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A Stag Hunt at Killarney
From Tait's Edinburgh Magazine


The day was beautiful, the mists were rising' slowly but gradually up the sides of the mountains, and every thing promised enjoyment. We hurried down to Rose, where several boats were in the bustle of departure. Cars, packages, baskets, and boatmen, were intermixed; and the latter swore and made noise enough for all together. Our party, eight in number, ladies and gentlemen, were at last safely embarked. "Take care, Ma'am, your cloak is on fire," said a boatman to Mrs. L——. “Dear me," exclaimed she, in the utmost consternation, pulling the skirt of her pelisse out of the water, “How's that?—on fire?” “Oh, yes, Ma'am; this lake burns clothes." The perplexity which this ex. planation caused for a moment, and which was pictured in Mrs. L—'s face, excited a laugh at the sally of Killarney wit.

As few of our party had ever seen a red deer, much less a stag hunt, they were exceedingly anxious to learn something about the nature of the animal, and the mode of hunting him. Fortunately, for the gratification of their very laudable curiosity, a gentleman acquainted with the habits of the deer, had been that morning too late at Ross to overtake his friends, and being slightly known to some of us, had accepted a pan. sage in our boat. The information he gave was somewhat to this effect: “The stag, when full-grown, is about the size of a rather small mule, with a less bulky body, much smaller and more graceful limbs; and as to muscular force, there is no comparison between them. The enormous leap that a stag will make, headlong from one rock to another, and the steadiness with which he keeps his position after such a spring, proves the great strength and elasticity of his structure. It is in his neck, however, that the largest mass of muscle is placed. This gives that part its peculiar and somewhat ungainly appearance, but at the same time amply compensates for the defect by the quantity of power it concentrates in the very place where it is most required for the safety of the animal. As to the courage of the stag, every one knows it is of that kind which is never exerted until the last moment of danger arrives. On some occasions, indeed, he may be irritated so as to become the assailant; and on one of these he is really formidable. An anecdote er two will set this in a clearer light than any general remark.

“About eight years ago, Mr. O’Connell took a very fine stag on Tomies, and had him conveyed to that white house—that on the gentle slope,— with the intention of hunting him on the great day of St. Patrick. During the intermediate time, the stag was fed on sheaf-oats, ivy and holly leaves. Confinement seemed to have diminished his appetite very little, but it brought to light an extremely severe lameness in the right shoulder. This was afterwards found to have been caused by a musket shot, and the hall was actually taken out of the limb. It is curious that, during the chase which ended in his capture, no signs of lameness were visible. Nature, it seems, had, after her own way, cured the wound, but violent exertion and the subsequent confinement, irritated it anew. At length Patrick's day arrived, and with it, from all quarters of the country, multitudes of every class: of course there was a splendid field. On the right of the house were drawn up in a mass, carriages, gigs, cars, and vehicles, of which the names would puzzle Long Acre,—all nearly filled with ladies. From the extremity of this, ran a long triple line of men, designed to prevent the stag from turning direct to his old mountains, and so spoiling all the sport of the day. The other side of the country was intentionally left open to him; but very few had a notion that any thing more was required to change his course than the single appearance of a man, or at most a shout, and the waving of a stick. The preparations being made, the door was thrown open, and some one attempted to drive out the stag: of which the immediate consequence was, that he put himself at bay, and seemed plainly determined to hold his domicile. After various fruitless efforts to dislodge him, a rope was at length thrown over his antlers: six strong men, Mr. O’Connell and Mr. O’Sullivan among them,—seized it, and pulled him out by main force. As soon as they had got him fairly beyond the threshold, those who knew the animal’s disposition instantly turned tail, and fled, until a pair of strong gates and a high wall were placed between themselves and their antagonist. One man only continued to hold the end of the rope. It was now the rage, the malignity, and strength of the stag were discovered. I have not the least doubt, that if the extreme weakness of his fore-leg had not disabled him so much that a man by ordinary running might outstrip him, (for at almost every step the poor brute fell,) that several lives would have been lost. He reared upright, on his hind-legs, (and you might see, at the time, yellow muscles, of the thickness of a man’s arm, start up along the whole length of his back,) and rushed wherever he saw a living being. In one of those attempts he reached within two yards of the mass of carriages: the terrors of ladies, the affright of horses, and the clash of the various vehicles, of themselves promised a scene; when he luckily fell, and was thus diverted by a new object. The man holding the rope, who all this time had remained stupified on the field, caught his view: he rushed at him, knocked him down, and made a gash with the antler at him. I saw the man afterwards. His coat, waistcoat, and shirt were torn; and the flesh grazed in a long line up the belly and breast. The wound, he said, did not heal for several months. But he would have been killed had not the crowd, encouraged by his danger, attacked the stag. The latter turned at once upon them,—scattered them in all directions,—ran next to the formidable triple line of men,—drove them like sheep before him, —struck a horse,—overturned him; and being completely master of the field, directed his course towards the lake. It is unnecessary to follow him farther.

There was another stag reared as a pet, by a gentleman in this neighbourhood. He grew to great size and strength, and became the plague of the surrounding country. No fence could save a corn or potato field from his ravages; and even when discovered at the first dawn, it was only by much persuasion he could be induced to quit it. To women he had a most decided antipathy. The moment he descried one at any distance he gave chase, and the population of an entire farm was required to save her from his fury. Another habit made the gudewives regard him with scarce less abhorrence. He took a singular pleasure in collecting, in his rambles, all the clothes, thread, sheets, blankets, &c. he could find drying on the fields; and tossing these about with his antlers, he made, as he thought, a magnificent figure to the country. At length his mischievousness and ferocity increased to such a degree, (for if he happened to be brought by any accident into close contact even with those he knew best, he at once attacked them with extreme malignity,) that his master had a heavy weight slung from his antlers. The rope was so long as to allow the weight to trail along the ground. This was a considerable check upon his movements, and one time brought him into a serious scrape.

Upon a beautiful day in spring, he crossed the Laune, with the sideline, as it was called, attached to him; and, according to his old custom, began to collect all the clothes that came in his way. Of blankets he had soon enough for a whole tribe of Indians: the quantity of thread on his antlers looked like the tail of a comet: sheets, coats, shirts •rose over one another in a huge pile, which was ultimately surmounted by a picturesque red petticoat, until he looked like Monmouth Street making the grand tour, or ‘ the remnant of Israel1 setting out for the Holy Land. On he went, tossing his head, looking proudly to all points of the horizon, and glorifying himself upon the new order of architecture he had raised; while the wives and children of the parish gazed with dismay on his progress. On a sudden he stopped short, listened for a second or two, and then precipitately turned round. At the same time feeling, no doubt, the emptiness of all earthly honours, he began, in good reality, to disencumber himself of his finery. In a few moments a solitary cry of a hound came upon the gale—another and another soon followed ; and, immediately after, the whole open-mouthed chase was on his trail. His fine ear had caught the sounds before any of the country-people heard them ; and, thinking it quite a serious matter, he ran for home with all his speed. Notwithstanding the great weight of the sideline, he reached the nearest bank of the river before the dogs overtook him. In he plunged; and in plunged, despite the utmost efforts of the huntsmen to restrain them, the whole pack. They caught him in the middle of the river; but he turned round and made desperate battle. Cots, boats, and men put off to his assistance nothing, however, could save him from losing sundry pounds and half pounds of venison. At the same time, three or four dogs floating down the stream, and about double that number, moaning and struggling towards the bank, proved how stoutly he had contended for the monopoly of his own body. At length he was safely landed. In a few weeks his wounds healed; and all his old habits returned, but with one exception—he never after crossed the river.

Having arrived at the place fixed for the hunt, we found an immense number of boats assembled there, and some containing very lovely women. Of them I am not just at present preparing to give you a formidable description, as it might cost Mrs. Jamieson and the world another volume; but a few words upon the locality will be necessary. The mountains there sweep outward in a semicircle; the horns of which are formed, on one side, by the Eagle's Nest with all its thunders; and on the other, by the southern peak of Glennfi, with its less loud, but perhaps sweeter echoes. In front of the mountains, and separated from them by several wooded, and (as I can aver) most perplexing ravines, stands a blunt smooth hill, affording on its summit a clear platform. Nearer still, and divided from the latter by a number of the same cursed water-cuts, are two or three little hillocks. Between those and the lake lies a bog, of which, perhaps, more hereafter. The mountains themselves remarked by that intermixture of grandeur and beauty, that blending of opposite elements, that union of the terrible and the placid, of precipice and wood, rugged rock, smooth sward, and wild ravine, which form the real charm of the most romantic scenery in the world. There are places, of course, infinitely more sublime. I have myself seen some more purely beautiful: hut for the artful combination of both in a single view, there is no place approaches Killarney. It produces a distinct peculiar fellig in the mind. As to the county Wicklow, which is so often compared with it, there is the same difference between them that exists between Perry end Champagne.

The time for commencing the hunt was new arrived. Accordingly all the parties left the boats, and ware with delightful trouble safely conveyed to some low, reund, pretty bills, at a short distance from the lake. A shot was the signal for laying on the hounds. The usual course pursued on occasions similar to the present is this: Several men are employed to find a stag and watch him to his lair. This, if undisturbed, he continues to occupy a long time; and as he never quits it but at night, he is almost sure to be found there on the day fixed for the hunt. As soon as this has arrived, large numbers of them are employed to fill the well-known passes leading up the mountains, and thence to distant wilds, in which “the antlered monarch" might defy the chase. The .great object of the hunt is to drive him into the water, while hi* first burst is invariably for the mountains. The moment the men on the passes see him approach, they endeavour, by shouts and threats, to tun him back. In this they are successful, should they happen to descry him all a considerable distance; but should he, by any chance, come upon them suddenly, his blood is up, and if there were fifty men, he’d break through them. The shouting of the men has, accordingly, a strong interest, as it always announces a view."

It seemed, after all, that we were doomed to disappointment. The news rapidly circulated that the stag had left his lair the preceding night without notice; and, as it was deemed unlikely that there could be a hunt without him, every countenance looked as blank as the bog before us. Some moved over to when Mr. O’Connellf stood, in the midi die of his staff; but brought no mon cheering intelligence than this, that they must trust to chance and the dogs for a deer. Even this weak hope was blighted when a half hour had passed away, and no stag seemed willing to come forth and “ die" for the amusement of so many anxious persons. But the darkest hour is that before the dawn. The gentleman alluded to before, seeing a huge mountaineer named Grady, and of distinguished skill in deer-stalking, about to plunge into the woods, asked me to join him. Of course my consent was not wanting. The mountaineer had a very strange sort of buckhound with him—no other, viz., than a surly-looking bull-bitch, from which I didn't augur much success. Were the object to pin a bull to the earth, we seemed not badly furnished; but te rouse a stag the appliances seemed odd enough. On 1 went, meditating upon the curious ways our Milesian friends take to effect their purposes, when I was roused by the mountaineer’s suddenly exclaiming “By-there's something here!" I looked up. The bull-bitch was in great agitation# snuffing, and shaking her head, as if offended by the rankness of the odours she drew in, and yet unable to quit them. We were in one of several dense thickets. “I tell you/' said the mountaineer, “he isn't far away. Have you him, Juno?" Juno, after taking from the gram a few more assurances that she was not deceived, dashed into the thicket before us. We heard a stifled bark or two—then a loud rush—and out bounded a kingly stag, puffing and snorting with rage, and tossing hie head to get rid of a large branch, which he had torn from a holly in his passage. Oh, the rage he was in ! How his eyes flashed fire! With what indignation he looked round for a moment to see the intruder on his dignity ! That question was soon answered. Juno sprung out almost at his heels. Grady, putting his hand into his ear, poured from the bottom of his chest—which, to the best of my judgment, ended somewhere in Tartarus—a shout that made the mountains ring again—-and another, and another. In two minutes the dogs, with the short, sharp cry of impatience, rushed out to us from the woods, and hurried along in full career. They soon found, however, that this was not the right path. Sweeping instantly round, and catching the full scent, they threw up their heads to the sky, and swept away like a pack of devils on the chaoe. The stag, full of strength and rage, dashed up the ravine between the hill and the mountains; and emerging from thie, led right up the side of the latter, intending to plunge into the inaccessible wilds of the Gap, or even Glencare. After the first glorious burst, the melody of the hounds came to us interruptedly, sometimes with weaker, sometimes with fuller effect, according as their course lay through the woods, or along open ground. If they plunged into the bottom of a deep glen it was entirely lost; on the other hand, when they emerged into air, it filled the sky, as if the whole ehsee had changed its direction, and was running, open-mouthed, for the hill on which we stood. But as soon as the kingly ruler of the woods ascended the mountains, then the hunt assumed its peculiar character of intoxicating pleasure; and in fact the gestures of many about me were supremely ridiculous. The fineness of the day,—the beautiful blue sky that overhung the earth,—the romantic scenery,—the fragrance of the air,—the presence of so many handsome women, would alone have made the spirits dance with delight; but the successive shouting of the men, announcing the approach of the stag, and multiplied and refined into infinitely greater sweetness by the echoes of the mountains, the cheering of the huntsmen, and the multitudinous cry of the hounds, as it came down upon the wind—all united, hurried one away in a transport of passion.

For almost a full half-hour this state of excitement continued. The stag was constantly in view; the shouts and cheering rolled like a splendid conflagration from one extremity of the mountains to the other; and the hounds never ceased to pour forth their deep and troubled stream of melody. On the opposite side, the echoes awakened. A raging hunt swept through the bosom of Mangerton, Turk, and all the romantic hills around them. It seemed as if the old heroes4 of the place were pursuing the game with dogs, whose preternatural speed, and full magnificence of cry, threw earthly rivals into contempt. Immense distances intervened between each successive burst. Now hot and fierce, it filled the woods of Turk, then suddenly ceased, as suddenly swelled again upon the heavens, and ran southward with amazing velocity along the mountain ranges to Kenmare, retaining all its harmony, but growing fainter as it went, until the last voices seemed to be transparent shells of living sweetness. Scarcely had it died away in the south, when it rose from the glens of Mangerton louder than before, and rushed eastward in a heady current through the vallies of Glenflesk. All thought that this was the last, but we were mistaken ; for, in about a minute after, the cry came so deep, close, and tumultuous, over the nearest of the opposite mountains, that one could scarce help expecting to behold the gigantic riders of the chase, with their spectral game and hounds, appear upon its brow. The echoes prolonged thi6 noble burst for a while, then rolled it away, until, at length, it died in the distance beyond Glennd.

The shouts soon changed their direction. “You’ll see him immediately,” said a gentleman. “When?—where?” “On the southern edge of the hill; they have driven him back.” He was right. In a few minutes the stag appeared on the brow of the hill, and afforded all a full view of him. We could next see the dogs rise, at first one by one, then in a body, from the ravine; and, in a long line of unequal breadth, pursue the traces of the game, until both they and it turned the shoulder of the hill, and were swallowed up in the opposite ravine, with all the music that had followed them in their career. For two or three hours after, the chase seemed to bp entirely at an end. The cry of the dogs came only in solitary openings; the huntsmen, one after another, were seen approaching the boats, and the intelligence brought them was, “that the stag was lost; they believed he had escaped over the mountains,” &c. Several parties, upon this, began to drop down towards Glenna, some turned to the upper lake; and, in a short time, the whole cavalcade had nearly dispersed. On a sudden, however, and when the stanchest sportsmen had given up the idea of the hunt, a loud burst from the hounds near Glennd announced that they were in full chase* All hurried along; boats jostling, dashing, and crashing; ladies screaming, gentlemen soothing, and boatmen swearing at each other. The impatience was increasing every instant, as the cry of the dogs came full and uninterrupted; and all were sensible that the hunt would probably be soon at an end. At length we reached Glenna, and the broken cries indicated that the hounds were crossing a ravine. Again they thickened; men were perceived filling the woods; and it was evident that, unless the stag could break through them, and escape up the mountain, he must take the water. The boats were now assembled opposite a part of the beach which was free from wood; and as the hunt was approaching it, word was given for the boats to fall back, and leave the lake clear there. This, of course, signified that the place was a favourable one for forcing the stag into the water; and, as the decisive moment ap. proached, the eagerness and expectation of all became painful. It was only surprising how long a time elapsed before the stag was visible, for the chase was unremitting; the voice of the hounds, and the cheering of men, not only filled the woods, but seemed to be within twenty yards of us. At last, the men lining the open space already mentioned, suddenly shrunk back into the bushes, that too sudden a view of them might not terrify the stag, and drive him back on the hounds. In a second after, the noble animal rushed out, his whole body black with sweat and soil; his heaving sides and violent panting proclaiming extreme exhaustion. Immediately after, the hounds broke through the wood, the men, with loud shouts, waving their hats, and brandishing sticks, formed a dense ring about him, except on the water side. There was no alternative, nevertheless; on he plunged his way, for at every step he sunk up to the belly, with a strength which was truly amazing, springing to meet any one who approached him, and scattering the crowd wherever he turned. The dogs were now at his haunches,—the multitude still harassed him ; there seemed no other alternative—he plunged into the lake, the dogs and men after him. The boats, which were with difficulty kept until now under some control, at once rushed in a mass towards the stag; renewing, but with ten times greater fury, the scene that had occurred on coming down to Glenna. Oars intermingled, boats were consequently retarded, and instantly a battle royal was on foot, in which sticks, boards, baskets, and tillers performed their part. Perhaps several boats got jammed together—on they pushed, sweated and rowed, using the rowlocks of other boats as a fulcrum instead of the water, until the superior ribs of some one enabled her to disengage herself from the press. The general way, however, was, that the boatmen quietly stopped up, in order to have a trial of one another’s strength. The main body of the boats, however, with deafening cries of exultation and impatience, pressed towards the stag, who was swimming (followed closely by the whole pack) in a slanting direction from the shore. Of the men who had almost unconsciously plunged in after him, some were holding on by the sides of boats, notwithstanding the loud protests of the owners ; some were scrambling up the steep shore, their pockets, trousers, and stockings, full of water ; and their whole persons so swollen and puffed out as for a moment to bear no slight resemblance to a hogshead; until the discharge of the water substituted, for their late bloated magnitude, a most lank, shrunken, wobegone appearance; others, again, were executing various tumbles in the liquid element; but, at length, some women put off in boats to their assistance, and succeeded in bringing them safely to land. The multitude on shore pursued the course of the stag—plunging up to the gam morals at every step in the deep soil— upsetting and overturning one another, but nevertheless bellowing all the time with rapture. The stag swam well—the great number of boats also retarded each other, so that he was able to gain a considerable space a-head. At length three boats separated themselves from the rest, and flew along the Lake. It was evident that the contest must be between these ; accordingly the others, as if by common consent, lay on their oars to witness the struggle, in which they took no further part than to call on the rowers by the endearing names of “ rascal,” and "villain,”—or to beseech them, for the honour of the particular clan or district to which they belonged, not to allow their rivals to bear away thr victory. The men, thus beholding themselves the common gaze and spectacle of all, and roused by the immediate emulation, made astonishing efforts. The speed of the boats increased, and water few in sparkling fragments before them, and long beaded furrows of dancing bubbles and foam arose behind. The oars caught the sanbbams for a moment, and Instantly plunged into the lake again. A single will seemed to govern each crew; they bent forward, rose and sunk on their seats, as if they were but one individual, while, at each powerful stroke, the good boat sprung like a race-horse to the whip. No skill was left unemployed— even the helmsman, by a forward motion of the body at each successive impulse, sought to increase the momentum of his vessel. Perfect silence now succeeded to the previous tumult. The most breathless expectation held the spectators, and an anxiety (if that could he possible) aa great as that of the rowers themselves. They were now fast nearing the stag; the strokes became shorter and more vigorous, the keel almost rose out of the water at each bound; but the three prows were still abreast, or merely wee-sawing, and no one could say which would win the stag. As the strength, however, of the crews seemed equal, it was probable that the superior skill of the helmsman would decide the victory. But the safety of the noble animal, the object of the contest, was plainly in considerable danger, as the boats (the two outer now slightly bending their course) bore down direct upon him, as to a common centre. The middle boat soon became sensible of the advantageous position it occupied, for its course required no change, and there was scarcely a possibility of its missing the game; while the truth began to flash on the other two, that their course must be (no matter how little) longer than that of the middle boat, and that they might wholly overshoot the stag, unless they could gain something on their rival. Nov was the situation of the latter without its counterbalancing difficulties. The increased and almost desperate exertions of the two outer boats threatened, by the convergence of their course, to leave no room for the play of its oars, while the absolute necessity of not injuring the stag (Mr. O’Connell being quite despotic on that point) seemed to demand slackened exertions, when the most vigorous were necessary for success. The helmsman of this boat was an old, hard-featured man. During the whole race, he showed no sign of emotion, nor did one anxious look at his rivals betray a fear, or damp the courage of his men. He sat quite composed, as if he had no interest whatever in the race; but the quick, steady glance with which he measured his distance from the stag, and from his antagonists, showed this was but the coolness of self-possession. On he drove, right upon the stag, until the angry wave, that foamed before his prow, rushed up the animal's side. “Mind, Dan’l,” he uttered to the man at the bow, in a stern, quick tone; the other boats at the same instant were pulling headlong to out him off from the prey—he was within two feet of the stag—all thought him mad; and a general exclamation of rage burst from the multitude at his conduct;—“the oars!’ said he to the crew, taking not the least notice of the shout; and at the word, an instant turn of the helm, which the boat in her extreme velocity obeyed like a child, sent him with shipped oars between the stag’s muzzle and his right-hand antagonist; but as he passed, Daniel, who was standing ready in the bow, jumped upon the animal’s back, and secured the victory, amidst acclamations that rent the sky. A handkerchief was then bound over the stag’s eyes; he was placed (with several men attached to him) in the conquering boat, and conveyed to Mr. O’Connell.

Thus ended the stag hunt. It was only manly that the animal, which afforded so much amusement, was that night restored to his native mountains.

There was a public dinner to" be given at Innisfallen; but as the hour fixed on was late, it seemed pleasanter to stay the rage of our stomachs with a small dejeunS in the intermediate time. Accordingly, we turned into a calm, cool, little bay> just beyond the point of Glennd, and shaded, by an arbutus-covered island, from the western sun. The1 place we chose you'll grant to be beautiful. A broad ledge of rock projected almost horizontally over the lake. One half was covered with thin moss; over the other half rushed, in a sheet of silver, a furious little stream, called Screachogue, i. e. “The Brawler," and fell into the lake with innumerable tinklings. Our boat lay on deep water, with her head against the rock, and showed, where her shadow fell, a sparkling bottom of fine sand. A red romantic-looking path led up the mountains, through young oaks, hazels, and woodbines. The spirit of adventure at once seized us. Leaving the boatmen to arrange the dinner, and seats for it, viz., a large stone, or a well-folded cloak, or a gentleman's coat, perhaps, neatly moulded into a round shape; we set off. Indeed, of all places and times, I remember none better fitted for soft, low, sweet converse with a beautiful woman. The delicious softness of the evening that melted the heart into its own voluptuous languor, the perfume of the air almost oppressive by its richness; the gen., tie lapping of the waves, the modest solicitation, as it were, of love; the upward, tangled, beautiful path that compelled her to lean for sup. port, and the huge mountain that towered above all, and fiung his black and giant shadow across the waters, irresistibly soothed the soul into confidence, while they, at the same time, impressed the necessity of protection. Some, however, soon sat down quite exhausted ; some stopped to look through the trees upon the lake, and I will not swear that other objects were not looked at about the same time; while shouts high above in the air from mounting spirits proclaimed their ambitious souls. It may be laid down as a maxim, or rather as two axioms, that real love passages are very short, and that lovers dine. In accordance with these profound reflections, the whole party was assembled at the dejeuns in ten minutes, and in nearly the same time the dejeuns had unaccountably disappeared. Our boat now steered for the Cascade, and next for the Brown Island, intending to surprise Innisfallen by this circuitous route ; and here the magnificence of the evening arrested and amazed us.

The lake is situated in an elliptical valley, lying from east to west, which is enclosed on the south side by a chain of mountains, about twenty or thirty miles in length; and on the north, by successive ranges of hills, that include every species of cultivation between them and the lake; from their own bleak bitterness, (though studded occasionally with green fields,) to the handsome villa on the banks of the latter. The mountains, at their western extremity, break into a cluster of low blue hills. Just beyond these, the broad and burning orb of the sun was now resting on the edge of the horizon, and, having wrapped them in a misty palpable glory, filled the whole valley with a vast flood of golden light, which turned every thing within it, islands, rocks, woods, and houses, to enchantment. The very windows of Coltsman’s Castle, which faced the west, assumed the most gorgeous appearance; the richest colours melting successively into one another, and its whole front flickering with blood red and purple splendours. On the north side, the country was one sheet of beauty and gladness; hut conceive, on such a range of mountains, the effect of this glorious evening tide, ever changing with the distance, and ever magnificent—bathing Toniies in yellow radiance— kindling every rock on Turk—mantling the broad slopes of Mangerton in mellower light, and playing on the distant Paps with a faint and dying lustre. Of all, however, Innisfallen, which was before us, seemed the most perfect wonder. We gazed on it in astonishment. The whole undulating line of its beautiful shores—every sock, tree, and object, nay the very air about it, was touched with magic; and from the ground up to the top of the trees, it seemed filled with a flood of molten gold.

I never beheld a scene at once so grand and beautiful. By degrees it faded away; the light gradually yielding to darkness, and ascending, until none but the mountain heads retained a gleam of the preceding splendour. As soon as it was fairly past, away with us to Innisfallen; and, as at “the Brawler,* I had the unutterable misfortune of being seized by Miss , (a brevet matron, but who had been long entitled to full rank,) as asthmatic as her own lap-dog, (which was now in the last stage of high feeding, the vital lamp being reduced in him, by fat, to the slenderness of a rushlight,) Fortune seemed determined to reward me by placing me at dinner next Mrs. —, and her husband at least four tables off. Imagine a very pretty Irish woman, with taste, talents, accomplishments,—add moreover to these a throat of dazzling whiteness, shaded by dark gauze,—eyes, to which a slight short-sightedness gave a softer charm,—a voice wasted in sweet murmurs,—and you have the outline of the picture. Omit not, however, to place in the foreground of this sketch on your fancy, “a wild sweet-briary fence,* such as Moore sings of; for a sort of instinct told one that, within the circle all these agreeable qualities that Mrs. possessed, sat a haughty spirit, which it were as well not to rouse to anger or suspicion.


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