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which he can cast not only his shillings or his | curate over a considerable portion of Ireland;
crowns, but every fragment of his skill, every half hour of his time, and every spare end of his strength.
We do not intend to run over the thousand pages of the Devon Commission's report relating to Ulster for evidence to support these positions. The entire volume is their proof. However strange it may sound in England and Scotland, yet the farmers of Ulster are joint proprietors to the extent of one-third in its soil. They have acquired that property by inheritance, by labour, or capital. It is protected by the custom of the country, by the conviction of many landowners that it works well for them, and by the fears of others. The agent of one nobleman states in his evidence that any attempt to destroy the tenantright would convert Down into a Tipperary. Another gentleman intimates that a general infringement of the custom would cover the country with confusion and blood. A third declares that all the bayonets of the British army could not accomplish its abolition. The proprietors whose evidence is given acknowledge the tenants' claim to this property, and express a very favourable opinion of the practice. And yet the statute law of the realm declines to recognize it, while the Legislature commit the obvious blunder of leaving capital diffused over a hundred thousand persons, and amounting in the aggregate to ten millions, without the slightest legal shield.
There is one passage which we wish to quote from the evidence of Lieut.-Colonel Blacker of Armagh, page 457.
"I have known land paying 25s. an acre bring £15 for the Tenant right. For one farm on my property, near my house, of five acres, I knew £100 given without a lease. I never was more surprised in my life than when the young man that held it, and could not keep it, came to me and said, Sir, I can get £100 for that farm of mine.' I thought the fellow was telling a lie. I mounted my horse and went to the man that he said had promised to give it him, and said, 'Did you promise that man £100 for his farm? and he said, 'Sir, I would give it him to night before to-morrow;' and he did, and there was no lease. I gave the man a lease, and he is now about to sell, and there is a competition amongst those who would give him £100 for it again. There is meadow attached to it."
In the Times of Monday, the 21st December last, there are the following sentences:
"In that country (Ireland) your occupier is generally a man of straw. That is at least the rule. His stock is small, compact, and moveable. He can sell, or lend, or conceal, at an hour's notice. Poor as he is, he contrives to look still poorer. so that a distraint always wears the invidious aspect of skinning a flint."
We make one further quotation from this Report, to flank the last extract, and take it from an occupier's evidence, page 399:
"I ought to state, perhaps, that every particle of improvement, every stone upon my farm and every slate was put together by myself, and every drain was made and every tree planted out of my own pocket, and I did it with great confidence; because, when I purchased, I paid a very high value for what I got, and I considered that I
was to have the same right to remuneration."
and, as regards a large portion of the country, it must be absolutely false. The surprising contrast is caused by this Tenant-right. In those provinces where it does not prevail, the farmer has no inducement to improve land without a lease, but with the assurance that demands for additional rent will follow all his exertions like shadows. The burden of Ireland becomes heavier year by year. Money is drained from the trea sury for the execution of idle works, undertaken to prevent the starvation of thousands. Men are paid to cut up roads, merely for the purpose of giving them charity through apparent employment; and the land remains untilled, and millions of acres unreclaimed, because the landlords cannot, while, without security, the farmers will not expend money, The Legislature alone can create this security; and yet, in each successive session, it trembles to approach the subject-hesitates to grapple with the monstrous evil, although Ireland is now "the greatest difficulty" not merely of the Premier, but of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Parliament has only to pass a Tenants' Compensation Bill, to provide security for the repayment of future labour and outlay to the tenantry, if they be ejected from their buildings, in order to secure ample employment without Government intervention. A measure of this nature would soon create a tenant-right in every part of Ireland, and produce similar consequences to those resulting from the custom of Ulster. But there, a similar or a greater necessity exists for legislative intervention. The present proprietors may respect the tenants' portion in the soil; but it does not follow that mortgagees, residing at a distance, and having no personal feeling on the subject, will be equally just. And it is said that notices to foreclose fourteen hundred mortgages have been given in the past year. The farmers of Ulster are naturally anxious on this subject, for attempts have been repeatedly made to erase this right; and although defeated by outrage or the determination evinced by the people, yet, except the open robbery of the funds accumulated by lives of toil and anxiety-often the sole inheritance and dependence of widows and orphans-nothing can be worse in the circumstances of any land, than a feeling that there is a power above the law, formed and crowned by the law's negligence. Ireland presents many difficulties; and not the least singular amongst its social phenomena is this agrarian co-partnership of the tenant with the landlord-existing for a century and a half— increasing through each successive generation in value and magnitude, until it represents an enormous capital, and yet unprotected by any statute, and having no sanction except the broad shield of public opinion. England may grumble at Ireland's weakness, and the demands made on the exchequer by her recurring years of famine— but these drafts must increase, until the Legisla ture gives to the property of the poor the same guarantee, by law, that protects and covers the
The statement of the Times may be nearly ac-riches of the wealthy.
BY JOHN MERWYL,
which timely help he hoped, he said, to save his brother and perhaps enable him to repair all his losses. These sums were, likewise, contained in a portmanteau-a circumstance which explained why these gentlemen preferred sitting on them, rough and uneasy as the seats might be, rather than trust them to the vigilance of their own eyes.
"Since we have such dangerous charges under our
On a beautiful autumnal day of the year 17-, several wayfarers met at a little Inn, in a small town of Franconia, not far distant from the borders of the Rhine. The French Revolution had already begun, but was not yet at its climax of terror. The pernicious effects, however, of its example and spirit had spread over Germany, making it more unsettled and unsafe than it was previously, and thus rendering travelling a matter of no small risk to those whose fortunes and positions debarred them from a nume-care," said the elder gentleman to his neighbour, "were rous attendance, and the comfort of their own carriages. it not better to become companions on the road until we Public conveyances in those days there were none, or such reach the point where our ways must part? The times are as were of a description not to be lightly chosen or trusted. bad, and the people not better; and in number, you know, The usual mode of transporting oneself from one place to there is security." another was on horseback, and glad were those whom business called from their own fireside, to find companions on their lonesome journey, willingly associating with such chance acquaintances as they met on their way, that seemed trustworthy enough to be allowed to share the perils of the long dreary roads of Germany, and of the unfrequent and lonely inns they were so often obliged to put up with,
"I am by no means anxious," said the bookseller, "for my horse is good and fleet, and I would trust to him for my safety were danger at hand; but it will, nevertheless, be a great pleasure to me to have such agreeable society as will, I doubt not, dissipate the weariness of the journey-my Dorothea will be glad, I am sure, to know I have fallen in with such respectable company."
The thought might, at the same time, cross the young
of an attack, should the robbers meet with such a piece of resistance as the heavy, well-fed steward might prove; so true is it that love of self is never for an instant absent from man's breast.
"Gentlemen," said a discordant, harsh voice, that seemed to start from their elbows, and which first proved to them their effusions had not been without listeners, a fact somewhat disconcerting, "I am quite of your opinion; the more the merrier, and the safer too. am journeying, I believe, along the same road: I readily propose myself as an addition to your number."
In the low, scantily-furnished, dirty stube of that al-man's mind how much it would facilitate his flight, in case ready mentioned might be easily distinguished, among the bours crowding the room, two travellers of the sort we have already alluded to, indulging in the substantial comforts of a hearty meal. They sat at the upper end of a long table, on which were deposited sundry pots of beer, "My horse may not seem very bright, or young," said infallible accompaniments to the pipes which constitute the steward, "indeed how should it?-the Count of the solace of a German's relaxation. It was evident, by Rantzau affords me no better beasts than those, unthe style of their conversation, that, although thrown to-worthy any longer of his own stables, he turns out to gether by accident, they had made much progress on the grass; but knowing what occasion I might have for his road to friendship, having already entered upon the chapter services, I have tried, for some time past, what high feedof confidences. Either drawn on by secret sympathy, or ing would do for my Klepper." by the pleasure most people find in talking about themselves, and enlarging on their own affairs, certain it is they talked more loudly, and carelessly, than prudence warranted, considering place and time; unless, indeed, they fancied the thick smoke sent forth from many pipes, forming so dense an atmosphere around them, might no less dull the ear than it clouded the sight. Be that as it may, any curious listener might easily have become aware that the tall, corpulent, old gentleman, whose large stomach and ruddy cheeks proved his devotedness to good cheer, and who handled his large ivory-headed whip with such an air of self-importance, was no other than the re-sonage. At first glance one would immediately have set spectable steward of the Count of Rantzau, and that, having collected his master's rents on the large estates he possessed in the vicinity, he was carrying in his portmanteau this important sum to his lord, who then dwelt in a somewhat distant residence-town. The florid, rosy youth, opposite to him, with sentimental blue eyes and puffy cheeks, was a young bookseller of N—, who had but lately married the divinity of his college years. He had been called from her side by an important and painful circumstance-his only brother, likewise a bookseller in a Rhenian town, being on the eve of bankruptcy—and he was hurrying to him with a large sum, the produce not only of his own little property, but what he had been able to collect among numerous friends and relations; by
VOL. XIV.NO. CLVII.
The Germans now looked more closely at the speaker, whose strong accent, although he spoke German fluently, betrayed, no less than his manners and person, his outlandish origin. He was, indeed, a singular looking per
him down as a hunchback ; but on closer inspection, it was found that this impression was merely produced by the great disproportion between his large, ill-shaped head, square shoulders, long swinging arms, and his singularly short and attenuated under limbs. His countenance was no less striking than his person, and certainly nature had not bestowed it upon him as a compensation. It bore a mixture of the ludicrous and the fierce; and, although he contrived to shade his face as much as possible, with his large, three-cornered hat, he could not neutralise the effect of his sharp, eager black eyes, that shone through the hazy atmosphere with fatiguing brilliancy and restlessHis complexion was of the darkest tint, and almost made the honest Germans suspect him of being a Zingare; Ꭰ .
although his large mouth, hooked nose, and pointed chin, strongly reminded them of an Italian Punchinello. His voice was as discordant as his features; and there was a fidgetiness in his whole being, which, evidently, nothing but the deep interest he took in his neighbours' conversation could control. His apparel was so worn and threadbare as to add to the distrust so unfavourable an exterior was likely to produce; and, doubtless, the steward would at once have negatived his proposal, but for two things, which, after a somewhat protracted deliberation, his mind managed to encompass. The first was, the stranger was not without his own treasures, or, at least, what might be supposed to contain such—namely, two preposterously large saddle-bags, and another singularly elongated package, on which his eyes ever and anon rested with great complacency. Secondly, the old man thought that if there were any danger in the man's company, he could not avoid it, even by a refusal. Slowly, therefore, and not without evident reluctance, he assented-a reluctance, however, which the stranger by no means seemed willing to notice. True, he was more chary of his affairs than the Germans had been, and contented himself with informing them that he was an Italian by birth, and anxiously awaited by a partner (but in what business he did not say) in the very town where the Count of Rantzau dwelt, and whither the old steward and his well-stuffed portmanteau were journeying. The conversation soon flagged, for the Germans did not feel comfortable with their new acquaintance, whose vivacity, besides, lay more in gestures than words; the boors were growing noisy and disputacious over their beer, the room stifling, and the travellers tired; so they prudently resolved to seek their rest early, that they might rise by times, having a long day's work before them.
Their host now gave them the news that there was but one room free in the house, in which, however, there being many beds, they could all three be easily accommodated. To this the travellers made no sort of objection; indeed, they were too much accustomed to such difficulties on the road not to make light of them; and after having seen to the comforts of their brutes, they withdrew together to their apartment.
The Germans soon found it more difficult to sleep than they had anticipated. The little foreigner, far from being inclined to seek his bed, went prying about into every corner of the room, looked out at the windows, and opened the doors, as if it were for the mere purpose of shutting them again, walked to and fro with a hasty step, and contrived to knock about, or move every piece of furniture in the chamber. Nor, when he at last condescended to lie down, did his restlessness cease; his bed creaked in accompaniment to the rustling of his curtains, which he seemed to take a particular delight in pulling backwards and forwards. A mischievous child could not have been a more tiresome or inconvenient companion to the sleepy Germans than their vivacious little acquaintance.
In consequence of their troubled slumbers, the sun was high when they awoke the next morning. The Italian had already left the apartment, and our two friends had no time to lose if they would avoid being too late on the road. They began to hope their doubtful companion, displeased at their dilatoriness, had left them behind; but they were soon undeceived by finding him quietly established at the ong table of the public room, where they had supped the
previous evening, and on which the hostess was now depositing a comfortable morning repast, On contemplating the meagre fare of the Italian, but too much in harmony with the state of his habiliments, the Germans were prompted by their good nature to offer him a share of their own breakfast, which he joyfully accepted; they bore him, doubtless, no small grudge for his wakefulness of the preceding night, but they contented themselves with the determination of banishing him from their room for the future, and otherwise treated him as cordially as before.
They proceeded with very few halts through the whole of a long, weary day, emerging from woods merely to enter forests, with little or no variety of view, and were but seldom cheered by the sound or sight of human habitation; for villages in those parts were rare and far between. When the young bookseller had sufficiently expatiated on the excellencies of his Dorothea, on the poetry of their past love, and their bright hopes for the future, and when he had made his friends admire the tobacco bag, wrought in pearls by her fair hand, expressly for his present trip, he had nothing more to say; and the old steward had not sufficient breath to speak and ride at the same time, so that the journey would have been dull indeed but for their associate the Italian. He now talked as glibly and as unceasingly as might have been expected from the vivacity of his temperament. Contrary to most men, he did not entertain his listeners about himself, and his immediate concerns; but having travelled much, as it appeared, he had no end of the most diverting anecdotes to tell. The castle of the noble, the palace of the Prince, or the common hostelry of the town, seemed equally familiar to him, and he laid the scenes of his stories with equal pleasure in either. He added greatly to the charm of these recitals by the inconceivable rapidity of articulation and gesture, the quaint grimaces, and broken German with which the whole was delivered. So ludicrous was the light he threw on all things, and so comical his own individuality, that he kept his companions in a perpetual roar of laughter; what alone prevented that confidence to establish itself between them, which is generally the result of merriment, was that ever and anon the Italian (and, as it seemed, more from habit than design) assumed in his manners something lofty and mysterious, which contrasted so strangely with the light strain of the moment, that it inspired the Germans with strange doubts and fears; and the idea of the supernatural more than once crossed their simple minds.
"Ah! is it you, pretty Mary?" said the old steward, greeting cordially the squalid female.
saldle-bags hanging over his shoulders-though his action | attracted by the noise of the horses' hoofs, appeared at was as wild and uncouth as his form, yet his courage the threshold. This, of course, put an end to further disseemed to augment with the necessity for it. With a cussion; but the travellers saw at a glance, that the long, tearing trot, nostrils snuffing the air, and eyes as building, though large, was in bad repair, and denoted luminous and strange as his rider's, he seemed expressly either great misery or neglect. created for his use; and as he gradually gained upon his companions, the whole apparition gliding through the dark firs, had something in it, to them, truly fantastic. The Germans, on their side, spurred on their beasts so unsparingly-for they by no means relished the notion of being left behind in the forest-that they succeeded in joining him just at the point where a clearing had been made, and emerging into better light, they saw him quietly surveying the prospect from the top of his saddle, where he sat perched somewhat after the fashion of an ape. He was evidently waiting for them.
"I think," said he, as soon as they came within hearing, "it is time to decide on our plans for the evening, for it is rapidly advancing."
You are right,” said the old teward, who, panting and breathless, had his own reasons, however, for not suffering any one else to take the lead on this occasion. *Look there to the right; a little nearer to the next wood than that we have just left; do you not see a large farm-like building? It is an inn; and, though one of a somewhat inferior order, no doubt we shall find very tolerable accommodation for the night."
**It is a lonely-looking place,” said the foreigner, after examining it for a moment in silence, and all inns are not safe as times go."
"It seems to be in a very dilapidated state," added the bookseller. "I am afraid we shall get but very poor fare."
"And," continued the Italian, his eye quickly glancing over the whole prospect, and finding nowhere the trace of human industry or habitation, except the miserable dwelling which the old steward had pointed out to his attention, I cannot help thinking it would be safer to continue our journey a few miles further, than to put up at a place of so very uninviting and suspicious an appear
This exclamation caused the other two to gaze with more curiosity at the woman who stood before them ;there was little, however, to justify the epithet "pretty," so generously granted her by her old acquaintance. Poverty, ill health, and their invariable concomitant, filth, seemed to have done their worst for her. Her sharp, thin features, pallid yet sallow complexion, and wasted figure, not much improved by the dirty habiliments hanging loosely around it, did not betray even the past existence of those charms to which their companion so confidently alluded. Her eyes, alone-large, black, and lustrous-might have been a redeeming point in her face, had not the dark, heavy shades which ill health, or other causes, had drawn beneath them, and the bold yet repulsive expression they imparted to her whole countenance, diminished their beauty. The child was a faithful copy of herself; and it was evident, whatever the influence that had blasted the parent tree, it had likewise wasted the bud before its opening.
"You come, doubtless,' "said she, "to rest here this night? Will you please to alight, gentlemen." without calling any other assistance, she offered, herself, to hold their horses, by which attention, however, her old friend the steward was the only one willing to profit. She tried to throw a bold coquetry in her manners, evidently more the effect of habit than of her present humour, and which would even have impaired loveliness, had she possessed any share of it. She now invited her guests to enter the public room, bidding the child to show them the way whilst she prepared to lead the horses round to the stables.
"It is strange," muttered the Italian, as he gazed after her, "strange that there are no ostlers, or help of any kind to be seen."
"Poor girl!" mused the steward aloud; "her husband "If our beasts were not so jaded, I should partly be of has not, it seems, grown more laborious or kind with your opinion," said the bookseller. time. I dare say it is like of old-she has all the fag and he all the profit.”
“Nonsense!” interrupted the old German. It is not the first time I have passed here. I know the inn well, and the people who keep it,-the woman of the house I have, indeed, been acquainted with for many a long year. Poor, pretty Mary!" he added musingly.
Then you think the place quite safe?" said his young companion. If it were not for that, I should be myself of opinion to take our chance in the next wood."
“Ay," said the Italian; "though if there be danger in the house, there would be danger in the forest; but we might easily, by leaving the open road, give them the change on our movements."
"Yes," said the steward; "and pass the night uselessly in the open air. Come, gentlemen, I tell you I know the house and the people well, and take all the responsibility upon myself;" and, spurring his horse forward, he was reluctantly followed by his two companions.
After having ridden on silently for more time than they could have supposed necessary to clear the space between the place where they had stood and the lonely house, they palled up at the very moment when a woman and a child,
The boy pointed to a low door to the left, the lock of which was too high for him to reach; the travellers opened it, and entered a large room of very unpromising appearance. The small, ill-shaped window panes were too deeply encrusted with filth to allow a sight of what there might be without; the benches and tables, of the coarsest description, were broken, and so indented with knives, and here and there so evidently burnt by the unsnuffed candles of careless night-watchers, that there could be little doubt left on the minds of the lookers on, but the room must often have been the scene of drunken brawls and shameless revelry. Each man involuntarily drew his treasures nearer to him, and felt chilled by the want of comfort and regularity visible everywhere about them. The hostess had hardly entered the room when her eye was attracted by the objects her guests were so cautiously guarding.
You are heavily laden, sir," she said, addressing the elder traveller. "The Count of Rantzau will not be sorry when he sees the contents of your portmanteau. Every penny of it due by this time, I'll warrant you,”
"Very likely, pretty Mary," answered the steward, the Italian silently crept out of the room; so that the without an attempt at evasion; "but let us not busy our-party was obliged to wait for his return before being lighted selves about my master's affairs; let us rather speak of up stairs.
your own, my good girl. You look fagged and ill, and seem to have all the work yourself—your husband, doubtless, is as lazy and drunken as ever?"
The woman looked displeased, and cut short the colloquy by the usual inquiries about what they would want for supper; but the travellers soon perceived these questions were merely for form's sake, and that they would be obliged to put up with whatever their hostess had in the house, which was not much.
"We scarcely expect travellers so late in the season, particularly on week days, and are, therefore, but ill provided," said the hostess; "we have no meat in the house; but if a good beer soup, quite warm, sausages, and sourcraute and melchpies, will content you, I will soon prepare your supper."
When he came in again, his companions immediately communicated to him the determination they had taken during his absence, and that he must be content with occupying a separate chamber. A smile passed over the stranger's countenance.
"At any rate, you will permit, I suppose," said he, "that our rooms communicate?"
"Of course, of course," replied the steward, bowing politely, but mentally resolving that the door of communication should be bolted.
Their hostess now taking the light, preceded them up a large, old, wooden staircase, from which they emerged upon a covered gallery running along the front and two wings of the house; and though the night was coming on very dark, they could perceive that the view was on a farm yard. They passed numerous doors and windows of chambers giving on this gallery, which evidently had not been in much request of late, for the doors were half un
"Well, if you have nothing better, serve us that, and quickly," replied the steward, who had taken upon himself the office of spokesman on all such occasions. "I thought so," sighed the bookseller; "our fare will hinged, and every now and then swung backwards and not be over bright."
forwards as the wind, now rising in the forest, came "It is a somewhat out-of-the-way place to expect whistling through the large desolate building. Mary much," answered Mary's friend apologetically, considering stopped at one of the last of these in the front part of the himself obliged in conscience to make the best of every- Inn; it seemed in better condition than the rest, and was thing, since it was he who had enticed his friends to put probably that of the rooms most in use. Her key soon up with such wretched accommodation; a feeling which opened it, and she lighted the strangers in. The apartenabled him to conceal his own chargin, when, after in- ment consisted of two uncomfortably large rooms, with tolerable delays, the promised supper appeared, and proved many beds, but scanty furniture, and a most disagreeable uneatable. It was served up by the hostess herself, who superabundance of doors and windows. On the whole, a tried, but in vain, to reanimate the spirits of her guests. more gloomy affair could not easily be conceived. It Her jests fell coldly on the ear of the disappointed and struck chill even to the heart of the steward; but the hungry steward, and her affectation of girlish coquetry hostess cut short the expostulations she saw hovering on was unheeded by the young German, who felt incon- the old man's lips, by assuring him these were her very ceivably repulsed by her whole appearance, almost shud- | best rooms, and she had none other ready in the house. dering when his eye accidentaly met hers. The Italian's vivacity had quite forsaken him since he had entered the house, but his eye was constantly resting on Mary's, who by no means shrank from its keen penetrating expression. He had before supper, as usual, been prowling about the premises, and, after having satisfied his appetite with dry bread and a cake of chocolate, which he drew from his Pocket, he again became restless. Regardless of the 4ostess's presence, he rose, and crossing deliberately the apartment, was about to open a door, evidently leading to a room beyond; but scarcely was his hand upon the lock, when a gruff voice from within warned him away; he came back, silently and crest-fallen, to the table.
"That's Peter Stieber by the voice," said the steward, looking at the woman. "Ay, pretty Mary, you might have done better, indeed; but you have had your own way, and I am not the only one who has been sorry for you."
"I am satisfied with my fate," she answered, looking with distrust towards the door of the room whence the voice proceeded.-"Come, gentlemen, do you wish to retire ?"
"Do not forget to ask her for two rooms," whispered the bookseller to the steward, for he felt an unconquerable reluctance to speak to the woman himself; "remember last night."
"True," said the other with a sapient nod of the head, "I had nearly forgotten;" and, whilst he was explaining his wishes to "pretty Mary," as he continued to call her,
"Well," said he, as they are not very gay, and our supper was not over plentiful, we really want something to cheer us up-some nice warm evening cup, such as you once knew how to prepare so well, and used to call my night cup, you pretty rogue, do you remember?" and the hand of her former acquaintance would have volunteered the paternal caress of other days, but Mary shrunk from it as if it had been a blow.
"I will bring you something over which to smoke your pipes;" and, having lighted a couple of tallow candles that were on the table, she withdrew.
The bookseller had kindly taken charge of the singularly elongated package that excited so much solicitude in the Italian's breast, whilst the latter groaned under the weight of his two enormous saddle bags.
"It is very light for so long a thing," said the bookseller, putting his burthen on the table as he spoke; it was a mere nothing to pop it under my arm; here goes what is heavier-that's my portmanteau."
"And here goes what's as heavy," said the steward, following his example by depositing his load on the table, whilst the Italian piled his bags by the side.
"One might almost think," said the younger German, "that there was no other living creature in the house but this dark-looking woman. I never saw so desolate an Inn."
"I have my reasons for believing it less lonely than you imagine," replied the Italian. If there was no