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knees before her, and, like a good-hearted cratur as he was, ordered the whiskey punch out of the room, and bid 'em throw open all the windows, and cursed himself: and then my lady came to herself again, and when she saw him kneeling there bid him get up, and not forswear himself any more, for that she was sure he did not love her, nor never had : this we learnt from Mrs. Jane, who was the only person left present at all this.
My dear,” returns my master. thinking, to be sure, of Judy, as well he might, “ whoever told you so is an incendiary, and I'll have 'em turned out of the house this minute, if you'll only let me know which of them it was.” « Told me what?” said my lady, starting upright in her chair. “Nothing at all, nothing at all,” said my master, seeing he had overshot himself, and that my lady spoke at random ; “but what you said just now, that I did not love you, Bella ; who told you that? My own sense,” she said, and she put her handkerchief to her face, and leant back upon
Mrs. Jane, and fell to sobbing as if her heart would break. " Why now, Bella, this is very strange of you,” said my poor master ; “if nobody has told you nothing, what is it you are taking on for at this rate, and exposing yourself and me for this way?” “Oh, say no more, say no more ; every word you say kills me,” cried my lady ; and she ran on like one, as Mrs. Jane says, raving, Oh, sir Condy, sir Condy! I that had hoped to find in you
Why now, faith, this is a little too much ; do, Bella, try to recollect yourself, my dear; am not I
your husband, and of your own choosing ; and is not that enough ? " “Oh, too much ! too much !” cried my lady, wringing her hands. “Why, my dear, come to your right sensés, for the love of heaven. See, is not the whiskey punch, jug and bowl, and all, gone out of the room long ago ? What is it, in the wide world, you have to complain of?” But still my lady sobbed and sobbed, and called herself the most wretched of women; and among other outof-the-way provoking things, asked my master, was he fit for company for her, and he drinking all night? This nettling him, which it was hard to do, he replied, that as to drinking all night, he was then as sober as she was herself, and that it was no matter how much a man drank, provided it did no ways affect or stagger him: that as to being fit company for her, he thought himself of a family to be fit company for any lord or lady in the land; but that he never prevented her from seeing and keeping what company she pleased, and that he had done his best to make Castle Rackrent pleasing to her since her marriage, having always had the house full of visitors, and if her own relations were not amongst them, he said that was their own fault, and their pride's fault, of which he was sorry to find her ladyship had so unbecoming a share. So concluding, he took his candle and walked off to his
my lady was in her tantarums for three days after; and would have been so much longer, no doubt, but some of her friends, young ladies, and cousins, and second cousins, came to Castle Rackrent, by my poor mas
invitation, to see her, and she was in a hurry to get up, as Mrs. Jane called it, a play for them, and so got well, and was as finely dressed, and as happy to look at, as ever; and all the young ladies, who used to be in her room dressing of her, said, in Mrs. Jane's hearing, that my lady was the happiest bride ever they had seen, and that to be sure a love-match was the only thing for happiness, where the parties could any way afford it.
As to affording it, God knows it was little they knew of the matter ; my lady's few thousands could not last for ever, especially the way she went on with them, and letters from tradesfolk came every post thick and threefold with bills as long as my arm,
of years' and years' standing; my son Jason had 'em all handed over to him, and the pressing letters were all unread by sir Condy, who hated trouble, and could never be brought to hear talk of business, but still put it off and put it off, saying, settle it any how, or bid 'em call again to-morrow, or speak to me about it some other time. Now it was hard to find the right time to speak, for in the mornings he was a-bed, and in the evenings over his bottle,
where no gentleman chooses to be disturbed. Things in a twelvemonth or so came to such a pass there was no making a shift to go on any longer, though we were all of us well enough used to live from hand to mouth at Castle Rackrent. One day, I remember, when there was a power
company, all sitting after dinner in the dusk, not to say dark, in the drawingroom, my lady having rung five times for candles, and none to go up, the housekeeper sent up the footman, who went to my mistress, and whispered behind her chair how it was. “My lady,” says he, “ there are no candles in the house." “ Bless me,” says she, “ then take a horse and gallop off as fast as you can to Carrick O'Fungus, and get some.” “ And in the mean time tell them to step into the playhouse, and try if there are not some bits left," added sir Condy, who happened to be within hearing.
The man was sent up again to my lady, to let her know there was no horse to go, but one that wanted a shoe. sir Condy, then; I know nothing at all about the horses,” said my lady; “ why do you plague me with these things?” How it was settled I really forget, but to the best of my remembrance, the boy was sent down to my son Jason's to borrow candles for the night. Another time in the winter, and on a desperate cold day, there was no turf in for the parlour and above stairs, and scarce enough for the cook in the kitchen ; the little gossoon
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was sent off to the neighbours, to see and beg or borrow some, but none could he bring back with him for love or money ; so as needs must, we were forced to trouble sir Condy—“ Well, and if there's no turf to be had
• Gossoon, a little boy-from the French word garçon. In most Irish families there used to be a barefooted gossoon, who was slave to the cook and the butler, and who in fact, without wages, did all the hard work of the house. Gossoons were always employed as messengers. The Editor has known a gossoon to go on foot, without shoes or stockings, fifty-one English miles between sunrise and sunset.
in the town or country, why what signifies talking any more about it; can't ye go and cut down a tree?" “ Which tree, please your honour ? ” I made bold to say. Any tree at all that's good to burn,” said sir Condy ; “ send off smart and get one down, and the fires lighted, before my lady gets up to breakfast, or the house will be too hot to hold us." He was always very considerate in all things about my lady, and she wanted for nothing whilst he had it to give. Well, when things were tight with them about this time, my son Jason put in a word again about the lodge, and made a genteel offer to lay down the purchase-money, to relieve sir Condy's distresses. Now sir Condy had it from the best authority, that there were two writs come down to the sheriff against his person, and the sheriff, as ill luck would have it, was no friend of his, and talked how he must do his duty, and how he would do it, if it was against the first man in the country, or even his own brother; let alone one who had voted against him at the last election, as sir Condy had done. So sir Condy was fain to take the purchase-money of the lodge from my son Jason to settle matters; and sure enough it was a good bargain for both parties, for my son bought the fee-simple of a good house for him and his heirs for ever, for little or nothing, and by selling of it for that same, my master saved himself from a gaol.
Every way it turned out fortunate for sir Condy; for before the
there came a general election, and he being so well beloved in the county, and one of the oldest families,