In the mean time, rebellion was bloodily put down, and on my lady’s recovery, my father, whose yearning for a return to the old roof-tree was irresistible, prepared for our departure from the metropolis.
Curiously enough, we passed through Prosperous, exactly on the anniversary of the day when we had so providentially effected an invasion from certain destruction. Were aught required to elicit gratitude for a fortunate escape, two objects, and both visible from the inn windows, would have been sufficient. One was a mass of blackened ruins—the scathed walls of the barrack, in which the wretched garrison had been so barbarously done to death: the other a human head impaled upon a spike on the gable of the building. That blanched skull had rested on the shoulders of our traitor host, and we, doomed to “midnight murder,” were mercifully destined to witness a repulsive, but just evidence, that Providence interposes often between the villain and the victim.
I am certain that in my physical construction, were an analysis practicable, small would be the amount of heroic proportions which the most astute operator would detect. I may confess the truth, and say, that in “lang syne,” any transient ebullition of military ardor vanished at a glance from Constance’s black eye. The stream of time swept on, and those that were, united their dust with those that had been. In a short time my letter of readiness may be expected; and I shall, in nature’s course, after the last march, as Byron says, ere long
“Take my rest.”
And will the succession end with me? Tell it not to Malthes, nor whisper it to Harriet Martineau. There is no prospect of advertising for the next of kin, i.e. if five strapping boys and a couple of the fair sex may be considered a sufficient security.
[Footnote 2: An Irish term for wearing jockey-boots.]
[Footnote 3: An Irish gentleman shot in a duel in lang syne, was poetically described as having been left “quivering on a daisy.”]
[Footnote 4: In Ireland this functionary’s operations are not confined to the dead, but extend very disagreeably to the living.]
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No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction. A man is pleased that his wife is dressed as well as other people, and the wife is pleased that she is so well dressed.—Dr. Johnson.
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THE IVORY MINE:
A TALE OF THE FROZEN SEA.