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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesShane Fadh's Wedding
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Shane Fadh's Wedding Post by :aveblein Category :Short Stories Author :William Carleton Date :November 2011 Read :1343

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Shane Fadh's Wedding

On the following evening, the neighbors were soon assembled about Ned's hearth in the same manner as on the night preceding:--And we may observe, by the way, that though there was a due admixture of opposite creeds and conflicting principles, yet even then, and the time is not so far back, such was their cordiality of heart and simplicity of manners when contrasted with the bitter and rancorous spirit of the present day that the very remembrance of the harmony in which they lived is at once pleasing and melancholy.

After some preliminary chat, "Well Shane," said Andy Morrow, addressing Shane Fadh, "will you give us an account of your wedding? I'm tould it was the greatest let-out that ever was in the country, before or since."

"And you may say that, Mr. Morrow," said Shane, "I was at many a wedding myself, but never at the likes of my own, barring Tim Lannigan's, that married Father Corrigan's niece."

"I believe," said Andy, "that, too, was a dashing one; however, it's your own we want. Come, Nancy, fill these measures again, and let us be comfortable, at all events, and give Shane a double one, for talking's druthy work:--I'll stand this round."

When the liquor was got in, Shane, after taking a draught, laid down his pint, pulled out his steel tobacco-box, and, after twisting off a chew between his teeth, closed the box, and commenced the story of his wedding.

"When I was a Brine-Oge,"* said Shane, "I was as wild as an unbroken cowlt--no divilment was too hard for me; and so sign's on it, for there wasn't a piece of mischief done in the parish, but was laid at my door--and the dear knows I had enough of my own to answer for, let alone to be set down for that of other people; but, any way, there was many a thing done in my name, when I knew neither act nor part about it. One of them I'll mintion: Dick Cuillenan, father to Paddy, that lives at the crass-roads, beyant Gunpowdher Lodge, was over head and ears in love with Jemmy Finigan's eldest daughter, Mary, then, sure enough, as purty a girl as you'd meet in a fair--indeed, I think I'm looking at her, with her fair flaxen ringlets hanging over her shoulders, as she used to pass our house, going to mass of a Sunday. God rest her sowl, she's now in glory--that was before she was my wife. Many a happy day we passed together; and I could take it to my death, that an ill word, let alone to rise our hands to one another, never passed between us--only one day, that a word or two happened about the dinner, in the middle of Lent, being a little too late, so that the horses were kept nigh half an hour out of the plough; and I wouldn't have valued that so much, only that it was Beal Cam** Doherty that joined*** me in ploughing that year--and I was vexed not to take all I could out of him, for he was a raal Turk himself.

* A young man full of fun and frolic. The word literally signifies Young Brian. Such phrases originate thus:--A young man remarkable for one or more qualities of a particular nature becomes so famous for them that his name, in the course of time, is applied to others, as conveying the same character.

** Crooked mouth.

***In Ireland, small farmers who cannot afford to keep more than one horse are in the habit of "joining," as it is termed--that is, of putting their horses together so as to form a yoke, when they plough each other's farms, working alternately, sometimes, by the week, half-week, or day; that is, I plough this day, or this week, and you the next day, or week, until our crops are got down. In this case, each is anxious to take as much out of the horses as he can, especially where the farms are unequal. For instance, where one farm is larger than another the difference must be paid by the owner of the larger one in horse-labor, man-labor, or money; but that he may have as little to pay as possible, he ploughs as much for himself, by the day, as he can, and often strives to get the other to do as little per day, on the other side, in order to diminish what will remain due to his partner. There is, consequently, a ludicrous undercurrent of petty jealousy running between them, which explains the passage in question.

"I disremember now what passed between us as to words--but I know I had a duck-egg in my hand, and when she spoke, I raised my arm, and nailed--poor Larry Tracy, our servant boy, between the two eyes with it, although the crathur was ating his dinner quietly fornent me, not saying a word.

"Well, as I tould you, Dick was ever after her, although her father and mother would rather see her under boord* than joined to any of that connection; and as for herself, she couldn't bear the sight of him, he was sich an upsetting, conceited puppy, that thought himself too good for every girl. At any rate, he tried often and often, in fair and market, to get striking up with her; and both coming from and going to mass, 'twas the same way, for ever after and about her, till the state he was in spread over the parish like wild fire. Still, all he could do was of no use; except to bid him the time of day, she never entered into discoorse with him at all at all. But there was no putting the likes of him off; so he got a quart of spirits in his pocket, one night, and without saying a word to mortal, off he sets full speed to her father's, in order to brake the thing to the family.

* In that part of the country where the scene of Shane Fadh's Wedding is laid, the bodies of those who die are not stretched out on a bed, and the face exposed; on the contrary, they are placed generally on the ground, or in a bed, but with a board resting upon two stools or chairs over them. This is covered with a clean sheet, generally borrowed from some wealthier neighbor; so that the person of the deceased is altogether concealed. Over the sheet upon the board, are placed plates of cut tobacco, pipes, snuff, &c. This is what is meant by being "undher boord."

"Mary might be about seventeen at this time, and her mother looked almost as young and fresh as if she hadn't been married at all. When Dick came in, you may be sure they were all surprised at the sight of him; but they were civil people--and the mother wiped a chair, and put it over near the fire for him to sit down upon, waiting to hear what he'd say, or what he wanted, although, they could give a purty good guess as to that!--but they only wished to put him off with as little offince as possible. When Dick sot a while, talking about what the price of hay and oats would be in the following summer, and other subjects that he thought would show his knowledge of farming and cattle, he pulls out his bottle, encouraged to by their civil way of talking--and telling the ould couple, that as he came over on his kailyee,* he had brought a drop in his pocket to sweeten the discoorse, axing Susy Finigan, the mother, for a glass to send it round with--at the same time drawing over his chair close to Mary who was knitting her stocken up beside her little brother Michael, and chatting to the gorsoon, for fraid that Cuillenan might think she paid him any attention.

* Kailyee--a friendly evening visit.

When Dick got alongside of her, he began of coorse, to pull out her needles and spoil her knitting, as is customary before the young people come to close spaking. Mary, howsomever, had no welcome for him; so, says she, 'You ought to know, Dick Cuillenan, who you spake to, before you make the freedom you do'

"'But you don't know, says Dick, 'that I'm a great hand at spoiling the girls' knitting,--it's a fashion I've got,' says he.

"'It's a fashion, then,' says Mary, 'that'll be apt to get you a broken mouth, sometime'.*

* It is no unusual thing in Ireland for a country girl to repulse a fellow whom she thinks beneath her, if not by a flat at least by a flattening refusal; nor is it seldom that the "argumentum fistycuffum" resorted to on such occasions. I have more than once seen a disagreeable lover receive, from that fair hand which he sought, so masterly a blow, that a bleeding nose rewarded his ambition, and silenced for a time his importunity.

"'Then,' says Dick, 'whoever does that must marry me.'

"'And them that gets you, will have a prize to brag of,' says she; 'stop yourself, Cuillenan---single your freedom, and double your distance, if you plase; I'll cut my coat off no such cloth.'

"'Well, Mary,' says he, 'maybe, if you, don't, as good will; but you won't be so cruel as all that comes to--the worst side of you is out, I think.'

"He was now beginning to make greater freedom; but Mary rises from her seat, and whisks away with herself, her cheek as red as a rose with vexation at the fellow's imperance. 'Very well,' says Dick, 'off you go; but there's as good fish in the say as ever was catched.--I'm sorry to see, Susy,' says he to her mother, 'that Mary's no friend of mine, and I'd be mighty glad to find it otherwise; for, to tell the truth, I'd wish to become connected with the family. In the mane time, hadn't you better get us a glass, till we drink one bottle on the head of it, anyway.'

"'Why, then, Dick Cuillenan,' says the mother, 'I don't wish you anything else than good luck and happiness; but, as to Mary, She's not for you herself, nor would it be a good match between the families at all. Mary is to have her grandfather's sixty guineas; and the two moulleens* that her uncle Jack left her four years ago has brought her a good stock for any farm. Now if she married you, Dick, where's the farm to bring her to?--surely it's not upon them seven acres of stone and bent, upon the long Esker,** that I'd let my daughter go to live. So, Dick, put up your bottle, and in the name of God, go home, boy, and mind your business; but, above all, when you want a wife, go to them that you may have a right to expect, and not to a girl like Mary Finigan, that could lay down guineas where you could hardly find shillings.'


* Cows without horns.

** Esker; a high ridge of land, generally barren and
unproductive, when upon a small scale. It is also a ridgy
height that runs for many miles through a country.


"'Very well, Susy,' says Dick, nettled enough, as he well might, 'I say to you, just as I say to your daughter, if you be proud there's no force.'"

"But what has this to do with you, Shane?" asked Andy Morrow; "sure we wanted to hear an account of your wedding, but instead of that, it's Dick Cuillenan's history you're giving us."

"That's just it," said Shane; "sure, only for this same Dick, I'd never got Mary Finigan for a wife. Dick took Susy's advice, bekase, after all, the undacent drop was in him? or he'd never have brought the bottle out of the house at all; but, faith he riz up, put the whiskey in his pocket, and went home with a face on him as black as my hat with venom. Well, things passed on till the Christmas following, when one night, after the Finigans had all gone to bed, there comes a crowd of fellows to the door, thumping at it with great violence, and swearing that if the people within wouldn't open it immediately, it would be smashed into smithereens. The family, of coorse, were all alarmed; but somehow or other, Susy herself got suspicious that it might be something about Mary, so up she gets, and sends the daughter to her own bed, and lies down herself in the daughter's.

"In the mane time, Finigan got up, and after lighting a candle, opened the door at once. 'Come, Finigan,' says a strange voice, 'put out the candle, except you wish us to make a candlestick of the thatch,' says he--'or to give you a prod of a bagnet under the ribs,' says he.

"It was a folly for one man to go to bell-the-cat with a whole crowd; so he blew the candle out, and next minute they rushed in, and went as straight as a rule to Mary's bed. The mother all the time lay close, and never said a word. At any rate, what could be expected, only that, do what she could, at the long-run she must go? So according, after a very hard battle on her side, being a powerful woman, she was obliged to travel--but not till she had left many of them marks to remimber her by; among the rest, Dick himself got his nose split on his face, with the stroke of a churn-staff, so that he carried half a nose on each cheek till the day of his death. Still there was very little spoke, for they didn't wish to betray themselves on any side. The only thing that Finigan could hear, was my name repeated several times, as if the whole thing was going on under my direction; for Dick thought, that if there was any one in the parish likely to be set down for it, it was me.

"When Susy found they were for putting her behind one of them, on a horse, she rebelled again, and it took near a dozen of boys to hoist her up; but one vagabone of them, that had a rusty broad-sword in his hand, gave her a skelp with the flat side of it, that subdued her at once, and off they went. Now, above all nights in the year, who should be dead but my own full cousin, Denis Fadh--God be good to him!--and I, and Jack, and Dan, his brothers, while bringing; home whiskey for the wake and berrin, met them on the road. At first we thought them distant relations coming to the wake, but when I saw only one woman among the set, and she mounted on a horse, I began to suspect that all wasn't right. I accordingly turned back a bit, and walked near enough without their seeing me to hear the discoorse, and discover the whole business. In less than no time I was back at the wake-house, so I up and tould them what I saw, and off we set, about forty of us, with good cudgels, scythe-sneds, and flails, fully bent to bring her back from them, come or go what would. And troth, sure enough, we did it; and I was the man myself, that rode afore the mother on the same horse that carried her off.

"From this out, when and wherever I got an opportunity, I whispered the soft nonsense, Nancy, into poor Mary's ear, until I put my comedher* on her, and she couldn't live at all without me. But I was something for a woman to look at then, any how, standing six feet two in my stocking soles, which, you know, made them call me Shane Fadh.** At that time I had a dacent farm of fourteen acres in Crocknagooran--the same that my son, Ned, has at the present time; and though, as to wealth, by no manner of manes fit to compare with the Finigans, yet, upon the whole, she might have made a worse match. The father, however, wasn't for me; but the mother was: so after drinking a bottle or two with the mother, Sarah Traynor, her cousin, and Mary, along with Jack Donnellan, on my part, in their own barn, unknown to the father, we agreed to make, a runaway match of it, and appointed my uncle Brian Slevin's as the house we'd go to. The next Sunday was the day appointed; so I had my uncle's family prepared, and sent two gallons of whiskey, to be there before us, knowing that neither the Finigans nor my own friends liked stinginess.


* Comedher--come hither--alluding to the burden of an old
love-charm which is still used by the young of both sexes on
May-morning. It is a literal translation of the Irish word
"gutsho."

** Fadh is tall, or long


"Well, well, after all, the world is a strange thing--it's myself hardly knows what to make of it. It's I that did doat night and day upon that girl; and indeed there was them that could have seen me in Jimmaiky for her sake, for she was the beauty of the country, not to say of the parish, for a girl in her station. For my part, I could neither ate nor sleep, for thinking that she was so soon to be my own married wife, and to live under my roof. And when I'd think of it, how my heart would bounce to my throat, with downright joy and delight! The mother had made us promise not to meet till Sunday, for fraid of the father becoming suspicious: but if I was to be shot for it, I couldn't hinder myself from going every night to the great flowering whitethorn that was behind their garden; and although she knew I hadn't promised to come, yet there she still was; something, she said, tould her I would come.

"The next Sunday we met at Althadhawan wood, and I'll never forget what I felt when I was going to the green at St. Patrick's Chair, where the boys and girls meet on Sunday; but there she was--the bright eyes dancing: with joy in her head to see me. We spent the evening in the wood, till it was dusk--I bating them all leaping, dancing, and throwing the stone; for, by my song, I thought I had the action of ten men in me; she looking on, and smiling like an angel, when I'd lave them miles behind me. As it grew dusk, they all went home, except herself and me, and a few more who, maybe, had something of the same kind on hands.

"'Well Mary,' says I, 'acushla machree, it's dark enough for us to go; and, in the name of God, let us be off."

"The crathur looked into my face, and got pale--for she was very young then: 'Shane,' says she, and she thrimbled like an aspen lafe, 'I'm going to trust myself with--you for ever--for ever, Shane, avourueen,--and her sweet voice broke into purty murmurs as she spoke; 'whether for happiness or sorrow God he only knows. I can bear poverty and distress, sickness and want will' you, but I can't bear to think that you should ever forget to love me as you do now, or your heart should ever cool to me: but I'm sure,' says she, 'you'll never forget this night--and the solemn promises you made me, before God and the blessed skies above us.'

"We were sitting at the time under the shade of a rowan-tree, and I had only one answer to make--I pulled her to my breast, where she laid her head and cried like a child with her cheek against mine. My own eyes weren't dry, although I felt no sorrow, but--but--I never forgot that night--and I never will."

He now paused a few minutes, being too much affected to proceed.

"Poor Shane," said Nancy, in a whisper to Andy Morrow, "night and day he's thinking about that woman; she's now dead going on a year, and you would think by him, although he bears up very well before company that she died only yestherday--but indeed it's he that was always the kind-hearted, affectionate man; and a better husband never broke bread."

"Well," said Shane, resuming the story, and clearing his voice, "it's great consolation to me, now that she's gone, to think that I never broke the promise I made her that night; for as I tould you, except in regard to the duck-egg, a bitther word never passed between us. I was in a passion then, for a wonder, and bent upon showing her that I was a dangerous man to provoke; so just to give her a spice of what I could do, I made Larry feel it--and may God forgive me for raising my hand even then to her. But sure he would be a brute that would beat such a woman except by proxy. When it was clear dark we set off, and after crossing the country for two miles, reached my uncle's, where a great many of my friends were expecting us. As soon as we came to the door I struck it two or three times, for that was the sign, and my aunt came out, and taking Mary in her arms, kissed her, and, with a thousand welcomes, brought us both in.

"You all know that the best of aiting and dhrinking is provided when a runaway couple is expected; and indeed there was galore of both there. My uncle and all that were within welcomed us again; and many a good song and hearty jug of punch was sent round that night. The next morning my uncle went to her father's, and broke the business to him at once: indeed it wasn't very hard to do, for I believe it reached him afore he saw my uncle at all; so she was brought home* that day, and, on the Thursday night after, I, my father, uncle, and several other friends, went there and made the match. She had sixty guineas, that her grandfather left her, thirteen head of cattle, two feather- and two chaff-beds, with sheeting, quilts, and blankets; three pieces of bleached linen, and a flock of geese of her own rearing--upon the whole, among ourselves, it wasn't aisy to get such a fortune.

* One-half, at least, of the marriages in a great portion of Ireland are effected in this manner. They are termed "runaway matches," and are attended with no disgrace. When the parents of the girl come to understand that she has "gone off," they bring her home in a day or two; the friends of the parties then meet, and the arrangements for the marriage are made as described in the tale.

"Well, the match was made, and the wedding day appointed; but there was one thing still to be managed, and that was how to get over standing at mass on Sunday, to make satisfaction for the scandal we gave the church by running away with one another--but that's all stuff, for who cares a pin about standing, when three halves of the parish are married in the same way! The only thing that vexed me was, that it would keep back the wedding-day. However, her father and my uncle went to the priest, and spoke to him, trying, of coorse, to get us off it, but he knew we were fat geese, and was in for giving us a plucking.--Hut, tut!--he wouldn't hear of it at all, not he; for although he would ride fifty miles to sarve either of us, he couldn't break the new orders that he had got only a few days before that from the bishop. No; we must stand*--for it would be setting a bad example to the parish; and if he would let us pass, how could he punish the rest of his flock, when they'd be guilty of the same thing?

* Matches made in this manner are discountenanced by the Roman Catholic clergy, as being liable to abuse; and, for this reason, the parties, by way of punishment, are sometimes, but not always, made to stand up at mass for one or three Sundays; but, as Shane expresses it, the punishment is so common that it completely loses its effect. To "stand," in the sense meant here, is this: the priest, when the whole congregation are on their knees, calls the young man and woman by name, who stand up and remain under the gaze of the congregation, whilst he rebukes them for the scandal they gave to the church, after which they kneel down. In general it is looked upon more in fun than punishment. Sometimes, however, the wealthier class compromise this matter with the priest, as described above.

"'Well, well, your Reverence,' says my uncle, winking at her father, 'if that's the case, it can't be helped, any how--they must only stand, as many a dacent father and mother's child has done before them, and will again, plase God--your Reverence is right in doing your duty.'

"'True for you, Brian,' says his Reverence, 'and yet, God knows, there's no man in the parish would be sorrier to see such a dacent, comely young couple put upon a level with all the scrubs of the parish; and I know, Jemmy Finigan, it would go hard with your young, bashful daughter to get through with it, having the eyes of the whole congregation staring on her.'

"'Why, then, your Reverence, as to that,' says my uncle, who was just as stiff as the other was stout, 'the bashfulest of them will do more nor that to get a husband.'

"'But you tell me,' says the priest, 'that the wedding-day is fixed upon; how will you manage there?'

"'Why, put it off for three Sundays longer, to be sure,' says the uncle.

"'But you forget this, Brian,' says the priest, 'that good luck or prosperity never attends the putting off of a wedding.'

"Now here, you see, is where the priest had them; for they knew that as well as his Reverence himself--so they were in a puzzle again.

"'It's a disagreeable business,' says the priest, 'but the truth is, I could get them off with the bishop, only for one thing--I owe him five guineas of altar-money, and I am so far back in dues that I'm not able to pay him. If I could inclose this to him in a letter, I would get them off at once, although it would be bringing myself into trouble with the parish afterwards; but, at all events,' says he, 'I wouldn't make every one of you both--so, to prove that I wish to sarve you, I'll sell the best cow in my byre, and pay him myself, rather than their wedding day should be put off, poor things, or themselves brought to any bad luck--the Lord keep them from it!'

"While he was speaking, he stamped his foot two or three times on the flure, and the housekeeper came in.--'Katty,' says he, 'bring us in a bottle of whiskey; at all events, I can't let you away,' says he, 'without tasting something, and drinking luck to the young folks.'

"'In troth,' says Jemmy Finigan, 'and begging your Reverence's pardon, the sorra cow you'll sell this bout, any how, on account of me or my childhre, bekase I'll lay down on the nail what'll clear you wid the bishop; and in the name of goodness, as the day is fixed and all, let the crathurs not be disappointed.'

"'Jemmy,' says my uncle, 'if you go to that, you'll pay but your share, for I insist upon laying down one-half, at laste.'

"At any rate they came down with the cash, and after drinking a bottle between them, went home in choice spirits entirely at their good luck in so aisily getting us off. When they had left the house a bit, the priest sent after them--'Jemmy,' says he to Finigan, 'I forgot a circumstance, and that is, to tell you that I will go and marry them at your own house, and bring Father James, my curate with me.' 'Oh, wurrah, no,' said both, 'don't mention that, your Reverence, except you wish to break their hearts, out and out! why, that would be a thousand times worse nor making them stand to do penance: doesn't your Reverence know that if they hadn't the pleasure of running for the bottle, the whole wedding wouldn't be worth three half-pence?' 'Indeed, I forgot that, Jemmy.' 'But sure,' says my uncle, 'your Reverence and Father James must be at it, whether or not--for that we intended from the first.' 'Tell them I'll run for the bottle, too,' says the priest, laughing, 'and will make some of them look sharp, never fear.'

"Well, by my song, so far all was right; and may be it's we that weren't glad--maning Mary and myself--that there was nothing more in the way to put off the wedding-day. So, as the bridegroom's share of the expense always is to provide the whiskey, I'm sure, for the honor and glory of taking the blooming young crathur from the great lot of bachelors that were all breaking their hearts about her, I couldn't do less nor finish the thing dacintly; knowing, besides, the high doings that the Finigans would have of it--for they were always looked upon as a family that never had their heart in a trifle, when it would come to the push. So, you see, I and my brother Mickey, my cousin Tom, and Dom'nick Nulty, went up into the mountains to Tim Cassidy's still-house, where we spent a glorious day, and bought fifteen gallons of stuff, that one drop of it would bring the tear, if possible, to a young widdy's eye that had berrid a bad husband. Indeed, this was at my father's bidding, who wasn't a bit behindhand with any of them in cutting a dash. 'Shane,' says he to me, 'you know the Finigans of ould, that they won't be contint with what would do another, and that, except they go beyant the thing, entirely, they won't be satisfied. They'll have the whole countryside at the wadding, and we must let them see that we have a spirit and a faction of our own,' says he, 'that we needn't be ashamed of. They've got all kinds of ateables in cart-loads, and as we're to get the drinkables, we must see and give as good as they'll bring. I myself, and your mother, will go round and invite all we can think of, and let you and Mickey go up the hills to Tim Cassidy, and get fifteen gallons of whiskey, for I don't think less will do us.'

"This we accordingly complied with, as I said, and surely better stuff never went down the red lane (* Humorous periphrasis for throat) than the same whiskey; for the people knew nothing about watering it then, at all at all. The next thing I did was to get a fine shop cloth coat, a pair of top-boots, and buckskin breeches fit for a squire; along with a new Caroline hat that would throw off the wet like a duck. Mat Kavanagh, the schoolmaster from Findramore bridge, lent me his watch for the occasion, after my spending near two days learning from him to know what o'clock it was. At last, somehow, I masthered that point so well that, in a quarter of an hour at least, I could give a dacent guess at the time upon it.

"Well, at last the day came. The wedding morning, or the bride's part of it,* as they say, was beautiful. It was then the month of July. The evening before my father"* and my brother went over to Jemmy Finigan's, to make the regulations for the wedding. We, that is my party, were to be at the bride's house about ten o'clock, and we were then to proceed, all on horseback, to the priest's, to be married. We were then, after drinking something at Tom Hance's public-house, to come back as far as the Dumbhill, where we were to start and run for the bottle. That morning we were all up at the shriek of day. From six o'clock my own faction, friends and neighbors, began to come, all mounted; and about eight o'clock there was a whole regiment of them, some on horses, some on mules, others on raheries** and asses; and, by my word, I believe little Dick Snudaghan, the tailor's apprentice, that had a hand in making my wedding-clothes, was mounted upon a buck goat, with a bridle of salvages tied to his horns. Anything at all to keep their feet from the ground; for nobody would be allowed to go with the wedding that hadn't some animal between them and the earth.

* The morning or early part of the day, on which an Irish couple are married, up until noon, is called the bride's part, which, if the fortunes of the pair are to be happy, is expected to be fair--rain or storm being considered indicative of future calamity.

** A small, shaggy pony, so called from being found in great numbers on the Island of that name.

"To make a long story short, so large a bridegroom's party was never seen in that country before, save and except Tim Lannigans, that I mentioned just now. It would make you split your face laughing to see the figure they cut; some of them had saddles and bridles--others had saddles and halthers; some had back-suggawns of straw, with hay Stirrups to them, but good bridles; others sacks filled up as like saddles as they could make them, girthed with hay-ropes five or six times tied round the horse's body. When one or two of the horses wouldn't carry double, except the hind rider sat stride-ways, the women had to be put foremost, and the men behind them. Some had dacent pillions enough, but most of them had none at all, and the women were obliged to sit where the pillion ought to be--and a hard card they had to play to keep their seats even when the horses walked asy, so what must it be when they came to a gallop! but that same was nothing at all to a trot.

"From the time they began to come that morning, you may be sartain that the glass was no cripple, any how--although, for fear of accidents, we took care not to go too deep. At eight o'clock we sat down to a rousing breakfast, for we thought it best to eat a trifle at home, lest they might think that what we were to get at the bride's breakfast might be thought any novelty. As for my part, I was in such a state, that I couldn't let a morsel cross my throat, nor did I know what end of me was uppermost. After breakfast they all got their cattle, and I my hat and whip, and was ready to mount, when my uncle whispered to me that I must kneel down and ax my father and mother's blessing, and forgiveness for all my disobedience and offinces towards them--and also to requist the blessing of my brothers and sisters. Well, in a short time I was down; and my goodness! such a hullabaloo of crying as there was in a minute's time! 'Oh, Shane Fadh--Shane Fadh, acushla machree!' says my poor mother in Irish, 'you're going to break up the ring about your father's hearth and mine--going to lave us, avourneen, for ever, and we to hear your light foot and sweet voice, morning, noon, and night, no more! Oh!' says she, 'it's you that was the good son all out; and the good brother, too: kind and cheerful was your voice, and full of love and affection was your heart! Shane, avourneen dheelish, if ever I was harsh to you, forgive your poor mother, that will never see you more on her flure as one of her own family.'

"Even my father, that wasn't much given to crying', couldn't speak, but went over to a corner and cried till the neighbors stopped him. As for my brothers and sisters, they were all in an uproar; and I myself cried like a Trojan, merely bekase I see them at it. My father and mother both kissed me, and gave me their blessing; and my brothers and sisters did the same, while you'd think all their hearts would break. 'Come, come,' says my uncle, 'I'll have none of this: what a hubbub you make, and your son going to be well married--going to be joined to a girl that your betters would be proud to get into connection with. You should have more sense, Rose Campbell--you ought to thank God that he had the luck to come acrass such a colleen for a wife; and that it's not going to his grave, instead of into the arms of a purty girl--and what's better, a good girl. So quit your blubbering, Rose; and you, Jack,' says he to my father, 'that ought to have more sense, stop this instant. Clear off, every one of you, out of this, and let the young boy go to his horse. Clear out, I say, or by the powers I'll--look at them three stags of huzzies; by the hand of my body they're blubbering bekase it's not their own story this blessed day. Move--bounce!--and you, Rose Oge, if you're not behind Dudley Pulton in less than no time, by the hole of my coat, I'll marry a wife myself, and then where will the twenty guineas be that I'm to lave you?'

"God rest his soul, and yet there was a tear in his eye all the while--even in spite of his joking!

"Any how, it's easy knowing that there wasn't sorrow at the bottom of their grief: for they were all now laughing at my uncle's jokes, even while their eyes were red with the tears: my mother herself couldn't but be in a good humor, and join her smile with the rest.

"My uncle now drove us all out before him; not, however, till my mother had sprinkled a drop of holy water on each of us, and given me and my brothers and sisters a small taste of blessed candle, to prevent us from sudden death and accidents.* My father and she didn't come with as then, but they went over to the bride's while we were all gone to the priest's house. At last we set off in great style and spirits--I well mounted on a good horse of my own, and my brother (On one that he had borrowed from Peter Dannellon), fully bent on winning the bottle. I would have borrowed him myself, but I thought it dacenter to ride my own horse manfully, even though he never won a side of mutton or a saddle, like Dannellon's. But the man that was most likely to come in for the bottle was little Billy Cormick, the tailor, who rode a blood-racer that young-John Little had wickedly lent him for the special purpose; he was a tall bay animal, with long small legs, a switch tail, and didn't know how to trot. Maybe we didn't cut a dash--and might have taken a town before us. Out we set about nine o'clock, and went acrass the country: but I'll not stop to mintion what happened some of them, even before we got to the bride's house. It's enough to say here, that sometimes one in crassing a stile or ditch would drop into the shough;** sometimes another would find himself head foremost on the ground; a woman would be capsized here in crassing a ridgy field, bringing her fore-rider to the ground along with her; another would be hanging like a broken arch, ready to come down, till some one would ride up and fix her on the seat. But as all this happened in going over the fields, we expected that when we'd get out on the king's highway there would be less danger, as we would have no ditches or drains to crass. When we came in sight of the house, there was a general shout of welcome from the bride's party, who were on the watch for us: we couldn't do less nor give them back the chorus; but we had better have let that alone, for some of the young horses took the stadh,*** others of them capered about; the asses--the sorra choke them--that were along with us should begin to bray, as if it was the king's birthday--and a mule of Jack Urwin's took it into his head to stand stock still. This brought another dozen of them to the ground; so that, between one thing or another, we were near half an hour before we got on the march again. When the blood-horse that the tailor rode saw the crowd and heard the shouting, he cocked his ears, and set off with himself full speed; but before he had got far he was without a rider, and went galloping up to the bride's house, the bridle hangin' about his feet. Billy, however, having taken a glass or two, wasn't to be cowed: so he came up in great blood, and swore he would ride him to America, sooner than let the bottle be won from the bridegroom's party.

* In many parishes of Ireland a number of small wax candles are blessed by the priest upon Ash-Wednesday, and these are constantly worn about the person until that day twelve months, for the purposes mentioned above.

** Dyke or drain.

*** Became restive.

"When we arrived, there was nothing but shaking hands and kissing, and all kinds of slewsthering--men kissing men--women kissing women--and after that men and women all through other. Another breakfast was ready for us; and here we all sat down; myself and my next relations in the bride's house, and the others in the barn and garden; for one house wouldn't hold the half of us. Eating, however, was all only talk: of coorse we took some of the poteen again, and in a short time afterwards set off along the paved road to the priest's house, to be tied as fast as he could make us, and that was fast enough. Before we went out to mount our horses though, there was just such a hullabaloo with the bride and her friends as there was with myself: but my uncle soon put a stop to it, and in five minutes had them breaking their hearts laughing.

"Bless my heart, what doings! what roasting and boiling!--and what tribes of beggars and shulers, and vagabonds of all sorts and sizes, were sunning themselves about the doors wishing us a thousand times long life and happiness. There was a fiddler and piper: the piper was to stop in my father-in-law's while we were going to be married, to keep the neighbors that were met there shaking their toes while we were at the priest's; and the fiddler was to come with ourselves, in order you know, to have a dance at the priest's house, and to play for us coming and going; for there's nothing like a taste of music when one's on for sport. As we were setting off, ould Mary M'Quade from Kilnahushogue, who was sent for bekase she understood charms, and had the name of being lucky, took myself aside: 'Shane Fadh,' says she, 'you're a young man well to look upon; may God bless you and keep you so; and there's not a doubt but there's them here that wishes you ill--that would rather be in your shoes this blessed day, with your young colleen bawn, (* Fair Girl) that will be your wife before the sun sets, plase the heavens. There's ould Fanny Barton, the wrinkled thief of a hag, that the Finigans axed here for the sake of her decent son-in-law, who ran away with her daughter Betty, that was the great beauty some years ago: her breath's not good, Shane, and many a strange thing's said of her. Well, maybe, I know more about that nor I'm not going to mintion, any how: more betoken that it's not for nothing the white hare haunts the shrubbery behind her house.'

"'But what harm could she do me, Sonsy Mary?' says I--for she was called Sonsy--'we have often sarved her one way or other.'

"Ax me no questions about her, Shane,' says she, 'don't I know what she did to Ned Donnelly, that was to be pitied, if ever a man was to be pitied, for as good as seven months after his marriage, until I relieved him; was gone to a thread he was, and didn't they pay me decently for my throuble!'

"'Well, and what am I to do, Mary?' says I, knowing very well that what she sed was thrue enough, although I didn't wish her to see that I was afeard.

"'Why,' says she, 'you must first exchange money with me, and then, if you do as I bid you you may lave the rest to myself.'

"'I then took out, begad, a daicent lot of silver--say a crown or so--for my blood was up and the money was flush--and gave it to her for which I got a cronagh-bawn* half-penny in exchange.

* So-called from Cronebane, in the county of Wicklow, where there is a copper mine.

"'Now,' says she, 'Shane, you must keep this in your company, and for your life and sowl, don't part wid it for nine days after your marriage; but there's more to be done,' says she--'hould out your right knee;' so with this she unbuttoned three buttons of my buckskins, and made me loose the knot of my garther on the right leg. 'Now,' says she, 'if you keep them loose till after the priest says the words, and won't let the money I gave you go out of your company for nine days, along with something else I'll do that you're to know nothing about, there's no fear of all their pisthroges.'* She then pulled off her right shoe, and threw it after us for luck.

* Charms of an evil nature. These are ceremonies used by such women, and believed to be of efficacy by the people. It is an undoubted fact that the woman here named--and truly named--was called in by honest Ned Donnelly, who, I believe, is alive, and could confirm the truth of it. I remember her well, as I do the occasion on which she was called in by Ned or his friends. I also remember that a neighbor of ours, a tailor named Cormick M'Elroy--father, by the way, to little Billy Cormick, who figures so conspicuously at the wedding-- called her in to cure, by the force of charms, some cows he had that were sick.

"We were now all in motion once more--the bride riding behind my man, and the bridesmaid behind myself--a fine bouncing girl she was, but not to be mintioned in the one year with my own darlin'--in troth, it wouldn't be aisy getting such a couple as we were the same day, though it's myself that says it. Mary, dressed in a black castor hat, like a man's, a white muslin coat, with a scarlet silk handkercher about her neck, with a silver buckle and a blue ribbon, for luck, round her waist; her fine hair wasn't turned up, at all at all, but hung down in beautiful curls on her shoulders; her eyes, you would think, were all light; her lips as plump and as ripe as cherries--and maybe it's myself that wasn't to that time o' day without tasting them, any how; and her teeth, so even, and as white as a burned bone. The day bate all for beauty; I don't know whether it was from the lightness of my own spirit it came, but, I think, that such a day I never saw from that to this; indeed, I thought everything was dancing and smiling about me, and sartinly every one said, that such a couple hadn't been married, nor such a wedding seen in the parish for many a long year before.

"All the time, as we went along, we had the music; but then at first we were mightily puzzled what to do with the fiddler. To put him as a hind rider it would prevent him from playing, bekase how could he keep the fiddle before him and another so close to him? To put him foremost was as bad, for he couldn't play and hould the bridle together; so at last my uncle proposed that he should get behind himself, turn his face to the horse's tail, and saw away like a Trojan.

"It might be about four miles or so to the priest's house, and, as the day was fine, we' got on gloriously. One thing, however, became troublesome; you see there was a cursed set of ups and downs on the road, and as the riding coutrements were so bad with a great many of the weddiners, those that had no saddles, going down steep places, would work onward bit by bit, in spite of all they could do, till they'd be fairly on the horse's neck, and the women behind them would be on the animal's shoulders; and it required nice managing to balance themselves, for they might as well sit on the edge of a dale board. Many of them got tosses this way, though it all passed in good humor. But no two among the whole set were more puzzled by this than my uncle and the fiddler--I think I see my uncle this minute with his knees sticking into the horse's shoulders, and his two hands upon his neck, keeping himself back, with a cruiht* upon him, and the fiddler with his heels away, towards the horse's tail, and he stretched back against my uncle, for all the world like two bricks laid against one another, and one of them falling. 'Twas the same thing going up a hill; whoever was behind, would be hanging over the horse's tail, with the arm about the fore-rider's neck or body, and the other houlding the baste by the mane, to keep them both from sliding off backwards. Many a come-down there was among them--but, as I said, it was all in good humor; and, accordingly, as regularly as they fell, they were sure to get a cheer.

* The hump, which constitutes a round-shouldered man. If the reader has ever seen Hogarth's Illustrations of Hudibras, and remembers the redoubtable hero as he sits on horseback, he will be at no loss in comprehending what a cruiht means. Cruiht is the Irish for harp, and the simile is taken from the projection between the shoulders of the harper which was caused by carrying that instrument.

"When we got to the priest's house, there was a hearty welcome for us all. The bride and I, with our next kindred and friends, went into the parlor; along with these, there was a set of young fellows, who had been bachelors of the bride's, that got in with an intention of getting the first kiss* and, in coorse, of bating myself out of it. I got a whisper of this; so by my song, I was determined to cut them all out in that, as well as I did in getting herself; but you know, I couldn't be angry, even if they had got the foreway of me in it, bekase it's an ould custom. While the priest was going over the business, I kept my eye about me, and sure enough, there were seven or eight fellows all waiting to snap at her. When the ceremony drew near a close, I got up on one leg, so that I could bounce to my feet like lightning, and when it was finished, I got her in my arm, before you could say Jack Robinson, and swinging her behind the priest, gave her the husband's first kiss. The next minute there was a rush after her; but, as I had got the first, it was but fair that they should come in according as they could, I thought, bekase, you know, it was all in the coorse of practice; but, hould, there were two words to be said to that, for what does Father Dollard do but shoves them off, and a fine stout shoulder he had--shoves them off, like childre, and getting his arms about Mary, gives her half a dozen smacks at least--oh, consuming to the one less--that mine was only a cracker** to. The rest, then, all kissed her, one after another, according as they could come in to get one. We then went straight to his Reverence's barn, which had been cleared out for us the day before, by his own directions, where we danced for an hour or two, his Reverence and his Curate along with us.

* There is always a struggle for this at an Irish wedding, where every man is at liberty--even the priest himself--to anticipate the bridegroom if he can.


** Cracker is the small, hard cord which is tied to a rustic whip, in order to make it crack. When a man is considered to be inferior to another in anything, the people say, "he wouldn't make a cracker to his whip."

"When this was over we mounted again, the fiddler taking his ould situation behind my uncle. You know it is usual, after getting the knot tied, to go to a public-house or shebeen, to get some refreshment after the journey; so, accordingly, we went to little lame Larry Spooney's--grandfather to him that was transported the other day for staling Bob Beaty's sheep; he was called Spooney himself, for his sheep-stealing, ever since Paddy Keenan made the song upon him, ending with 'his house never wants a good ram-horn spoon;' so that let people say what they will, these things run in the blood--well, we went to his shebeen house, but the tithe of us couldn't get into it; so we sot on the green before the door, and, by my song, we took (* drank) dacently with him, any how; and, only for my uncle, it's odds but we would have been all fuddled.

"It was now that I began to notish a kind of coolness between my party and the bride's, and for some time I didn't know what to make of it--I wasn't long so, however; for my uncle, who still had his eye about him, comes over to me, and says, 'Shane, I doubt there will be bad work amongst these people, particularly betwixt the Dorans and the Flannagans--the truth is, that the old business of the law-shoot will break out, except they're kept from drink, take my word for it, there will be blood spilled. The running for the bottle will be a good excuse,' says he, 'so I think we had better move home before they go too far in the drink.'

"Well, any way, there was truth in this; so, accordingly, the reckoning was ped, and, as this was the thrate of the weddiners to the bride and bridegroom, every one of the men clubbed his share, but neither I nor the girls anything. Ha--ha--ha! Am I alive at all? I never--ha--ha--ha--!--I never laughed so much in one day as I did in that, today I can't help laughing at it yet. Well, well! when we all got on the top of our horses, and sich other iligant cattle as we had--the crowning of a king was nothing to it. We were now purty well I thank you, as to liquor; and, as the knot was tied, and all safe, there was no end to our good spirits; so, when we took the road, the men were in high blood, particularly Billy Cormick, the tailor, who had a pair of long cavalry spurs upon him, that he was scarcely able to walk in--and he not more nor four feet high. The women, too, were in blood, having faces upon them, with the hate of the day and the liquor, as full as trumpeters.

"There was now a great jealousy among thim that were bint for winning the bottle; and when one horseman would cross another, striving to have the whip hand of him when they'd set off, why you see, his horse would get a cut of the whip itself for his pains. My uncle and I, however, did all we could to pacify them; and their own bad horsemanship, and the screeching of the women, prevented any strokes at that time. Some of them were ripping up ould sores against one another as they went along; others, particularly the youngsters, with their sweethearts behind them, coorting away for the life of them, and some might be heard miles off, singing and laughing; and you may be sure the fiddler behind my uncle wasn't idle, no more nor another. In this way we dashed on gloriously, till we came in sight of the Dumb-hill, where we were to start for the bottle. And now you might see the men themselves on their saddles, sacks and suggans; and the women tying kerchiefs and shawls about their caps and bonnets, to keep them from flying off, and then gripping their fore-riders hard and fast by the bosoms. When we got to the Dumb-hill, there were five or six fellows that didn't come with us to the priest's, but met us with cudgels in their hands, to prevent any of them from starting before the others, and to show fair play.

"Well, when they were all in a lump,--horses, mules, raheries, and asses--some, as I said, with saddles, some with none; and all jist as I tould you before;--the word was given and off they scoured, myself along with the rest; and divil be off me, if ever I saw such another sight but itself before or since. Off they skelped through thick and thin, in a cloud of dust like a mist about us; but it was a mercy that the life wasn't trampled out of some of us; for before we had gone fifty perches, the one-third of them were sprawling a-top of one another on the road. As for the women, they went down right and left--sometimes bringing the horsemen with them; and many of the boys getting black eyes and bloody noses on the stones. Some of them, being half blind with the motion of the whiskey, turned off the wrong way, and galloped on, thinking they had completely distanced the crowd; and it wasn't until they cooled a bit that they found out their mistake.

(Illustration: PAGE 693-- How he kept his sate so long has puzzled me)

"But the best sport of all was, when they came to the Lazy Corner, just at Jack Gallagher's flush,* where the water came out a good way acrass the road; being in such a flight, they either forgot or didn't know how to turn the angle properly, and plash went above thirty of them, coming down right on the top of one another, souse in the pool. By this time there was about a dozen of the best horsemen a good distance before the rest, cutting one another up for the bottle: among these were the Dorans and Flanagans; but they, you see, wisely enough, dropped their women at the beginning, and only rode single. I myself didn't mind the bottle, but kept close to Mary, for fraid that among sich a divil's pack of half-mad fellows, anything might happen her. At any rate, I was next the first batch: but where do you think the tailor was all this time? Why away off like lightning, miles before them--flying like a swallow: and how he kept his sate so long has puzzled me from that day to this; but, any how, truth's best--there he was topping the hill ever so far before them. After all, the unlucky crathur nearly missed the bottle; for when he turned to the bride's house, instead of pulling up as he ought to do--why, to show his horsemanship to the crowd that was out looking at them, he should begin to cut up the horse right and left, until he made him take the garden ditch in full flight, landing him among the cabbages. About four yards or five from the spot where the horse lodged himself was a well, and a purty deep one, by my word; but not a sowl present could tell what become of the tailor, until Owen Smith chanced to look into the well, and saw his long spurs just above the water; so he was pulled up in a purty pickle, not worth the washing; but what did he care? although he had a small body, the sorra one of him but had a sowl big enough for Golias or Sampson the Great.


* Flush is a pool of water that spreads nearly across a
road. It is usually fed by a small mountain stream, and in
consequence of rising and falling rapidly, it is called
"Flash."


"As soon as he got his eyes clear, right or wrong, he insisted on getting the bottle: but he was late, poor fellow, for before he got out of the garden, two of them comes up--Paddy Doran and Peter Flanagan--cutting one another to pieces, and not the length of your nail between them. Well, well, that was a terrible day, sure enough. In the twinkling of an eye they were both off the horses, the blood streaming from their bare heads, struggling to take the bottle from my father, who didn't know which of them to give it to. He knew if he'd hand it to one, the other would take offince, and then he was in a great puzzle, striving to raison with them; but long Paddy Doran caught it while he was spaking to Flanagan, and the next instant Flanagan measured him with a heavy loaded whip, and left, him stretched upon the stones.--And now the work began: for by this time the friends of both parties came up and joined them. Such knocking down, such roaring among the men, and screeching and clapping of hands and wiping of heads among the women, when a brother, or a son, or a husband would get his gruel! Indeed, out of a fair, I never saw anything to come up to it. But during all this work, the busiest man among the whole set was the tailor, and what was worst of all for the poor creature, he should single himself out against both parties, bekase you see he thought they were cutting him out of his right to the bottle.

"They had now broken up the garden gate for weapons, all except one of the posts, and fought into the garden; when nothing should sarve Billy, but to take up the large heavy post, as if he could destroy the whole faction on each side. Accordingly he came up to big Matthew Flanagan, and was rising it just as if he'd fell him, when Matt, catching him by the nape of the neck, and the waistband of the breeches, went over very quietly, and dropped him a second time, heels up, into the well; where he might have been yet, only for my mother-in-law, who dragged him out with a great deal to do: for the well was too narrow to give him room to turn.

"As for myself and all my friends, as it happened to be my own wedding, and at our own place, we couldn't take part with either of them; but we endeavored all in our power to red (* Pacify or separate) them, and a tough task we had of it, until we saw a pair of whips going hard and fast among them, belonging to Father Corrigan and Father James, his curate. Well, its wonderful how soon a priest can clear up a quarrel! In five minutes there wasn't a hand up--instead of that they were ready to run into mice-holes:--

"'What, you murderers,' says his Reverence, 'are you bint to have each other's blood upon your heads; ye vile infidels, ye cursed unchristian Anthemtarians?* are ye going to get yourself hanged like sheep-stalers? down with your sticks, I command you: do you know--will you give yourselves time to see who's spaking to you--you bloodthirsty set of Episcopalians? I command you, in the name of the Catholic Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to stop this instant, if you don't wish me,' says he, 'to turn you into stocks and stones where you stand, and make world's wonders of you as long as you live.--Doran, if you rise your hand more, I'll strike it dead on your body, and to your mouth you'll never carry it while you have breath in your carcass,' says he.--'Clear off, you Flanagans, you butchers you--or by St. Domnick I'll turn the heads round upon your bodies, in the twinkling of an eye, so that you'll not be able to look a quiet Christian in the face again. Pretty respect you have for the decent couple at whose house you have kicked up such a hubbub. Is this the way people are to be deprived of their dinners on your accounts, you fungaleering thieves!'

* Antitrinitarians; the peasantry are often extremely fond of hard and long words, which they call tall English.

"'Why then, plase your Riverence, by the--hem--I say Father Corrigan, it wasn't my fault, but that villain Flanagan's, for he knows I fairly won the bottle--and would have distanced him, only that when I was far before him, the vagabone, he galloped across me on the way, thinking to thrip up the horse.'

"'You lying scoundrel,' says the priest, 'how dare you tell me a falsity,' says he, 'to my face? how could he gallop acrass you if you were far before him? Not a word more, or I'll leave you without a mouth to your face, which will be a double share of provision and bacon saved any way. And, Flanagan, you were as much to blame as he, and must be chastised for your raggamuffianly conduct,' says he, 'and so must you both, and all your party, particularly you and be, as the ringleaders. Right well I know it's the grudge upon the lawsuit you had and not the bottle, that occasioned it: but by St. Peter, to Loughderg both of you must tramp for this.'

"'Ay, and by St. Pether, they both desarve it as well as a thief does the gallows,' said a little blustering voice belonging to the tailor, who came forward in a terrible passion, looking for all the world like a drowned rat. 'Ho, by St. Pether, they do, the vagabones; for it was myself that won the bottle, your Reverence; and by this and by that,' says he, 'the bottle I'll have, or some of their crowns, will crack for it: blood or whiskey I'll have, your Reverence, and I hope that you'll assist me.

"'Why, Billy, are you here?' says Father Corrigan, smiling down upon the figure the little fellow cut, with his long spurs and his big whip; 'what in the world tempted you to get on horseback, Billy?'

"'By the powers, I was miles before them,' says Billy; 'and after this day, your Reverence, let no man say that I couldn't ride a steeplechase across Crocknagooran.'

"'Why, Billy, how did you stick on at all, at all?' says his Reverence.

"'How do I know how I stuck on?' says Billy, 'nor whether I stuck on at all or not; all I know is, that I was on horseback leaving the Dumb-hill, and that I found them pulling me by the heels out of the well in the corner of the garden--and that, your Reverence, when the first was only topping the hill there below, as Lanty Magowran tells me who was looking on.'

"'Well, Billy,' says Father Corrigan, 'you must get the bottle; and as for you Dorans and Flanagans, I'll make examples of you for this day's work--that you may reckon on. You are a disgrace to the parish, and, what's more, a disgrace to your priest. How can luck or grace attind the marriage of any young couple that there's such work at? Before you leave this, you must all shake hands, and promise never to quarrel with each other while grass grows or water runs; and if you don't, by the blessed St. Domnick, I'll exkimnicate* ye both, and all belonging to you into the bargain; so that ye'll be the pitiful examples and shows to all that look upon you.'

* Excommunicate. It is generally pronounced as above by the people.

"'Well, well, your Reverence,' says my father-in-law, 'let all by-gones be by-gones; and please God, they will, before they go, be better friends than ever they were. Go now an' clane yourselves, take the blood from about your faces, for the dinner's ready an hour agone; but if you all respect the place you're in, you'll show it, in regard of the young crathurs that's going, in the name of God, to face the world together, and of coorse wishes that this day at laste should pass in pace and quietness: little did I think there was any friend or neighbor here that would make so little of the place or people, as was done for nothing at all, in the face of the country.'

"'God he sees,' says my mother-in-law, 'that there's them here this day we didn't desarve this from, to rise such a norration, as if the house was a shebeen or a public-house! It's myself didn't think either me or my poor coolleen here, not to mention the dacent people she's joined to, would be made so little of, as to have our place turned into a play-acthur--for a play-acthur couldn't be worse.'

"'Well,' says my uncle, 'there's no help for spilt milk, I tell you, nor for spilt blood either; tare-an-ounty, sure we're all Irishmen, relations, and Catholics through other, and we oughtn't to be this way. Come away to the dinner--by the powers, we'll duck the first man that says a loud word for the remainder of the day. Come, Father Corrigan, and carve the goose, or the geese, for us--for, by my sannies, I bleeve there's a baker's dozen of them; but we've plenty of Latin for them, and your Reverence and Father James here understands that langidge, any how--larned enough there, I think, gintlemen.'

"'That's right, Brian,' shouts the tailor--'that's right; there must be no fighting: by the powers, the first man attempts it, I'll brain him--fell him to the earth like an ox, if all belonging to him was in my way.'

"This threat from the tailor went farther, I think, in putting them into good humor nor even what the priest said. They then washed and claned themselves, and accordingly went to their dinners.--Billy himself marched with his terrible whip in his hand, and his long cavalry spurs sticking near ten inches behind him, draggled to the tail like a bantling cock after a shower. But, maybe, there was more draggled tails and bloody noses nor poor Billy's, or even nor was occasioned by the fight; for after Father Corrigan had come, several of them dodged up, some with broken shins and heads and wet clothes, that they'd got on the way by the mischances of the race, particularly at the Flush. But I don't know how it was; somehow the people in them days didn't value these things a straw. They were far hardier then nor they are now, and never went to law at all at all. Why, I've often known skulls to be broken, and the people to die afterwards, and there would be nothing more about it, except to brake another skull or two for it; but neither crowner's quest, nor judge, nor jury, was ever troubled at all about it. And so sign's on it, people were then innocent, and not up to law and counsellors as they are now. If a person happened to be killed in a fight at a fair or market, why he had only to appear after his death to one of his friends, and get a number of masses offered up for his sowl, and all was right; but now the times are clane altered, and there's nothing but hanging and transporting for such things; although that won't bring the people to life again."

"I suppose," said Andy Morrow, "you had a famous dinner, Shane?"

"'Tis you that may say that, Mr. Morrow," replied Shane: "but the house, you see, wasn't able to hould one-half of us; so there was a dozen or two tables borrowed from the neighbors and laid one after another in two rows, on the green, beside the river that ran along the garden-hedge, side by side. At one end Father Corrigan sat, with Mary and myself, and Father James at the other. There were three five-gallon kegs of whiskey, and I ordered my brother to take charge of them; and there he sat beside them, and filled the bottles as they were wanted--bekase, if he had left that job to strangers, many a spalpeen there would make away with lots of it. Mavrone, such a sight as the dinner was! I didn't lay my eye on the fellow of it since, sure enough, and I'm now an ould man, though I was then a young one. Why there was a pudding boiled in the end of a sack; and troth it was a thumper, only for the straws--for you see, when they were making it, they had to draw long straws acrass in order to keep, it from falling asunder--a fine plan it is, too. Jack M'Kenna, the carpenther, carved it with a hand-saw, and if he didn't curse the same straws, I'm not here. 'Draw them out, Jack,' said Father Corrigan--'draw them out.--It's asy known, Jack, you never ate a polite dinner, you poor awkward spalpeen, or you'd have pulled out the straws the first thing you did, man alive.'

"Such lashins of corned beef, and rounds of beef, and legs of mutton, and bacon--turkeys and geese, and barn-door fowls, young and fat. They may talk as they will, but commend me to a piece of good ould bacon, ate with crock butther, and phaties, and cabbage. Sure enough, they leathered away at everything, but this and the pudding were the favorites. Father Corrigan gave up the carving in less than no time, for it would take him half a day to sarve them all, and he wanted to provide for number one. After helping himself, he set my uncle to it, and maybe he didn't slash away right and left. There was half a dozen gorsoons carrying about the beer in cans, with froth upon it like barm--but that was beer in airnest, Nancy--I'll say no more."

"When the dinner was over, you would think there was as much left as would sarve a regiment; and sure enough, a right hungry ragged regiment was there to take care of it--though, to tell the truth, there was as much taken into Finigan's as would be sure to give us all a rousing supper. Why, there was such a troop of beggars--men, women, and childher, sitting over on the sunny side of the ditch, as would make short work of the whole dinner, had they got it. Along with Father Corrigan and me, was my father and mother, and Mary's parents; my uncle, cousins, and nearest relations on both sides. Oh, it's Father Corrigan, God rest his sowl, he's now in glory, and so he was then, also--how he did crow and laugh! 'Well, Matthew Finigan,' says-he, 'I can't say but I'm happy that your Colleen Bawn here has lit upon a husband that's no discredit to the family--and it is herself didn't drive her pigs to a bad market,' says he. 'Why, in troth, Father avourneen,' says my mother-in law, 'they'd be hard to plase that couldn't be satisfied with them she got; not saying but she had her pick and choice of many a good offer, and might have got richer matches; but Shane Fadh M'Cawell although you're sitting there beside my daughter, I'm prouder to see you on my own flure, the husband of my child, nor if she'd got a man with four times your substance.'

"'Never heed the girls for knowing where to choose,' says his Reverence, slyly enough: 'but, upon my word, only she gave us all the slip, to tell the truth, I had another husband than Shane in my eye for her, and that was my own nevvy, Father James's brother here.'

"'And I'd be proud of the connection,' says my father-in-law, 'but you see, these girls won't look much to what you or I'll say, in choosin' a husband for themselves. How-and-iver, not making little of your nevvy, Father Michael, I say he's not to be compared with that same bouchal sitting beside Mary there.'

"'No, nor by the powdhers-o-war, never will,' says Billy M'Cormick the tailor, who had come over and slipped in on the other side betune Father Corrigan and the bride--'by the powdhers-o' war, he'll never be fit to be compared with me, I tell you, till yesterday comes back again.'

"'Why, Billy,' says the priest, 'you're every place.' 'But where I ought to be!' says Billy; 'and that's hard and fast tackled to Mary Bane, the bride here, instead of that steeple of a fellow she has got,' says the little cock.

"'Billy, I thought you were married,' said Father Corrigan.

"'Not I, your Reverence,' says Billy;' but I'll soon do something, Father Michael--I have been threatening this longtime, but I'll do it at last'

"'He's not exactly married, Sir, says my uncle 'but there's a colleen present' (looking at the bridesmaid) 'that will soon have his name upon her.'

"'Very good, Billy,' says the priest, 'I hope you will give us a rousing wedding-equal, at least, to Shane Fadh's.'

"'Why then, your Reverence, except I get sich a darling as Molly Bane, here--and by this and that, it's you that is the darling Molly asthore--what come over me, at all at all, that I didn't think of you,' says the little man, drawing close to her, and poor Mary smiling good-naturedly at his spirit.

"'Well, and what if you did get such a darling as Molly Bane, there?' says his Reverence.

"'Why, except I get the likes of her for a wife--upon second thoughts, I don't like marriage, any way,' said Billy, winking against the priest--'I lade such a life as your Reverence; and by the powdhers, it's a thousand pities that I wasn't made into a priest, instead of a tailor. For, you see, if I had' says he, giving a verse of an old song--


'For you see, if I had,
It's I'd be the lad
That would show all my people such larning;
And when they'd do wrong,
Why, instead of a song,
I'd give them a lump of a sarmin.'


"'Billy,' says my father-in-law, 'why don't you make a hearty dinner, man alive? go back to your sate and finish your male--you're aiting nothing to signify.' 'Me!' says Billy--'why, I'd scorn to ate a hearty dinner; and, I'd have you to know, Matt Finigan, that it wasn't for the sake of your dinner I came here, but in regard to your family, and bekase I wished him well that's sitting beside your daughter: and it ill becomes your father's son to cast up your dinner in my face, or any one of my family; but a blessed minute longer I'll not stay among you. Give me your hand, Shane Fadh, and you, Mary--may goodness grant you pace and happiness every night and day you both rise out of your beds. I made that coat your husband has on his back beside you--and a, betther fit was never made; but I didn't think it would come to my turn to have my dinner cast up this a-way, as if I was aiting it for charity.'

"'Hut, Billy,' says I, 'sure it was all out of kindness; he didn't mane to offind you.'

"'It's no matter,' says Billy, beginning to cry, 'he did offend me; and it's, low days with me to bear an affront from him, or the likes of him; but by the powdhers-o'-war,' says he, getting into a great rage, 'I won't bear it,--only as you're an old man yourself, I'll not rise my hand to you; but, let any man now that has the heart to take up your quarrel, come out and stand before me on the sod here.'

"Well, by this time, you'd tie all that were present with three straws, to see Billy stripping himself, and his two wrists not thicker than drumsticks. While the tailor was raging, for he was pretty well up with what he had taken, another person made his appearance at the far end of the boreen* that led to the green where we sot. He was mounted upon the top of a sack that was upon the top of a sober-looking baste enough--God knows; he jogging along at his ase, his legs dangling down from the sack on each side, and the long skirts of his coat hanging down behind him. Billy was now getting pacified, bekase they gave way to him a little; so the fun went round, and they sang, roared, danced, and coorted, right and left.

* A small pathway or bridle road leading to a farm-house.

"When the stranger came as far as the skirt of the green, he turned the horse over quite nathural to the wedding; and, sure enough, when he jogged up, it was Friar Rooney himself, with a sack of oats, for he had been questin.* Well, sure the ould people couldn't do less nor all go over to put the failtah** on him. 'Why, then,' says my father and mother-in-law, ''tis yourself, Friar Rooney, that's as welcome as the flowers of May; and see who's here before you--Father Corrigan, and Father Dollard.'


* Questin--When an Irish priest or friar collects corn or
money from the people in a gratuitous manner, the act is
called "questin."

** Welcome.


"'Thank you, thank you, Molshy--thank you, Matthew--troth, I know that 'tis I am welcome.'

"'Ay, and you're welcome again, Father Rooney,' said my father, going down and shaking hands with him, 'and I'm proud to see you here. Sit down, your Reverence--here's everything that's good, and plinty of it, and if you don't make much of yourself, never say an ill fellow dealt with you.'

"The friar stood while my father was speaking, with a pleasant, contented face upon him, only a little roguish and droll.

"'Hah! Shane Fadh,' says he, smiling dryly at me, 'you did them all, I see. You have her there, the flower of the parish, blooming beside you; but I knew as much six months ago, ever since I saw you bid her good-night at the hawthorn. Who looked back so often, Mary, eh? Ay, laugh and blush--do--throth, 'twas I that caught you, but you didn't see me, though. Well, a colleen, and if you did, too, you needn't be ashamed of your bargain, any how. You see, the way I came to persave yez that evening was this--but I'll tell it, by and by. In the mane time,' says he, sitting down and attacking a fine piece of corn-beef and greens, 'I'll take care of a certain acquaintance of mine,' says he. 'How are you, reverend gintlemen of the Secularily? You'll permit a poor friar to sit and ate his dinner, in your presence, I humbly hope.'

"'Frank,' says Father Corrigan, 'lay your hand upon your conscience, or upon your stomach, which is the same thing, and tell us honestly, how many dinners you eat on your travels among my parishioners this day.'

"'As I'm a sinner, Michael, this is the only thing to be called a dinner I eat this day;--Shane Fadh--Mary, both your healths, and God grant you all kinds of luck and happiness, both here and hereafter! All your healths in gineral! gintlemen seculars!'

"'Thank you, Frank,' said Father Corrigan; how did you speed to-day?'

"'How can any man speed, that comes after you?' says the Friar; 'I'm after travelling the half of the parish for that poor bag of oats that you see standing against the ditch.'

"'In other words, Frank,' says the Priest, 'you took Allhadhawan in your way, and in about half a dozen houses filled your sack, and then turned your horse's head towards the good cheer, by way of accident only.'

"'And was it by way of accident, Mr. Secular, that I got you and that illoquent young gintleman, your curate, here before me? Do you feel that, man of the world? Father James, your health, though--you're a good young man as far as saying nothing goes; but it's better to sit still than to rise up and fall, so I commend you for your discretion,' says he; 'but I'm afeared your master there won't make you much fitter for the kingdom of heaven any how.'

"'I believe, Father Corrigan,' says my uncle, who loved to see the priest and the friar at it, 'that you've met with your match--I think Father Rooney's able for you.'

"'Oh, sure,' says Father Corrigan, he was joker to the college of the Sorebones (* Sorbonne) in Paris; he got as much education as enabled him to say mass in Latin, and to beg oats in English, for his jokes.'

"'Troth, and,' says the friar, 'if you were to get your larning on the same terms, you'd be guilty of very little knowledge; why, Michael, I never knew you to attempt a joke but once, and I was near shedding tears, there was something so very sorrowful in it.'

"This brought the laugh against the priest--'Your health, Molshy,' says he, winking at my mother-in-law, and then giving my uncle, who sat beside him, a nudge; 'I believe, Brian, I'm giving it to him.' ''Tis yourself that is,' says my uncle; 'give him a wipe or two more.' 'Wait till he answers the last,' says the friar.

"'He's always joking,' says Father James, 'when he thinks he'll make any thing by it.'

"'Ah!' says the friar, 'then God help you both if you were left to your jokes for your feeding; for a poorer pair of gentlemen wouldn't be found in Christendom.'

"'And I believe,' says Father Corrigan, 'if you depinded for your feeding upon your divinity instead of your jokes, you'd be as poor as a man in the last stage of a consumption.'

"This drew the laugh against the friar, who smiled himself; but he was a dry man that never laughed much.

"'Sure,' says the friar, who was seldom at a loss, 'I have yourself and your nephew for examples that it's possible to live and be well fed without divinity.'

"'At any rate,' says my uncle, putting in his tongue, 'I think you're both very well able to make divinity a joke betune you,' says he.

"'Well done, Brian,' says the friar, 'and so they are, for I believe it is the only subject they can joke upon! and I beg your pardon, Michael, for not excepting it before; on that subject I allow you to be humorsome.'

"'If that be the case, then,' says Father Corrigan, 'I must give up your company, Frank, in order to avoid the force of bad example; for you're so much in the habit of joking on everything else, that you're not able to accept even divinity itself.'

"'You may aisily give me up,' says the friar, 'but how will you be able to forget Father Corrigan? I'm afeard you'll find his acquaintance as great a detriment to yourself, as it is to others in that respect.'

"'What makes you say,' says Father James, who was more in airnest than the rest, 'that my uncle won't make me fit for the kingdom of heaven?'

"'I had a pair of rasons for it, Jemmy,' says the friar; 'one is, that he doesn't understand the subject himself; another is, that you haven't capacity for it, even if he did. You've a want of natural parts--a whackuuum here' pointing to his forehead.

"'I beg your pardon, Frank,' says Father James 'I deny your premises, and I'll now argue in Latin with you, if you wish, upon any subject you please.'

"'Come, then,' says the friar,--'Kid eat ivy mare eat hay.'

"'Kid--what?' says the other.

"'Kid eat ivy mare eat hay,' answers the friar.

"'I don't know what you're at,' says Father James, 'but I'll argue in Latin with you as long as you wish.'

"'Tut man,' says Father Rooney, 'Latin's for school-boys; but come, now, I'll take you in another language--I'll try you in Greek--In-mud-eel-is in-clay-none-is in-fir-tar-is in-oak-no ne-is.'

"The curate looked at him, amazed, not knowing what answer to make. At last says he, 'I don't profess to know Greek, bekase I never larned it--but stick to the Latin, and I'm not afeard of you.'

"'Well, then,' says the friar, 'I'll give you a trial at that--Afflat te canis ter--Forte dux fel flat in guttur.'

"'A flat tay-canisther--Forty ducks fell flat in the gutthers!' says Father James,--'why that's English!'

"'English!' says the friar, 'oh, good-bye to you, Mr. Secular; 'if that's your knowledge of Latin, you're an honor to your tachers and to your cloth.'

"Father Corrigan now laughed heartily at the puzzling the friar gave Father James. 'James,' says he, 'never heed him; he's only pesthering you with bog-Latin; but, at any rate to do him justice, he's not a bad Scholar, I can tell you that.... Your health, Prank, you droll crathur--your health. I have only one fault to find with you, and that is, that you fast and mortify yourself too much. Your fasting has reduced you from being formerly a friar of very genteel dimensions to a cut of corpulency that smacks strongly of penance--fifteen stone at least.

"'Why,' says the friar, looking down quite plased, entirely, at the cut of his own waist, Uch, among ourselves, was no trifle, and giving a growl of a laugh--the most he ever gave, 'if what you pray here benefits you in the next life as much as what I fast does for me in this, it will be well for the world in general Michael.'

"'How can you say, Frank,' says Father 'with such a carkage as that, you're a poor friar? Upon my credit, when you die, I think the angels will have a job of it in wafting you upwards."

"'Jemmy, man, was it you that said it?--why, my light's beginning to shine upon you, or you never could have got out so much,' says Father Rooney, putting his hands over his brows, and looking up toardst him; 'but if you ever read scripthur, which I suppose you're not overburdened with, you would know that it says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," but not blessed are the poor in flesh--now, mine is spiritual poverty.'

"'Very true, Frank,' says Father Corrigan, 'I believe there's a great dearth and poverty of spirituality about you, sure enough. But of all kinds of poverty, commend me to a friar's. Voluntary poverty's something, but it's the divil entirely for a man to be poor against his will. You friars boast of this voluntary poverty; but if there's a fat bit in any part of the parish, we, that are the lawful clargy, can't eat it, but you're sure to drop in, just in the nick of time, with your voluntary poverty.'

"'I'm sure, if we do,' says the friar, 'it's nothing out of your pocket, Michael. I declare I believe you begrudge us the air we breathe. But don't you know very well that our ordhers are apostolic, and that, of coorse, we have a more primitive appearance than you have.'

"'No such thing,' says the other; 'you, and the parsons, and the fat bishops, are too far from the right place--the only difference between you is, that you are fat and lazy by toleration, whereas the others are fat and lazy by authority. You are fat and lazy on your ould horses, jogging about from house to house, and stuffing yourselves either at the table of other people's parishioners, or in your own convents in Dublin and elsewhere. They are rich, bloated gluttons, going about in their coaches, and wallying in wealth. Now, we are the golden mean, Frank, that live upon a little, and work hard for it.'

"'Why, you cormorant,' says the friar, a little nettled, for the dhrop was beginning to get up into his head, 'sure if we're fat by toleration, we're only tolerably fat, my worthy secular!'

"'You see,' says the friar, in a whisper to my uncle, 'how I sobered them in the larning, and they are good scholars for all that, but not near so deep read as myself.' 'Michael,' says he, 'now that I think on it--sure I'm to be at Denis O'Flaherty's Month's mind on Thursday next.'

"'Indeed I would not doubt you,' says Father Corrigan; 'you wouldn't be apt to miss it.'

"'Why, the widdy Flaherty asked me yesterday, and I think that's proof enough that I'm not going unsent for.'

"By this time the company was hard and fast at the punch, the songs, and the dancing. The dinner had been cleared off, except what was before the friar, who held out wonderfully, and the beggars and shulers were clawing and scoulding one another about the divide. The dacentest of us went into the house for a while, taking the fiddler with us, and the rest, with the piper, staid on the green to dance, where they were soon joined by lots of the counthry people, so that in a short time there was a large number entirely. After sitting for some time within, Mary and I began, you may be sure, to get unasy, sitting palavering among a parcel of ould sober folks; so, at last, out we slipped, and the few other dacent young people that were with us, to join the dance, and shake our toe along with the rest of them. When we made our appearance, the flure was instantly cleared for us, and then she and I danced the Humors of Glin.

"Well, it's no matter--it's all past now, and she lies low; but I may say that it wasn't very often danced in better style since, I'd wager. Lord, bless us, what a drame the world is! The darling of my heart you war, avourneen machree. I think I see her with the modest smile upon her face, straight, and fair, and beautiful, and--hem--and when the dance was over, how she stood leaning upon me, and my heart within melting to her, and the look she'd give into my eyes and my heart, too, as much as to say, 'This is the happy day with me;' and the blush still would fly acrass her face, when I'd press her, unknownst to the bystanders, against my beating heart. A suilish machree, (* Light of my heart.) she is now gone from me--lies low, and it all appears like a drame to me; but--hem--God's will be done!--sure she's happy--och, och!!

"Many a shake hands did I get from the neighbors' sons, wishing me joy; and I'm sure I couldn't do less than thrate them to a glass, you know; and 'twas the same way with Mary: many a neighbors' daughter, that she didn't do more nor know by eyesight, maybe, would come up and wish her happiness in the same manner, and she would say to me, 'Shane, avourneen, that's such a man's daughter--they're a dacent friendly people, and we can't do less nor give her a glass.' I, of coorse, would go down and bring them over, after a little pulling--making, you see, as if they wouldn't come--to where my brother was handing out the native.

"In this way we passed the time till the evening came on, except that Mary and the bridesmaid were sent for to dance with the priests, who were within at the punch, in all their glory,--Friar Rooney along with them as jolly as a prince. I and my man, on seeing this, were for staying with the company; but my mother, who 'twas that came for them, says, 'Never mind the boys, Shane, come in with the girls, I say. You're just wanted at the present time, both of you, follow me for an hour or two, till their Reverences within have a bit of a dance with the girls, in the back room; we don't want to gother a crowd about them.' Well, we went in, sure enough, for awhile; but, I don't know how it was, I didn't at all feel comfortable with the priests; for, you see, I'd rather sport my day figure with the boys and girls upon the green: so I gives Jack the hard word* and in we went, when, behold you, there was Father Corrigan planted upon the side of a settle, Mary along with him, waiting till they'd have the fling of a dance together, whilst the Curate was capering on the flure before the bridesmaid, who was a purty dark-haired girl, to the tune of 'Kiss my lady;' and the friar planted between my mother and my mother-in-law, one of his legs stretched out on a chair, he singing some funny song or other, that brought the tears to their eyes with laughing.


* A pass-word, sign, or brief intimation, touching something
of which a man is ignorant, that he may act accordingly.


"Whilst Father James was dancing with the bridesmaid, I gave Mary the wink to! come away from Father Corrigan, wishing, as I tould you, to get out amongst the youngsters once more; and Mary, herself, to tell the truth, although he was the priest, was very willing to do so. I went over to her, and says, 'Mary, asthore, there's a friend without that wishes to spake to you.'

"'Well,' says Father Corrigan, 'tell that friend that she's better employed, and that they must wait, whoever they are. I'm giving your wife, Shane,' says he, 'a little good advice that she won't be the worse for, and she can't go now.'

"Mary, in the meantime, had got up, and was coming away, when his Reverence wanted her to stay till they'd finished their dance. 'Father Corrigan,' says she, 'let me go now, sir, if you plase, for they would think it bad threatment of me not to go out to them.'

"'Troth, and you'll do no such thing, acushla,' says he, spaking so sweet to her; 'let them come in if they want you. Shane, says his Reverence, winking at me, and spiking in a whisper, 'stay here, you and the girls, till we take a hate at the dancing--don't you know that the ould women here, and me will have to talk over some things about the fortune; you'll maybe get more nor you expect. Here, Molshy,' says he to my mother-in-law, 'don't let the youngsters out of this."

"'Musha, Shane, ahagur,' say's the ould woman 'why will yez go and lave the place; sure you needn't be dashed before them--they'll dance themselves.'

"Accordingly we stayed in the room; but just on the word, Mary gives one spring away, leaving his Reverence by himself on the settle. 'Come away,' says she, 'lave them there, and let us go to where I can have a dance with yourself, Shane.'

"Well, I always loved Mary, but at that minute, if it would save her, I think I could spill my heart's blood for her. 'Mary,' says I full to the throat, 'Mary, acushla agus asthore machree,* I could lose my life for you.'

*The very pulse and delight of my heart.

"She looked in my face, and the tears came into her--yes--'Shane, achora,' says she, 'amn't I your happy girl, at last?' She was leaning over against my breast; and what answer do you think I made?--I pressed her to my heart: I did more--I took off my hat, and looking up to God, I thanked him with tears in my eyes, for giving me such a treasure. 'Well, come now,' says she, 'to the green;' so we went--and it's she that was the girl, when she did go among them, that threw them all into the dark for beauty and figure; as fair as a lily itself did she look--so tall and illegant, that you wouldn't think she was a farmer's daughter at all; so we left the priests dancing away, for we could do no good before them.

"When we had danced an hour or so, them that the family had the greatest regard for were brought in unknown to the rest, to drink tay. Mary planted herself beside me, and would sit nowhere else; but the friar got beside the bridesmaid, and I surely observed that many a time she'd look over, likely to split, at Mary, and it's Mary herself that gave her many's a wink, to come to the other side; but, you know, out of manners, she was obliged to sit quietly, though among ourselves it's she that was like a hen on a hot griddle, beside the ould chap. It was now that the bride-cake was got. Ould Sonsy Mary marched over, and putting the bride on her feet, got up on a chair and broke it over her head, giving round a fadge* of it to every young person in the house, and they again to their acquaintances: but, lo and behold you, who should insist on getting a whang of it but the friar, which he rolled up in a piece of paper, and put it in his pocket. 'I'll have good fun,' says he, 'dividing this to-morrow among the colleens when I'm collecting my oats--the sorra one of me but I'll make them give me the worth of it of something, if it was only a fat hen or a square of bacon.'

* A liberal portion torn off a thick cake.

"After tay the ould folk got full of talk; the youngsters danced round them; the friar sung like a thrush, and told many a droll story. The tailor had got drunk a little too early, and had to be put to bed, but he was now as fresh as ever, and able to dance a hornpipe, which he did on a door. The Dorans and the Flanagans had got quite thick after drubbing one another--Ned Doran began his courtship with Alley Flanagan on that day, and they were married soon after, so that the two factions joined, and never had another battle until the day of her berrial, when they were at it as fresh as ever. Several of those that were at the wedding were lying drunk about the ditches, or roaring, and swaggering, and singing about the place. The night falling, those that were dancing on the green removed to the barn. Father Corrigan and Father James weren't ill off; but as for the friar, although he was as pleasant as a lark, there was hardly any such thing as making him tipsy. Father Corrigan wanted him to dance--'What!' says he, 'would you have me to bring on an earthquake, Michael?--but who ever heard of a follower of St. Domnick, bound by his vow to voluntary poverty and mortification----young couple, your health--will anybody tell mo who mixed this, for they've knowledge worth a folio of the fathers----poverty and mortification, going to shake his heel? By the bones of St. Domnick, I'd desarve to be suspinded if I did. Will no one tell me who mixed this, I say, for they had a jewel of a hand at it?--Och--


'Let parsons prache and pray--
Let priests to pray and prache, sir;
What's the rason they
Don't practise what they tache, sir?
Forral, orral, loll,
Forral, orral, laddy--


Sho da slainthah ma collenee agus ma bouchalee. Hoigh, oigh, oigh, healths all! gintlemen seculars! Molshy,' says the friar to my mother-in-law, 'send that bocaun* to bed--poor fellow, he's almost off--rouse yourself, James! It's aisy to see that he's but young at it yet--that's right--he's sound asleep--just toss him into bed, and in an hour or so he'll be as fresh as a daisy.


* A soft, unsophisticated youth.

Let parsons prache and pray--
-----Forral, orral, loll.'


"For dear's sake, Father Rooney,' says my uncle, running in, in a great hurry, 'keep yourself quiet a little; here's the Squire and Mister Francis coming over to fulfil their promise; he would have come up airlier, he says, but that he was away all day at the 'sizes.'

"'Very well,' says the friar, 'let him come--who's afeard--mind yourself, Michael.'

"In a minute or two they came in, and we all rose up of course to welcome them. The Squire shuck hands with the ould people, and afterwards with Mary and myself, wishing us all happiness, then with the two clergymen, and introduced Master Frank to them; and the friar made the young chap sit beside him. The masther then took a sate himself, and looked on while they were dancing, with a smile of good-humor on his face--while they, all the time, would give new touches and trebles, to show off all their steps before him. He was landlord both to my father and father-in-law; and it's he that was the good man, and the gintleman every inch of him. They may all talk as they will, but commend me, Mr. Morrow, to some of the ould squires of former times for a landlord. The priests, with all their larning, were nothing to him for good breeding--he appeared so free, and so much at his ase, and even so respectful, that I don't think there was one in the house but would put their two hands under his feet to do him a sarvice.

"When he sat a while, my mother-in-law came over with a glass of nice punch that she had mixed, at least equal to what the friar praised so well, and making a low curtshy, begged pardon for using such freedom with his honor, but hoped that he would just taste a little to the happiness of the young couple. He then drank our healths, and shuck hands with us both a second time, saying--although I can't, at all at all, give it in anything like his own words--'I am glad,' says he, to Mary's parents, 'that your daughter has made such a good choice;'--throth he did--the Lord be merciful to his sowl--God forgive me for what I was going to say, and he a Protestant;--but if ever one of yez went to heaven, Mr. Morrow, he did;--' such a prudent choice; and I congr--con--grathu-late you,' says he to my father, 'on your connection with so industrious and respectable a family. You are now beginning the world for yourselves,' says he to Mary and me, 'and I cannot propose a better example to you both than that of your respective parents. From this forrid,' says he, 'I'm to considher you my tenants; and I wish to take this opportunity of informing you both, that should you act up to the opinion I entertain of you, by an attentive coorse of industry and good management, you will find in me an encouraging and indulgent landlord. I know, Shane,' says he to me, smiling a little, knowingly enough too, 'that you have been a little wild or so, but that's past, I trust. You have now sarious duties to perform, which you cannot neglect--but you will not neglect them; and be assured, I say again, that I shall feel pleasure in rendhering you every assistance in my power in the cultivation and improvement of your farm.'--'Go over, both of you,' says my father, 'and thank his honor, and promise to do everything he says.' Accordingly, we did so; I made my scrape as well as I could, and Mary blushed to the eyes, and dropp'd her curtshy.

"'Ah!' says the friar, 'see what it is to have a good landlord and a Christian gintleman to dale with. This is the feeling which should always bind a landlord and his tenants together. If I know your character, Squire Whitethorn, I believe you're not the man that would put a Protestant tenant over the head of a Catholic one, which shows, sir, your own good sense; for what is a difference of religion, when people do what they ought to do? Nothing but the name. I trust, sir, we shall meet in a better place than this--both Protestant and Catholic'

"'I am happy, sir,' says the Squire, 'to hear such principles from a man who I thought was bound to hould different opinions.'

"'Ah, sir!' says the friar, 'you little know who you're talking to, if you think so. I happened to be collecting a taste of oats, with the permission of my friend Doctor Corrigan here, for I'm but a poor friar, sir, and dropped in by mere accident; but, you know the hospitality of our country, Squire; and that's enough--go they would not allow me, and I was mintioning to this young gintleman, your son, how we collected the oats, and he insisted on my calling--a generous, noble child! I hope, sir, you have got proper instructors for him?'

"'Yes,' said the Squire; 'I'm taking care of that point.'

"What do you think, sir, but he insists on my calling over to-morrow, that he may give me his share of oats, as I told him that I was a friar, and that he was a little parishioner of mine: but I added, that that wasn't right of him, without his papa's consent.'

"'Well, sir,' says the Squire, 'as he has promised, I will support him; so if you'll ride over to-morrow, you shall have a sack of oats--at all events I shall send you a sack in the course of the day.'

"'I humbly thank you, sir,' says Father Rooney and I thank my noble little parishioner for his generosity to the poor old friar--God mark you to grace, my dear; and wherever you go, take the ould man's blessing along with you.'

"They then bid us good-night, and we rose and saw them to the door.

"Father Corrigan now appeared to be getting sleepy. While this was going on, I looked about me, but couldn't see Mary. The tailor was just beginning to get a little hearty once more. Supper waa talked of, but there was no one that could ate anything; even the friar, was against it. The clergy now got their horses, the friar laving his oats behind him; for we promised to send them home, and something more along with them the next day. Father James was roused up, but could hardly stir with a heddick. Father Corrigan was correct enough; but when the friar got up, he ran a little to the one side, upsetting Sonsy Mary that sat a little beyond him. He then called over my mother-in-law to the dresser, and after some collogin (* whispering) she slipped two fat fowl, that had never been touched, into one of his coat pockets, that was big enough to hould a leg of mutton. My father then called me over and said, 'Shane,' says he, 'hadn't you better slip Father Rooney a bottle or two of that whiskey; there's plenty of it there that wasn't touched, and you won't be a bit the poorer of it, may be, this day twelve months.' I accordingly dropped two bottles of it into the other pocket, so that his Reverence was well balanced any how.

"'Now,' said he, 'before I go, kneel down both of you, till I give you my benediction.'

"We accordingly knelt down, and he gave us his blessing in Latin before he bid us good-night!

"After they went, Mary threw the stocking--all the unmarried folks coming in the dark, to see who it would hit. Bless my sowl, but she was the droll Mary--for what did she do, only put a big brogue of her father's into it, that was near two pounds weight; and who should it hit on the bare sconce, but Billy Cormick, the tailor--who thought he was fairly shot, for it levelled the crathur at once; though that wasn't hard to do any how.

"This was the last ceremony: and Billy was well continted to get the knock, for you all know, whoever the stocking strikes upon is to be married first. After this, my mother and mother-in-law set them to the dancing--and 'twas themselves that kept it up till long after daylight the next morning--but first they called me into the next room where Mary was; and--and--so ends my wedding; by the same token that I'm as dry as a stick."

"Come, Nancy," says Andy Morrow, "replenish again for us all, with a double measure for Shane Fadh--because he well desarves it."

"Why, Shane," observed Alick, "you must have a terrible memory of your own, or you couldn't tell it all so exact."

"There's not a man in the four provinces has sich a memory," replied Shane. "I never hard that story yet, but I could repate it in fifty years afterwards. I could walk up any town in the kingdom, and let me look at the signs and I would give them to you agin jist exactly as they stood."

Thus ended the account of Shane Fadh's wedding; and, after finishing the porter, they all returned home, with an understanding that they were to meet the next night in the same place.


(The end)
William Carleton's short story: Shane Fadh's Wedding

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