Connor O’Donovan was a happy representation of all that is noble and pious in the Irish character, without one tinge of the crimes which darken or discolor it. But the heart that is full of generosity and fortitude, is generally most susceptible of the kinder and more amiable affections. The noble boy, who could hear the sentence of death without the commotion of a nerve, was forced to weep on the neck of an old and faithful follower who loved him, when he remembered that, after that melancholy visit, he should see his familiar face no more. When Nogher left him, a train of painful reflections passed through his mind. He thought of Una, of his father, of his mother, and for some time was more depressed than usual. But the gift of life to the young is ever a counterbalance to every evil that is less than death. In a short time he reflected that the same Providence which had interposed between him and his recorded sentence, had his future fate in its hands; and that he had health, and youth, and strength—and, above all, a good conscience—to bear him through the future vicissitudes of his appointed fate.
To those whose minds and bodies are of active habits, there can be scarcely anything more trying than a position in which the latter is deprived of its usual occupation, and the former forced to engage itself only on the contemplation of that which is painful. In such a situation, the mental and physical powers are rendered incapable of mutually sustaining each other; for we all know that mere corporal employment lessens affliction, or enables us in a shorter time to forget it, whilst the acuteness of bodily suffering, on the other hand, is blunted by those pursuits which fill the mind with agreeable impressions. During the few days, therefore, that intervened between the last interview which Connor held with Nogher M’Cormick, and the day of his final departure he felt himself rather relieved than depressed by the number of friends who came to visit him for the last time. He was left less to solitude and himself than he otherwise would have been, and, of course, the days of his imprisonment were neither so dreary nor oppressive as the uninterrupted contemplation of his gloomy destiny would have rendered them. Full of the irrepressible ardor of youth, he longed for that change which he knew must bring him onward in the path of life; and in this how little did he resemble the generality of other convicts, who feel as if time were bringing about the day of their departure with painful and more than ordinary celerity! At length the interviews between him and all those whom he wished to see were concluded, with the exception of three, viz.—John O’Brien and his own parents, whilst only two clear days intervened until the period, of his departure.