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The Croppy.

pression of the kind, he again approached Mary with (Resumed from page 75.)

words of kindness, uttered in that soothing tone which

is so natural and so familiar to the Irish peasantry. On the following Sunday, Mr. Cullen and an aged She listened to him; a beam of hope crossed her. friend paid the Glen a visit; they came for the express cheek; and thinking that her violence had operated purpose of ascertaining whether Mr. Mulloy’s repre favourably upon him, she forgot the becoming deỉicacy. sentations were correct, and after making proper of her sex, and demanded if he would make her his allowance for the natural exaggeration of a blackman, wife. His answer was prompt, and in the negative; they did not find much to complain of; Mon was de- he had never given her such a hope; he now laughed, lighted with the future residence of his daughter; , at the proposition: this aroused the yet burning flame praised Matty's system of husbandry, and even ad- within her; she repeated her denunciations and her mitted that Nurse Rossiter's butter and cheese were as maledictions; and, filled with grief and disgust, Matty good as any made within sight of the Lady's Island. rushed from her presence.

Matt's journey to Carne led the neighbours to suspect He could not now think of confession; he had lost that he went in pursuit of a “ great fortune," for, in that religious composure which accompanied him from, accordance with the nature of associations, they his home, and, less with the hope of regaining it than generally substitute the money for the wife; and the of cooling his burning brow in the cool breeze of arrival of “ Beany Bags,” confirmed their suspicion. evening, he struck into a by-path, and wandered along Much jealousy boiled over on this occasion; it was the margin of a little mountain stream, now deprived, hinted that Matty might have gotten a good wife nearer in summer's drought, of that natural melody which home, and that some one who could take care of his running water produces. After walking for half an house was better suited for a person in his situation hour he sat down upon the bank, pulled a few sorels, than a slaumeen from Carne. To all this Matty turned and was mechanically chewing them, when he heard a deaf year; but there was one who gave expression to foot-steps approach him. Presently, Tommy Codey, her disappointment, in terms more alarming.

Mary's eldest brother, stood before him: this man bore One mild, mellow evening, a short time before his but an indifferent character in the country; he was of intended nuptials, as Matty was proceeding towards gigantic stature; uncouth and unfeeling, and being of the residence of father Dake, for the purpose of con- a quarrelsome disposition, he kept his more feeble confessing, preparatory to his entering upon an awful re temporaries in continual apprehension. His presence sponsibility, he met apparently by accident, Mary at such a time, and in such a place, was any thing but Codey. Her cheek was flushed, and her eyes rested agreeable to Matty: he feared his vengeance, and at. as motionless in her head as if they were fixtures: at once prepared to encounter it; he started upon his feet once she reproached him with a want of faith and with evident symptoms of alarm, and demanded the base deception; and, before he could say a word by reason of the intrusion. Codey was cool and collected, way of convincing her that she had no reason to com affected surprise at his neighbour's manner, and in his plain, she fell upon her knees and breathed a curse turn inquired the cause of it; Matty was quite candid; upon him, so wild, so vehement, and so vindictive, that he told all that had occured between Mary and himself, he was perfectly paralysed; he was not more supersti- and expressed much concern for the delusion she had tious than others, but he did not like having an “oath jaboured under. in heaven” against him; and in common with his neigh-! « Delusion call you it, Matty?” said Codey. “I'll, bours, he believed an oath once made fell somewhere tell you, spalpeen, it is no delusion; you must fulfil

He would have raised her from the ground; reasoned your promise to my sister, or—" and he caught him by with her ; but she pushed him violently from her, at the arm in his gigantic grasp. The object of his venthe same time repeating an incoherent vow of ven geance, however, did not submit unresistingly; they geance which she had only uttered a moment before. grappled, and Matty, by the alertness with which he

The place was lonely in the extreme; the mountain used his feet, brought his opponent to the ground. His Mhrew its shade upon them, and the perfect stillness of advantage, however, was but momentary. Codey was the evening was in solemn keeping with the scene. instantly on his feet again, and quickly convinced his This affected the mind of Matty; something like a adversary that the contest was unequal. Matty fell to prescience of evil passed through his mind; he felt as the ground like a thing lifeless, and Codey was preif he were unhappy; and, eager to shake off any im | paring to spurn him with his foot, when interrupted by

Billy Mulloy, who had opportunely arrived to save, | placed upon a pillion behind Billy Mulloy; the husband perhaps the life of his friend. He was in search of always delegating the care of his wife, on such occasome stray sheep, and happened to make this path his sions, to his bridesman. Mon exhorted them all to be way by the merest accident. Seeing two opposed to calm, to avoid running 'races, and to take care of their him, Codey sullenly withdrew, vowing however to take necks. This was good advice;' but it was fated, like at another time, ample revenge for the indignity which much better council elswhere, to be 'unheeded. No he said had been offered to his sister.

sooner were the horses heads fairly turned towards The events of this evening made a deep impression Bargie, than, as if by a general impulso, all set forward upon the mind of Matty; he had lived free of con- | | at full gallop; the road was soon abandoned for a tention of any kind, and was not conscious of having path of greater peril; and a stranger would have an enemy upon earth. One, however, had now started supposed that he was witnessing 'a stag-hunt, rather up quite unexpectedly; and he was not philosopher than the removal of a bride to her future home. In a enough to set at nought the busy whispers of the world. short time the mountain of Forth became visible; and, His moral principles might be impeached; and, as just as night fell, they reachad Kilmanan. The bridewomen, right or wrong, when they complain, are sure groom had here a new trial to go through. According of sympathy, he was wise enough to expect that po- | to an immemorial custom, every one on the occasion of pular opinion would be against him. Still he had a a hauling home, are privileged to pelt the new married duty to perform; he owed to himself, and to her whom man, with all their might, provided they use no other he had selected to be his partner in life, to act in this missile than cabbage stalks. Matty expected the unemergency as became a man upright and honourable. welcome storm; and, after many suggestions from his He accordingly set about making arrangements for the friends, resolved to run the gauntlet with all possible reception of his wife, and he found the bustle of active expedition; he therefore set off at full gallop; and at preparations, relieve him from the dejected thoughts first he was saluted by a solitary stalk, thrown from which had for some days preyed upon him. At length the cover of the hedge; another followed, and as he the eventful day arrived. Accompanied by a score approached the house the shower thickened. The air horsemen, and as many “ friends,” who rode double, resounded with laughter, and the poor sufferer had just he set out to claim the hand of his betrothed. The reached the bawn-gate, when something harder than a journey was performed in sober order; and soon after cabbage-stump struck him on the temple; he tumbled his arrival the blushing, beauteous bride was united to from his saddle; but unfortunately his foot caught in her sturdy husband. With a delicacy which might the stirrup, and, as the horse continued at full speed, afford to be imitated in higher stations, the bride he was taken up, in the bawn, in a state of insensiusually remains in Ireland for a few weeks after mar bility. riage in the house of her parents, and on the present Conjecture was now busy respecting the malicious occasion the good old custom was not departed from. person who threw the deadly missile; and the crime, Matty returned to look after his farm; and when the by general consent, was laid to the charge of Tommy usual interval between the wedding and the hauling- Codey; he was seen behind the hedge, exactly opposite home had past, Matty departed for his wife. He was where Matty fell; and, on witnessing the effect of the accompanied by his bridesman, Billy Mulloy, and blow, he hastily quitted the place. In the meantime about fifteen choice spirits, mounted in a manner cal- the bridegroom continued to grow worse. On a surculated to enable them to compete with the Carne geon being sent for, it was discovered that his left leg gallants who would, as a thing of course, accompany was broken, and his body contused in several places. their fair conntry-woman to the home of her husband. This was a sad conclusion to a day of gaiety; and nove The cavalcade proceeded in excellent order, stopping | had more cause to feel regret than Fanny; she was a for dock-a-dhurrus at every alehouse they past, until stranger in a house of mourning, her own sorrow was they reached the residence of Mon Cullen; here a forgotten in her affectionate attention to her husband, party was prepared to meet them, and all along the who, on his part, felt the pain of a fixed recumbent poroad which they had to travel nothing less was ex- sition considerably lessened by the caresses and care of pected than an equestrian trial of skill, between the a young and lovely wife. He knew his present pangs Kilmanan and the Carne “ boys." After much delay, would not endure; and when once more blessed with heartfelt regret, and affectionate tears, Fanny was health and the use of all his limbs, what joys were in


store for him! He was entering, as it' were, upon a f proof of Iris high opinion of Fanny's personal charms. new life, and he anticipated no future interruption: Fanny had now been at the Glen five or six weeks, With Fanny he could 'not be otherwise than happy and had' hardly stirred from her husband's bedside;

When his wounds were healed, and the doctor had he was now, however, getting quite stout, and he insistgiven assurance of a speedy recovery, a long absent ed upon her’accompanying Mary Codey to the pattern friend made his appearance at the Glen. It was the of Kilmanan, which, of course, always occurs upon a' . landlord, Mr. Healy. He had spent the last seven years holiday in the parish. He felt very lonely during her at Oxford, in London, and on the continent; and though absence, for she had by this time become necessary to a mere stripling when he quitted the country, he had his happiness; and he rejoiced when she returned. now returned in all the fulness of manhood. His fos- | 'There was even more than usual fondness in her cater-brother recognized him' at once'; but' he perceived resses; but he thought her cheek was flushed, and her with regret that time, and college, and travel, had eyes had that appearance which follows recent'weepwrought a sad change in his disposition. His language ing; he did not question her, however, but an incipient was no longer the same; it was composed of flash jealousy was awakened when he learnt next day that phrases, quite unintelligible to Matty; and, though by she had gone from the pattern to see Healy Hall. His no means fastidious, the oaths of the young squire sur- heart misgave him; he became restless and unhappy; prised him. His manner, too, was altered, and, as a fever ensued, and his recovery was considerably proMatty thought, for the worse; it had not that former tracted. When he was able to leave his bed, the familiar kindness in it which rendered him so dear to world had no charms for him; he looked upon every his foster-brother; it was haughty, distant, and calcu- | thing around his dwelling with a misanthropic eye, lated to impress upon his old play fellow a conscious and viewed Fanny with a fixed stare of indecision; he ness of inferiority. All this, however, might be right ; knew not whether he should love or hate. One so inMr. Healy was under the necessity, perhaps, of sup- nocently looking, so tender, and so pretty, ought to be porting the dignity of his station; and when he took his guiltless; but then her visit to Healy Hall, her condeparture from the Glen, the nurse, Rossiter, and Fanny cealing it from him, and her appearance and manner were loud in the praises of the squire ; his visit was on her return, gave testimony against her. Still he considered an honour; and, as the condescension of had only his suspicions; and, apprehensive of the greatness is sure to please, Matty offered no opposition " world's dread laugh,” and fearful of lowering Fanny to their laudations, but he felt that they were in part in her own estimation—in the estimation of her undeserved.

friends—he did not communicate to any living being In a few days a visitor of a very different description the thoughts that madly tortured him. Could he ascercame to the Glen, in all the flaunting finery of a rustic | tain the fact which he most dreaded, he imagined belle. When Mary Codey entered, all were filled with | he should be happy; dishonour itself, he fancied, surprise; but her manner was so kind, her regrets for would be preferable to the horrors of suspense. the past appeared so sincere, and her wishes to be con- He who suspects the fidelity of his wife, must be a sidered on her footing of former friendship expressed coward ; if he whispers his suspicions to a living with so much earnéstness, that she found herself quickly being, and these prove unfounded, he stands through restored to the good opinion of her neighbours. Matty life a conspicuous thing for the finger of scorn to point was glad to see her under such circumstances; it re- at; he puts his domestic happiness in jeopardy ; and lieved him from many unpleasant apprehensions, and he runs the risk of forfeiting the affection of her he would convince the censorious that he had not wronged wrongs. And then his children !—This is what her. To Fanny, Mary was particularly attentive ; and makes the jealous man additionally miserable; he is on a disposition so confiding and unsuspecting, her prof. compelled to seem to be what he is not; he becomes a fers of friendship and regard made a forcible impres hypocrite, and affects a friendship for those he loathes sion. She was now constant in her visits; and the and detests. The world is to him a place of torture ; young squire came almost every day; he praised Fan- and, if wanting in moral courage, he naturally seeks, in ny's beauty much more than Matty desired; but when an unhallowed death, an escape from mental torturehe snatched a kiss from her, one day before his depar- the worst, the most poignant of sufferings. ture, the anger of the husband had almost overcome | Matty found himself in this situation; the squire was the habitual deference of the foster-brother. Still it almost daily in his visits ; his attentions to Fanny were was only in accordance with his wild manner, and a marked and unseemly, but still the husband spoke rot;

he indirectly mentioned the circumstance to his mother, During all this time Fanny exhibited towards her but she ridiculed his suspicion, and he had not the husband the most tender affection; but in her presence courage again to allude to it. In the mean time the he preserved an obstinate silence; several times she alteration in his looks and manner did not escape the attempted to address him, but he either commanded observation of his neighbours; and, while he thought her to desist, or abrubtly left her. When she presented that his wife was virtuous in others, if not in his the baby for a kiss, he frowned, and turned away; own, he was maddened to find that he was looked upon | aud when she wept, he never offered consolation. by all as one consuming with unavowed jealousy—as a The general discontent now burst forth in open reman deeply injured by one who ought to have been the bellion; but Matty was at first indifferent to the events last to injure him in so tender a part. Still he affected which were passing around him. During the first week ignorance; and when Fanny presented to him her first of the insurrection, Fanny was one day missed at born, his heart was softened: he caressed the babe dinner; nurse Rossiter had the child, but no mother with a father's fondness, but, on suddenly turning round, appeared. The family was in great alarm, and all ke caught Mary Codey laughing at him, behind his were on the point of going out in search of her, when back. He looked again at the infant, and thought he | Mary Codey entered. There was a smile of exultation recognized in its unsettled features the exact picture of on her face, and turning towards Matty, she said, his foster-brother; he dropt it upon the bed, hurried | jeeringly, “ Rossiter, where is your Barnyforth wife out of the house, and, in a state of distraction, | now?” wandered into the fields; but he could not escape from “Where!” exclaimed the unhappy man, starting up the suspicions that haunted him. He threw himself on his feet. upon the ground, started up, and again sunk to the L “ In the squire's arms, Matty! in the squire's arm !" earth. Night fell around and he thought not of home. she replied ; “ Ha, is Mary Codey revenged, Matty ?', Exhausted by his own phrenzy, he lay motionless upon But he wanted not to gratify her revenge; he the earth; and was net conscious of any one being snatched his pistol, and ran to Healy Hall; here present, when he was foreibly lifted from the ground, a however, he could find no traces of his wife; but he bandage placed on his eyes, and his hair, with con learnt enough to convince him, that his long cherished siderable adroitness, was cut close to his head. He suspicions were but too well founded. A flood of offered hardly any resistance; but when left alone, a bitter tears relieved his heart, and, while the paroxysm new direction was given to his thoughts. He had been was on him, Billy Mulloy, in the dress of an insurimportuned to enter into the society of United Irish- gent officer, paid him a visit. Treason could not men, and as they knew each other by the shortness of approach him at a moment better calculated to secure their hair, he imagined it was a party of the conspira admission into his breast; he hurried to Wexford, and, tors who had thus admitted him, without his consent, as the man who had dishonoured him was a Protestant, a member of the body. Next day, when the squire he was easily persuaded to look upon all the professors visited the Glen, he playfully removed Matty's hat, and of that creed as enemies. His natural humanity gave then laughingly exelaimed, “ A Cropry!” and Croppy | way to momentary rage: he exceeded the most sankenceforth was the title by which Rossiter was known guinary in the dreadful excesses of the day, and, from throughout the country, a sobriquet which was sub the savage ferocity he exhibited, a band of ruffians sequently extended to the insurgents of 1798.

chose him for their leader. While busy with the work This new insult aroused Matty to a sudden ebullition of destruction on Wexford Bridge, a voice from the of feeling; he spoke sharply to his landlord; and, for crowd, exclaimed, “ Matty Rossiter, where is your once, indulged in the idea of seeking revenge, by wife?removing the object of his suspicions. His whole soul “ Where?” he demanded, turning round, and Mary was absorbed in this feeling: at first it was delightful: Codey stood before him. it served to give now energy to his mind; but reflection I “ At Healy Hall,” she replied. warned him of the sin and danger that attended such “ You tould me so afore an lied," said he. an act; and when he was on the point of perpetrating “No,” said she; I sed Fanny was in the squire's the dreadful deed, the pistol dropt from his hand: arms, but did not stay at Healy Hall. She is there kolier and kinder thoughts occured, and he escaped now, however, Matty.” the crime of having stained his hands in the blood of “ The Captain is an injured man,” cried the mob, Site foster-brother.

| and as he made a movement to depart, a host of

people volunteered to accompany him. As they | shrieks of Fanny and the fearful buzz of the enraged passed up John-street, Mary's voice was heard from populace. the church-yard, exclaiming, “ Matty Rossiter, am I In a few minutes the work of destruction was acrevenged ?"

complished; the Croppy was borne away by his fol. At Healy Hall they were refused admittance; but lowers, and the unhappy Fanny was carried senseless resistance only increased their resolution to enter to the house of a neighbour. It now appeared that The place was regularly besieged; and while the in- she was sinless and stainless. Mary Codey had wormed surgents were busy breaking in the front door, Matty herself into her confidence, in the hope of accomgained admission by a back window, every part of the plishing her ruin, and had agreed to betray her into mansion being long familiar to him. Hurrying up the power of Healy, although that thoughtless young stairs with the fury of an, enraged tiger, he met Mr. man had been her own paramour. On the day of the Healey descending. They grappled, and both rolled | pattern, an unsuccessful attempt was made on Fanny's down together into the passage.

honour ; and the abduction which followed, might “ Hold, Matty, hold ! don't you know me--your have been prevented, had Matty listened to or sought own foster-brother?" said the squire piteously. an explanation. The squire, availing himself of the

“ Know you? Yes!" replied the enraged Matty; opportunities afforded him by his privilege of visiting “ I have a right to know you.” And he struck him his nurse, persecuted her with his detestable passion, with his pistol on the temple.-" This hour is mine," until, seeing that her virtue was impregnable, he came he continued, “ and now for revenge.”

to the resolution of possessing himself of her person by But just as he was about to pull the trigger of the force. Events prevented the full accomplishment of levelled pistol, Fanny, her dress torn, and her hair his design, and though she loathed the wretch, she did streaming about her face, rushed between her hus- | not wish her husband to become a murderer. She was band and his victim. “ No murder!" she exclaimed; | faint with grief, watching, and apprehension, and the “ Matty, dear Matty, no murder! Your poor Fanny blow given her by Matty. The scene which she witis safe.”

nessed at Healy Hall, eventually deprived her of 6 Strumpet!" he cried, and he madly struck her to reason. She wandered through the country for some the ground, as he strode past her to reach the squire. time, neglected; and, when found by her afflicted At this moment the door gave way, amidst the cheers father, she was reduced to a skeleton: all traces of of the assailants; and Mr. Healy, yielding to a sudden | her former loveliness had vanished, and an early grave dread, cried out, “ Matty, save me!" An insurgent hid her from the world. hand was upon him; but such is the strangeness of | The unfortunate Cropry performed many acts of man's nature, the individual who was about to slay, madness during the rebellion ; and on its cessation, he nów proved a protector. “ He is my victim," said | betook himself to the fastnesses of the country, and Matty, firmly. “ The bridge of Wexford!" shouted joined the “ babes in the wood.” Weary with a life the people. “No-here, here!” cried Tommy Codey, abhorrent to his feelings, he wandered home; but the who now suddenly appeared among them; “ the heirs of Healy had levelled his once happy dwelling.' wretch,” said he, “ has ruined half the women in the

Q half the women in the | He sat upon the ruins, and if his reflections had less country.--My sister," he continued, turning to the sublimity than those of Marius amidst the fallen cocrowd, “ was good and virtuous, till he poisoned her lumns of Carthage, they were more heart-rending; mind, and brought shame upon the name of Codey." they were of a domestic nature, and he had nothing to The cry of immediate vengeance then grew louder, for expect from posterity. His injured wife was already the nice sense of female honour maintained amongst | dead, and his mother was not expected to survive her the Irish peasantry, fills them with detestation against many months. On the following day he surrendered the violators of it. The “ Croppy," as Matty was now himself to a magistrate ; and, as his conduct on the called, resolved to defend his foster-brother-at least bridge of Wexford was notorious, he received from a from instant destruction; but the mal-contents were | court-martial, sentence of death. On his way to the not to be disappointed of their prey; they pressed felon's gallows, a voice from the crowd exclaimed, forward, and soon overpowered all opposition. The « Matty, I am revenged!" He turned round-Marý groans of the unhappy man, as the multitude were Codey met his eye. He raised his eye to heaven, and trampling life out of him, mingled dismally with the passed firmly on.

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