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“And I’d advise you too, my young grandee, to have a care o' yourself.” “In my estimation, as well as Sir Thomas's, you stand disgraced, Sir.” “Little caring how I stand in the estimation of either o' you.” And so terminated the interview. Upon this day, as well as the former, Sir William dined at Hartley Court; but not téted-téte with its master. Sweet is food to him that hungers; drink to him that thirsts; rest to him that is weary; “pleasure after pain;” safety after danger; sunshine after storm; but sweeter than any of these, or all of them together, is the reconciliation of young and ardent lovers whom doubt yields to confidence; and the terror of eternal separation is replaced by the hope of eternal union. And this most delicious of earthly enjoyments did the young Baronet now experience. Again, a hand softly pressed his, which he had feared was estranged from him for ever. Again, he was permitted to salute a cheek (we only say a cheek) which he had feared to see flame against him in indignation, but which now revenged with love's own blush alone the tolerated freedom. Again, eyes met his in smiles and sparkling, which during the separation and doubts of only a few hours, sickening fancy had begun to glaze with coldness and aversion beneath his glance; harmonious cadences again tingled in his ears, which he had thought never to have heard more ; and, the delicious evening long, he sat, imbibing through every perception the reflux of such a tide of happiness, as, fully to the observation of Sir Thomas, and to the sympathy of Miss Alice, left him incapable of little else than surrendering himself to its influence.
WE have intimated that the mysterious abode of Poll Beeham and her son Davy stood on the declivity of a hill which overlooked the village lying nearest to Hartley Court; this village was one of the poorest class, chiefly consisting of the miserable hovels in which the labouring poor of Ireland drag on their lives of privation. Altogether, the number of dwellings did not exceed twenty. But, as in all society, no matter how small, there is a gradation; so, even our humble hamlet had its more fashionable (“dacent”) quarter.
A few houses of some appearance of comfort, and grouped together, claimed precedence over the straggling huts of the poorer order. Peter Rooney's mansion was among them; having a four-paned sash-window at either side of the door, besides another in the gable to light his workshop; exhibiting the thatch at top tastefully mitred, and otherwise ornamented; and flaming in an annual coat of yellow-wash, with around the windows, edges of white. But that abode over which Shawn-a-Gow presided, was first in place as in extent. It stood contiguous to the cross-roads, was of long existence, and although the hamlet could not afford to the compound establishment the means of becoming wealthy, in the true sense of the word, still Shawn had a large share of custom, both as a smith and a vender of strong liquors. Of two or three humble taverns, such as that in which Bill Nale had lately been found, none ever called themselves the rivals of the Gow's. A public-house, putting in strong claims, stood indeed at the other end of the hamlet; but its straw-stuffed casements, and a few broken-necked decanters, connected to the fragments of the glass of the window, by cobwebs of long standing, visibly indicated that the liquor to be found under its roof, was not deemed of equal flavour with that sold by Mrs. Delouchery. The proprietor of this rival establishment was a young widow, not yet five-and-twenty, whose brow of chilly hopelessness told her despair of success in her unpromising attempt for a livelihood. Between her expression, and the device of her faded signboard, there might appear some analogy. Two curiously-shaped birds stood tiptoe thereon, at either side of a sheaf of wheat, each holding in his beak an ear of the corn, properly bent down by the artist for his accommodation; and the poor landlady appeared to have as little prospect of realizing her hopes of fortune, as the pigeons, crows, or whatever they were, of swallowing the grain thus held quietly between their bills the year round. Circumstances have changed, however. That very widow now stands a plump, consequential personage, (no longer widow, by the way,) at the door of a well-supplied and well-frequented country ale-house; occasionally observing to her customers, in reference to the rebellion of 1798, that it certainly was a fearful time, yet that “’tis an ill wind that blows nobody luck;" her brow of despondency has changed into one of self-content, and some importance ; iron-bars protect her house from thieves; its interior bespeaks cheery comfort, and, in fact, it is the head hotel of the little village; while of Shawn-aGow's mansion not one stone stands upon an