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A hundred eager voices shouted " Aye!”
" Then," said he, "we will save Athlone; the bridge must go down.”
9. Grasping axes and crowbars, the devoted band rushed from behind the breastwork and dashed forward upon the newly-laid beams. A peal of artillery, a fusillade of musketry from the other side, and the space was swept with grape-shot and bullets. When the smoke cleared away, the bodies of the brave Custume and his ten heroes lay on the bridge riddled with balls. They had torn away some of the beams, but every man of the eleven had perished.
10. Out from the ranks of the same regiment dashed as many more volunteers : “ There are eleven more who will die for Ireland !” Again across the bridge rushed the heroes. Again the spot is swept by a murderous fusillade. The smoke lifts from the scene; nine of the second band lie dead upon the bridge-two survive—but the work is done; the last beam is gone! Athlone once more is saved.
A. M. SULLIVAN.
Athlone (1) a town built on both sides of the river Shannon, the "English" part being situated in Westmeath, in the province of Leinster; the “Irish” part in Roscommon, in the province of Connaught.
Godard van Ginkle (1), one of King William's Dutch generals, who won the battle of Aghrim and was made Earl of Athlone.
St. Ruth (2), a celebrated French general who fought on the side of James. He was killed at the battle of Aghrim.
Mackay (4), a general in William's army.
Ballinasloe (7) is a town in Galway and Roscommon counties, Ireland.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (7), one of the most brilliant but unreliable of English historians, was born in 1800 and died in 1859. The brilliancy of his style makes his writings very attractive.
1. Gāęl; n. an Irish Celt.
7. moor; n. marshy land; ground 1. lēą gøērs; n. the men of the covered with coarse herbage. besieging army.
7 hēgth; n. a cheerless tract of 2. grįm; a. fierce.
country. 3. Wrěnched ;. v. forced by vio- | 7. brězst' ěd; 0. opposed man. lence.
A Ballad of Athlone;
OR, HOW THEY BROKE DOWN THE BRIDGE.
1. Does any man dream that a Gael can fear,
Of a thousand deeds let him learn but one ! The Shannon swept onward, broad and clear,
Between the leaguers and worn Athlone.
2. “Break down the bridge!" Six warriors rushed
Thro' the storm of shot and the storm of shell ; With late, but certain, victory flushed,
The grim Dutch gunners eyed them well.
3. They wrenched at the planks 'mid a hail of fire:
They fell in death, their work half done; The bridge stood fast; and nigh and nigher
The foe swarmed darkly, densely on.
4. “Oh, who for Erin will strike a stroke?
Who burl yon planks where the waters roar ?" Six warriors forth from their comrades broke,
And flung them upon that bridge once more.
5. Again at the rocking planks they dashed;
And four dropped dead, and two remained ; The huge beams groaned, and the arch down-crashed,
Two stalwart swimmers the margin gained.
6. St. Ruth in his stirrups stood up and cried,
“I have seen no deed like that in France !" With a toss of his head Sarsfield replied,
“They had luck, the dogs ! 'twas a merry chance !"
7. Oh! many a year, upon Shannon's side,
They sang upon moor, and they sang upon heath, of the twain that breasted that raging tide, And the ten that shook bloody hands with death.
AUBREY DE VERE. Aubrey De Vere was born at Currah Chase, county of Limerick, Ireland, in 1814. In 1851 he entered the Catholic Church, of which he has nce been a devout member. His verse is smooth and melodious, and his inspiration springs from his faith and his patriotism, two qualities that are noticeable in most of his writings.
There is a difference of opinion as to the exact number of men who took part in this heroic act. The poet here says six, other authorities say eight or ten (see preceding Lesson).
Patrick Sarsfield (6), Earl of Lucan, was a famous Irish officer. He served under James II., and distinguished himself by his bravery and dash. He made a gallant defense of Limerick, and after its surrender crossed into France with the Irish Brigade. He fell at the battle of Landen in 1693. Catching the blood that trickled from his wound, he exclaimed, “Oh, that this had been for Ireland !”
1. court; n. a yard; an inclosed
space. 2. åt tāined'; v. reached. 2. härd bý’; adv. not far off. 4. gfile; n. deceit.
5. flick' ēr; v. to waver, like a
flame about to expire. 8. pā' tient (- shent); n. a sick
person under medical treatment.
The Last Days of Colonel Newcome. 1. The old man must have passed a sleepless night, for on going to his chamber in the morning, his attendant found him dressed in his chair, and his bed undisturbed. He must have sat all through the bitter night without a
So it was,
fire; but his hands were burning hot, and he rambled in his talk. He spoke of some one coming to drink tea with him, pointed to the fire, and asked why it was not made ; he would not go to bed, though the nurse pressed him. T'he bell began to ring for morning chapel ; he got up and went toward his gown, groping toward it as though he could hardly see, and put it over his shoulders, and would go out, but he would have fallen in the court if the good nurse had not given him her arm; and the physician of the hospital, passing fortunately at this moment, who had always been a great friend of Colonel Newcome's, insisted upon leading him back to his room again, and got him to bed. “When the bell stopped, he wanted to rise once more; he fancied he was a boy at school again,” said the nurse, "and that he was going in to Dr. Raine, who was schoolmaster here ever so many years ago." that when happier days seemed to be dawning for the good man, that reprieve came too late. Grief, and years, and humiliation, and care, and cruelty had been too strong for him, and Thomas Newcome was stricken down.
2. After some days the fever which had attacked him left him ; but left him so weak and enfeebled that he could only go from his bed to the chair by his fireside. The season was exceedingly bitter, the chamber which he inhabited was warm and spacious; it was considered unadvisable to move him until he had attained greater strength, and till warmer weather. The medical men of the House hoped he might rally in spring. My friend Dr. Goodenough came to him : he hoped too; but not with a hopeful face. A chamber, luckily vacant, hard by the Colonel's, was assigned to his friends, where we sat when we were too many for him. Besides his customary attendant, he had two dear and watchful nurses, who were
almost always with him,-Ethel and Madame de Florac, who had passed many a faithful year by an old man's bedside ; who would have come, as to a work of religion, to any sick couch,—much more to this one, where he lay for whose life she would once gladly have given her own.
3. But our Colonel, we all were obliged to acknowledge, was no more our friend of old days. He knew us again, and was good to every one round him, as his wont was; especially when Boy came, his old eyes lighted up with simple happiness, and, with eager, trembling hands, he would seek under his bed-clothes, or in the pockets of his dressing-gown, for toys or cakes, which he had caused to be purchased for his grandson. There was a little laughing, red-cheeked, white-headed gown-boy of the school, to whom the old man had taken a great fancy. One of the symptoms of his returning consciousness and recovery, as we hoped, was his calling for this child, who pleased our friend by his archness and merry ways, and who, to the old gentleman's unfailing delight, used to call him "Codd Colonel." "Tell little - that Codd Colonel wants to see him ; and the little gown-boy was brought to him; and the Colonel would listen to him for hours; and hear all about his lessons and his play ; and prattle, almost as childishly, about Dr. Raine, and his own early school-days. The boys of the school, it must be said, had heard the noble old gentleman's touching history, and had all got to know and love him. They came every day to hear news of him ; sent him in books and papers to amuse him ; and some benevolent young souls—God's blessing on all honest boys, say I-painted theatrical characters, and sent them in to Codd Colonel's grandson. The little fellow was made free of gown-boys, and once came thence to his grandfather in a little gown, which delighted the old man hugely.