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“An army of brave men-somewhat savage, perhaps, and not like the well-equipped legions of France, but able to conquer a kingdom.”

“Of this robber-host François has made me leader," said Bourbon; "and he has compelled you to join it."

“No matter. I serve Bourbon,” rejoined Philibert; "and I would rather serve him than any monarch in Europe. I care not of what the army is composed, so that the men can fight.”

“ They can fight well, prince, and pillage as well as fight, as you will find, when you know them better,” said Bourbon, laughing.

“If they serve without pay, as I suppose they do, they must plunder,” said Philibert. “Despite their looks and equipments, they seem good soldiers.”

“The Pope will think so if they once get within the walls of Rome,” remarked Bourbon. “They are all impatience to be there, and I do not mean to balk them.”

“ Then you do not design to attack Florence?” inquired the Prince of Orange.

“I have no artillery,” replied Bourbon, and I do not wish to waste time in a siege. Florence will be defended by the army of the League and the Pontifical troops. Rome is more important." While they were thus conversing, Von Frundsberg and Zucker

and their new leader was presented to them by Bourbon.

Philibert possessed some of the qualities of Bourbon himself, and could put on, when he pleased, the rough frankness of a soldier. His manner pleased Von Frundsberg, and that hardy veteran was delighted with him when they became better acquainted, and had passed half the night in a carouse.

came up,

1

THE HEIRESSES OF BALLYBRENA.

A YACHTSMAN'S TALE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “ THE SIX YACHTSMEN."

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCES THE HEIRESSES.

"But, Nora dear, do you really think that they ever will come

After the unwarrantable, impertinent, outrageous manner they have been treated by that abominable old guardian of ours, Mr. M'Cormic, I am afraid that they will never set foot on shore here again. I don't think that I would, if I was treated in that way; at least, I don't know what I wouldn't do."

These words were spoken by a very beautiful girl, with a soft fair skin and cheeks, on which the tint of the rose richly bloomed, and large greyish blue eyes and long silken eyelashes. Those who have travelled in Ireland must have seen many fair Hibernians of the type of which she was a very excellent specimen. Her companion and sister was not inferior to her in beauty, though the style was somewhat different. The latter, though not a decided brunette, was darker, with large flashing black eyes, which looked capable of committing a vast amount of mischief if they chose, especially when they resumed the soft and languishing expression which was natural to them, till their lovely owner was aroused by feelings of indignation or anger.

“ If they care for us, as I fully believe they do, they will come back most certainly," she replied to her sister's question. “If I was a man and loved a girl, I'd go through fire and water, and earth and air, to gain her; and do you

think, Kathleen dear, that such men as Captain Radcliffe and Lieutenant Manley would be deserting us just because a pitiful, wretched, little, sneaking land-agent, who happens to be our guardian, ventures to speak to them in an impudent low manner-insulting enough, I grant, but, as they must have perceived, natural to the creature ?”

“I hope so, indeed,” said Kathleen. “I am sure, if Lieutenant Manley loves me, that I shall love him; and I am nearly certain that he does love me, and I'd do a great deal to get out of the clutches of our bated guardian.'

“I don't doubt that Captain Radcliffe is deeply in love with me, for he has said as much and looked as much, and he would not venture to go as far as that if he wasn't in earnest, I should think!" exclaimed Nora, with a toss of her head. “He is as gentlemanly and pleasing a man as I have ever met, has seen a great deal of the world, and is most agreeable. His schooner, the Fauna, is a very handsome Fessel, and depend on it we shall have her back before long; and the Flora will not be very far behind her. I have no doubt whatever VOL. LX.

I

that Mr. Manley is smitten with you, dear Kathleen, and you are worthy of him." And the warm-hearted Nora imprinted a loving kiss on her beautiful sister's cheek.

The two young ladies were standing at an open window of their residence, on the coast of the romantic and beautiful county of Wicklow, in Ireland. The house was known as Ballybrena Castle ; indeed, it had originally been a strong fortress, and though altered, and added to, and partly pulled down, it still retained something of its early character. It was, indeed, a very picturesque-looking place, backed by lofty ranges of rugged mountains, their bases fringed with numerous trees and rich and varied foliage, while on either side of the castle rocks ran out for a considerable distance, forming a small bay, which afforded shelter to vessels of some size from all winds, except those from the east and south-east. Old M-Cormic, the present possessor, declared that the scenery around was for all the world, he heard, like the coast of northern Italy, barring the orange-groves, and the myrtles, and the olives, and vines, and fig-trees; but asserted that Wicklow itself, he had been assured, wasn't far behind paradise when Adam and Eve first took to inhabiting it, or the land of promise in its palmy days. At all events, everybody acknowledged that the scenery around Ballybrena Castle was most beautiful; the land, too, was very fine, and there were a good many broad acres attached to the estate of which Daniel M'Cormic had contrived to make himself the owner, in lieu of the former possessor, a Captain O'Halloran, of the royal navy, whose orphan daughters have just been introduced to the reader.

Daniel M'Cormic was originally agent for the Ballybrena estates, and of several other estates besides. Of the first he had managed, by some means or other not generally known, to make himself the owner, though the Miss O'Hallorans still remained possessed of some funded property of considerable amount. . The interest of this, however, Mr. M'Cormic, in the character of their guardian, received for them, expending it, as he asserted, on their education, and latterly to repay him for their board and maintenance. He had supplied them with a fair amount of pocket-money, and had paid all their bills for dresses, so that hitherto they had not complained of him on that score, though they did not like his vulgar manners and ideas, and the way he had otherwise treated them.

Nora and Kathleen O'Halloran were sitting, as has been said, at an open window of Ballybrena Castle. Near it stood a long spy-glass on a stand. It had been their father's. Every now and then one of them rose from her seat, and applying an eye to the instrument, swept the horizon with it, where several white sails appeared glancing in the sun on the surface of the blue ocean spread out before them.

"Oh, Kathleen, Kathleen dear! I really do believe there comes Captain Radcliffe's schooner. I am nearly certain it's her. The masts of the vessel, I see, rake like the Fauna's, and the square topsail is just like hers. She is standing this way-do, do look !" cried Nora; though, after she had invited her sister to look, she showed no inclination to quit the glass.

At length, however, she yielded her place to Kathleen, who agreed

with her in thinking that the schooner was the Fauna, and that she was standing for the bay. She could not help expressing her disappointment at the non-appearance of the Flora.

" You said, Nora, that you were sure, if Mr. Manley loved me, that he would return; and here comes the Fauna and no Flora,” she said, in a tone almost as if she was reproaching her sister. · While, however, Kathleen was speaking, Nora returned to the glass, when she observed the Fauna put down her helm, come to the wind, and haul up her foresail; the square topsail was furled, and the main tack triced up. There she lay, though scarcely noticed from the shore by the naked eye, yet seen through a powerful telescope looking like a graceful swan floating on the water.

“She is waiting for something, that is very certain,” observed Nora. And then she added, in a lively tone, “And what do you think, Kathleen dear, if it should be for the Flora ? The two friends are very likely to have made an arrangement to meet off here, and I hope it may be so."

Indeed, I hope so too,” said Kathleen ; "and, what is more, Nora dear, I am very nearly certain of it. I don't think that Mr. Manley would let Captain Radcliffe come back to see you without coming to see me.”

The conversation of the two girls was interrupted by the sound of the opening door. They both instinctively sank back into their seats, for they knew the footstep. A middle, or rather an under-sized, wide-shouldered, keen-eyed person, advanced in years, with a yellow scratch wig, broad features, and a turn-up nose, habited in a brown suit, entered the room. In the colour of his skin, in his restless look, shambling gait, in every line and lineament of the man, there was something unprepossessing. It was surprising that he had succeeded as he had done in making his way in the world; yet he well knew how on proper occasions to be obsequious, deferential, and humble, and even to be pious and charitable. Many people, therefore, had trusted him. Captain O'Halloran had put perfect confidence in his honesty and sterling integrity, and always spoke of him as that worthy rough diamond Dan M-Cormic, and on his death-bed in a foreign land, shot down when fighting his country's battles, left everything to his care, including his two young daughters. Dan chuckled when the announcement of his former patron's death reached him, and muttered to himself, lifting up his hand,

· Well, faith, a good character is of value, of very considerable value, after all. wish that I could do a little more to retain it. However, it will matter less when I have once secured the whole of the wealth on which I can now lawfully lay my hands; ay, that's it, lawfuily—it's a great thing. People are not nearly so particular as to what rich men do, and more especially what rich men have done in days gone by; the end sanctifies the means, as the Jesuits say, and they are right in the eyes of the world, always provided and except the means are not bronght too prominently forward. Ha! ha! ha!" And Dan M.Cormic rubbed his hands with glee at the thoughts of the amount of wealth he hoped soon to make bis own.

“ Your servant, young ladies,” he said, in a harsh voice, as he shuffled into the room.

“I have come to announce that two gentlemen have called on you to pay their respects. They are both eligible, honourable, and respectable

persons, or I would not speak in their favour or allow them to come here. They are in the drawing-room, and await your appearance with impatience."

“Oh, then, are we to go down and make ourselves agreeable ?" asked Nora, who generally took the lead, in a scornful tone.

“If it so please you, young ladies," said Mr. M'Cormic, with an obsequious bow, which told them at once that he had something to gain.

“What are the names of the gentlemen in question ?" asked Nora, neither she nor her sister rising from their seats.

“The one is my most estimable and excellent nephew, the son of a darling sister, Mat Honan, and the other is the son of an old friend, and I am sure that Mr. Patrick Veitch is a most estimable young man. He is under the guardianship of my worthy brother, Father Peter M'Cormic. Peter and I, you know, differ in our religious opinions. I, in my early days, became a Protestant, and Peter stuck to the old faith, and became a priest. However, I must beg that you will come down, young ladies, and treat my young friends with all courtesy."

Nora and Kathleen had no excuse for declining to go down, and as they had no particular disinclination to see young gentlemen in general, and had rather a curiosity to become acquainted with these too muchlauded heroes, they followed their guardian into the drawing-room. As the door opened there was a movement in the room, but when the young ladies entered they found two personages seated in arm-chairs with their legs stretched out, one sucking the huge nob of his walkingcane, the other assiduously whipping his boots, apparently unconscious that any one was present. The first was dressed in the roughest squireen fashion, with a green coat and brass buttons, a flashy waistcoat and a still more flashy necktie, a white hat, breeches, and topboots; while the other, as if to present a contrast to him, had on an unimpeachable suit of black, with a white tie, shining black bat, and polished boots. Though they both bore a striking resemblance to M‘Cormic, so the Miss Hallorans declared, they were neither of them ill-looking exactly, he of the flashy waistcoat especially being a fine specimen of broad-shouldered humanity. They started from their seats as the ladies entered, apparently completely taken by surprise, while M‘Cormic in a fussy manner commenced the ceremony of a first introduction. The Miss O'Hallorans bowed stifly, and took their seats as far off from the gentlemen as the arrangement of the furniture would allow.

“My nephew, Mr. Matthew Honan," said M'Cormic, pointing to the gentleman in black, who thereon bowed low, with one hand on his heart, while with the other he gave a nervous flourish of his shining hat, and drew back his polished boots with a swing and a kick up behind.

“Your obedient servant, Miss Nora, for it's you I'm to

He began, then stopped, feeling that he had committed himself; but, notwithstanding, the impudent, familiar glance he gave at Nora brought

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