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fowling piece of John Rigby's to one of Martin Kelly's fishing rods. He was a farmer too, and kept a pair of well bred horses.

From the days when Venator, in The Complete Angler, kissed the pretty milkmaid, who sang so sweetly,-(one could wish, with Sir Thomas Overbury-"that she may die in the spring, and, being dead, may have good store of flowers stuck round about her winding sheet"-)and for which the grave Piscator reproves him, with a, "Come, scholar! let Maudlin alone do not you offer to spoil her voice," to the time when young Squire Thornhill stole away the heart of poor Olivia Primrose, sportsmen have been the victims of bright eyes, and have made fond husbands too, notwithstanding the calumny of the jilted lover in Locksley Hall, who declares of his sporting rival—


“He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,

Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse":and so Michael Banim fell beneath the power of the god who "rules the Camp,the Court,the Grove," and was married,in the year 1792, to Joannah Carroll.

She was of honest, respectable parentage, and of her character, and personal appearance, her eldest son, Michael, has given, in describing Rose Brady, the heroine of The Ghost Hunter and His Family, the following sketch :

"She could not be called beautiful, for her nose was neither Roman nor Grecian; nay, as we wish to speak candidly in all cases, we must confess that it was rather broad at the base, and perhaps about the sixteenth of an inch too wide. But then her lips were cherry-red, and beautifully formed; her forehead was as smooth as polished ivory; her cheeks were round and peachy, and, in colour, like to the Catherine pear, the side that's next the sun her chin was full, marbly, and a little dimpled; and as for teeth, Rose might be excused for unnecessarily displaying them, had she had the vanity to do so. The eye is the gem of the countenance; and Rose could boast two dark hazel ones, beaming with good nature, or with affection, full of sense and intellect, and sometimes shooting forth a sly humour. She was not tall, but her figure was nicely moulded. Richardson, while enumerating the perfections of his Clarissa, (poor, poor Clarissa!) relates that her attire always bore the gloss of newness. We claim the same praise for our humble little heroine, and we add that whatever she wore, seemed of the exact colour, kind, and pattern, which became her best.

"She was as cheerfully industrious as a bee in the garden. Almost from her childhood she had been accustomed to earn something for herself, and by assiduity and prudence in her occupations, she was enabled not only to contribute to the comforts of the family, but to put money in her purse:' and that purse, a capacious one of gold-flowered silk, lay in a deep corner of the chest in her bedroom, and into it guinea after guinea found their way, until Rose had laid up her own dower."*

She possessed a mind of very superior order, and a store of good sense, and womanly, wifely patience; and these, with health and trust in Heaven, were her only marriage portion.

Michael Banim was a man of hasty temper, but with a fund of deep and genuine feeling at heart; and here his wife's gentle affection was the quiet soother of all care; and soon he was a man well to do in the world; respected by his superiors in rank, and, best test of all, of one's real worth, respected by his neighbours and by his equals.

In August, 1796, there was born to him a son, named Michael, who is still living, and whom, in the course of this biography, we shall have frequent occasion to mention. His second son, John Banim, was born on the third day of April, 1798.

John grew up a plain looking child, with great staring eyes; and his only characteristic was a kind, loving disposition, which endeared him to all the humble household. He was petted by his mother, and her kindness, in conjunction with his own love of those about him, rendered his early years but one united train of childish joys.

His mother, as we have stated, petted, and, as a matter of course, indulged him; the best place at table, and the nicest dainties of the dinner, even in mere childhood, were his; and although Mrs. Banim did not spoil her boy so excessively as did Quick, the actor, his little girl, who, because she wished to dabble her feet in the gravy of a saddle of mutton, was permitted to sit astride upon the joint, yet little John Banim merely escaped the socially atrocious character of an enfant terrible.

His father was a man of some information, for his position and time; his mother was a woman of good mental powers, increased and strengthened by a love for reading. Thus both the parents of the future novelist were capable of understanding and appreciating the advantages of education, and in See The Ghost Hunter and His Family," p. 34.

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his fourth year their son John was sent to a school kept by Mrs. Alice Moore, where it was possible to learn the Horn Book, and some fair share of the rudiments of reading,-provided the words were not too long, and were those in ordinary use.

Here, however, John did not continue a scholar. Like the more famous Academy and Lyceum, Alice Moore's school was held upon the ground floor, and this circumstance so much excited the indignation of little Banim, that he rushed to his home from the cottage seminary, after an hour's tuition, declaring to his mother that he could not stay in a school where "there wasn't a bit of paper on the walls, or a step of stairs in the house." Mrs. Banim thought this outburst but the childish indication of an aspiring mind, and did not force her little boy to return, but sent him to the school of a Miss Lamb, who appears to have taught him the very merest branches of learning. She was, like many other school mistresses,good-humored,quiet,and fat-women who are supported by parents simply because they act as a species of upper nurses, keeping the children from harm and home. With Miss Lamb, John remained until he could, as she used afterwards to boast, "turn the Primer."

In his fifth year he was removed from Miss Lamb's to a school at that period well known in Kilkenny and its vicinity, as "The English Academy, Kilkenny." Its master, Mr. George Charles Buchanan, was an oddity; and if ever man, lived, for whom the apology offered by Sir Walter for one of his characters should be freely admitted as a plea in bar of all deprecation, George Charles Buchanan could claim its fullest benefit, for truly "the man was mortal, and was born a schoolmaster."

Banim was, as we have observed, adoringly fond of his mother. With a child's love he ever feared to lose her, and about the period of his entrance into Mr. Buchanan's school his chief grief was,lest a notorious highway man of the time, named "Farrel the Robber," should steal away his mother whilst he was absent. This phantom haunted all his hours of play; and if for a time he forgot his mother's fancied danger, upon recollecting the fact, he deserted his playmates, and ran to the house to assure himself of her presence and safety. She, in her turn, used to watch for him, and as the eager little face was pressed to the window, she smiled upon it those smiles which gave a balm to many a sorrow in after years.

A young, warm soul like this could not confine itself to one object of affection; and John's love for his elder brother, Michael, was, even in these years, tender and devoted. The second day after John's introduction to Mr. Buchanan's establishment, Michael was placed upon his knees in the centre of the school-room, in punishment for some fault. John enquired the reason, and finding that it was but the preliminary to a more severe punishment, rushed to his brother's side, and threw his arms around the offender's neck. The master ordered him to his seat-he but clung the closer; and threats were unavailing to induce him to abandon the culprit. Bribes were tried :-five shillings were offered, he was unpurchasable-two crown pieces, bright and shining, were clinked before him, but all was unavailing; and at length, as the reward of his consistent affection, his brother was forgiven, John led him in triumph to his place, and having seen him safely seated, burst, for the first time that day, into


Michael Banim, the father, was, as we have written, a man of strong and violent temper. He punished his children at one time for trifles; at another he permitted more serious offences to pass unreproved, being ever guided by the feeling of the moment, which was excited by various circumstances unconnected with the particular fault before him. Mrs. Banim rarely punished: yet a reproving word from her lips was more dreaded by her children than blows and violent threats from the hand and tongue of their father. Indeed so great a feeling of terror did his mother's anger excite in the mind of John, that once, when he had watched her through a keyhole, flog his brother for some offence with a whip which he had frequently seen his father use for a like purpose, he became so much terrified at the unusual occurrence, that he ran to the barrack gate, and entreated the sentry to come and save his brother, whom his mother was about to murder.

These are but the traits of childhood, which friends treasure up in memory, to make a story for the winter fire-side; and yet they show the spirit of a future man, who,in years of well won, honorably worn reputation, look back to those days of childish griefs and joys, with swelling heart, because they were the days of home and love.

Mr. Buchanan's academy was not exactly suited to a boy of Banim's disposition. The master was a clever man, but

professed to teach all subjects, commencing with what he called "oratorical reading," and ending with the modern languages. He was an excellent instructor for a more advanced pupil,and of himself and his school, The O'Hara Family have given the following graphic account, in the first volume of the novel, Father Connell.

"Through the partition separating his bedchamber from the school-room the head of the seminary had bored a good many holes, nearly an inch in diameter, some straight forward, some slantingly, to enable himself to peer into every corner of the study, before entering it each morning; and this is to be kept in mind. At either end of the long apartment was a large square window, framed with stone, and, indeed, stone also in its principal divisions. Over head ran enormous beams of old oak, and in the spaces between them were monotonous flights, all in a row, and equally distant from each other, of monotonous angels, in stucco-the usual children's heads, with goose wings shooting from under their ears; and sometimes one or two of these angels became fallen angels, flapping down, on clipt wings, either upon the middle of the floor or else upon the boys' heads, as they sat to their desks, and confusing them and their books, and slates with fragments of stucco and mortar, rotten laths, aud rusty nails. In a kind of recess, on the side of the schoolroom opposite to the boys' double desks, was an old table, flanked by a form, at which, at certain hours of the day, sat some half dozen young girls, from six to ten years, who came up from the quaint old parlour below, under the care of the master's daughter, who therein superintended their education in inferior matters, to be occasionally delivered into his hands for more excelling instruction. The principal of this celebrated seminary wrote himself down in full, and in a precise round hand, James Charles Buchmahon; and his establishment as the English Academy-principal, we have called him-despotic monarch we should have called him; for he never had had more than one assistant, and the head of that one he broke before they had been many weeks together. And never were absolute monarchy, and deep searching scrutiny, more distinctly stamped and carved on any countenance, than upon that of James Charles Buchmahon, master of the English Academy. And that countenance was long and of a soiled sallow colour; and the puckering of his brows and eye-lids awful; and the unblinking steadiness of his blueish grey eyes insufferable; and the cold

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