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procured a pen and paper, he coolly adjusted it at the foot of the ladder-then, with suitable composure, submitted to his fate.
Poor Munro's crime was an unfortunate miscalculation of his own abilities, for unluckily for himself and others, he imagined he possessed military talents, and only when it was too late discovered his mistake. Hickie, his Aid-deCamp, with many rebels of lesser name, suffered in Belfast, Newry, and other northern towns. Nor was the punishment of rebellion confined to the laity. The dissenting ministers were severely visited, two of that body being hanged in front of their own meeting-houses, and a number expatriated for life, or a long term of years.
Several days elapsed while O'Hara continued a prisoner. Rosy fetters bound him, but still he was a captive. All the hopes of his party were at an end ; and, with the defeat at Ballinahinch, the struggle appeared to terminate. The rebel force he had commanded on Donnegore Hill, received thankfully an amnesty offered them by Colonel Clavering, and having laid down their arms, and taken the oath of
allegiance, retired peaceably to their houses. In the south, the insurrection was effectually crushed; and, with the exception of a few desperadoes, who, excluded from the general pardon offered by the Government, banded together for mutual protection, or for the purposes of plunder, the country might be considered to be in a state of comparative tranquillity.
The search after the rebel chief, however, was still actively persevered in. The horse he had ridden from the field being found straying in the woods of Belvue, naturally directed the vigilance of his enemies to the immediate neighbourhood of his retreat, and a reward of one thousand pounds offered for his apprehension, of course gave an additional stimulus to their exertions. O'Hara, aware of his danger, never quitted his concealment, excepting to breathe the fresh air by night in the woods, taking care to return before morning dawned.
During the tedious hours of the summer's day, he had ample leisure for reflection, and in those private moments many painful thoughts arose. The periodical prints, with which the kindness of his beautiful protectress furnished him, spoke of his exploits and escape with undiminished interest. His military conduct at Antrim and Ballinahinch were mentioned in honourable terms, and his name recorded as that of the most talented and renowned of the republican party. What were his cooler conclusions as he contrasted the present with the past? Living in inglorious obscurity, the favourite of a woman, he owed his safety to no exertion of his own, but to her caprice, and to a connexion which every feeling of honour called on him to abandon. Was this in character with his still fresh fame?-No! He was the minion of a woman, and the sooner the fetters of his slavery were broken the better.
When Emily, in the evening, visited her captive, he communicated his fixed determination of attempting to escape from the kingdom, and exonerate her from abetting a concealment which must eventually terminate in loss of liberty and life to him, and fair fame and fortune to her. With too much tact to offer a decided opposition to one of the daring character of her lover, she artfully contrived to amuse him with assurances of her co-operation in his
plans, which, in secret, she resolved should never be accomplished; and, with the madness of desperate love, reckless of consequences which a moment's consideration would tell her were inevitable, she dreamed of retaining him in her thraldom. Nor was it an easy task for one, so young and desolate as he, to break the spell which held him lingering in this bower of beauty. “Wreathed smile,” and “ honied kiss," wavered his firmest resolve ; and when they failed, he found himself assailed by woman's more dangerous tears. Every thing around contributed to assist the charm; and enervated by luxurious solitude, he felt each moment less capable to achieve his deliverance. When Emily left him in the evening, and kissing him again and again, lamented the necessity of temporary absence, his ardent eyes followed her to the door, and when it closed, he sighed to think how many weary hours must elapse before his captivity would be brightened by the presence of his fascinating visitor.
Every plan which O'Hara had hitherto framed for escape appeared unlikely to succeed. The principal difficulty arose from the want of
some friend to co-operate in the attempt. There were, indeed, many who would have gladly assisted in his deliverance, but they neither knew whether he was alive or dead, or could, without mutual peril to both, be acquainted with the place where he was concealed. After numerous expedients had been considered and rejected, he decided on opening a communication with Alice More, and to effect this, determined to trust his life to the chivalrous honour of William Thornton. He wrote a few words on a slip of paper, too enigmatical to be understood by a stranger, and enclosed a small ring, which was well-known to Alice. Sealing the billet carefully, he put it under cover to Thornton, entreating him to forward it as directed, and if the person could not be found, to retain it until the writer claimed it. Emily reluctantly promised to forward it, and the epistle was accordingly intrusted to her care. How far his fair friend intended to have performed the wishes of the rebel chief, it is unnecessary to conjecture, for accident interposed, and the object was effected. Emily dropped the letter on her return to Belvue, and a dra.