The great raths of Ireland, where the people enclosed their cattle by night, have been erroneously termed “Danish forts,” but when the shannaghees are pressed for further information as to the date of their erection they say, “They were made by them ould Danes that came over with Julius Cæsar.” If, however, inquiry be made of the old illiterate Irish-speaking population, they will tell you that they were made by “the good people,” and are inhabited by the fairies. Hence the veneration that has in a great measure tended to their preservation; and I have no doubt that the ancient indigenous and venerated thorns that still decorate their slopes or summits are the veritable descendants of the quickset hedges that helped to form the breastworks, or staked defences, on their summits.
Macfarren here, seeing trouble ahead, cut in dexterously by a sly jog of Mrs. Van Tromp's elbow, by which she dropped her fan, and, with a thousand apologies for his awkwardness, he picked it up. The ruse succeeded, temporarily.
Getting to his feet and stretching himself, fore and aft, in true collie fashion, the pup gambolled up the drive to meet the visitor.
At last, in the month of January, letters came saying the Duke was about starting, that leave was granted me as well as certain others, with instructions to report to Mr. Sempil, the King's Agent at Paris, who would direct us further.
“Tin per sint” ses he. “Its the custom on the Poynt amang the cooks to accipt a boniss fram the tradesmen. We tak it out of the peeple thimsilves” ses he, “eyther in wate or price.”
And to my surprise, these men, who were wont to smell an insult afar off, and whose courage in the field was unquestioned, received this intolerable tirade as quietly as school-boys after a whipping—and so the matter rested, and they went their way and we ours.
Now Dicky could stand the Alceste's bad seamanship, but it didn't suit him to take the Alceste's snub, and then sit down and write to the Admiralty and complain about it. He had been used to teaching Frenchmen to behave themselves, and he meant to do so now.
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