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that the enemy were still there, no one
could be seen. The head of the police commanded
his troop to make a dash through
the pass; for there was no scaling the
heights from this side; the assailants having
warily posted themselves there, because
at the foot of an eminence were stretched
on either hand impassable bogs. The troop
dashed forward, firing their pistols as they
went; but were met by such deadly discharges
of fire-arms as threw them into confusion,
killed and wounded several of their
horses, and made them hastily retreat.

There was nothing for it, but to await
the arrival of the cavalry; and it was not
long before the clatter of horses' hoofs and
the ringing of sabres were heard on the road.
On coming up, the troop of cavalry, firing to
the right and left on the hill-sides, dashed
forward, and, in the same instant, cleared the
gully in safety; the police having kept their
side of the pass. In fact, not a single shot
was returned; the arrival of this strong force
having warned the insurgents to decamp. The
cavalry in full charge ascended the hills, to their
summits. Not a foe was to be seen, except one
or two dying men, who were discovered by
their groans.

The moon had been for a time quenched in
a dense mass of clouds, which now were
blown aside by a keen and cutting wind.
The heron, soaring over the desert, could
now see grey-coated men flying in different
directions to the shelter of the neighbouring
hills. The next day he was startled from
his dreamy reveries near the moorland
stream, by the shouts and galloping of
mingled police and soldiers, as they gave
chase to a couple of haggard, bare-headed,
and panting peasants.

These were soon captured, and at once
recognised as belonging to the evicted inhabitants
of the recently deserted village.

Since then years have rolled on. The
heron, who had been startled from his quiet
haunts by these things, was still dwelling on
the lofty tree with his kindred, by the hall of
Sporeen. He had reared family after family
in that airy lodgment, as spring after spring
came round; but no family, after that fatal
time, had ever tenanted the mansion. The
widow and children had fled from it so soon
as Mr. FitzGibbon had been laid in the
grave. The nettle and dock flourished over
the scorched ruins of the village of Rathbeg;
dank moss and wild grass tangled the
proud drives and walks of Sporeen. All
the woodland rides and pleasure-grounds
lay obstructed with briars; and young trees,
in time, grew luxuriantly where once the
roller in its rounds could not crush a weed;
the nimble frolics of the squirrel were now
the only merry things where formerly the feet
of lovely children had sprung with elastic joy.

The curse of Ireland was on the place.
Landlord and tenant, gentleman and peasant,
each with the roots and the shoots of many
virtues in their hearts, thrown into a false
position by the mutual injuries of ages, had
wreaked on each other the miseries sown
broadcast by their ancestors. Beneath this
foul spell men who would, in any other circumstances,
have been the happiest and the
noblest of mankind, became tyrants; and
peasants, who would have glowed with grateful
affection towards them, exulted in being
their assassins. As the traveller rode past
the decaying hall, the gloomy woods, and
waste black moorlands of Sporeen, he read
the riddle of Ireland's fate, and asked himself
when an Œdipus would arise to solve it.


I WAS lingering listlessly over a cup of
coffee on the Boulevard des Italiens, in June.
At that moment I had neither profound nor
useful resources of thought. I sate simply
conscious of the cool air, the blue sky, the
white houses, the lights, and the lions, which
combine to render that universally pleasant
period known as "after dinner," so peculiarly
agreeable in Paris.

In this mood my eyes fell upon a pair of
orbs fixed intently upon me. Whether the
process was effected by the eyes, or by some
pretty little fingers, simply, I cannot say;
but, at the same moment, a rose was insinuated
into my button-hole, a gentle voice addressed
me, and I beheld, in connexion with the eyes,
the fingers, and the voice, a girl. She carried
on her arm a basket of flowers, and was,
literally, nothing more nor less than one of
the Bouquetières who fly along the Boulevards
like butterflies, with the difference that they
turn their favourite flowers to a more practical

Following the example of some other distracted
dêcorés, who I found were sharing my
honours, I placed a piece of moneyI believe,
in my case, it was silverin the hand of the
girl; and, receiving about five hundred times
its value, in the shape of a smile and a " Merci
bien Monsieur! " was again left alone
(" desolate," a Frenchman would have said)
in the crowded and carousing Boulevard.

To meet a perambulating and persuasive
Bouquetière, who places a flower in your coat
and waits for a pecuniary acknowledgment,
is scarcely a rare adventure in Paris; but I
was interestedunaccountably soin this
young girl: her whole manner and bearing
was so different and distinct from all others
of her calling. Without any of that appearance
which, in England, we are accustomed to
call " theatrical," she was such a being as we
can scarcely believe in out of a ballet. Not,
however, that her attire departedexcept,
perhaps, in a certain coquettish simplicity
from the conventional mode: its only decorations
seemed to be ribbons, which also gave
a character to the little cap that perched
itself with such apparent insecurity upon her
head. Living a life that seemed one long