Obrazy na stronie

From Household Words. pleas for the revenue, and then down he came THE GAUGER'S POCKET.

upon me with the unanswerable argument

“. But why should the king tax good liPoor old Tristram Pentire! How he comes quor? If they must have taxes, why can't up before me as I pronounce his name! they tax something else ?" That light, active, half-stooping form ; bent My efforts, moreover, to soften and remove as though he had a brace of kegs upon his his doctrinal prejudice as to the unimportance, shoulders still ; those thin, gray, rusty locks in a moral point of view, of putting the officers that fell upon a forehead seamed with the of his Majesty's revenue to death, were equalwrinkles of threescore years and five ; the ly unavailing. Indeed, to my infinite chagrin, cunning glance that questioned in his eye, I found that I had lowered myself exceedingly and that nose carried always at half-cock, in his estimation by what he called standing with a red blaze along its ridge, scorched by up for the exciseman. the departing footstep of the fierce fiend Al - There had been divers parsons,” he ascohol, when he fled before the reinforcements sured me, " in his time in the parish, and of the Coast Guard.

very larned clargy they were ; and some very He was the last of the smugglers ; and strict; and some would preach one doctrine, when I took possession of my glebe, I hired and some another; and there was one that had him as my servant of all work, or rather no very mean notions about running goods, and work, about the house, and there he rollick- said 't was a wrong thing to do ; but even he, ed away the last few years of his careless and the rest, never took no part with the existence, in all the pomp and idleness of gauger-never! And besides," said old Trim, The parson's man." He had taken a bold with another demolishing appeal, “Wasn't part in every landing on the coast, man and the exciseman always ready to put us to boy, full forty years ; throughout which time, death when he could : all kinds of men had largely trusted him with With such a theory it was not very astontheir brandy and their lives, and true and ishing-although it startled me at the timefaithful had he been to them as sheath to that I was once suddenly assailed, in a pause steel.

of his spade, with the puzzling inquiry, Gradually he grew attached to me, and I " Can you tell me the reason, sir, that no could not but take an interest in him. I en-grass will ever grow upon the grave of a man deavored to work some softening change in that 's hanged unjustly?” bim, and to awaken a certain sense of the er “No, indeed, Tristram, I never heard of rors of his former life. Sometimes, 'as a sort the fact before." of condescension on his part, he brought him “Well, I thought every man know'd that self to concede and to acknowledge in his own from the Scripture ; why, you can see it, sir, quaint rambling way :

every Sabbath day. That grave on the right “Well, sir, I do think when I come to look hand of the path as you go down to the porchback, and to consider what lives we used to door, that heap of arth with no growth, not live-drunk all night, and idle abed all day, one blade of grass on it—that 's Will Pooly's cursing, swearing, fighting, gambling, lying, grave that was hanged unjustly." and always prepared for to shet (shoot) the “ Indeed! but how came such a shocking gauger-I do really believe, sir, we surely deed to be done ?" was in sin!”

"Why, you see, sir, they got poor Will But, whatever contrite admissions to this down to Bodmin, all among strangers, and extent were extorted from old Tristram by there was bribery, and false swearing; and misty glimpses of a moral sense and by his an unjust judge came down-and the jury, all desire to gratify his master, there were two bad rascals, tin-and-copper-men-and so they points on which he was inexorably firm. The all agreed together, and they hanged poor one was, that it was a very guilty practice in Will. But his friends begged the body and the authorities to demand taxes for what he brought the corpse home here to his own parcalled run goods; and the other settled dogma ish; and they turfed the grave, and they of his creed was, that it never could be a sin sowed the grass twenty times over, but 't was to make away with an exciseman. Battles all no use ; nothing would ever grow-he was between Tristram and myself on these themes hanged unjustly.”. were frequent and fierce; but I am bound to "Well, but Tristram, you have not told confess that he always managed, somehow or me all this while what this man Pooly was other, to remain master of the field. In accused of—what had he done ?" deed, what Chancellor of the Exchequer could " Done, sir ! Done ? Nothing whatsoerbe prepared to encounter the triumphant de- er but killed the exciseman !" mand with which Tristram smashed to atoms The glee, the chuckle, the cunning glance my suggestions of morality, political econo- were inimitably characteristic of the hardened my, and finance ? He would listen with ap-old smuggler; and then down went the spade parent patience to all my solemn and secular 'with a plunge of defiance, and, as I turned

away, a snatch of his favorite song came ca “Because," as I interposed, “they took rolling after me like the ballad of a victory. him off to their ship.”

“ No, not they ; not a bit of it. Their On, through the ground-sea, shove ! blood was up, poor fellows, so they just pullLight on the larboard bow !

ed Parminter down in the boat, and chopped There's a nine-knot breeze above,

off his head on the gunwale!” And a sucking tide below!

The exclamation of horror with which I reHush ! for the beacon fails ;

ceived this recital, elicited no kind of symThe skulking gauger 's by.

pathy from Tristram. He went on quietly Down with your studding sails,

with his work, merely moralizing thus-Ay, Let jib and fore-sail fly!

better Parminter and his dog had gone now Hurrah, for the light, once more !

and then to the gauger's pocket at TidnaPoint her for Shark's Nose Head, combe Cross, and held their peace, better Our friends can keep the shore,

far." Or the skulking gauger 's dead.

The term, . 'The Gauger's Pocket,” in old On, through the ground-sea, shore !

Tristram's phraseology, had no kind of refLight on the larboard bow !

erence to any place of deposit in the apparel There's a nine-knot breeze above,

of the exciseman ; but to a certain large gray And a sucking tide below!

rock, which stands upon a neighboring moor

land, not far from the cliffs which overhang Among the “ King's men," whose achieve- the sea. It bears to this day, among the ments haunted the old man's memory with a parish people, the name of the Witan-Stone, sense of mingled terror and dislike, a cer- that is to say, in the language of our foretain Parminter and his dog occupied a prin- fathers, the Rock of Wisdom ; because it was cipal place. This officer appeared to have one of the places of usual assemblage for the been a kind of Frank Kennedy in his way, Gray Eldermen of British or of Saxon times and to have chosen for his watchword the a sort of speaker's chair or woolsack in the old Irish signal“ Dare!"

local Parliaments. It was, moreover, there is “Sir,” said old Tristram one day, with a no doubt, one of the natural altars of the old burst of indignant wrath, “Sir, that villain religion ; and, as such, it is greeted with a Parminter and his dog murdered with their fond and legendary reverence still. Hither shetting-irons no less than seven of our peo- Trim guided me one day show, as he told ple at divers times, and they peacefully at me, "the great rock set up by the giants, 80 work in their calling all the while!"

they said ; long, long ago, before there was I found on further inquiry that this man any bad laws such as they make now.” It Parminter was a bold and determined officer, was indeed a wild, strange, striking scene; whom no threats could deter and no money and one to lift and fill, and, moreover, to subbribe. He always went armed to the teeth, due, the thoughtful mind. Around me was and was followed by a large, fierce, and the wild, half-cultured moor ; yonder, within dauntless dog, which he had thought fit to reach of sight and ear, that boundless, breathcall Satan. This animal he had trained to ing sen, with that shout of the waters, which carry in his mouth a carbine or a loaded club, came up ever and anon to recall the strong which, at a signal from his master, Satan metre of the Greek, brought to the rescue. “Ay, they was bold audacious rascals—that Parminter and his Hark! how old ocean laughs with all his wares ! dog—but he went rather too far one day, as I suppose,” was old Tristram's chuckling re- and there, before me, stood the tall, vast, solmark as he leaned upon his spade, and I stood emn stone, gray and awful with the myriad by.

memoirs of ancient ages, when the white “ Did he, Trim ; in what way?"

fathers bowed around the rocks and worship“Why, sir, the case was this. Our peo- ped. . ple had a landing down at Mellnach, in John “ And now, sir," clashed in a shrill, sharp nie Mathoy's hole; and Parminter and his voice, " let me show you the wonderfulest dog found it out. So they got into the cave thing in all the place, and that is, the at ebb tide, and laid in wait, and when the Gauger's Pocket.” first boat-load came ashore, just as the keel Accordingly, I followed my guide, for it took the ground, down storms Parminter, seems, “I had a dream which was not all a shouting for Satan to follow. But the dog dream,” as he led the way to the back of the knew better, and held back, they said, for the Witan-Stone ; and there, grown over with first time in all his life ; so in leaps Parmin- moss and lichen, with a movable slice of rock ter smack into the boat, alone, with his cut-to conceal its mouth, old Tristram pointed lass drawn ; but" (with a kind of inward ecs-out, triumphantly, a dry and secret crevice tasy), “ he did n't do much harm to the about an arm's length deep." There sir," boat's crew"

said he, with a joyous twinkle in his eye,

From Chambers' Journal.

“there have I dropped a little bag of gold, got calls, to buckle a pair in one place, and many and many a time, when our people christen a couple of pausteens in another.' wanted to have the shore quiet, and to keep “What was it kept you so busy, Dennis ?" the exciseman out of the way of trouble ; and said Blake. there he would go, if so be he was a reason “Patthern day,* don't you know? And able officer; and the byword used to be, did n't you hear how the Heffernans and when it was all right, one of us would go and Conrys were killing aich other last year? Oh, ineet him, and then say, 'Sir, your pocket is then, if I had n't enough to do with them anbuttoned ;' and he would smile and an- this day, my name 's not Dennis Connelly. swer, 'Ay! ay! but never mind, my man, God knows a heart-scald they are to any one my money's safe enough ;' and thereby we that wants to keep paice and quiet among knew that he was a just man, and satisfied, them. If you knew the pain I have in my and that the boats could take the roller in shouldher this minute with leathering the peace ; and that was the very way, sir, it scoundrels, and the tired legs I have pelting came to pass that this crack in the stone was afther them ; for as fast as I'd disperse them called for evermore. The Gauger's Pocket.'" in one place, they'd gather in another.'

And Father Dennis, with grimaces expressive of extreme suffering, rubbed the ailing shoulder with his left hand, and the ailing

legs with both. A NIGHT IN CUNNEMARA.

* What! do you beat your parishioners ?" The evening of an autumn day in 1829 cried the Englishman, in utter astonishinent. brought two young men, who had been en “ To be sure I do—bate them while baiting 's gaged for several hours in shooting over the good for them, and that 's long enough,” rewilds of Cunnemara, to the vicinity of the plied the priest. “ The poor ignorant cralodgings of a priest, with whoin one of them tures ! sure, they ’re like wild Indians! It's was on terms of intimate friendship. The the only way to get any good of them.” day had been one of cheerless, unintermitting

“ And are none of them ever tempted to rain ; the two sportsmen were drenched with make a return in kind ?” wet; and one of them, a stranger in the dis

" Sthrike me! is it? Ah, captain, you trict, and not accustomed to its rude exer- English have quare notions in your heads cises, was spent with fatigue. It was after no, but down on their knees to beg my para slow and toilsome march through a bog of don, and would n't think they 'd have luck or various degrees of solidity, and being more grace if they didn't get it. When one dashes than once soused almost to the shoulders in into the thick of a fight, then, to be sure, the black moreen or bog-water which lay at one may get an odd blow, but not on purthe bottoms of the hollows cut in it by the pose; they'd think the hand would rot off winter foods, that the young men reached them if they riz it on their clargy." the vicinity of the priest's mansion. A shot “ In such a very wild district, all this may fired at this moment by Blake, the individual probably be necessary,” said Clinton, making of the party to whom Cunnemara was native a polite effort. ground, caused the almost instant appear

* It is, my dear sir, quite necessary,'' ance, at the door of his hovel, of the good cried the priest, taking Clinton's remark in humored face of Father Dennis, who no perfect good faith ; "only look at this delicate sooner distinguished his friend, than he little switch I took from a fellow to-day. issued forth, and gave him and his compan- There can't be less than a pound's weight ion a hearty welcome.

of lead in the ferral. A crack of that now " Father Dennis, Captain Clinton, of the would smash an ox's skull, let alone a Chris-th. Clinton, Father Dennis Connelly,"" tian's; and the blackguard had it up, just was the brief introduction by which Blake ready to let fly at one that was n't thinking put the priest and his friend upon a footing of him at all — (you know him, Isidore — of friendship. There was no need to inquire Davy Gavan, from Rusvela, a quiet, poor man into the condition of the two sportsmen, and as ever lived.). I got a boult of the stick, as little need to hint to the priest the line of but the fellow held it tight; he dar n't sthrike conduct he ought to pursue towards them. me, and he did n't like

let it go ; so there ** Cold, wet, hungry and fatigued, I see we were at it, pully hauly, till 1 twisted it you are,” said he, taking a pinch of snuff, out of his grip, in spite of him. I had a and snapping his fingers after it. But there's great mind to give him a good clip then, but none of you more so than I am myself. Up I did n't like to do it with such a walloper, and out I've been from peep of day this morn

so I makes a kick at him ; and what do you ing; not a morsel inside my lips since the bit of breakfast I swallowed at six o'clock; and ple in solitary places, common in the Highlands of

* A half-festive, half-religious meeting of the peonever sat down a minute, no, nor stood still Ireland, and at which much fighting sometimes either, only just while I stepped in where I takes place.


think?-the impudent scoundrel caught my “ You are not far from the truth," returned foot in his hand. I felt I could not help Clinton, smiling. “I am truly grateful to the going; but just as I was tumbling back, I tilts put-put-heen, or what do you call it? and up the other foot with a spang, hit him just with good reason, too, for I never swallowed here undher the butt of the ear, and knocked a potion half so grateful as that tumbler you him over and over — you never been a fellow forced down my throat by way of a preparatake such a roll. Between ourselves,” added tive to drying myself. Henceforward I shall the stalwart champion of good order, with a ever account it as the very best of cordials, meaning compression of the lips, and a cor- where cordials are needed. responding wink and nod," he did n't get up “ There's many a true word said in jest, quite so quick as I did.”

captain,” said Father Dennis, nodding, as The young men were by this time seated he filled his own glass brimful, and with an in the priest's parlor, where no time was lost air of practised desterity, turned it into his in purveying for them, and for the priest tumbler. himself, the solacements demanded by their “You fancy I'm jesting, Mr. Connelly, do worn-out condition. An hour must be sup- you? Upon my honor you are wrong if you posed to have passed since their meal was do. I literally think what I say of it.”. concluded. They are seated round a blazing Then, upon my honor, and my conscience turf fire, and the corner of a large square ta- too, you ’re not far out in that anyway. And ble is drawn in between them, the more con- it is in such a place as this it is needed. Oh, veniently to bring within general reach the the hardships I have to go through here in materials for compounding the smoking and the winter saison, they're beyond belief! smoky beverage that stands before each. One can't eren have a horse to help one out, The general appearance of the apartment is for there 's no riding. Look at my two ela rather more decent than might be expected gant pair of boots that I brought with me, in a district so uncivilized. It is ceiled and hanging up there against the wall, till they :d whitewashed, and the earthen floor is covered puzzle the rats themselves to make any use with a “cautiugh,” or carpet of rush mat- of them. And the foot work through the ting. It moreover boasts a couple of little wet bogs is the sore work, though nothing at sashed windows, a painted wooden chimney- all to the boat work! Think, now, what it piece (no grate, however), and for orna- is to be out tossing on this conthrary coast in inent, a whole series of highly-colored prints all weathers—often with every tack about of saints, angels and devils, varied by a cof- you as dripping wet as if you were keelfee-colored whole-length of Napoleon Bona- hauled, and knowing all the time that you parte, a view of the Bay of Naples, and a have a great deal better chance of the bottom political caricature or two of some fifty years than of any other end to your voyage. How standing. The priest's bed, it is true, as it would you like that, captain ?" stands against the wall, is rather a conspicu “ Not at all, I confess. But I hardly ous object. But with its gay chintz curtains think the perils of the sea can be much (quite new) and its patchwork quilt, it can- greater than the perils of the land in this not well be deemed an eyesore, especially quarter." considering that the room is not otherwise " Ah, the mooreen!” cried the pricst. very rich in furniture. Indeed, unless a great "Well, captain, I agree


As bad chest and a trunk or two may be counted as to be choked that way as with salt water.” such, the inventory must be limited to a few Ay, Dennis ; but 'tis n't either of them chairs and an immense wooden press painted you or I'd choose, if we were to be choked red (mahogany color intended), to which the at all,” said Blake, laughing; “ water like woman of the house is paying constant visits, this would be more to our taste. Come, will the upper compartments being her pantry, you tell the story of the cock and the tumbler and the lower her repository for house linen, to Clinton? Do, now that 's a good fellow.' &c.

Oh, that ould story! — 't would be no The trio at the fire sat for a time silent and pleasure to him.” unoccupied ; the countenances and attitudes “I beg your pardon, it would be a very of each richly, though in different styles, ex- great pleasure to me to hear a story of yours, pressive of the quiet, indolent satisfaction of if you will so far favor me,” said the young rest after fatigue. At length, arousing him- officer politely. self, Father Dennis exclaimed :

“ You 're very kind to say so, captain, I ’m another tumbler, gentlemen! A wet day in sure. And if it was anything worth your the hills calls for two, at any rate, to the hearing one you 'd take at any other time.”

Here both the young men broke in upon his “ Ay, that's the rule, Clinton ; so fill, fill, disqualifying speech, with assurances that at my boy,” cried Blake. “Do you know, I length seemed to conquer his modesty. “Oh, I think you are getting reconciled to the if you ra'ally have a fancy for it, gentlemen, poteen ?"

't is no throuble to me to tell it, to be sure. I

.. Come,

don't know, Captain Clinton, whether you themselves down by the fire, very cosey and have any idaia of the sort of life a poor man comfortable. The priest had just mixed his lades, that's coadjuthor (what you'd call tumbler, when he sees the cock that was curate, you know), to a snug, dacent, worthy, roosting upon the rafters above, lifting up the gentale parish priest that loves his aise. I'll wings of him, this

way” (acting the motion), tell you then. It's just the life of a pack-" getting ready for the crow; a sign, mark horse - no better. A sort of hand-ball he is, you, that twelve o'clock was coming. Now, knocked about here and there, and up and a priest can't touch bit or sup, you know, down, and to and fro, wherever his shuparior from twelve o'clock on Saturday night, till plases to think he's wanted. Then, afther twelve o'clock next day — that's till afther slaving this way all day, routed out of his last mass. So when he sees the lad preparbed, maybe, half-a-dozen times in the coorse ing, he ups with the tumbler” (still acting,) of the one night, to trot to the far ends of " and down clean he had it, before the the parish at the bidding of every ould screech came. • There now,' says he, in collioch that takes it into her crazy head Irish, as he set it down with a whack, ‘was n't she's booked for the other world, and she as that well done? I took it off between the tough all the time, maybe, as an old raven. clapping and the crowing.'

“I beg pardon for the interruption, Mr. The lungs of the young Englishman did Connelly,” said Clinton, laughing heartily crow like chanticleer at this narrative; at the list of grievances, or rather at the nor was he behindhand in the clapping. manner in which they were set forth, tones " Ah, but it's better far in the Irish," and grimaces, inclusive; “ but you must resumed Father Dennis. “ Edir sgihan seh make allowance for my utter ignorance. Tell gub, you know, Isidore, between the wing me, how is this very hard case different from and the beak. By far more expressive." yours at present, as a parish priest? You Another hearty fit of laughter signalized are liable to be called about in the same way, the conclusion of the story. But, Clinton if I don't misunderstand you."

having for some time given tokens of a dis" True for you, my dear sir. I have most position to sleep, his friend now proposed of the hardships as it is, sure enough. But that they should bid their kind host goodthen there 's two little circumstances in the night. Dennis, though willing to prolong case that make a matarial difference. The the entertainment, was too polite to resist poor coadjuthor, you see, does all the work, their wishes ; and he accordingly rose, and and gets only half, maybe only the third of led the way across the kitchen to an apartthe dues. Then, again, afther one of them ment, which was certainly no favorable conunlucky calls, when he jogs back tired and trast to the one they had just quitted. The disappointed, all the comfort there 's for him earthen floor, in its undisguised ruggedness — is black looks, if it is n't hard words itself, the unhinged door merely resting against its from one that would n't wag a finger to save door-frame - the partition wall wanting at him a journey to Jericho and back again." least two feet of reaching the loft of hurdles

“ All very true," cried Blake. “ But that formed the sole ceiling overhead — and where has the story slipped to, Dennis ?the small dismantled window, one pane alone,

“ Patience, Isidore, I'm coming to it, all out of its four, in proper order for excluding in good time, if you 'll only let me. Well, air and admitting light, displayed no inconyou are to know, Captain Clinton, there was siderable sum total of discomfort. Nor was once upon a time a poor priest — as it might there much to balance the account, except a be myself — and he, afther a hard day's tolerably clear fire on the hearth, and the clean work, was just going to sit down to his little and good articles of bedding that furnished supper, of a Saturday night, of all nights in forth a wooden-roofed bedstead, sociably desthe week, when there comes a tantararara to tined for the accommodation of the pair of his door, enough to waken up the dead ; and wearied sportsmen. Clinton's glance did not before he had time to bless himself, he was fail to take in all these details. But the idea packed off to ride seven miles up the moun- of a bivouac being uppermost in his mind, tain, through the rain and sleet and wind - he was able, with a good grace, to make light (pitch dark it was too, into the bargain) - of the subject matter of the lamentations with to anoint a crature that was n't expected.* which the parting compliments of the hospiWell, captain, I need n't tell you what a time table priest were rather profusely seasoned. he and his poor baste had of it, getting Scarcely an hour had elapsed, and the two through the bogs such a night; but he did youths were not half that time asleep, when get through them at last. The man of the Blake was awakened by Father Dennis' househouse was in bed, but he got up, and brought keeper, with the information that a marriage out a little cruiskeen of poteen ; and another party had arrived, after having followed the man that had come across from Joyce Country, priest all day, and that, if he and his friend he got up too, and they all three settled would rise, they might see the whole fun * Not expected to live.

from the top of the partition wall, without

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