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she was a stranger in a foreign country, I thought it but right to speak cheerful to her, so I went back again to the bonfires. “ My lady,” says I, as she crossed the hall, “ there would have been fifty times as many, but for fear of the horses and frightening your ladyship: Jason and I forbid them, please your honour.” With that she looked at me a little bewildered. “ Will I have a fire lighted in the state room to-night?” was the next question I put to her, but never a word she answered, so I concluded she could not speak a word of English, and was from foreign parts. The short and the long of it was I couldn't tell what to make of her; so I left her to herself, and went straight down to the servants' hall to learn something for certain about her. Sir Kit's own man was tired, but the groom set him a talking at last, and we had it all out before ever I closed my eyes that night. The bride might well be a great fortune -she was a Jewish by all accounts, who are famous for their great riches. I had never seen any of that tribe or nation before, and could only gather, that she spoke a strange kind of English of her own, that she could not abide pork or sausages, and went neither to church or mass. Mercy upon his honour's poor soul, thought I; what will become of him and his, and all of us, with his heretic blackamoor at the head of the Castle Rackrent estate! I nerer slept a wink all night for thinking of it; but before the servants I put my pipe in my mouth, and kept my mind to myself; for I had a great regard for the family; and after this, when strange gentlemen's servants
came to the house, and would begin to talk about the bride, I took care to put the best foot foremost, and passed her for a nabob in the kitchen, which accounted for her dark complexion and every thing.
The very morning after they came home, however, I saw how things were plain enough between Sir Kit and my lady, though they were walking together arm in arm after breakfast, looking at the new building and the improvements. “Old Thady,” said my master, just as he used to do, - how do
do ?” Very well, I thank your honour’s honour,” said I; but I saw he was not well pleased, and my in my
mouth I walked along after him. " Is the large room damp, Thady?” said his honour. Oh, damp, your honour! how should it but be as dry as a bone,” says I, “after all the fires we have kept in it day and night? it's the barrack room your honour's talking on.”
“ And what is a barrack-room, pray, my dear?” were the first words I ever heard out of my lady's lips. “ No matter, my dear !” said he, and went on talking to me, ashamed like I should witness her ignorance. To be sure, to hear her talk one might have taken her for an innocent, for it was, “ what's this, sir Kit? and what's that, sir Kit?” all the way we went. To be sure, sir Kit had enough to do to answer her.
" And what do you call that, sir Kit ? ” said she, that, that looks like a pile of black bricks, pray, sir Kit ?” stack, my dear,” said my master, and bit his lip. Where have you lived, my lady, all your life, not to know a turf stack when you see it, thought I, but I
said nothing. Then, by-and-bye, she takes out her glass, and begins spying over the country. “ And what's all that black swamp out yonder, sir Kit?”
My bog, my dear,” says he, and went on whistling “ It's a very ugly prospect, my dear,”
“ You don't see it, my dear,” says he, “ for we've planted it out, when the trees grow up in summer time,” says he. 66 Where are the trees,” said she, “my dear?” still looking through her glass. “ You are blind," my dear, says
« what are these under your eyes?” “ These shrubs,” said she. “ Trees,” said he. May be they are what you
call trees in Ireland, my dear,” said she; “ but they are not a yard high, are they?” They were planted out but last year, my lady,” says I, to soften matters between them, for I saw she was going the way to make his honour mad with her? "
they are very
well grown for their age, and you'll not see the bog of Allyballycarricko'shaughlin at-all-at-all through the skreen, when once the leaves come out. But, my lady, you must not quarrel with any part or parcel of Allyballycarricko'shaughlin, for you don't know how many hundred years that same bit of bog has been in the family; we would not part with the bog of Allyballycarricko'shaughlin upon no account at all; it cost the late Sir Murtagh two hundred good pounds to defend his title to it and boundaries against the O'Leary's, who cut a road through it.” Now one would have thought this would have been hint enough for my lady, but she fell to laughing like one out of their right mind, and made me say the name
of the bog over for her to get it by heart, a dozen times - then she must ask me how to spell it, and what was the meaning of it in English-sir Kit standing by whistling all the while ; I verily believed she laid the corner stone of all her future misfortunes at that very
instant; but I said no more, only looked at sir Kit.
There were no balls, no dinners, no doings; the country was all disappointed-sir Kit's gentleman said in a whisper to me, it was all my lady's own fault, because she was so obstinate about the cross. “ What cross ? ” says I; “ is it about her being a heretic?” Oh, no such matter," says my master does not mind her heresies, but her diamond cross, it's worth I can't tell
how much ; and she has thousands of English pounds concealed in diamonds about her, which she as good as promised to give up to my master before he married, but now she won't part with any
of them, and she must take the consequences."
Her honey-moon, at least her Irish honey-moon, was scarcely well over, when his honour one morning said to me, “ Thady, buy me a pig!” and then the sausages were ordered, and here was the first open breaking-out of my lady's troubles. My lady came down herself into the kitchen, to speak to the cook about the sausages, and desired never to see them more at her table. Now my master had ordered them, and my lady knew that. The cook took my lady's part, because she never came down into the kitchen, and was young and innocent in housekeeping, which raised her pity ; besides, said she, at her own table, surely, my lady should order and disorder what she pleases; but the cook soon changed her note, for my master made it a principle to have the
sausages, and swore at her for a Jew herself, till he drove her fairly out of the kitchen; then, for fear of her place, and because he threatened that my lady should give her no discharge without the sausages, she gave up, and from that day forward always sausages, or bacon, or pig meat in some shape or other, went up to table; upon which my lady shut herself up in her own room, and my master said she might stay there, with an oath : and to make sure of her, he turned the key in the door, and kept it ever after in his pocket. We none of us ever saw or heard her speak for seven years after that: * he carried her
* This part of the history of the Rackrent family can scarcely be thought credible; but in justice to honest Thady, it is hoped the reader will recollect the history of the celebrated lady Cathcart's conjugal imprisonment.—The editor was acquairited with colonel M‘Guire, lady Cathcart's husband; he has lately seen and questioned the maid-servant who lived with colonel M'Guire during the time of lady Cathcart's imprisonment. Her ladyship was locked up in her own house for many years ; during which period her husband was visited by the neighbouring gentry, and it was his regular custom at dinner to send his compliments to lady Cathcart, informing her that the company had the honour to drink her ladyship's health, and begging to know whether there was any thing at table that she would like to eat ? the answer was always, “ Lady Cathcart's compliments, and she has every thing she wants.” An instance of honesty in a poor Irish woman deserves to be recorded :-Lady Cathcart had some remarkably fine diamonds, which she had concealed from her