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and his company. It's true for you, he is persecuting them too far; what with revenue police, constabulary police, and magistrates' warrants, they won't let them walk to mass quietly next. I didn't care what they did to Master Myles, but they'd have the worst of it in the end."
The working out of the conspiracy just indicated here, the wrong-headed and subtle ingenuity of Brady, the weakness of Thady, and the naturalness with which the complications lead to the dreadful result, are extremely skilful, while the few scenes which occasionally brighten up with passing gleams a dark and dreary picture, are full of the peculiar incommunicable humour of the people. The wedding party at Denis McGovery's is admirably described. The bridegroom, with his bashfulness, his anxiety about the "thrifle iv change," and his cunning, skilful aiding of the priest's desire that the merrymaking shall not be turned into a secret society meeting, is as perfect in his way as Pat Brady. The bride is inimitably amusing,--the fun of the whole affair, the strange mixture of classes, the odd little social features discerned by the author whom nothing escapes, render this portion of the work additionally remarkable. Here, too, the character of Father John begins to grow upon the reader in its homely truthfulness; here, in his exercise of his sacerdotal functions, and in his close and anxious social relation with his people. How full the good man's heart is of trouble for his wayward flock, whose wrongs and cares he knows so well,-he who is raised above them only by his sacred office, but by that is raised so high that they are all equally his inferiors,—how earnestly he strives with them, never losing pity or patience, how perfect is his geniality, his sympathy with their pleasures, how completely he is one with them, and yet how dignified and authoritative on occasion. It is strange and interesting to a Catholic to observe how the author is, quite unconsciously, influenced in his delineation of the Catholic priest by that which has no place in his own life, or defined existence in his belief, the sacredness of vocation. He has drawn portraits in his clerical series of estimable and conscientious English clergymen. Mr. Harding and Mr. Crawley, for instance, have something more than the mere professional air about them; but there is an utter difference between the excellence and the dignity of those gentlemen and the excellence and dignity of Father John, who is not a gentleman at all, but around whom the author, true always to the truth, though he may not comprehend it fully, throws the grandeur of his awful privileges, bis sublime anthority. When Father John goes from the court-house, where Thady is being tried for the murder of Myles Ussher, to Feemy's deathbed, and thence to the prison cell, where is the roughness of manner, where is the homeliness of speech, where is the “peasant in broadcloth and buckles”? The mingling of familiarity, fear, and reverence
” with which the people treat the priest, the important part he plays in their history, directly and indirectly, are comprehended and conveyed by Mr. Trollope as no other writer of fiction has ever comprehended or conveyed them. We may congratulate ourselves on his impartiality and fair-mindedness; to compliment him upon them would be to insult him. The less important persons in this sad story are equally well drawn and sustained. Perhaps Keegan's scoundrelism is a little too utter and unredeemed; but on this point the author is likely to be a better judge than his readers, for there is an intense individuality in the country attorney and beggar on horseback which powerfully suggests a portrait from life.
The Kellys and the O'Kellys” is a different kind of story. It is more cheerful ; it deals not so entirely with the lower classes; it introduces more numerous social grades and various pictures of manners, and, with only one hopelessly bad person in it, it presents some very peculiar and characteristic Irish ways of feeling and acting, and one type of character which we do not remember to have seen attempted elsewhere. This is Martin Kelly, a young farmer, whose mother keeps a little “hotel ” in the town of Dunmore. The widow Kelly is drawn with admirable humour, with all her excellences, her oddities, and her family pride, for are not the Kellys far-away cousins of “the lord,” young Frank O'Kelly, Viscount Ballandine, and as good as any one in county Galway, let alone the Lynches, who just rose, through roguery, from nothing at all? Martin is a fine, handsome, honest fellow,-a Repealer, of course; it is Repeal time, and the story opens with a picture of the Four Courts during O'Connell's trial, full of innumerable little cunning strokes of humour, -but a shrewd person, not likely to get into trouble for his politics. The mixture of honesty and cunning, of lawlessness, and an upright intention to do everything that is proper in the matter which brings him to Dublin, and which is simply the abduction of an heiress, is marvellously clever. He goes to his far-away relative, his actual landlord and friend, Lord Ballandine, to explain his intentions and “get his lordship’s sanction ;” and nothing can exceed the cleverness and the humour of the roundabout way in which he explains the matter, making it evident that he must save poor Anty Lynch from her brother's wickedness and her own weakness; that he must run away with her; and yet wants to have her inoney properly settled upon herself, with power over it duri
his own lifetime; that he wants the young lord to have such a document drawn up ready for the signatures of the runaway couple, because any lawyer would do it for “the lord,” but he might be regarded with suspicion. The simplicity and shrewdness, the 'candour of his acknowledgement that of course he would not marry Anty without the money, but equally of course that he would not marry her with it if he did not like her, are wonderfully delineated.
The family history of the Lynches; the strange wavering character of Anty, with her high sense of duty, her extreme sensitiveness, her forgiving spirit, her plain face, and her shy manner; the slow growth of her love for Martin; the sudden introduction of the tragic element in the horrid scene between her and her villainous brother; the strengthening and refining of her mind in the days of her expectation of death; and the gradual learning of her true worth and sweetness, which turns the honest but cool and interested suitor into the ardent, devoted lover; all these form a study of human nature which, we venture to think, surpasses any of the author's English stories whose scenes are laid among the upper classes. There is nothing in the latter to compare with the sketches of Irish peasants, their ways, and their talk, except it be the Brattle household in “ The Vicar of Bullhampton;" and that wonderful little bit in “The Last Chronicle of Barsetshire,” in which Giles Hoggett addresses Mr. Crawley, and repeats that “It's dogged as does it.” The O'Kellys are as cleverly handled as the Kellys ; and Ballandine, with his duns, his debts, his racers, bis confiding nature, his hot temper, his soft heart, his gusty pride, his chivalrous honour, is a far more charming person than any of Mr. Trollope's cautious, hesitating, worldly-wise young Englishmen, such as Mr. Clavering, Arthur Wilkinson, Lucius Mason, or Felix Graham. He is selfish, as all men are selfish who spend money on their pleasures irrespective of their duties; but be is more natural, more genial, more gentle, less deeply dyed with worldliness than any of the long list of young gentlemen who come after him. There is freshness in this book : there is impulse in it, and genuine charming humour-in the hunting scenes, in the conversations at Grey Abbey, in the gentle quizzing of the Protestant parsons and prejudices, and in the disconfiture of the Earl of Cashel in bis little plan for taking Ballandine's lady-love-such a delightful Irish girl, and such a thorough lady from poor foolish Frank, and wedding her to his son Lord Kileullen. The respective stories of the double conspiracy are carried on with great skill, and though the plot is not to be compared for weight and ability to that of “ The MacDermots,” the happy ending recommends it to the general taste, and the individuals and classes with which it deals can be more readily comprehended by the general reader.
“ Castle Richmond” is a renurkable work, in a different sense from that in which its predecessors of the Irish series are remarkable. The chief portion of the plot is not good, and not original, and it is saved only by great skill in the treatment, by a straying out of the beaten track in particulars, from being a commonplace story. “Castle Richmond” was published subsequently to Mr. Thackeray's “Pendennis,” but that circumstance is no proof that it was written later than that work. In both there is a baronet who has married the supposed widow of a scoundrel, who is not really dead, and who persecutes the unhappy victims of this serious mistake. In both stories the trouble is gotten over by the discovery that the scoundrel is the real bigamist, and by the production of his first and lawful wife. But, whether Mr. 'I'rollope wrote his version of this old story before or after Mr. Thackeray wrote his, does not matter very much : the only advantage either could have had would consist in his having one less plagiarism to his account, for the story was told many times before either took it up, and will probably be told many more times by far less skilful adopters of other writers' ideas. There is not the smallest resemblance between the people who play the familiar parts in “ Castle Richmond,” and Sir Francis and Lady Clavering, Captain Altamont, and Madame Fribsby. The Fitzgeralds are perfectly Irish, and the lovestory which is interwoven with the fortunes of the unhappy old Baronet and his son, is a striking one. Owen Fitzgerald of Hap House, is a far finer fellow than Lord Ballandine or Herbert Fitzgerald ; and the author creates a genuine and warm liking for him, such as he rarely succeeds in awakening. One admires Mr. Trollope more than one likes his people; in general one is rather impressed by his realism, than attracted by the realities; but in the case of Owen Fitzgerald, the fire, the faith, the nobleness of the man command somewhat of the enthusiasm which the author in no other case feels or inspires. We do not care for the secure, happy, wealthy, commonplace future of Herbert and his bride, but we follow Owen out into his wanderings, and we linyer beside the forlorn woman who so vainly loved him, and who, when he has long been forgotten in his county and his old home, “still thinks of him, hoping that she may yet see him before he dies." It is not, however, in this fine delineation of character, or in the humour, capital as it is, of “ Castle Richmond,” that the distinguishing merit of the third novel of
the Irish series consists. It is in the description of the condition of Ireland in the years of famine, fever, and flight. Calm, unprejudiced, cool, but not unfeeling, looking at the unhappy land with the clear eyes of a stranger, and the unembarassed judgment of a critical spectator who had no "side” in the social, political, and religious questions which distracted Ireland,--for Mr. Trollope's Protestantism is not of the persecuting and partisan order,-he draws such a picture of those dreadful times as, in days to come, it will be justly difficult for the world to accept as free from exaggeration. Can such things have been, it will be asked, in incredulous good faith, as the things set forth here by the pen of an Englishman, a Government official, therefore trained to accuracy, not by any means a fanciful, romantic, or enthusiastic person, one whose other works, so true to a rather subdued view of facts, may be accepted as evidence of his entire credi. bility as the narrator of events which he witnessed ? in the country, travelling, through the whole period,” says Mr. Trollope, in a chapter which it is hardly possible to praise sufficiently for its simple graphic force, its plain speaking, its genuine, kindly, awed compassion. There is one scene which, ,
, though the author puts it into the experience of Herbert Fitzgerald, we do not at all doubt he himself witnessed.
Herbert Fitzgerald, with his horse, has taken shelter in a cabin by the roadside, on a wet hunting-day; on such occasions, the author says, “it is no uncommon thing to see a cabin packed with horses, and the children moving about amongst them, almost as unconcernedly as though the animals were pigs. But then, the Irish horses are so well-mannered and good-natured.” Crouching in a corner, on the wet earthen floor, he sees a woman with a child in her arms; of whom the author says, as she sat there, taking no notice of him, “on no more wretched object did the eye of man ever fall." And he proceeds thus:
“In those days there was a form of face which came upon the sufferers when their state of misery was far advanced, and which was a sure sign that their last stage of misery was near at hand. The mouth would fall and seem to hang, the lips at the two ends of the mouth would be dragged down, and the lower parts of the cheeks would fall as though they had been dragged and pulled. There were no signs of acute agony when this phase of countenance was to be seen, none of the horrid symptoms of gnawing hunger by which one generally supposes that famine is accompanied. The look is one of apathy, desolation, and death. When custom had make these signs easily legible, the poor doomed wretch was known with certainty. “It's no use in life meddling with him, he's gone,' said a lady to me in the far west of the south of Ireland, while the poor boy, whose doom was thus spoken, stood by listening. Her