Author: Hartstonge, Matthew Weld, 1773?-
The Eve of All-Hallows; Or, Adelaide of Tyrconnel, v. 3 of 3
EVE OF ALL-HALLOWS;
ADELAIDE OF TYRCONNEL;
IN THREE VOLUMES.
By MATTHEW WELD HARTSTONGE, Esq. M. R. I. A.
Nescia mens hominum, fati sortisque futuræ
Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis!
* * * * * * * * * tempus erit,
* * * * * et quum spolia ista diemque
Virgilius, Æ. x. I. 501.
FOR G. B. WHITTAKER, AVE MARIA LANE.
|ORIGINAL LETTERS OF KING JAMES II.||190|
|ORIGINAL LETTER OF THE DUKE OF BERWICK||198|
EVE OF ALL-HALLOWS.
Upon your art, Sir, and your faith to assist it,
Shall I believe you, then, his wound’s not mortal?
The banditti who made the fierce and fiery attack, as recounted in our last chapter, a few days subsequent to that sad event were arrested by the Gens d’Armes in Soignies wood. They had been composed, it appeared upon examination, of the daring and desperate of different nations, and that their leader was a Spaniard.
But it is indeed full time that we should return to the mansion of Tyrconnel, where all was distress and dismay. But amid all this incidental confusion and alarm no time whatever had been lost in calling in surgical assistance; two surgeons of reputed eminence being instantly summoned—an English practitioner of the name of Leach, who long had been a resident at Brussels, and a Monsieur Bourreau, a French surgeon in considerable practice, likewise a resident of this ancient city, who immediately obeyed the summons.
Monsieur Bourreau was the first to arrive, who had a conference with Sir Patricius Placebo, understanding that he was a medical gentleman.
Monsieur Bourreau.—”Ah! serviteur, Monsieur.—Mais je demand votre pardon! car je pourrois dire, le Chevalier Aussi-bon!”
Sir Patricius Placebo.—”Hem, hem! Placebo, je dis Placebo!—Prononces comme il faut, si vous plais, Monsieur Chirurgien!”
Monsieur Bourreau.—”Oh, pardon encore, je demand tres humblement de votre mains. Je dis, Chevalier Placebo, que les blesseurs portées de les fusils sont toujours trop dangereux; et pour moi, Chevalier Assebo, je prefere dix blesseurs de l’epée partout, à une diable blesseure de portée de fusil!—Mais, neanmoins, toujours chacun à son goût!”
Sir Patricius.—”Cette remarque, Monsieur Chirurgien, est trop vrai; et vous-avez sans doute beaucoup de raison certainment; car comme ils ont dit autrefois,
‘De gustibus non disputandum!’
Hem, hem, ahem!”—having immediate recourse to his Carolus’ snuff-box, which in the first instance he most politely handed to Monsieur Bourreau. And here the name of Surgeon Leach being announced, the two surgeons with due formality were conducted by the medical baronet to the sick man’s chamber.
They found their patient suffering under much bodily pain, attended also with inflammation and a considerable degree of fever. They alternately felt his pulse, holding forth their watches, upon which they intently gazed; then looked at each other grave and portentous as the visages of two undertakers in their vocation, and most sadly shook their sapient sconces.
However, it was not long before a very decided difference of opinion arose between the knights of the lance—to wit, M. Bourreau was for the immediate extraction of the ball, insisting most strenuously that such an operation was unavoidably necessary, thus to effect the enlargement of the wound, in order finally to extract the ball, which was the immediate and important consideration of the case, and thus finally to facilitate the cure; but at the same time with candour he acknowledged that the operation would not be unattended with pain. Meanwhile Mr. Leach was for leaving the bullet gradually to work out its own tranquil way in the quiet lapse of years and time, which result, he insisted pertinaciously, he had known to be the case in numerous instances, where bullets have remained innocuously lodged in several parts of the human body, until eventually, after a long lapse of years, they have worked forth a passage to the surface, and have been easily extracted. And other cases he knew, where individuals have retained with impunity bullets within their bodies, from a gun-shot or pistol wound, even to the closing hour of a protracted life.
Mr. Leach was likewise too of opinion that, as the wound was placed upon a joint, assuredly, that both knife and forceps should be put under due restraint, nor should any more opening be made than what was quite absolutely and imperatively necessary to meet the circumstances of the case.
It was considered incumbent by the duke, from this most serious difference of opinion, that a third surgeon should instantly be called in as umpire, and that his opinion in this intended consultation should be absolute.
Accordingly a Dutch surgeon, cognomine Mynheer Van Phlebodem, a practitioner of considerable repute, was called in, who, in conferring with his learned brethren, after a minute examination of the patient, whom he found labouring under a restless accession of fever, and having understood that Sir David Bruce had not sustained any loss of blood worth noticing, as issuing from the wound, the sage Mynheer considered it advisable to open a vein immediately, as he was decidedly of opinion, from a course of long established practice, that repeated and copious bleedings, promptly and immediately adopted in the commencement, seldom or never fail of being attended with success. They prevented too, he said, much pain; kept down likewise inflammation, and diminished the assaults of fever, &c. &c.—This determination was accordingly carried into effect.
At one time, from long continued pain and continued loss of sleep, it was found necessary liberally to administer opium; at another period the medical attendants, fearing symptoms of mortification to appear, were not sparing in administering doses of Peruvian bark, with which they drenched their victim.
For the first fifteen or twenty days considerable apprehensions were entertained for the safety of the patient’s life. We feel, however, most happy to state that none of those predicted evils ensued, although certainly circumstances existed to call forth such apprehensions—namely, the violent heat of summer, the deadly pain of the wound, the irritation caused by fever, the inflamed state of the patient’s blood; these certainly were conducive in exciting those melancholy forebodings. A constantly cooling regimen was rigidly enforced, and the patient kept quiet, free from noise or irritation. At another stage of the patient’s confinement gangrene was again seriously indeed apprehended; however, from the external application of warm emolients, &c. &c., this apprehended danger was completely obviated, suppuration was successfully brought on, and the learned triumvirate freely acknowledged that the patient might now be pronounced as nearly out of danger; and in about ten days, or longer, the ball was cautiously and safely extracted, and with no other ill result, we are happy to state, than the operation having caused a considerable degree of torture in the shoulder of our wounded hero.
Nothing could exceed the manifold attentions which were shown, and the intense interest that was felt by every individual in the family of Tyrconnel, and that innumerable kindnesses were fully manifested from a certain quarter our readers will not be at a loss to guess, during the illness and progress of recovery of the wounded patient, whose convalescence, we are happy to state, had so far advanced that he was daily permitted to walk for an hour in the garden pertaining to the mansion of Tyrconnel.
One afternoon the dinner cloth had been just removed; and the family were seated at their wine, when lo! to the great amazement of the duke and duchess, a king’s messenger was announced, bearing a despatch from the King of England, which, under envelope and direction of the Lord Privy Seal, was duly directed “For his Grace the Duke of Tyrconnel, these—Lonsdale P. S.”
Upon opening and reading the contents of the despatch, the astonishment of the duke was no way abated. It contained the following:—
“I revoke the edict of your banishment; your attainture is taken off; your honours are restored; and you may now return in safety to your native land! You are a man of honour—I will not desire you to act against your principle. Disturb not the government, and we shall be very good friends.
(l. s.) W. R.”
This important and quite unexpected change in the mind of the English monarch, which now called forth in return the immediate gratitude and acknowledgments of him upon whom these favours had so graciously been bestowed, had happily been effected through the interest and intercession of the Elector Palatine, the firm friend and patron of Sir David Bruce; thus no doubt could possibly exist but that through the earnest representations, and at the especial request of the latter, this important and conciliatory measure was effectuated. Indeed this was fully corroborated by the same messenger bearing a despatch from the Elector Palatine, addressed to Sir David Bruce, which stated that the Elector felt most happy in having to acquaint him of the complete success of his interference with the King of England in the behalf of Sir David’s exiled friends.
The immediate departure of the Duke and Duchess of Tyrconnel from Brussels, so soon as circumstances would permit, was fully determined upon. No obstacle, therefore, to preclude the union of Sir David Bruce and the Lady Adelaide remained, save the delay of their voyage and journey to Ireland, where, upon the event of their return to Tyrconnel Castle, it was agreed that the marriage was duly to be solemnized.
The day previous to their final departure from Brussels Adelaide devoted in bidding a fond and final farewell to those she sincerely regarded, and from whom were received numberless attentions during her sojourn. Adelaide took a parting look at scenes that were endeared to her by past associations and pleasing recollections.
“Farewell!” she mentally said, “thou fair and flourishing city!—patroness of the arts, the mistress of painting—thou queen of fountains, farewell! Ever rich and luxuriant be thy valleys, thy gardens, and thy groves; and long may the olive on thy undulating hills shadow this happy realm in peace!”
Then, with her accustomed enthusiasm, Adelaide wrote the following
farewell to belgium!
Farewell, blest land! I leave the while
Serene and social spot;
Ne’er winding Scheldt, nor devious Dyle,
By mem’ry be forgot!
Dear peaceful scenes for many a year,
While shaded from the foe,
Which oft aroused the filial fear,
Hence far from thee I go!
If not ungrateful ‘twould appear,
I’d ne’er review thy shore;
Yet still through each revolving year
I’d think on thee the more!
Farewell, fair Belgium! fertile land,
On thee may freedom ever smile;
While commerce courts thy happy strand!
I seek mine own, lov’d, native isle!
The Duchess of Tyrconnel wrote, according to promise, to Mrs. Cartwright, duly recording to her the happy turn that fortune had taken in their favour. A copy of this epistle now lies before us; but as we are no admirers of unnecessary repetition, we must take the liberty of wholly suppressing the letter of her Grace.
Before we close this short, but eventful chapter, we have to observe that the Soignies banditti, who had been arrested, were tried, identified, and executed.
Not once nor twice was Sir Patricius Placebo overheard soliloquizing to himself thus: “I am,” quoth the knight, “in sooth no longer a philosopher, who is desirous inter silvas foresti (non academi) quærere verum—no, no—horribile dictu! After this confounded rencontre in cursed Soignies wood, I shall for ever forego and forswear the eating of Ortolan or Perigord pies, while I live—ahem! except—that is to say, unless I can eat them with safety in the city! for there is no general rule or law without an exception; and indeed the long-robed gentry say as much—exceptio probat regulam—ahem!
“DOSS MOI, TANE STIGMEN!”
It was at the close of the last week in August, which had now arrived, when the duke and family took their departure from Brussels, on their route for Ireland; and while they are on their way we shall conduct our readers in their transit to the succeeding chapter.
——In the turmoils of our lives,
Men are like politic states, or troubled seas,
Toss’d up and down, with several storms and tempests,
Change and variety of wrecks and fortunes;
Till labouring to the havens of our homes,
We struggle for the calm that crowns our ends.
Forde’s “Lover’s Melancholy.”
About two months had now passed over, which had been occupied in travelling to their long-wished for home, since the departure of the duke and his family from Brussels, the journey having commenced towards the close of August, and now had arrived the last week in October, which witnessed the due accomplishment and end of their travels, by their welcome return to their ancient and magnificent castle.
No occurrences whatever worthy of record having happened during the continental journey, the passage of two seas, or while occupied in their travels through England, Wales, and Ireland, all of which were performed in perfect safety; and moreover, the weather proved propitiously mild and serene.
While the travellers continued their route homeward, the duke thus expressed his sentiments to the duchess:—”My love, I am fully resolved for ever to abandon politics and party, to burn my grey goose quill of diplomacy; I am determined too to relinquish the ways and woes of war for the cultivation of the happy arts of peace; to desert a city life for a country life; to arise with the lark, and plough my paternal lands; to transmute my sword into a ploughshare, and my spear into a reaping-hook. My firm, fixed intention being decided for ever tranquilly to abide within my own domains, to pass our time in classic ease within the venerable towers of Tyrconnel Castle, and there eke out the remnant of my days until summoned by the cold and chilling call of death!”
The duchess said: “My Lord, I most highly approve of your wise determination, and trust that we yet have many years of happiness before us.”
With these fixed resolves impressed upon his mind, the duke proceeded on his way. His journey was now nearly at an end, when the towers of his lordly, but long unfrequented castle, which bounded the horizon, arose to view, rich and red, glowing beneath the brilliant beams of the setting sun, and struck his vision with delight as gladly he approached his long deserted hereditary halls.
This long wished return was joyously and generously hailed by all ranks and descriptions of persons, from the proud peer down to the lowly peasant; bonfires crowned every surrounding mountain height, hill, peninsula, and promontory, while they beamed forth a brilliant welcome to the returned wanderer; the lofty windows of the wealthy, and the lowly lattices of the cottier, in the town of Tyrconnel, bespoke the general joy that burst around, and conjointly the wax taper and rush-light commingled their rays to manifest the heart-yearning welcome that the duke’s happy return had inspired.
The welcoming notes of the merry pipe and the national harp resounded blithely over hill and vale. Meanwhile the peasantry were all collected, and clad in their best and gayest attire; their honest, grateful, and joyful countenances bearing the impress of their gladdened hearts, told forth a welcome that was not to be mistaken nor misunderstood, for it affectionately hailed the much desired return of their beloved and long exiled benefactor! It was evening when this interesting scene took place, but all meet preparation had previously been arranged,—torch, flambeau, and fire-works, had been prepared, and blazed forth in all becoming brilliancy.
A triumphal arch, tastefully adorned with appropriate armorial escutcheons, emblems, and trophies, and crowned with wreaths and festoons of living shrubs and flowers, adorned the pass which led to the castellated gateway. Bouquets and coronals of flowers were flung along the way, while grateful shouts made the welkin ring as the ducal train passed along. Groups of lovely damsels united their welcome song, and soon joined hands with the manly peasants in the national Irish dance of the Rinceadh-Fada.
Once more the ducal standard floated on “the Raven Tower,” the cannon on the terrace thundered forth a princely salvo, which boomed upon the buoyant waves of the deep Atlantic, and was re-echoed by the castle walls, while the loud continued shouts of a grateful and happy tenantry bore burden to the burst of joy.
It would be difficult to express the exultation and gladness that pervaded all ranks, and which the old domestics in particular displayed in no common way; Mrs. Judith Brangwain, the venerable old nurse of Lady Adelaide, seemed nearly crazed with joy at the long wished, but unhoped return of her dear Mavourneen, her best beloved young lady:—”Oh,” she exclaimed, “at last have I survived, with these mine aged eyes, to witness this happy, happy day! Oh, never, never, did I expect so great a blessing; I am stricken in years, and nearly blind, yet the Lord be praised for these and all his mercies!”
Next the old crone sung with joy and delight, held up her garments in jig attitude, and capered about as if actually bitten by a tarantula; then seized and led out, per force, old Sandy Rakeweel, the Scotch gardener, with whom she danced an Irish reel, and that too with so much qui vive, as to demonstrate that the joys of her dancing days had not passed over. This frolic was performed on the green sward, and honest old Sandy, when the reel was completed, which, sooth to say, he had undertaken nolens volens, vehemently exclaimed, “‘Fore Saint Aundrewe, Mrs. Judith, wi’ a’ her whigmaleeries was ower pauky, to hap, step, an’ loup wi’ me; the gude woman is a’ fou’ and sae daft she ha’ geck’d a’ her wits into a creel, aiblins she hae been bit by a bogle. Ise naer be so jundied in a jig again; yet I’m not meikle fashed—nae, nae!”
There was, exclusive of the ancient Mrs. Judith, another venerable follower of this noble family, in wh