Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

corps in Ireland, assembled at the Royal Exchange in the metropolis, on the 10th November, 1783. Previous to this period, the volunteers in many places had invited the Roman Catholics to associate and take up arms. A corps of great strength, called the Irish Brigade, was accordingly embodied, and it was resolved, at a meeting of delegates, that the training of every class of Irishmen to the use of arms was a measure of vital importance to the country. In pursuance of this resolution, a regular drill was established, and, in the summer, an en campment formed at Roebuck, in the county of Dublin, in which the Irish Brigade, and the Volunteers of the City, practised camp and military duties, and all the manoeuvres connected with active service. In the north of Ireland, the Presbyterians had been for many years firmly united to the Americans, and the principles of the new Republic were universally admired by a considerable proportion of the inhabitants of Ulster. The subsequent events strongly proved that the period elapsing between the declara

tion of the independence of the United States and the era of the French Revolution had confirmed these democratic feelings.

It will be necessary here to remark, that for several years prior to 1792, this part of Ireland was constantly disturbed by the religious animosities of the Dissenters and Roman Catholics. After the volunteering system had gradually expired, the former, becoming jea-. lous of the latter party's retaining a vast. quantity of arms in their possession, which they had instructed them to use, frequently assembled during the night for the purpose of disarming their quondam associates ; the Presbyterians assuming the title of “ Peep-o'-dayboys,” the others adopted the name of “ Defenders.” The passions of the contending parties being artfully inflamed by the leaders, no opportunity of exercising mutual animosity was suffered to escape. Many severe skirmishes ensued ; at last, after several ineffectual attempts had been made towards a reconciliation, the hostile parties came to a general engagement, at a place called “ the Diamond," on the 21st September, 1795, which termi

nated in the entire defeat of the Defenders, who were driven from a strong position, after numbers of their friends had been killed or wounded. To commemorate this victory, the first Orange Lodge, composed exclusively of Protestants, was instituted. We now return to O'Hara: the regiment in which he had gotten his promotion, after having been for some time at Belfast, was ordered to Dublin, and there remained for two years, doing garrison duty. The Major had therefore many opportunities of visiting his estate in the north. Soon after they had been removed to the metropolis, Mrs. O'Hara was delivered of a second son, who survived its birth but a few days. The lady's confinement had been very unfavourable, and in consequence her health became so much impaired, that an immediate change to her native air was prescribed, as necessary for her recovery. The Major, tired of an inactive military life, and aware that the health and happiness of his wife required it, determined, after mature

deliberation, to leave the army and retire on the half-pay list. Many things tended to induce him to adopt this measure: his estate was most improvable, situated in a wild and romantic country, and yet contiguous to several respectable market-towns. Accordingly, he memorialized the Commander-in-Chief, who, in consideration of his brilliant, though short services, acceded to his retirement, and gazetted him out on full pay.

The Ex-Major, therefore, in the latter end of 1778, bade adieu to the honourable trade of arms, and with his lady and his young son, took possession of the mansion of his forefathers.

CHAPTER VII.

Yet he's gentle ; never schoold, and yet learned ; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly beloved,

As You Like It.

CASTLE CARRA was wild and lonely in its situation ; it stood on a bold eminence, overlooking the narrow union of two extensive lakes, on one side, while on the other it was surrounded by a cordon of rocky hills, rising above each other in alternate ridges, till the black and broken summits of the Mourne mountains topped the entire, and threw a duskier shade upon the heaths beneath them. The edifice was in perfect preservation ; the ornamental parts of the building, its turrets, narrow arched doors, and gothic casements, executed with that beautiful regularity which characterizes the designs of former artists, displayed the same appearance they had done

« ForrigeFortsæt »