Charles James Lever.

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said, " Leicester, I am no longer afraid to meet you. Fortune has,
at last, favoured me. I am rich now, and can make you rich
also."

Eica started back : a sudden sickness came over him, and he fell
powerless at the old man's feet.

What a scene of heartfelt emotion followed, as Mary recognised
her long-lost father ; and the careworn, sorrow-struck man saw the
warm affections of those whom, in a lifelong, he had injured.

" The end of all this will be," said Lady Kilgoff, laughing through
tears, " that I shall have to proceed on my journey alone. I foresee
that we shall not share in all the general joy of these discoveries."

" I have a sister, too," exclaimed Mary, with enthusiasm, " whom
I am burning with impatience to see. Where is she ? when are we
to meet?"
■ " She is below — she is in my carriage at the door," said Eica.

The Ambassador heard the words and left the room, returning in
a moment with Maritana on his arm. Wearied and exhausted as she
was, there was that in her native grace and beauty that caused a thrill
of admiration as she entered.

" Here is your sister, Maritana," said Eica, leading her to where
Mary stood, gazing with wistful eyes at the Spanish beauty. Mari-
tana looked steadily at the fair loveliness before her, where timidity
and gentleness seemed impressed ; and then, as if yielding to some
sudden impulse, she sprang forward, and, clasping her hand, covered
it with kisses, exclaiming with rapture —

" JSTon ! non la sua hermana, ma la sua esclava ! — Not her sister,
but her slave."

Among the group who with admiring eyes gazed upon this little
scene, there stood a dark, sombre-looking man, whose mean attire
and travel-worn look could not conceal a certain dignity of air and
manner. Cashel's quick glance soon discovered him, and in a mo-
ment they were locked in a fast embrace. " My old, true-hearted
comrade !" cried Eoland.

" Yes, Senora !" said Maritana, as if answering the look of asto-
nishment of Mary ; " and for all that he seems now, he is a well-born
caballero, and noble to boot."

"Everything looks worse and worse for my prospects of com-



288 EOLAND CASHEL.

panionsliip," said Lady Kilgoff, poutiugly, ** Mr. Corrigan — Mary
—are you both bent on desertion ?"

" "We are bound for Ireland, fair lady ; the little remnant of my
life is a debt I owe my country."

" Seiior Eica and your lovely daughter, will you be our com-
panions ?"

" Our road lies westward, lady. The New "World must teach us
to forget the Old one."

"Mr. Cashel, am I to guess whither your steps will lead you?"

" It would save me the pain of deciding if you did," said Eoland,
sadly.

" Tou come with us, Eoland," said Mr. Corrigan ; " you once told
me that you felt Tubber-beg a home. Let us see if time has not
erased the impression."

" And Maritana, too," cried Mary.

" And Enrique !" said Maritana.

" Then I must be of the party," said Dr. Tiernay. " I was never
intended by nature for an embassy physician, but as a village doctor
I still feel that I shall hold up my head with dignity."

Eica, who meanwhile Avas in earnest conversation with Cashel, now
advanced into the middle of the group, and said, — " Mr. Cashel ouce
contracted a solemn pledge to me, from which I feel no inclination
to release him. I ask him before this assemblage if it be true he
promised to marry my daughter ?"

Eoland grew deadly pale, but in a faint voice replied, " It is true."

" Are you willing to keep your pledge ?" said Eica, finiily.

Cashel made no answer but a slight motion of the head.

" Then she is yours," said Eica, placing Mary Leicester's hand in
his. "Wliile Maritana, in a transport of feeling, fell into her father's
arms, and sobbed aloud.

" Then we are all bound once for Iz'cland," cried Mr, Corrijran ;
" and I trust never to leave it more."

" I will not promise," said Cashel, as he drew Mary closer to him.
" The memories I bear of the land are not all painless."

" But you have seen nothing of Ireland that was Irish !" exclaimed
Tiernay, boldly. " Tou saw a mongrel society made up of English
adventurers, who, barren of hope at home, came to dazzle with their
fashionable vices the cordial homeliness of oiu* humbler land. Tou
saw the poor pageantry of a mock court, and the frivolous pretension
of a tinsel rank. Tou saw the emptiness of pretended statesman-
ship, and the assumed superiority of a class whose ignorance was
only veiled by their insolence. But of hearty, generous, hospitable
Ireland — of the land of warm impulses and kindly aflections — you
saw nothing. That is a country yet to be explored by you ; nor are



KOLAND CASHEL. 289

its mysteries the less likely to be unravelled, that an Irish wife will
be your guide to them. And now to breakfost, for I am famishing."

Where the characters of a tale bear a share in influencing its
catastrophe, the reader seems to have a prescriptive right to learn
something of their ultimate destiny, even though the parts they played
were merely subordinate. Many of ours here cannot lay claim to such
an interest, and were seen but like the phantoms which a magic
lantern throws upon the wall — moving and grouping for a moment,
and then lost for ever.

It is from no want of respect to our reader, if we trace not the
current of such lives ; it is simply from the fact, that when they
ceased to act, they ceased, as it were, to exist. Are w^e not, all of us
in the world, acted upon and influenced by events and people — purely
passers-by, known to-day, seen perhaps for a week, or known for a
month, and yet never after met with in all life's journey ? As on a
voyage many a casual air of wind, many a wayward breeze helps us •
onward, and yet none inquire " whence it cometh or whither it goeth,"
— so is it in the real world ; and why not in the world of fiction,
which ought to be its counterpart ?

Of those in whom our interest centred, the reader knows all that
we know ourselves. Would he, or rather she, care to learn that the
elder Miss Kennyfeck never married, but became a companion to
Lady Janet, who, on the death of Sir Andrew, caused by his swallow-
ins: a liniment, and takincj into his stomach what was meant for his
skin, went abroad, and is still a well-known character in the watering-
places of Germany, where she and her friend are the terror of all who
tremble at evil-speaking and slandering ?

Olivia married the Eeverend Knox Softly, and seems as meek as a
curate's wife ought to be, nor bears a trace of those days when she
smiled on cornets or mingled sighs with captains of hussars. If some
of our characters have fared ill in this adventurous history, others have
been more fortunate. The Dean is made a Colonial Bishop, and the
distinguished Mr. Howie's picture occupies a place in the last Exhi-
bition !

Meek is still a placeman : bland, gentle, and conciliating as ever,
he made at the close of the session a most aftecting speech upon the
sorrows of Ireland, and drew tears from the ventilator at his picture
of her destitution !

Mrs. Kennyfeck and " Aunt Fanny " keep house together in the
ancient city of Galway. Attracted to each other by a thousand
antipathies, more cohesive than any friendship, they fight and quarrel
unceasingly, and are never known to agree, save when the enthusiasm
of their malevolence has discovered a common victim in the circle of
their " friends."

VOL. II. u



290 ROLAND CASHEL.

Here ends our history ; nor need we linger longer with those whose
happiness, so far as worldly prosperity can malce it, is at last secured.

There is but one destiny of which we have to speak. Linton was
never brought to trial ; tlie day after his landing in England he was
found dead in the cell of his prison — no trace of violence, nor any
evidence of poison to account for the circumstance ; and whether
through some agency of his own, or by the workings of a broken
heart, the fact remains a mystery.



THE END.



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Online LibraryCharles James LeverRoland Cashel (Volume 2) → online text (page 32 of 32)