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Belvue and his fair bride were casually spoken of. Arguing from this that there were human events to which he was not so insensible as many imagined, he rode to Castle Carra on the evening of the 6th of June, resolved to be explicit with his friend on this delicate subject.
He found him, as usual, sitting in the library; he was not, however, alone, for a tall elderly female, attired in deep mourning, was standing beside the table, talking with uncommon energy, when Thornton, with the freedom which habits of long intimacy warranted, entered the apartment without the customary. form of being preceded by a servant. The speaker suddenly paused, and turned a keen and penetrating glance on the stranger, and repeating with marked emphasis an impressive 6 Remember," passed through an opposite door, and left the young men together.
. O'Hara appeared gratified by his friend's visit, and lifting the untasted wine, filled a glass. “ I am glad, William, you are come over; I wanted courage singly to attack the bottle, but with your assistance we shall get on
better. You interrupted a téte-à-tête,” and a sickly smile lighted his pale face.
“ To be candid, my dear Harry, I cannot pretend to compliment you on your selection of a companion; for, between ourselves, that Alice More, or, I beg her pardon, Mrs. or Miss Maguire—(I hope the door is shut,) is a — ; in short, like every thing about this house, there is a particular mystery attends this respectable gentlewoman. Some say she is a witch, and others a maniac; and all agree that she is a most unlucky character to meet in the morning. To the latter I can bear most satisfactory testimony; I had the honour of meeting her on two occasions—on the first, as we were going to draw the cover of Blacklan for a fox, she bolted from a by-road. I intended to be civil, and told her we should have a rattling ring. All's well that ends well,' she croaked in reply, and soon after Meteor made a mistake at a double ditch, cracked my collar bone, and I lost the rest of the season by it. On the day of our second interview, my gun burst, and I escaped by a miracle. What's the odds against my tumbling into the lake, or meeting some
untoward mishap? Have you a counter charm ?"
Nay, William, don't quiz poor Alice she has had her misfortunes, and therefore is the fitter companion for the last of the O'Haras."
“ The last of the O'Haras ! Has she been doseing you with divination ? For shame, Harry; would you attend to her absurd speculations ;—so, she was telling your fortune when I surprised you."
- She has told it, and a gloomy one it is ! But let us have done with Alice. You were giving me a curious account of that singular marriage of Miss De Clifford when Moutray interrupted us yesterday. Pray continue it; for late events—and he sighed heavily66 have banished more trivial matters.”
“Well, I told you how astonished I felt when M.Cullogh invited me to officiate as bridesman; what made him select me was extraordinary ; I always disliked him, and he knew it, for I never took any trouble to conceal my sentiments. Curiosity induced me to attend the doughty bridegroom. In the conduct of the whole affair
haste and mystery were evident; her Ladyship condescended to elucidate part of the proceedings, as she whispered to me something of ' times being awful and unsettled, and anxiety for dear Emily made her waive the usual ceremonials, and expedite the marriage.' I shall never forget the look of the bride. She did not join us until the moment when the bridal rites were about to be commenced, and as the ceremony was performed in the evening, few of the company could observe her appearance. I was beside her when she knelt, and when the veil was withdrawn to receive the nuptial salutation, never shall I forget the countenance that was displayed. There was no maiden trepidation—there was no bridal timidity, but disgust and despair were too powerful for concealment. Her mother frequently whispered during the ceremony, and I once heard the words for
my sake-for your own.' The carriage was waiting at the door to convey the bride to her husband's splendid house, and her immediate departure prevented further observation. It is rumoured and believed that every thing short of force was used by Lady Sarah to obtain her
daughter's reluctant consent; and since the marriage, either from the perilous state of the times or some unknown cause, the M‘Culloghs have been rarely in public. Parties at Belvue have been frequent, but as these are entirely confined to the male sex, the lady has seldom honoured them with her presence.”
Thornton ceased speaking as the post-bag was handed in, and their attention was directed
The contents of the Dublin Gazette was most alarming. Munster and Leinster had risen en masse ; and although the rebels had been generally repulsed, they had in two instances been fatally successful. Colonel Walpole had been surprised and defeated at Tubberneering, and at Oulart a detachment of the North Cork Militia had been cut to pieces While engaged in reading this disastrous intelligence, the door through which Alice More had retired, opened, and that strange personage glided into the room. She confronted O'Hara, and observed him with a look of peculiar meaning for a moment. He raised his eyes to hers. " It is true," he exclaimed. " The hour is come," she muttered, as she left the chamber,