The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 39, March 27, 1841 online

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hard work since, and made a good deal of the road of the sheeps’ legs;
but, indeed, there are not half enough legs after all, and you must give
me more legs, if you would wish the road made firm.”

“And, you rascal, do you tell me you have cut off the legs of all my fine

“Every one, sir; did you not desire me? _Do you blame me?_”

“O dear no! by no means! Only take care, and don’t do it any more.”

They went on tolerably for a few days, for they were afraid of
Rooshkulum, and let him alone, till one morning the farmer told him he
was going to a wedding that night, and that he might go with him.

“Well,” said Rooshkulum, “what is a wedding? what will they do there?”

“Why,” answered the farmer, “a wedding is a fine place, where there is a
good supper, and two people are joined together as man and wife.”

“O, is that it? I should like much to see what they’ll do.”

“Well, then, you must promise me to do what I’ll tell you with the horses
when we are going.”

“Why, what shall I do?”

“O, only when we are going, _don’t take your eyes from the horses_ till
we get there; then have your _two eyes_ on my plate, and _an eye_ on
every other person’s plate; and _then_ you’ll see what they’ll do.”

Rooshkulum said nothing. They went to the wedding; but when they sat down
to supper, all were surprised to find a round thing on their plates,
covered with blood, and not looking very tempting. But the farmer soon
guessed the sad truth, and calling Rooshkulum aside, he sternly asked him
what he had done.

“_Can you blame me?_” answered the provoking Rooshkulum; “did you not
desire me not to take the eyes from the horses till I got here, and to
put them on the plates, and two on your own plate, and that I would see
what they would do then?”

“_O, don’t imagine I blame you_,” said the farmer; “but I meant your own
eyes all the time; and, mind me, _don’t do it any more_!”

They were all by this time heartily sick of Rooshkulum, especially
the old lady, who had never left her bed; and one morning, feeling
something better, she called the farmer to her bedside, and addressed
him thus: - “You know, my son, that your agreement with that rascal will
terminate when you both shall hear the cuckoo. Now, in my youth I could
imitate the cuckoo so well that I have had them flying round me. Put me
up, therefore, in the big holly bush; take him along with you to cut a
tree near; I will then cry ‘cuckoo!’ ‘cuckoo!’ and the agreement will be
broken!” said she, chuckling to herself.

This seemed a capital idea; so the farmer lifted his mother out of bed,
and put her up into the holly bush, calling Rooshkulum to bring the
big axe, for that he intended to fell a tree. Rooshkulum did as he was
desired, and commenced cutting down a certain tree, which the farmer
pointed out. And not long had he been thus engaged when the old lady in
the holly bush cried out “cuckoo!” “cuckoo!” “Hah! what’s that?” said the
farmer; “that sounds like the cuckoo!”

“O, that cannot be,” said Rooshkulum, “for this is winter!”

But now the cuckoo was heard, beyond a doubt.

“Well,” said Rooshkulum, “before I’ve done with you, I’ll go and see this

“Why, you stupid fool!” said the farmer, “no man ever saw the cuckoo.”

“Never mind!” said Rooshkulum, “it can be no harm to look. Wouldn’t you
think, now, that the cuckoo was speaking out of the holly bush?”

“O, not at all! - perhaps she is five miles away. Come away at once and
give up your place. Did not we both hear her?”

“Stop!” said Rooshkulum; “stay back! don’t make a noise! There! did not
you see something moving? Ay! THAT must be the cuckoo!”

So saying, he hurled the axe up into the holly bush with his whole force,
cutting away the branches, scattering the leaves and berries, and with
one blow severing the head from the shoulders of the farmer’s mother!

“O!” said the farmer, “my poor old mother! O! what have you done, you
villain! You have murdered my mother!”

“And,” said Rooshkulum (seemingly surprised), “_I suppose you BLAME me
for this, do you?_”

And _now_ was the farmer taken by surprise, and in the heat of his
passion answered, “How dare you, you black-hearted villain, ask me such a
question? Of course I do! Have you not murdered my mother? Alas! my poor
old mother.”

“O, very well!” said Rooshkulum, as the farmer continued looking at
his mother, and lamenting, “perhaps you also remember our own little
agreement. I have but too good reason to think that you and your accursed
old mother, by your schemes, caused the death of my two fine brothers.
But now for the fulfilment of my share of the bargain!”

In a moment the axe descended on his head; and Rooshkulum, _the wise
simpleton_, having now got rid of his enemies, took possession of all
the farmer’s property, returned home for his mother, and lived free from
care or further sorrow for the remainder of his happy life; but he never
forgot the services of the greyhound, and never allowed her to want.

And here let us conclude our legend, by observing, by way of moral, “Be
ever charitable to the distressed, whether of the brute or human kind,
for you know not but that they also may belong to the ranks of ‘the good


That agricultural improvement is extending with very rapid strides in
many parts of Ireland, is evident to all who have had an opportunity of
observing the country; the best proof of which is, perhaps, that our
agricultural exports have been greatly increased for some years past,
whilst during the same period the population has been augmented to a
degree unprecedented in any of the _old_ countries of the world. That our
exporting food to such an extent is a proof of the wealth or happiness of
those who produce it, may well admit of doubt, otherwise the miserable
serfs of Russia, Poland, and other corn-growing countries, would be
entitled to rank higher in the scale of happiness than the English
farmers, who are not able to raise sufficient food for their own country!
But notwithstanding the pleasing proofs of improvements in farming
which meet the eye of the tourist in various parts of the country, and
particularly in the north, he will in too many places find it difficult
to imagine anything worse either in the farms, the habitations, the
cattle, or the implements, even should he extend the retrospect to a
period ever so remote.

Agricultural schools, with even a single acre of land attached, and
worked by the elder boys on a system of rotation adapted to the ground
and to the district in which it happened to be situated, would soon
effect a wonderful reformation in the farming of the country. That such
would be the happy result, is self-evident; and we are strengthened in
our conviction by having witnessed in very many instances the good effect
of the agricultural education imparted at Templemoyle, in the county of
Londonderry. Entertaining these views, we need hardly say how much we
were gratified by a visit to one of these schools a short time since,
situated in a remote and secluded part of the county of Donegal. Here,
on the estate of Sir Charles Styles, Bart., and under the direction of
his efficient agent, whose anxiety and exertions towards bettering the
condition of the poor of this county are well known and appreciated, we
found a small piece of ground being laid out into five divisions, as an
example of the five-course rotation suited to that part of the country;
in the school-room were suspended tables, exhibiting at one view, plain,
practical instructions as to the season for performing the different work
on the farm; the quantity and best kind of seeds to be sown; and, in one
word, the _modus operandi_, according to the most improved practice; and
the proficiency of many of the boys, not only in agriculture, but in
levelling and surveying, was most creditable. We cannot, perhaps, better
second the exertions of Captain Kennedy and other philanthropists engaged
in the regeneration of their country, than by bringing under the notice
of the public an instance of the successful working of the system we have
here advocated.

The undrained fenceless farm, with its many-angled small fields and
crooked ridges, exhausted to the last degree by successive corn crops, is
still but too general; and the habitations, notwithstanding the marked
improvement in their appearance in many places, in many others accord
but too faithfully with the melancholy picture that has been drawn of
them by so many observers - “walls decayed, roofs bent and sunken, thatch
tattered, no windows, no chimneys; the turf-smoke rolling slowly from the
doors, or seeking its way through the chinks and crevices innumerable
with which these hovels abound. The appearance of the inmates corresponds
with that of the miserable tenements - ill clad, squalid, haggard,
listless and idle, in every countenance discontent strongly marked,
and in some an expression akin to despair.” Such is the description
given by Mr Weld in his Statistical Survey of Roscommon, taken in 1831.
One epithet in that accurate description requires to be qualified to
those who have not seen the interesting and highly valuable work from
which it is taken. The poor of Elphin were “idle,” not of choice, but
because the employment which offered itself in the wastes and sites for
manufactories with which he describes the country to abound, were not
rendered available; and throughout the country, wherever idleness and
its concomitant misery are observable, there also it will be found that
these evils are traceable to a want of sympathy and exertion on the
part of the owners of the soil; for abundantly remunerating employment
abounds in every part of the country. We cannot resist, even at the
risk of extending this paper beyond the limits which we had at first
proposed to ourselves, the temptation to bring forward an instance of
that industry which we have never seen wanting when the inducement or
even the possibility of exercising it with effect was present, afforded
too by these same “idle” people of Elphin, as recorded in the same
work. “Girls,” observes Mr Weld, “amongst whom some were really pretty
and delicate, and of an age and frame of body seemingly but ill-suited
to the task, sought a precarious and hard-earned livelihood in hawking
turf about the town in cleaves, which they had carried on their backs
from the bog, distant about two miles. The ordinary weight of one of
these cleaves was three stones, or forty-two pounds, sometimes more. The
price _asked_ for two cleaves was only 3½d, but as demands of this kind
ordinarily exceed the selling price, 1½d might probably be set down as
the utmost price of a single cleave; from this was to be deducted the
price of the turf at the bog, the small surplus being all the gains for
bearing this heavy burden, mostly up hill, and afterwards hawking it from
house to house.” The cattle in the demesnes of the gentry and on dairy
farms have in like manner been greatly improved within a few years, but
amongst the small farmers the description of stock is in many places bad
in the extreme; improvement in this branch of economy cannot take place,
however, except as the consequence of an improved system of farming.
As a powerful means of extending a knowledge of improved husbandry,
if properly exercised, we have regarded since their establishment the
National Schools of Ireland.

A cotemporary says, “The agriculture of Bavaria has experienced a great
improvement in consequence of the system of national education which
has been adopted, and by the teaching of agriculture and gardening both
by books and examples in the schools. One of the first consequences
was an improved rotation of crops. Almost the whole of the details of
agricultural improvement in Bavaria have originated with M. Hazzi, an
agricultural writer, and editor of an agricultural journal in Munich.
The activity and patriotic benevolence of this gentleman are beyond
all praise. It was chiefly through his exertions that a piece of ground
was added to every parochial school in Bavaria, to be cultivated by the
scholars in their leisure hours, under the direction of the master.
In these schools, Hazzi’s Catechism of Gardening, of Agriculture, of
Domestic Economy and Cookery, of Forest Culture, of Orchard Culture,
and others, all small duodecimo volumes with woodcuts, sold at about
fourpence each, are taught to all the boys; and those of Gardening, the
Management of Silk Worms, and Domestic Economy, to the girls. Since these
schools have come into action, an entirely new generation of cultivators
has arisen; and the consequence is, that agriculture in Bavaria, and
especially what may be called cottage agriculture and economy, is, as far
as we are able to judge, carried to a higher degree of perfection than
it is any where else in the central states of Germany; at all events, we
can affirm that we never saw finer crops of drilled Swedish and common
turnips, or finer surfaces of young clover, than we observed along the
road sides in October and November 1828. The fences also were generally
in perfect order, and a degree of neatness appeared about the cottages
which is far from common either in France or Germany. These remarks are
not the results of observations made, as is frequently the case, from
the cabriolet of a public diligence, but from deliberate inspection. The
result of the whole of the information procured, and of the observations
made, is, that we think the inhabitants of Bavaria promise soon to be, if
they are not already, among the happiest people in Germany.”


* * * * *

CIRCASSIAN WOMEN. - We observed two women looking out of a balcony, and
earnestly beckoning to us. We entered the house, and saw two Russian
grenadiers, who by a mistake of their corporal had taken their quarters
here, and whose presence was the cause of the inquietude manifested by
the two ladies, who, with an old man, were the only inhabitants of the
house. Whilst the soldiers were explaining these things to us, they
appeared at the top of the stairs, and again renewed their invitation
by violent gesticulations. On a nearer approach, we guessed by their
age that they were mother and daughter. The former, who still preserved
much of the freshness and beauty of youth, wore very wide trousers, a
short tunic, and a veil, which fell in graceful folds on her back; while
round her neck she had some valuable jewels, though badly mounted. With
respect to the daughter, who was scarcely fifteen years of age, she was
so extraordinarily beautiful, that both my companion and myself remained
awhile motionless, and struck with admiration. Never in my life have I
seen a more perfect form. Her dress consisted of a short white tunic,
almost transparent, fastened only at the throat by a clasp. A veil,
negligently thrown over one shoulder, permitted part of her beautiful
ebony tresses to be seen. Her trousers were of an extremely fine tissue,
and her socks of the most delicate workmanship. The old man received us
in a room adjoining the staircase; he was seated on the carpet, smoking a
small pipe, according to the custom of the inhabitants of the Caucasus,
who cultivate tobacco. He made repeated signs to us to sit down, that
is to say, in the Asiatic manner - a posture extremely inconvenient for
those who like ourselves wore long and tight trousers, whilst the two
beautiful women on their side earnestly seconded his request. We complied
with it, though it was the first time that either of us made the essay.
The ladies, having left the room for a moment, returned with a salver
of dried fruits, and a beverage made with sugar and milk; but I was so
much engaged in admiring their personal attractions, that I paid but
little attention to their presents. It appeared to me an inconceivable
caprice of nature to have produced such prodigies of perfection amidst
such a rude and barbarous people, who value their women less than their
stirrups. My companion, who like myself was obliged to accept of their
refreshments, remarked to me, whilst the old man was conversing with
them, what celebrity a woman so transcendantly beautiful as the daughter
was, would acquire in any of the capitals of Europe, had she but received
the benefits of a suitable education. - _New Monthly Magazine._

* * * * *

Printed and published every Saturday by GUNN and CAMERON, at
the Office of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane,
College Green, Dublin. - Agents: - R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley,
Paternoster Row, London; SIMMS and DINHAM, Exchange Street,
Manchester; C. DAVIES, North John Street, Liverpool; SLOCOMBE &
SIMMS, Leeds; JOHN MENZIES, Prince’s Street, Edinburgh; & DAVID
ROBERTSON, Trongate, Glasgow.

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Online LibraryVariousThe Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 39, March 27, 1841 → online text (page 3 of 3)