References to Pipes, Piping and Music in the series
Ireland, From the Act of Union, 1800, to the Death of Parnell, 1891
A series of reprints, mostly fiction, set in Ireland and published by
Garland Publishing, Incorporated, New York, 1978 - 1980
References complied by Nick Whitmer
Series Numbers 5 - 38 Series Numbers 39 - 62 Series Number 68 Series Numbers 69 - 75
A Summary Home
Series number : 68
Title: Knocknagow: or, the Homes of Tipperary
Author: Kickham, Charles Joseph
Notes: Reprint of the 1879 ed. published by James Duffy, Sons and Co., Dublin.
A different edition of this book is online at www.exclassics.com/knockngw/knintro.htm
pp.18-19 "She could preach the whole sermon to you," said Mr. Kearney, in his emphatic way. And then, after a pause, he added, still more emphatically: "I'd rather have her in the house than a piper."
This was too much for Grace; and Miss Kearney and her mother joined in her ringing laugh, while Mr. Lowe looked quite as much puzzled as amused, as he turned full round and stared at his host, apparently expecting some explanation of this extraordinary testimony to Miss Grace's powers of pleasing.
Mr. Kearney, however, rubbed his whiskers, contemplatively, to all seeming quite unconscious of their mirth, and added, with a jerk of his head:
"Wait till you hear her play 'The Foxhunter's Jig.' Miss Butler is a fine girl," he observed, abruptly changing the subject.
pp. ? [Chapter 6] [Billy Heffernan the flute player] The two young men stood at the window and amused themselves by observing the people who loitered about the house. Mat the Thrasher stood leaning against a cart, surrounded by a group of admirers, among whom were Jim Dunn and Tom Maher. But even their admiration evidently fell short of that of Billy Heffernan, the musical genius of Knocknagow — who dreamt a piece of music entitled " Heffernan's Frolic," and played it next morning to the wonder and delight of the whole hamlet. For Billy's mother ran out to proclaim the joyful news among her neighbours; and men, women, and children, came crowding around the inspired musician, and requesting him over and over again to play his new composition; till Billy, fairly out of breath, put his fife in his pocket and asked them all, with an injured look, "did they think he had Jack Delany's bellows in his stumack?" — Jack Delany being the village blacksmith. From which query it may be inferred that Billy Heffernan was under the impression that his stomach played an important part in the production of sweet sounds.
Billy Heffernan now took his fife from his pocket, and after examining it minutely, handed it to Mat the Thrasher.
Richard let down the window softly, to try and catch their conversation.
After looking at the instrument, Mat said:
"I'll reg'late that. I'll put a new ferl on id.'
He handed back the fife to the owner, who put it to his lips and seemed to execute a pantomimic tune — for though his "flying fingers" played nimbly over the stops, no sound was audible. By degrees he breathed more and more strongly into the orifice till a lively air began to be fitfully distinguishable even to the two young men in the window. Mat the Thrasher commenced to "humour" the tune with his head; and after a while, resting his hands on the tail-board of the cart, he performed a few steps of a complicated character. Billy Heffernan moved a pace or two backwards, keeping his eyes fixed on the dancer's feet, evidently determined not to lose a single "shuffle." Indeed, the eyes of the whole group who had also moved back and formed a ring — were riveted en the dancer's brilliantly polished shoes. Mat's shoes presented a contrast to those of his companions in this respect; for while his shone resplendent, theirs were only greased.
As Billy Heffernan "loud and louder blew," Mat the Thrasher's feet "fast and faster flew " and letting go his hold on the cart, he gave himself "ample room and verge enough," till even Mr. Lowe caught some of the enthusiasm his performance excited.
"He's a splendid fellow,' he exclaimed, as Mat finished with a bound in the air, followed by a low "bow to the music."
pp. 65-66 [Billy Heffernan] I wish we had Billy Heffernan to play a tune for her. That's what'd rise her heart. An', be all the goats in Kerry, but here he is himself. Sit down there in the corner, Billy, an' play a tune for Norah. She was so lonesome all the mornin', wud no wan but Tommy and Friskey to keep her company, a tune'll do her all the good in the world."
Billy sat down on a bench near the window under the linnet's cage, and taking the joints of an old flute from his pocket, commenced screwing them together, without uttering a word. Norah preferred "the soft complaining flute" to the "ear-piercing fife;" and because she did, Billy Heffernan — though he never said so — invested the proceeds of a load of turf in the purchase of this one, and patched up his old brogues to make them last another winter; to which last mentioned circumstance an occasional hiatus in his performance on this occasion — caused by a hurried application of the coat cuff to the nose — is, we think, to be attributed.
"Billy, a chora," Mrs. Lahy exclaimed, remonstratively, laying down her cup without tasting it — for she and Phil were now at breakfast — "Billy, a chora, stop that. Her heart is too full to-day, for thim grievous ould airs. Play 'I buried my wife an' danced o' top uv her' — or somethin' lively."
The musician took the hint, and delighted his audience with a succession of jigs and planxties that might "cure a paralytic."
So captivated were they all that Father M'Mahon was actually standing with folded arms behind Norah's chair before any one was aware of his presence. A sudden break-off in the middle of a bar of "Paudheen O'Rafferty," and a sheepish dropping of the musician's under-jaw made Phil and Honor look around.
Father M'Mahon at once relieved them from their evident embarrassment, by saying in a kindly way:
"So, Billy, you are playing for Norah. That's right; that's right. I hope she'll soon be able to come to Mass and hear the organ." And he laid his hand softly on her head. She trembled as he did so, and in order to set her at ease he sat down on the chair which Honor carefully wiped with her apron, and said:
"Come, Billy; 'Paudheen O'Rafferty' is a favourite of mine, so go on with it."
Billy Heffernan, turning his head towards the wall, gave his troublesome nose a vigorous tweak, and obeyed.
"Thank you, Billy. Thank you. Very good, indeed," said the priest.
And with a gratified, though by no means cheerful, smile, and another assault upon his troublesome nose, Billy Heffernan left the house as silently as he entered it.
pp. 146-148 [Billy Heffernan] Mat Donovan said, "Good night to ye," and walked out with his new blue body-coat under his arm. And Phil Lahy suddenly became very busy folding and putting away the things on his shop-board.
"Come, Billy," said he, as he drew a chair to the fire, "can't you give us a tune to put a stir in us these dull times?"
He spoke in an unusually cheerful tone, and holding his hands over the fire, seemed disposed to be sociable, and, in fact, mildly jolly.
Billy Heffernan immediately struck up "The Priest in his Boots."
"A mighty purty tune that is, Billy; but I think it goes better on the pipes."
Taking the tongs in his hand, he built up the fire very carefully, and seemed anxious to make himself both agreeable and generally useful.
Honor Lahy shook her head as if there were no help for it.
"Wisha, Billy," said she, after plying her knitting needles in silence for five minutes, "why don't you talk?"
Billy looked into the fire, and blew C natural by way of reply. He might have said, with the poet:
"Why should feeling ever speak,
When thou canst breathe her soul so well?"
Norah raised her eyes and smiled.
She looked much less sickly by the firelight than on the cold, frosty day, when her pale face so shocked Mr. Lowe and Grace Keily.
"Play 'Auld Lang Syne,' Billy!"
Billy snatches up his old flute to comply; but something had got into his throat which he was obliged to gulp down before he could get out a single note.
Was it the melancholy music of her voice or her look?
Or did he know the words of the Scotch song, and remember that they had
—"paddled i' the burn
Frae morning's dawn till dine?"
Whatever the cause was, Billy Heffernan had a struggle with the knob in his throat before he could play "Auld Lang Syne" for Norah Lahy.
Scotch tunes were very popular at Knocknagow, but we have heard none played and sung so often as "Auld Lang Syne," not the words, but the air; for the words usually sung to the tune were something about
The river Suir that runs so pure
Through charming, rare Clonmel."
Billy Heffernan played on with his eyes shut, for a few minutes: and then, affecting to think there was something wrong with his flute, screwed off one of the joints and converted it into a telescope, through which he endeavoured to make out some object in the fire.
"How do you like the book Miss Grace lent you, Tommy?" Norah asked, while Billy prosecuted his researches in the fire.
"'Tis grand," was Tommy's reply.
"I think she's nicer than you said she was," continued Norah.
"Well, she is," he replied reluctantly, as if unwilling to give up his first impression. "An' a dale handsomer," he added, as if a sense of justice extorted the admission from him.
"I think she's very nice," returned Norah.
"She is, then, nice," said her mother, "an' a darlin' little thing."
"She wants me to write down the 'Frolic' for her," Billy observed, meaning, of course, "Heffernan's Frolic," that he composed in a dream. "But I don't know how to write music, though I could tell her the names uv the notes wan by wan."
"Wisha, Billy," said Mrs. Lahy, on seeing him about to leave, "would you take a walk up as far as Mat's, an' see is Phil there, an' be home wud him? — An' sure I know 'tisn't there Phil is," she thought to herself.
Billy promised to do as she required; and, after leaving his flute at his own house, he walked up the hill to Mat Donovan's.
p. 197 [The gentry debate going to a tenant’s wedding] "If I thought there would be any chance of fun, I would. Will there be any fun, Robert?"
"Ay, faith. He has two pipers and three fiddlers."
pp. 214-219 [Mr. Flaherty, piper] Father Hannigan had a hearty greeting from every one, and Mr. Lowe was particularly glad to see him.
"I beg your pardon, Miss Lloyd; but we must put Mr. Flaherty in that corner. Sit down there, Mr. Flaherty," he continued, laying his hand on the arm of a respectable looking man, who until now had been concealed behind the tall figure of the priest.
The old man was dressed in a decent suit of black, and as he sat down in the chair to which the priest had conducted him, Mr. Lowe was struck by the placid smile that glowed over his round, ruddy face. He wore a brown wig, curled all round from the temples, which he now caught hold of over his ear, to fasten it on his head. He then commenced playing with a bunch of seals attached to his watch-ribbon, which hung from the fob in his small clothes.
"Good night, Miss Lloyd," said he, without turning towards her.
"Good night, Mr. Flaherty," she replied.
"Ha!" he laughed, appearing to look straight before him, though the lady was on one side, and rather behind him. "I think this is Miss Isabella I have beside me," he said after playing again with the bunch of seals.
"Yes, Mr. Flaherty. It is a long time now since you paid us a visit."
He did not reply, as he was listening, with an anxious look, to the conversation passing between Father Hannigan, Mr. Lowe, and Hugh Kearney.
"This is the English gentleman?" he observed in a whisper, leaning his head towards the young lady who had just spoken to him.
"Yes; he is Sir Garrett Butler's nephew," she replied.
Mr. Lowe's curiosity to know something of Mr. Flaherty was so strong that it brought him to the side of Miss Lloyd, at the other end of the room. She tossed her flounces about, and made way for him in an ecstasy of delight.
"I am curious to know," he said, "who is that old gentleman?"
As he spoke, his curiosity was further excited by seeing a little boy come into the room and place a green bag on the old man's knees.
"That's the celebrated Irish piper," she replied. "I am surprised to see him here. I did not think he attended country weddings."
"I suppose," said Mr. Lowe, "he goes round among the nobility and gentry, as we are told the harpers used to do."
"He does," she replied; "and he has a beautiful little pony the countess gave him. But I suppose he is stopping at present with the priests, and Father Hannigan has brought him with him."
"I wish he would begin to play," said Mr. Lowe. And he was rather startled when the old man immediately said:
"Yes, I'll play a tune for you."
"Oh! thank you; but I really did not think you could hear me."
"Ha!" he replied, laughing; "I can hear the grass growing."
He pulled out his watch, and after opening the glass and fumbling with it for a moment, he said:
"Twenty minutes past nine."
Mr. Lowe, who looked at him in surprise as he smiled and chuckled while putting up his watch, caught a glimpse of the old man's eyeballs, and saw that he was blind.
"Sit down here near me," said Mr. Flaherty. "I knew Sir Garrett and your mother well. I'll play one of poor Garrett's favourite tunes for you."
As he uncovered his pipes their splendour quite took Mr. Lowe by surprise. The keys were of silver, and the bag covered with crimson velvet fringed with gold; while the little bellows was quite a work of art, so beautifully was it carved and ornamented with silver and ivory. Having tied an oval-shaped piece of velvet with a ribbon attached to each end above his knee, he adjusted his instrument, and after moving his arm, to which the bellows was attached by a ribbon, till the crimson velvet bag was inflated, he touched the keys, and catching up the "chanter" quickly in both hands began to play. Mr. Lowe, who watched him narrowly, now saw the use of the piece of velvet tied round his leg, as the "chanter" was ever and anon pressed against it to assist in the production of certain notes by preventing the escape of the air through the end of the tube.
The musician soon seemed to forget all mere human concerns. He threw back his head, as if communing with invisible spirits in the air above him; or bent down over his instrument as if the spirits had suddenly flown into it, and he wanted to catch their whisperings there, too.
The audience, to some extent, shared in the musician's ecstasy; particularly Father Hannigan, from whose eyes tears were actually falling as the delicious melody ceased, and the old man raised his sightless eyes, and listened, as it were, for an echo of his strains from the skies.
"Oh!" exclaimed Father Hannigan, turning away his head, and flourishing his yellow Indian silk pocket-handkerchief, as he affected to sneeze before taking the pinch of snuff he held between the fingers of the other hand — "Oh, there's something wonderful in these old Irish airs! There was a ballad in last Saturday's Nation about that tune, that was nearly as moving as the tune itself. Did you read it?" he asked, turning to Hugh Kearney.
"Yes," he replied. "Your friend, Dr. Kiely, induced me to become a subscriber to the Nation."
"I don't get it myself," returned Father Hannigan. "'Tis Father O'Neill gets it, and I suspect he has a leaning towards those Young Irelanders, and dabbles in poetry himself. But I wish I had that ballad about the 'Coolin,' to read it for Mr. Flaherty. If poetry as well as music could be squeezed out of an Irish bagpipes, I'd say that ballad came out of that bag under his oxter."
The old man's face brightened up, as he raised his head, and appeared to be listening to the spirits in the air again.
"Can you remember any of the lines, Hugh?"
"Not to repeat them," he replied; "but I have a general recollection of them."
"We're obliged to you, intirely, for your general recollection," returned Father Hannigan, with his finger on his temple. "But what's that he said about 'sorrow and love'?"
"Sobbing like Eire," replied Hugh.
"Ay, ay," interrupted Father Hannigan. "Now I have it. The poet, Mr. Flaherty, described the 'Coolin' as
'Sobbing like Eire with sorrow and love.'
Isn't that beautiful? — and true?
The old man laughed and listened more intently, as if the spirits in the air were very far off, and he were trying to catch the flapping of their wings.
"He also said," Hugh added, "that
'An angel first sung it above in the sky.'"
This seemed to catch the minstrel's fancy more than the other line, for he nodded his head several times, with his mouth slightly open, as if he were softly repeating the interjection ha! ha! ha!
[...]there was a hustling heard at the door, and Ned Brophy himself was seen pushing two blind pipers into the parlour with a degree of violence and an expression of countenance that led Mr. Lowe to imagine he must have caught them in the act of attempting to rob him or something of that kind. The two pipers were tall and gaunt and yellow — a striking contrast in every way to Mr. Flaherty. One was arrayed in a soldier's grey watch-coat, with the number of the regiment stamped in white figures on the back, and the other wore a coarse blue body-coat, with what appeared to be the sleeves of another old grey watch-coat sewed to it between the shoulders and the elbows. Both wore well-patched corduroy knee-breeches and bluish worsted stockings, with brogues of unusual thickness of sole, well paved with heavy nails. Their rude brass-mounted instruments were in keeping with their garments. The sheep-skin bag of one had no covering whatever, while that of the other was covered with faded plaid, "cross-barred with green and yellow." They dropped into two chairs near the door, thrusting their old "caubeens" under them, and sat bolt upright like a pair of mummies or figures in a wax-work exhibition.
This invasion of the parlour was caused by the expulsion of the dancers from the barn, to make room for laying the tables for the banquet.
"Play that tune that the angel sang again, Mr. Flaherty," said Father Hannigan.
Mr. Flaherty complied, and the noise and hum of voices were at once hushed.
"Have you that?" the piper in the watch-coat asked his companion in a whisper, at the same time beginning to work with his elbow.
"I have," replied the other, beginning to work with his elbow, too.
A sound like snoring followed for a moment, and Mr. Flaherty jerked up his head suddenly, and looked disturbed — as if an evil spirit had intruded among his "delicate Ariels." But as the noise was not repeated, his countenance resumed its wonted placidity, and he bent over his instrument again.
"I think I could do id betther myse'f," said he of the blue body-coat, holding his big knotty fingers over the boles of his chanter. "He don't shake enough."
"So could I," replied the grey watch-coat, giving a squeeze to his bag, which was followed by a faint squeak.
"Turn him out!" shouted Mr. Flaherty, in a voice of thunder, as he started to his feet, his eyes rolling with indignant anger.
There was great astonishment among the company; and Miss Lloyd jumped upon her chair and stared wildly about her, with a vague notion that Wat Murphy's bulldog — of which interesting animal she entertained the profoundest dread — hath got into the room and seized Mr. Flaherty by the calf of the leg.
"Come, Shamus," said Father Hannigan, "this is no place for you. Come, Thade, be off with you," and Father Hannigan expelled the grumbling minstrels from the parlour; but in doing so he gave each a nudge in the ribs, and slipped a shilling into his fist, which had the effect of changing their scowl into a broad grin, as they jostled out to the kitchen.
p. 225 [At the wedding] Dinner over, the two pipers and three fiddlers struck up ‘Haste to the Wedding, which was the signal for removing the two rows of tables, and the floor was immediately cleared for dancing.
p. 234 "Come, Mr. Hanly," he called out to Lory-who with a dozen others was battering the floor to the tune of "O’Connell’s Trip to Parliament"-"We’re going to get a song. Give the poor pipers and fiddlers a rest...."
pp. 235-238 "Are we going to get a song from anyone else?"
"Billy Heffernan has another new wan," said a voice from the crowd.
"Don't mind id!" exclaimed Phil Lahy, contemptuously, "'Tis a 'come-all-ye.'" By which Phil meant that Billy Heffernan's new song belonged to that class of ballads which invariably commence:
"come all ye tender Christians, I hope you will draw near,"
"'Tis a come-all-ye," repeated Phil Lahy. "Don't bother us wud id."
The twang of the fiddles, followed by the sound of drone and chanter, however, showed that the dancers were becoming impatient, and had urged the musicians to strike up; and Lory Hanly was immediately on his legs again with his partner, to finish the "bout" which Father Hannigan had cut short so unceremoniously.
Hugh Kearney was about asking Bessy Morris to dance again, when Nelly Donovan came up to him.
"Come into the parlour, sir," said she. "'Tis cleared up, an' Mr. Flaherty is afther consentin' to play a few sets for the ladies."
To the great satisfaction of many of the boys, and not a few of the girls, the priest and the "ladies and gentlemen," with about a dozen of the more genteel among the guests, withdrew to the dwelling-house. Mr. Lowe offered his arm to Miss Lloyd, and Miss Isabella evidently expected that Hugh Kearney would conduct her through the yard. But Hugh kept possession of the piquant Bessy, and Father Hannigan gallantly offered his arm to Miss Isabella, who, in spite of her good humour, looked a little vexed. Lory Hanly refused point-blank to accompany them, declaring that he considered the barn "better value"; in which opinion Mr. Robert Lloyd entirely concurred, and pronounced Lory a lad of spirit. And here we have to record a very curious fact. No sooner was the priest's back turned than fully half-a-score of seats round the barn might have been dispensed with; for by some strange chance quite a number of the prettiest girls found themselves sitting on their partners' knees — an arrangement, however, which not a single "matron's glance" attempted to "reprove." And now the fun began in right earnest. But not a single dancer, during that memorable night, so distinguished and covered himself with glory, as Lory Hanly, who tired down all his partners, even Nelly Donovan, who was never before known to throw up the sponge. And Barney Brodherick, too, called down thunders of applause by dancing a "single bout" upon the big table. In the midst of the cheers that greeted Barney's performance, Nelly Donovan pushed her way through the crowd to Billy Heffernan, and asked breathlessly:
"Billy, have you your flute?"
"Why so?" returned Billy, in by no means a cheerful manner.
"Because they want you to play the 'Frolic,'" replied Nelly, excitedly.
"Who wants me to play id?" Billy asked, rubbing his nose.
"Father Hannigan, and all uv 'em. Have you the flute?"
"Well, I have the flute," said Billy. "But I don't know what to say about playin' the 'Frolic' while Mr. Flaherty is there. Maybe 'tis turned out I'd be like the pipers." Billy Heffernan evidently stood in awe of the great Flaherty.
"Come away," exclaimed Nelly. "'Tis he wants to hear id. Man alive! if you heard the way Father Hannigan praised you to the skies. He said you wor a born janius. Come, before they're up for the next set."
"Are they dancin'?" Billy asked, scratching his head, as if he sought for an excuse to put off the ordeal as long as possible.
"They are, they are," Nelly exclaimed, impatiently. "The strange gentleman an' Miss Lloyd is afther dancin' that new dance they call the polka. An' faith, 'tis no great things uv a dance. 'Tis all bulla-bulla-baw-sheen. Myse'f don't know how they can stand id —
Tal-tal, tal-tal, tal-tal, tal-tal-la!
all the same, round an' round." And Nelly sang a somewhat monotonous dancing-tune which was then known in those parts as "the polka."
"By my word," continued Nelly Donovan, contemptuously, "they'd soon get tired uv id — on'y for the ketchin'."
Billy Heffernan screwed his flute together, and sounded low D.
"Maybe id wants a dhrink," said Nelly, with whom the old flute was evidently an old acquaintance.
"No, 'tis all right," Billy replied. "I iled id yestherday. But sure there's no hurry; an' if I was flusthered I'd make a show uv myse'f. Sit down awhile an' tell me who's wudin, an' how they're goin' on."
"Wisha, sure you know the whole uv 'em as well as myse'f," Nelly replied, as she sat down. "Miss Isabella is a darlin', an' she's so pleasant.[...]
pp. 239-242 [Chapter title ‘Billy Heffernan’s Triumph’] "Oh, is that you, Billy?" exclaimed Father Hannigan. "come, sit down here and play that tune you made yourself, for Mr. Flaherty. He's not inclined to believe that you made it at all."
"Begor, I don't know whether I did or not, sir," replied Billy, as he sat down. "'Twas to dhrame id I did, sir."
"Come, do ye sit down, and rest for awhile; we're going to get a tune from Billy Heffernan," said Father Hannigan, addressing those who had taken their places for the next dance, and were patiently waiting for the music. "Sit over here, Mr. Lowe," he continued, "and listen to this."
Mr. Lowe left Miss Lloyd's side, and sat near Billy Heffernan.
"Maybe, sir," said Billy Heffernan, looking reverentially at the silver-mounted bagpipes, "maybe Mr. Flaherty wouldn't like me to play."
"Oh, play," said the old man, patronisingly.
Billy looked at his flute, and seemed to hesitate. The rustle of Miss Lloyd's dress was plainly audible, as she left her chair and sat on the corner of a form, intending to resume operations against Mr. Lowe as soon as possible; and this stillness added to the musician's embarrassment.
"Come, Billy, don't you see they're all waitin'? Up wud id," said Mat the Thrasher.
"Give us a tune yourse'f," returned Billy, offering him the flute.
"I thought Mat only understood the big drum," said Father Hannigan.
"Faith, then, he do so, sir; and a right good player he is," replied Billy.
"Don't mind him, sir," returned Mat Donovan. "I'm on'y a whaiten garden player." By which Mat intended to convey that his music was only suitable for the open air, and the harvest field.
"I believe every one in Knocknagow is a musician," said Father Hannigan. "But what's delaying you Billy? I never saw you so long about it before."
"Well, you see, sir," he replied with another glance at the silver keys and the crimson-velvet bag, "Mr. Flaherty is such a fine player, I feel somewhat daunted."
"Oh, don't mind, don't mind," returned Mr. Flaherty.
Thus encouraged, Billy Heffernan commenced to play; and as he went on, the incredulous expression in the old blind musician's face gave place to a look of surprise, which quickly changed again into one of delight. He caught up his chanter, but without inflating the velvet bag, and mentally accompanied the performer, who soon gave his whole soul to the melody; and, as he concluded, Mr. Flaherty exclaimed with emphasis, with his face turned up towards the ceiling:
"Billy Heffernan — you are a musician."
"What did I tell you?" said Father Hannigan, who was evidently proud of his judgment. "I always said Billy was a first-rate player."
Every one was delighted at Billy Heffernan's triumph — particularly Nelly Donovan, who stood leaning against the door with her arms akimbo, and could scarcely resist the impulse to jump into the middle of the floor, and call for "three cheers for Knocknagow, and the sky over it."
Mr. Flaherty adjusted his pipes, and Father Hannigan held up his hand as a signal for silence. And now it was Billy Heffernan's turn to be astonished; for the blind musician played the tune in a manner which almost made the hair of the composer's head stand on end.
"For God Almighty's sake, sir," Billy exclaimed imploringly, "didn't you ever hear id before?"
"No, I never heard it before," replied Mr. Flaherty.
"Oh," exclaimed Billy, with a deep sigh, "I can't b'lieve I ever med it."
"I'll play 'Heffernan's Frolic' for Father M'Mahon to morrow," said Mr. Flaherty. And Billy Heffernan felt that he was famous.
Miss Lloyd found it impossible to keep quiet any longer. She left her seat with a skip, and actually sat down upon Billy Heffernan's knee, who occupied the nearest chair to Mr. Lowe.
"Mamma will be so delighted," she began, resuming the conversation which Father Hannigan had interrupted, "when I tell her that Mrs. Lowe remembers her." She glanced carelessly at Billy Heffernan, who leant back in his chair; and Miss Lloyd could not help smiling at the thought that poor Billy Heffernan was quite overpowered by the honour she had done him. She even stole a look at Mr. Lowe to see if he did not envy Billy Heffernan.
"And now, Mr. Lowe, won't you promise to come and see us before you leave the country?"
"You're an inconvaniance to me, Miss," said Billy Heffernan.
"What!" exclaimed Miss Lloyd, turning round, and staring at the speaker.
"You're an inconvaniance to me," he repeated, quietly. Mr. Lowe, in spite of all he could do, was obliged to laugh.
"Oh, really!" she exclaimed, jumping up, and retreating backwards, with her eyes fixed on Billy Heffernan, as if he had been miraculously metamorphosed into a boiled goose.
And Billy Heffernan, having got rid of the "inconvaniance," quietly unscrewed the joints of his flute and put them in his pocket.
On seeing Father Hannigan look at his watch, Mat Donovan started up and hastily left the room. He soon returned with a plate in each hand.
"Here, Mr. Hugh," said he, presenting one of the plates to Hugh Kearney, "let us not forget the music."
"That's right, Mat," said Father Hannigan; "make the collection for the musicians before we go. 'Tis near twelve o'clock."
Hugh took the plate and went round to make the collection, Mat keeping close to him, and transferring to his own plate the half-crowns, and shillings, and sixpences — we don't mind including the fourpenny-bits, they were so few — as fast as they were dropped on Hugh's. Each person's contribution was thus plain to be seen, which would not be the case if the silver were allowed to accumulate on the plate upon which it was dropped.
p. 295 "Yes, he must be a good judge of character. I know a young lady he considers quite a treasure."
"Better than a piper in the house," added Grace, laughing. "Between Mr. Kearney and my friend, Lory, I have some excuse for being a little vain — which, of course, I am not, however."
"Of course not," returned Mary.
pp. 415-421 [References to the air, ‘The Coulin’, played by a busking flute player]
p. 426 "Do give us a tune, Mary?" said Father Carroll. "Though I don't know I'll care much for your music after Flaherty. He was at Major French's a few weeks ago, and did me the honour of coming over for an hour or two occasionally — but it was in compliment to your mother and her Uncle Dan, who, next to Sir Garrett Butler, he says, was the best friend ever he had."
Mary went to the piano, and after a little hesitation and embarrassment commenced an Irish melody, and played it with such feeling that Father Carroll exclaimed — "You really play very well, Mary. And one would think you wanted to rival Flaherty. That is his favourite tune; and you play it in his manner. Did you ever hear him?"
"No, I never heard Mr. Flaherty play, though I often wished to hear him," Mary replied.
"She ought to play that air well," Sister Clare observed, "for she is continually practising it. Edmund Kiely was here lately, and he would not let her play anything but the 'Coulin,' the 'Coulin,' over and over."
p. 544-545 [Barney’s account of his voyage to Newfoundland] "Well, whin the steamer dhrove off wad Mat, I felt so down-hearted I didn't know what to do wad myse'f. An' as Bobby wanted a rest, I walked up an' down lookin' at the ships. There was wan big wan full uv people, an' the sailors shoutin' an' singin' an' pullin' ropes, an' women an' childer roarin' an' bawlin' for the bare life, till you wouldn't know where you wor standin.' 'Is that Barney?' says some wan out from the middle uv 'em. An' who was id but a b'y from Ballingarry side that challenged Mat Donovan to rise a weight wan day at the colliery; an' begob he put Mat to the pin uv his collar the same day. So out he comes an' pulls me in on the deck; an' who the blazes did I see sittin' furninst me but Patherson the piper playin' away for the bare life. Thin three or four more fellows that wor in the habit uv comin' to the dance at the Bush med at me, an' you'd think they'd shake the hand off uv me. The divil a wan uv 'em that hadn't a bottle, an' I should take a small dhrop out uv every wan uv 'em for the sake uv ould times, as they said. Thin nothin' 'd do but I should dance a bout; an' Patherson changed the 'Exile of Eryin' to 'Tatthered Jack Walsh' while you'd be lookin' about you. Well, Phil, you know that's wan of Callaghan's doubles, an' if I didn't show 'em what dancin' was, my name isn't Barney. But some way or other some wan knocked up agin me, an' my fut slipped on the boords, an' down I fell."
Here Barney scratched his bead and fell into a reverie.
"Well!" said Phil Lahy. "What happened you when you fell?"
"That's what I'm thryin' to make out, Phil," returned Barney, "but I can't. Barrin' that I suppose I forgot to get up; for whin I kem to myse'f there I was ondher a hape uv canvas, an' Patherson lyin' o' top uv me gruntin' like an' ould sow. 'Twasn't long any way till a couple of sailors pulled us out, an' whin I stood up the divil a stand I could stand no more thin a calf afore his mother licks him. So there I was spinnin' about thryin' to studdy myse'f, when the flure slanted down, for all the world like as if a cart heeled an' you standin' in id, an' I was pitched head foremost, an' was d—n near dhrivin' my head through the captain's stummuck. Where's your passage-ticket?' says be, shoutin' out loud; for you couldn't hear your ears wad the wind, and the say dashin' up agin the sides uv the ship, till you'd think we wor goin' to be swollied afore you could bless yourse'f. 'Where's your ticket?' says the captain again, seein' that I had my arms twisted round a rope, an' I houldin' on for the bare life. 'Arra, what 'd I be doin' wad a passage-ticket?' says I, 'whin I'm not goin' anywhere.' 'Come, my good fellow,' says he, 'I want none of your humbuggin'. Hand me your ticket an' go below.' 'I'm not a coddy at all,' says I. 'Let me go look afther me little ass.' 'He's a stole-away,' says the captain, turnin' to the mate. 'That's what they'll say at home,' says I, 'an' if you don't let me out, Bobby'll be a stole-away, too, God help me,' says I. 'An' where do you want to go?' says the captain, an' I see he couldn't help laughin'. 'Good luck to you, captain,' says I, 'an' let me out on the quay uv Watherford, an' that's all I'll ax,' says I. 'We have another here,' says the mate, pintin' to Patherson, rowlin' hether an' over on the broad of his back. 'That's the piper,' said the captain. 'What are we to do wud 'em?' 'Let me out, sir,' says I, 'or I'll have no business to show my face to the misthress,' says I. 'You're fifty miles from Watherford,' says he, 'an' I suspect this is a schame uv yours to chate me,' says he. Wud that the b'y from Ballingarry came up a step-laddher out uv a place they call the hoult — an' the divil's own hoult the same place is — an' he explained all to the captain, an' said I'd be handy about the cookin', an' as for the piper, if the weather cleared up, he'd give 'em a tune, an' keep 'em alive. An' that's the way myse'f an' Patherson went to New-found-land. We wor home together, too, an' he wanted to keep up the partnership, we did so well in St. John's, he playin' an' I dancin'...."
p. 574 "Is Flaherty the piper still alive, and in the country?" Sir Garrett asked.
"Oh, yes," replied Father Carroll. "I met him lately at Father M’Mahon’s."
"I am very glad," rejoined the baronet. "I must have him at Woodlands. It was he first inspired me with a love of our native music."
p. 610 "...But are we going to have Flaherty?"
"Yes," Hugh answered, laughing at the abruptness with which his reverend friend changed the subject; "he promised to come."
And Mr. Flaherty kept his promise. And, though the crimson-velvet bag was somewhat faded, not so was his music, which was as brilliant as ever. Indeed, when, at Father Hannigan's request, he commenced to play the "Coulin," there was a little scene which surprised many persons present. Mrs. Edmund Kiely could not control her emotion; and, pressing her face against her husband's breast, she sobbed aloud, and was so overcome by her feelings, that Mrs. O'Connor, who was, perhaps, as deeply moved as herself — though you would never guess it by looking at her — led her impulsive friend from the room; the blind musician, as they glided by, raising his head with that listening expression, as if an invisible spirit were whispering to him what was going on.
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