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dinner himself. Then his honour had a great deal of
company to dine with him, and balls in the house, and was as gay and gallant, and as much himself as before he was married ; and at dinner he always drank my lady Rackrent's good health, and so did the company, and he sent out always a servant, with bis compliments to my lady Rackrent, and the company was drinking her ladyship’s health, and begged to know if there was any thing at table he might
husband, and which she was anxious to get out of the house, lest he should discover them. She had neither servant nor friend to whom she could entrust them ; but she had observed a poor beggar woman, who used to come to the house ; she spoke to her from the window of the room in which she was confined ; the woman promises to do what she desired, and lady Cathcart threw a parcel, containing the jewels, to her. The poor woman carried them to the person to whom they were directed ; and several years afterwards, when lady Cathcart recovered her liberty, she received her diamonds safely.
At colonel M‘Guire's death her ladyship was released. The editor, within this year, saw the gentleman who accompanied her to England after her husband's death. When she first was told of his death, she imagined that the news was not true, and that it was told only with an intention of deceiving her. At his death she had scarcely clothes surficient to cover her; she wore a red wig, looked scared, and her understanding seemed stupified ; she said that she scarcely knew one human creature from another ; her imprisonment lasted above twenty years. These circum. stances may appear strange to an English reader; but there is no danger in the present times, that any individual should exercise such tyranny as colonel M‘Guire's with impunity, the power being now all in the hands of government, and there being no possibility of obtaining from parliament an act of indemnity for any cruelties.
; and the man came back, after the sham errand, with my lady Rackrent's compliments, and she was very much obliged to sir Kit—she did not wish for any thing, but drank the company's health. The country, to be sure, talked and wondered at my lady's being shut up, but nobody chose to interfere or ask any impertinent questions, for they knew my master was a man very apt to give a short answer himself, and likely to call a man out for it afterwards; he was a famous shot; had killed his man before he came of
age, and nobody scarce dared look at him whilst at Bath. Sir Kit's character was so well known in the country, that he lived in peace
and quietness after, and was a great favourite with the ladies, especially when in process of time, in the fifth year of her confinement, my lady Rackrentf ell ill, and took entirely to her bed, and he gave out that she was now skin and bone, and could not last through the winter. In this he had two physicians' opinions to back him (for now he called in two phy: sicians for her), and tried all his arts to get the diamond cross from her on her death-bed, and to get her to make a will in his favour of her separate possessions; but there she was too tough for him. He used to swear at her behind her back, after kneeling to her to her face, and call her in the presence of his gentleman his stiff-necked Israelite, though before he married her, that same gentleman told me he used to call her (how he could bring it out, I don't know)
my pretty Jessica !” To be sure it must have been hard for her to guess what sort of a husband he reckoned to make her. When she was lying, to all expectation, on her death-bed of a broken heart, I could not but pity her, though she was a Jewish ; and considering too it was no fault of hers to be taken with my master so young as she was at the Bath, and so fine a gentleman as sir Kit was when he courted her; and considering too, after all they had heard and seen of him as a husband, there were now no less than three ladies in our county talked of for his second wife, all at daggers drawn with each other, as his gentleman swore, at the balls, for sir Kit for their partner,–I could not but think them bewitched; but they all reasoned with themselves, that sir Kit would make a good husband to any Christian but a Jewish, I suppose, and especially as he was now a reformed rake ; and it was not known how
my lady's fortune was settled in her will, nor how the Castle Rackrent estate was all mortgaged, and bonds out against him, for he was never cured of his gaming tricks; but that was the only fault he had, God bless him.
My lady had a sort of fit, and it was given out she was dead, by mistake : this brought things to a sad crisis for my poor master,-one of the three ladies showed his letters to her brother, and claimed his promises, whilst another did the same.
I don't mens tion names. Sir Kit, in his defence, said he would meet any man who dared to question his conduct, and as to the ladies, they must settle it amongst them who was to be his second, and his third, and his fourth, whilst his first was still alive, to his mortification and theirs. Upon this, as upon all former occasions, he had the voice of the country with him, on account of the great spirit and propriety he acted with. He met and shot the first lady's brother ; the next day he called out the second, who had a wooden leg ; and their place of meeting by appointment being in a new ploughed field, the wooden-leg man stuck fast in it. Sir Kit, seeing his situation, with great candour fired his pistol over his head ; upon which the seconds interposed, and convinced the parties there had been a slight misunderstanding between them ; thereupon they shook hands cordially, and went home to dinner together. This gentleman, to show the world how they stood together, and by the advice of the friends of both parties, to re-establish his sister's injured reputation, went out with sir Kit as his second, and carried his message next day to the last of his adversaries : I never saw him in such fine spirits as that day he went out—sure enough he was within ames-ace of getting quit handsomely of all his enemies; but unluckily, after hitting the tooth pick out of his adversary's finger and thumb, he received a ball in a vital part, and was brought home, in little better than an hour after the affair, speechless on a hand-barrow, to my lady. We got the key out of his pocket the first thing we did, and Jason ran to unlock the barrack-room, where my lady had been shut up for seven years, to acquaint her with the fatal accident. The surprise bereaved her of her senses at first, nor would she believe but we were putting some new trick upon her, to entrap her out of her jewels, for a great while, till Jason bethought himself of taking her to the window, and showed her the men bringing sir Kit up the avenue upon the hand-barrow, which had immediately the desired effect ; for directly she burst into tears, and pulling her cross from her bosom, she kissed it with as great devotion as ever I witnessed ; and lifting up her eyes to heaven, uttered some ejaculation, which none present heard ; but I take the sense of it to be, she returned thanks for this unexpected interposition in her favour when she had least reason to expect it. My master was greatly lamented : there was no life in him when we lifted him off the barrow, so he was laid out immediately, and waked the same night. The country was all in an uproar about him, and not a soul but cried shame upon his murderer ; who would have been hanged surely, if he could have been brought to his trial, whilst the gentlemen in the country were up about it; but he very prudently withdrew himself to the continent before the affair was made public. As for the young lady, who was the immediate cause of the fatal accident, however innocently, she could never show her head after at the balls in the county or any place ; and by the advice of her friends and physicians, she was ordered soon after to Bath, where it was expected, if any where on this side of the grave, she would meet with the