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sullenly—his gentle companion followed, when suddenly reining up his horse, he exclaimed, " God bless you, Harry, you are a lost man !'' and seizing Lady Constantia’s bridle, he pushed forward at a quick pace, and was soon concealed by the trees.
With folded arms, the rebel chief stood where his lost friend and mistress had left him. “ They are gone,” he said, " and the pang of parting is over ; and now, house of my fathers ! let me look on you for the last time." He looked upon buttress and battlement till the 'voice of Alice More broke his gloomy reverie
“ Yes, O'Hara, well may your aching eye wander over the ancient building, for never more will its grey roof shelter you from the storm-like all things mortal, its hour of dissolution comes, and its honours shall be laid in the dust. Many an O'Hara within those dark walls drew his first breath, and many there have sobbed their passing sigh ; often have the bridal candles glanced through loop and casement; and often the funeral torches glared upon hatchment and plume ! but the last of the race is fated, proud tower, to see thy overthrow!"
As she spoke, a man rode hastily to where they stood, and springing to the ground, exclaimed that “ the enemy was at hand.” They listened, and the tramp of the distant cavalry was heard distinctly. In a moment, Henry was in the saddle, and at a rapid pace pursued the direction his armed associates had taken.
At a small hamlet, some eight or ten miles distant, the rebel leaders were to meet that night in council. They had hesitated to raise their followers, until assured that the south was up in arms; and many of the northern conspirators were for postponing taking the field until the succours expected from France had landed ; but the summary and severe measures of the Government alarmed them, and aware that longer delay would expose them to arrest and danger, they resolved to risk all, and openly appear in arms. Orders were accordingly issued for the adjoining districts to rise, and the chiefs were now collected to determine where the first blow should be struck. .
As O'Hara and his small escort rode through the mountains, fires blazing on the high grounds, and the sounding of distant horns, proclaimed
the insurrection to have broken out. The road they had chosen ran through a gorge of the hills, and afforded a safer route than the leveller path beneath them. On gaining the summit of the pass, they halted for a moment to let their horses breathe, and the leader turned his eyes back to catch a distant view of his once happy home. The night was not dark, and the broad surface of the lakes sparkled faintly in the trembling star-light. In vain he sought a clearer view of the dark towers of Castle Carra--the mists had risen on the low grounds, and concealed the object of his research. Suddenly a feeble ray twinkled where his eye rested -it soon fell in steady light upon the bosom of the waters, and tree and shrub were tinged with ruddy light-every moment it waxed stronger, and in the vivid glare the Castle became visible, when, to the horror of all, a red column of living fire mounted to the sky, and it became apparent that the building was in flames!
Motionless the last lord of Castle Carra gazed on the awful conflagration. From the immense quantity of timber used in the construction of the edifice, it soon became a mass of fire, and in an
incredibly short space of time its destruction was completed. The rebel party had in vain entreated him to proceed ; and, alarmed at the delay, they pointed out the necessity of despatch, to prevent their journey from being interrupted. For some minutes, as if under the influence of fascination, he continued gazing on the ruin of the pile, when, as if awaking from a dream, he suddenly turned from the scene of devastation, and spurring his horse forward, rode silently and swiftly to the place of rendezvous.
The absence of O'Hara from the rebel council had been remarked and regretted by the other leaders. The exigency of their affairs required that instant measures should be adopted, and after much deliberation it was determined to attack the town of Antrim. Many reasons concurred to render the possession of this place a primary object with the insurgents. It would form a point of union for the rebel forces to concentrate; and the governors and magistracy of the county having advertised a general meeting to be holden there on the following day, to surprise them and secure their persons, would
be to possess themselves of valuable hostages, who might hereafter be used as circumstances should demand.
A difficulty, however, now unexpectedly occurred, and it required delicate management to remove it. There was no chief commander appointed, and where all claimed similar rank, their equal pretensions would naturally occasion an unpleasant discussion. A member was addressing the council-he spoke of the irreparable loss they had sustained by the deaths of Lord Edward and O'Hara. Alluding to the unfortunate nobleman, “ He is gone,” said he, - the hope of Ireland, the rock of her reliance and had our own martyr been spared !-who shall take his place ?”
“ His son !” exclaimed a loud voice from without, and Henry stood before them. All felt the difficulty happily removed, and by acclamation the young rebel was appointed to the chief command:
While the insurgents were thus engaged, the loyalists were not idle. Treachery, which blighted every attempt of the republicans, had betrayed the intended rising to their enemies,