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HISTORY OF BANDON
THE BENARDS OF PALACE-ANNE.*
Pages 561-5721 When the traveller from Bandon to Dunmanway
arrives about midway on his journey, he finds the road on both
sides lined with tall elms and stately oaks, whose large limbs
entwining over head, form the dark arcade through which he
passes. Abut a hundred yards from the road, and at the foot of a
low chain of hills, is, or rather was, the residence of the Bernards of Palace-Anne. That the mansion still stands it is
true; but where are its hunting parties? Where is "Ould
Teige na Mourna"-the old huntsman, whose winding horn,
ringing through the echoing woods, and swelling over hill and
dale, goaded the kennel into an uproar, and brought the scarlet
coats in swift trot to the door? Where are it pastimes, its
hospitalities, its glories? The grand and venerable roof, that
sheltered rank and beauty in its palmy days, now affords a
questionable shelter to a dairyman and his humble assistants. The
Rakes' hall, where the worthy host used to entertain his
brother-sportsmen on the morning or the evening of the chase, and
where may a bracket or a spike-hole still speaks of the trophies
of the field, is now a turnip-shed. The horse-pond is still
there, and supplies water for the cows and for dairy purposes;
but the fish-ponds have run dry, the parterres have become
obliterated, and the gardens entirely possessed by weeds.
The house itself was erected about a century and a-half ago, and was built of red brick, brought chiefly from Bristol. The principal front consists of a centre and two wings. The centre rises into three ornamental gables, in the old French style, and each wing terminated in a gable nearly similar in size and shape to those of the centre. There are numerous windows, and their long and even still white sashes and shutters, contrasting with the warm colouring of the brick and the deep green of the trees, tell us of the dignity and independence of those who once paced it lordly halls.
* "The Bernards of Palace-Anne," and "The Goodmans," were originally intended for another publication; but, at the suggestion of some friends, who think that, as they mention personages and events referred to in our preceding pages, this is the proper place for them, we have inserted them here.
Early in last summer, accompanied by a friend, we visited
this venerable pile. The great entrance gate was barred up with loose
stones; however, we contrived to gain admission through the rear.
Ascending a flight of limestone steps, we found ourselves on the broad terrace
extending the entire length of the front, and overlooking where the shrubberies and flower gardens formerly occupied the
ground intervening between it and the mail-coach road. We knocked
repeatedly at the hall door, and our only response was the echo
within. Descending by the way we came up, we went round to the
back, and easily entered by one of the may doorways in the
basement. We were soon in a long, vaulted corridor, which
communicated with the apartments above, by either two or three
staircases. Of these only one remained, and even this it was
difficult to mount, owing to some of the lower steps being
wanting. We wandered through many of the rooms, and saw nothing
but ruin. The demon of desolation seems to have laid his hand on
them, and marked them as his own. In some the painted ceilings
were broken, and large patches of plaster lay strewn around; in
others the flooring was ripped up, and the fire-grates and
chimney-pieces were ruthlessly torn from their berths; and in
more than one we observed the door hanging by a single hinge, as
if unwilling to sever the last tie that bound it to its old home. Passing through the wainscoted hall, the grand staircase lay
before us; and it required but little effort of the imagination
to crowd its broad steps with the inhabitants of former
days-with courtly dames and damosels passing down to the upper
or the dining-room, attended by gallants in gold-laced coats, or
carrying on a flippant flirtation with that gay young fellow,
whose powdered peruk and ruffles, or whose jewel-handled rapier,
silk hose, and broad silver shoe-buckles, proclaim him one of the
fashionable bucks of the day. Retracing our steps, we could not
help musing over that proverb which says: "Man proposes, but
Sir Theophilus, "a valiant knyghte," was one of the band of adventures that landed at Pevensey with William of Normandy. He had a son, Sir Dorbred, who was the first to assume the surname of Bernard, and whose descendants eventually settled at Acorn Bank, in Westmoreland, one of whom, Robert Fitz-Bernard, accompanied Henry the Second to Ireland in 1172; and such was the high opinion entertained of him by that monarch, that, upon his departure for England, he entrusted Fitz-Bernard with the sole governorship of Wexford and Waterford.
Sir Henry Bernard, a lineal descendant of Sir Dorbred's, lived at the old family seat in Westmoreland, and married Anne, daughter of Sir John Dawson, a neighbouring knight, by whom he had four sons-Robert, William, Francis and Charles. Of these, Francis, his third son, came to Ireland (temp. Queen Elizabeth), and permanently settled in the newly-planted colony of Bandon-Bridge. He died, leaving, besides two daughters, a son, Francis, whose son Francis married Mary Freke, daughter of Captain Arthur Freke, of Rathbarry Castle, (ancestor of Lord Carbery,) and granddaughter of Sir Percy Smith, by Mary Boyle, sister of Richard, first Earl of Cork. By this lady he had two sons Francis and Arthur, both born at Castle-Mahon.
Francis, his eldest son, (born in 1663,) devoted himself to the study of the law, and soon attained to eminence. In 1713 he was selected to fill the office of solicitor-general, and was shortly after raised to the Bench as one of Her Majesty's judges of the Court of Common Pleas. For many years he sat for his native town of Bandon in the Irish Parliament, where he was well known and appreciated as an active and painstaking representative. He was ancestor of the Earls of Bandon. His brother Arthur (born 1666) was progenitor of the Bernards of Palace-Anne.
Arthur took a very active part in the eventful times in which he lived. When the Bandonians heard the Lord Clancarthy was approaching with a body of foot, to aid the force already in possession of their town to disarm them, several of them met, and resolved to imitate their heroic brethren of Londonderry, by shutting their gates in the teeth of the advancing foe. But they were not content to rest even satisfied with this, for, falling upon O'Neill's garrison at cock-crow on a Monday morning, they stripped them of all their arms and accoutrements, and then turned them outside the walls. This was called the "Black Monday Insurrection," and its similitude to a like proceeding in the North has earned for Bandon a name by which it is still known and honoured-that of "the Southern Derry."
Mr. Bernard took a foremost part in this outbreak, and was one of "the leaders of the late revolt" demanded of the inhabitants by Major-General McCarthy upon his laying siege to the town, and concerning who they made that replay which has travelled to every region to which the fame of the "the ancient and loyal borough" has extended, and which will as long as the historic associations connected with it will endure: "That they had no objection to treat about delivering the town into his hands upon honourable terms; but as for giving up their leaders, their answer was --'No surrender!'" Owing to the interference of their fellow-townsman, Dr. Brady-who, in conjunction with Nahum Tate, composed the version of the psalms now in daily use in our churches-McCarthy was induced to let the Bandon people off very easy. But James the Second was not so soft-hearted. When that monarch landed at Kinsale, and became aware of all the circumstances connected with "the late revolt," he did not allow the capitulation to stand between him and vengeance. He directed that indictments for high treason should be prepared against the leaders on the spot, and ordered his chief-justice, who was then presiding at the Cork Spring Assizes, to have them put upon their trial at once. McCarthy, however, urgently protested against this, and, taking advantage of James's departure for Dublin, he forced Nugent to postpone the case until the next assizes. In the interim the battle of the Boyne was fought, and the conquered having changed places the the conquerors, the prisoners were never after called upon to plead.
Mr. Bernard filled the office of high-sheriff of the county in 1697, and again in 1706; he was also colonel of the East Carbery Horse-a volunteer regiment of Light Dragoons, to which the State was at that time indebted for many valuable services. On the 22nd of December, 1695, according to quaint old family M.S., he was married "at about eight of the clock on Sunday night, at the great dining-room at the castle of Lismore," to Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Roger Power (or Le Poer), of Mount Eglantine, Co. Waterford, by whom he had issue, four sons* and eleven daughters, all baptized and christened in due order. In the long list of their godfathers and godmothers, we find the name of Colonel Congreve, Judge Bernard, Mrs. Ludlow, alderman Knapp, Mrs. Hedges, Sir Ralph Freke, Nancy Barrett, Mat. Adderley, Aunt Cook, Brigadier-General George Freke, Sir Richard Cox, Lady Pyne, Lord Ikerrim, & c. At his decease he was succeeded by his eldest son, Roger Bernard, who was succeeded by his only child, Roger Bernard.
*His youngest son, Captain George Bernard,--known in England as the handsome Irishman,--married Mary, daughter of Sir William Codrington, and cousin-german to Sir Edward Codrington, the hero of Navarino. By her he had a son, George, who was usher of the Black Rod to the Duke of Rutland, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also usher to the Knights of St. Patrick. Two battalions of the 84th Regiment were raised by him, for which service he was promoted to the rank of colonel. He subsequently became a lieutenant-general, and died in 1817, leaving a daughter, married to Captain Arthur Beamish, who assumed the name of Bernard in addition. By her Captain B. Bernard had an only child, Mary Isabella, so called after her godmother, the Duchess of Rutland, (Mary Isabella, youngest of daughter of Charles, fourth Duke of Beaufort,) who was married, in 1847, to John Bowen, Esq., junior, of Oak-grove, Co. Cork.
The latter was principally brought up in England, where he
graduated as B.A. of Cambridge. Upon his attaining to the inheritance, he
indulged in all the vices and follies of the day. He kept a house open to
everyone, that could sing a good song or tell a good story. His mahogany
was fringed by the jollies fellows the country could produce; and it used to be
said, and probably with much truth, that scarcely anyone was known to walk away
from his table-they were carried. "Mick, your Master is down;" or, "Jerry,
yours is tottering ;" or "Tady, Mr. So-and-so fell, after his fourth bottle,"
was an ordinary intimation from the butler to one or other of the servant-men,
who sat smoking round the kitchen fire, to go to the Rakes' hall, and take his
master to bed. Sometimes this feat was accomplished by dragging the master
the entire way on the broad of his back; but , when assistance was at hand, the
usual plan adopted was for one man to put his head between his legs, and for two
others to put their shoulders under his, and in this way to carry him upstairs,
as if he were a sack of wheat. His own man then pulled off his boots,
loosened his cravat, put the washing-stand basin under his nose, and left him to
grunt and snore until the hounds and hunting-horn woke him up next day.
Roger was a great steeplechaser, and was the best man in the three kingdoms to manage a wicked horse, or to stick to the pigskin under any circumstances. Whilst in England on one occasion, he was at a racecourse where a lady of high rank had a horse to run. The vicious beast a few weeks before had killed his groom, and, even on that very morning, had thrown his jockey with such force as to render him incapable of moving. The news spread that the favourite would note run. His backers were in a panic, as no one could be got to mount him. The intelligence soon reached our hero. This was just the kind of adventure to his liking. Quickly making his way through the crowd, he desired the horse to be led out. This was accordingly done; and, catching him boldly by the bridle, he jumped into the saddle. In vain the ill-tempered brute tried to pitch him over his head, then off his back; he then tried to bite him, and, as a last resource, lay down, and absolutely endeavoured to roll over him. But he at last had found his master: he was kicked and licked into good behaviour; and, when the start was made, away he went at a pace that speedily brought him to the winning-post, leaving all his competitors behind him-distanced and chagrined.
"Claim what you wish, Mr. Bernard," cried the fair owner, in a fit of exultation, "and it shall be granted."
Taking off his hat, and making a low bow: "Then, my lady, I claim the honour of kissing you ladyship's hand."
It was instantly extended, and, with this poor requital, he felt amply compensated for the repeated risk he ran of being killed.
He died young, but not until he had left charges upon the estate from which it was only freed by the hammer.
Arthur, his father's second brother, was his successor. He married his cousin, Mary Adderley, great-granddaughter of the Lord Chief-Justice Sir Matthew Hale. For many years he was provost of Bandon, and died at a good old age, in 1793.
He was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas Bernard, who married a Miss Lucas, but had no issue; and whose brother Arthur, a captain in the 84th Regiment, married Margaret Warren, of Castle-Warren. This lady, after the birth of her infant son, Francis, paid a visit to the old family seat, taking the baby with her. The child was a remarkably fine one, and the mother was proud of it. Taking the little cherub from the nurse, and holding him up in her arms:
"Tom," said she, "look at the future owner of Palace-Anne."
"He shall never own a sod of it," growled he; and he kept his word.
Sending into Bandon for his solicitor, he levied fines and suffered recoveries, and made his will, by which he bequeathed all he possessed to Arthur Beamish, second son of his sister Elizabeth, who was the wife of Richard Beamish, of Raheroon; and so bent was he on disinheriting the lawful heir, that he dies soon after, "lest," as a fair correspondent of ours suggest, "he should by any means be induced to change his mind."
A few years before he (Arthur Beamish) became possessed of the estate, and whilst yet a very young man, his career was near being abruptly brought to a close, as he had the misfortune to get into a quarrel, and exchange shots, with one of the most successful duellists of the day.
There was a gentleman named Henley living a Innoshannon, who had permission from Mr. Adderley, the owner of that estate, to shoot over it. Mr. Beamish subsequently obtained a similar favour for a friend of his, afterwards known as Captain Jack Sealy. Henley vowed revenge, and openly declared that the first opportunity he had of insulting Beamish he would do so. An occasion soon presented itself in a house where he called to pay a visit, and, walking up to him, he looked contemptuously in his face, and told him he was no gentleman.
"You're a liar!" replied Beamish, and instantly felled him to the ground.
In those halcyon days an appeal to the King's Bench was unfashionable. Should the plaintiff feel himself aggrieved by the defendant, he resorted to a summary process, about which the only thing wrong was that the innocent man had just the same chance of being murdered as the guilty one. Indeed, we may truly venture to affirm that he often had a greater; for it was by no means uncommon for a professed shot to roam about the country, or swagger through our streets, seeking for a casus belli, and then bring his deadly skill to bear upon one with whom he had purposely picked a quarrel.
"Name your friend!" roared Henley, jumping to his feet in a rage.
"Captain Tonson, sir. Yours?"
The seconds met that evening, and it was arranged that the affair should come off early on the following day.
As we have said, Beamish was a very young man, and had never pulled a trigger on such an occasion in his life. Henley, who was a member of the notorious Hell-fire Club, was, on the contrary, and old hand, and had already stretched his fourth man.
The news went everywhere. Everyone that heard it reckoned Beamish a gone man. "Before to-morrow's sun will reach the meridian he'll be a gone man," said one. "You might as well bring him before a sergeant's guard, and let them shoot him decently," said another. There was no man in his senses would give more than twelve hours' purchase for his life.
The place appointed for the meeting was at Killanethig, about three and a-half miles south of Bandon. Both men were on the sod well up to time. It was observed that the younger one looked cool and collected, but thoughtful. His friend had great hopes of him.
"Keep cool, Arthur, my boy," said he; "keep cool; and if you don't let the daylight into his bread-bag, I'm not Jake Tonson!"
The elder displayed the most perfect nonchalance, occasionally whistling snatches of a popular air, or making some indifferent remark to those around him. When his second began walking the paces:
"Make them long," said he, "as it may give this spirited young chap a chance."
"I don't want any chance," cried his opponent in an angry tone.
"Do you hold one end of a handkerchief, and I'll hold the other, and let us blaze away."
"Oh, no, my young fried," replied Henley, with a ceremonious bow, "that would be murder:" adding, in a low tone, "a little bleeding will bring him to reason."
Tonson, after loading the pistols, gave one to each of the combatants; then handing the powder-flask to Beamish, who carelessly put it into his breast-pocket, he retired. Having taken their places, at the word "present!" both slowly raised the armed hand, with the right arm extended, until it almost formed a right angle with the body, and remained motionless as statues. Upon the signal being given to fire, they discharged their weapons simultaneously. The spectators, rushing in before the smoke had yet rolled away, found Beamish erect-his adversary's bullet struck the powder-flask, and, glancing off obliquely, did no harm. But Henley was down. The ball entered the lower abdomen, tearing the flesh, and making an ugly laceration, from which the blood flowed copiously. To the crowd that gathered round him:
"I have nothing to say, gentlemen," said he, "only that everything was fairly conducted, and I wish that no proceedings should be taken." Then, after a pause, turning to his second, who was assisting in endeavouring to stay the red stream that still poured through the wound: "Spread," said he, in an earnest tone, "avenge me."
He was removed shortly after to the house of a farmer named Mason, who lived in the vicinity of the village of Ballinadee, where he was carefully attended to; but, notwithstanding all that the skill of his medical advisers could do for him, he sank gradually, and before twelve that night he was dead.
When his uncle died, Mr. Beamish-whom we shall now call Captain Bernard-returned from the West Indies, where his regiment was stationed, and arriving in Cork on the top of a coach, went into the coach-office to warm himself by the fire. A gentleman who was sitting before it looked up at him, and immediately placed his leg on the grate at the side at which he was. Not pretending to notice the affront, he passed round to the other side; but the sitter instantly put his leg up there also.
"Oh, if you want to keep all the fire to yourself, sir," said Bernard, "I'll give you enough of it," catching him by the collar at the same time, and forcing him into a sitting posture on the fire, where he held him until he roared with pain. Still gripping him by the collar, he pulled out his card and handed it to him.
"Now, Mr. Spread, you knew me before, and you know where to find me now."
Spread, whose feelings may be imagined with greater facility than described, rushed upstairs to his room, where, we may presume, he thought over the injury he received and the remedy suggested, and came to the conclusion that, in this case, discretion was the better part of valour. At all events, he held his tongue, and there was no more about it.
Captain Bernard was a very active county magistrate, and was more than once thanked by the Government for his exertions in the Whiteboy business of 1821 and '22. At that time bands of men, many of whom were armed, used to roam over the rural districts in his neighbourhood, attacking the houses of the gentry for arms, and enforcing their demands for "powder money" from the farmers.
The Palace-Anne Corps of Yeomanry, with their gallant leader at their head, were scarcely ever off their legs. On one occasion, whilst "on patrol," they overtook a gang, who were on their easy to assault the house of a gentleman living a few miles distant. Being ordered to "halt!" they broke and fled.
"Halt!" again roared the captain. In the King's name, halt, or I'll fire!"
But they ran even faster than before.
Putting his rifle to his shoulder, he took dead aim, and down tumbled one of the marauders. It was found that the wounded man-who, by the way, is still alive and in good health-was absolutely his own carpenter, and from whom he on that very evening received the keys of the stable-yard and to whom he at the same time handed a strong tumbler of Irish whiskey-punch, mixed by his own hand.
All the estates were sold within the last fifteen years, excepting Palace-Anne house and domain, in which Captain Bernard had only a life interest, and which he held from the creditors as a tenant from year to year until his death.
He died in 1854, and was succeeded by his brother, Captain Bernard Beamish, the present owner, who has also but a life interest in the house and domain; but even these he does not enjoy, owing to his being unfortunately involved in his brother Arthur's affairs, and they are now in Chancery. The heir to the fame, and to the wreck of the fortunes, of the Bernards of Palace-Anne, is a young man, who, when last heard of, was working for his daily bread in one of the Western State of America; and whose only brother, Richard, and the husband of his sister Elizabeth, were both killed in the battle of Antietam, whilst serving in the ranks of one of the Federal regiments as private soldiers.
Well authenticated instances of suspended animation are to be
met with. A late president of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society
knew a case where the patient, saving some short intervals, continued in a state
of insensibility for two or three weeks; and he records the case of a female who
was so unmistakeably defunct that she was laid in her coffin, and the cover was
about being laid on, when a bystander noticed a profuse sweat suddenly break out
over her face and hands, and thus her life was preserved.
Dr. Gooch mentions the case of another female who fell into catalepsy. Her eyes were wide open; she was thin, pallid, and the very pictures of a corpse; and although he placed his mouth alternately to either ear and called loudly, she did not hear a word-she did not even move, or show more signs of animation than a statue.
Bonet states that a soldier who deserted from his regiment, upon being overtaken and captured, became so overpowered by sheer terror as to become perfectly unconscious. Whatever position his body was placed in, there it would remain, and for upwards of twenty days the unfortunate man neither ate nor drank, or showed by the performance of other duties essential to vitality that he was even alive.
Catalepsy is to be met with still. A short time since a messenger called at the residence of a surgeon in this neighbourhood, and left directions that he should call at a certain number in a certain street, and see a young woman who was dangerously ill. Upon his return from the country, where he was when the message was delivered, he immediately set out, and entering the sick-chamber, approached the bedside of his new patient.
"You're too late now, doctor," said an old woman who sat at the head of the bed, rocking herself to and fro in an agony of grief; "you're to late-she died about half-an hour ago."
And to all appearance she was dead. There she lay, stiff and motionless. The rigor mortis had set in, and there as that calm, composed silent look, which told that the spirit which shone in those lustreless eyes; which glowed in those chill, damp cheeks; which circled in innocent smiles round those stiffened lips, had fled from its earthly tenement for ever. Influenced more by the force of habit than of anything else, he mechanically took hold of her hand and placed his fingers where the pulse was, and then let it go; but, to his horror, there it stood pointing towards him. He then lifted one of her legs, and there it remained outstretched also. He now became convinced that this was a case of catalepsy, and resorted to active remedial measures at once. nevertheless, the young woman exhibited no signs of consciousness for over eight-and-twenty hours, at the end of which time she began to come round, and in a day or two was able to walk.
So far back as the reign of Queen Anne, a very interesting case of prolonged catalepsy, or trance, as it was then called, occurred in Bandon, and so strange and exiting were many of the incidents connect with it, that it still holds a foremost place among the stories and traditions of our town and neighbourhood.
The Reverend Thomas Goodman, precentor of Ross, died in 1681, leaving seven sons, namely-Richard, Thomas, Charles, James, John, William, and Synge; and two daughters-Susannah and Mary. Richard and Thomas, his two eldest sons, following the footsteps of their father, entered the church. Richard, who was born in 1657, became one of the vicars-choral of Cork in 1682, and the next year his brother Thomas obtained a similar appointment. They do not appear, however, to have performed their duties with even ordinary attention, for scarce had Thomas Goodman been twelve months in office, when he, as well as his brother, were admonished to be more diligent, and to attend on every Sunday and holiday in the cathedral. A graver charge still was brought against Richard, who was accused of marrying a couple without either banns or license. In 1687 Richard was licenesed to the curacy of St. Michael's, and in 1692 he succeeded the Reverend Paul Duclos as vicar of Ballymodan, Bandon, where he resided until he died, in 1737. His brother Thomas also obtained a curacy in 1687, and, from 1695 until 1731, he was one of the four vicars-choral of Ross. In the latter year he died; and in his will, dated the year previously, he desired to be buried in the cathedral church of Ross if should die there.
The Reverend Richard Goodman, vicar of Ballymodan, was a married man, and, as before state, resided in the parish. He lived in a respectable residence,-one befitting his social position,-and the site of which is now occupied by Shannon Lodge. His wife's christian name was Hannah, and, from all that has reached us about her, she appears to have been a good-tempered, amiable woman, and was one with whom Mr. Goodman spent a long and happy life. Sickness at last visited the vicarage, and Mrs. Goodman fell ill. She became worse and worse. All that medical skill, and kindness, and attention could do was unavailing. She gradually sank until she died.
The sad news soon spread everywhere, and was everywhere received with regret. The well-to-do parishioners bemoaned the loss of an agreeable companion, and the poor parishioners the loss of a generous benefactor.
In two or three mornings after the occurrence of the melancholy event just referred to, groups of mourners might be seen collected about the front door. Shortly after, the bier was brought out, and on it lay the shrouded form of the vicar's wife. Taking their places in silence behind the sorrowing husband and immediate relatives of the decease, they formed part of the mournful procession that set out on its long and tedious journey to Ross. By-and-bye one knot of sorrowers turned of at one cross-road; another moved off at the next; others stood and let the funeral pass, and then turned back. Their example was followed by another, then another and another, until at length, of those who left the vicarage in the morning, there were but few in attendance at midday. It was late in the evening when the funeral arrived at Rosscarbery cathedral, and the remains of the deceased lady were, with due formality, laid in the family vault of the Goodmans.
By some means or other, the sexton became aware that the deceased had a valuable diamond ring on the little finger, and thinking, probably, that as it could not any longer be of use to her, and may be of some benefit to him, he might as well become it possessor. Accordingly, early on the next morning he got up, and removing the flags which had been only temporarily placed over the mouth of the tomb until they could be properly secured the ensuing day, he was soon by the side of the corpse, endeavouring to make his own of the coveted trinket. He pulled hard. He was under no apprehension of hurting a dead body, and diamonds were rare ornaments upon those whom he consigned to dust and ashes. He tried again and again; but the ring would not stir; the unyielding flesh seemed to record its silent protest against the sacrilege. He did not come there, however, to be balked by a dead finger. As the ring would not come off the finer, he determined the finger should come off itself, and, grasping it tightly, he tried by twisting to dismember it. The body moves! he stars, and instantly drops the hand. Oh, 'twas only a motion communicated to the corpse by lifting the arm. Raising it again, he endeavours to force back the finger so as to snap it off at the joint. With a long yawn, the dead woman flings aside the grave-clothes and sit bolt upright.
"Where am I?" cried she, struggling to open her closed eyelids.
The impious thief tales to his heels, leaving his lantern behind him, and flies for his life.
In a short time Mrs. Goodman realized her strange position, and wrap-ping her shroud around her as well as she could, and taking the grave-digger's lantern in her hand, she hurried out of the ghastly chamber. The church door stood conveniently open-the affrighted sexton not even waiting to close it in his flight-and crossing over to the residence of the Reverend Thomas Goodman, her husband's brother, which was just outside church-yard, she knocked at the door. In a few minutes a head appeared out of the window, and asked:
She told who she was.
The head quickly vanished, and in a short time there was light in every room, and the terrified inmates were dressing themselves as fast as they could. Descending in a body, some of the most courageous amongst them tremblingly undid the door fastenings, and before them stood Mrs. Goodman. Some screamed; others drew back in horror, lest the grave-clothes should touch them; even the most resolute shook in every limb.
"Don't be afraid," said she, "I'm not dead;" telling them at the same time all the particulars connected with the strange occurrence that she acquainted with.
Being somewhat reassured they brought her in, placed her in a warm bed, gave her a warm drink, and made her as comfortable as they could. After an hour or so she fell into a sound sleep, from which she did not awake until near midday, her brother-in-law and his servantman keeping watch by her bedside, not yet entirely persuaded but that she who lay before them was a spirit, and that her new kindred would come and claim her at cock-crow. She awoke greatly refreshed, and after putting on suitable clothing, she came downstairs, and eat what, under the circumstance, was considered a hearty breakfast; after which she walked about the village, dined with the family at their usual hour, and in due time after supper retired for the night, and got out of bed on the following morning so fresh and strong that she resolved to set out for home. she travelled slowly, as the effects of her recent illness had not disappeared, and she did not arrive in Bandon until the homely townspeople were beginning to close their shutters and make preparations for the evening meal. Leaving her horse outside the gate, she walked into the little flower-garden in front of her husband's home. Brushing past many an old floral acquaintance, whose drooping head seemed to mourn her loss, she looked in through the little parlour window; and, as she looked closer, she perceived the familiar form of one to whom she was devotedly attached, sitting listlessly before the fire; his head resting on his hand, and he seemed melancholy and forsaken.
"Who Can that be? 'Twas so Like---"
She taps again, and then, hurrying across, knocks at the door.
"Surely that was her knock!" Oh, God, Thought he, do the dead ever---
Trembling in every limb, and sweating at every pore, he drew back the bolt, and the dead wife was in her husband's arms.*
She soon explained all. Both Felicitated themselves over and over again upon their miraculous good fortune, and, in the exuberance of their joy, they not only forgave the sacrilegious sexton, but they absolutely drank his health.
*Mr. and Mrs. Goodman were fond relating every particular connected with this strange event.
She lived some years after, and had a son, who died at a good
old age, towards the close of last century, in Innoshannon; and such a dissolute
and dissipated fellow was he, that he was known, not a Goodman, but as "Badman;"
and there are those still living who knew and conversed with "Badman" in his old
age. A lady of our acquaintance often saw and spoke to him. She say
he used to wear a frilled shirt and knew-breeches, and was fond of displaying a
pair of large silver buckles in his shoes. Another lady had a perfect
recollection of sitting upon her knew when a child, and of his telling her that
he was the man who was born after his mother was buried. Before old
Goodman left this world-we hope for a better--he had spent all he had inherited
from his parents, and died in poverty, leaving a son, who had to subsist by the
labour of his hands.
This man also married, and died, leaving a son, who served a part of his time to a shoemaker in Bandon; but, before his apprenticeship was half completed, he lent an attentive ear to the seductive wiles of a recruiting sergeant, and, when last we heard of him, he was a private in the Grenadier Company of Her Majesty's Sixty----Regiment of Foot.*
*We are aware that stories similar in some respects to what we have just detailed are told in connection with other places. Of their truth or falsehood we know nothing-perhaps they were all founded upon this; but that the circumstance we have mentioned above occurred as narrated, we, as others who have interested themselves in collecting all the particulars of this extraordinary case, implicitly believe.
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