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pronounced in all the warmth of Irish hospitality, by a sweet and manly voice, and with their host in the centre, the fair visiters were ushered into the antique hall, and thence conducted by two elderly waiting-women to their respective chambers.
The interior of O'Hara’s mansion was carefully scrutinized by the new-comers, as they descended to the drawing-room. The staircase was but narrow, and, together with the pannels and doors which everywhere concealed the walls, was constructed entirely of black oak. A few pictures and portraits in antique framing, and indifferently painted, were suspended around, and in no way relieved the sombre hue of the gloomy wood-work. The ceiling was sheeted, and formed of the same heavy timber with the massive beams on which the rafters rested. The hall, lighted by a small lamp, differed from the lobbies above, only in being flagged with mountain granite ; instead of pictures, its pannels were adorned with hunting bugles, ancient Irish weapons, · and moose-deer horns, which had at different times been discovered in the surrounding bogs.
A large fire, and porter's chair, occupied a corner, where two blind musicians were seated ; an old man filled the seat of honour, while the huge chimney, heaped with turf, diffused heat and light around.
The drawing-room door was partly unclosed, and the ladies paused, by a kind of mutual consent, to look at the master of the house. A large and brilliant fire of bog-deal illuminated the apartment. O'Hara stood, leaning on his arm, against the lofty old-fashioned chimneypiece, and was apparently lost in meditation. His dress was deep and mournful, although in those days gentlemen, when in dinner costume, wore gay and lively colours; his height, his dark features, and raven hair, were all in unison with his melancholy mood, and the venerable air of the apartment. He was evidently a very handsome man, and although his ebon hair was here and there interspersed with grey, this uncertain indication was all which would have marked his having passed over life's meridian ; his carriage was lofty and erect, and when a rustling of female dresses roused him from his reverie, the manly and unbroken step with which he crossed the room to meet his guests, betrayed nothing of approaching senility. His manners accorded with his appearance-they were those of high birth and polished society ; but in his smile, although sweet and winning, there was that shade of sorrow mingled, which bespoke the presence of a “mind diseased :” the efforts he made to conceal it were, however, successful, and when the dinner was announced, the hospitality of his country seemed to have overcome every other feeling. Lady Sarah was astonished when handed to the dining-room; it was spacious, and, notwithstanding its oaken pannels, magnificent; the furniture was heavy, but handsome; the plate, of which there was a profusion, ancient and massive; and the grey-headed butler of O'Hara's father, with four richly-dressed footmen, were in perfect character with all.
The hall was so ample, that the entertainer and his banquet occupied but the upper extremity; while at the bottom of the chamber, and scarcely visible from the table, the harpers were seated, and according to the custom of the country, played during the meal. Some curiosity was excited by the appearance of a fourth cover on the table; but an inquiry from O'Hara, “ if the Doctor had returned ?” partially removed it, by acquainting the ladies, that the expected was a professional gentleman. On the servant's replying that he had not, the host observed, “ My friend the Doctor is nearly as eccentric in his movements as in his appearance—we never wait for him; but I hear his step; the creak of his shoe is not to be mistaken, and therefore he shall describe himself.” The expected Physician accordingly entered the room with considerable bustle. He was a very little man, whose circumference far exceeded his altitude-his figure excessively outré-his proportions exactly those of a nine-pin, with a very rubicund countenance, which would not have brought discredit on a civic officer. Although he certainly enjoyed the advantages of a recent refit, it was easy to conjecture that the business of the toilette formed but a trifling part of the Doctor's concerns in life: his clothes were very unequally put on, no one button being fitted in its natural receptacle; the knot of his neckcloth drawn under his ear, precisely
as the hangman would have placed it had he been in attendance; one cheek was obscured by hair-powder, while its fellow glistened with pomatum; his bow and introductory address were quite in character.
* My dear Doctor,” said the host, when the party were seated, “ we had nearly rated you an absentee-old David was active in his researches, and reported you to be missing.”
“ Missing,” cried the Physician, “as I am to be saved, I was for the last hour in the library.. Ah! poor Davy-years, years, my dear Lady, will make the best of us subject to mistakes. I remember poor Doctor Pillagrew-(here O'Hara groaned)-he died at eighty-three, and practised to the last. You may recollect Miss Golightly, Major; he gave her digitalis for a dropsy the morning she was delivered of a daughter.” The Ladies looked confused, but Molloy would scarcely have remarked them had they been fainting. or On her recovery, she married a Methodist Preacher, and had a blessed death, as the man said in the funeral sermon, for she went off raising the hymn at a love-feast. Talking of death (O'Hara again