Billeder på siden

which, alas! are falling rapidly into decay.

“ For some short time my family prospered in their business, but, like all others, they were fated to meet with ultimate disappointment. My second brother was what is usually termed eccentric, and not being so sanguine of success as his brother, greatly assisted, by constant opposition to extensive speculation, to keep the house in safety, al. though their profits were but moderate.

“ Thus fared my father and my brothers, till at length the politics of these unhappy times led to a lamented crisis. My second brother preferred the ruinous course of revolutionary principles to that of abject and bigoted subserviency to the government. He possessed some talent, and unluckily for himself and his family, it was devoted to the cause of constitutional reform. His associates were all marked and prominent chą. racters, and though my brother was too mild and too gentle to take a share in any overt act of hostility; yet, implicated with the more desperate, and identified with the active, he was obliged to leave the country at a moment when his influence was more than ever required to restrain the unsuccessful speculations of his brother. The sequel comes within my own knowledge; my eldest brother, unrestricted in his wild schemes, launched deeper into a falling commodity, and that wealth which had been for years in our possession, melted rapidly away. My father, heart-broken by the imprudence of his eldest, and the exile of his second son, died-while he, the cause of all, although absent from his home, endeavoured to break the fatal mercantile spirit of his brother-it was unavailing, he plunged farther into the ebbing tide, and when at the very brink of bankruptcy, died of a fever, before his mis

fortunes were consummated by a proclaimed insolvency. About this time the



my brother to return, and having arranged the debts of the deceased, he formed a partnership with me, and endeavoured to turn the mills to some account. I need not be very particular as to the result; ten years we lingered on, and all that our united prudence and economy could do, was to keep ourselves from appearing in the Gazette. At length my brother's health began to decline, no doubt occasioned by mental anxiety and bodily fatigue, for which he was unfitted, and we came to a resolution to sell this place, and live on the produce of the sale. We did so, but at a prodigious loss; and yet the present proprietor heavily regrets the purchase.

“ Prior to the rebellion, my brother had been induced to cultivate his literary acquirements from his intimacy with

[ocr errors]

the O'Haras.” I interrupted him—“Do you

know any thing of them, and particularly the younger ?"

Much-more than any other man in existence. I would explain myself more fully. When the elder suffered, his son effected an escape to France; my brother, as I told you, was his companion; they met, and lived together till the military profession of young O'Hara obliged him to join the army of Italy. The amnesty which included my brother's name was issued before they met again, and knowing the urgency of our affairs here, he left Paris without a moment's delay, when assured that the clemency of the Crown was extended to him. From young O'Hara he had received a faithful narrative of his numerous adventures, and to the period of his death occasionally had letters from him. During the declining years of his life, my brother remained in Dub

lin; for, labouring under an organic diséase, it was necessary to be near experienced physicians; and for a long time previous to his dissolution, he amused the solitude of a sick chamber by arranging the letters and compiling a memoir of his absent friend. Whether he ever proposed giving them to the world is very questionable ; for, as many of the actors in these lamented scenes were still upon the stage, the memoirs of Henry O'Hara must of necessity have involved their histories."

I had now found all I wished-of course I acquainted him with the sole object of my expedition, and of the death of the last of the O'Haras. All that I desired he granted—a perusal of his brother's manuscript. He also accommodated me with a chamber in his house, and my present employments are-a daily pilgrimage to the ruins of Castle Carra, while my evening's pass

« ForrigeFortsæt »