Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent.
stood an old ecclesiastical ruin, grey from time, and breathing with that spirit of vague but dreamy reverie, which it caught from the loveliness of the season, the calmness and the golden light of the hour, accessories, that, by their influence, gave a solemn beauty to its very desolation.  It reminded one somewhat of the light which coming death throws upon the cheek of youth when he treacherously treads in the soft and noiseless steps of decline—­or rather of that still purer light, which, when the aged Christian arrives at the close of a well spent life, accompanied by peace, and hope, and calmness, falls like a glory on his bed of death.  The ruin was but small, a remnant of one of those humble, but rude temples, in which God was worshipped in simplicity and peace, far from the noisy tumults and sanguinary conflicts of ambitious man.

Through this sweet upland, and close to the ruin, ran a footpath that led to a mountain village of considerable extent.  Immediately behind the ruin stood a few large hawthorn trees, now white with blossoms, whose fragrance made the very air a luxury, and from whose branches came forth those gushes of evening melody that shed tenderness and tranquility into the troubled heart.  The country in the distance lay charmed, as it were, by the calm spirit of peace which seemed to have diffused itself over the whole landscape—­western windows were turned into fire—­the motionless lakes shone like mirrors wherever they caught the beams of the evening light, as did several bends of the broad river which barely moved within its winding banks through the meadows below.  The sun at length became half concealed behind the summit of the western hills, so that his rich and gorgeous beams fell only upon the surrounding uplands, now lit into purple, leaving the valleys and lower parts of the country to repose in that beautiful shadow which can be looked upon from the higher parts, only through the crimson glory of the departing light.  And now the sun has disappeared—­is gone—­but still how beautiful is the fading splendor that sleeps for a little on the mountain tops, then becomes dimmer and dimmer—­then a faint streak which gradually melts away until it is finally lost in the soft shadows of that thoughtful hour.  And even thus passeth away all human glory!  The ruin which we have mentioned stood about half way between the residence of Brian M’Loughlin and the mountain village to which we have alluded.  Proceeding homewards from the latter place, having performed an errand of mercy and charity, was a very beautiful girl, exquisitely formed, but somewhat below the middle size.  She was Brian M’Loughlin’s only daughter—­a creature that breathed of goodness, grace, and all those delightful qualities that make woman a ministering angel amidst the cares, and miseries, and sorrows of life.  Her figure, symmetry itself, was so light, and graceful, and elegant, that a new charm was displayed by every motion, as a new beauty was discovered by

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Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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