Графични страници
PDF файл


sent is from the purpose. The great question is the safety of this poor

She was a favourite with us both, and Edith, I know, was greatly attached to her.” “And Mrs. Scrope ?"

My mother is not very demonstrative. She may have liked her or not, but from what she said, in reply to an inquiry I once made, I think she was much displeased when Rachel went away. Something very likely occurred at that time which may account for Rachel's disinclination to come here."

“It would be as well then, perhaps, not to name the subject to Mrs. Scrope : at all events, not until we have more information.'

“ I quite agree with you. In the mean while, let no expense be spared to find out what has become of Rachel Loring—or Perrotin, did you say? Any reward you think proper to offer I will

gladly give. You will send to me the moment you have any news ?"

This Mr. Dalton promised ; Lady Tunstall shook hands with great cordiality, and he took his leave.

“ A heavy secret!” soliloquised Lady Tunstall, as she watched his departure. “To whom can it refer? To my mother or Edith? It is clear there is a passage in the family history with which I am unasquainted."

Mr. Dalton's reflections tended towards the same end. He rode quickly back to Romaldskirk, but the day went by and no tidings of Rachel were received. He heard, however, from Geordy Walker, on his return from the Brig-gate Inn, that the stranger calling himself Wood had left on the previous morning, when he said he was going to London ; indeed, Phillis herself, to her great delight, had seen him depart by the Darlington coach. The fact of Rachel's abduction remained, therefore, as great a mystery to him as ever. Something remained, however, for Mr. Dalton still to do.

As a magistrate he thought it advisable to see, himself, that whatever property Rachel had left behind should be kept in a place of safety, in the event of her returning to claim it. He, therefore, went over again to Holwick, accompanied by Crossthwaite, his clerk. They made an inventory of all that was lying about, and Rachel's keys being also found, locked everything up in her box, and removed it to the rectory.

In doing so one object attracted the attention of Mr. Dalton. It was a small, red-morocco case. Curiosity prompted him to open it, and he found it was a daguerreotype-the portrait of a boy. The art was then in its infancy, and only those who were intimately acquainted with the original would have been likely to trace the resemblance. But, notwithstanding the false expression, the disproportionate features, and the dusky hue of the complexion, which quite obliterated the bloom of youth, Mr. Dalton could not help thinking that the countenance was one with which he was familiar. It reminded him of more than one person, but whom it recalled in particular he could not bring to mind. Was this, he asked himself, the fatherless child in whom Rachel took so deep an interest ?

With a sigh he closed the case, and deposited it with the rest.


UNTIL we looked through this admirably illustrated history of the Cathedral of Kilkenny, * we were unaware that any city in Ireland is so rich in architectural and sepulchral memorials, which fully connect, by artistic objects of the olden time, the mediæval Anglian and Norman races of the sister island with their kindred in England. This cathedral well deserves the handsome volume before us, since it is interesting in various ways, as a small but beautiful specimen of pointed architecture, as the theatre of notable events, and the cemetery of local worthies, whose effigial monuments form a sort of texts for historical and technical elucidations, which departments of the work are cleverly handled.

The legendary "Life" of Saint Canice, or Kenny, the founder of this kill, cell, or church, recently edited by the late Marquis of Ormonde, carries our ideas back to the primeval period of Christianity in "the Island of Saints," when many a convert from paganism, famous even in other countries for his learning and sanctity, was styled—if he had not fled from his ferocious fellow-men, but still lived in their haunts—a dweller inter ethnicos, that is, among the heathen; or, if forced to seek security in the wilderness, was said to be in eremo, in the desert, where, as an eremite, he sometimes constructed a cell, which, becoming sanctified as his abode, afterwards grew into a stately church. Such, indeed, would seem to have been the origin of Kil-kenny, or the Cell of Canice. It appears also that, in later ages, the renown of the original hermit had fired the mind of some pious man to emulate him by making an åvaxop, or retired thing, of his body and soul ; since a certain anchorite had his “anker-house” adjoined to this cathedral. However, as the tiny dwelling in question is declared to have formed the original church, we respectfully suggest, for the consideration of the local antiquaries, that this once notable cell was the very habitation of the founder and patron, St. Canice. Besides this humble suggestion, let us also hint, without any jocularity, that “the hole in the wall" celebrated in profane song as to be remembered by every visitor to this town, mythically refers to the ancient celebrity of that recluse, or rather incluse, an ascetic personage, who was fed through an aperture in the wall of the cathedral. More lore is also given concerning other devotees, built up for life, under the bishop's seal, in similar self-imposed prisons. There was, it seems, in the fifteenth century, an “anker in the wall beside Bishopsgate,” within the bustling metropolis of merry England; and specimens of this human sty are to be seen in Norwich Cathedral, and in the tower of Wilbraham church, Cambridgeshire. Strange, that there were men so little gregarious as to have attempted to reach heaven in several little ships to their separate selves ! so regardless of the general crew of the great fleet, except to

* The History, Architecture, and Antiquities of the Cathedral Church of St. Canice, Kilkenny. By the Rev. James Graves, A.B., and John G. A. Prim. 4to. Dublin : Hodges and Smith. 1857. VOL. XLIV.


receive food from them; and so unconscious that they were set afloat in the world for better purposes than to get out of it. "" Ankers,” indeed! anchored bodily; but constantly in an unchristian state of mental perturbation. Pah! Let us banish the foul idea of such a human being's mind and body by the subjoined exquisite sonnets on the round tower of this ancient cathedral, one of those nationally unique monuments of a most venerable form of ecclesiastical architecture, round which, as our authors gracefully observe, “poetry clings as naturally as the mosses and many-hued lichens incrust their time-stained walls :"

O mystic Tower, I never gaze on thee-
Although since childhood's scarce remembered spring
Thou wert to me a most familiar thing-
Without an awe, and not from wonder free;
Wild fancies, too, oft urge themselves on me,
Working as though they had the power to fling
The veil aside, year after year doth bring
More closely round thee, thing of mystery!
Yea, thou dost wake within me such a sense
As few things earthly can,—thy airy brow
Hath felt the breeze for centuries immense;
Who knows what hand hath raised thee, or how?
And Time so much of his own reverence
Hath lent to thee, we venerate thee now.
O structure strange, and column-like, and high!
What thought had he who first contrived thy plan,
Thou seeming most unfit for use of man?
Thy lofty brow is lifted t'wards the sky,
And all things human that around thee lie,
Thou, lonely watcher here ere they began,
Saw'st as they rose around thee. Thou the van
Of Time didsť hold, and none with thee can vie;
For sacred fane, and lordly castle hall,
O time-worn Tower! was it thine to see,
And city homes, and long encircling wall,
Rise one by one, and range themselves round thee,-
Of some hast thou beheld the rise and fall,

But nothing human knows thy history. Great indeed have been the social and religious revolutions witnessed by this tall tower, since erst it reared its head over a scene on which it has cast its shadow, like the gnomon of a dial, for more than a thousand years.


ravages of the Danes left it unscathed, and it may have shaken with the tramp of Strongbow's mailed chivalry, when, after a career of victory over the nearest Irish kings, his knights rode to the fortification he is believed to have constructed on the site of the present feudal castle of the Ormondes. And curious was the subsequent social transformation of some of these Norman nobles' descendants, who, by marriage and association, became so assimilated to the wild people of the land, that even their surnames appear, by the pages before us, to have degenerated, such as St. Aubyn to Tobin, and St. Leger to Sleggar; and, when their families imitated their Gaelic neighbours in becoming clans, some assumed patronymics, Gäelic fashion, from distinguished patriarchs ; so that there was little distinction between “ Mac Odo," now

Cody, though sprung from Otho L'Arcedekne, and the merest Irishman named Mac Gilla Patrick or Mac Gillicuddy. It was to arrest the progress of this metamorphosis from feudatory English into independent rebels that the famous “ Statutes of Kilkenny" were enacted, in the fourteenth century, in this once flourishing city colony of loyal Englishry. The policy of these enactments exactly resembles that which dictated our old Border laws, forbidding marriage, alliance, and trade with the enemy; and, however modern sentimental criticism may have condemned such policy, manifestly it was requisite in warlike times to erect a strong barrier between friends and foes. The best hope of the colonists lay in their union, and their next in the chronic discord of their clan enemies, who had no national bond. On this political point our authors write:

The more distant of the Irish princes seem to have beheld with unconcern the landing of Strongbow and his handful of mail-clad followers at the embouchure of the Nore and its kindred streams, in aid of Diarmaid Na-n-Gall; but as town after town yielded to their assault, and the sinewy but naked tribesmen went down before the lance, and sword, and iron mace of Strongbow's Cambro-Norman men-at-arms, King O'Connor and his dynasts composed their suicidal quarrels and turned on the Irish traitor and his foreign allies. It was, however, now too late to give effective resistance. The princely seigniory of Leinster, acquired by virtue of the conquest, and under Norman, not Irish law, through Eva, the daughter of Diarmaid, was confirmed by Henry II. to Strongbow, on the surrender of his wide acquisitions; and the kingdom of Ossory, coextensive with the present diocese of the same name, was the brightest gem in Earl Pembroke’s almost regal coronet. To consolidate his power in this district the earl would naturally fix on and fortify some central point, and what situation more suitable than Kilkenny?"

Two or three spots in this bright paragraph are visible to the naked eye, without the aid of such a telescope as, for instance, the distant Irish princes required for beholding the landing of (the) Earl (of) Pembroke ; and, as critics, we cannot refrain from protesting against a sharp whip of the pen

that has ended a certain note, on the above allusion to the Lady Eva, with a useless crack. The annotator in question, having premised that the lady was a Celt, observes that her mingled blood passed into the veins of the proudest nobles of England, and, finally, through the Mortimers, of royalty itself, and concludes: “So much for the war-cry of 'the Celt and the Saxon.'" How much? For, verily, the deduction is not obvious. Surely it was those whose Celtic blood (all due honour to it) is least mingled with other that raised the factious and foolish cry loudest ; but peace to it, and our cordial amen to the sentiment: “OX with its head, tongue and all—so much for this traitor in the camp !"

Next in historic interest (as connected with this English colonial city), to any philosophic view of now happily extinct divisions, ranks a political struggle which occurred in the town during the fourteenth century, between ecclesiastic and civil power. The actualities of this remarkable contest are wrapped up in a certain curious witch story, whence we will now eliminate them, by means of a publication of the Camden Society, “ The Process against Lady Alice Kytelar," and the aid of some illumination from this volume. The lengthy prosecution, instituted in the year 1324, against this bewitching dame, has been published with a

postscript, which, like the corresponding appendage to a lady's letter, contains the explanation of the matter; so that, satisfactorily enough for sceptics anent supernatural legends, the strange accounts of Lady Alice, who was accused as a sorceress, and is the most notable Irish witch on record, can be so explained as perhaps to clear her ladyship’s character from necromancy as reasonably as any of the marvellous narratives in Scott's “Demonology and Witchcraft” are accounted for by natural causes. Certainly, had the good Sir Walter, who doted on ghosts, apparitions, white magic (as distinguished from the black art), and all queer affairs of the same superstitious genus—had this gifted Wizard of Romance met with the singular tale of our mediæval weird widow, and its rational explanation, it is likely that he would have immortalised this enchantress along with the White Lady of Avenel and Norna of the Fitful Head, whose stories are freaks of fiction, while hers is reality. Besides its mere curiosity as a witch one, it has more curiosity in its phase as illustrating a crisis in history, one in which the free spirit of the English race was demonstrated in opposition to ecclesiastical tyranny. In this point of view, it is so well worth notice, that we will divide the drama pantomime fashion, with this difference, that we retain hold of the good fairy's wand, in order, after having exhibited our Columbine (Lady Alice) under persecution from a certain Pantaloon prelate, to transform the dramatis personæ into their true characters, so that the actual nature of the whole performance, which, in fact, was a tragedy, may be realised.

Let us first take the vulgar legend of the story, as found in ancient chronicles : “In Edward the Second's daies lived in Kilkenny a certain noble lady, by name Alice Ketteler, a sorceress, with her accomplices, Petronilla and Basilia.” The bishop of the diocese cited her to purge herself of the infamy of being an enchantress. She was asserted to have nocturnal conferences with a wicked spirit named Robert Artisson, to whom she was accustomed to sacrifice, in the king's highway, nine red cocks' and nine peacocks' eyes. Also it was declared that she used to sweep the streets of the town, between compleine and twilight, gathering all towards the doors of her son, William Outlaw, and muttering this incantatory verse:

To the house of William, my soone,

Hie all the wealth of Kilkenny towne. On searching her chamber, there was found a wafer of sacramental bread, having the devil's name stamped on it, with a vessel full of oil, wherewith she was accustomed to anoint a staff, for the purpose of riding wherever she listed. “At the first conviction," continues the chronicler, "they abjured and did penance; but shortlie after they were found in relapse, and then was Petronilla publicly burnt.”

Now, how came this “conviction" about, which sacrificed one miserable woman at the stake, and threatened further proceedings against her mistress? It

appears that, twenty-two years previously, a fierce family quarrel had arisen on the score of money. The lady had been married to no less than four husbands, namely, one Outlaw, Adam Blund, Richard Wall, and Sir John Le Poer, which last was living. The first and second spouses seem, from entries in contemporary records, to have acted as bankers, lending money to the crown and to the nobility. In the 1302, her son by the first marriage, William Outlaw, a merchant,

« ПредишнаНапред »