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ever kissed the book to secure a decree from his lordship, the barrister, for body or goods.

“Ha! Paddy”—said I—“ how are you, Paddy ? What wind, man, has blown you so far north ?” - “Och ! master,” exclaimed Pat, with a nasal twang, furling at once his large black eyebrows, which gave a totally different expression to his face, from the down-look he usually wore—“ is't your young honour's self—if I knew your reverence till I looked at you, bad luck to me, Paddy Murtoch.”

“Well, Paddy,” continued I, “now you see I am my own self—what brought you hither with all the haste of a sheriff's officer ? I hope my father is well. Any thing extraordinary ?”

“ Troth, I can't say that there is --people die every day. Devil a bit of a river will run away with your eyes, master,”—and he screwed as much pleasure and congratulation into his face as he could, so that I was prepared to hear news of a smiling nature" But here it is, all in black and white,” continued Paddy, fumbling in his pocket, and at length delivering me the following note from

my father.

56 Dear Charles,--My wife died suddenly yes

terday.--I should be glad to see you here immediately. Your affectionate father, J. C. T.”

If my house, that stood in substance tangible before my sight, had melted into invisibility, I should not have been more astounded. Had I been told that my father was no more, I should have been less surprised. In short, such an event as my stepmother's death I had never contemplated. Of all women she appeared to me most likely to live the longest. It was impossible to look at her and to think of the grave.-No-her looks indicated full health, vigour of mind and body, and she had all that attachment about her to the interests of this world which at once gave assurance that she had no notion of quitting it. In fact, she demonstrated by her actions that it was her intention to outlive my father many a year.

The moment I had read the above note, I put it into my poor Mary's hand, who had come to the door to meet me, with that countenance of pleasure, which, in a good wife, says, without a tongue, « Welcome home, my dearie,”-and while she was glancing her eye over its contents, I cast mine on the comical phiz of Paddy. One side of his face

was drawn up, with Irish humour strongly charactered on it, whilst on the other cheek his eye and mouth, by an expressive depression, painted a melancholy gloom like satirical sorrow.

“Oh !" exclaimed my wife, on returning me the note, “I must go with you—it is our duty.”

Paddy turned to her his joyful half look, which said in very plain language-"no unpleasant duty, faith !"~I would have knocked the fellow down for his impertinence, had he not instantly wheeled round his other cheek with this apology_“Yes, I know

you
feel for

your

father's loss." “Good God !” said I, “ Paddy, how did this mournful event happen ? Was my father at home ? Tell me all about it, man.”

“ The master," answered Paddy, “ was at Armagh. The mistress returned home yesterday morning from seeing your sister's children. She calls me-- Paddy,' says she, There's no luck about the house now—the calves are all dyingthe cows give no milk-little Robert has broken his leg--and that dog,' pointing to old Snap, 'is going mad-catch him, Paddy,' says she, “this minute, and hang him up.' Och!' says I, “missay, 'O

tress jewel, but sure you won't kill old Snap ?

But I will,' says she, laying hold of him by the neck; “get me a rope directly. You know, your honour, whatever she said must be done. So, • very well, mistress,' says I, and away to the stable for a halter went myself; but before the crier could

yes,

O

yes, O yes,' I heard the mistress shout out, ‘murder !'-no it was, God save me !' and thump she came on the hard street. All the girls and all the boys came flocking round her-lifted her up, and we carried her in and put her to bed—but she never spoke one word. Three doctors were sent for, but not a drop of blood would come; and before the master could get home in a coach from Armagh, the mistress was as dead as a door-nail. All the doctors say she died of plexy, that is, for want of breath."

During this narration, Paddy's face alternately expressed joy and pretended sorrow. He obviously considered that he was giving me pleasing news ; and when I indicated the disgust I felt at his hypocritical countenance, he continually changed its expression, but with a leer of incredulity as though he knew that it could not wound my heart deeply.

I certainly could not shed a tear on the occasion. A degree of melancholy, however, stole over my mind as I reflected upon the uncertainty of human life, and the vanity of terrestrial things. Such an event, so awfully sudden, and so dreadful in its visitation on my poor father, affected my heart ; and it had such an effect in sobering the high spirits which my late accumulation of good fortune had excited, that we journeyed to my father's without my imparting to my wife and daughter the circumstance of our great increase of wealth.

On entering the house my sisters burst into a fresh paroxysm of sorrow : I thought the poor girls would have sobbed their lives away ; and my wife and daughter joined them, for pity produced an effect upon them similar to sorrow, and really I sympathized most sincerely in their grief. It is impossible to behold young females deprived of the tender care of a mother, at a period when her watchful eye is of incalculable value, without deep emotion. I turned away and wept, as I thought of their case, and of the agitation of their innocent breasts : any overflow of sorrow on my part would have been attributed to affectation, and I therefore

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