, who came out to look at us. I may as well mention that after I left Ballinrobe I found that the driver was more “than three-quarters over the bay.” He had a way of talking to himself on the land question, of Captain Boycott, Lord Mountmorris and Lord Ardilaun, that was not pleasant to listen to, especially as he spiced his monologue with many words that savored strongly of brimstone. I was not without hope that the fresh air might dissipate the fumes of liquor from his brain as we drove along. I had the more hope of this as I could see that he was a habitual drinker, poor man, as his face but too plainly testified. Drink is universal here, as medicine a universal remedy, as a daily, almost hourly, stimulant for young, and old, rich and poor, man and woman. They tell me that Scotland is worse; if so, Scotland should be prayed for. I confess that I have not seen much drunkenness. I saw very few that I could call drunk, but it is constant, steady, universal, or almost so, sipping and tippling.

XLII.

LOUGH MASK CASTLE—CAPTAIN BOYCOTT AND HIS POLICY—LORD MOUNTMORRIS.

Well, my Jehu did sober up considerably before we halted at the entrance gates of Lough Mask Castle. The sharp hi! hi! of the driver brought out the gate keeper, a poor looking and sour looking woman, who admitted us into the drive which lay through some fields and beside some young plantations. In one place the driver pulled up, our way lay through a large field divided by the road into two unequal parts.

He told me to look round me, which I did. “On one side here, were the dragoons; their horses were picketed here; on the other side was the infantry. It was awful weather. What them men and their horses stood of hardships and misery no tongue could tell. The dragoons marched down here, looking fine and bowld, their horses were sleek and fat and shining, when they marched away they wor staggering with the wakeness and the men wor purty wilted looking. He made them believe he needed protection.” This with a growl that had depths of meaning in it.

“He’s coming back here again. Out among nagurs or anywhere else he could not find them to put up with him like ourselves.” Of course I omit the strong words that were used as garnishing. I must own that this was the first time that any carman had used profane language before me—and it wasn’t himself was in it at all at all but the whiskey. “The soldiers, whin they wor here,” continued the old man, “cut down the trees of the plantation for firing. That went to his heart, it did. How could they help themselves, I’d like to know? Sure they would have perished with the cowld and the wet among the pelting of the snow and the sleet. Wherever they are this blessed day they don’t admire the memory of Captain Boycott. What I like is behaviour in aither man or baste, and Captain Boycott had no behaviour. They killed a sheep to ate, or maybe two, and sorra a blame to them. It was ate or die wid them; but ye see the gallant Captain didn’t like it.” About this time a volley of anathemas was poured out against the absent Captain.

During all this we were sitting on the car viewing the field where the bivouac had been. A policeman with a questioning look on a pleasant face came along from the great house with a tin pail in his hand. “What have you got in the can!” asks this inquisitive car driver. “Milk,” responded the policeman. “You would have got no milk at the big house in Captain Boycott’s time.”

“Oh; yes, I would,” said the other, “when I paid for it.” I did not like to question this man, for he did swear so, but I ventured to ask if Mrs. Boycott were equally as much disliked as her husband. “Never heard a word against her in my life. The people had no reason but to like her. Hard word or hard deed she left no memory of behind her.”

We drove past the residence where Captain Boycott lived, a fine spacious house finished in plaster to imitate stone. The grounds near the house were nicely laid out, but that is the universal rule in Ireland. Drove through a gateway into the yard. In a stable loft in the yard some policemen were lodged. The driver hallooed at them, and one came down the stone steps to see what protective duty was asked of him. I asked him to show me the ruins, and he complied in the kindest manner. Across the barnyard and through a shed we made our way into the castle ruins. There are many nooks and crannies, as is the case in these ancient ruins generally, but the main body of the castle was divided into two large apartments, with the roof on the floor of course. I noticed the track of recent fire along the old walls. He said it was made by the officers who were down there on protective service for Capt. Boycott. They had one apartment and cooked there, and the police the other. These quarters open to the sky, and having stones on the floor, did not look comfortable.

We went up the circular stairs to the ramparts at the top. There is a walk round the top behind the battlements. Looking down at the remains of a fireplace in what was a lofty second story, my guide told me there was a name and a date there. The name Fitzgerald, I forget the date; so this must have been one of the Geraldine castles.

There is a fine view from the battlements. Lough Mask, which is very shallow here, a little water and a great many stones overtopping it in profusion, lies before us, and an extensive country, partly fertile, in round hills and green valleys, partly crusted over with stones.

A policeman, not my guide on this occasion, told me, illustrative of the disposition of Captain Boycott, that the hut in which the police were sheltered was very damp—water, in fact, was running on the floor under their bed. They had a small coal stove, and on the coal becoming exhausted before they got a further supply, one of the men being down sick, they ventured to ask Captain Boycott for the loan of a lump or two of coal to keep their stove going till their supplies were received, and he refused them. They were obliged to protect his ass and water cart down into the lake to draw water from out beyond the edge where the water was deep, and, therefore, could be dipped up clean. He would not allow them to get any of the water for their own use after it was drawn, or lend them the ass to draw for themselves. They had either to wade out in the lake or dip up as they could at the edge. I made a slight mistake in saying that the castle was entirely roofless; there was part of an arched roof where the fire had been. I asked the policeman if they had any night patrol duty now. Oh, yes, he said, we patrol every night, although we never see anything worse than ourselves.

Left Lough Mask, its castled ruins and modern mansion behind us, and drove through the gates again. I felt convinced that the people were not filled with an unreasoning hate against Captain Boycott. They thought they had reason, deep reason, and they scrupulously excepted Mrs. Boycott from any censure bestowed on him.

Along the road we drove, until from an eminence we could see Lough Mask in its beauty, with its bays and islands spread out beneath us. This view gave us a part of the Lough where the water covers the stones. This particular evening the water was as calm as a mirror and as blue as the sky above it, and the trees on the hills and bays around it in their greenness and leafiness, round-headed and massive, were all bathed in sunlight. We came to fields a little more barren-looking, where bare stone fences took the place of the rich hedgerows, turned up a road that lay between these stony ramparts, and drove along for a little time.

I was wondering in my own mind about Captain Boycott. Did he, in his own consciousness, think he was doing right in his system of fines? He knew how small and miserable the wages were: he knew of the poor, comfortless homes and the “smidrie o’ wee duddy weans” that depended on the poor pennies the father brought home; he knew that he came out well fed and leisurely to find fault with a peasant who was working with a sense of goneness about the stomach. Did he think that increasing the hunger pain would make him more thoughtful, more orderly? Would he have done better if he had been suddenly brought to change places with his serf? If he could not help fining the people until he fined off the most of their wages, were they to blame for refusing to work for him? Was the Government right in taking his part when it had neither eye nor ear for his people’s complaint? I was questioning with myself in this helpless fashion, when I heard my driver inquire in Irish of a bare-footed country girl if we were near the spot where Lord Mountmorris was murdered.

This question, and the surprise with which I became aware that I understood it, made me forget Captain Boycott for the time being and wake up to the present time. We had stopped our car and were waiting on the girl’s answer, which she seemed in no hurry to give. At length lifting a small stone she threw it on the road a car’s length behind us, answering in Irish that there was the spot where he was found. The murderer was hidden in the field opposite. The road was bare of the shelter of hedge or ditch, bush or tree. It was late; he was coming home alone, his police escort for some reason were not with him that particular night. Lord Mountmorris was murdered, and some one has a mark on his hand that all the water of the Lough will not wash off.

We drove along the road, a bleak and bare road, with a hill on one side of it and a steep slope down on the other, until we came to a small plantation, a lodge gate, and drove up an avenue with small plantations of young trees here and there, some grass lands, a few beasts grazing about, some signs of where flower beds and flower borders had been better cared for once on a time than now, and came to a comfortable, roomy square house finished in plaster. This was castle something, the residence of the late Lord Mountmorris. With a blessing, content and three hundred a year one could fancy that person sung of by Moore, “With the heart that is humble,” being able to make out life nicely here. When a man has a title to his name with all the requirements which it implies and demands, one could imagine a constant and wearing struggle going on.

I have earnestly and constantly sought to find a reason that could possibly irritate an ignorant and exasperated peasant to the point of taking the life of this man, I have found none. He was unhappily addicted to drink, it is said, but he must have had a large majority of the inhabitants of Ireland of all creeds and classes on the same side with him in this, to judge by the number of houses licensed to sell liquor to be drunk on the premises which are required for the drouthy part of the population. He is accused of having warped justice to favor his friends in his capacity of magistrate. I have heard that accusation brought against other magistrates again and again, who were not molested. He is said to have boasted when fou that he was a spy for the castle authorities, and could have any of them he chose to point at taken up. This was mere bluster, I suppose. There does seem no reason why the poor man should be cut off in the midst of his days by a guilty hand, for there is no record of any tangible injury which he had done to any man. Here on the spot where he fell, among the common people, I did not hear anything that seemed to give a reason for any hatred that would lead to murder being entertained against the deceased nobleman.

We turned away from the house and grounds, and I felt sad enough when we passed the place where he lay in the dark night amid bare, barren loneliness until the alarm was given. Heath in full blossom of purple clung to the ditch back, foxglove in stately array nodded at us from above, flowers that creep and flowers that wave were springing everywhere, the rains of heaven had washed off the red stain, but I could not shut my eyes to it. I saw the human body, dignified into something awful by the presence of death, lying there waiting for the hands that were to take it up reverently, and bear it away for investigation and burial. I saw the dyed stones of the road that will never lose the mark of guilt that colored them with the blood shed there.

Lord Mountmorris’ residence was a nice, roomy house. All these houses are called castles, and castles they are compared with the cabins. The land around it did not seem very good. There was something pathetic in the evident attempt to keep up lordly state on a poor income and off poor soil. Happy America, whose people are not compelled by the inexorable logic of circumstances to be lords, but can be plain farmers. It is really a hard thing to be a lord sometimes, when a place is sunk with mortgages, and burdened with legacies and annuities, and no means of redemption but the rents and these stopped.

We drove back the way we came. Ascending the hill we met a little beast, so small, so black and shaggy, that I thought at first it was one of our Canadian black bears. I asked what it was, and—laughing at my ignorance—the man told me that it was a Highland Kyloe, one of the famous black cattle that I have heard so much about, but had never seen a specimen of the breed before. It would have been big for a bear, but certainly was small for a cow, while a goat has the appearance of giving as much milk.

XLIII.

CONG

The land as we neared Cong, between Cong and Lough Mask, as seen from the rather roundabout road we travelled, has a very peculiar appearance. It is stony with a very different stoniness from any part of Ireland which I had seen before. In some places the earth, as far as the eye could reach, was literally crusted with stone. The stone was worn into rounded tops and channelled hollows, as if it was once molten, like red hot potash, and every bubbling swell had become suddenly petrified, or as if it had once been an uptilted hillside over which a rapid river had fallen, wearing little hollows, and sparing rounded heights as it dashed over in boiling fury for ages, accomplishing which result it deserted this channel; and through some internal movement the bed of the torrent was levelled into a plain. Some agency or other has worn this solid rock into a truffle pattern that is very wonderful to see. Over all this part the stony formation recurs again and again. A person remarked to me that it looked like the bottom of a former ocean. Judging by the marks worn into the stone I should say it was not a pacific ocean.

We came to a blacksmith’s shop with the arch of the door formed into a perfect horse-shoe; this, I was told, was the boundary line between Mayo and Galway. In a few minutes we stopped before the “Carlisle Arms,” in the little village of Cong. Cong village is not very large, and has not a wealthy appearance. There is a look generally spread over the people who come in to trade as if their fortune was as stoney as their fields.

I had not been long in the “Carlisle Arms” before my attention was called to certain framed mementos that hung round the room. By some of these mementos hung the tale as to how Cong hotel came to be named the “Carlisle Arms.” On a certain occasion, when the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl of Carlisle, was making some sort of progress through Ireland, he proposed stopping at the hotel at Maam, a hotel under the thumb of the late Lord Leitrim, who had some pique at the Lord Lieutenant, which determined him to order under pain of the usual penalty that there be no admittance to the Viceroy of Ireland at this hotel. His Lordship for once felt the power of a text of Scripture, and sent orders that from the highways and hedges they should be compelled to come in; that his house should be filled to the entire exclusion of Her Majesty’s representative. Lord Carlisle did not, like Mr. Goddard the other day at Charleville, proffer money, or take any steps to try the lawfulness or unlawfulness of this proceeding, but, having sent a courier to precede him, hurried on to Cong, and conferred the distinction of his presence on that hotel. That the proprietors did their best to entertain him I have no doubt, speaking from experience. That he appreciated their efforts he has left on record in a neat acknowledgement, which hangs above the mantlepiece framed and glazed, as Uncle Tom desired to do with his letter from Massa George. The Lord Lieutenant’s photo hangs there too, in a nice frame, as a memento of his having been received at Cong when refused at Maam. Also he consented that the hotel should be known as the “Carlisle Arms” henceforth. I wonder very much that there was not at least as much public indignation felt against Lord Leitrim or the innkeeper whom he influenced when he refused shelter to Her Majesty’s representative here, the head of the executive, as is now expressed against this hotel-keeper, who refused to receive Mr. Goddard. I suppose the cases are different someway.

During the famine time a large sum of money was voted, partly by Government, partly from the county taxes, for Relief Works. It was determined to make a canal to connect Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. The canal was made at the expense of much blasting, much building of strong and costly stone work. If they could only have resurrected the famous Irish architect Gobhan Saer, he would have advised making a well- cemented bottom for the canal considering that a subterraneous river runs from one lake to the other under it. They did not do this, however, and when the grand canal was finished and the water let on the bottom fell out in places and the waters fell through to their kindred waters. The next famine they will require to dig and blast downward and still downward till they find the underground river and the runaway water. Coming past the costly and well-built bridge which spans the almost dry stream that pours into the leaky canal somewhere, I saw some women round a hollow in the stream that retained a little water. They were rinsing out some woollen stuffs after dying them blue. They had warm petticoats of madder red, and I was glad to see them look so comfortably clad and thrifty.

After returning to the hotel I was waited on by an elderly lady of the peasant class, a woman over eighty years of age. She had for sale some pillow lace edging of her own manufacture, which she offered at threepence per yard. This was the way she made her living, paid her rent and kept herself out of the workhouse. The lace was pretty and very strong. She generally succeeds in disposing of it to lady tourists.

There were some lady tourists as well as gentlemen staying at Cong. They were on pleasure bent, and had been dreadfully annoyed and disgusted in Galway at the heartbreaking scene attending the departure of some poor Irish emigrants. They are unreasonable in their grief, and take parting as if it were death; but it is as death to many of the aged relatives who will see these faces whom they love no more. I could not help thinking how differently people are constituted. When I saw the streaming eyes, the faces swollen with weeping, and heard the agonized exclamations, the calls upon God for help to bear the parting, for a blessing on the departing, I had to weep with them. These people were all indignation where they were not amused. The old women’s cries were ill-bred howlings to their ears, their grief a thing to laugh at. They made fun of their dress—how they were got up—as if their dress was a matter of choice; grew indignant in describing their disgust at the scene. Ah, well, these poor mountain peasants were not their neighbors, they were people to be looked at, laughed at, sneered at, and passed by on the other side; but I—these people are my people and their sorrow moveth me.

XLIV.

THE ASHFORD DEMESNE—LORD ARDILAUN—LOUGH CORRIB.

The Ashford demesne affords walks or drives for miles. Everything that woods and waters, nature and art can do to make Ashford delightful has been done. I got a companion, a pretty girl, a permit from some official who lived in a cottage at Cong, and set out by way of the Pigeon Hole to see at least part of the place.

I may as well mention here how surprised we were to hear the Antrim tongue from the recesses of the cave, and to find a group of strangers exploring on their own account. They were working men who had come from Belfast to work for Lord Ardilaun, and were making the most of a holiday before they began. I was very much surprised to see men from Antrim, where the wages are much higher than here, come down to work in the west where labor is so cheap, and want of work the complaint.

To show how cheaply men work here, I may mention that being at a village which lies outside of Lord Ardilaun’s demesne, but on his estate, I was standing on the road and a clergyman was talking in Irish to a man who was employed at mason work in repairing the wall, a small quiet looking man who did not stop work as he talked. Of course I could not understand more than the scope of their discourse, but I understood distinctly one question asked; “How much do you get for a day’s work?” “One shilling and two pence a day.” “Without food of course?” “Of course.” I had heard in the North that casual laborers get two shillings a day there, but they do not get two shillings when employed constantly. The laborers on one well-managed estate which I have been over in Antrim are paid ten shillings a week, and pay one shilling a week out of that for their cottages, which are kept in good repair at the expense of their employer. Of course these men must have been workmen skilled in some particular work, or they would not have come from the wages of the North to the West to work at the common rate of wage going here, which I am told is at the highest seven shillings a week and rent to pay out of that. Of course, when masons are paid one and twopence, laborers will be paid much less.

The avenue along which we travelled was a causeway made at great expense along the brow of a steep hill or rather ridge, one side being supported by a stone wall. This work, undertaken for the benefit of travellers to Ashford, must have afforded constant employment for a good many men for a long time. Arriving at a modern archway in the ancient style protected by an iron gate, we sought admittance, showing our permit from the office. The keeper’s wife examined it and passed it over to the keeper, who examined it also, asked some prudent, cautious questions, and we were admitted to a part of the grounds.

This gate keeper, a remarkably gentlemanly old man, in his respectable blue broadcloth, his comely sagacious, weather-beaten face, his guarded manner of speaking, and his name, Grant, made me quite sure that he was a Highlandman, which he was not, but a Western Irishman. He informed us as we went along that only part of the grounds could be seen on account of the troubled state of the country. Whether there was any part of the demesne that an elderly woman and a pretty girl were likely to run away with became a subject of thought to me. Conscientiously this delightful old man kept us off tabooed walks and shunted us into permissible places. Where all was beautiful and new, and time having a limit, we were quite willing when brought to order, to follow on the allowed path.

I was admiring a tree of the regally magnificent kind, leaf-draped branches like green robes sweeping down to the emerald sward, that always remind me of the glorious trees which sunlight loves to gild in the grounds at Castle Coole; I remarked on its exceeding beauty to our guide, who said it would bear a nearer view, and we followed him on a path through the grass till we stood beside it. Parting the foliage we found ourselves at a natural grotto of light-colored stone, where a stream of “the purest of crystal” came from under the rock at one end, and glancing in the stray beams of sunlight that found their way in through the arch of leaves, flashed down a tiny cascade in a shower of diamonds, and with a little gurgling laugh hid under the rock again, racing on to join the subterranean waters that laugh together over the failure of the great canal.

The new tower is built after the fashion of the ancient towers with the spiral staircase, that was common to all castles and abbeys of the west. The mason work was much coarser and more roughly done, but the imitation of the ancient tower was very good other ways. I do not believe that modern masons could produce so perfect a specimen of workmanship as the tower of Moyne Abbey, with its spiral staircase of black marble. The view from the top of the tower at Ashford repaid well the expenditure of breath to climb up to it.

The house is a castle and made after the pattern of ancient castles; it is large and must contain any amount of lofty and spacious rooms, which it is to be supposed are furnished as luxuriously and magnificently as possible. It is certainly a very fine building, and looks as nice and new as stone and mortar can make it, but the ivy green will soon cover it all up with its green mantle. We were not able to walk over even the allowed portion of the grounds, as they extended for miles. We parted from our gentlemanly conductor at a certain gate. He was so nice that we felt almost ashamed to offer the expected gratuity which was, however, thankfully received.

I pondered a little way over the man’s remarks who had been our guide through the demesne. He always kept repeating that we might have been shown the gardens and the house, but for the disturbance in the country. I wondered to hear hints of trouble on this estate, for no man, woman or child, with whom I conversed, but spoke highly of the generosity, magnanimity and kindliness of Lord Ardilaun, and his father before him. I have seen in his lordship’s own writing and over his signature the statement that, during prosperous years, even, the rent has not been raised, that he had for years spent on his property more than double the rental in improvements and for labor. When I read this I thought of the causeway raised along the brow of a hill over which I walked in the demesne, I thought at the time what an amount of labor was expended to place it there. There has also been made an addition to the castle, which must have given a great deal of employment. Some, or rather a great deal of the property was bought from the late Earl of Leitrim, who had raised the rents, it is asserted, to the “highest top sparkle” before selling, to enhance the value.

I do not know anything of the value of land here; it is very stony land. I was pointed out a field which was not very stony, comparatively speaking, but still had more stones, or stony crust rather, than a good farmer would desire. I was told it paid £2 per acre. I wonder how it is possible to raise rent and taxes off these fields, never to mention support for the farmers. The land requires very stimulating manure to produce a crop. When bad years come, and render the tenant farmers unable to purchase guano, the crops are worthless almost. The necessity of buying artificial manure is a terrible necessity that American farmers know nothing of.

I dare say the tenants expect too much in many instances, for they are accustomed to be treated as children in leading strings. The amount of dependence on this one and that one in superior stations is very wonderful, but their utter helplessness to take the first step toward better times is also wonderful. I have heard of men, by the last bad seasons unable to buy guano, having to strip the roofs off their houses that the rain may wash off the soot into the land to fructify it. On account of shelter for game, it is not permissible to cut heather for bedding, for stock, or covering for houses. Breaking this prohibition even on land for which they pay rent and taxes is, they complain, punished with fines of from two and sixpence to seven and sixpence for as much as could be carried on the back.

For a farmer to get on here he must be able to buy manure. The crop on a farm has to pay rent, which is high, and taxes, which are heavy, even if no guard for somebody has to be paid for, or no malicious outrage is levied for on the county in compensation, and manure, which, if got before paying, is charged, I am told, twenty-five percent additional for waiting; all this must be met before the support of the family can be thought of beyond merely existing. The more one looks at the want of the people, the more one becomes bewildered with the perplexities of the situation, and the more hopeless about the setting of things right by the Land Bill or anything else.

It is pleasant to hear on all sides praises of Lord Ardilaun as a high- spirited, generous man. The slight difference of opinion between him and his people is blamed on the fact of his not being able to understand how poor the tenants are, or how what is little in his eyes may be life or death to them. There was some trouble, I believe, about the building of a causeway across to some sacred island, which was built by the people without leave asked, or in spite of prohibition given; but in the main I think that Lord Ardilaun is very much loved.

How it does rain in this green land. I think it rained every day of the days I remained at Cong except the blink of sunshine that shone on the castle and grounds the day that I went over part of the Ashford demesne.

At Cong, for the first time in my life, I heard the Irish lament or caoine for the dead. Some one was brought in from the country to be buried in the Abbey of Cong. It was a simple country funeral. The dead was borne on one of the carts of the country, followed by the neighbors, and accompanied by the parish priest of Cong. The day was very wet even for Ireland. After the burial service was over the women, kneeling by the new made grave, among the rank wet grass, and the dripping ivy, raised the caoine. It was a most unearthly sound, sweet like singing, sad like crying, rising up among the ruined towers, and clinging ivy and floating up heavenwards. I believe the stories of banshees must have arisen from the sound of the caoine. These mourning women were very skilful, I was told, and were relations of the dead whom they mourned, and whose good qualities mingled with their love and grief rose in wailing cry and floated weirdly over the ruins and up to the clouds.

I had at this time an invitation from Mr. Sydney Bellingham to come over to Castle Bellingham to see life from another standpoint. I was standing at the window debating with myself. I did not like to leave the West before seeing a little more of it, and I do want, in the interests of truth, to look at things from every available standpoint. If I go to Castle Bellingham I must go now, I reasoned, for after this they go to England. As I stood there thinking, a handsome car dashed past with a gentleman and lady on it, followed by another with a guard of policemen. I enquired who this guarded gentleman was, and was told it was that Mr. Bourke who went into the Catholic church armed to the teeth.

I have been nearly five months in Ireland, travelling about almost constantly, and as yet have only seen three persons who were protected by police, two men and one woman. I decided to leave Cong, and after studying on the map the nearest way to Castle Bellingham, determined to take that way.

Left Cong in the early morning to sail down Lough Corrib to Galway. For some reason the landing place has been altered, and is now some distance from Cong, at which it used to be. This change is a drawback to Cong. There are mills at Cong that used to grind Indian corn, but they are not used now for some reason or other, and are falling into ruin. The shifting of the landing place was done by Lord Ardilaun, the stoppage of the mills by him also. The landing place where the little steamer waited for freight and passengers had a little crowd, who seemed to have more to do than just to look on, and there was a little hum of traffic that sounded cheerful.

It was a very windy day; Lough Corrib’s waves had white caps on. The sun came out fitfully, and the clouds swept great shadows over the mountain sides. There were patches of green oats bathed in sunshine, and plantations of larch and fir standing close and locked in shadow. The wind was so strong that the little steamer seemed to plough her way with a bobbing motion like the coots on Lough Gill. We had a fine view from the lake of Ashford demesne, and the castle looking still grander and newer in the distance, all its towers and pinnacles bathed in the cold sunshine.

There are many islands in Lough Corrib besides the islands that the priest and people of Clonbur built the causeway to. It is strange that two lords take their titles from islands in this lake, Lord Inchiquin and Lord Ardilaun. Some of the peasantry felt hurt because Lord Ardilaun took his title from an island instead of from some part of the mainland. I was pointed out in the distance from the lake, Moytura house, the home of Sir William Wilde; it stands where was fought the battle of Moytura in ancient times.

From the steamer we saw the ruined fortress, Annabreen Castle, said to be six hundred years old. The masonry is very curious, being all done within and without, quoins, doorways, window frames, of undressed stone, and yet most admirably done.

I stood on the deck of the little steamer while the wind blew in the teeth of the little boat and made her shiver and rock, and I endured sharp neuralgiac pain, and lost my veil, which was blown off and went sailing off into the lake because I would not miss seeing all Lough Corrib had to show. I saw the ivy plaided walls of Caislean na Cailliach, and on a little island the remains of an old uncemented stone fort, so old that antiquity has forgotten it. The scenery was very grand, the islands grassy and round, or waving with trees, the lake covered with white horses riding with tossing manes to the shore; the little boat with its broad breast holding its own against the swells, the shores with green mountains checked off into fields, with higher mountains blue in the distance rising behind them. All under

  “The skies of dear Erin, our mother Where sunshine and shadow are chasing each other.”

The little steamer steamed up to the wharf and backed and stopped, in most American fashion, at a lonely backwoods-looking wharf, but the pillars for the snubbing rope were pillars of stone, and near were the ruins of a tall square castle in good preservation. There are also the walls of the bishop’s residence here, with the bells of St. Brendan; they told me this was the saint who discovered the happy land flowing with milk and honey, the key to which lies hidden in Cuneen Miaul’s tomb and the ruins of an extensive abbey, a monastery and a nunnery and other buildings.

Truly the banks and islands of Lough Corrib are made classic by ruins. They say the carved mouldings and stone work on these ruins are considered the most beautiful and most perfect in Ireland. We passed, farther on, the ruins of Armaghdown, the castle fort of the bog. After this the land got low and flat, and we saw Menlough Castle, where a baronet of the name of Blake resides, when he’s at home. It is counted the most beautiful of all the ancient castles which are still inhabited. All I can say is, it looked well from the lake. Lough Corrib is calculated to cover 44,000 acres, and is well supplied with fish.

XLV.

THE EASTERN COAST—THE LAND QUESTION FROM A LANDLORD’S STANDPOINT.

Went through Galway to the station as fast as a jaunting car could take me, and took the train for Dublin.

Crossing Ireland thus from Galway to Dublin, I noticed that the land got to be more uniformly fertile as we neared the eastern coast. From Dublin the road ran down the coast, in sight of the sea for most part. Through counties Dublin, Meath and Louth, the land looked like the garden of Eden. It was all like one demesne heavy with trees, interspersed with large fields having rich crops and great meadows waving with grass; the cultivation, so weedless, so regular, every ridge and furrow as straight as a rule could make it, every corner cultivated most scrupulously. It was a great pleasure to look at the farms. Truly this is a rich and fertile land. And yet in no place which I have seen so far have I noticed any laborers’ cottages, fit to live in, except on a few places in Antrim.

This east coast was beautiful exceedingly, and yet I saw on this good land mud huts which were not fit to be kennels for dogs inhabited by human beings. I heard a shilling a week spoken of as rent for these abominable pigsties, collected every Saturday night. Twenty-five cents looks small, but it is taken out of a small wage. The country railway stations are very nice to look at.

Arrived at Castle Bellingham, received a very kindly welcome indeed. Felt inclined to snuggle down into enjoyment here, to the neglect of my work. The country is so fertile, so beautiful, the large fields waving with luxuriant crops. The roses are in bloom climbing over the fronts of the houses, clinging round the second-story windows and on to the roof. It is a feast to look at them, hanging their heads heavy with beauty in clusters of three, creamy-white or red of every shade, from the faintest pink to the velvet leaf of deepest crimson. I suppose that they flourish best amid frequent rains, for this has been a remarkably rainy season, and the wealth of roses is wonderful to see, the air is sweet with their breath.

South Gate House, Castle Bellingham, is one of the houses that tempts one to the breach of the tenth commandment. I have stood in the front garden and looked at it trying to learn it off by heart. It is draped with a wonderful variety of roses climbing over it, wreathing round it, heavy with bloom. Every inch of land in the front garden is utilized with the taste that creates beauty. Inside the house is a constant surprise; the comfort and cosiness, the space to be comfortable in, room after room appearing as a new revelation, made it appear a very desirable residence to me.

At the end of the house, from the conservatory, can be seen the tree under which His Majesty, of glorious, pious and immortal memory, eat his luncheon on his way to fight for a kingdom at the Boyne. The Bellinghams were an old family then. Some say proudly, “We came over with good King William.” Others can say, “He found us here when he came.”

The evening after my arrival was taken up looking at the house, looking at the grounds, wondering over the ferns and flowers, and deciding that it was rather nice to be an Irish country gentleman. The next morning found me through the gardens wondering over the abundance of fruit and the perfect management that made the most of every corner.

Mr. Bellingham drove me over to Dunany Castle, where Sir Allan Bellingham resides at present. The road lay through the usual beautiful country that spreads along this east coast, plantations of fine trees, large fields of grain, great meadows and bean fields that perfumed the air. We passed a large mill; I took particular notice of it, because mills do not often occur as a feature in the landscape on the western coast. There were mills at Westport belonging to the Messrs. Livingstone, but they were not as obtrusive as American mills are. One became aware of them by the prosperity they created. In Cong, the corn mill standing idle and falling to ruin, was the last mill which I had observed. This was one reason of my noticing this mill, which was busily working.

When we came where the road lay along the shore, Mr. Bellingham stopped the carriage that I might see the salmon fishers hauling in their nets. This salmon fishery is very valuable. In 1845 the right to fish here was paid for at the rate of £10 per annum; in 1881 the right to fish brings £130. Still, I am told, the man who has the fishing makes a great deal. The fish are exported. This salmon fishery belongs to Sir Allan Bellingham. It was a strange sight to me to see so many men and boys walking unconcernedly waist deep in the sea. I wondered over the number of men and boys which were required to haul in one net. Truly, fishing is a laborious business, but still, how pleasant to see the busy fisher folk, and to know that work brings meat. I remembered the silent waters on long stretches of the western shores. I remembered the rejoicing at Dromore west, over the Canadian given boats. God bless, and prosper, and multiply the fisher folk. In from the sea, through the pleasant land, we drove a little farther into the solemn woods that surround Dunany Castle. As we neared the castle the woods became broken into a lawn and pleasure ground, and at a sudden turn we found ourselves before the castle. I am not yet tired of looking at castles, whether in ruins, as relics of the past, or inhabited as the “stately houses where the wealthy people dwell.”

Dunany, with its court-yard, where wines, climbing roses and Virginia creepers grew luxuriantly over the battlemented walls, reminded me of descriptions I had read of Moorish houses in sunny Spain. Every house has a history, and it is no wonder if these great houses tell a story of other times and other scenes that has a powerful influence on the minds of the descendants of those who founded these houses and carved out these fortunes. There were little children playing before the castle, happy and free, that ran to meet their uncle.

We were received by Sir Thomas Butler, Sir Allan’s son-in-law, whom I had met with before on the evening of my arrival at Castle Bellingham. My errand to Dunany Castle was, strictly speaking, to gather the opinions of these gentlemen on the land question, but the quaint, foreign look of the castle, and the historic names of Butler and Bellingham, sent my mind off into the past, to the battle of the Boyne, and into the dimness beyond, when the war cry of “A Butler” was a rallying cry that had power in the green vales of Erin.

In the cold Celtic times when men held by the strong hand, the numerical fighting power of the clan was of the utmost importance, a chieftain being valued by the number of men who would follow him to the field. As a consequence, men were precious. In these more peaceful times, when the lords of the soil are rated by their many acres, lands, and not likely lads, are the symbol of greatness.

Sir Allan Bellingham is such a fresh-looking active gentleman that I could hardly bring myself to think that he had reached, by reason of strength, the scriptural fourscore. I was almost too much taken up admiring to think of the Land Question, but, after the fashionable five o’clock tea, had some conversation with Sir Allan and Sir Thomas on the subject.

Sir Allan thought the Land League much to blame for the present miserable state of affairs. Men well able to pay their rents, and supposed to be willing to pay their rents, were prevented from paying from a system of terrorism inaugurated by the Land League. Some instances were given. One was of the man who had the mill which we passed on the road, who being behind in his rent, was willing to pay but dare not do it. Certainly by the busy appearance of the mill and by the style of his dwelling-house it did not seem to be inability that kept him from paying. Another instance was that of a man holding a large farm, on which he had erected a fine house, which I saw in passing, a very nice residence indeed, with plate glass windows, and carpeted throughout with Brussels carpets, I am told. The large fields were waving with a fine crop; there were some grand fields of wheat, the stack yard had many stacks of last year’s grain and hay. This man had given his son lately £2500 to settle himself on a farm. It certainly would not be poverty that prevented him paying his rent, for there was every evidence of wealth around him. I heard of men, who, having paid their rent, could not get their horses shod at the blacksmith’s shop. For breaking the rules of the Land League they were set apart from their fellows.

I can well imagine that serious embarrassments must arise to landlords when their rents, their only income, are kept back from them. How I would rejoice to know that landlord and tenant were reconciled once more, that lordship and leadership were united in one person.

Sir Thomas Butler informed me that, “when a landlord dies and his son succeeds him the Government do not charge him succession duty on his rental but on Griffith’s (or the Poor Law) valuation of his estate, plus 30 per cent. If his estate is rented at only 10 per cent over the valuation, he has to pay Government all the same, and is consequently over charged 20 per cent because in the opinion of the Government authorities, the fair letting value of land is from 25 to 30 per cent over Griffiths valuation, and they charge accordingly.” (I suppose it is founded upon this law of succession duty that when a tenant dies the widow has the rent raised upon her.) “Under the Bright clauses of the Land Act of 1870 the Government is authorized to advance to the tenant two-thirds of the purchase money for his holding. At first the Treasury fixed 24 years’ purchase of the valuation as the scale they would adopt, and under that they lent 16 years’ purchase to the tenant, who at once remonstrated that their interest was a great deal more. After numerous enquiries, &c., the treasury changed the 24 years into 30 years, and consequently let the tenants 20 years value of their valuation, they finding the other ten years, clearly showing that in the opinion of the tenants themselves and the Government land was worth 30 years’ purchase of its valuation. What is the proposal now by the tenants and agitators? That they should clearly only pay at the rate of Griffith’s valuation, which, a few years ago, they themselves asserted was fifty percent below the selling value, and which valuation was taken when wheat, oats, barley, butter, beef, mutton and pork were much below the present value. Landlords have not raised their rents in proportion. My own estate in 1843 had 116 tenants, in 1880 it had 105 tenants on 5,760 statute acres. The difference in the rent paid in 1880 over that paid in 1843 is £270, barely six percent on the whole rental, which is almost 16 percent over valuation. Over £2,000 was forgiven in the bad years after potato famine, and over £1,000 has been lost by nonpaying tenants, and a considerable sum has been expended in improvements without charging the tenant interest; in some cases the cost has been divided between landlord and tenant. It is a very common practice in Ireland to fix a rent for a tenant and to reduce that rent on the tenant executing certain improvements. No improving tenant, or one who pays his rent, is ever disturbed in possession of his farm—it is only the insolvent one that is put out, and by the time the landlord can obtain possession of the farm it is always in a most delapidated condition. An ejectment for non-payment of rent cannot be brought till a clear year’s rent is due, and usually the tenant owes more before it is brought, and he has always from date of decree to redeem the farm by paying what is due on the decree with costs. The landlord has, in case of redemption by the tenant, to account for the profits he has made out of the land during the six months. When dilapidation and waste have taken place no compensation for the loss can be obtained by the landlord from the the tenant. In cases of leases, the landlord finds it quite impossible to enforce the covenants for good tillage and preservation of fences, buildings, &c. Poor rates, sanitary, medical charities, election expenses, cattle diseases and sundry other charges are paid by the poor rate, which is levied on the valuation of house or farm property, consequently the funded property-holder, banks, commercial establishments pay far less in proportion to business done than the landholder, who cannot make as much out of a £50 holding as a banker or publican ought to do out of a house valued at £50. The present agitation against rents is political, and the rent question has been brought prominently forward by the leaders with the view of getting the farmers on their side as the great voting power. It would have been quite useless their endeavoring to enlist the farmers without promising them something to their own advantage; but the interest in the land is only a veil under which the advances for total separation from England can be made, and will be thrown aside when no further use can be made of it.”

These are Sir Thomas Butler’s sentiments and opinions. His opinions, formed from his standpoint, are worthy of consideration. With a lingering look at bonnie Dunany, we bade adieu to Lady Butler and the two baronets, and were driven back to South Gate over another and more inland road.

XLVI.

THE EAST AND THE WEST—LANDLORDS AND LANDLORDS.

For good and sufficient reasons the railway carriage whisked through the rich country, carrying me from Castle Bellingham to Rath Cottage by the Moat of Dunfane. There is one beautiful difference between the North and the West; the North is full of people, the hill sides are dotted thickly with white dwellings—so much for the Ulster Custom. It pleases the people to tell them that the superior prosperity of their northern fields is due to their religious faith. Some parts of Lord Mount Cashel’s estate, when sold in the Encumbered Estates Court, did not pass into hands governed by the same opinions as to the rights and duties which property confers as are held by Mr. Young, of Galgorm Castle. Their tenants complain of rack rents as bitterly as if they lived in the west. They are looking eagerly to the new law for redress. In fact when they find their tenant-right eaten up by a vast increase of rent they consider their faith powerless in the face of their landlord’s works.

I do not think any one can pass through this country without noticing a vast difference which is not a religious difference, between one property as to management and another, between one part of the country and another. In some parts the tenants build the houses, whatever sort of houses they are able to build; they repair them as they are able, and the landlords get the rent of them. If by any means they can improve them, the landlord improves the rent to a higher figure.

I was over one property in the County Antrim, the property of a man who combines landholding as a middleman, with trade in linen fabrics and manufacturing or bleaching, or both. I cannot say that this gentleman is excessively popular, but he is exceedingly prosperous. His private residence, as far as taste goes, a taste that can be gratified regardless of expense, is as perfectly beautiful within its limits as the property of any lord of the soil which I have come across. Indeed, the arrangements made at such cost, kept up to such perfection, spoke of one who owed his income to trade and not to his land alone. His hot- houses, heavy with grapes, rich with peaches and nectarines, and fragrant with rare flowers, were verily on a lordly scale. It was his tenement houses that attracted my attention chiefly. They were well- roofed, slated in almost every instance; not a roof was broken that he owned. The cottages were rough cast and washed over with drab; they were covered with roses that were in as rich bloom as if they were blooming for gentry. Truly the tenants planted them, but a tenant who plants roses is not living in a state of desperation as to the means of existence. When he sent men to wash over the tenement houses, and the good wives trembled for the roses. “The gardener shall come and arrange them again and see that they are not harmed in the least,” he said.

They tell me that this gentleman, being a trader with a commercial mind, takes for his tenements the utmost they will bring. If so, when he builds the houses, and keeps them in thorough repair, it is surely doing what he will with his own. Others who do not build, who never repair, surely raise the rent on what is, strictly and honestly speaking, not their own.

There is a difference between this gentleman, whose tenants say, “He will send his own gardener to fix up the roses again after the white, or rather gray washing,” and the lord in the West whose tenants say, “If he saw a patch of flowers at the door, he would compel us to grub it up as something beyond our station.”

The agent on the Galgorm estate told me that during twenty-five years, when he was in Lord Mount Cashel’s land office, there was but one eviction, and that man got four hundred pounds for his tenant right before he left the yard. This is one man’s testimony of one landlord.

Ulster, as a whole, has had more evictions, pending the Land Bill, than any other of the provinces. It is true that she has more people to evict. Her rent-roll during the last-eighty years has risen from £124,481 to £1,440,072. One million, three hundred and fifteen thousand five hundred and ninety one pounds of a rise.

XLVII.

THE CENTRAL COUNTIES—SOME SLEEPY TOWNS.

Away from the North once more, this time direct southwards; paused on the Sabbath-day in the neighborhood of Tandragee, and went to a field- meeting at a place called Balnabeck—I wonder if I spell it right? This gathering in a church-yard for preaching is held yearly as a commemoration service because John Wesley preached in this same graveyard when he made an evangelistic tour in Ireland. Although this is only a yearly service, and a commemoration service of one whom the people delight to honor, they made it pretty much a penitential service. There were no seats but what the damp earth afforded, no stand for the officiating minister but a grave; it was not, therefore, a very attentive congregation which he addressed. The speaker, a Mr. Pepper, had emigrated from thence when a lad to America. He now returned to the people who had known him in earlier days. It was certainly listening under difficulties, and we were obliged to leave, by limb-weariness, before the service was over.

I had an opportunity on the morrow of seeing the handsome weaving of damask. The looms are very complicated and expensive affairs, and do not belong to the weaver but to the manufacturer. The pattern is traced on stiff paper in holes. Was very much interested in watching the process of weaving; of course did not understand it, and therefore wondered over it. The web was two and a half yards wide, was double damask of a fern pattern. The weaver, a young and nice-looking man, with the assured manner of a skilled worker, informed me proudly that he could earn three shillings a day—75 cents. Out of this magnificent income he paid the rent of his house—which was not a palace either—and supported his wife and family. His wife, a pretty and rather refined looking young woman, had a baby, teething sick, in the cradle. It must wail, and mother could only look her love and coo to it in softest tones, for if she took the little feverish sufferer up the pirns would be unwound and the husband’s three shillings would have a hole in it, so both wife and baby had a share in the earning of that three shillings—baby’s share the hardest of all.

Called in to see another weaver of damask to-day; he could earn fifteen pence a day. He was a melancholy little man, of a pugnacious turn of mind, I am afraid. He said that fifteen pence a day was but little out of which to pay rent and support a wife and family. Thinking of the wife and baby at the other house, we said that seeing the wife wound the bobbins, cooked, kept house, nursed and washed for her family that she earned her full share of the fifteen pence. Would not be surprised to hear that there had been a controversy raging on this very subject before we came in, the man’s face became so glum and the woman’s so triumphant. It was an enthusiastic blessing she threw after us when we left.

Visited a great thread factory, where the yarn is made ready that is woven into double damask, and thread for all purposes supplied to all parts. In whatever part of Ireland the tall factory chimney rises up into the air the people have not the look of starvation that is stamped on the poor elsewhere. Still, if we consider a wage of seven to twelve shillings a week—twelve in this factory was the general wages—and subtract from that two shillings a week for the house and three shillings a week for fuel the operators are not likely to lay up large fortunes. As they have no gardens to the houses owned by the factory, nor backyard accommodation of any kind, the cleanliness and tidy appearance of houses and workpeople are a credit to them. But when times grow hard, and the mills run half time, and not even a potato to fall back upon, there must be great suffering behind these walls.

There are large schools, national schools, in this village, and the children over ten years of age, who work in the factory, go to school half time. They are paid at the rate of two-pence halfpenny a day for the work of the other half of the day—that is equivalent to five cents. The teachers of the schools informed me that, when the little ones came in the morning, as they did on alternate weeks, that they learned well, but when they came in the afternoon they were sleepy and listless. On that morning they had to rise at five o’clock.

The schools which I have seen in Ireland, for so far, are conducted on the old plan; children learn their lessons at home, repeat them to the teachers in school, who never travel out of record, are trained in obedience, respect to superiors, and in order, more or less, according to the nature of the teacher. They still adhere to the broad sound of A, which has been so universally abandoned on the other side of the water.

The factories at Gilford are very remunerative; great fortunes, allowing of the purchase of landed estates and the building of more than one castlelike mansion have been made in them. From Tandragee to Portadown, in Armagh, which we travelled in a special car, took us through the same green country waving with crops, and in some places shaded heavily with trees. In the environs of Gilford—as if that very clean manufacturing town set an example that was universally followed—all the houses are clean and white as to the outside, further away the dreadful-looking homes abound. Portadown, all we saw of it, just passing through, is a clean and thrifty little town.

We would have liked to linger in Armagh a little while, but we must hurry down to the South. Got a glimpse of Armagh Catholic cathedral—a very fine building, not so grand, however, as the Cathedral at Sligo. Took notice of a very fine memorial window, with the name of Archbishop Crolly on it. I remember him very well, saw him frequently, got a pat on the head from him occasionally. He seemed partial to the little folks, when we played in the chapel yard—a nice place to play in was the chapel yard in Donegal street. He was then Bishop Crolly, and I was a very small heretic, who loved to play on forbidden ground. Walked about a little in Armagh between the trains, saw that there were many fine churches and other nice buildings from the outside view of them, and passed on to Clones. The land as seen from the railway is good in some places, poor in others, but in all parts plenty of houses not fit to be human habitations are to be seen.

Clones is a little town on a hill, with a history that stretches back into the dim ages. It has a round tower that threatens to fall, and will, too, some windy night; an abbey almost gone, but whose age and weakness is propped up by modern repairs, as, they say, the tenure of some land depends on the old gable of the abbey standing; a three-story fort, that, as Clones is built on a hill and the fort is built on Clones, affords a wide view of the surrounding country. Clones has a population of over two thousand, has no manufactory, depends entirely on the surrounding farming population, does not publish a newspaper, and is quietly behind the age a century or two. The loyal people who monopolize the loyalty are in their own way very loyal. It is delightfully sleepy, swarming with little shops with some little things to sell; but where are the buyers? If a real rush of business were to come to Clones I would tremble for the consequences, for it is not used to it.

I was quartered in the most loyal corner of all the loyal places in Clones. Every wall on which my eyes rested proclaimed that fact. Here was framed all the mysterious symbols of Orangeism, which are very like the mysterious symbols of masonry to ignorant eyes. There was King William in scarlet, holding out his arm to some one in crimson, who informed the world that “a bullet from the Irish came that grazed King William’s arm.” On the next wall is the battle of the Boyne, with some pithy lines under.

  “And now the well-contested strand successive columns gain, While backward James’ yielding band is borne across the plain; In vain the sword that Erin draws and life away doth fling, O worthy of a better cause and of a nobler king! But many a gallant spirit there retreats across the plain, Who, change but kings, would gladly dare that battlefield again.”

I read that verse, like it, transcribe it, and turn to study the handsome face of Johnston of Ballykillbeg, who is elevated into the saint’s place alongside of King William on many, many cottage walls, when the hostess appears. Noting the direction of my glance, she informs me of the martyrdom which Mr. Johnston has suffered from Government. She has a confused idea that Mr. Johnston is at present returning good for evil by holding our gracious Queen upon the throne in some indirect way.

After carefully finding out what my religious opinions are, she informs me of evangelistic services that are held in a tent at the foot of the hill on which Clones sits. These services are not, she says, in connection with the “Hallelujahs” or the “Salvations,” but are authorized by the Government, and are under the wing of the Episcopal Church. Of course tent services under the wing of the Episcopal Church are worth going to, so we attend.

The service is quite as evangelical as if it were preached by “Hallelujahs.” There is a very large audience, and the people seem very attentive. My hostess is much affected. She tells me that if she can work hard and manage well and be content with her station, reverencing her betters as she ought to do, she hopes to get to heaven at last. Almost in the same breath she informs me that all the people of Mayo will go to hell, if any one goes, for that is their desarvings. Yes. The Mayo people are sure to be damned. “God forgive me for saying so,” adds my hostess, as a saving clause. I am afraid the evangelistic services have failed as yet as far as my hostess is concerned; and Mayo, beautiful and desolate Mayo, may be glad that the keys of that inconveniently warm climate are not kept by a Clones woman whom I know.

There are few who have not something to be proud of. My woman of Clones is proud of the fact that she entertained and lodged for a night the potato pilgrims—thirty-five of them—who went to Captain Boycott’s relief down to Lough Mask. After she had mentioned this circumstance a few times, and did seem to take much spiritual comfort from the face, I ventured to inquire if she were paid for it. Oh, yes, she was; but if she had not been—she was all on the right side, she was that; and if she had the power would sweep every Papist off the face of the earth. She was wicked, she said, on this subject.

I did not believe this woman; her talk was mere party blow. The whole street about her was full of Papists, small and great. I do not think she would sweep the smallest child off the face of the earth, except by a figure of speech. There are those who really know what language means who are responsible for this bloodthirsty kind of talk. It means little, but it keeps up party spirit.

I thought of speeches which I heard on the 12th of July by ministers of the Gospel, with all the Scripture quotations from Judges, and Samuel, telling an inflamable people—only they were too busy with their drums and fifes to listen—that “God took the side of fighting men—Gideon meant battle—an angel was at the head of the Lord’s host—Scotland was especially blest because it was composed of fighting men.” Does the Gospel mean brother to war against brother for the possession of his field? How much need there is for our loving Lord to rebuke His disciples by telling them again, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the leaders of my people cause them to err.”

Clones takes its name from a word that may signify the meadow of Eois, or high meadow. It has a history that goes back to grope about Ararat for the potsherds thrown out of the ark. It has a very old and famous round tower, used at some time as a place of sepulchre, for a great quantity of human bones have been found in it. In one stone of this tower is the mark of two toes printed into the stone, or the mark of some fossil remains dislodged by a geological hammer.

As Clones sits upon a hill, and the fort sits on the highest part, it commands an extensive view. There is also an ancient cross in the market square, once elaborately carved in relief, but the figures are worn indistinct. There are the remains of an old castle built in among the modern walls and hidden out of sight. There are stories of an underground passage between the abbey and the castle. In fact, they came on this underground way when levelling the market space, but did not explore it. There is such a romance about mystery that it is as well, I suppose, not to let too much daylight shine in upon it.

Clones, with its abbey, was burned by De Lacy in the thirteenth century, which was, perhaps, its last burning.

I was glad on the evening on which I climbed to the top of the fort to find little gardens lying up the slope at the back of the poorer houses. Clones is better off in this respect by being behind the age. In Antrim and Down, in too many instances, the farmers have taken the cotter’s gardens into their fields. I wished to be sure if the gardens belonged to the people who lived in the thatched cottages, and I spoke across the hedge to a man who was digging potatoes in one of them, a man with a leather apron, marking him out as a shoemaker, and a merry, contented face. Yes, the gardens belonged to the cottages at the foot of the hill. All the cottages had gardens in Clones. The people had all gardens in Clones. They were not any of them in want. They had enough, thank God. There was every prospect of a good harvest and a good harvest brought plenty to every home.

A few words often change the world to us. I climbed the three-storey fort at Clones feeling sad and hopeless in the grey evening, everything seemed chill and dreary like the damp wind, and this man’s cheery words of rejoicing over the prospect of good crops, over the yield of the little gardens, touched me as if sunset splendor had fallen over the world, and I came down comforted with the thought that our Father who gives fruitful seasons will also find a way for Ireland to emerge from the thick darkness of her present misery.

I was referred to the Presbyterian minister of Clones for information on the antiquities of Clones, and from his lecture, which he with great kindness read to me, I gathered what historical hints I have inserted here. At the minister’s I met with a pleasant-faced, motherly looking lady who talked to me of the Land question, the prevailing topic. From remarks she made I gathered that she was an enthusiastic church member, but on the Land question she had no ideas of either justice or mercy that could possibly extend beyond the privileged classes. I referred to the excessive rents, she gave a mild shake of her motherly chin and spoke of the freedom of contract. I spoke of new landlords making new and oppressive office rules and raising the rents above the power to pay of the tenants he found there when coming into possession. She said they might suffer justly if they had no written guarantee. She actually considered that a gentleman was not bound by his word of promise, nor did he inherit any verbal agreement entered into by the man from whom he inherited his property. I spoke of the hardship of a long life of toil and penury ending in the workhouse. She said when they knew they must go into the workhouse eventually why did they not go in at once without giving so much trouble. I asked her if she, who seemed to know what it was to be a mother, would not if it were her own case put off going into the workhouse, which meant parting with her children, to the very last. The idea of mentioning her name in the one breath with these people precluded the possibility of answering. She threw down her knitting and left the room.

Was it not sad to think that this Christian lady had yet to learn the embracing first two words of the Lord’s prayer, Our Father. Looking at the strength of this caste prejudice, as strong here as in India, I often feel sad, but Our Father reigns. Protestant ministers belonging ex-officio to this upper caste, and being, so to speak, a few flights of stairs above their people, cannot speak with the power of knowledge which our Lord had by His companionship with the poor of His people.

I was more astonished than I can describe at the sentiments that met me in this red hot corner of Monaghan. “The people were armed,” they said, “the people had revolvers and pikes, they would rise and murder them if they were let up at all.” They did not exactly know what this let up meant, and I am sure I did not either. I heard a great deal about ’98; surely ’98 ought to get away into the past and not remain as a present date forever. I cannot for the life of me see what ’98 has to do with allowing a man to live by his labor in his own country. The land question affects all and is outside of these old remembrances.

I must acknowledge that I have heard no Roman Catholic mix the land question with religion; they keep it by itself. I was informed that when I passed Clones I was in Ireland, as if Clones was an outpost of some other country.

The Episcopal Church in Clones is built on an eminence and is reached by a serious flight of steps; it looks down on the ancient cross which stands in the market place. This church is being repaired and was therefore open, so I climbed the long flight of steps and went in to see it. It certainly is being greatly improved. A grand ceiling has replaced the old one, a fine organ and stained glass windows add to the glory of the house. I had an opportunity of speaking with the rector, and his curate, I imagine. They pointed out the improvements in the church, which I admired, of course, and they told me some news which was of more interest to me than either organ tone or dim religious light streaming through stained glass.

They said that the temperance cause was flourishing in connection with their congregation. Both these clergymen were strict teetotalers, they said, and workers in the total abstinence field. The number of pledged adherents to the temperance cause had increased some hundreds within a given time. There was every encouragement to go on in the fight with all boldness. Truly these gentlemen had good cheer for me in what they said on this subject, for the drinking customs are a great curse to the people of the land wherever I have been.

From Clones to Belturbet Junction, where there were no cars, and there was the alternative of waiting at the station from two to seven p.m., or getting a special car. Waiting was not to be thought of for a moment, so got a car and a remarkably easy-going driver. He informed me that the rate of wages about that part of the country was one shilling a day with food. He thought the people were not very poor. The crops were good, the wages not bad, and he thought the people were very contented. Belturbet is another quiet little town, larger than Clones I should say. Like Clones it has no newspaper, no specific industry, but depends on the farmers round.

Procured a car and drove out to the village of Drumalee. The land is middling good as far as the eye can judge. This neighborhood abounds with small lakes. Here for the first time I saw lads going to fish with the primitive fishing rods peculiar to country boys. The country round here is full of people and there is no appearance of extreme poverty. The houses are rather respectable looking, comparatively speaking.

There is a fine Catholic chapel in Drumalee built of stone in place of the mud wall of seventy odd years ago. Saw no old people about and found that almost the recollection of Father Peter Smith, the blessed priest who wrought miracles, had faded away from the place, also that of his friend the loyal Orangeman who always got Orange as a prefix to his name.

The police in these midland counties are not so alert and vigilant, like people in an enemy’s country, as they are in the west. They do not seem to have “reasonable suspects” on their minds. The asses of Belturbet, although some of them appear dressed in straw harness, and with creels, are well fed and sleek and do not bray in a melancholy, gasping manner as if they were squealing with hunger as the Leitrim asses do. It rained pretty steadily during the time I was in Belturbet, and the principal trading to be seen from my window was the sale of heather besoms. A woman and a young girl, barefooted and bareheaded, arrived at the corner with an ass-load of this merchandise. They were sold at one half-penny each. They were neatly made, and the heather of which they were composed being in bloom they looked very pretty. How it did rain on these dripping creatures! Being shut up by the weather I took an interest in the besom merchants and their load, which was such a heavy one that a good-natured bystander had to help to lift the load off the ass’s back. It was a long while before a customer appeared. At length a stout woman, with the skirt of her dress over her head, ran across the street to buy a broom. She bargained closely, getting the broom and a scrubber for one half-penny, but as she was the first purchaser she spat upon the half- penny for luck. Then came some more little girl buyers, who inspected and turned over the brooms with an important commercial air, with intent to get the worth of their half-penny and show to their mothers at home that they were fit to be trusted to invest a half-penny wisely. They bought and others came and bought until the stock began to diminish sensibly.

A little man who had arrived with his load of besoms somewhat later sold none. I saw him glance from his load to the stock of mother and daughter, fast selling off, and become aware that his stock as compared with theirs was rather heathery, and he began to trim off roughnesses with his knife. I hope he succeeded in selling.

Drove out to Drumlane, where are the ruins of a large church and abbey and round tower. The driver, a Catholic, talked a little, guardedly, of the high rents. A broken-down looking man, who opened the iron gates for us into the ruins, complained heavily of the rents. He was only a laborer himself, the farmer he worked for was paying fifty-five shillings an acre for part of his farm and £3 for the rest. The land on which I looked was rented at £3. My only wonder is that the lands thus rented pay the rent alone without supporting in any manner the tillers of the soil. It was all pasture at this particular place. The ruins here of the church are very extensive, of the abbey only the fragment of a wall is standing. My guides informed me that there was an underground passage in old days between the abbey and the church, so that the bishop was not seen from the time he left the abbey until he appeared on the high altar.

They remarked that a story handed down from father to son as a true record of a place should be believed before a written account. They made no allowance for the coloring given to a story as it passed through the imaginations of successive generations. I assured them that I accepted all legends as historical facts to a certain extent. They were made happy, and were in a fit state of mind to insinse me into the facts of the case about the round tower. It is of great thickness, the area enclosed would make a good sized room. The stone work is remarkably solid and good, and every stone smoothly fitted into the next with no appearance of mortar. It is wonderful to see how the projection of one stone is neatly fitted into a cavity made to correspond in its fellow. On one stone a bird is cut in relief, another nearly the same in the attitude of following is cut on another stone. There is also a representation of a coffin. The beautiful stone work goes up a great way, and suddenly stops, the remainder of the building being done in a much rougher manner.

Seeing that I was of a reasonable turn of mind, they informed me that the lower portion of this round tower was built by a woman, but she being jeered at and tormented by the men masons, jealous of her work, disappeared in the night, leaving the masons to finish it, which they did, but not nearly so well, as we could see.

On the way from Drumlane to Ballyconnell the driver began to talk of the bitter feeling that was kept up in the country on party subjects. He said that religion forbid it, for if we noticed in the Lord’s prayer it was a prayer to forgive us as we forgave others. He thought Ireland could not prosper or have God’s blessing until the bitterness of party spirit went down.

Found Ballyconnell just such another sleepy little town as Clones and Belturbet. Here I had the comfort of meeting a friend who had puzzled a little over the land question in a misty sort of way, and was willing to give the benefit of his observations and conclusions.

From Clones to Belturbet and on to Ballyconnell, as I have mentioned before, I believe, is pretty much the same sort of country, good fields, middling and good pastures alternating with stretches of bog and many small lakes dotted about here and there. Every appearance of thrifty, contented poverty among the people as far as met the eye. They were better clad, the little asses shod, and sleek and fat, so different from other places. Still, the best of the common people all along here is not very good to trans-Atlantic eyes, and the houses one sees as they pass along are dreadfully bad.

I spoke of this to my friend in Ballyconnell, who informed me that the people were harassed with ever-increasing rent, that as soon as they could not meet it they were dealt with without mercy. A man who had toiled to create a clearing—put a life’s labor into it—was often not able to pay the increased rent and then he was put out, while another man paid the increased rent on his neighbor’s lost labor.

This friend of mine held the opinion that landlords of the old stock never did wrong, never were rapacious or cruel; it was the new landlords, traders who bought out in the Encumbered Estates Court, who had no mercy, and the agents. Here again was brought up the story denied before that the agents had a percentage on the rents collected.

One cannot agree with the fact of all landlords of the old stock being considerate and kind and all new landlords rapacious; for Lord Leitrim was of the old stock, and who would wish to succeed to the inheritance of hatred he left behind him, and Lord Ardilaun, a new landlord, is well spoken of by all his people. Every one with whom I spoke of him, including the parish priest, acknowledged him to be a high-toned, grandly benevolent man, who, if he differed from his tenants, differed as one on a height of grandeur may misjudge the ability of the poor.

XLVIII.

IN THE COUNTY CAVAN—THE ANNALS OF THE POOR—BURYING THE PAST.

As an instance of hardships of which the poor had to complain, my informant mentioned the case of one very old man, whose children had scattered away over the world, which meant that they had emigrated. He held a small place on a property close beside another property managed by my informant’s brother. This old man had paid his rent for sixty-nine years; he and his people before him had lived, toiled and paid rent on this little place. He was behind in his rent, for the first time, and had not within a certain amount the sum required. He besought the intercession of my friend’s brother, who, having Scotch caution in his veins, did not, though pitying, feel called upon to interfere. The old man tendered what money he had at the office and humbly asked that he might have time given him to make up the rest. It was refused with contempt.

“Sir,” faltered the old man, “I have paid my rent every year for sixty- nine years. I have lived here under three landlords without reproach. I am a very old man. I might get a little indulgence of time.”

“All that is nothing to me,” said the agent.

“Sir,” said the old man, “if my landlord himself were here, or the General his father, or my Lord Belmore who sold the land to him, I would not be treated in this way after all.”

“Get out of this instantly,” said the agent, stamping his foot, “How dare you give such insolence to me.”

“You see,” explained my friend, “he was very old, it was not likely that any more could be got out of him even if he got time, for he was past his labor. Besides there was a man beside him who held a large farm, and he wanted this old man’s little holding to square off his farm, so the old man had to go to the wall, but I was sorry for him.”

There is a good deal of this unproductive sorrow scattered over Ireland among the comfortable classes. There are a good many also who feel like that motherly Christian lady in Clones who said to me, “When they have to go into the poor-house at the last, and they know it will come to that, why not go in at once?”

I am convinced more and more every day of the widespread need there is that some evangelistic effort should be made to bring a practical Gospel to bear on the dominant classes in Ireland.

My friend and I walked up to the church to search for some graves in the churchyard that lies around it. He drew my attention to the socket where a monument had been erected but which was gone, and mentioned the circumstances under which it had disappeared. A gentleman of the country, an Episcopalian, had fallen in love with and married a Catholic lady. The usual bargain had been made, the daughters to follow the mother’s faith, the sons to go with the father. There was one son who was a member of the Episcopalian church. It seemed that the son loved and reverenced his Catholic mother, and that she was also loved and reverenced by her Catholic coreligionists. When she died she was buried in the family burying plot of ground in the Episcopalian churchyard. Her son erected there a white marble cross to his mother’s memory. At this cross, on their way home from mass, sundry old women used to turn in, and, kneeling down there, say a prayer. This proceeding, visible from the church windows, used to annoy and exasperate the officiating clergyman very much. At the time of the disestablishment of the Church a committee was being formed to make some arrangements consequent upon this event. The Episcopal son of this Catholic mother was named on the Committee, and a great opposition was got up to his nomination on account of his being only Protestant by half blood. There was no objection to him personally, his faith or belief was thought sound, except that part of it which was hereditary. My friend considered this very wrong, and ranged himself on the side of the gentleman who was the cause of the dispute. The dispute waxed so hot that the parties almost came to blows in the vestry room.

During the time this war raged some bright genius, on one of the days of Orange procession, had a happy thought of putting an orange arch over the churchyard gate, in such a manner that the praying women should have to pass under it if they entered. I am not quite sure whether the arch was destroyed or not; as far as my memory serves I think it was. Something happened to it anyway. Something also happened to the monumental cross, which was torn down, broken up and strewed round in marble fragments. The gentleman prosecuted several Orangemen whom he suspected of this outrage. There was not evidence to convict them. An increased ill-feeling got up against the gentleman for a prosecution that threw a slur on the Orange organization. The Orange society offered a reward of £60 for the discovery and conviction of the offenders, but nothing came of it. My friend thought it was done by parties unknown to bring reproach on the Orange cause. The gentleman of the half-blood had not been so much thought of by his fellow church members since this transaction.

I spoke to my friend upon the unchristian nature of this party spirit, which he agreed with me in lamenting, but excused by telling me outrages by the Catholic party which made me shudder. All these outrages were confirmed by the ancient woman who kept the key of the church, and who stood listening and helping with the story, emphasizing with the key. I asked when these outrages had taken place, and was relieved considerably to hear that they happened about 1798 and 1641. Asked my friend if the other side had not any tales of suffered atrocities to tell? He supposed they had, thought it altogether likely. Why then, I asked him, do you not bury this past and live like Christians for the future.

I am often asked this question about burying the past, said my friend. My answer is, let them bury first and afterwards we will. Let them bury their Ribbonism, their Land Leagueism, their Communism and their Nihilism (making the motion of digging with his hands as he spoke) and after that ask us to bury our Orangeism, our Black Chapter, our Free Masonry, and we will do it then.

As we came down the hill from the church, I said to my friend, “You acknowledge that there are wrongs connected with land tenure that should be set right. You say that you see things of doubtful justice and scant mercy take place here, that you see oppression toward the poor of your country; why, then, not join with them to have what is wrong redressed, fight side by side on the Land Question and leave religious differences aside for the time being?” “I would be willing to do this,” said my friend, “I do not believe in secret societies, although I belong to three of them, but a man must go with his party if he means to live here. There are many Orangemen who have become what we call ‘rotten,’ about Fermanagh, over one hundred have been expelled for joining the Land League.”

Party spirit is nourished, and called patriotism; it is fostered and called religion, but it is slowly dying out, Ireland is being regenerated and taught by suffering. In all suffering there is hope. This thought comforted me when I shook hands with my friend and turned my back to Ballyconnell and to Belturbet and took the car for Cavan, passing through the same scenery of field and bog and miserable houses that prevail all over.

The only manufacture of any kind which I noticed from Clones to Cavan, a large thriving town bustling with trade, was the making of brick, which I saw in several places. These inland towns seem to depend almost entirely on the agricultural population around them.

From Cavan down through the County Cavan, is swarming with Land Leaguers they say, although I met with none to know them as such. Poor land is in many places, a great deal of bog, many small lakes and miserable mud wall cabins abounding. In every part of Ireland, and almost at every house, you see flocks of ducks and geese; raising them is profitable, because they do not require to be fed, but forage for themselves, the ducks in the water courses and ponds, while the geese graze, and they only get a little extra feed when being prepared for market. Ducks can be seen gravely following the spade of a laborer, with heads to one side watching for worms. Neither ducks nor geese, nor both together, are as numerous as the crows; they seem to be under protection, and they increase while population decreases.

As one journeys south the change in the countenance of the people is quite remarkable. In Down, Antrim, Donegal, the faces are almost all different varieties of the Scottish face—Lowland, Highland, Border or Isle—but as you come southward an entirely different type prevails. I noticed it first at Omagh. It is the prevailing face in Cavan; large, loose features, strong jaws, heavy cheeks and florid complexion, combined mostly with a bulky frame. You hear these people tracing back their ancestors to English troopers that came over with Cromwell or William the Third. They have a decided look of Hengist and Horsa about them.

The feeling against the Land League among the Conservative classes in the north is comparatively languid to the deeper and more intense feeling that prevails southward. The gulf between the two peoples that inhabit the country widens. After leaving Cavan we crossed a small point of Longford and thence into Westmeath, passing quite close to Derryvaragh Lake, and then to Lake Owel after passing Mulingar, getting a glimpse of yet another, Westmeath Lake.

After passing Athlone and getting into Roscommon we got a view of that widening of the Shannon called Lough Ree, sixteen miles long and in some parts three miles wide. A woman on the train told me of that island on this lough, Hare island, with Lord Castlemaine’s beautiful plantation, of the castle he has built there, decorated with all that taste can devise, heart can desire or riches buy. A happy man must be my Lord Castlemaine. Lough Ree is another silent water, like the waters of the west unbroken by the keel of any boat, undarkened by the smoke of any steamer, the breeze flying over it fills no sail.

I have mentioned before how completely the County Mayo has gone to grass. The same thing is apparent in a lesser degree elsewhere. There is not a breadth of tillage sufficient to raise food for the people. Cattle have been so high that hay and pasturage were more remunerative, and the laborers depend for food on the imported Indian meal. The grassy condition of every place strikes one while passing along; but Roscommon seems to be given up to meadow and pasture land almost altogether. The hay crop seems light in some places. The rain has been so constant that saving it has been difficult in some places. I saw some hay looking rather black, which is an unbecoming color for hay. Roscommon is a very level country as far as I saw of it, and very thinly populated.

The town of Roscommon has a quiet inland look, with a good deal of trading done in a subdued manner. There is the extensive ruin of an old castle in it; the old gaol is very castle-like also. I drove over to Athleague as soon as I arrived, a small squalid village some four Irish miles away. The land is so level that one can see far on every side as we drive along, and the country is really empty. The people left in the little hamlets have one universal complaint, the rent is too high to be paid and leave the people anything to live on. It was raised to the highest during prosperous years; when the bad years came it became impossible.

I enquired at this village of Athleague what had become of all the people that used to live here in Roscommon. They were evicted for they could not pay their rents. Where are they? Friends in America sent passage tickets for many, some, out of the sale of all, made out what took them away; some were in the poor house; some dead and gone. The land is very empty of inhabitants.

CHAPTER XLIX

AN EMPTY COUNTRY—RAPACIOUS LANDLORDS.

From Roscommon I drove to Lanesborough where Longford and Roscommon meet at a bridge across the Shannon, and where a large Catholic church stands on each side of the river. The bridge at Lanesborough, a swing bridge, substantial and elegant, the solid stone piers—all the stone work on bridge and wharves is of hewn stone—speak of preparations for a great traffic which is not there, like the warehouses of Westport. Seeing all facilities for trade and all conveniences for trade prepared, and the utter silence over all, makes one think of enchanted places where there must come a touch of some kind to break the charm before the bustle of life awakes and “leaps forward like a cataract.”

One man stood idle and solitary on the wharf at Lanesborough as if he were waiting for the sudden termination of this spell-bound still life.

My glimpse of Longford from the neighborhood of Lanesborough showed a place of wooded hills and valleys covered with crops, and with this glimpse we turned back over the plain of Roscommon. The road lay through peat bog for a good part of the way, and the mud-wall cabins were a sad sight indeed.

Empty as the country is, eviction is still going on. Many have occurred lately, and more are hanging over the people. From Roscommon to Boyle, across more than one-half the length of this long county, from Roscommon to French Park, the country is so completely emptied of inhabitants that one can drive a distance of five miles at once without seeing a human habitation except a herd’s hut. The country is as empty as if William the Conqueror had marched through it.

Several persons called upon me to give me some information on the state of things in general. I also received some casual information. One gentleman of large experience from his position, a person of great intelligence and cultivation, while utterly condemning the Land League, admitted that some change in the Land Law was absolutely necessary. He instanced one case where a gentleman acquired a property by marriage and immediately set about raising the rent. Rent on one little holding was raised from £2 to £10 at one jump. In no case was it less than doubled. This landlord complains bitterly that the people under the influence of the Land League have turned against him. They used to bow and smile, and it was, “What you will, sir,” and, “As you please.” Now they are surly and sullen and will not salute him.

The farmer who holds a good-sized farm always wishes to extend its borders and is ready and eager to add the poor man’s fields to his own. Concentration of lands into few hands, reducing small farmers into laborers, is the idea that prevails largely.

My Athleague friend, a very interesting old gentleman, after mentioning the great depopulation of Roscommon, spoke of good landlords, such as Lord Dufresne, Mr. Charles French, the O’Connor Don, Mr. Mapother; but he paused before mentioning any oppressive ones. “Would his name appear?” No. His name should not appear. “Well, for fear of getting into any trouble I will mention no names, but we find that they who purchased in the Encumbered Estates Court are the most rapacious landlords.”

One gentleman, who was representing to me the discouragement given to improvement, mentioned a case where a person of means who held a little place for comfort and beauty, but lived by another pursuit than farming, sought the agent to know if he could obtain any compensation for improvements which he had made, and which had made his place one of the most beautiful in Roscommon. He wanted to be sure that he was not throwing his money away. When he sought the agent on this subject he found him on his car preparing to drive away somewhere. He listened to his tenant’s question as to compensation for outlay, and then whipped up the horse and drove away without answering.

I had a call from an elderly gentleman, before I left Roscommon, who gave me his views on the question very clearly. He thought as God had ordained some to be rich and others to be poor, any agitation to better the condition of the poor was sheer flying in the face of the Almighty. Under cover of helping the poor the Land League were plotting to dismember the British Empire. There never had been peace in the country since the confiscation, and there never would be until the Roman Catholic population were removed by emigration and replaced by Protestants. The blame of the present disturbed condition of the country he laid upon four parties: First, the Government, who administered the country in a fitful manner, now petting, now coercing, while they should keep the country steadily under coercion, for alternately petting and coercing sets parties against one another more than ever. Second, landlords and agents, who rented land too high and raised the rent on the tenant’s own invested improvements. Third, the priests, who could repress outrage and reveal crime if they chose to do so. Fourth, Catholic tenants who took the law into their own hands instead of patiently waiting for redress by law.

According to this gentleman, the only innocent persons in Ireland were the Protestant tenantry; so to root out the Catholics and replace them by Protestants was the only possible way to have peace in the country. Boycotting he referred to especially as a dangerous thing, which paralyzed all industry and turned the country into a place governed by the worst kind of mob law.

Another gentleman of position and experience said that a strike against paying rent led easily into a strike against paying anything at all; that society had really become disorganized. Many held back their rents, which they were well able to pay—had the money by them. The Land League had done a great deal of harm. At the same time this gentleman confirmed the Athleague gentleman’s statement that rents were raised past the possibility of the tenant’s paying, that eviction was cruel and persistent, the belief being that large grass farms were the only paying form of letting land. In fact, he said, he himself had evicted the tenants on his property on pain of being evicted himself. He held land, but at such a rent that if living by farming alone he would not be able to pay it.

He gave some instances of boycotting. One was that travelling in the neighboring county of Longford he had occasion to get a smith to look at his horse’s shoes, and was asked for his Land League ticket. On saying he had none, the smith refused to attend to the horse’s shoes. Roscommon had boycotted a Longford man who had taken willow rods to sell because he had not a Land League ticket, and a Longford smith in reprisal would not set the shoe on the horse of a Roscommon man unless he had a Land League ticket. When the gentleman explained that he had bought five hundred of those same rods from that same man the smith attended to the horse, and the boycotting was over.

I heard of other cases of boycotting. It is not by any means a new device, although it has come so prominently before the public lately.

From Roscommon I crossed country past Clara and Tullamore, across King’s county into Portarlington on the borders of Queen’s county. Portarlington is the centre of a beautiful country full of cultivated farms as well as shut-up and walled-in gentlemen’s seats.

Walking down the principal street, I noticed a large placard fastened to a board hanging on a wall; thought it was a proclamation and stopped to read it. It was an exposition of the errors of the Catholic Church in such large type that he that runs may read it. I have some doubts whether this is the best way of convincing people of an opposite belief of their errors. I went into the shop thinking I might perhaps buy a newspaper. I fear me the mistress of the establishment, a timid, elderly woman, imagined me to be a belligerent member of the attacked church come to call her to account, for she retreated at a fast run to the kitchen from which she called an answer in the negative to my enquiry.

Returning to my abiding place, I asked the hostess if the town contained many Catholics. “Oh, dear no,” she replied, “there are few Catholics. The people are nearly all Protestants.” In this neighborhood the celebrated John George Adair, of Derryveigh celebrity, has a magnificent residence called Belgrove Park. He has the name of being a very wealthy man. He is not praised here, but has the reputation of being hard- hearted, exacting and merciless. I doubted a little whether it was really the same man, as they called him, irreverently enough, Jack Adair, but to convince me they immediately began repeating the verses with their burden of five hundred thousand curses on cruel John Adair, which they could repeat readily with variations.

The railway facilities are very slow and conservative in their motions. I could not get on to Limerick the same day, but had to remain over night in Portarlington.

At Limerick Junction there was another wait of two hours, and at last we steamed into Limerick. It is a large city of tall houses, large churches and high monuments. The inhabitants say it was celebrated for its tall houses five or six hundred years ago.

L.

THE CITY ON THE SHANNON.

The Shannon is a mighty river running here between low green banks. The tide comes up to Limerick and rises sometimes to the top of the sea wall. A fine flourishing busy town is Limerick with its shipping. I have discovered the post-office, found out the magnificent Redemptorist Church. Noticing this church and the swarm of other grand churches with the same emblems and the five convents as well as other buildings for different fraternities, noticing also the queer by-places where dissenting places of worship are hidden away, one concludes that they are in a Catholic city, and so they are. On Sunday found out a little Presbyterian Church hid away behind some houses and joined its handful of worshippers.

In the afternoon walked along the streets for some way and found myself all at once in what is called the English part of the town, but which looked more foreign than any place I have yet seen on my own green isle. The houses were tall, and had been grand in King Donagh O’Brien’s time, I suppose. The streets were very narrow. The last week’s wash, that looked as if the Shannon was further away than it is, fluttered from the broken windows of the fifth story. All the shops were open; there did not seem to be any buyers, but if there were, they might get supplied. The very old huckster women sat by their baskets of very small and very wizened apples, and infinitesimal pears that had forgotten to grow. Two women, one in a third-story window and one on the street, were exchanging strong compliments. In fact, as our cousins would say, “there was no Sunday in that English quarter worth a cent.” I made my escape with a sick longing for some one to carry a gospel of good tidings of great joy in there.

Next morning I found out the English Cathedral, which is at the very border, so to speak, of that forgotten place. It stands in pretty grounds. The elderly gentleman who has the care of it, and who shows it off like a pet child, happened to be there, and took charge of me. He was determined I should conscientiously see and hear all about that church. This church was built in 1194 by Donagh O’Brien, King of Munster. It was not new even then, for King Donagh made his new church out of an old palace of his.

I followed that old man while he pointed out the relics of the old and the glories of the new, the magnificent painted windows, the velvet of the costliest that covered the altar, the carvings of price, the cushions and the carpets, and, a few steps away, the fluttering rags, the horrible poverty, the hopeless lives of the English quarter. Truly the fat and the wool are in one place, and the flock on the dark mountains in another. Outside are various stone cupboards, called vaults, where highbred dust moulders in state free from any beggarly admixture.

That old man wished to delude me up unknown steps to the battlements and up to other battlements on the top of the church tower—it was raining heavily, and the gray clouds lying on the house tops, you could hardly have seen across two streets—to see the view forsooth; then he volunteered to set the bells ringing in my honor, but I declined. He then told me of the bells—it was new to me; it may not be new to others. They were—well—taken without leave from Italy. The Italian who cast them pilgrimed over the world in search of them. Sailing up the Shannon he heard his long-lost bells, and it killed him, the joy did.

The puritan soldiers destroyed the profusion of statues that decorated this church. Noticed one simple monument to one Dan Hayes, an honest man and a lover of his country. Near this cathedral is the house where Ireton died, tall and smoky, battered and fallen into age, but very high. Its broken windows showed several poverty-stricken faces looking down on the cathedral grounds, which, of course, are kept locked. King John’s castle, very strong, very tall, very grim, seems mostly composed of three great towers, but there are really seven. Inside the walls is a barrack that could lodge 400 men. Limerick is full of old memorials of present magnificence and of past and present need. The inhabitants proudly tell you that it never was conquered, not considering capitulation conquest. The city raised the first monument to O’Connell. Of course I saw it, and thought it a good likeness. There is a square of grass and trees near it, where is a monument of Spring Rice, he who, when O’Connell was sick once, a political sickness, was said to be in despair:

  “Poor Spring Rice, with his phiz all gloom, Kept noiselessly creeping about the room; His innocent nose in anguish blowing, Murmuring forth, ‘He’s going, going.'”

I did not hear the sweet bells that charmed the life out of the poor wandering Italian, still I think I have perhaps told enough about the ancient city of Limerick on the Shannon.

From Limerick up through Clare, the railway passes along by the river Fergus, a big tributary of the Shannon. A Clare man informed me that Clare returned Dan O’Connell to Parliament. He sank his voice into an emphatic whisper to inform us that Dan was the first Catholic who ever got into Parliament.

I have been taken for this one and that one since I came to Ireland, and have been amused or annoyed, as the case may be, but I am totally at a loss to know whom I resembled or was taken for in the County Clare. A decent-looking countrywoman shook hands with me, telling me she had seen me in some part of Clare a month ago, and I had never set foot into the county until to-day. “You remember me, my lady, I saw you when you stopped at ——” some whispered name with an O to it. The woman’s face was strangely familiar, but I was on entirely new ground.

There is enchantment in this western country. I was completely bewildered when a frieze-coated farmer told me, “That was a grand speech you made at Tuam, and true every word of it.” It was a little confusing, seeing that I have never been in Tuam, or very near it at all. This old gentleman enquired coaxingly if I were going to speak at Ennis, and assured me of a grand welcome to be got up in a hurry. Then he and the farmer’s wife exchanged thoughts—that “I did not want anybody to know I was in it”—in aggravating whispers as I looked steadily out of the windows to assure myself that I was I. My friend in frieze then began to draw my attention to certain landmarks, the ruins of this abbey and that castle, and the other graveyard as points of interest with which I was supposed to be familiar.

Truly this part of Clare seemed to have any amount of square castles in ruined grandeur scattered along the line of rail. We stopped at a station and saw Ennis lying below us, and O’Connell’s statue rising up between us and the sky. My two friends parted from me here to my immense relief. I felt as if I were obtaining admiration on false pretences. The woman took my hand, and, with a long fond look, began to bless me in English, but her feelings compelled her to slide off into fervent Irish. The frieze-coated gentleman stood, hat in hand, and bowed and bowed, and “his life was at my service, and if I wished to pass unnoticed sure he could whisht, and good-by and God bless you.” and away they went. For whom did they take me?

Clare is pretty stony. Again I saw fields from which stones had been gathered to form fences like ramparts. Again I saw fields crusted with stone like the fields of Cong, with the same waterworn appearance, but not so extensive. The little, pretty station of Cusheen seemed an oasis in a stony wilderness.

Past many a little field hemmed in with stony barricades, past many an ancient ruin, sitting in desolation, into Athenry, the ancient Ath-an- righ, the fortress of kings. It was pouring rain, it often is pouring rain. I took shelter in the hotel whose steps rise from the railway station. There, in a quaint little corner room with a broad strip of window, I settled myself to write with the light of a poor candle, and the rain fell outside. Athenry bristles with ruins.

King John has another castle here all in ruins. There is a part of a wall here and there, and the arch of a gate which has been patched up and has some fearful hovels leaning up against it. It has the ruins of an abbey and of a priory. The names of Clanricarde and De Birmingham linger among these ruins; the modern cabins, without window pane or any chimney at all, but a hole in the roof, are mixed up with the ruins also.

The well-fed maid at the hotel informed me that they were very poor. There is no work and no tillage, the land being in grass for sheep. “I do not believe any of them know what a full meal means. No one knows how they manage to live, the creatures,” said the maid, comfortably. So the night and the morning passed at Athenry, and we passed on to the village of Oranmore.

LI.

GALWAY AND THE MEN OF GALWAY.

From Athenry and its ruins went to Oranmore and its ruins. The poverty of Athenry deepens into still greater poverty in Oranmore. The country is under grass, hay is the staple crop, so there being little tillage, little labor is required. They depend on chance employment to procure the foreign meal on which they live. Some depend for help to a great extent on the friends in America.

There is a new pier being built here, for an arm of the sea runs up to Oranmore. They told me that this pier was being built by the Canadian money. It will be a harbor of refuge for fishing craft and better days of work and food may yet dawn upon the West.

Behind the pier are the ruins of a large castle which belonged to the Blakes, one of the Galway tribes. It was inhabited by the last Blake who held any of the broad acres of his ancestors within the memory of the old people. I stood in the roofless upper room which had been the dancing saloon, penetrated into galleries built for defence lit only by loop holes, went down the little dark stair into the dungeon, tried to peer into the underground passage that connected with the seashore, ascended to the battlements and looked over the lonely land and explored multitudes of small rooms reached by many different flights of stone steps.

These people are largely of the Norman blood. Oh, for the time when peace and plenty, law and order shall reign here; when the peasant shall not consider law as an oppressor to be defied or evaded, an engine of oppression in the hands of the rich, but an impartial and inflexible protector of the rights of rich and poor alike!

A young priest told me here that the clergy about this place were opposed to the teachings of the Land League—did not countenance it among their people. A Catholic gentleman in Roscommon told me the same concerning the bishop and clergy of his own locality.

The tillage about Galway is careful and good, what there is of it. I saw great fields of wheat that had been cleared of stones, by generations of labor I should say. I had this fact brought to my mind by some peasants in the neighborhood of Athenry, in this way: “A man works and his family works on a bit of ground fencing it, improving it, gathering off the stones; as he improves his rent is raised; he clings to the little home; he gets evicted and disappears into the grave or the workhouse, and another takes the land at the higher rent; improves from that point; has the rent raised, till he too falls behind and is evicted; and so it goes on till the lands are fit for meadowing and grass, and the holdings are run together and the homes blotted out.” Of course I do not give the man’s words exactly, but I give his thoughts exactly.

Galway was something of a disappointment to me at first, it had not such a foreign look as I expected. It is a very busy town, has every appearance of being a thriving town, every one you meet walks with purpose as of one who has business to attend to. It is refreshing to see this after looking at the hopeless faces and lounging gait of the people of many places in the west. Wherever the tall chimneys rise the people have a quick step and an all-alive look.

I wandered about Galway, and to my great delight had a guide to point out what was most worth looking at. Of course I heard of the bravery of the thirteen tribes of Galway, who snapped up Galway from the O’Flaherties and assimilated themselves to the natives as more Irish than themselves. After walking about a little I did notice the arched gateways and the highly ornamented entrance doors which they concealed.

The first place of interest pointed out to me was Lynch castle. From one of the windows of this castle Warder Lynch, in 1493, hung his own son. It is said from this act the name Lynch Law arose. The Lynch family, originally Lintz, came from Lintz in Austria.

This mayor or Warder Lynch was a wealthy merchant trading with Spain. He trusted his son to go thither and purchase a cargo of wine. The young man fell into dissipation, and spent the money, buying the cargo on credit. The nephew of the Spanish merchant accompanied the ship to obtain the money, and arrange for further business. The devil tempted the young Lynch to hide his folly by committing crime. Near the Galway coast the young Spaniard was thrown overboard. All the friends of the family and his father received the young merchant after his successful voyage with great joy. The father consented to his son’s marriage with his early love, the daughter of a neighbor, who gladly consented to accept the successful young merchant for his son-in-law. All went merry as a marriage bell. Just before the marriage a confessor was sent for to a sick seaman, who revealed young Lynch’s crime. The Warder of Galway stood at the bed of this dying man, and heard of the villany of his beloved son. Young Lynch was arrested, tried, found guilty, and sentenced. The mother of young Lynch, having exhausted all efforts to obtain mercy for her son, flew in distraction to the Blake tribe—she was a Blake—and raised the whole clan for a rescue. When the hour of execution dawned, the castle was surrounded by the armed clan of the Blakes, demanding that the prisoner be spared for the honor of the family. The Warder addressed the crowd, entreating them to submit to the majesty of the law, but in vain. He led his son—who, when he had borne the shame, and came to feel the guilt of his deeds, had no desire to live—up the winding stair in the building to that very arched window that overlooks the street, and there, to that iron staple that is fixed in the wall, he hung him with his own hands, after embracing him, in sight of all the people. The father expected to die by the hands of the angry crowd below, but they, awed, went home at a dead march. The mother died of the shock, and the sternly just old man lived on. I looked at his house in Lombard street. Over the entrance is a skull and cross bones in relief on black marble, with this motto, which I copied,

  “REMEMBER DEATH Vanitie of vanities, and all is but vanitie.”

There is a fine museum in Queen’s College, Galway, which I did not see. Of course there are many things I did not see, although my eyes were on hard duty while there. I did see specimens of that most beautiful marble of Connemara. It is worked up into ornaments, in some cases mounted with silver. As soon as any one enquires for it they are known to be from America. A book shaped specimen that I coveted was priced at twelve and sixpence. It is there yet for me. It is of every shade and tint of green, and is really very lovely. I saw many specimens of it manufactured into harps stringed and set in silver, with a silver scroll, and the name of Davitt or Parnell on them in green enamel. There were brooches and scarf pins of this kind. I did not notice the name of the great Liberator among these ornaments.

The Claddagh was a great disappointment to me. I heard that it was not safe to venture into it alone. I got up early and had sunshine with me when I strolled through the Claddagh. I saw no extreme poverty there. Most of the houses were neatly whitewashed; all were superior to the huts among the ruins at Athenry. The people were very busy, very comfortably clothed, and, in a way, well-to-do looking. Some of the houses were small and windowless, something the shape of a beehive, but not at all forlornly squalid. They make celebrated fleecy flannel here in Claddagh. They make and mend nets. They fish. I saw some swarthy men of foreign look, in seamen’s clothes, standing about. You will see beauty here of the swarthy type, accompanied by flashing black eyes and blue black hair, but I saw lasses with lint white locks also in the Claddagh. The testimony of all here is that the Claddagh people are a quiet, industrious, temperate and honest race of people. I am inclined to believe that myself. It is a pretty large district and I wandered through it without hearing one loud or one profane word. I was agreeably disappointed in the Claddagh. Claddagh has a church and large school of its own.

They told me that the Galway coast has the same flowers as the coast of Spain. I can testify that flowers abound in little front gardens, and window panes, and in boxes on every window ledge. I did not go to see the iodine works, where this substance is manufactured from sea weed. I saw people burning kelp—and smelled them too—on the Larne and Carnlough coast and in Mayo. They burn the dried sea weed in long narrow places built of stone. They are not kilns, but are more like them than anything else I know of. You see stacks and ropes of the sea weed put up to dry. Kelp burning is not a fragrant occupation, and its manufacture is not specially attractive.

I think Galway is a very prosperous thriving town. I went to the bathing place of Salt Hill, a long suburb of pretty cottages, mostly to be let furnished to sea bathers. I should have gone on to Cushla Bay and to the islands of Arran, but I did not. I looked round me and returned to Galway.

There is difference perceptible to me, but hardly describable between the Galway men and the rest of the West. The expression of face among the Donegal peasantry is a patience that waits. The Mayo men seem dispirited as the Leitrim men also do, but are capable of flashing up into desperation. The Galway men seem never to have been tamed. The ferocious O’Flaherties, the fierce tribes of Galway, the dark Spanish blood, have all left their marks on and bequeathed their spirit to the men of Galway. I met one or two who, like some of the Puritans, believed that killing was not murder, who urged that if the law would not deter great men from wrong-doing it should not protect them.

When trade revives and prosperity dawns upon the West the fierce blood, like the Norman blood elsewhere, will go out in enterprise and spend itself in improvements.

Land was pointed out to me in Galway for which £4 an acre was paid by village people to plant potatoes in. This is called conacre. In going through Galway City, even in the suburbs, I did not see great appealing poverty such as I saw elsewhere. There was the bustle of work and the independence of work everywhere, but in the country, there seems poverty mixed with the fierce impatience of seeing no better way to mend matters. I heard of evictions having taken place here and there, but saw none.

LII.

THE LAKES OF KILLARNEY.

There is a good deal of disturbance about Limerick, according to the papers. A traveller would never discover it. It does not appear on the surface. I have been a little here and there in the environs of Limerick, and have seen no sign of any mob or any disturbance. Police go out unexpectedly to do eviction service and it is only known when the report comes in the papers.

I did not hear in Limerick town or county, in any place where I happened to be, of any landlord who had got renown for any special hardness. There was a person boycotted quite near to the city who was getting help from neighboring landowners to gather in his crops. What his offence was I did not learn.

In Limerick I met with an old and very dear friend who gave me a few facts about boycotting as seen in personal experience. An outlying farm was taken by my friend from which a widow lady had been evicted before the present agitation commenced. A premium of £100 was paid for possession. My friends had congratulated themselves on this transaction having occurred before the organization of the Land League; but one night an armed and masked party took the widow lady and reinstated her in her place. My friends were startled a little by a visit from this party, who informed them that they were returning from reinstating the lady in her place. Had they any objection? No, they had no objection. Would they disturb her in possession? No, they would not disturb her in possession. If they had only the £100 which they had invested they were quite willing to surrender the farm. Three cheers were given for my friends, three cheers for the widow lady, a gun was fired off, there was a wild cheer for Rory of the Hills, and they disappeared. The widow lady after some time quietly left the place of her own accord, and everything was as it had been before. They, the armed party, found out that they were not doing the lady a kindness by reinstating her, and so the matter ended.

Limerick, though an old city, is not a very large one. Going down the principal street—George’s street—you can look down any of the cross streets beyond the masts on Shannon and see on the other side of the river oats, waving yellow and in stocks, up the slope. Standing on the Wellesley Bridge, where young Fitzgibbon in bronze stands on a granite pedestal, perpetually endeavoring to draw his sword—which he succeeded in drawing to some purpose at Alma and Inkerman, if we are to credit the pedestal, which we do—you can look down the Shannon, over the boats and among the steamboat chimneys and the ships’ masts, and see the green banks of the Shannon, broad and wide, with cattle standing ankle deep in the rich pasture. You can see them as they extend far away, widening as they go, till the horizon shuts out any farther view. The constant rain of these two last months, I am afraid, will damage the ripening crop. It is near the close of August and there is hay yet uncut, there is hay lying out in every form of bleached windrow, or lap, or spread, under the rain. Some of it looks quite spoiled.

No one, I suppose, leaves Limerick without gazing at and perhaps wishing for some of the beautiful specimens of Limerick lace that are displayed in the shop-windows.

From Limerick to Killarney in the rain through a country gradually growing poorer. At the junction there was a detention which enabled me to walk about a little. There was a detachment of police that filled a couple of car passing on their way to eviction in one direction; a large detachment returning from eviction got out of the cars here. Eviction in this part of Ireland is feverishly active, and on every hand you hear of Mr. Clifford Lloyd. A person with whom I had some conversation told me I could have no idea of the state of the country without penetrating through it away from the line of rail. Of course this is so.

As we neared Killarney the waters were out over the low lying lands and the hay looked pitiful. In a pelting rain we steamed into Killarney, passed through the army of cabmen and their allies and were whirled away to Lakeview House on the banks of the lower Killarney lake, a pretty place standing in its own grounds. Killarney is a nice little town with some astonishing buildings. I have heard it styled as a dirty town; it struck me as both clean and rather stylish in its general appearance. It seems to depend almost entirely on tourists. Unlike Limerick, unlike Galway, but very like other western towns the number of people standing idly at the corners, or leaning against a tree to shelter from the rain, strikes a stranger painfully. The lounging gait and alert eyes mark people who have no settled industry, but are watching their chance.

We were allured to Lakeview Hotel by a printed card of terms and found it delightfully situated. Did not intend to linger here any time, did not seem to care much for the lakes now when I had got to see them. It was a damp evening, the mountains, that loom up on every hand, were wrapped in their gray cloaks, the lake whipped up by the squally winds had risen in swells and everything looked dismal. I shall see some one convenient sight and look round me and leave in the morning, I said.

The only available sight to be seen that night was Torc Cascade—well, I will be content with that. I must take a car; bargained for that, and drove through the walled-up country. Every place here is walled up, enclosed, fenced in. I noticed some cottages that were pictures of rustic beauty, others that were dirty hovels. The pretty cottages were occupied by laborers on the estates that border on the lake. Passed a handsome, little Episcopalian church in a sheltered place; near it were two monumental crosses of the ancient Irish pattern, erected by the tenants to the memory of Mr. Herbert, who was their landlord and who is spoken of by the people as one who deserved that they should devote some of their scant earnings to raise a cross to his memory.

In due time we arrived at a little door in the wall, where a man stood in Mr. Herbert’s interest, who gave a small ticket for sixpence, unlocked the little arched door and admitted the stranger into this temple of nature and art. A board hung on a tree was the first object, warning visitors not to pluck ferns or flowers, the man at the gate having notice to deprive marauding visitors of anything so gathered. There is a winding gravel walk leading up the height almost alongside of the brawling stream that leaps from rock to rock. I did not see any flowers at all, but the common heather bell in two varieties and the large coarse fern so common in our Canadian woods. There are many cascades unnamed and unnoticed in our Canadian forests as handsome as Torc Cascade. When you get up a good way you come to a black fence that bars the way. You are above the tall firs, and the solemn Torc Mountain rises far above you. I would have been lost in admiration had I never seen the upper Ottawa or the River aux Lievres. Feeling no inclination to commit petty larceny on the ferns, I descended slowly and returned.

The ruined abbey of Muckross is another of the sights of Killarney. Every visitor pays a shilling to Mr. Herbert for permission to enter here. I did not go to see it, but some of the party at the hotel did. They described the cloisters as being in a good state of preservation— cloisters are a kind of arched piazza running round a court yard, in this case having in its centre a magnificent yew tree. These ruins are taken great care of, therefore parts of the abbey are in a pretty good state of preservation. They tell of a certain man named John Drake, who took possession of the abbey kitchen about one hundred years ago, lived there as a hermit for about eleven years in the odor of sanctity.

There was quite a party going through the gap of Dunloe, which reduced the price of the trip to very little, comparatively speaking, and I was persuaded to join it. Every available spot about here has a lordly tower, a lady’s bower, an old ruin or a new castle. The Workhouse is fine enough and extensive enough for a castle, and the Lunatic Asylum might be a palace for a crowned head. There are the ruins of Aghadon Castle on one ridge and the shrunk remains of a round tower. A brother of the great O’Connell lives here in a white house bearing the same name as the hotel, Lakeview House. We look with some interest at Dunloe Castle. once the residence of O’Sullivan Mor, and listen to the car-man who tells us of the glories of the three great families that owned Kerry, O’Sullivan Mor, O’Sullivan Bear and great O’Donoghoe.

Of course we hear legend after legend of the threadbare tales of the Lakes. We heard much of the cave of Dunloe which has many records, in the Ogham character, of Ireland in the days of the Druids. All this time we were driving along a road with bare mountains, and tree-covered mountains rising on every hand. It reminded me in some places of the long glen in Leitrim, in others of Canadian scenes among the mountains. We began to be beset by mounted men on scrubby ponies. They gathered round us, riding along as our escort, behind and before and alongside urging on us the necessity of a pony to cross the road through the gap. Their pertinacity was something wonderful.

The carman stopped at a miserable cabin said to have been the residence of the Kate Kearney of Lady Morgan’s song. That heroine’s modern representative expects everyone to take a dose of goat’s milk in poteen from her, and leave some gratuity in return. The whole population turned out to beg under some pretext or another. One very handsome girl, bareheaded and barefooted, and got up light and airy as to costume, begged unblushingly without any excuse. She gathered up her light drapery with one hand, and kept up with the horse, skelping along through mud and mire as if she liked it. I noticed that she was set on by her parents who were the occupiers of a little farm.

Suddenly our car stopped at a house where all sorts of lake curiosities were exposed for sale. From this point it was four miles, Irish miles, through the gap to the lake to the point where we took the boat. This was one circumstance of which we were not aware when we started; it was therefore a surprize. I am sorry to say that this gap was a disappointment to me. It was a difficult path among bare mountains, but nothing startling or uncommon.

What was uncommon was the relays of indefatigable women that lay in wait for us at every turn. Goats’ milk and poteen, photographs, knitted socks, carved knick-nacks in bog oak; everything is offered for sale; denial will not be taken. You pass one detachment to come upon another lurking in ambush at a corner. There are men with small cannons who will wake the echoes for a consideration; there are men with key bugles who will wake the echoes more musically for a consideration; there is the blind fiddler of the gap who fiddles away in hopes of intercepting some stray pennies from the shower. One impudent woman followed us for quite a way to sell us her photograph, as the photograph of Eily O’Connor, murdered here by her lover many years ago—murdered not at the gap but in the lake. There was a large party of us and these followers, horse, foot and artillery, I may say were a persistent nuisance all the way. The ponies, crowds of them, followed us to the entrance of the Gap, where they disappeared, but the women and girls never faltered for the five miles. The reiterated and re-reiterated offer of goat’s milk and poteen became exasperating; the bodyguard of these pertinacious women that could not be shaken off was most annoying. The tourists are to the inhabitants of Killarney what a wreck used to be to the coast people of Cornwall, a God-send.

One does feel inclined to lose all patience as they run the gauntlet here, and then one looks around at the miserable cabins built of loose stones, at the thatch held on by ropes weighted with stones, the same as are to be seen in Achil Island, among the Donegal hills, or the long glens of Leitrim, notices the patches of pale, sickly, stunted oats, the little corners of pinched potatoes—a girl passed us with a tin dish of potatoes for the dinner, they were little bigger than marbles—the little rickles of turf that the constant rain is spoiling, and one sees that as there is really no industry in the place, of loom or factory, that want and encouragement have combined to make them come down like the wolf on the fold to the attack of tourists. It spoiled the view, it destroyed any pleasure the scenery might have afforded, and yet under the circumstances it was natural enough on their part. “We depend on the tourists, this is our harvest,” the carmen explained to us. From the hotel keeper to the beggar all depend on the tourist season.

After all it was something to have passed through between the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks and the purple mountain; something to see water like spun silver flinging itself from the mountain top in leaps to the valley below, to struggle up and up to the highest point of the gap and look back at the serpentine road winding in and out beside small still lakes through the valley far below. Of course we look into the Black Lough where St. Patrick imprisoned the last snake. Of course we had pointed out to us the top of Mangerton, and were told of the devil’s punch bowl up there. Down through the Black Valley we came to the point where the boats waited for us, leaving the black rocks, the bare mountains, the poor little patches of tillage, the miserable huts and the multitudinous vendors of goat’s milk and poteen behind. To our surprise the way to the boats was barred by a gate, and at the gate stood a man of Mr. Herbert’s to receive a shilling for each passenger before they could pass to the boats. “He makes a good thing out of it,” remarked the boatmen. I do not know how many more fees are to be paid for a look about the lakes of Killarney, but this gate, Torc Cascade and Muckross Abbey cost each tourist two shillings and sixpence to look at them.

The upper lake is beautiful, fenced around by mountains of every size and variety of appearance. Of course they are the same mountains you have been seeing all day, but seen from a different standpoint. The Eagle’s Nest towers up like an attenuated pyramid, partly clothed with trees, and is grand enough and high enough for the eagles to build on its summit, which they do. Here were men stationed to wake the echoes with the bugle. As our boat swept round, recognizing that we had not employed them, they ceased the strain until we passed, but the echoes followed us and insisted on being heard.

There are many, many spots on the Upper Ottawa as fair and as romantic as the Lakes of Killarney, and they are very lovely. The trees on the islands have a variety that do not grow in our Canada, principally the glossy-leaved arbutus. From the upper lake we slid down a baby rapid under an old bridge—built by the Danes of course, the arch formed as the arches of the castles in the west—into the middle lake.

The day had been one of dim showers, but in the middle lake the sun streamed out and touched the peak of the purple mountain and all the mountain sides and woody islands with splendor, that streamed down in golden shafts along the rain that was falling on some, and chased for a moment the shadows that lay on others. We slid down a fainter rapid under another bridge into the last and largest lake. On every lake there are buildings of glory and beauty to be seen nestling on the banks among the trees, or towering on the heights, owned by the wealthy and titled people that own the land round the lakes. A cottage built for Her Majesty was pointed out to us, and we heard of a royal deer hunt held here. We heard rapturous accounts of stags hunted to the verge of death, and saved alive to repeat the ennobling sport. And we censure without measure the Spanish bull fight where the animals are killed once! How many deaths do these timid deer suffer? I am afraid we are not as noble and merciful a people as we think we are.

There are sights to be seen and tales to be heard about these lakes of loveliness that would occupy weeks, but a glimpse and away must suffice for some, and our party all left Killarney on the next morning. I must say that the wealth and the poverty, the unblushing begging, the want of any remunerative industry, the idle listless people about the corners, made Killarney a sad place to me.

LIII.

CORK AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD.

After returning from the lakes the rain came down in such torrents as made us feel very thankful to be indoors again. We heard it raining all through the night as if the days of Noah were returned once more. Every one became anxious about the harvest in consequence of this steady rain. The bishop has recommended prayer in all the Catholic churches for seasonable weather to save the harvest. Murmurs of the appearance of rot in the potatoes reach me frequently. I have noticed disease in the potatoes appearing on the dinner table, a kind of dry rot, only to be noticed after cutting the potato.

From Killarney to Cahirciveen is forty-five miles; beyond that is the island of Valentia. There are many wild views to be seen on this island, the property of the Knight of Kerry. The traveller here can notice how the Atlantic is wearing away the Kerry coast.

The first part of this drive of forty-five miles is through a poor, poverty-stricken country, with such cabins of mud and misery as are an amusement to the tourist and a pain and a shame to the Irish lover of his country. There is nothing about these habitations to hint that any idea of comfort had ever penetrated here. For the reason of pelting rain and driving winds I was forced to give up my intention of going across by car to Kenmare, and from thence to Skibbereen, and took the train for Cork. The land seems to grow better the nearer we come to Cork.

Arrived at Cork, the first object which attracted my attention was the monument to Father Mathew. The temperance cause to which he dedicated his life sadly needs another champion. Will another Father Mathew arise?

As soon after my arrival in Cork as I was comfortably settled, I sallied out to discover the river Lee with an insane notion that I would hear “the bells of Shandon that sound so grand on” its pleasant waters. I discovered the river with tree-shaded, secluded dwellings on one bank and a wide green pasture on another. There was a bridge at the place where I first came in sight of the river, and a great crowd, so eager as to be silent, gazing up the stream. Thinking it was a boat race that drew their attention, I crossed the bridge to gain the green pasture at the other side. The pasture was reached by a little arched door through a boundary wall, where a policeman kept guard. There was a great crowd around this little door. There had been an accident, a boat had upset and all in it had been lost; they were searching for the bodies. I asked for admittance and the policeman unlocked the door and allowed me to pass. Followed the path along the water side, and came to the crowd round the four bodies laid upon the wet meadow grass. A father, so quiet, partially gray, trim and respectable looking, a young lad in blue boating costume, a young girl in black, farther on another in whom they thought there were signs of life, and about her two doctors were working, applying a galvanic battery. The mother had been restored and was conveyed into one of the houses.

I never saw any attempts to recover a drowned person before. I wondered that they left the body lying on the damp earth in wet clothing. They told me that it might be fatal to move her before they succeeded in bringing her back to life. They tried a long time in vain, then they laid the four bodies all in a row for the coroner. The damp grass, the trampling and sympathetic crowd, the four bodies in their wet garments laid on the bank, will always rise in my memory along with my first sight of the river Lee.

Cork seems a rich city, full of business, bustle on all the wharves, buying and selling on all the streets. The buildings are very grand. Alongside the river is a long ridge rising up to a tree-crowned summit. On that hillside is tier upon tier of grand houses, grand churches, fine convents and public buildings of one kind and another. You come upon fine churches through the town in corners where you do not expect them.

The church of churches in Cork is the Protestant Cathedral, of St. Finn Barre—whoever he was. This church sits high up on a rocky foundation, its pointed spires of exquisite stone-work pierce the sky. It is not finished, scaffoldings are there, and skilled chisels and cunning hammers have been knapping and polishing there for many a day, and are likely to continue hammering and chiselling for many a day more. Inside, it is marble of Cork, marble of Connemara, marble of Italy, polished to the brightest. The gates which admit from one ecclesiastical division to another are wrought in flowers that blaze in gold. Before the altar, parables of our Lord are wrought in mosaic on the floor. On the wall the different noble families who belong here, or have money invested here, have their shields containing their coats of arms on the wall. Into this grand church have been wrought the religious ideas of the church people for years, at the cost of £100,000, and there is an immense golden angel on the point of a gable calling with two trumpets for £25,000 more to finish it.

None but a rich city could afford the splendid buildings that are in Cork. The evening on which I arrived in Cork was signalized not only by the boat accident, but by a grand wedding, the wedding of a Sir George Colthurst in the splendid cathedral church just mentioned, and there was any amount of fashion, and high birth and young beauty gathered there. The bride was beautiful, the bride was “tall,” and not yet, they say, out of her teens. She was dressed in white satin and silver cloth, Irish lace and orange blossoms, and wore no jewels. None but invited eyes were allowed to look at the grand ceremony which made the fair bride and the lord of Blarney castle one. Some tenants of the bridegroom got up a bonfire, had some barrels of beer given them to rejoice withal, and were dancing to the music produced by six fiddlers, when they were surrounded by a small army of disguised people, fired into, beaten and dispersed. The first accounts put the number of wounded at twenty, to-day they are reduced to five—perhaps that is the proportion of exaggeration in newspaper accounts of outrage generally. The newly-made bride and bridegroom went to see the wounded, leaving cordials and money at every house.

One thing is observable in Cork, the determination to make an effort to restore native industry from its present languishing condition. Passing along the streets I notice clerks in the windows affixing labels on goods with the words, “Irish Manufactures,” “Cork made goods,” “Blarney tweeds,” “Irish blankets,” “Cork made furniture.” There have been meetings held on the subject since I came here. No city in the world could appear to be more quiet and law-abiding than Cork to all appearance.

As one instance of the exaggeration of reports concerning outrages, I see the disturbance in Cork that took place at the rejoicings about Sir George Colthurst’s marriage advertised with the heading 20 men shot. The local report says five injured, one shot, but not fatally.

Went down the river Lee to Queenstown. It did not rain except a few drops during the whole time. The sun shone, the clouds, some of them were billowy and white, and massed themselves on a deep, blue sky. The little steamer was crowded fore and aft with holiday passengers, and a large quantity of small babies. The river Lee, from Cork to Queenstown, wears a green color, as if it were akin to the ocean. Flocks of sea gulls flying about, or perching on the ooze where the tide is out, make one think of the sea, but the green banks of the river are there to testify against it.

We expected to find that the scenery from Cork to Queenstown was beautiful, and so it is. There is no use in trying to praise it, for all praise seems flat compared with the reality. There are glorious, steep slopes leading up to fair, round hills, waving with golden grain, or green with aftermath, checked off into fields by gay, green hedges or files of stately trees. On the slope, half way up the slope, snuggling down at the foot of the slope, are residences of every degree of beauty. Houses, square and solid, with wide porticos; houses rising into many gabled peaks; houses that have swollen into all sorts of bay windows running up to the roof, or stopping with the first story. Houses that fling themselves up into the sky in towers and turrets, and assert themselves to be, indeed, castles.

Queenstown comes at last, a town hung up on a steep hillside, and on the very brow of the hill is an immense cathedral, unfinished like St. Finn Barre’s, of Cork. In these cathedrals two forms of religious belief are slowly and expensively trying to express themselves in stone, chiselled and cut into a thousand forms of beauty, in marbles, polished and carved, in painted windows, in gildings and draperies of the costliest. Looking at these costly fanes erected to be a local spot where Jehovah’s presence shall dwell, one can scarcely believe that He will dwell in the heart of the poor who are willing to receive Him in the day of His power. Is the soul of the beggar more dear to God as a dwelling place than these lofty temples? Forever the world is saying “Lord, behold what manner of stones and what buildings are here?” And the Lord cares more for the toiling fisherman, the poor disheartened widow, and the laboring and heavy laden peasant than the grandest buildings. The cost of these churches would buy out Achil island and the appurtenances thereof, I think. It would maybe purchase the wildest tract of the Donegal mountains. I wonder if a hardy mountain people, who could live on their own soil, and begin to feel the stirrings of enterprise and energy, would be as acceptable to Him who came anointed to preach the gospel to the poor as these poems in stone. Who knows?

We sat on a bench under the trees and looked at the harbor—its waters cut by many a flying keel, at Spike Island lying in the sun, all its fortifications as silent and lonely looking as if no convict nor any other living creature was there. Steamboats for “a’ the airts the winds can blaw,” were passing out and away, leaving a train of smoke behind them, and big sail vessels, three-masted and with sails packed up, are waiting to go, and revenue cutters and small passenger boats are flying about each on their way.

A lady sits by me and is drawn to talk to the stranger of the greenness of the grass here winter and summer, of the beauty spread out all around. She tells of one who died away in another land brought home to lie under the daisies here, just twenty years ago to-day. Other people, she says, are proud of their country, are fond of their country, but none have the same love for their country as the Irish have for green Erin. Every inch of ground; every blade of grass in Ireland is holy, says this lady with tears in her eyes. She is thinking of the dust that Irish grass covers from her sight. It is on an anniversary we meet; she cannot help speaking on this day of sacred things. The steamboat is wading up to the wharf. We do not know one another’s names, but we have drawn near to each other—we clasp hands and part with a mutual God bless you. The little boat swallows up all that are willing to come on board, and like a black swan she sails up over the calm river, under the bright sky, past the handsome houses and the lovely grounds, among the clustering masts back to the rich city of Cork.

All the people injured in the attack on the rejoicing at Sir George Colthurst’s marriage are pronounced recovered to-day, except the one who was wounded by a shot; he is still in the infirmary. A dignitary of the Catholic Church who preached at Millstreet, where the disturbance took place, introduced into his sermon remarks on the state of society there, when his hearers became affected with coughing to such a degree that the rev. gentleman had to stop for a time and speak directly to his hearers. After the sermon most of the congregation left the church before mass— few remaining.

The sun has come out and the harvest will be greatly benefited by this tardy warmth, I am sure.

There has been some marching of soldiers—dragoons—fine looking men on fine horses—through the streets to-day, to the blare of a military band, accompanied and escorted by all the loose population of Cork. I was much interested to see among the running crowd the good pace made by a man with a wooden leg, who really could hop along with the best of them. This is all the apology for a crowd which I have seen in Cork. I have not heard the roar of one belated drunkard; such sounds have broken slumber in other towns. Whatever excitement may be in the county, the city of Cork seems as quiet, as orderly and as thriving as any city in the kingdom.

I have discovered that, though the lower part of the river Lee is crowded with masts and alive with traffic, the upper part, flowing along under the shadow of green trees and bordered by wide meadows, is as quiet as if it were flowing through the country miles from any city. I have discovered the magnificent promenade called the Mardyke, a wide, gravelled road overarched with trees, running along by the river. When the evening lamps are lit, the susceptibility of Cork wander here in pairs and “in couples agree.” There are plenty of comfortable seats in which to rest, for the promenade is a very long one, and the shimmer of the many lamps among the green foliage has a pretty effect.

LIV.

CORK, TO BANDON, SKIBBEREEN AND SKULL.

From Cork by the new railway to Skibbereen there is one rather noticeable feature by the way. All the way stations in small places are wooden houses built American fashion, either clapboarded or upright boards battened where they meet. The road is through a hilly country and therefore lies mostly through deep cuttings that shut out the scenery. There is one long tunnel not far from Cork that educates you into a sense of what utter darkness means. It is pleasant to look over rich pastures back to the city crowding its lofty hills, and to notice what a grand steeple-crowned city it is.

The train crawls along through deep cuts, past these little wooden stations where everything is more primitive and backwoods looking than anything I have seen before in Ireland. The porters are civil and obliging, ready to answer the questions of the ignorant, even of those who travel third-class. The vast majority of the passengers are small traders, market-women and farmers’ wives, who have been away making purchases.

By the time we reach Dunmanway we had our allowance of light served out to us, a lamp being thrust through the ceiling of the car from the top, and by its light we steamed into Skibbereen. I expected Skibbereen to be a small assemblage of mud huts, but was surprised to find it a large town of tall houses. As the bus rattled along through one gaslight street after another, I kept asking myself, is this really Skibbereen.

The little hotel where we stopped was very comfortable, very clean, and possesses a good cook. The next day in exploring the by streets and suburbs of the town I saw poverty enough, want enough. It was market day and the streets were crowded with country women in blue cloaks. These cloaks are all the same make, but some of them, owing to their material, were very stylish and shrouded as pretty black eyed, black-haired, rosy- cheeked women as I ever saw. Some of these cloaks are made of very fine material, the pleating about the shoulders very artistic, and the wide hoods lined with black satin when worn round the face make the wearers look like fancy pictures. Some of the women gather them round them in folds like drapery. I noticed at once that the artist who made the statues of O’Connell and Father Mathew had studied the drapery from the cloaks of some Claddagh or Skibbereen woman.

Market day is used as a day for confession, and the clergy are on hard duty on that day. Skibbereen boasts of a bishop and numerous resident priests. The town is as quiet as if such a thing as a riot, an outrage or a mob was never known.

In a little corner, squeezed in between houses, is a neat Methodist chapel and the parsonage beside it. Called on the minister, who received me graciously and was courteous and communicative. Having been by virtue of his office over a great part of Ireland he had seen a good deal of the oppression of the tenant, partly from the thoughtlessness of absentee landlords, partly from the want of any sympathy with the tenants. Had the Land League confined themselves to moderate efforts, and to the employment of constitutional means—means not tending to the dismemberment of the empire, he would have joined them with heart and soul, knowing the need there was of redress to the wrongs of the small farmer. He advised me to take a car and go on to Skull through Ballydehob if I wished to see poverty and misery.

The road from Skibbereen to Ballydehob and Skull runs along the coast mostly. All that grand rocks and great stretches of water dotted with many islands can do to make this scenery grand, wild and romantic has been done by Dame Nature. It is not satisfying to merely pass along. One would like to tarry here and get acquainted with nature in these out-of- the-way haunts of hers. The cottages are most miserable, most ruinous. There is no limestone here. It resembles Achil Island in this respect. The houses are built of stones and daubed with clay. The clay soon filters away under the combined action of winter wind and winter frost, and the houses look like piles of stones tottering to fall.

I heard of a pier being built somewhere here, with part of the Canadian money, which a priest assured me would be a great benefit to the poor people. I was very sorry to leave this part without seeing more of the country and the people. I left Skibbereen on a car for a journey by the coast the other way to meet the train at Bandon to return to Cork.

The only industry of any kind which I saw between Skibbereen and Bandon was a slate quarry which they told me shipped a great quantity of slates besides supplying local demands. As we advanced eastward we left the heather-clad mountains behind us, the landscape softened down considerably, and became almost empty of inhabitants. That reminds me that about Skull was almost emptied of inhabitants also. About the time of the great famine the people fled away. The remains of houses are scattered all along on that road. Some cause has also emptied this part of the country of people. There is much unreclaimed land here, which is not to be wondered at, seeing that a fine for reclamation was exacted in the shape of increased rent.

Clonakilty is another little town thronged with small traders and places “licensed to sell.” As we passed east the long boundary walls that enclose gentlemen’s plantations begin to prevail.

A little way, maybe two miles, out of Clonakilty is the property of Mr. Bence Jones, who has created some stir in the world. One hears story after story of his grasping and overbearing disposition. The chief accusation is adding to a man’s rent if his father dies. Case after case of this was spoken of by the passengers on the car with me. Whether these accusations against Mr. Bence Jones were true or false, here is his place, and a very fine place it is. The lodge is at one side of the road, the entrance to his residence at the other. The residence is very nice, very commodious, and is at some distance from the road. The property is extensive, but very poor land—mountain and bog. His walled- in plantation ran along the road for quite a great distance. When they spoke of him on the car the mere mention of his name caused the driver to lose himself in profanity.

From Clonakilty to Bandon was a long, dreary drive, and the night had fallen for some time, sharp and chill, before we entered the second time into merry Bandon town. It is quite a large place, and, entered by another way than the railway, looks bright and pleasant. The houses are lofty on the principal streets, and the whole town has a scattered appearance. It was a welcome sight to us, weary of travelling by car, and visions of a warm fire and a good supper—for I had travelled from breakfast without waiting to eat—ran in my head; but it was Saturday night, a train was almost due for Cork, and, contenting myself with an after-night glimpse of merry Bandon town, I came to the ponderous station, and started in due time for Cork.

At one of the first way stations, where is the little clapboarded waiting-room, two policemen entered our compartment with a prisoner. Whether he was a suspect or was charged with a specific crime we did not learn, but surely such a poor scare-crow never was arrested before. He was black with dirt, as if he had been taken out of the bog, or from a coal-pit. His clothes were thin and ragged, and he had such a fierce, desperate look. The policemen fraternized with their fellow-passengers and chatted merrily. The prisoner listened to their talk with a kind of dumb fierceness, shaking his head from side to side as I have seen an angry horse do. It was very chilly, and he was so miserably clad that he shivered, though he tried not to do so.

The way was long by train, and he might have marched for many a weary mile before he got on the train. He lay down on the seat and tried to sleep but could not, so he started up and resumed the wild glancing from side to side and the fierce head shakes. I began to think he might be very hungry, and if he was, he was not likely to get anything in gaol till morning. I had some biscuits and cheese in my satchel, and they began to struggle to get out, and at last I consented and handed the little parcel silently to the prisoner. He did not thank me, except by falling to and eating like a famished creature.

Arrived at Cork, the police took him away on a car, and the last glimpse I got of him he was eating as if he had not eaten before for a week.

I was very thankful when Sabbath morning found me in Cork again and with power to rest. There is not much appearance of Sabbath in the streets of Cork; it looks like a vast crowd keeping holiday. A great many shops are open; the stall women are in their places and seem to drive a good trade. I even heard a woman crying her wares as on any other day. I do not think that a little more Sabbath would hurt this fair town in the very least. I rested this day.

In the evening I had the pleasure of hearing “the bells of Shandon” ringing the people in to worship in the old Shandon Church. I heard them while walking by “the pleasant waters of the river Lee.” I followed their chime and enjoyed it, sweetly solemn and grand it was, and thought of Father Prout who has made them so famous, and finally found myself at Shandon church.

When the chimes ceased I went up the high steps into the old church. It is very old. It is high, long and narrow. The tower, in which are the famous bells, seems of better workmanship than the church. It is built in stories. The bells were chiming out, “Oh, that will be joyful!” as I entered. It is a nice, homely, comfortable church; but so plain that the tide of fashion has rolled past it into another quarter of the town. The pulpit and reading-desk were supplied by a gray-haired clergyman, who had power to read the service, so that it had a newness as if it had never been heard before and to preach to the heart. With the echo of his words and the echo of the bells of Shandon the Sabbath closed.

LV.

THE SOUTH—THE FEELING OF THE PEOPLE—EVICTIONS AND THE LAND LAW.

In conversing with a very sensible gentleman in Cork, he mentioned the competition among the farmers themselves as one reason of the high rents. I have heard this brought forward again and again in every part of Ireland. It is difficult to get so far into the confidence of the southern people as to know what they really think or feel. Without an introduction from one whom they trust they are very reticent and non- committal. There is another party who will not be drawn into giving an opinion for fear of their names appearing in print in company with these opinions.

Cork is such a brilliant city, such a sunshiny city, for the sun shone while I was there as it did not shine anywhere else where I have been for the last two months, such a brisk, busy city, that I felt some regret at leaving it. Cork is a busy town, but there are many idle hands and hungry mouths within its boundaries.

The prevalence of drinking habits is deplored by many with whom I conversed here. Speaking of the movement, now so rife, for encouraging home manufacture, especially in the shoe trade, a lady remarked that if there were a revival in trade without a revival in temperance many shoemakers would only work three days a week as had been the case in good times before.

It was a sunny day when I looked my last on the busy city on the river Lee, on the numerous basket women that squat in its streets, some knitting or crocheting for dear life, some sitting with arms crossed, fat and lazy, basking contentedly in the sun beside their baskets of miserable stunted apples that would be thrown to the pigs in Canada.

Between Cork and Mallow my travelling companion was an elderly Scotchman, a cattle dealer, who deplored the disturbed state of the country very feelingly. He admitted that there was undeniable need of a revision of the land tenure but thought that the people went about securing it in a very wrong way. I ventured to suggest that there was likely to be an agitation in Scotland on the land question. “Aye, there will and must be that, but they will manage it differently,” said the old gentleman. He censured my excitable country people pretty freely. I enquired why he did not return to Scotland to live in that tranquil country. “He had been long, out of Scotland, about forty years, and had got into the ways of the Irish, and truly they were a kind-hearted people and easily pleased.”

Another gentleman in this compartment pointed out to me Blarney Castle in the distance, and Blarney woollen mills nearer hand, where the celebrated Blarney tweed is manufactured, and whispered to me that Father ——, I did not catch the name with the noise of the cars, had appeared in a suit of Blarney tweed. There and then I wished that every reverend Father in Ireland was dressed in native manufacture.

A little fiddler was playing in the car for halfpence, and the Irish gentleman paid him to play Scotch tunes in our honor, thinking we were both Scotch, I and the old Scotch gentleman. I asked the child to play “Harvey Duff,” as I wanted to hear that most belligerent tune. The poor child looked as frightened as if I had asked him to commit high treason and shook his head. At Mallow the fine old Scotchman got off the train. We had had a long talk on country and country’s needs, and his fervent “God bless you” at parting was a comfort and encouragement to me, indeed it was.

At a station we took up some police who had been drinking—one sergeant was very drunk; then some soldiers who had been drinking, and some civilians who were in the same state. One fine looking young farmer of the better sort was fighting drunk. There were sober people and a good many women also on the car. It was one of those cars whose compartments are boxed up halfway. The sergeant spilled a box of wafers and felt that he did not wish to pick them up; another policeman in an overcoat set himself to gather them up. I heard the young farmer say to him, “You’re a peeler,” and in a moment every man in the car was on his feet. We had not yet left the station, and many women rushed out of the car. The official came and locked the doors, and we steamed out of the station with all the men on their feet in a crowd, gesticulating and shouting at one another at the top of their voices. As they swayed about with the motion of the carriage, every soldier and constable with his rifle in his hand, I found myself wondering if they were loaded or could possibly go off of themselves.

As soon as I could distinguish words among the war of sounds I understood that the young farmer accused the soberest sergeant of being one of the party that shot young Hickey at Dr. Pomeroy’s, and that he was burning for revenge. The constable was a Northman, I knew by his tongue, and he was at a northern white heat of anger. The young farmer was almost mad with rage and drink. The drunken sergeant seemed to sober in the congenial element of a probable row, and he and two sober civilians exerted themselves to keep the peace, and to pacify the farmer and get him to sit down.

In one of the pauses in the storm the peace-making sergeant wanted a match; an old man behind me who had matches was appealed to for one and he declined, averring with much simplicity that he was afraid of being shot. His wife in a vigorous whisper advised him to keep his matches in his pocket. Everyone in that car, drunk or sober, peace-making or not, sympathised with that young farmer and were against the police.

We reached Fermoy quite late. The next morning early I took a car and drove out to Mitchelstown, at the foot of the Galtees. Passed at a distance, half hidden among embowering woods, the castle residence of Lord Mount Cashel, who seems to be as much liked here as he was on the Galgorm estate, but there were whispered reminiscences of by-gone wicked agents.

The country on the way to Mitchelstown is partly very rich-looking now waving with the harvest. There is a long valley in sight stretching away for many miles, yellow with ripened corn and dotted with farm houses, each with a few sheltering trees. Upon what is called mountain land I saw a fine little farm that had been reclaimed from the heather quite recently. The farmer and his sons were binding after the cradle. He holds this land at two shillings and sixpence an acre, and hopes under the new Land Law that it shall not be raised on him. Mitchelstown is quite a large place, and was as quiet as Indian summer. Had my worst experience of hotel life in Fermoy, and gladly left it behind for Cappoquin. The road lies alongside a lovely valley of the Blackwater, and one has glimpses of the most enchanting scenery as they steam along. Cappoquin is quite a nice town, and seems to have some trade by river as well as by rail.

Walked out through the fair country to Mount Mellary Monastery, a property reclaimed out of the stony heathery mountain by the monks of La Trappe. They have succeeded in creating smiling fields among the waste of the mountain wilderness. They hold the land on a lease of 999 years. No woman is allowed into the precincts of the monastery proper, but there is a hospice attached where travellers are received and entertained without charge, but any gratuity is accepted. There is also a school among the buildings.

The valley between Cappoquin and Mount Mellary is strikingly beautiful. There is tradition of a great battle having been fought here once in the dim past when a hundred fights was no uncommon allowance of battle to one warrior. All is quiet and peaceful here now. The crops are being gathered in in the sunshine, and everything is smiling and serene. I received very much kindness in Cappoquin for which there will always be sunshine over my memories of it.

LVI.

TIPPERARY—OVER THE KNOCK-ME-LE-DOWM MOUNTAINS—”NATE CLOGHEEN”—CAHIR— WATERFORD—DUBLIN.

From Cappoquin I proposed to go to Cahir, across the pass, through the Knock-me-le-Down Mountains. Took a car for this journey which was driven by the only sullen and ill-tempered driver which I had seen on my journey through Ireland. The road passed through Lismore, a little town about four miles from Cappoquin, which is in a red hot state of excitement just now; the bitterest feelings rage about the land question. Evictions and boycottings are the order of the day. The feeling of exasperation against the police is so determined that supplies of any kind for their use could not be purchased for any money in Lismore. The police feel just as exasperated against Miss Parnell, who attends all evictions as a sympathizer with the tenants, and reports all the proceedings. The police made an effigy of her and stoned it to pieces to relieve their feelings.

The road to Lismore lay along a fair valley; the town itself was a pleasant surprise. It looked as peaceful and peaceable as possible when I passed through it; there was neither sight nor sound to reveal the present state of things among the people. From the grand castle of Lismore the road wound along between low range walls, ivy-covered and moss-grown, that fenced in extensive woods, clothing bold hills and deep valleys with wild verdure. The wildness of these woods and their thick growth of underbrush reminded me of far off Canadian forests.

We overtook a decent-looking country woman, who was toiling along the road with a big basket; the car man took her up; she seemed an old acquaintance. On one side of the road below the range wall a shallow little river ran brawling among the stones. I tried to find out its name from the woman with the basket but she could only tell its name in Irish, a very long name, and not to be got hold of hastily. “Her son was in America—God bless it for a home for the homeless!—and he had that day sent her £120, which she was carrying home in the bosom of her dress.” “She had good boys who neither meddled with tobacco or drink, and not many mothers could say that for their sons.” “Her boys were as good boys to their father and mother as ever wore shoes, thoughtful and quiet they were.” “They had good learning and did not need to work as laborers.” I asked her why she did not go out to America. “Ould trees don’t take kindly to transplanting,” she said, “I will see the hills I have looked at all my life around me as long as I see anything. I want the green grass that covers all my people to cover me at last.”

At a turn in the road the woman left us to climb a steep boreen that led to her home among the hills, with her heavy basket and her son’s love gift of £120 in her bosom, and I sat in the car dreamily looking at the wooded hills and wondered how dear a hilly country is to its inhabitants.

The most beautiful thing which I saw in Killarney was the feeling of proprietorship and kinship that all the people felt in and for the mountains and lakes. It takes a lifetime to get thoroughly acquainted with the eternal hills. They have ways of their own that they only display upon long acquaintance. You can see shadowy hands draw on the misty night cap or fold round massive shoulders the billowy gray drapery or inky cloak when passing rain squall or mountain tempest is brewing. They wrinkle their brows and draw near with austere familiarity; they retreat and let the sunshine and shadows play hide-and-seek round them, or lift their bald heads in still summer sunshine with calm joyfulness. The dwellers among them learn to love them through all their varying moods.

As I dreamed dreams the car driver, the surliest of his class which I have met, was urging a tired horse up a gradual ascent higher and higher among the hills, until we left houses, holdings, roads—except the gamekeeper’s or bog rangers’ track—far below us. These wild places, he told me, had no deer, but unlimited grouse, hares and rabbits. I was inclined to think very slightly of rabbits, especially when told of land that had formerly supported inhabitants having been given over to small game of this kind; but a gentleman landholder told me of a nobleman’s estate (I will not name him for fear I mistake the name) which averaged 1,000 rabbits weekly, which were worth one shilling and sixpence a couple after all expenses were paid. I have respected rabbits as rivals of human beings ever since.

We got up among the bleak mountains at last, high and bare, except where their rocky nakedness was covered with ragged heather. Silent and awful their huge bulk rose behind one another skyward. After we had long passed sight or sound of human habitation, we suddenly came to a whitewashed cosy police station in the shelter of the mountains, with a pretty garden in front, and a pleasant-faced constable came down for the mail. It was such a lovely place for a man to wear a cheerful face in, that I could not help saying, “You have a nice place here, sergeant.” “Yes,” he smilingly answered, “but lonely enough at times.” The car man was very sullen, and seemed eager to pick a quarrel with the policeman, which the other evaded with dexterous good nature, while another policeman, pipe in mouth, hands in pockets, gloomed at the driver from behind him.

I should not wonder if my driver resented me speaking to the policeman, for feeling runs high against them in these southern counties for a long time now; he was still more sullen, at all events, after we passed the station. I was told that from these Knock-me-le-Down Mountains, I could see a glimpse of the Galtees, but the mountains began to array themselves in, what the sullen driver called fog, cloaks of gray mists that fell in curling folds down their brown sides. Up and up we climbed, along a road that twisted itself among the solemn giants of the hills sitting in veiled awfulness. We passed a boundary ridge that separated the Duke of Devonshire’s lands from the next landlord, and I thought we were at the highest point of the pass, and here the storm came down, and the mountain rain and mountain winds began to fight and struggle round every peak and through every glen. I have never ventured among the mountains yet without rousing the fury of the mountain spirits. The jaded horse got himself into a staggering gallop, and so, chased by the storm, we threaded our way about and around on the downward slope of the mountains. It grew very dark, and we jaunted along a bit in one direction, and then turned sharp and jaunted off in another, the driver informing me that this was the V of the mountains, and miles immeasurably spread seemed lengthening as we hurried on.

We reached at length, at the foot of the hills, the “town of nate Clogheen, where Sergeant Snap met Paddy Carey.” As far as the darkness permitted us to see, Clogheen is still neat Clogheen. A little further west is the classic little town of Ballyporeen, which has danced to music that was not wedding music more than once during late years.

After we left Clogheen and struck through a wide plain for Cahir the moon came out and touched the dark mountains with silver and they folded away their gray robes until we should return. Those eight Irish miles from Clogheen to Cahir were the longest miles I have ever met with, exceeding in length the famous Rasharken miles. Here in a rambling, forsaken like assemblage of stairs and passages, called a hotel, we found a room and I rested for the remaining hours of the night. I never bestowed whip money so grudgingly as I did on the sullen driver who brought me through the Knock-me-le-down mountains. Under his care all my bags and parcels came to grief in the most innocently unaccountable way and were carried in in a wrecked condition.

In the morning the melancholy waiter who set my little breakfast at one end of a desert of a table in a dusty wilderness of a room, commenced bemoaning over the poverty of the country. It was a market morning and there were many asses, creels and carts with fish drawn up in the market place. I ventured to suggest a fish for breakfast, which was an utter impossibility. Cahir has a handsome old castle standing close to its main street which is still inhabited.

We dropped down by rail through Clonmel to Waterford, our companions by the way being all returning tourists, English and Welsh people over for a holiday to see the disturbances in Ireland, which they had always missed seeing some way. We amused ourselves in drawing comparisons between the lines of rail in Ireland and those in other countries to the total disparagement of Irish railways. They spoke of the railways in England and Wales, and I exalted Canadian railways.

Waterford seemed a pretty, lively, bustling town. The river seemed alive with boats; there was a good deal of building going on near the depot, and the people had a step and an air as if they had something to do and were hurrying to do it. It looked very unlike its ancient name, which was, I am told, the Glen of Lamentation. Tales still linger here of the sack of Waterford by Strongbow and his marriage to Princess Eva, and of the landing here of Henry the Second when he came to take possession.

From Waterford up through Kilkenny in the sunshine, wondering to see hay still being cut in September. Heard no word of Kilkenny black coal or Kilkenny marble and passed on to Bagenalstown in Carlow and up through Kildare to Dublin.

The days were passing so swiftly away that there was but a little time to see Dublin sights; the question was, therefore, what to see and what not to see. Owing to the kindness of Miss Leitch, an art student, I had the privilege of half an hour in the Academy. Having so little time I spent it all before Maclise’s picture of the marriage of Strongbow and Princess Eva and in a small way understood how a great painter can tell a story. The museum of Irish antiquities was the next place. I wanted to see the brooch of Tara and saw it, but I was not prepared to see so many reliques of gold and silver telling their own tale of the grandeur of the native rulers of the Ireland of long ago. The ingenuity shown in the broad collars of beaten gold which made them be alike fitted for collar or tiara was surprising. The shape of the brooches and cloak clasps are so like the Glenelg heirlooms which I saw in Glengarry families that the relationship between the clans of the Highlands and the Irish septs is quite apparent. There was quite a large room entirely devoted to gold and silver ornaments. One side was given up to gold collars, neck ornaments, bracelets, armlets and cloak clasps, all of gold. There was another cabinet of rings of various kinds. Some of the rings and bracelets are quite like modern ones. Saint Patrick’s bell was another object of great interest to me. It was plain and common-looking, evidently for use, shaped a good deal like a common cow bell. I liked to think how often it had called the primitive people to hear God’s message of mercy to them from the lips of his laborious messenger. Beside it stood the elaborate case which the piety of other ages manufactured for the bell. It is such an easy matter to deck shrines and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous when they are gone past the place where the echoes of man’s praise can reach. It is easier than hearing and obeying the message which they carry. We were given a powerful magnifying glass to inspect the workmanship of the shrine that held the bell, but my thoughts would turn back to the plain common-looking bell itself. Still I did admire the exquisite workmanship of the shrine, which could only be fully appreciated when seen through the magnifying glass. It required the magnifying glass also to fully bring out the richness of the delicate tracery on the brooch of Tara. There were in another room quite a number of short swords of cast bronze similar to the one presented to me in Mayo. Some of them had been furbished up till they looked like gold. There were some specimens of the bronze chain mail used by the ancient Irish, and the foot covering, which they wore a good deal like Indian moccassins, answering exactly to the description given by Scott in the notes to the Lady of the Lake, of the kind of brogans of the dun deer’s hide which shod the fleet-footed Malise, messenger of the fiery cross. There was also a woollen dress found in a bog, which was exactly shaped like a modern princess dress. I was sorry I had only one poor sixty minutes to carry off all my eyes could gather up in that time of these reliques of ancient Ireland. I would recommend any one who cares for the ancient history of Ireland to study these records of the past. What we see affects us more than what we hear.

DUBLIN—HOME AGAIN.

To my friend, Councillor Leitch, one of the many successful men who have migrated from the Moravian settlement of Grace Hill, I had expressed a wish to see the face of Jonathan Pim, the landlord of whose goodness I heard so much in the neighborhood of Clew Bay. Through Mr. Leitch’s kindness I obtained a seat in the gallery of the round room of the Mansion House where the meeting was held to consider the advisability of holding an exhibition of Irish manufactures. It was expected that I should see Mr. Jonathan Pim at this meeting, but he was not there; he was represented by his son. It was something for my backwoods eyes to be privileged to see this grand room, built, I hear, for the reception of His Gracious Majesty King George the Fourth when he made his visit to Ireland, called the “Irish Avatar.” At one side of the round room was a sort of dais, on which was a chair of state that, I suppose, represented a throne. Round the gallery were hung shields, containing the coats-of- arms of the worshipful the Lords Mayor of Dublin. The chair was occupied by the present Lord Mayor, a very fine-looking gentleman who became his gold chain of office well.

The day before I had been taken by Mrs. Leitch to an academy of arts and industry. For some reason of alterations and repairs there was no admission beyond the vestibule. In this entrance hall were specimen slabs and pillars of all the Irish marbles, which were there in as great variety as in Shushan the palace. There was the marble of Connemara in every shade of green, black marble of Kilkenny, red marble of Cork, blue credited to Killarney, I think, and many, many others. I think there was hardly a county in Ireland unrepresented. I do think that among all this wealth of marbles the Irish people might gratify their most fastidious taste without sending to Italy. I saw a good many productions of Irish industry, but they seem always confined to the localities which produce them. You see things in shop windows ticketed Scotch and English, but, until this new movement began, nothing marked Irish. Yet Limerick laces might tempt any fine lady, as well as Antrim linens and Down damasks. There is also Blarney tweed of great cheapness and excellence, Balina blankets, and the excellent Claddagh flannel.

If there were enterprise as well, and a desire to patronize home industries, I think the chimneys of factories now silent and idle might smoke again. I particularly noticed in every corner of Ireland where I have been that where I saw the tall chimneys of factories in operation I did not see barefoot women with barefoot asses selling ass loads of turf for threepence.

I left Dublin—really, I may say, an almost unseen Dublin—behind me and turned my face Belfastwards.

Drogheda is the last place of which I have taken any notes. I was a day or two there. In fact I was more than a few days, but was confined to my room by a severe neuralgia most of the time. There is a fine railway bridge here, lofty enough for schooners to sail under. The land on both sides of the river is like a garden, and is devoted to pleasure grounds in the usual proportion. I was wishful to see the very spot on the banks of the Boyne where James and William fought for a kingdom long ago. As I looked at the fair country checked off into large fields by green hedges, at the waving trees of enclosed pleasure-grounds, I recalled King William’s words about Ireland, “This land is worth fighting for,” and I thought he was right.

The Boyne is but a small river, no wider than the Muskrat at Pembroke, but deep enough to carry schooners a little way up. There is a canal beside it, and it was full of barges carrying coal and other things. Near to Drogheda town, in the suburbs, is a bridge over the Boyne. I crossed it looking for the locality of the battle. Meeting a clerical- looking gentleman, I enquired if he could point out to me where the battle of the Boyne was fought. This gentleman, who was a Franciscan friar, directed me to keep along the road by the river bank, when I would come to another bridge and the monument beside it. “It stands there a disgrace to Drogheda and a disgrace to all Ireland,” he said. He showed me the new Franciscan church, a very grand cut stone building. There is also a Dominican church, and an Augustinian, besides two others, and there was the foundation stone of still another to the memory of that Oliver Plunket, Catholic archbishop and primate of Ireland, put to death in the time of Titus Oates. I was informed that the proportion of Catholics to Protestants in Drogheda is six to one.

Walking through Drogheda on market day I did not see one barefoot woman in the crowd; all were pretty well dressed and well shod. The asses were sleek and fat, shod and attached to carts. How different from Ramelton, Donegal, Manor Hamilton, Leitrim, Castlebar or Mayo, where straw harness, lean asses and hungry, barefoot women abound. The land is good round Drogheda, and there is manufacturing going on. This makes the difference.

I will never get up along the Boyne at this rate. I went along the south side and, hearing the cheery clack of a loom, went into a cottage to see the weaver, a woman. She was weaving canvas for stiffening for coats. Could make threepence a yard, which was better pay a good deal than the Antrim weavers of fine linen make. She was much exercised in her mind against Mr. Vere Forster, who helps young western girls to emigrate to America, confounding him with the infamous wretches who decoy girls to France and Belgium. I tried to set her right, to explain matters to her, but I am afraid that I did not succeed in convincing her.

The land on both sides of the Boyne is dotted with houses and filled with people, so the country looks more cheerful than in empty Mayo or Roscommon. I spoke to a farmer who was looking hopefully at a large field of oats, and asked him what rent he paid. Owing to his nearness to Drogheda he paid £7 per acre. “How can you pay it?” I asked. “I can pay it in good years well enough,” he said. “What have you left for yourself?” “I have the straw,” he answered. I walked on and got weary enough before I came to the iron bridge and the monument. The monument has a very neglected, weather-stained appearance. Where Duke Schomberg was said to have fallen there was a growth of red poppies. I plucked some as a memorial of the place. I returned by the Meath side along a lovely tree-shaded road.

Some work-people explained to me that the late severe winters had destroyed the song birds of Ireland. I did not hear one lark sing in all the summer since I came. These working people were all anxious to emigrate if they had some means, and listened eagerly to the advantages of Canada as a place for settlement.

I was one Sabbath day in Drogheda, and attended service in the Presbyterian church there, which was opposite the spot where the great massacre of women and children took place in Cromwell’s time. This was eagerly pointed out to me. The congregation was very small, not half filling the church.

Between Dublin and Belfast I had as travelling companion a Manchester merchant, who had run over during his holidays to have a peep at the turbulent Irish. He had been in Ireland for a few weeks, and had visited some cabins and spoken to some laborers, and had settled the matter to his own satisfaction. “The ills of Ireland arise from the inordinate love of the soil in the Irish, and their lower civilization. For instance, an English farmer in renting a farm would consider how much would support his family first, and if the landlord would not accept as rent what was left the bargain would not be struck. The Irish farmer would think first how much he could give the landlord, and would calculate to live somehow, not as any human beings should live, but somehow on the balance.”

This was his theory. He denounced in no measured terms the union of Church and State, blaming this for the prevalent unbelief.

In many parts of Ireland I have been taken for some one else. I have had secrets whispered to me under the mistake that I was somebody else, and words of warning given that were of no use to me, but the funniest of all was on my way from Dublin to Belfast. At a station in Down, I think, a gentleman got into our compartment who was in the good-natured stage of tipsyness. He seemed to labor under the impression that I had, in company with my brother, canvassed eagerly for Colonel Knox at the Tyrone election. He felt called upon to tell me some home truths, the bitterness of which he qualified with nods and smiles. “We bate your Colonel Knox, mem, in spite of you and your brother. Thank God for the ballot, mem, we can vote according to our own consciences, mem, not as we’re told as it used to be, mem. You and your party think you have all the sense and learning and religion in Ireland, mem. All your religion is in your song, ‘We’ll kick the Pope before us.’ All your learning, mem, is to hold up King William a decent man and abuse King James at the Orange meetings in Scrabba where your brother speaks. You and your kind need to know nothing but what happened in ’98 and only one side of that. What happens in ’81, mem, you hold your noses too high to notice.” In this manner my tipsy friend ran on until the train stopped at Lisburn, when he left with a parting benediction. “God bless you, mem, you’re better natured than I thought you were. May you go to heaven and that’s where your brother won’t go in a hurry.”

I had to go to Liverpool to catch the ship and so had to forego seeing many things in Belfast which I had hoped to see. It was with some gladness I saw the ship “Ontario” again. Having arrived before the other cabin passengers I took the opportunity of going over the steerage with Mr. Duffin, the excellent chief steward. The quarters for steerage passengers were on the same deck as the saloon, as lofty and as well ventilated. The berths were arranged in groups with an enclosed state room to each. Single men by themselves, families by themselves, single women by themselves and foreigners by themselves, every division having their own conveniences for cleanliness and comfort. I am sure the arrangements for steerage passengers on the “Ontario” would have gladdened the heart of Miss Charlotte O’Brien.

I speak for myself, and I know I speak the sentiments of all the cabin passengers, when I say that nothing could exceed the provisions made for our comfort, or the courtesy and kindness shown by the captain and officers of the “Ontario” to us all, both in saloon and steerage. In conversation on board these sentiments came up often, and with enthusiasm, and captain and crew, and the stout ship met with no measured praise.

Before retiring behind the curtain to shake hands with sea-sickness again, we had a long, fond look at the land we were leaving. Liverpool had receded into a long, low line of twinkling lamps. My thoughts went through the mist to the land of my own people now passing through the throes of a great change.

  Erin, beloved and beautiful, once more The time of parting comes to thee and me; The sad delight of pilgrimage is o’er, And voices call to me across the sea.

  In Canada the magic summer shines, A purple haze upon the mountain broods, The soft warm breeze is whispering through the pines. And leaping waters thunder through the woods.

  September radiance tints the forest grand, The maples are aflame upon the hills; From bursting barns plenty smiles o’er the land, Where the tall farmer owns the soil he tills.

  Erin, thy robe of green is dewed with tears, Fields outrage-stained, thy west wind thick with sighs, Thou that hast walked with woe down through the years, Weighted with all the wrongs of centuries.

  Erin, beloved with love akin to pain, Through woe and outrage, turbulence and strife, Thou shalt arise and enter once again Into a higher, freer, glorious life.

A LAST WORD—THE CAUSE OF IRELAND’S TROUBLES.

Because I have had the privilege of being Irish correspondent for the Montreal Witness for a time, I think it right to explain to you the change which travelling through my native country has produced in my sentiments and the convictions forced upon me.

Brought up in the North of Ireland in a purely Hiberno-Scotch neighborhood, I drank in with my native air all the ideas which reign in that part of Ireland. The people with whom I came in contact were Conservatives of the strongest type; from my youth up, therefore, I had the cause of Ireland’s poverty and misery as an article of belief. I never dreamed that the tenure of land had anything to do with it. Landlords were lords and leaders, benefactors and protectors to their tenants in my imagination.

I changed my opinion while in Ireland, and now I believe that the land tenure is the main cause of Ireland’s miseries.

English history is pretty much a history of struggles against monopolies of one kind and another. There is no monopoly, it seems to me, which bears such evil fruit as the monopoly of all the land of a country in the hands of a few. It is bad for the country, bad for the people, and bad for the landlords, whether the monopolists are honorable companies, a landed aristocracy, or an ecclesiastical corporation. God’s-law, which is the law of our faith, shows plainly how the Great Lawgiver regards the monopoly of land by the care which He took to have a direct interest in the land of Canaan by personal inheritance for every Jew. To guard against the might of greed, to prevent the poor of the land, touched by misfortune or snared by debt, from sinking into farm laborers or serfs of the soil he instituted the year of jubilee when every man returned to his inheritance.

I first thought over these things in connection with the land question in Ireland when travelling there and seeing the evils arising from the existing tenure of land. I met with testimony everywhere of how often and how fatally the will of a lord interfered to prevent prosperity. There might have been a seam of coal opened in Antrim but for one landlord. In the present depressed state of the linen trade what a boon that would have been to the country. There might have been ship-building on the Foyle, to the great benefit of Derry and her people, but for the absentee landlords, the London companies. Donegal might have had a coal mine opened, but the landlord would neither open it himself nor let anyone else do it, and yet the great want of Donegal is employment for her people.

I did not think for a moment that the landlords of Ireland were, as a rule, naturally worse than other men, but they have too much power, and when “self the wavering balance shakes, it’s rarely right adjusted.”

I blame the system, not the men. There were and are landlords in Ireland too noble to abuse their power, of which class the Earl of Belmore is an illustrious example; but these men are noble in spite of the system which afforded every facility for the enormities of Lord Leitrim.

The evil of the Land Tenure is intensified by the fact that one class makes laws for another, and that the same class has all the executive of these laws under their control. There was no power in the law to protect the inhabitants of Milford when the earnings and savings of their whole lives, and the private property of their minister were confiscated by the strong hand, and some were reduced in consequence to beg their bread. The law, planned expressly to be an expensive luxury, was only for the rich, and was known to the poor, if they dared to contend with their landlord, as an engine of oppression. The judge who gave the award in Mrs. Auldjo’s case knew better than anyone else the cost of Irish law, and that the award he gave her under the Act of 1870 was a defeating of the intentions of the law, as it was really less than the law costs. His award added insult to injury to a woman who was a widow, and wantonly ruined in fortune because she dared to contend with a lord. The same spirit of partisanship invented the infamous Grand Jury system.

After I left Antrim, while travelling through the wilds of Donegal, the glens of Leitrim, and all through beautiful and desolate Mayo, I wondered over the absolute power which was left in the hands of the landholders and the great gulf which separated them from the land- tilling class. Public opinion, which they control, seems to have absolutely no sympathy with the common people when they were behind in their rents, although they were emerging from a period of agricultural distress, culminating in absolute famine. I watched the papers, I took good heed to the conversation that went on around me, and saw or heard no expression of sympathy when events took place which, I had thought, impossible under British law.

When Mrs. Whittington, of Malin, was put out in the wild March weather, with a child three days old in her arms and a flock of six around her, I looked for some one to raise a voice of protest, but there was not a whisper. When a landlord’s official forced his way past husband, doctor and nurse, to the bedside of Mrs. Stewart, to order her to get out of bed to go to the workhouse, bringing on fits that caused the death of her babe and nearly cost her her life, I watched eagerly for some voice to say this should not have been done, but there was none. I have heard of retreating armies stopping and hazarding battle, rather than forsake a childing woman in her extremity, in countries not boasting of so enlightened a government as our own. I had so gloried in the British Constitution, its justice, its mercy! I waited to see what the law would do in this case. All the facts were admitted in court, yet this man, who forgot that he, too, was born of a woman, was triumphantly acquitted and not one word of disapproval appeared in any public print that I saw.

I have often come home after seeing that on the side of the oppressor was power—the power of bayonets—and that the poor had no helper, until I could not sleep for pain and could only cry to our Father—theirs and mine—How long, Lord, how long!

A friend described to me quite gaily a scene at the Castlebar workhouse during the last famine, when the starving creatures coming for relief surged round the workhouse gate and pressed and hustled and trampled down one another, how the police standing ankle deep in mud had to lay about them with their batons, and the poor creatures were sent home again, and yet again, until they would learn to keep order—keep order— and they were starving!

A lady in Clones, who was talking to me on Sabbath School work and missionary enterprise in a highly edifying manner, could only express her surprise about the poor of her own people who were doomed to the poor house, that they did not go in at once without struggle or fuss. And yet she had been a mother, and must have known what parting with children meant to a mother’s heart. For my part I sympathized with that mother of whom I read in the papers, who was taken before a magistrate and sentenced for making a disturbance in the workhouse when she heard the master beating her child.

I wondered much at a noble and high-minded Irish gentleman who feels strong sympathy with the Oka Indians, who, in speaking to me of a man caught in company with another fishing by night, thereby transgressing the law, and was deliberately shot down by the agent of the property, expressed his regret that the other had not been also shot. Hardening the heart I hold to be one of the very apparent effects of the land system.

Another evil is the encouragement of unutterable meanness; a meanness that allows rich men to manage to extract under pressure gratuitous work out of these poor people. No one needs to be told that the Irish peasant is worse fed, worse clothed, worse housed than any peasant in Europe, yet gentlemen will take from these gratuitous work, and see so little to be ashamed of in the transaction as to write about it over their own signature, as Ernest Cochrane did in the columns of the Witness. I have heard of miles of separating fence being made, in this way, of walls being built and even of monuments being erected “in memoriam” in the same way. I was told of a noble lord having brought a gentle pressure to bear on his Irish tenants to cause them to subscribe over and above their rents for the benefit of those who were suffering from an accident in his English collieries.

I have wondered to hear gentlemen, and even clergymen, in Ireland wishing that the people would rise in rebellion so that there might be an opportunity of laying the cold steel to them and putting them down effectually. I have also wondered at the refusal of the authorities to have the riots in Limerick investigated; surely that does not look like impartial justice. I have wondered again over the openly avowed purpose of rooting the people out of the country.

I have looked with great concern and astonishment at the lands already wasted and almost without inhabitants. I have read with great pain the Lord Lieutenant’s speech at Belfast, aspersing the country as disloyal and threatening them with greater tyranny. The people are disloyal, to a system of oppression and absolutism which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear; but I believe from my heart that they are more loyal to Her Majesty than their oppressors are, for the system has made them oppressors. Only notice, from Mr. Smith’s evidence at the Land Court recently, concerning the Enniskillen estate, for which he is agent, it is proven that even in Protestant Ulster a landlord can abolish the Ulster custom—the root of Ulster’s exceptional prosperity—at the motion of his own will. In the trials for turbary in the Kiltyclogher cases a rule made by a landlord in his office overrides even a lease, and is accepted as de facto law in the court.

These things have convinced me that the exterminating landlords are the parties who are guilty of high treason against the commonwealth of England. The loyalty of Irish Catholics to a country that had scant justice to give them has been proven on every battle field from far India to the Crimea. No history of England’s wars in these later times can be written truly without acknowledging the Irish blood given like water for England’s honor.

Scotland has been more favored of late years, although the time is not so far distant when her language, her dress and ancient customs were also proscribed. Watching this, I have found myself wishing that some Irish Walter Scott would arise whose pen would make Ireland’s lakes and glens, mountain passes and battlemented rocks, ruined castles and mouldering abbeys, famous and fashionable as Scotland’s brown heath and shaggy wood, till the Queen would love to have a home there, and the nobles of the land would follow in her shadow.

I have changed my opinion on this also. The nobles come to covet the homes of the people. The Highlands of Scotland seem destined to become a hunting ground. The hardy mountaineers, guilty of no crime, must give up their hamlets and shielings, the inheritance of their fathers, at the order of any trader who has coined the sweat of his fellow men successfully into guineas, or any idle lord who has money. If “a death grapple of the nations” should ever come to England will she miss the Connaught Rangers, the glorious 88th who won from stern Picton the cheer, “Well done 88th,” or the Enniskillen dragoons so famed in song and story, or the North Cork that moved to battle as to a festival? Will she miss “the torrent of tartan and steel” that charged at the Alma, or the cry that “the hills of grey Caledon know the shout of McDonald, McLean and McKay, when they dash at the breast of the foe?” Will she miss the clansmen of Athol, Breadalbane and Mar? Will the exterminating lords who must have hunting grounds at all hazards come to the front with squadrons of deer or battalions of rabbits? Surely it is an aweful thing to sweep the inhabitants of a country for gain. If Britain ever has to call on these Varuses for her legions, or to repeat George II.’s cry at Fontenoy, will the enemy be able to countervail the Queen’s damage?

I would earnestly plead with the authorities, even yet, to try a little conciliation instead of such strong doses of coercion. History tells how cheaply the disturbed Highlands were pacified compared with the expense of coercing them, which was a failure. The tithe of the expense for bayonets would, I am convinced, make the West of Ireland contented and make future prosperity possible.

THE END.

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