It was lucky he was so intoxicated, that no one could understand him; and that his hearers were so drunk that they could understand nothing; as, otherwise, the publicity of his admiration might have had the effect of preventing the accomplishment of his design.
He managed, however, to meet his patron the next morning at the lawyer’s, though his eyes were very red, and his cheeks pale; and, after being there for some half hour, left the office, with the assurance that, whenever he and the lady might please to call there, they should find a deed prepared for their signature, which would adjust the property in the manner required.
That afternoon Lord Ballindine left Dublin, with his friend, to make instant arrangements for the exportation of Brien Boru; and, at two o’clock the next day, Martin left, by the boat, for Ballinaslie, having evinced his patriotism by paying a year’s subscription in advance to the “Nation” newspaper, and with his mind fully made up to bring Anty away to Dublin with as little delay as possible.
Anty Lynch was not the prettiest, or the youngest girl in Connaught; nor would Martin have affirmed her to be so, unless he had been very much inebriated indeed. However young she might have been once, she was never pretty; but, in all Ireland, there was not a more single-hearted, simple-minded young woman. I do not use the word simple as foolish; for, though uneducated, she was not foolish. But she was unaffected, honest, humble, and true, entertaining a very lowly idea of her own value, and unelated by her newly acquired wealth.
She had been so little thought of all her life by others, that she had never learned to think much of herself; she had had but few acquaintances, and no friends, and had spent her life, hitherto, so quietly and silently, that her apparent apathy was attributable rather to want of subjects of excitement, than to any sluggishness of disposition. Her mother had died early; and, since then, the only case in which Anty had been called on to exercise her own judgment, was in refusing to comply with her father’s wish that she should become a nun. On this subject, though often pressed, she had remained positive, always pleading that she felt no call to the sacred duties which would be required, and innocently assuring her father, that, if allowed to remain at home, she would cause him no trouble, and but little expense.
So she had remained at home, and had inured herself to bear without grumbling, or thinking that she had cause for grumbling, the petulance of her father, and the more cruel harshness and ill-humour of her brother. In all the family schemes of aggrandisement she had been set aside, and Barry had been intended by the father as the scion on whom all the family honours were to fall. His education had been expensive, his allowance liberal, and his whims permitted; while Anty was never better dressed than a decent English servant, and had been taught nothing save the lessons she had learnt from her mother, who died when she was but thirteen.