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.
of the former her humble gown was turned over her shoulders, and in place of the latter she wore a thin kerchief, drawn round her head, and held under her chin with one hand, as the lower classes of Irishwomen do in short and hasty journeys.  Her journey, however, though hasty in this instance, was by do means short; and it was easy to perceive by her distracted manner and stifled sobs, that however poorly protected against the bitter elements, she had a grief within which rendered her insensible to their severity.

It was also apparent, that, though humble in life, she possessed, like thousands of her countrywomen, a mind of sufficient compass and strength to comprehend, when adequately moved, the united working of more than one principle at the same moment.  We have said it was evident that she was under the influence of deep sorrow, but this was not all—­a second glance might disclose the exhibition of a still higher principle.  The woman was at prayer, and it was easy to perceive by the beads which she held in her fervently clasped hands, by the occasional knocking of her breast, and the earnest look of supplication to heaven, that her soul poured forth its aspirations in the deep-felt and anxious spirit of that religion, which affliction is found so often to kindle in the peasant’s heart.  She had only knocked a second time when the door was opened, and having folded up her beads, she put them into her bosom, and entering the priest’s house, immediately found herself in the kitchen.  In a moment a middle-aged woman, with a rush light in her hand, stirred up the greeshough, and raking the live turf out of it, she threw on a dozen well-dried peats out of the chimney corner, and soon had a comfortable and blazing fire, at which the afflicted creature, having first intimated her wish that his reverence should accompany her home, was desired to sit until he should be ready to set out.

“Why, then,” exclaimed the good-natured woman, “but you had abitther thramp of it this cowld and cuttin’ mornin’—­and a cowld and cuttin’ mornin’ it is—­for sure didn’t I feel as if the very nose was whipt off o’ me when I only wint to open the door for you.  Sit near the fire, achora, and warm yourself—­throth myself feels like a sieve, the way the cowld’s goin’ through me;—­sit over, achora, sit over, and get some heat into you.”

“Thank you,” said the woman, “but you know it’s not a safe thing to go near the fire when one is frozen or very cowld—­’twould only make me worse when I go out again, besides givin’ me pain now.”

“Och, troth you’re right, I forgot that—­but you surely didn’t come far, if one’s to judge by your dress; though, God knows, far or near, you have the light coverin’ an you for such a morning as this is, the Lord be praised!”

“I came better than three miles,” replied the woman.

“Than what?”

“Than three miles.”

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