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intimate and attached, and their mutual en-. deavours to lighten the tedium of the voyage to the lady were so successful, that time flew rapidly, and soundings announced that their passage across the Atlantic was drawing to a close. It was the evening of a blowing day,the wind was westerly, and the frigate, “ hand over hand,” was hastening to her destination, when De Clifford spoke with rapturous delight of “ England, home, and beauty.” Mrs. O'Hara was employed in finishing a copy of a small pencilled sketch which hung over the cabin chimney-piece, the subject of which had struck her forcibly, as being most singular. It represented an infant, lying on the ground, surrounded by martial trophies and broken
In the distance, a party of soldiers were inhuming a female figure, while a warrior, leaning on his sword, gazed with a compassionate look upon the child, who seemed to stretch its little arms to him, and solicit his protection.
Captain De Clifford, is that drawing the production of your own pencil ? It is a chef d'ouvre of its kind.”
De Clifford coloured slightly as he replied, 6 No; it is the last memorial of a dear friend. A messmate of mine gave it to me, and, soon after, he fell in action by my side. It was my first, and poor Fielding's last battle. Perhaps, for many reasons it should be removed ; but it affords me a melancholy pleasure to see this memento of my gallant friend, and therefore I retain it."
May I inquire, if it is merely a creation of the fancy, or
De Clifford appeared confused, and Mrs. O'Hara blushed, to think her question had probably been an improper one.
After a momentary pause, he added, “ To explain the meaning of that picture, I must communicate my own history; and the life of an obscure sailor cannot be an interesting concern to a lady."
“ Not an obscure sailor, certainly,” said the Major.
The Captain bowed, and, with great modesty, mentioned the particulars of his own story.
His father, the Honourable Henry De Clifford, married imprudently, and being the younger son of a very poor but proud family, was disowned for his folly by his relations; but neither he, nor the cause of his misfortunes, lived to experience the fruits of family displeasure. The regiment went on service, and he fell in the first encounter. The fatal news was incautiously communicated to her ; she had just given birth to a boy, and she expired on the second day after. The ill-starred soldier and his wife were interred in one
On the evening of the lady's death, an Irish officer, the Major of the regiment, came to take possession of his effects. Two or three wild-looking women were in the tent, and the poor baby was crying piteously for want of sustenance. Why do you let the child cry, ye
damned brimstones,” roared the goodhearted Irishman. “ And what have we to say to it ?”
6. It's hers," said a savage virago, pointing to the corpse in the corner. ye hags,” cried the Hibernian, as he drove them from the tent. “ It's a pity," said the Major's man, “ to laye the darlin.”
it !” said the Master, “ who, in the devil's name, would leave it? Lift it gently, Corney, and give Serjeant M‘Manus Major O'Shaughnessy's compliments, and I'll give him half my pay, and my blessing, if his woman will give it share of what she has.” Corney lifted the orphan, and the Serjeant's wife received it affectionately. The war lasted for several years. O'Shaughnessy wrote frequently to the family of the child, but, as he was but an indifferent scribe, it is probable his epistles never reached their destination.
The desolate infant was often without a shelter. His patron would have nestled him in his heart if he could; but he very, very often found a shelter for the heads of either unattainable. Peace was concluded, and the Major returned to his own “ loved home across the water.” But soon his young protégé was fated to be cast again unprotected on the world. In a visit to a friend's house, O'Shaughnessy and a neighbouring gentleman differed in opinion about the colour of a game-cock, and having retired from the table to the field, poor Arthur's friend was mor
tally wounded by his antagonist. He had only time to send for the boy, and having confessed, now that all was over, that the cock was a custard dun, (but he would scorn to have acknowledged it, till after a shot,) he informed those who surrounded him of Arthur's history, and, having forgiven his sorrowful opponent, and made him promise to carry the infant to his family, expired, invoking blessings on the youthful mourner.
His promise to the dying man was faithfully performed by the repentant homicide : he conveyed the child, now four years old, to England, and, having learned that the noble family he sought were at their magnificent château on the Sussex coast, with a splendid party visiting them, O'Connor determined to introduce his charge with due publicity. The Earl, he was told, was high and haughty; but, had be been the devil himself, the Milesian would not have shrunk from his engagement. Arriving at the next village, he learned that the Prince of was there. O'Connor dressed himself and the boy in their best apparel, and, taking him in one hand, and a