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So ein kleines Redelein

Hat die kleine kleine Red' einen zweck ?

adopted and managed in the translation. As this trifle may be considered curious, not only

PREFACE in itself, but still more as connected with so learned a name, I shall here present readers, premising that the same eminent Pro

THE FOURTH VOLUME. fessor has left a version also of one of my very early facetiæ, “ The Rabbinical Origin of The recollections connected, in my mind, with Woman."

that early period of my life, when I first thought

of interpreting in verse the touching language « THERE WAS A LITTLE MAN."

of my country's music, tempt me again to ad(Translated by Professor von Bohlen.)

vert to those long past days; and even at the Es war ein kleiner Mann,

risk of being thought to indulge overmuch in Und der hatt'n kleinen Geist

what Colley Cibber calls “ the great pleasure Und er sprach: kleiner Geist sehn wir zu, zu, zu,

of writing about one's self all day,” to notice Ob uns moglich wohl wird seyn

briefly some of those impressions and influences Das wir halten, kleiner ich und kleiner du, du, du,

under which the attempt to adapt words to Das wir halten, kleiner ich und kleiner du.

our ancient Melodies was for some time mediUnd der kleine Geist, der brach

tated by me, and, at last, undertaken. Aus dem Loche nun und sprach:

There can be no doubt that to the zeal and Ich behaupte, kleiner Mann, du bist keck, keck, keck, Nimm nicht übel meine Zweifel,

industry of Mr. Bunting his country is indebted Aber sage mir, zum Teufel,

for the preservation of her old national airs. Hat die kleine kleine Red' einen zweck, zweck, zweck,

During the prevalence of the Penal Code, the

music of Ireland was made to share in the fate Der kleine Mann darauf

of its people. Both were alike shut out from Bliess die Backen mächtig auf, Und er sprach: kleiner Geist sey gescheut, scheut, scheut ; but in the huts of the proscribed race could

the pale of civilised life; and seldom anywhere Kleiner ich und kleiner du Sind berufen ja dazu

the sweet voice of the songs of other days be Zu verdammen und bekehren alle Leut', Leut', Leut',

heard. Even of that class, the itinerant harpZu verdammen und bekehren alle Leut'.

ers, among whom for a long period our ancient Und sie fingen beide an

music had been kept alive, there remained but Der kleine Geist und kleine Mann,

few to continue the precious tradition ; and a Paukten ab ihre Rede so klein, klein, klein ; Und die ganze Welt für wahr

great music-meeting held at Belfast in the year Meint, das aufgeblas'ne Paar

1792, at which the two or three still remaining Musst ein winziges Pfaffelein nur seyn, seyn, seyn, Musst ein winziges Pfäffelein, nur seyn.

of the old race of wandering harpers assisted,

exhibited the last public effort made by the Having thus brought together, as well from lovers of Irish music, to preserve to their the records of others, as from my own recol- country the only grace or ornament left to her, lection, whatever incidental lights could be out of the wreck of all her liberties and hopes. thrown from those sources, on some of the Thus what the fierce legislature of the Pale satirical effusions contained in these pages, I had endeavoured vainly through so many censhall now reserve all such reminiscences and turies to effect, — the utter extinction of Irenotices as relate to the Irish Melodies for our land's Minstrelsy, — the deadly pressure of the next volume.

Penal Laws had nearly, at the close of the It is right my readers should here be ap- eighteenth century, accomplished ; and, but for prized, that the plan of classing my poetical the zeal and intelligent research of Mr. Bunting, works according to the order of their first pub- at that crisis, the greater part of our musical lication is pursued no further than the Second treasures would probably have been lost to the Volume of this Collection; and that, therefore, world. It was in the year 1796 that this the arrangement of the contents of the suc- gentleman published his first volume; and the ceeding Volumes, though not, in a general way, national spirit and hope then wakened in Iredeparting much from this rule, is not to be de- land, by the rapid spread of the democratic pended upon as observing it.

principle throughout Europe, could not but insure a most cordial reception for such a work; ample, then passing before all eyes, the young - Hattering as it was to the fond dreams of Republic of France. Referring to the circumErin's early days, and containing in itself, stance told of Cæsar, that, in swimming across indeed, remarkable testimony to the truth of her the Rubicon, he contrived to carry with him claims to an early date of civilisation. his Commentaries and his sword, the young

It was in the year 1797 that, through the orator said, “ Thus France wades through a sea medium of Mr. Bunting's book, I was first made of storm and blood ; but while, in one hand, she acquainted with the beauties of our native mu- wields the sword against her aggressors, with sic. A young friend of our family, Edward the other she upholds the glories of science and Hudson, the nephew of an eminent dentist of literature unsullied by the ensanguined tide that name, who played with much taste and through which she struggles.” In another of feeling on the flute, and, unluckily for himself, his remarkable speeches, I remember his saying, was but too deeply warmed with the patriotic “ When a people, advancing rapidly in knowardour then kindling around him, was the first ledge and power, perceive at last how far their who made known to me this rich mine of our government is lagging behind them, what then, country's melodies ;- a mine, from the work- I ask, is to be done in such a case ? What, but ing of which my humble labours as a poet have to pull the government up to the people ?” since then derived their sole lustre and value. In a few months after, both Emmet and my

About the same period I formed an acquaint- self were admitted members of the greater and ance, which soon grew into intimacy, with recognised institution, called the Historical So| young Robert Emmet. He was my senior, I ciety; and, even here, the political feeling so rife

think by one class, in the university; for when, abroad contrived to mix up its restless spirit in the first year of my course, I became a mem- with all our debates and proceedings; notwithber of the Debating Society — a sort of nursery standing the constant watchfulness of the colto the authorised Historical Society - I found lege authorities, as well as of a strong party him in full reputation, not only for his learning within the Society itself, devoted adherents to and eloquence, but also for the blamelessness of the policy of the government, and taking invahis life, and the grave suavity of his manners. riably part with the Provost and Fellows in all

Of the political tone of this minor school of their restrictive and inquisitorial measures. The oratory, which was held weekly at the rooms of most distinguished and eloquent of these suppordifferent resident members, some notion may be ters of power were a young man named Sargent, formed from the nature of the questions pro- of whose fate in after-days I know nothing, and posed for discussion, - one of which I recollect, Jebh, the late Bishop of Limerick, who was was, “ Whether an Aristocracy or a Democracy then, as he continued to be through life, much is most favourable to the advancement of science respected for his private worth and learning. and literature ?” while another, bearing even Of the popular side, in the Society, the chief more pointedly on the relative position of the champion and ornament was Robert Emmet; government and the people, at this crisis, was and though every care was taken to exclude thus significantly propounded :—“ Whether a from the subjects of debate all questions vergsoldier was bound, on all occasions, to obey the ing towards the politics of the day, it was always orders of his commanding officer ?” On the easy enough, by a side-wind of digression or al

former of these questions, the effect of Emmet's lusion, to bring Ireland, and the prospects then | eloquence upon his young auditors was, I recol- opening upon her, within the scope of the orator's

lert, most striking. The prohibition against view. So exciting and powerful, in this respect, touching upon modern politics, which it was were Emmet's speeches, and so little were even subsequently found necessary to enforce, had the most eloquent of the adverse party able to not yet been introduced ; and Emmet, who took cope with his powers, that it was at length of course ardently the side of democracy in the thought advisable, by the higher authorities, to debate, after a brief review of the republics of send among us a man of more advanced standantiquity, showing how much they had all done ing, as well as belonging to a former race ofrefor the advancement of science and the arts, nowned speakers, in that Society, in order that proceeded, lastly, to the grand and perilous ex- he might answer the speeches of Emmet, and endeavour to obviate the mischievous impres- to him, his own dying words would find an insion they were thought to produce. The name terpreter so worthy of their sad, but proud of this mature champion of the higher powers feelingt; or that another of those mournful it is not necessary here to record ; but the strains I would long be associated, in the hearts object of his mission among us was in some re- of his countrymen, with the memory of her spect gained ; as it was in replying to a long who shared with Ireland his last blessing and oration of his, one night, that Emmet, much to prayer. the mortification of us who gloried in him as Though fully alive, of course, to the feelings our leader, became suddenly embarrassed in which such music could not but inspire, I had the middle of his speech, and, to use the par- not yet undertaken the task of adapting words liamentary phrase, broke down. Whether from to any of the airs; and it was,

I am ashamed a momentary confusion in the thread of his to say, in dull and turgid prose, that I made argument, or possibly from diffidence in en

my first appearance in print as a champion of countering an adversary so much his senior, - the popular cause. Towards the latter end of for Emmet was as modest as he was high- the year 1797, the celebrated newspaper called minded and brave, — he began, in the full “ The Press" was set up by Arthur O'Connor, career of his eloquence, to hesitate and repeat Thomas Addis Emmet, and other chiefs of the his words, and then, after an effort or two to re- United Irish conspiracy, with the view of precover himself, sat down.

paring and ripening the public mind for the great It fell to my own lot to be engaged, about crisis then fast approaching. This memorable the same time, in a brisk struggle with the journal, according to the impression I at present dominant party in the Society, in consequence retain of it, was far more distinguished for of a burlesque poem which I gave in as candi- earnestness of purpose and intrepidity, than for date for the Literary Medal, entitled “ An Ode any great display of literary talent;- the bold upon Nothing, with Notes, by Trismegistus letters written by Emmet (the elder), under Rustifustius, D.D.” &c. &c. For this squib the signature of “ Montanus,” being the only against the great Dons of learning, the medal compositions I can now call to mind as entitled was voted to me by a triumphant majority. to praise for their literary merit. It required, But a motion was made in the following week however, but a small sprinkling of talent to to rescind this vote; and a fierce contest between make bold writing, at that time, palatable; and, the two parties ensued, which I at last put an from the experience of my own home, I can end to by voluntarily withdrawing my compo- answer for the avidity with which every line of sition from the Society's Book.

this daring journal was devoured. It used to I have already adverted to the period when come out, I think, twice a week, and, on the Mr. Bunting's valuable volume first became evening of publication, I always read it aloud known to me. There elapsed no very long time to our small circle after supper. before I was myself the happy proprietor of a It may easily be conceived that, what with copy of the work, and, though never regularly my ardour for the national cause, and a growinstructed in music, could play over the airs ing consciousness of some little turn for authorwith tolerable facility on the piano-forte. Ro- ship, I was naturally eager to become a conbert Emmet used sometimes to sit by me, when tributor to those patriotic and popular columns. I was thus engaged ; and I remember one day But the constant anxiety about me which I his starting up as from a reverie, when I had knew my own family felt, — a feeling far more just finished playing that spirited tune called wakeful than even their zeal in the public the Red Fox#, and exclaiming,

"Oh that I cause,

- withheld me from hazarding any step were at the head of twenty thousand men, that might cause them alarm. I had ventured, marching to that air !”

indeed, one evening, to pop privately into the How little did I then think that in one of the letter-box of The Press, a short Fragment in most touching of the sweet airs I used to play imitation of Ossian. But this, though inserted,

* “ Let Erin remember the days of old." † " Oh, breathe not his name."

"She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps." § Miss Curran.

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passed off quietly; and nobody was, in any again to have any connexion with that paper; sense of the phrase, the wiser for it. I was and, as every wish of hers was to me law, I soon tempted, however, to try a more daring readily pledged the solemn promise she reHight. Without communicating my secret to quired. any one but Edward Hudson, I addressed a Though well aware how easily a sneer may long Letter, in prose, to the ***** of ****,

be raised at the simple details of this domestic in which a profusion of bad flowers of rheto- scene, I have yet ventured to put it on record, ric was enwreathed plentifully with that weed as affording an instance of the gentle and wowhich Shakspeare calls “the cockle of rebel- manly watchfulness, -the Providence, as it lion," and, in the same manner as before, com- may be called, of the little world of home, - by mitted it tremblingly to the chances of the which although placed almost in the very cur| letter-box. I bardly expected my prose would rent of so headlong a movement, and living

be honoured with insertion, when, lo, on the familiarly with some of the most daring of those next evening of publication, when, seated as who propelled it, I yet was guarded from any usual in my little corner by the fire, I unfolded participation in their secret oaths, counsels, or the paper for the purpose of reading it to my plans, and thus escaped all share in that wild select auditory, there was my own Letter struggle to which so many far better men than staring me full in the face, being honoured myself fell victims. with so conspicuous a place as to be one of In the mean while, this great conspiracy was the first articles my audience would expect to hastening on, with fearful precipitancy, to its hear. Assuming an outward appearance of outbreak; and vague and shapeless as are now ease, while every nerve within me was trem-known to have been the views, even of those bling, I contrived to acco

ccomplish the reading of who were engaged practically in the plot, it the Letter without raising in either of my is not any wonder that to the young and unauditors a suspicion that it was my own. I en initiated like myself it should have opened joyed the pleasure, too, of hearing it a good prospects partaking far more of the wild deal praised by them; and might have been dreams of poesy than of the plain and honest tempted by this welcome tribute to acknowledge prose of real life. But a crisis was then fast

myself the author, bad I not found that the approaching, when such self-delusions could no i language and sentiments of the article were longer be indulged; and when the mystery considered by both to be a very bold.”* which had hithero hung over the plans of the

I was not destined, however, to remain long conspirators was to be rent asunder by the | undetected. On the following day, Edward stern hand of power.

Hudsont,- the only one, as I have said, en- Of the horrors that fore-ran and followed the trusted with my secret, called to pay us a frightful explosion of the year 1798, I have morning visit, and had not been long in the neither inclination nor, luckily, occasion to room, conversing with my mother, when look- speak. But among those introductory scenes, ing significantly at me, he said, “Well, you which had somewhat prepared the public mind

_” Here he stopped ; but the mother's for such a catastrophe, there was one, of a eye had followed his, with the rapidity of light- painful description, which, as having been myning, to mine, and at once she perceived the self an actor in it, I may be allowed briefly to whole truth. “ That Letter was yours, then ?" notice. she asked of me eagerly; and, without hesitation, It was not many weeks, I think, before this of course, I acknowledged the fact; when in the crisis, that, owing to information gained by the most earnest manner she entreated of me never college authorities of the rapid spread, among

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• So thought also higher authorities ; for among the ex- delegates, at Oliver Bond's, in the month of March, 1798, we trans from The Press brought forward by the Secret Com- found, to our astonishment and sorrow, that he was one of the mittee of the House of Commons, to show how formidable number. kai been the designs of the United Irishmen, there are two To those unread in the painful history of this period, it is or three paragraphs cited from this redoubtable Letter. right to mention that almost all the leaders of the United

+ Of the depth and extent to which Hudson had involved Irish conspiracy were Protestants. Among those companions bimself in the conspiracy, none of our family had harboured of my own alluded to in these pages, I scarcely remember a tbe least notion; till, on the seizure of the thirteen Leinster single Catholic.

the students, not only of the principles but the spiracy. In the course of his examination, organisation of the Irish Union*, a solemn some questions were put to him which he Visitation was held by Lord Clare, the vice- refused to answer, -- most probably from their chancellor of the University, with the view of tendency to involve or inculpate others; and inquiring into the extent of this branch of the he was accordingly dismissed, with the melanplot, and dealing summarily with those engaged choly certainty that his future prospects in life in it.

were blasted; it being already known that the Imperious and harsh as then seemed the punishment for such contumacy was not merely policy of thus setting up a sort of inquisitorial expulsion from the University, but also exclutribunal, armed with the power of examining sion from all the learned professions. witnesses on oath, and in a place devoted to the The proceedings, indeed, of this whole day instruction of youth, I cannot but confess that had been such as to send me to my home in the the facts which came out in the course of the evening with no very agreeable feelings or evidence went far towards justifying even this prospects. I had heard evidence given affectarbitrary proceeding; and to the many who, ing even the lives of some of those friends whom like myself, were acquainted only with the I had long regarded with admiration as well as general views of the Union leaders, without affection; and what was still worse than even even knowing, except from conjecture, who their danger, - a danger ennobled, I thought, those leaders were, or what their plans or objects, by the cause in which they suffered, — was the it was most startling to hear the disclosures shameful spectacle exhibited by those who had which every succeeding witness brought forth. appeared in evidence against them. Of these There were a few,- and among that number witnesses, the greater number had been thempoor Robert Emmet, John Brown, and the selves involved in the plot, and now came for

s t, whose total absence from ward either as voluntary informers, or else the whole scene, as well as the dead silence were driven by the fear of the consequences of • that, day after day, followed the calling out of refusal to secure their own safety at the extheir names, proclaimed how deep had been pense of companions and friends. their share in the unlawful proceedings inquired I well remember the gloom, so unusual, that into by this tribunal.

hung over our family circle on that evening, as, But there was one young friend of mine, talking together of the events of the day, we dis

*, whose appearance among the cussed the likelihood of my being among those suspected and examined as much surprised as who would be called up for examination on the it deeply and painfully interested me. He and morrow. The deliberate conclusion to which Emmet had long been intimate and attached my dear honest advisers came, was that, overfriends ;

their congenial fondness for mathe- whelming as the consequences were to all their matical studies having been, I think, a far more plans and hopes for me, yet, if the quesbinding sympathy between them than any ari- tions leading to criminate others, which had sing out of their political opinions. From his been put to almost all examined on that day, being called up, however, on this day, when, as and which poor

* alone had refused it appeared afterwards, all the most important to answer, I must, in the same manner, and at evidence was brought forward, there could be all risks, return a similar refusal. I am not little doubt that, in addition to his intimacy quite certain whether I received any intimation, with Emmet, the college authorities must have on the following morning, that I was to be one possessed some information which led them to of those examined in the course of the day; suspect him of being an accomplice in the con- but I rather think some such notice had been


* In the Report from the Secret Committee of the Irish prises of Napoleon which have now become matter of history. House of Lords, this extension of the plot to the College is Should these pages meet the eye of General *****, they noticed as "a desperate project of the same faction to corrupt will call to his mind the days we passed together in Northe youth of the country by introducing their organised sys- mandy, a few summers since ; - moro especially our excurtem of treason into the University."

sion to Bayeux, when, as we talked on the way of old college † One of these brothers has long been a general in the times and friends, all the eventful and stormy scenes he had French army; having taken a part in all those great enter- passed through since seemed quite forgotten.

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