We must now return to Dunmore, and say a few parting words of the Kellys and Anty Lynch; and then our task will be finished.
It will be remembered that that demon of Dunmore, Barry Lynch, has been made to vanish: like Lord Kilcullen, he has gone abroad; he has settled himself at an hotel at Boulogne, and is determined to enjoy himself. Arrangements have been made about the property, certainly not very satisfactory to Barry, because they are such as make it necessary for him to pay his own debts; but they still leave him sufficient to allow of his indulging in every vice congenial to his taste; and, if he doesn’t get fleeced by cleverer rogues than himself which, however, will probably be the case he will have quite enough to last him till lie has drunk himself to death.
After his departure, there was nothing to delay Anty’s marriage, but tier own rather slow recovery. She has no other relatives to ask, no other friends to consult. Now that Barry was gone she was entirely her own mistress, and was quite willing to give up her dominion over herself to Martin Kelly. She had, however, been greatly shaken; not, by illness only, but by fear also her fears of Barry and for Barry. She still dreamed while asleep, and thought while awake, of that horrid night when lie crept up to her room and swore that he would murder her. This, and what she had suffered since, had greatly weakened her, and it was some time before Doctor Colligan would pronounce her convalescent. At last, however, the difficulties were overcome; all arrangements were completed. Anty was well; the property was settled; Martin was impatient; and the day was fixed.
There was no bishop, no duchess, no man-cook, at the wedding-party given on the occasion by Mrs Kelly; nevertheless, it was, in its way, quite as grand an affair as that given by the countess. The widow opened her heart, and opened her house. Her great enemy, Barry I.ynch, was gone clean beaten out of the field thoroughly vanquished; as far as Ireland was concerned, annihilated; and therefore, any one else in the three counties was welcome to share her hospitality. Oh, the excess of delight the widow experienced in speaking of Barry to one of her gossips, as the ‘poor misfortunate crature!’ Daly, the attorney, was especially invited, and he came. Moylan also was asked, but he stayed away. Doctor Colligan was there, in great feather; had it not been for him, there would probably have been no wedding at all. It would have been a great thing if Lord Ballindine could have been got to grace the party, though only for ten minutes; but he was at that time in Switzerland with his own bride, so he could not possibly do so.
‘Well, ma’am,’ said Mrs Costelloe, the grocer’s wife, from Tuam, an old friend of the widow, who had got into a corner with her to have a little chat, and drink half-a-pint of porter before the ceremony ‘and I’m shure I wish you joy of the marriage. Faux, I’m tould it’s nigh to five hundred a-year, Miss Anty has, may God bless and incrase it! Well, Martin has his own luck; but he desarves it, he desarves it.’
‘I don’t know so much about luck thin, Mrs Costelloe,’ said the widow, who still professed to think that her son gave quite as much as he got, in marrying Amity Lynch; ‘I don’t know so much about luck: Martin was very well as he was; his poor father didn’t have him that way that he need be looking to a wife for mains, the Lord be praised.’
‘And that’s thrue, too, Mrs Kelly,’ said the other; ‘but Miss Anty’s fortune ain’t a bad step to a young man, neither. Why, there won’t be a young gintleman within tin no, not within forty miles, more respectable than Martin Kelly; that is, regarding mains.’
‘And you needn’t stop there, Ma’am, neither; you may say the very same regarding characther, too and family, too, glory be to the Virgin. I’d like to know where some of their ancesthers wor, when the Kellys of ould wor ruling the whole counthry?’
‘Thrue for you, my dear; I’d like to know, indeed: there’s nothing, afther all, like blood, and a good characther. But is it thrue, Mrs Kelly, that Martin will live up in the big house yonder?’
‘Where should a man live thin, Mrs Costelloe, when he gets married, but jist in his own house? Why for should he not live there?’
‘That’s thrue agin, to be shure: but yet, only to think Martin living in ould Sim Lynch’s big house! I wondther what ould Sim would say, hisself, av he could only come back and see it!’
‘I’ll tell you what he’d say thin, av he tould the thruth; he’d say there was an honest man living there, which wor niver the case as long as any of his own breed was in it barring Anty, I main; she’s honest and thrue, the Lord be good to her, the poor thing. But the porter’s not to your liking, Mrs Costelloe you’re not tasting it at all this morning.’
No one could have been more humble and meek than was Anty herself, in the midst of her happiness. She had no idea of taking on herself the airs of a fine lady, or the importance of an heiress; she had no wish to be thought a lady; she had no wish for other friends than those of her husband, and his family. She had never heard of her brother’s last horrible proposal to Doctor Colligan, and of the manner in which his consent to her marriage had been obtained; nor did Martin intend that she should hear it. She had merely been told that her brother had found that it was for his advantage to leave the neighbourhood altogether; that he had given up all claim to the house; and that his income was to be sent to him by a person appointed in the neighbourhood to receive it. Anty, however, before signing her own settlement, was particularly careful that nothing should be done, injurious to her brother’s interest, and that no unfair advantage should be taken of his absence.
Martin, too, was quiet enough on the occasion. It was arranged that he and his wife, and at any rate one of his sisters, should live at Dunmore House; and that he should keep in his own hands the farm near Dunmore, which old Sim had held, as well as his own farm at Toneroe. But, to tell the truth, Martin felt rather ashamed of his grandeur. He would much have preferred building a nice snug little house of his own, on the land he held under Lord Ballindine; but he was told that he would be a fool to build a house on another man’s ground, when he had a very good one ready built on his own. He gave way to such good advice, but he did not feel at all happy at the idea; and, when going up to the house, always felt an inclination to shirk in at the back-way.
But, though neither the widow nor Martin triumphed aloud at their worldly prosperity, the two girls made up for their quiescence. They were full of nothing else; their brother’s fine house Anty’s great fortune; their wealth, prosperity, and future station and happiness, gave them subjects of delightful conversation among their friends. Meg. moreover, boasted that it was all her own doing; that it was she who had made up the match; that Mart in would never have thought of it but for her nor Anty either, for the matter of that.
‘And will your mother be staying down at the shop always, the same as iver?’ said Matilda Nolan, the daughter of the innkeeper at Tuam.
‘‘Deed she says so, then,’ said Jane, in a tone of disappointment.; for her mother’s pertinacity in adhering to the counter was, at present, the one misery of her life.
‘And which of you will be staying here along with her, dears?’ said Matilda. ‘She’ll be wanting one of you to be with her, any ways.’
‘Oh, turn about, I suppose,’ said Jane.
‘She’ll not. get much of my company, any way,’ said Meg. ‘I’ve had enough of the nasty place, and now Martin has a dacent house to put over our heads, and mainly through my mains I may say, I don’t see why I’m to be mewing myself up in such a hole as this. There’s room for her up in Dunmore House, and wilcome, too; let her come up there. Av she mains to demain herself by sticking down here, she may stay by herself for me.’
‘But you’ll take your turn, Meg?’ said Jane.
‘It’ll he a very little turn, then,’ said Meg; ‘I’m sick of the nasty ould place; fancy coming down here, Matilda, to the tobacco and sugar, after living up there a month or so, with everything nice and comfortable! And it’s only mother’s whims, for she don’t want the shop. Anty begged and prayed of her for to come and live at Dunmore House for good and all; but no; she says she’ll never live in any one’s house that isn’t her own.’
‘I’m not so, any way,’ said Jane; ‘I’d be glad enough to live in another person’s house av I liked it.’ ‘I’ll go bail you would, my dear,’ said Matilda; ‘willing enough especially John Dolan’s.’
‘Oh! av I iver live in that it’ll be partly my own, you know; and may-be a girl might do worse.’
‘That’s thrue, dear,’ said Matilda; ‘but John Dolan’s not so soft as to take any girl just as she stands. What does your mother say about the money part of the business?
And so the two friends put their heads together, to arrange another wedding, if possible.
Martin and Anty did not go to visit Switzerland, or Rome, as soon as they were married; but they took a bathing-lodge at Renvill, near Galway, and with much difficulty, persuaded Mrs Kelly to allow both her daughters to accompany them. And very merry they all were. Anty soon became a different creature from what she ever had been: she learned to be happy and gay; to laugh and enjoy the sunshine of the world. She had always been kind to others, and now she had round her those who were kind amid affectionate to tier. Her manner of life was completely changed: indeed, life itself was an altered thing to her. It was so new to her to have friends; to he loved; to be one of a family who regarded amid looked up to her. She hardly knew herself in her new happiness.
They returned to Dunmore in the early autumn, and took up their residence at Sim Lynch’s big house, as had been arranged. Martin was very shy about it: it was long before he talked about it as his house, or his ground, or his farm; and it was long before he could find himself quite at home in his own parlour.
Many attempts were made to induce the widow to give up the inn, and shift her quarters to the big house, but in vain. She declared that, ould as she was, she wouldn’t think of making herself throublesome to young folks; who, maybe, afther a bit, would a dail sooner have her room than her company: that she had always been misthress, and mostly masther too, in her own house, glory be to God; and that she meant to be so still; and that, poor as the place was, she meant to call it her own. She didn’t think herself at all fit company for people who lived in grand houses, and had their own demesnes, and gardens, and the rest of it; she had always lived where money was to be made, and she didn’t see the sense of going, in her old age, to a place where the only work would be how to spend it. Some folks would find it was a dail asier to scatther it than it wor to put it together. All this she said and a great deal more, which had her character not been known, would have led people to believe that her son was a spendthrift, and that he and Anty were commencing life in an expensive way, and without means. But then, the widow Kelly was known, and her speeches were only taken at their value.
She so far relaxed, however, that she spent every Sunday at the house; on which occasions she invariably dressed herself with all the grandeur she was able to display, and passed the whole afternoon sitting on a sofa, with her hands before her, trying to look as became a lady enjoying herself in a fine drawing-room. Her Sundays were certainly not the comfort to her, which they had been when spent at the inn; but they made her enjoy, with a keener relish, the feeling of perfect sovereignty when she returned to her own domains.
I have nothing further to tell of Mr and Mrs Kelly. I believe Doctor Colligan has been once called in on an interesting occasion, if not twice; so it is likely that Dunmore House will not be left without an heir.
I have also learned, on inquiry, that Margaret and Jane Kelly have both arranged their own affairs to their own satisfaction.
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Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:01