“You are hurting me,” she cried in abject terror. “Can you not know that what I did was because of love for you? Oh, my Artabazus, if you but commanded it, I would crawl from here to the Hellespont, where I long to cross with you back to the land where we meet no Greeks either in warfare or in love.”
When my friend returned, I enjoyed telling him the tale of what had occurred during his absence. He cross-questioned me rather sharply over the details of our conversation and I could read between the lines that he was not best pleased to have been absent. I also fancied that the dear old fellow was just the least inclined to be jealous. It had become rather a pose with him to consistently belittle my abilities, and I think he was chagrined at finding no loophole for criticism. I was secretly rather pleased with myself, though I tried to conceal the fact for fear of irritating him. In spite of his idiosyncrasies, I was deeply attached to my quaint little friend.
In the good old times the Lord Mayor treated the Lord-Lieutenant to a new play every Christmas, when the Corporation acted Mysteries upon the stage in Hoggin Green, where the College now stands. The Mysteries were on various subjects. In one, the tailors had orders to find Pilate and his wife clothed accordingly; the butchers were to supply the tormentors; the mariners and vintners represented Noah. At that period the Lord-Lieutenants held their court at Kilmainham, or Thomas Court,325 for Dublin Castle was not made a viceregal residence until the reign of Elizabeth. The parliaments, too, were ambulatory. Sometimes they met in the great aisle of Christ Church, that venerable edifice whose echoes have been destined to give back such conflicting sounds. What changes in its ritual and its worshippers! What scenes have passed before its high altar since first erected by the Danish bishop, whose body, in pallium and mitre, lay exposed to view but a few years since, after a sleep of eight hundred years. Irish kings and Norman conquerors have trod the aisles. There Roderick was inaugurated, the last king of Ireland; there Strongbow sleeps, first of the Norman conquerors, and, until the middle of the last century, all payments were made at his tomb, as if in him alone, living or dead, the citizens had their strength; there Lambert Simnel was crowned with a crown taken from the head of the Virgin Mary; there Cromwell worshipped before he went forth to devastate; there the last Stuart knelt in prayer before he threw the last stake at the Boyne for an empire; and there William of Nassau knelt in gratitude for the victory, with the crown upon his head, forgotten by James in his ignominious flight.
"But it's not meant that way," she explained, shocked. "And, oh," she went on miserably, "you mustn't count on our being married. I feel dreadful about it all. I don't know what father would do without me. I can't think of going so far away and leaving him alone. Don't ask him; don't say anything about it."
He waited until I was done, and then said, very gravely, "Well, 'pon my word! but I'm rejoiced that I've found my way to your funny-bone at last. But if the sight of a fist like this and a foot like that are the only approaches to a Highlander's sense of humour—and I am bound to apply the back of the one and the toe of the other whenever I am forced to a jest—I take it, my better part is to make poor Captain Lynch a sad dog like yourself."
"Tell him I want to see him," he said; "tell him to try and come over this afternoon."
“Well I’ll not congratulate you. It’s a mistake—all rong,” ses she, “Oh deer! oh deer! Oh deer!”
“Well, I suppose Ascanio is right—somebody impersonated him.”
Where the whirls are wild and the eddies are thick,
And another voice answered—
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