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son, and say Amen when the Parson wished them prosperity. But what will the sober Citizens of Newbridge say, seeing orange
and pink riding party par pale ?!”
“ Pshaw! Hang politics, you and I are not likely to quarrel about such trifles."
Nomthough I shall give a plumper against the Major, in favour of a fellow I dislike ; but then he's on the right side of the question. Zounds ! · Be there bears i' the town,' or what the deuce is all this kick-up about? Forward.” And he spurred his horse on, accompanied by his pink companion.
At the moment of their entering Newbridge, a tin horn was sounded at the bottom of the street, by the driver of a hackney chaise, which a pair of feeble horses was endeavouring to drag up the steep hill which led to the Loftus Arms. The carriage was remarkable by a flag flying from either window; on its nearer approach the banners were more distinctly revealed, and proved to be a couple of old wornout pocket handkerchiefs, extended on sallow rods.
“ It is Armstrong and his blackguard com
panion," said Thornton ; “ ride up the street till we see them alight. By my hand, I'm half ashamed of my party. The fact is, my dear O'Hara, all the fighting men are on your side, Irvins, M‘Donnells, and Moutrays; and Lord Loftus, M‘Cullogh, Nugent, and company, not feeling inclined to trust their valuable lives to the chance of a pistol shot, have wisely agreed to fight by proxy, and these precious scoundrels are engaged for one hundred pounds à piece, and their grub, for the election. But come along—there, the mob groan them and their tattered Barcelonas--and now out come the gemmen.”
The chaise-door was opened, and the obsequious waiter was desired, with a tremendous execration, to “ Hould the step steady.”
6 Your Honour's welcome, Mr. Armstrong." “How are you, blast ye?”replied the traveller.
“It's mad Archy, as his friends, the mob, call him," said Thornton ; " and, for Heaven's sake, look at his luggage.”
The person dignified by the title of mad Archy, was a stout, well set, middle-sized man, of forty, with small, grey, ferret eyes, and
sandy hair; several scars across his countenance did not improve it, and a large nose was rendered more remarkable by the deep cut which bisected the bridge of that invaluable organ. His hands were occupied by a blackthorn stick and a case of pocket-pistols, and his whole luggage was under his arm, comprised within the inclosure of a purple cravat. After mad Archy had given his affectionate regards to the waiter, he paused, waiting for his companion in arms, who presently descended. This worthy was the opposite of his friend—a tall, thin, meagre wretch, with powdered hair, long cue, and silver spectacles. In point of property, he was nearly on a par, and as limited in chattels as his friend Archibald. A diminutive valise was consigned to the custody of the waiter, while himself took charge of a mahogany case, in which the gentleman's pistols (the tools of his trade) were deposited.
“ What a pair," said Thornton, as they entered the Inn; * but you do not know them, Henry, nor their occupation. The first is an Attorney, but his practice is more at cockpits than courts of law; every horse-race within
many miles of him is carefully attended : as he is a man of desperate and brutal habits, and reckoned the best mob-leader in the north, they have brought him here to command the banditti, which are ever the umpires of the qualifications for the fit representation of an Irish County. He is also here for the purpose of seconding his friend, who, in the event of his pistols being required, would otherwise stand a bad chance of obtaining any other person to accompany him to the ground. The man is, it is believed, subject to occasional derangement; and bad as he is, the other ruffian is ten times worse.
He is Captain Felton, alias · Fire-away Phil;' he tried several regiments, but through bad taste, none of them could agree with him, and he was obliged to retire on half-pay to save his commission. He has killed two or three certainly, and has fought duels without number; you will see he will commence the business by insulting some gentleman of your party, of whom our leaders are afraid ; and, if he be unfortunate enough to go out with this savage, the chances of his death are pretty certain. But here is your carriage
coming in,'aud that lovely creature in full pink. Damme, I'll slip the orange cockade out of my hat, raise the pink, and turn renegado, if she will only give me one smile of the thousands which are bestowed on a nameless Cavalier. Come, to your duty, man,-I must be off, Orange for ever!" and away Thornton bolted.
The Castle Carra carriage was soon hailed by the pink party, of which the town was almust entirely composed ; and a very different reception attended their entry from that of the last vehicle ; the huzzas of the mob, the beauty of the females in the carriage, the curvetting of the handsome bays, which, startled by the cheering of the populace, were tossing their pink rosettes about, brought young and old to the doors. Henry's cheek flushed with conscious pride, as he heard his own name coupled by the crowd with that of Emily De Clifford : never had she looked so lovely, and never was party colour seen to more advantage. On the carriage reaching the inn, before the door of which the hack which conveyed mad Andy and the gallant Captain stood, with its tawdry ragg yet dangling from the windows, the “ canaille"