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disoblige nobody, God bless him! To be sure, it was not his place to behave ungenerous to miss Isabella, who had disobliged all her relations for his sake, as he remarked; and then she was locked up in her chamber, and forbid to think of him any more, which raised his spirit, because his family was, as he observed, as good as theirs at any rate, and the Rackrents a suitable match for the Moneygawls any day in the year: all which was true enough ; but it grieved me to see, that upon the strength of all this, sir Condy was growing more in the mind to carry off miss Isabella to Scotland, in spite of her relations, as she desired.
“ It's all over with our poor Judy!” said I, with a heavy sigh, making bold to speak to him one night when he was a little cheerful, and standing in the servants' hall all alone with me, as was often his custom. “ Not at all,” said he; “ I never was fonder of Judy than at this present speaking; and to prove it to you,” said he—and he took from
hand a halfpenny, change that I had just got along with my tobacco_" and to prove it to you, Thady,” says he, “ it's a toss up with me which I should marry this minute, her or Mr. Moneygawl of Mount Juliet's Town's daughter-so it is.” “Oh, boo! boo!"* says I, making light of it, to see what he would go on to next, “
your honour's joking, to be sure; there's no compare between our poor Judy and miss Isabella, who has a great fortune, they say.”
« I'm not a man
* Boo! boo! an exclamation equivalent to pshaw or nonsense. Pin, read
to mind a fortune, nor never was,” said sir Condy, proudly, “whatever her friends may say; and to make short of it,” says he, “ I'm come to a determination upon the spot ;” with that he swore such a terrible oath, as made me cross myself; “ and by this book," said he-snatching up my ballad book, mistaking it for my prayer book, which lay in the window" and by this book," says he, “ and by all the books that ever were shut and opened, it's come to a toss-up with me, and I'll stand or fall by the toss; and so, Thady, hand me over that pin* out of the ink-horn,” and he makes a cross on the smooth side of the halfpenny
Judy M'Quirk,” says he, “ her mark.”+ God bless him! his hand was a little unsteadied by all the whiskey punch he had taken, but it was plain to see his heart was for poor Judy. My heart was all as one as in my mouth when I saw the halfpenny up in the air, but I said nothing at all ; and when it came down, I was glad I had kept myself to myself, for to be sure now it was all over with poor Judy.
pen. It formerly was vulgarly pronounced pin in Ireland.
+ Her mark. It was the custom in Ireland for those who could not write to make a cross to stand for their signature, as was formerly the practice of our English monarchs. The editor inserts the fac-simile of an Irish mark, which may hereafter be valuable to a judicious antiquary
Mark. In bonds or notes, signed in this manner, a witness is requisite, as the name is frequently written by him or her.
“Judy's out a luck," said I, striving to laugh. “ I'm out a luck,” said he ; and I never saw a man look so cast down : he took up the halfpenny off the flag, and walked away quite sober-like by the shock. Now, though as easy a man you would think as any in the wide world, there was no such thing as making him unsay one of these sort of vows, * which he had learned to reverence when young, as I well remember teaching him to toss up for bog-berries on my knee. So I saw the affair was as good as settled between him and miss Isabella, and I had no more to say but to wish her joy, which I did the week afterwards, upon her return from Scotland with my poor master.
My new lady was young, as might be supposed of a lady that had been carried off, by her own consent, to Scotland; but I could only see her at first through her veil, which, from bashfulness or fashion, she kept over her face. “ And am I to walk through all this crowd of people, my dearest love ?” said she to sir Condy, meaning us servants and tenants, who had
* Vows. It has been maliciously and unjustly hinted, that the lower classes of the people in Ireland pay but little regard to oaths ; yet it is certain that some oaths, or vows, have great power over their minds. Sometimes they swear they will be revenged on some of their neighbours—this is an oath that they are never known to break. But what is infinitely more extraordinary and unaccountable, they sometimes make and keep a vow against whiskey ; these vows are usually limited to a short time. A woman who has a drunken husband is most fortunate, if she can prevail upon him to go to the priest, and make a vow against whiskey for a ar, or a month, or a week, or a day.
gathered at the back gate. My dear,” said sir Condy, “ there's nothing for it but to walk, or to let me carry you as far as the house, for you see the back road is too narrow for a carriage, and the great piers have tumbled down across the front approach ; so there's no driving the right way by reason of the ruins.” Plato, thou reasonest well!” said she, or words to that effect, which I could no ways understand ; and again, when her foot stumbled against a broken bit of a car-wheel, she cried out, “ Angels and ministers of grace defend us !” Well, thought I, to be sure if she's no Jewish like the last, she is a mad woman for certain, which is as bad : it would have been as well for my poor master to have taken up with poor Judy, who is in her right mind any how.
She was dressed like a mad woman, moreover, more than like any one I ever saw afore or since, and I could not take my eyes off her, but still followed behind her, and her feathers on the top of her hat were broke going in at the low back door, and she pulled out her little bottle out of her pocket to smell to when she found herself in the kitchen, and said, “ I shall faint with the heat of this odious, odious place." My dear, it's only three steps across the kitchen, and there's a fine air if
veil was up,” said sir Condy, and with that threw back her veil, so that I had then a full sight of her face ; she had not at all the colour of one going to faint, but a fine complexion of her own, as I then took it to be, though her maid told me after it was all put on; but
even complexion and all taken in, she was no way, in point of good looks, to compare to poor Judy; and with all she had a quality toss with her ; but may be it was my over-partiality to Judy, into whose place I
may say she stept, that made me notice all this. To do her justice, however, she was, when we came to know her better, very liberal in her housekeeping, nothing at all of the skin-flint in her; she left every thing to the housekeeper; and her own maid, Mrs. Jane, who went with her to Scotland, gave
her the best of characters for generosity. She seldom or ever wore a thing twice the same way, Mrs. Jane told us, and was always pulling her things to pieces, and giving them away, never being used, in her father's house, to think of expense in any thing; and she reckoned, to be sure, to go on the same way at Castle Rackrent; but when I came to inquire, I learned that her father was so mad with her for running off, after his locking her up, and forbidding her to think any more of sir Condy, that he would not give her a farthing ; and it was lucky for her she had a few thousands of her own, which had been left to her by a good grandmother, and these were very convenient to begin with. My master and my lady set out in great style ; they had the finest coach and chariot, and horses and liveries, and cut the greatest dash in the county, returning their wedding visits; and it was immediately reported, that her father had undertaken to pay
master's debts, and of course all his tradesmen gave him a new credit, and every thing went on smack smooth, and I could not but